I entered the room and sure enough there was a party going on. I was sitting next to Gillian and Varney, dressed as if I was about to perform in The Deer Slayer. Behind me was the guard and his dog, he'd have probably had his horse with him if he could. I noticed a Morticia type woman standing behind Varney almost as if she was watching his back. I looked around and noticed that this was not a home but a bar. I looked at the other customers and noticed some people in different types of space uniforms, various forms of supernatural beings, aliens and even some that I had never heard of with many others that I had only seen in dreams or nightmares. This was my new home and already I regretted coming.
"Hey you," I called out to me. "How long were you standing there?"
Gillian ran up to me and dragged me over to their end of the bar next to Varney and his lady friend. "What took you so long?" he asked.
"You know how much I had to stash into my sack." I answered. Looking at the new me that was about to assume my life here minus Gillian, our nine year old daughter, Varney and apparently his new bodyguard. We would end our time here celebrating our victories while mourning our defeats and losses. It has been ten years since I first slid down that pole and no, I didn't show up in spandex, thanks for asking. I had written out a journal to pass on to the new me, which I wish the previous one had done for me, explaining what had led up to the current events.
Now it was time to move on but I once again had concerns and reservations about doing so. TPTB thought that if they brought my replacement here first that I would be forced into doing as they wanted. You would think that they had learnt from the last time but nope, they still thought that they could compel me into doing what they wanted. I still could not comprehend how a version of me could so easily accept these "requests" and knuckle under so readily. He looked like he had his wits about him but then what did I know.
"So are you ready for your great adventure here?" I asked.
"Yes, I am and your journal will prove to be a lot of help as will your friends here." He said nodding to Gillian and Varney.
"Sorry, but they will not be much help as they are leaving with me." It was then that I noticed his quizzical expression and that both Gillian and Varney were avoiding looking at me. Now as I said before I am, by my own consideration, average. I am in no way slow though, so quicker than you can blink I drew my FNS-40 and shot myself between his eyes. Varney's bodyguard found out that a vampires' speed is nothing to me, as by the time she was at me my gun was nestled against her bosom.
"Sweetheart this gun is loaded with anti everything bullets and you will be truly dead if you don't back off, Now."
I noticed that the bar had gone quiet and both the bartender and the owner were approaching me with weapons drawn. The security up top also had me in their crosshairs and each looked ready to shoot.
"Maybe you don't know the rules here but what you just did was a violation of them and you are in forfeit of your very existence." The owner announced.
"You have rules here against committing suicide and if someone does that you kill them?" I asked.
Poor guy was stopped in his tracks as he looked at me, not knowing whether to kill me or what. He settled on the or what for now.
"Sure, if you look at the body you will see that it is me and I found him here partying with my wife and best friend. He made a comment that I did not like so I killed myself. That's all."
"Do I look like a moron?" I decided not to say what I was thinking but from the look on his face he had guessed as to my answer. "I know all about the Multiverse and the different us in each one. Many of my best customers come here to meet themselves and talk over things. So you better have a better reason why you shouldn't die here and now."
"Okay how about this, most of your customers leave here forgetting who they meet and what they learn correct? Also they only find this place if and when they actually need its sanctuary, is that also right? If that being so how come I know about this place as I neither need it nor give a rat's arse about it? Now if your security was any good they would have noticed that my speed is faster than a vampire and faster than you or them. Also my gun never runs out of its special ammunition, Ever."
He looked up and saw a particularly attractive gun toting vamp woman nodding.
"Now in a few seconds or so your humble establishment should be visited by TPTB or maybe even The Big Kahuna itself. Oh in case your peeps think of doing anything my doppelganger is and I told him my name. Me, I am the original of the species so if you did kill me you might bring all of this to an end. He went away muttering about maybe it was time to retire.
Sure enough as if on cue the bright purplish-gold light shone and there stood the ghost of xmas past as I had come to call it. I looked around and noticed that a few of the creatures of the night looked as if they wanted to be anywhere else but where they were right now. The place's security looked to their boss for guidance and he seemed beside himself as to what to do, as did his newly arrived young mage friend and his lady.
