Sly unfurled the plans for her new contraption onto the table, checking things one last time. She scratched her chin with her left hand, her right tapping a certain spot on the plans. “You know, I still don’t understand why we need fourKhorium cores for this, Jinx.”
She turned her head to look behind her, at a small(even for a Gnome) Gnome working at a Gnome-sized bench. The Gnome, Jinxilat Spinscrew, was a close friend, and was in fact the Gnome that had taught Slywyn engineering in the first place. He waved a hand over his shoulder. “You have seen the size of this teleporter, haven’t you? This could send a Steam Tank all the way to Northrend from the depths of Gnomeregon!” He continued tweaking the power supply, four oblong tubes about six inches in length, to get it all to fit inside the housing.
Sly blew air through her lips, turning back to the plans. “Where did you get these, anyway? I mean, I can get all the way to Northrend from Booty Bay with my Wormhole Generator, and that doesn’t even take a core!” She didn’t sound worried as much as amused, her eyes flickering over the details on the paper before her.
He raised an eyebrow and turned back to her, stopping his work for a moment. “You do realize that your Generator is using dimensional folding that we don’t even fully understand yet.” He waved a wrench at her accusingly. “I told you several times not to build it. And yet you did. And what’s happened since then?”
Sly sighed. “I dunno, Jinx. Why don’t you tell me what’s happened? You sure love doing it.” She turned around to look at the Gnome, leaning on the bench with her arms acting as supports behind her.
The Gnome ignored, or simply didn’t hear, the implied barb, as he launched into what sounded like a well-practiced list. “When in Ulduar, a stray jolt of electricity activated it and teleported half your squad to Sholazaar. Then there’s the time where you turned it on by accident, didn’t input coordinates, and almost sent yourself to Tanaris. And -then- you actually managed to come back from Outland with it, which is something that I still don’t know how you managed to pull off.”
Sly frowned a little. “I’ve told you a dozen times that Ethereal plugged in the coordinates to get me home when I was hurt. I don’t even know how he did it.”
He waggled the wrench at her again. “That’s exactly my point! You don’t know what he did to make that happen. You haven’t been using it since then, have you?”
“Well, no. It still makes a funny sound when you start it up.”
“I told you to take that thing apart. It’s too dangerous.” He frowned and turned back around to continue tinkering, going silent.
Sly shook her head and turned back to the plans, grumbling. “You know, I’m not getting on you about how you pulled these out of a half-destroyed mechagnome’s CPU or some shit. Or that they take four cores to work.”
Sly pursed her lips and continued to look over the plans, then to the large circular device in the corner of the room. “Why’d you pick me to help you with this, anyway?”
Without turning around, he quipped back. “Because you have no imagination and follow plans to exact standards without trying to alter them.”
Sly glared at him for a moment. “Fair enough.”
Several days later, Slywyn and Jinx stood before the completed teleporter, which now took up most of the room. It looked much like any other location teleporter, but was about three times larger, and was constantly whirring with the power supplied by it’s cores.
Sly glanced toward Jinx, her hand on the satchel at her side, and a somewhat worried look on her face. “I still don’t trust this thing.”
He smirked. “That’s why you’re going first. You have your parachute with you?”
“And you left the Generator at home. … Right?”
“You don’t sound so convincing.”
Sly glanced back at him, frowning a bit. “You don’t trust me?”
“Not really.” He stared back.
Sly shifted a bit on the spot. She didn’t want to tell him that she did in fact have the Generator on her, hidden wrapped in a sock in the bottom of her satchel. She trusted it more than she let on, having gotten her out of several situations she’d managed to get stuck in before. “Just once, trust me. It’s at home.”
He let out a sigh and finally nodded, looking back toward it. “Alright. I input the coords from when I tested my teleporter. It should land you just outside of Gadget. But you’ve got that rebreather I made you. And your parachute. You’re wearing your armor. You have a cloak.” He was starting to sound somewhat nervous himself. “You’ve got your sword. Just in case. Right?” He wrung his hands together.
Sly smirked a little, stepping into the circular ‘launching pad’ of the teleporter. “Yeah. I’ve got all that.” She felt a slight rumbling from her side, but decided it was just nerves. Or her bag shifting against her leg, as it had done before.
He nodded again, then stepped to the controls. He pushed a button, starting up the power sequence. The humming in the room grew louder as the teleporter surged to life, several tracking arms around the top beginning to spin slowly, measuring and calibrating to the size and mass of the subject within. The teleporter was easily twenty feet in diameter, dwarfing the elf in the center.
Jinx continued the startup sequence, metal screeching against metal as the components jerked and scraped to life for the first time. Lights winked on as the containment field arms swung out from behind the supports, spinning around Slywyn slowly, but steadily picking up speed.
Sly shifted a bit in her spot, the whirring growing louder as all the components began to spin and work faster, steam blowing out from the capacitor as it heated up.
Unbeknownst to both of them, Slywyn’s Generator began to react to all the power being unleashed around it, the crystalizied elements that acted as it’s power source being awakened by the energy in the air. It began to glow within it’s sock, the chaotic elements within starting it’s own startup sequence.
The twin sets of arms around Slywyn began to spin faster and faster until they were simply a blur. Sly’s hair whipped around her back in the vortex created, her cape billowing around her legs and whipping around the platform.
Sly began to feel a pull of sorts, and Jinx’s voice came from behind the console. He had to yell to be heard over the commotion of the machine, cupping his hands around his mouth to attempt to amplify the sound. “Ten seconds Sly!”
He punched in a final line of code, and hit the enter key on the console. Whatever happened next couldn’t be stopped, the machine moving too quickly at this point for either participant to react.
Five seconds from activation, Jinx watched in horror Slywyn’s Generator jumped to life, the portal materializing inside of the teleporter. Slywyn gasped as the dim blue-white light suffused the platform. Whatever she said next, Jinx couldn’t hear it. An edge of the portal touched the tracking arms and was instantly stretched as the energy of the portal latched onto the spinning arms, engulfing Slywyn inside it.
With a horrid screeching noise, both devices discharged at the same time, bowling Jinx over as a blast of air radiated from the center. When he picked himself up, his eyes went wide at the state of the teleporter in front of him.
The entire platform was warped in on itself, the tracking arms dripping molten metal onto the floor of the workshop. The containment field arms were bent and warped outward, one of them having sliced through the console when the machine discharged.
The entire teleporter was scrap metal. And Slywyn was nowhere to be found.
“Oh, Cogs.” Jinx sighed, putting his face into the palm of his hand.