Legion Worlds; Bgtzl
The world spun around her as Tinya re-appeared in Legion Headquarters.
“Hey beautiful,” came a voice from behind her and she turns, closing her eyes for a moment to stave off a wave of vertigo, before opening them again and seeing Ultra Boy, sprawled out on her bed. His voice sounds like it’s coming from a vast distance at first as her senses are still re-adjusting to Earth’s vibrational frequencies. “I said, ‘when did you learn to teleport?’” He’s gotten up, discarding the datapad he was viewing and crossed over to her. “Are you okay? You look like you’re gonna hurl…”
He reaches to steady her, but his hand passes through her arm as she waves him off, “I’m not all here yet.” She takes a deep breath and centers herself in this place, waiting for it to no longer feel subtly wrong in all ways, everything stretching and warping in all dimensions as if trying to spit her out and send this invader back to Bgtzl in a spatial paroxysm. She finally settles into the right vibrational frequency and the walls stop moving long enough for her to reply. “I was visiting my parents, in Bgtzl, and what are you doing in my room?”
Jo smiles and gestures at the room around them, “Hate to break it to ya, babe, this is my room. You must have taken a wrong turn somewhere on the Earth/Bgtzl interdimensional freeway.” He still looks a little concerned, but tries to look nonchalant as she suddenly straightens up and meets his gaze.
“And I’m not ‘gonna hurl’ in your room, if you’re still worried about that.” she says a bit peevishly, “I just needed to get my bearings.”
He backs away, hands in the air, “Hey, just being all chivalrous and shit.”
Tinya can’t help but laugh at the incongruity of that statement, so perfectly inane. “And shit?”
“Stuff?” he amends, also grinning. The moment begins to pass, and Tinya turns for the door, as Jo continues abruptly, “So, how were the folks? You never really talk about what it’s like over there.” he finishes, waving vaguely towards the window, as if Bgtzl was somewhere over to his left.
“Well, I choose to live here instead, so that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it,” she says, trying not to sound snappish, but failing. “You don’t really fondly reminisce about Rimbor all that much, either.” She points out, regretting that even as she says it.
“Yeah,” he says, clearly biting off a different sort of reply, as his face looks straight into hers. It’s something she’s noticed about Jo, if you confront him, he never looks away, but always meets your gaze directly. She wonders if that’s something you learn on the streets, to never look away, to never show weakness… “I can’t really ‘visit the folks’ without getting arrested, so it’s a different situation.” He smiles, apparently already ‘over’ whatever flash of temper almost happened, “Although that would be interesting, to find out that you are a secret fugitive from Bgtzl’n justice, phasing to our world whenever the lawmen catch up to you!” He’s clearly playing with her, changing the subject, “Is that it, mystery girl? Are you living a double life as superhero on Earth and uncatchable jewel thief on Bgtzl?” He makes a show of looking her over, as if checking for contraband. “Where’d you hide the star rubies, oh Cat-Burgler Who Walks Through Walls!”
Pushing him away with a laugh, Tinya heads for the door. As it opens, she turns back, “You can tell Sun Boy that you won the bet, by the way.”
“What bet?” Jo says, looking befuddled.
“The one you didn’t think I knew about,” she says primly as the door starts to cycle shut, “About which of you would get me into your bedroom first.”
Satisfied by the surprised look on Jo’s face, Tinya smiles and heads to her room.
Analysis on Bgtzl’n history, provided to the Legion Archives by Phantom Girl
5000 years ago, when Atlantis was a fledgling society, an older civilization, as advanced in magical and technological arts, was in its long decline. The Pentayans city was set in Antarctica, and they had great magical ships of metal that traversed the globe, now mostly in disrepair, as they had overseen the construction of great monuments that they used to transport themselves magically across the globe.
Atlantis and Pentaya found themselves at odds, and the Atlanteans found themselves outmatched by the elder peoples, even in their decline. A generation before, an Atlantean sorcerer, himself a conjurer by nature, had developed an unusual incantation that allowed him to not to dismiss creatures from distant dimensions, as originally intended, but instead to banish earthly creatures into Oblivion, from which they could never return. He was executed after using this incantation to ‘disappear’ rivals, a wife of whom he’d grown tired and several of the officials sent to question him on these mysterious events. The incantation had lain unused since that time, but in the desperate losing war with Pentaya, the Atlantean Mages Council would seize any weapon, and refined the incantation so that teams of sorcerers could use it to affect greater and greater targets. The Pentayan fleet of ancient battle-barges drew ever closer, their red metal hulls gleaming in the sun, as the Atlanteans made their final desperate move, causing ships to vanish utterly into Oblivion.
