I arrived at the police place very quickly despite all of the stops behind other vehicles. The ability of the magic carriage to accelerate and decelerate with ease was impressive.
I was led inside. First my pockets were emptied- I had stored my money pouch in the carriage so there wasn’t much but lint- into an almost empty room with a sturdy table and chairs. “Interrogator will be with you soon,” said one of the police as they ominously slammed the door.
My eyes scanned the walls, floor, and even ceiling. No signs of blood. No restraints except the thin manacles on my wrists. Just a single magic torch hanging from the ceiling providing an actually quite substantial amount of light.
Soon I was bored. My brain had already gone through all the possibilities I could think of, and I was prepared to quickly pick the short range teleport and go. It would be hard with the manacles inhibiting my magic, however. I wished I could just cast Storage and-
“Crap. Craaap.” Why the hell did it work? Sure, I seriously tried to do the spell but it wasn’t supposed to work.
I cast Storage again. I now had the manacles… but I couldn’t slip my hands into them. I held it under the table. This was bad. I considered just trying to teleport out. Maybe they didn’t know I was a mage. Maybe they thought I was some sort of shocky… guy. Who did that without magic.
The chair was too hard and I was constantly squirming in it by the time the woman came in. She was starting to show gray hair, but she didn’t have all of the equipment of the other police. Like that thing I presumed was a weapon.
She said something I didn’t understand. Crap, Translation wore off. I cast it again, quickly. “Sorry, can you repeat that?” I did my best to smile, though I worried it just emphasized my tusks.
“Hands on the table, please.”
I hesitated for a moment. Then I held up the manacles. “Umm…”
“Oh good,” the woman said. “They usually forget to take them off. I’m sure you’re smarter than to try something in here, with the cameras watching.”
I didn’t know what sort of thing a camera was, but I should have expected invisible creatures. No wonder the room was so big. I was surrounded by guards the whole time. And… I was supposed to have my manacles removed. I set them on the table.
“First your rights. I’m Miranda, by the way.” She chuckled at some joke I didn’t understand, then read a list of things. “We don’t actually have to say all that since you’re not at the moment being charged, but it’s tradition. Now then, we’ll go over some questions one at a time. What happened?”
I took a moment to compose a reply. “I was walking along the street and that man hit me in the back of the head with a mace. He tried to do it again when I was on the ground, then I shocked him to make him stop.” I really hoped magic wasn’t illegal here without a permit of some kind. I didn’t bring my license from home, and I seriously doubted it would work on this plane.
“A mace?” she said. “You mean a bat?”
“Oh, yes. Like a metal baton.”
She nodded. “What happened to the stun gun?” Miranda asked.
I guess it was time. “I don’t know what a stun gun is,” I admitted.
“The thing you shocked him with.”
“I just used magic,” I said.
“Oh. A super? You registered?”
“… no.” Lying about that would be proven wrong very quickly.
“Fine.” She looked down at a shiny plate in her hand I’d been too worried to really look at. I could see text, but reading it upside down was hard even with Translation going. “You went a little hard on the guy. I understand it’s hard to control in stressful situations, but if you did any more he’d probably have a heart attack. So next time keep it toned down.”
“Next time?” I asked.
“Well,” she shrugged. “Hopefully there won’t be a next time. But if you decide to take up heroing you need to make sure to know people’s limits.”
“I know human limits. I just assumed he would have more durability because of his warrior class.” But also I didn’t want to die so I wasn’t thinking about it all that hard.
There was some confusion in her look. The words translated, but the meaning clearly didn’t get through. She shook her head. “We noticed you didn’t have any ID. What’s your name?”
“Just Turlough. I haven’t earned a surname.” I sure earned the name ‘instigator’ though.
“Where’s your ID?”
“I don’t know what that is.”
Oh. A simple abbreviation, but unfamiliar because of the language barrier. Those letters had no meaning to me except as part of a word. “It’s at home, probably.”
“Can you call someone? Get them to send us a picture of it?”
“I don’t know a calling spell. Nor do I know any artists. I don’t know how to get home.”
“Wait, what?” she frowned. “Did you come through a portal? We can send you home if your part in this checks out.”
“… Yes, I did.”
“Can you tell us where you’re from? I don’t recognize the accent. It’s pretty close, but…”
“Granbold,” I said.
She looked down at the thing in her hand, pressing her finger to it. “Can you spell it?”
I did. Not that it helped.
“Sorry, I don’t recognize the language.”
“Does nobody on this plane speak Common?”
“Common what?” she asked. The word translated, but… the meaning clearly didn’t. How could she not know about Common?
“Just… Common. The language.”
“I’m not finding anything on that. You from a small place?” There was a beep from the thing in her hand. “Nevermind, I’ll get the right person in here for this later. Just sit tight for a bit. Gonna go talk to the other guy. It’ll be quick.”
I doubted it would be.
I was wrong. Talking to ‘the other guy’ was very quick. Then Miranda was back with someone else and something that smelled good.
“Guy’s an idiot,” she said. “But he corroborated your story in his own way. Speaking of which, is your head okay?”
I touched the back of my head. Only slightly sore. I nodded. “I’ve had worse.”
She grimaced. “Sorry to hear that. We’ll get a medic to look at it in a second.” She gestured to the young man next to her. “Olly here knows every country. Heck, every city if it’s been around more than a day or two. He should be able to help you out.”
My stomach growled. I was embarrassed, but Olly held out a box he was carrying with him. “Here. Doughnuts. They’ll make you feel better.”
