Previously on Star Forgers…
The Star Forgers are a group of individuals dedicated to the relighting and creation of stars throughout the multiverse. In the World of Data, a Lambda series anti-virus program has gained sentience as a result of merging with his Star Core. While he celebrates his newly found family, fellow Radiant Wú Wěi Yuán mourns the loss of a close friend and prepares to make his arrival on Earth…
Wú Wěi Yuán
Grieving Warrior. Trainer of Star Forgers
l “Lambda” A.V/Junsui Envore
Anti-Virus program given sentience. Radiant
Doctor Deloris Envore
For a Star Forger, traveling through space was a normal part of the job. As such, it only took Wú 8 minutes to arrive at the Moon’s surface. As he gazed upon the Earth he couldn’t help but notice an all too familiar cold sensation. The Abyssal Aether that permeated the planet and reached outward into space. So subtle it didn’t cause your mind to fray. Yet strong enough to taint ordinary life into becoming Abyssals.
“Great, another dying World…” Wú thought to himself with arms crossed. His tail swinging lowly just above the Moon’s surface. “No need to put my best foot forward.” he crosses his legs while floating above the Moon’s surface. He swings his tail up to his right hand and pulls out a hair. Throwing it into space as it glows golden. Exploding in a flash of light and creating a perfect clone of himself. “You know what to do.” Wú begins meditating as his clone flies off towards Earth in his stead. But once it enters the Earth’s atmosphere it’s overcome by a strange sensation.
“The hell is this?” Clone Wú asks through their shared mental link. It could feel its body being forcibly altered. Data gradually forming and building around his body as he was being converted.
“Hmm…looks like in the World of Data everyone’s turned themselves into…well…Data. The line we’re so used to in other Worlds is gone here.” Udona says across the Star Core.
“I’ll deal with it. Not sure how the trainee will take it though.” Clone Wú breaks through the thin clouds and stops to look over the planet. The data flowed through the skies, sea, and continents below. Now that he was within the Abyssal Aether’s area of effect, he could sense Lambda hundreds of miles away.
At this same moment, Lambda could feel the Clone Wú approaching. All the way from Africa amidst his birthday party. “Warning, unknown program detected.” he says in a disturbingly mechanical voice. “Please Doctor, stay here.” Lambda summons his wasp helmet and cosmic aura.
“Be careful Junsui.” Doctor Envore requests concerned.
“I will Doctor.” he smiles one last time before forming his mouth guard, flying out the sliding glass door onto the patio, and into the sky. His flight path making a beeline for Wú. After several minutes of flying further than he’s ever flown before he can see a golden light approaching. When they finally stop to meet, Lambda is dumbfounded. Wú looked like nothing he ever saw before but felt familiar. “Unknown program located. Beginning scan.”
“Scan?” Clone Wú thought to himself confused.
“Scan inconclusive. Quarantine suggested.” Lambda thought while holding his hands together in the shape of a triangle. He points it at the Clone Wú who is trapped in a golden hard light diamond.
“Oh?” Clone Wú touches the walls of the diamond. “Hey, what’s your name?” he asks Lambda.
“Oh…um, Lambda Anti-Virus series #1341526233.” he replies flustered. “Uh…um…I guess it’s long to say out loud. Everyone calls me Lambda or I guess Junsui now.”
“Kid’s awkward just like she was…” Clone Wú thought to himself. “What do you want me to call you?” he sits down with his legs crossed. His head leaning against his left hand bored.
“Oh…um…Lambda. Who and what are you?” Lambda asks.
“Is that really what you want to ask?” Clone Wú tilts his head to the side slightly so Lambda can just barely see the Star Core on the back of his skull.
“Yes, it is.” Lambda replies missing the subtle gesture.
“I guess it still works out in a roundabout way.” Clone Wú stretches and begins floating upright. “I’m Wú Wěi Yuán, Radiant Trainer. I’m from the World of Magic.”