Over a hundred Atlantean sorcerers mastered the incantation, and pooled their strength, in this feat, and dozens died, their own lives snuffed out by the merciless demands of the spell. The survivors decided as a group to honor their sacrifice by ensuring that the Pentayans could not again threaten their people, and tapped into the monuments the Pentayans used to transport themselves around the globe to bring themselves directly to the Pentayan capital city, in Antarctica. They again tapped into the forbidden power of the enchantment, sending entire districts of the city into Oblivion, and, finally, as their numbers were felled by the hungry spells rapacious demands, the few survivors were forced to banish individual Pentayans singly. None of the sorcerers survived, but Pentayan dominance was dealt a death-blow, with the few survivors being absorbed into the societies that once feared them, their own culture vanishing as surely as their capital city had.
The Atlanteans neither knew nor cared that Oblivion was a place, only that the Pentayans banished could never return, and in a mysterious place of glowing orange mists, the Pentayan society was forced to reform. In this place, they could breath, the strange mists transforming in their mouths into air, but their was no solid ground, only endless mist, in which they, their battle-barges and many of the buildings of their former capital city, drifted without purpose. Worse, some items began breaking down, becoming nothing more than orange mist themselves, and the sorcerers among the Pentayans abandoned efforts at transporting their people back to Earth (having quickly determined that the banishment had re-written the very substance of their bodies, locking them to this ‘Oblivion’), and concentrated on finding ways to shape the orange mist into sustenance, and, eventually, into solidity.
Able to ever-so-dimly perceive the Earth they once ruled, the Pentayans shaped the mist over centuries into land, seas and even continents familiar to them, creating a shadow of earth within Oblivion, held together by their collective will and magic. Millenia passed on Earth, and the Pentayans found that their magics were being stripped from them as part of this Great Working, but accepted this as the price to survive as a people. They abandoned completely efforts on returning to Earth, the Atlanteans themselves having long since fallen from glory, and concentrated on expanding their own presence here on the threshold of Oblivion.
By the time of the 20th century, the Pentayans had long since split into three separate cultures, so distinct as to have their own languages and cultures. The various remnants of the former Pentayan culture ruled every continent of shadow-Earth, and their will had caused other worlds to form as well from the orange mist, although the formation of the shadow-Sun had depleted the last of their ancestral magics, with shadow-Pluto remaining forever a thing half-real, unstable and uninhabitable. Beyond the orbit of shadow-Pluto, only the orange mist remained, and no stars burned in the night sky of shadow-Earth.
With differences of culture and language, war had come again to shadow-Earth, which the now magic-drained Pentayans now called the Zero Zone, or the Meta-Zone. Ironically, the scientists of the former Pentayans found a way to do what their arcanist ancestors never could, to bridge the gap between Oblivion and their former homeworld, Earth. Complicated machines were built into vests that their elite soldiers could use to ‘phase’ into Earth-space, not because they wanted to travel to that realm, but simply as a means of bypassing the territories and defenses of rival nations in their own world, inserting strike teams deep into enemy territory for surgical strikes. At least one soldier trained in the use of these ‘Meta-Vests’ or ‘M-Vests,’ fled the endless wars, using the device to come to Earth to serve there as an unlikely hero for a time, as Shade, the Changing Man.
Centuries more passed, and the endless wars of the former Pentayans ended as well, with the leaders of the three dominant nations meeting in a neutral place and deciding that, to end the dispute for all time, which went so far as to include an inability to agree upon the very *name* of their world, they would create a new name, using a made-up word that had no meaning in any of the languages spoken by their people. Their world became known as Bgtzl, and over the centuries that followed, peace prevailed as they settled and colonized their Moon and ‘shadow-Mars.’ Their science advanced by leaps and bounds, no longer restricted to purely military applications, and a scientist known as Lennar Wazzo developed a machine that could alter the frequency of a person’s body, allowing them to visit Earth without an M-Vest or external machine. His daughter Tinya was the first ’volunteer’ to test his invention, sneaking into his laboratory and activating his machine without his knowledge, eager to explore an entirely new world on her own.
After proving that her father’s invention was safe, at the cost of her parents’ marriage (her mother blamed her father for putting her life at risk and filling her head with crazy notions), Tinya’s example went on to inspire a generation of Bgtzlns to volunteer to also have their molecular structure enhanced, and Bgztl finally re-established contact with mother Earth, after five millennia apart, joining the United Planets soon after.