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The only sound that could be heard was Natalie Walker’s footprints in the snow, walking down the street. Brick houses stood on each side, and old gaslit street lamps lit the path through the night. No light or warmth came from the houses: they remained silent and cold. Natalie pulled the zip on her coat tighter as she kept walking towards the man she was meeting: Vendeta.

Vendeta seemed unfazed by the cold, wearing the trenchcoat he always had. He looked at Natalie as she stopped next to him.

“Hey, dad,” She said. “So...where are we? I’ve been to other universes before, but this...this is new.”

Vendeta looked at the houses.

“This is one of the pathways between them,” He replied “Built by another civilisation that our world didn’t record. Not used anymore, but the Guardians still have access. The houses are gateways to other worlds. It still cycles through the seasons, despite just being one long street.”

“Eh, Orion Station was cooler.”

“Trust me, the excitement of seeing spaceships wears off surprisingly quickly.”

Natalie turned around to look at the house behind them.

“So...why are we here?”

Before she could answer, Natalie heard another voice from behind her: a voice she recognised.

“Yo, Nat!” Angel Skyheart shouted, also wearing a thick coat to shield her from the snow “What is this place?”

“Gateway between worlds, apparently,” Natalie replied. “The houses represent other dimensions, I have no idea how it works.”

“Looks better than Orion Station.”

“This street looks better than a space station?”

“Absolutely...It’d be nice if it wasn’t as cold, though.”

“It shouldn’t be,” Vendeta interjected, “The lights are going out.”

“Is the multiverse going to be destroyed again?” Natalie asked.

“No. This place is...losing contact. Activity is slowing down. The multiverse is approaching a slower, more natural death than anything created by Luna or Vultra.”

“Well, that’s what I need to hear at Christmas,” Angel muttered.

“How do we stop it?” Natalie asked.

“You can’t stop it,” Vendeta replied, looking into one of the dark houses. “Everything slows down from time to time. One day, the pathways will drift apart...but not yet. We can restart this place if we keep going. Be the spark that ignites a flame.”

Natalie looked into one of the other houses. She saw a Mobian wolf in a black trenchcoat, holding a black katana. Despite the darkness, something felt warmer about this place: like the darkness would soon be pushed back, Like the light would be on again soon.

“You won’t be able to read their minds,” Vendeta told Natalie. “They’re reflections of those in the other world. That said…I think I have seen someone like him before, in a house long dead.”

Angel looked in another house. A Mobian only slightly older than she was wearing ragged clothing and broken armour armour held together by straps stared back. Despite never having been here before, Angel felt like she recognised her.

“So, How do we be this spark, exactly?” Angel asked Vendeta.

“We keep going,” Ven said “We don’t stop until these broken worlds can carry on without a guide.”

“Saving the multiverse for Christmas,” Natalie said, walking away from the window. “Not what I expected, but it beats a satsuma.”

“We’ve been through so much recently…” Angel muttered “Can we really keep going?”

“Sure we can,” Natalie walked over to Angel and squeezed her hand “We made it through before, right?”

Angel smiled.

“Sure we can.”

“Now, if you two were done,” Vendeta said, looking up to the snow above “We have work to do. To make sure everything keeps going...to save this place.”

Angel nodded and stared walking down the street.

“Merry Christmas, Dad,” Natalie said as she walked after Angel. “Remember to get mum a present next year.”

Vendeta smiled to himself as he watched the two girls walk onwards. He looked behind him and saw a light in one of the houses flicker on: a weak light, but still burning.

“Merry Christmas,” He said “Merry Christmas one and all.”

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Notes

  • This story is probably non-canon, or at least Zeroverse.
  • It’s also heavily metaphorical for...something. I’ll let you work it out.
  • Merry Christmas.


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