I opened the box- a strange thin box that I almost tore on accident. Inside were some sort of pastry. I took one out and bit into it. It was gone in three bites. “Delicious. Thank you.”
“You can have more,” Olly said. I did, taking smaller bites but still devouring one in moments. “So Miranda didn’t recognize the name of your home. Could you tell me?”
“Granbold,” I said.
“City or country?”
Olly frowned. “Sounds like a name from out east… but not a country. Where is it?” He held up one of the same sorts of things as Miranda had. It showed something like a map. I looked at it for a moment, but didn’t recognize anything. The language was still wrong.
“It’s on the material plane, so you might not have heard of it here. I didn’t even know about anything like… this place.”
Olly looked at me, squinted, then turned to Miranda. He held out his hands to the side. “So, uh. This isn’t my department. We gotta call Extra.” He leaned a little closer but didn’t really whisper that quietly. “Maybe get that medic in here too. Not sure what all that sugar will do to an alien.”
So I was also going to find out what “Extra” was. What were they more of? More security? Because I hadn’t done anything but disappear my ‘handcuffs’ and they didn’t even seem to notice that.
Extra apparently stood for Extraterrestrial affairs, and also Extradimensional affairs. So really, that was the right people to call. I just didn’t know that sort of person existed, or I might have already brought them up.
There were a pair of them. A little green man who was clearly not a goblin with that overly large head and similarly oversized black eyes, and an angel. A woman with pure white wings sprouting from her back, at least, and not a hint of bird beyond that. Both of them had white shirts with buttons down the front and pants of unfamiliar light brown material. The first thing they did was order the others out of the room. Miranda and Olly left, but the doughnuts stayed. I didn’t taste nuts at all, but the dough was quite pleasantly sweet.
“We’re under the impression that you are new on Earth, but that you also speak the language.”
“This plane is called Earth?” I asked. “Isn’t that redundant or… confusing?”
“Just a point of clarification,” the little green man held up some sort of flat magical device and what must have been a writing implement. “You do mean plane and not planet right?”
“Of course,” I agreed. “How would I even get to a different planet?”
The pair looked at each other and shook their heads like I said something strange. “We should introduce ourselves. You’re ‘Turlough’?” I nodded. The woman inclined her head, “I’m Malaliel.”
“Zorphax,” the little green man bowed slightly.
“You already said it, but I’m Turlough,” I offered my hand. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate or if they even shook hands on this plane, but each of them in turn shook it. They were friendly enough, but I felt like I was being judged. Not that they were really hiding it.
“Somewhere that has handshakes,” Zorphax stroked his chin.
“Not looking like it’s you,” Malaliel smiled.
“Could be. Given his features.”
“We should just ask.” Malaliel looked straight at me. “How did you get to Earth?”
“I came here through a portal I found.” The police already knew that, but perhaps they hadn’t had the chance to share that information. Or they wanted confirmation.
“You said you don’t know how you would get to a different planet? A portal would do it,” Malaliel explained.
“Really? That sounds… really difficult. Planets are far. Getting to another plane should be easier.”
“I assure you,” Zorphax said, “It is not.”
I shrugged, “I guess I won’t be getting back to the Material Plane soon then.”
Zorphax narrowed his eyes at the statement, unseen eyelids appearing over his otherwise perfectly round eyes. “That terminology…”
“You recognize the planet?” Malaliel asked.
“No. It’s something else. He should be extradimensional. But we should focus. You came through a portal, Turlough. What next?”
“There was a battle around me. Then I walked along the streets for a while. I eventually stepped into a store and was attacked after I came out. Then I came here.”
“Right,” Zorphax looked at the thing in his hands, where I could see some text- though not well enough to read it from my angle. “It says here you used a stun gun on someone but the arresting officer couldn’t find it. Is that a natural ability? Ah, you don’t have to answer. We respect your privacy as long as you control your abilities, but we might be able to help you if you share information.”
“It’s not a ‘gun’. It’s magic,” I clarified.
“Magic?” Malaliel asked.
“Yes. From my mage class.”
Malaliel frowned, “Your dimension has a class system?”
“Yes, of course.”
She shook her head. “How terrible. Extradimensional affairs is capable of offering you refugee status to flee the class system.”
“Actually,” Zorphax started, “I don’t think he…” he shook his head. “Nevermind. It’s a good idea.”
“What does refugee status mean?” I asked. “I mean, I know what a refugee is, but what does it mean on this plane?”
“You’ll get an identification allowing you to legally work and live here, with certain provisions, such as that you are not fleeing from criminal charges,” Malaliel explained, “Except if those charges are for political or religious beliefs… it will take some time to explain in full. But though you ended up here on your first day, that won’t be held against you. Especially considering what we’ve heard. You’re already exonerated of potential charges. We thought it best to take care of business here first.”
“He checks out?” Zorphax asked.
“He has not been lying,” Malaliel said. I wondered how she would know. I hadn’t seen her cast a spell. “The only issue is his point of origin. You have knowledge of extradimensional travel, but not here, correct?”
“Right,” I confirmed. “Since you don’t seem to know the material plane, where is this in relation to the elemental planes? The heavens? Hells? Abyss?”
Malaliel shook her head, but Zorphax held his device up for her to read. “Pretty sure he’s a type F. That would explain the confusion.”
“Oh!” she nodded. “Oh. I see. Crossdimensional inspiration.” She put on her best smile and turned towards me. “Well then, I’m sure you still have many questions. If you could come with us to the office, we can explain everything and help you out. It might take some time, but I assure you it’s quite necessary.”