"Have you finally taken leave of your senses? Why would you shoot yourself for no reason like that?"
"I didn't, I knew that if I killed myself you personally would have to show up. You knew that I would not tolerate any of your underlings trying with their typical nattering and run around. Hell, I might even have shot one of them just to see what would happen."
He sighed, as he had definitely taken a young boy's image again. He looked around and seeing the various reactions to himself he told everyone to relax and carry on. Pointing out that if he really wanted to get them there was nowhere or nothing that would protect them.
Everyone went back to their drinks, except the vamps that had been using willing donors. They started drinking the bottled stuff. The owner came over and offered us his personal table in front of the bar. We thanked him but picked one out of the way, knowing that we were about to get into it with each other.
I hate being used by anyone, but knowing that it was The Ascended One that was doing it really pissed me off.
"You said that I did not have to count my fingers when dealing with you that is Luke. Yet you broke our primary agreement that got me here."
"I did not, if you remember I said that they could go with you if they agreed. Apparently they do not."
I looked at him with shock and called Gillian over to us.
"What's this that you don't want to go with me?" I asked.
"Well this is my home and our daughter is here as well as my friends and family. I was born here and had hoped to die here. He", she said nodding at the purple and gold, "pointed out that I would still be here with you, a different you sure but still you."
The Bitch! Here she had comes to my world and pulled a fast one to get me to move here. She even agreed to have a girl first so that they could use our child to play on my heart strings. The shocked look on her face when I mentioned that told all. She was even more shocked when I shot her in the head, hell if she cared that little about me then why should I care? Of course I heard outcries from all those around me and the Sanctuary owner approached yelling about that sure as hell wasn't a suicide. So I shot him in the leg and his vamp bodyguard too. Now that was two shock looks, I don't think they ever thought that a human could move on them so fast. P&G looked at me as if maybe I had finally cracked when I reminded him that my bullets could take him and any of his underlings out too. He noticed where I was pointing the gun and decided that maybe the better part of valour was to sit and have a drink with me.
Varney and his lady decided to approach and inquire what was so wrong that I was now killing friends and lovers, so I told him. The sheepish look on his face was quickly followed by one of consternation as to what his fate would be.
"Don't let it bother you Varney." I said. "I no longer give a damn about you or this place. In fact I have decided to go back to my world and live out the days."
"But what about your daughter? She is suppose to be a major player here." He replied.
"Oh she will stay here; she might even think that you or the barkeep killed me and her mother causing her to seek vengeance. Gillian hadn't told her that they weren't going or that I wasn't staying. She had planned to sneak the new me into my bed unannounced."
"That would cause all sorts of conflicts, unnecessary deaths and Chaos." His vampy vamp pointed out.
"Not my problem." I smiled at her. "Got a concern take it up with The Dickens's character here."
I notice that the bar at the end of this universe was actually almost empty. The Captains' Table only had a few sitting there and only a few Supernaturals remained other than the staff. The owner was sitting at his table, along with his mage friend and their ladies, nursing his leg.
"Hey man sorry for ruining your night's take, I am sure that Mr. Wonderful here will insure that you are well compensated. Compared to how my evening has turned out you are damn lucky."
With that I got up and dropped a few coins for my drinks and to help clean up the place. I'm sure that a ghoul or two that has fallen on hard times would appreciate the free meal Gillian and I would provide. I headed for the front door and looked at the puppet master as I opened it.
"I am going home. Do not send anyone to me as I Will Kill Them. If I ever see anyone that was here I will also kill them even if they turn out to be doppelgangers of my world. Then I will hunt you down and God will truly be Dead."
I left the bar with my heart broken and I proceeded to walk home. When I got there, I grabbed my go bag and went over to the book shelf moving it to slide the pole to my true home. I was glad that we had allowed the kids to stay at friends' houses for the night. I would miss them.
As I reached out for the pole I felt a warm feeling come over me and a bright light blinded me for a moment. When it faded there stood a well dressed Gentleman in a prestigious suit, tie and wingtip shoes. He looked a bit like a young Claude Rains from The Mr. Jordan movies of the 1940s.