“Is that some new MMO?” Lambda inquires. His focus on maintaining the quarantine remained strong despite his curiosity.
“No idea what that is. But I do know what that thing in your forehead is.” Clone Wú points at the Star Core. “I got one too in case you didn’t notice.” He leans forward and tilts his head so he can point at his Star Core with his right thumb.
“There’s more than one?!” Lambda gasps. “Where did you get that?”
“Same way as you. It found and bound to me. Then I became a Radiant.”
“Radiant? What’s that?” Lambda asks before freeing the Clone Wú from the hard light diamond.
“Thanks for that.” Clone Wú floats closer to Lambda. “We’re members of the Star Forgers. We travel the multiverse purifying, creating new stars, and relighting dying or dead ones. There’s a lot to go over and honestly, I’m not that interested in being a teacher. So you’re just gonna have to trust and follow me.”
“To meet our boss.”
“Um…thank you for the offer. But I must decline.” Lambda bows slightly. “I serve Doctor Envore only.”
“That Star Core in your forehead says differently. Like it or not, you’re a Star Forger.” Clone Wú crosses his arms.
Lambda hesitated at the words. Deep down he wanted to learn more but the suddenness was overwhelming. “If…if I follow you will I learn more about what I am?” Lambda asks banishing his helmet and furling his eyebrows.
Clone Wú nods and closes his eyes. “I’ll give you 1 day. If you don’t come to the Moon in 1 day I’m going to leave and won’t ever be back.”
“Wait, I can fly to the moon?”
Clone Wú smirks slightly. “Remember, 1 day. Then I’m gone forever.” With his message delivered, the Clone Wú disappears leaving only a single strand of hair that floats away on the wind.
Lambda watched the hair drift away with thoughts running wild. He had no idea what anything Wú said meant. But he seemed to know more about the Star Core that gave him sentience. If he went with him he could learn so much. If he missed the opportunity he’d never learn what chose him or why. His thoughts went to Doctor Envore who had acknowledged him as a son and having to leave her to learn this. Lambda prepares to fly back home when he realizes he had flown into the stratosphere. On impulse alone, he had flown higher and farther than ever before. From up here, he could see how large the planet was. How he could so casually get so much closer to the moon than he ever dreamed of. For hours he just floated there watching the planet with only his thoughts to keep him company. Finally, he opens a hard light display and contacts Doctor Envore.
“Doctor Envore?” he asks lowly.
“Junsui? What happened? Where are you? Are you okay?” she asks rapid fire in a single breath.
“I’m sorry.” he apologizes. His head hung lowly so his face couldn’t be seen.
“I-I need to go somewhere. I don’t know when I’ll come back but I don’t want to leave either.” Lambda stammers trying to keep his emotions together.
“It’s okay Junsui. Take a deep breath.” she waits for Lambda to nod and do as she suggests. “What happened?”
“I found the unknown program. Except it wasn’t just another program. It was like me and had a star gemstone in the back of his head. He said we were Radiants…or Star Forgers. I’m not sure which. But if I wanted to learn more I have to meet him on the moon…I want to know why it chose me and whatever this power made me. But…”
“I know this means a lot to you and I know you don’t want to leave me or your home. But it’s part of growing up. I’ve seen how you stare off into the world curious about what it has to offer you. If you don’t spread your wings and go for it you’ll be missing out on too much.”
“But! But what if I wasn’t meant for whatever chose me? What if I mess up. What if I can’t ever see you again?” he curls up in a ball with his knees held up to his chest.
“I can’t answer that Jun. You won’t know until you take that first step yourself.” Doctor Envore smiles with watery eyes. “I’m proud of you Jun. You’re so kind and concerned about me. But if this person can help you grow and learn I think you should go with it. You’ve lived your life for me up to this point but it’s time for you to live one for yourself. You’re still young so explore, learn, fail, experience, and grow as much as you can. And if things ever get hard never forget I’m always here for you. You’ll always have a room here waiting for you.” Lambda nods with tear filled eyes. “I love you Junsui.”
