It happened in Refuge.
It was a tiny thing at first, well not so tiny, but tiny in the grand scheme of disasters the tres horney boys managed to cause where ever they went.
Taako's umbrella broke.
The reclaimers stared at the crack along the handle before turning to the cause, one with a deadpanned look and the other with an amused 'you-dun-fucked-up' glint in his eyes.
"I didn't mean to..." Merle sheepishly mumbled, his wooden arm scratching at his neck in embarrassment.
"You sat on my umbrella." Taako monotoned back, "Your ass broke my wand."
"Hey, maybe when we die again, it'll be fixed!" Magnus helpfully put it, touching the crack with his finger lightly to see if the damage was really that bad or if Taako was just playing up the drama. He gave a quick hiss and pulled his hand away, shaking it to get rid of the pain that suddenly seemed to stab through his hand.
"Stop touching it!" The elf yelled as he pulled away his umbrella from the human's indelicate hands. " You'll break it worse than Elder Big Ass over here."
"Did your ass not break it?!"
"Hey... Taako... your thing is shaking..."
Taako looked over at Magnus incredulously before looking down at his wand and throwing it away from himself with a panicked yelp. His magical instrument had indeed begun shaking, seemingly getting more violent as the crack quickly traveled up the handle and into the cover of the umbrella.
"What did you do, Magnus?!"
"Why do you assume I did something?!"
"You touched it last!"
Merle pulled the two away from the now, as he saw it anyway, dangerous item, which was growing even more violent and started glowing red as they sat there arguing like children.
"Take cover!" The cleric shouted before shoving them away and jumping to cower behind a cactus as the glowing grew brighter, almost overpowering the blazing hot sun in heat and light.
The two seemed to realize this wasn't good in the slightest and followed suit, Magnus placing up his shield and Taako moving to go behind Merle, who didn't appreciate the meat shielding in the slightest.
Just as he was about to argue about this, the thing exploded.
Bits of fabric flew all over the place; wood splinters slammed against Magnus's shield with surprising force; the heat from the blast burned the sand surrounding the umbrella into a perfect circle of glass. All three were pushed back a couple of feet as they tried to regain their eyesight from the blinding flash.
"Are you trying to get into the Grim Reapers pants?!" Yelled a disembodied female voice, echoing across the canyon, "Because dying several times over and over is just going to get him to come crawling back!"
Magnus peeked over his shield timidly, wondering who the hell was yelling, before dropping it altogether in shock.
Standing in front of him was a red-robed woman, her hand on her hips and a smile gracing her face. But that wasn't the weird part. No, the weird part was that her face was an exact copy of Taako's.
"Taako, what the fuck."
Taako poked his head out from behind Merle, his face drawn in as much confusion as Magnus'. "My dude, I have no idea."
"Girl Taako?" Merle helpfully supplied.
"Girl Ta-" The woman stared almost offended, "Very funny, Merle. Fucking hilarious the first twenty times."
Her smile dropped when Magnus raised his Chance Lance at her, a glare adorning his face. "How the hell do you know his name and why the hell do you have my friend's face?" He growled, placing himself subtly between her and his friend.
"Magnus, wh- Come on it's me Lup, Taako's SCHZZZZZZZZZZ" She nervously smiled, hands raised in a placating manner.
The three looked at each other, different levels of realization coloring their expressions. Merle rubbed his ear with his flesh hand in pain as Taako's expression grew cold.
"I'm getting deja vu, " Merle mumbled.
"Didn't we drink the Void Fishes poop?" Magnus questioned, looking between his compatriots and side-eyeing the magical floating lady. " Is the Red Robe doing this to us?"
"Red robe?" The woman with Taako's face, questioned, seemingly getting more distressed, her form jolting slightly.
"She seems to want us to understand her; it'd be stupid to censor yourself." Merle wisely inputs, his hand itching toward his teen bible.
"But we drank poop."
"There's another Void Fish."
They both turned to Taako, shock easily dripping from their expressions. He in turn just stared coldly at the floating lady in front of him. "There's one; why wouldn't there be another?" He monotoned at them.
Magnus and Merle looked back at each other, both of them trying to get across their concern at this oddly emotionless Taako telepathically. Failing at that, Magnus moved toward Taako, but he shrugged him off and walked toward the panicking Red Robe.
"You motherfuckers can try to destroy the world all you want. That's your shtick. I get it." He glared, causing the woman to recoil, her head swiveling to look at the two behind her, distress written across her face.
He raised a shaky hand stopping her. She shut up immediately to his immense satisfaction.
"But I draw the line at stealing my brand. And this, " He waved the hand at his face, "Is my brand. Get your own, you cheap imitation."
The clock struck twelve.
The world exploded.
They woke up, alive and with an unbroken umbrella.
"Are we going to talk about the lady living in Taako's umbrella?" Merle questioned, blinking at the bright sun assaulting his eyes.
"Nope!" Taako answered, getting up and moving toward the golem guarding the doomed town.
" That was weird, right?"
"Very." Magnus agreed, moving to stand up before helping his shorter friend, "We'll mention her to the Director when we get done with this town. Maybe she'll know what that's all about."
Merle nodded thoughtfully, "Yea. That makes sense."
"'Course it does, I said it."
"Shut it, Magnus."