"So, it is true. You have cast him aside after all." He stated bluntly. "How would you like to have some fun with getting revenge?"
"Hello Luke." I said as I shot him dead. It almost made me want to stick around to see how this affected the balance of things but I knew I could judge that from home. Besides in an organisation like his, there are always those willing to move on up. So once again I grabbed the pole and started my long slide.
As before I was back in the library of my home standing on the floor by the pole, still with no bat suit. I looked around and out the window. "WTF." I yelled.
This was not my world; it was not a freaking magical one either. It seemed to be the old West with a 1982 DeLorean parked at the side of my house.
"You better show yourself right here and now or I'll pull an Elmer Fudd on your arse." I spoke into the ether.
Sure enough a soft green light glowed at my side and there stood my lovely angel Gillian.
"What Bugs afraid to show his face?" I asked.
"Wouldn't you my love? I mean you killed me and Luke without a second thought. You also warned him that if you saw anyone from the bar you'd kill them too." She spoke in her loving pixie voice that always seemed to sooth me.
"Yeah, you are right and I am sorry about what I did to you then and now." I whispered as I shot her.
"What the fuck is your problem?" the high pitch screech hurt my ears. "Are you fucking nuts?"
"I don't think so but seeing as you are the creator shouldn't you know that without having to ask?"
"I sometimes wonder about you people. I …"
"Did you actually just say 'You People'? Prejudice much are we?"
"No, No. I like humans. Even my son was one." an embarrassed look crossed his face.
"So I guess that you are here in this guise as it was not at the bar and you think I won't shoot you right?"
"Well in all of our dealings you have been a man of your word and you just proved it again."
"Yeah how does that work? I mean I killed her and she went to paradise, you sent her here and I killed her again. Same with Luke; I mean he was one of your originals, your right hand man and all that. So now that I killed them what becomes of them? Is there a special heaven for angels and an extremely heavy hell for demons killed? What gives?"
"Ah come on now, you have to leave me some secrets for another day."
"Okay. As we both know this is not where I was planning to go. Yet here I am"
"Well there is a little matter that I need you to fix here. It will not take long and …"
Before he could finish his sentence I had stepped up to the pole and slid. Next thing I noticed I was on my world, rather than wait around for the almighty to try and whisk me away, I took off out the door and headed home. Let me give you a bit of advice about dimensional/time travelling. Never assume anything. You see I forgot that I had been gone for ten years from my home world and more than likely my apartment was now someone else's. I knew that I had no family to declare me dead but I had also not paid my bills, taxes, etc. So there is always somebody looking for you. This applies no matter what mode of travel you use. Whether it be a car, a phone box, a wormhole or even a pole. When it comes to travelling certain things are constant, like losing your luggage on holidays. The devil is in the details, remember that.
Well I got to the corner and as the light was green I ran across the street for home. In my time gone traffic and drivers were still as crazy as ever. I was given the finger, horns blared at me, people called out to me. You know what I mean if you live in a car centric world, nobody cares about pedestrians.
When I got home I checked where I normally hid my keys and sure enough there they be. I unlocked the door and entered to be met by my ten year old daughter.
"You bastard, what are you doing here? After what you did to mom you think that you can just show up unannounced?"
Okay so this wasn't my world. My mind started to process everything and I now realised all the things that should have tipped me off. Like; the cars going through on the red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road, door on the left side facing the door. You know little things we take for granted. Just then the door opened and in walked Gillian.
"Who the hell are you?" she asked. She was pretty agitated let me tell you.
"It's dad, he hasn't been gone that long."
"Well if that is dad then who is this?" and in I walked.
I started to come around wondering what the fuck had happened, when the pain in my head helped me to piece it out. One of them had hit me with something. There was my darling lil girl in her pigtails, Barbie dress and holding a Louisville slugger with parts of my skull on it. Gillian was sitting on me, which brought back delightful memories; she quickly got up with disgust calling me a pervert.
I looked at myself who just stood there smiling and stifling a laugh or two.
"What are you looking so smug about? You never told me that you had a twin." His wife shouted.
"I don't." we both replied.
