So last year I was invited to see the the Universal League of Hero’s base up close. I was offered a job, well I was offered the opportunity to go back into the horrible Magic education again and get a job as a portal and magical artifacts manager. Someone I knew from college worked there and thought it would be funny to invite me. I was going to refuse off course, I am too good for that. But Tempi had also received an offer and greatly desired to see the base, but she suffers with anxiety, so I said I would go with her. Also Vanessa, the boss, wanted us to write about firsthand accounts of the base. So well here is my account of events. (Tempi’s account is here)
As it turned out I needed not come, Tempi‘s friend joined us, apparently a hero of some kind. We started the day horribly by having to board the most despicable of public transport, the decayed bus, the collected aroma’s of countless vagrants, unhygienic teens and the numberless hordes of the near deceased but rotting anyway. There were plenty of seats but I chose to stand, I could not trust such a chair to not be coated with the thousand plagues of Agroth. The miserable journey ended upon reaching the MCU (Manchester University). The over popular and undeserving Airell Roost was the one to greet us, I’m surprised the man found the time between skipping lectures, making nonfactual documentaries, and putting his name on other people’s books. He sounded bored and annoyed as he took our names and information, but upon speaking to my supervisor, the anxious shy girl and entire reason I came, who towered far above him, he changed his tone. All she said was her name and his entire act went from dreary, bored fool to flirtatious moron. He flirted and flexed his metaphysical and very metaphorical muscles at her for at least 15 minutes. She just politely nodded and patronised him for the entire time, the woman may act the fool but her knowledge of magic challenges even mine, it obviously dwarfed the knowledge of the dimwitted mage sat before us. But we eventually got to leave and walked through an Abridged Space Gate (Known as a G.A.S. for some reason) the experience was harrowingly painful, but over very quickly. We entered in a large theatre like room, filled with raised G.A.S. platforms. Multiple groups of quivering people were being hurried off and away from the Gates by unformed officials. A young female official tried to hurry us off the platform, but Tempi made the mistake of thanking her, the young girl blushed uncontrollably and stopped doing her job to guide us to the tour Group we belonged to. It wasn’t hard to spot, there was a giant sign above the group, saying Group A and pointing down. Unfortunately this was just the beginning of people trying to flirt with my naive and friendly boss, it is not her fault. Her power allows her to understand and be understood by all living things, and not in the form of words and language, but on a spiritual level, by speaking with her, even a small amount, you will feel a connection with her, the type of connection every human looks for in life, a soul mate, not that she is any ones soul mate, but she certainly feels like it. No wonder she is so anxious. Not even I’m immune, you just get used to it after a while.
The group of 30 made their way out of the hall and into some rather wide and tall corridors, the walls were clearly designed to remove the idea that you are in an enclosed space under hundreds of tonnes of metal with no civilisation close by. They had rails like polished wood, and the upper part of the walls were curved, art and patterns lit up the wall, rather beautifully I must admit. The wall that was to our left and I assume pointed towards the centre of the building was glass, you could seemingly see far into the aesthetical parts of the base, towards parks, pools, shops and open air areas. But, it was just an illusion, caused by magic and technology. At some parts the wall became more like its opposite counter part, a basic plastered wall, designed to give the illusion of passing another room, and solid area, which was true, but we were doing that earlier too, we were just led to believe it was a window. At the end the corridor open up even wider and we were led through a door akin to those on vaults, the frame must have been 5 meters thick. This brought us into the public airport, nothing of note was to be found here, just a normal airport and a hotel that reeked of the corrupt wealthy of the world. As we went, the tour guide spoke to each person individually, I was dreading my turn but even more I dreaded Tempi‘s turn.
