OOC: Okay, here goes. Let's see if this works. Due to the internet in my area being as shoddy as all hell I'm might be able to be as hands-on as I'd like to be but dammit let's give it a try!
--- Rumbles - Tales of the Knights of Khazan - Act 1: "The Line is Dead,"
There were many problems that came up in the running of the Knights of Khazan, most obviously was that trying to get the Knights themselves to not argue in petty and childish fashions about just about anything was about as easy as herding cats, but the most pertinent was the sheer scale of their job. As the defenders of the stability of all reality, the area of their activities could be conceivably anywhere and anywhen which was hard enough on the Knights in the field but even harder on those who had to tell them where to go.
Communication was a big issue. Any standard communication device had to be compact, easily concealable, durable enough to survive any of the usual incredibly dangerous situations that Rumblers would find themselves in just on a daily basis, let alone on a mission. Furthermore it had to have enough processing power to allow the user to communicate with beings across multiple Universes and/or realities with no real external backup.
Cosmic Eagle, Ghost and T51R had collaborated to design such a device and, even with their combined intellects and access to the finest tools and materials that omniverse could offer, the resulting communications sounded like a badly tuned radio when transmitting from one Universe to another and often Rumblers could find themselves outside of signal range from Khazan, especially if time-travel had been involved.
Thus the Moderators had sanctioned the creation of the Network. It had been a grand undertaking - the construction of transmitters across 60,000 realities, barely a fraction of the Knight's stomping grounds. Each transmitter was unique to its home reality and they all used a variety of more unorthodox communication methods to send the signals to and from the main hub in the city of Khazan itself. Transmitter 17,894 for example required a goat to be sacrificed on it every leap year to make use of occult energies unique to its home environment, while Transmitter 45,600 required a biannual performance of Morris Dancing to be performed before it.
No one was exactly sure but it made for an entertaining gathering for the Knights ever two years and they made a party out of it.
As well as new traditions and effectiveness the improved communication brought forth another new aspect to the activities of the Knights.
Now, along their usual personal effects, all Knights carried a small but very thick handbook listing all the codes that could be transmitted in any conceivable situation. A code 1156-967-43, for example, informed all Rumblers in Reality 1156 that an interstellar empire had attacked a world that Khazan had a vested interest in, a code 7543-000-0155 was Sharpandpointies announcing to Khazan City that he was heading out for a lunch and whether anyone wanted him to grab them a sandwich, the list was huge and extensive almost to a fault.
A code 2-1-1 was a rarity. Every Rumbler knew this one without having to check the book. It meant all Rumblers were to report back to Khazan immediately because of an multi-reality spanning threat.
Captain Nik Hasta was sitting at his desk in his cabin when he heard the call.
"All Knights, we have a 2-1-1! Report to the Hub immediately,"
Nik stood up, his ship, The Sea King shifting around him at high speed and he appeared on deck, at the helm. The city sized vessel was currently floating upon a vast and tumultuous sea of flames, many members of the crew pulling on ropes larger than them to allow the sails to take the most advantage of the thermal winds that moved them. Behind them flew an armada of much smaller metal ships, glowing red hot from the flames beneath them. The Sea King was being peppered with shots from enormous cannons, shots that were being deflected by other members of the crew to prevent major damage.
"Ferox," Nik said quietly, his second-in-command, a large man with a colossal axe strapped to his back, immediately appeared behind him, dropping from his position on one of the yardarms.
"Captain?" he said, throwing a perfunctory salute.
"We're changing course. We turn our sails to Khazan, it seems we have an emergency on our hands. Contact Siriel and Gladiaria, see if they require pick up,"
"Very good sir," said Ferox, relaying the orders to his subordinates by medium of shouting at them in a voice that drowned even the roar of the flames around them.
Nik casually caught a stray flaming cannonball and hurled it overboard and took the wheel of his ship. He brought her about and then, focussing intently, caused the firmament of reality to open in front of the prow. The ship seemed to stretch forward for an instant, the fabric of the world blurring like an oil painting in a hurricane before the ship vanished.
The crews of the metal ships cursed their misfortune and Grand Admiral Roltor swore vengeance on the Captain that had bested him in combat, seduced his wife and then had the audacity to save the Emperor of the Eternal Flame in his place.
In the gap between realities, Nik watched a thousand coloured points of light drifting by the ship. It had been a fair old while but he was heading back to Khazan.