Their daughter was looking me over closely as only a ten year old can. "He's like you daddy but he isn't. He seems to be left handed." For future references this is how you can tell an original, they are always left handed it seems.
"Also he seems to have all of his hair and is younger than you. He also seems to be excited more easily than you."
"Yes dear, now if you both will sit down quietly I am sure that he will explain why he is here. Right?"
"Right," I replied. "I am sorry to have upset you, but being so eager to have finally arrived at what I thought was my home, I failed to notice the differences."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Gillian was near hysterics.
"Mom, Dad told you to be quiet and let him tell his tale. Well this younger self tell his tale. Hell, I mean heck you know what I mean."
We both laughed and I looked at my older self and said, "I see that they are basically the same anywhere."
"Gotta take your word for it, I assume that you are the one meant to take my place?"
"Nope I am the Original and TPTB are trying my patience at the moment."
At that point I filled them in on all that had happened to me and he told us how he had been approached to replace an unfortunate that had gotten himself shot before his time.
Needless to say his Gillian was a little blown away and being one less, taken aback at my callowness. His daughter on the other hand was much more understanding and sad for me. I mean she understood that it was neither her mother nor her that I was with.
"Mom, she was a Bitch with a capital 'B', would you refuse for us to go with Dad if he had to go away so that you could stay here alone? She was telling him to go and leave her and their children behind, to never see them again."
It was then that she remembered what her Dad had said to me. "What do you mean by your replacement Dad?"
Poor guy, he was now under scrutiny and I was off the hook, Poor Guy. He told them that he had refused because they were not to go with him. TPTB had given him until five p.m. to change his mind and then they would come to "Discuss" it with him. It was now 4:55 and there started a small hum and a bright light shone in the room. It was 'mini me' again, I had seen him since that time in the field on my world. He was about to start in on me when he first noticed Gillian and the daughter unit were there. Uh, this is awkward he stated looking at them. I thought that you'd be alone; they're not supposed to know about this.
"Well they do as we both told them all about it." I spoke as I came to my older self's aid.
Well suddenly 'mini me' had a startled look that was quickly replaced by one of fear on his perfect little face. "What the hell are you doing here?" he asked. "You shouldn't be here. You're supposed to be elsewhere as in any place else but here."
"You mean that you guys didn't send me here?" I asked.
I reached for my gun and 'mini me' popped out of existence. "Now I think you all need to talk about your options." I stated. "Seeing as TPTB didn't send me nor did they know I was here. It seems that I am now roaming the verses to help others like me from getting fucked. Sorry about that Gillian and kitten."
They both laughed and said that's okay. The daughter pointed out that she had heard worse from her parents. I laughed and put my gun back into my holster and stood up to leave. "I doubt that they'll be back they might now be worried that I am travelling looking for them. Anyways if he or any others return tell them that you don't want to go and if they cannot accept that, I have a bullet with their name on it."
As I opened the door I shook my hand and told him that he was lucky and never forget it. Gillian gave me a hug and that warm feeling of desire flooded me once again. I turned crimson and she whispered that it was alright. The daughter smiled with a giggle and whispered my wife was dumb and she was sure my daughter missed me, she would.
I left and went back to the house, surprised that it was still there. I guess if they moved it I would get angry or at least be stuck here. Go figure. I went in and started for the pole only to hear "Why do you vex me so?"
"Because it's fun and you have to learn to play nice with others." I then slid onto the pole.
I looked out the window and saw what looked like Cloud City. Aside the house was a hopper-cycle. I went outside and took off on the hopper, where to I had no idea. In front of me was a cop that looked like the one I had met in the park ten years ago. He saw me, turned white and ran down the street screaming. I started to apply my brakes when a guy crossed in front of me. He was about to yell when he saw my face and he too ran, I would have sworn it was Luke. I was now completely confused as to where I was. At the coming lights I knew to turn right and after a while I was in front of a Palace like structure. I parked the bike and started up the stairs to enter the building. A couple of persons, I couldn't tell if they were male or female, dressed in white with golden staffs looked at me and came to attention. I wondered WTF again; I stopped and asked "Do you know where I am?" They nodded and one opened the door for me so I went in. There was a big desk in the foyer and another one of those dressed in white persons was there. I approached and was about to ask a question when the self same person told me to go up the stairs to the Throne Room. I was about to tell him/her I just wanted to know where I was but noticed that I was no longer the centre of attention. My hand fell to my side and all of a sudden I was again paid attention to. I then realised that was where my pistol rested. I smiled and asked my question, "Where am I and why am I here?"