“I love you too mom.” After giving their final farewells, Lambda reforms his Wasp helmet, closes the display, and flies off to the moon. Glancing back at the planet as it got smaller. Part of him wanted to return but he knew he couldn’t quit. Pressing on until he found Wú standing on the Moon’s surface with arms crossed.
“You made your decision?” Wú asks receiving a nod. “If you’re gonna tag along. Then follow me.” he says before floating off into space towards the sun.
“Will…um…Will I be able to go home again?” Lambda asks following Wú.
“Yeah, if you try hard enough. Can’t promise things will be the same when you come back though.” Wú glances back briefly at Lambda who seems relieved.
“If I can come back…that’s good enough for me.”
“Hmm…He really is like she was…” Wú thought to himself before flying towards Lambda and grabbing him. “Don’t want you getting lost.” he says as his Ankle Guards glow with energy. Forming a cloud that he sits on. Putting Lambda behind him and wrapping his tail around the young programs waist. “Things can get disorienting the first time.”
“Disorienting?” Lambda asks as the pair fly towards the sun without slowing. “I-is this safe?”
“For anyone else, no. But for us, it’s one of the main parts of being a Radiant. Using Star Gateways.” Wú explains casually. “You wanna go back home yet? This is your last chance.” he glances at Lambda who shakes his head no.
As the pair fly closer and closer to the Sun, both their Star Cores begin to glow. Entering the suns atmosphere and crashing into its surface which now acted as a portal. Transporting them into the Astral Plane. Their flight path swirling, twisting and turning as a spectrum of blue, green, red, yellow, cyan, brown, and purple swirl by. Lambda could only watch in awe and amazement on their journey. After a minute of traversing the Star Gateway, they find themselves flying above a star larger than either of them could ever hope to comprehend. It sat floating within the Astral Plane, it’s energy pulsing outward like a heartbeat.
“This is the Starpulse. Source of our power and of all the remaining Aether in the Multiverse.” Wú didn’t even need to turn to see how confused Lambda was. “Whatever, I’ll let Udona explain it.” Wú sighs to himself. He takes control of his cloud and flies at an awkward downward diagonal angle towards the monumental star. As the two got closer debris could be seen hovering in orbit around the Starpulse. Their destination, in particular, was a flowing majestic castle that seemed to be made of ornate feathers. Each layer stacked without end to make the curving and bending avant-garde structures they saw before them. Wú lands the cloud at the front gates and banishes it. Deciding to walk the remainder of the way. Lambda following excitedly behind. His wide blue eyes darting rapidly between every new sight. “You gonna make us walk all the way to you aren’t ya?” Wú shouts. His voice reverberating through the empty halls.
With no response, the pair continues onward. Finally reaching a massive door Wú pushes open haphazardly. On the other side stood a short black haired woman wearing a slim fitting black long dress that shimmered like galaxies and rose to just below the shoulders. Though the front of her dress was smooth, the back emulated a peacocks tail. Even going so far as to be accompanied by a long trail that broke into 8 different feather trails. The feathers acted as golden accents to the black shimmering dress. As she turned to face the pair, diverting her attention from the star map above them, her Star Core shined prominently above her cleavage. Her eyes a soft light red.
“If you didn’t want to walk, you could’ve just flown Wú.” she replies snarkily.
“Hmph.” Wú crosses his arms in a huff. “Lambda, this is Sorceress Udona. She’s our boss.”
“Charmed to meet you little one. Was the brute rough with you?”
“I didn’t even start yet. I wanted him to see you first.”
“Is that right? If you were just gonna bring him here why did I even ask you to help?”
“I dunno.” Wú shrugs his shoulders.
“You’re hopeless…” Udona sighs. “Oh well, shall we begin your crash course?”