We finally got to leave that area, and re-entered the main base. Once we were in the corridor, the guide pretended to be lost and explained the system implemented for finding one’s way around. He touched the wall in an over the top manner, and asked for directions from the Base’s automated control system. Then over ostentatiously he threw his arms out and said “Ah, but we do not desire to walk”. The system utilised a basic flotation spell, (probably fueled by a poor mage working that day) to make the group float, I obviously used my own spell instead. I never float around like that normally, but if everyone else is doing it I didn’t want to stand out. Yeah. That is what happened, I can do spells like that, I just choose not to. But Tempi and her friend did stand out. They stood on the ground, rather than floated, her hero friend raised their hand and took the blame, then the two joined everyone else. I imagine it registered the two of them as separate from the tour group, and the hero told the system to include them. We were swept into a huge round elevator who’s walls were adorned with a magical window into another world, a forest of ancient wonder, who’s trees and alien animals moved with thought and wisdom beyond that of man, yet here they were unwitting decoration for an elevator. The elevator took us down to the pits of hell, or the port that soon would play out a scene from my own personal hell. As it turns out Tempi gets motion sickness and sea sickness rather easily. And the tour guide spoke to her… and the entire group heard her pained voice. Even my own heart felt compelled to throw everything aside to help her. The tour halted to see to her every need and more besides. But back to the area; the port was rather mundane, filled with civilians boats from yachts, to fishing boats, those who came to take a break from their job and those who came just to be able to tell others that they had been. It again reeked of the affluent few of society… but that being said, the cafés looked fancy, the games looked expensive but, nothing was expensive, the same was true of the hotel and airport, all the conveniences seemed focused on affordability. I had plenty of time to check the prices of things sice; Tempi, was taken to a large restaurant where the tour and staff fawned over her, honestly they were just making her worse. I felt sorry for her and her hero friend who tried to protect her from the unwanted attention. The food was really good though, I only had a hotdog and by the 8 Prophets of Wisdom and Agony, it was amazing, it was even vegan and void of every allergen and irritant. They really went overboard with trying to protect people from any concern. Every food and drink in the base is made on base to be edible by anyone. That being said, they didn’t have much to stop people getting sea sick, plenty of medications were available. But I guess the ports are places you can avoid if you do have such issues. When Tempi was eventually released from the grips of social torture, she was offered to be separated from the group and take the rest of the tour avoiding the ports, with a new guide. She took them up on the offer, I and her hero friend also tagged along, thankfully the rest of the group were not allowed to join, despite their desire to do so.
We started our slow assent back up. It was rather relaxing, the new guide was just an employee of the main base, apparently a super in charge of maintenance and defence, and someone who actually knew Tempi well enough not to be drawn into her powers. Well, I don’t think she has spent much time with Tempi in real life, maybe online friends. She seemed very strict and grumpy at first but I think she didn’t have much resistance to Tempi, just knowledge of her. Which Tempi‘s friendly and excited nature did not help. It was like watching a real life Tsundere*
and her crush. It cheered me up after an abysmal day. The new guide took us first to the shopping district which we saw an above view from the corridors before. The shops were nice, it felt more like a large library with each shop being another section and instead of books, we had merchandise, food and other such goods. Ignoring the rainbow themed fountain, the primary colours of the area were black and silver, mainly a deep obsidian black. It was really quite nice and calming. Tempi kept trying to buy things and had shop staff, managers, clerks and cashiers fawning over her, only to constantly have Tempi pulled away by the blushing guide. The hero friend who seemed to know the guide well too just laughed at the two women. As it turns out the shops and most other such facilities are handled by the people who live at the base, so families of heroes and personnel. This is just to give them jobs, responsibilities and things to do, to increase social interaction. Which was pretty interesting. I could almost see myself living there.
The guide took us through central control to where Tempi would work… an office perfect for gaming. I could grind in 12 different accounts at once. As it turns out they were very aware of Tempi‘s power and wanted to use her ability to make people fall in love with her to prevent deaths in hostage situations, wars in negotiations and put anyone requiring aid at ease. Make’s sense to be honest, but I could never see Tempi, being happy with such a job, it seems her fellow super friends were also well aware. The guide was annoyed that she came knowing full well she could never do the job. The diabolical woman I know as my supervisor, hugged the guide and said “I came because I hoped I could see you in person again, and I got my wish”. I swear the poor guide almost had a heart attack. Tempi may be shy and lacks confidence amongst strangers, but with those she is comfortable with, she is a cruel demon of chaos.
Next on the agenda was where I would have worked. Which was an extensive magical laboratory and server facility, plenty of mages and technicians worked here, constantly busy. Not much else to talk about, nothing happened, no old friends, no people disappointed in my life choices just, boring magic stuff. So yeah, just don’t think too much about it and read on.
Next on was the living areas. There was the american rich brat, white picket fence area. A cartoon princess cottage in the woods area… I have been to Tempi‘s real life home… she would fit in here, perfectly. She actually sings with the animals. It almost makes me want to vomit. Her hero friend… seems to join in with that sort of stuff. But then we were taken through a back area, past a lot of bare metal, and functional parts of the base… we were led to heaven. A street stuck in permanent night and chilling winds, noise from the base washed over with the same ambience of rain or light static, and every so often there was a thunderous boom. It was like being stuck in a thunderstorm. The architecture was impressive, gargoyles, blacked out windows, stone pillars, large heavy creaking doors of dark oak. It was like a paradise for dark authors and artists. I love it. Almost enough to convince me to stay.
Beyond this though, there isn’t much to say about the base and tour, other than confidential info, and certain rules prevent us describing much anyway. I realise I spoke mainly about Tempi, but it was honestly the most interesting thing we got to see, additionally with Tempi being a super we, at Fluff Tuft News, do often get a fair few requests to share information about her, so you can have this. Presuming Tempi doesn’t edit it all out.
–Gothboth Le Strenge
*Tsundere: A person who hides their emotions and feelings behind anger