So this is what Paradice City looks like. The throne room was nothing spectacular, especially for The Big Kahuna's main seat. I looked about and the only place to sit was made of marble and a few of us could sit in it. Suddenly it was filled by 'Xmas past' all a glowing. At his right stood a young Jewish looking man of about 33. On his left fluttered a dove with a piece of plant in its beak, it did not look amused. Down a step or two stood Luke, looking like he wanted to be anyplace but here.
"Well Hail, hail the gang's all here. Now may I ask why?"
"Lookit here, you have been nothing but problems since we became involved with you. The Big Boss might find it amusing but I don't." purple and gold stated.
"Big Boss who is that? I thought you were the alpha and omega, you mean that someone else pulls the strings around here?"
"I've never met him, just get his instructions and follow them as best I can." The Ascendant One replied.
"Smite him Father, send him to Damnation." The kid pipes up.
"What happened to love your enemy and turn your cheek and all that?" I asked.
"Yeah and why push him off onto me?" Luke inquired.
"Shut up, you wanted me to jump off a cliff." Junior pointed out. "Hell if I could have I would have shot you long ago."
The bird must have finally got fed up with all this shit as he flew over the kid and Luke and dropped its load directly onto them.
"Fucking Doves, I told you that they were just pigeons in disguise. You should have gone with Ravens like everyone else." Hesus yelled out in dismay.
"I know that this isn't Saturday Night but you guys sure grasp how to entertain your audience. I enjoyed the show but as the song say: I must be moving on." I headed towards the door only to see it slam in my face.
That was it; I had enough of these circus freaks and turned firing point blank at each of them. I was shocked when they all smiled at me just before they died. Outside I heard a choir start to sing from 'GodSpell', "God is Dead."
Well I was riding the bike back from whence I came, after being in Paradice you sort of find yourself speaking like this, when I saw Gillian crossing the street. She still was one sexy blonde, blue eyed pixie that could get even a vampire's blood running hot. I called to her, she was kind enough to stop and speak to me.
"So how have you been?" I asked.
"You mean since the last time you shot me?"
"Well the first time was your fault and the second time was His fault, I gestured towards the Palace. He was the one playing games. Oh, also just to let you know I met an alternate daughter and she thought that you were a Bitch and deserved it."
The look that crossed her face was both sad and hurt. "What did our daughter think?" she asked.
"I have no idea as I haven't seen her since that night, she was staying with friends remember?"
I noticed at that point a person with a flaming sword bearing down on me so I pushed Gillian in his way and he ran her through. Another guy came along with his ram's horn and started blowing it at which time the swordsman impaled him too.
"Why Michael, why did you do that?"
"Because in the eons that you have had that damn horn you never did learn how to play it, Gabriel."
I of course shot Michael and a few others that got in my way going towards my home.
I slid down the pole once more and out this window was a world in tribulation. Four guys on horses were running ragged as a group of Hell's Angels chased them. Fitting I thought. Israel it seems had attacked the Muslim nations and did what Israel does. Handed them their arses to them. Jerusalem was the New Capital of The Kingdom of Israel and its Protectorates. The Temple of The Almighty had been rebuilt and the only thing missing was The Holy of Holies. The People of The Books had subjugated all others and now there was but one religion which everyone else toiled. Atheists, Agnostics and all others had been either converted or put to death. Yet nobody had died as Death was riding around on his horse, so The Zombie Apocalypse was also going on.
Well this sure as hell wasn't my world, or if it was I definitely didn't want to live here, so I did what I had become good at. I slid down the pole, now I am not sure but I think some Zombies broke into my home just before I started the slide.
As I stared to land I thought that I heard Varney crying out "But I didn't kill your parents."