When Worlds Collide -- REALLY Collide
“You know what I hate about some kidnappings? How they can be simultaneously terrifying and boring as shit.”
Marty Two kicked his foot at the floor, scowling. “I mean, yeah, I’m scared that something’s gonna happen and we’re all done die horribly, but all this waiting around just pisses me off!”
“What I hate about it is, it gives you way too much time to imagine what they’re going to do to you when they do come back,” Marty Five agreed. “What is it they say? Anticipation’s the worst part or something?”
“Who knows,” Marty Six said. “All I know is that I really wish I hadn’t gotten out of bed this morning.”
“Yeah, I think that applies to all of us,” Marty Four said, sighing.
“Think there’s any point in staying positive?” Marty Eight said. “Hoping that when somebody comes through the door, it’s gonna be one of our Docs?”
“I dunno,” Marty One said pessimistically. “It would be nice, but. . . .”
“Come on, guys, we know Doc would go to the ends of the earth for us,” Marty Three protested.
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” Marty Nine said. “I’d rather be stuck here than risk my best friend getting dragged off to someplace worse.”
“Emmett’s smart,” Marty Seven said, Marty One translating. “He wouldn’t let himself get dragged off anywhere. And he would come and try and save us, no matter what.”
“As long as he doesn’t get himself killed trying,” Marty Ten muttered. “Shit, why did this have to happen? The bastard’s supposed to be dead!”
“That’s the problem with time travel – nobody’s dead, even if the body’s rotted to nothing,” Marty One grumbled.
“But he’s not supposed to know about the time machines! And I don’t remember any trips Doc and I took that could have tipped him off!”
“He told me he died and came back,” Marty Seven offered. “Maybe he found out about it post-resurrection?”
“Well, yeah, he didn’t seem to know about it until I accidentally spilled the beans,” Marty One said, looking miserable. “But our worlds don’t have any way to zap people back.” He glanced at Martys Seven and Eight. “Well, most of our worlds.”
“Hey, even with us, it’s iffy,” Marty Eight said. “Something’s not right here.”
“Everything’s not right here,” Marty Nine corrected.
“You think it’s worth it to try and yell for help?” Marty Three asked, changing the subject.
“I don’t think so,” Marty Four said. “That creepy female Biff made it pretty clear she was on Jack’s side.”
“Yeah, but does everyone in this freaky castle know that? It might be worth a shot.”
“Dude, this is apparently Wonderland,” Marty Six pointed out. “Who do you think’s gonna come running? A Dodo and a March Hare?”
“Right now, I’d take them,” Marty Three said. “I think it’s worth a try, anyway.”
The other Martys looked at each other. “Yeah, I guess it couldn’t hurt,” Marty One finally said with a shrug. He took a deep breath. “Hello? Hey, somebody! Help!”
There was silence for a moment – then, suddenly, there was the sound of feet running toward the door. “Marty?” asked what sounded like a little girl’s voice.
Marty One looked at the others. “Any of you recognize that?” Everyone shook their heads. “Just checking. Uh, yeah,” he called toward the voice. “Can you get us out of here?”
There was a jiggling noise. “Door’s locked,” the voice reported. “Hang on a sec. Hey, guys! I found another Marty!”
“Another--” Marty Six started.
“What? I thought the guys were back at their house.”
Ten sets of jaws dropped. “Jesus Christ, another one?!” Marty Two blurted.
“Hey, there’s ten of us already,” Marty Ten pointed out. “I’m wondering what he meant by ‘the guys.’”
“No, these are different,” the little girl’s voice reported. “They’re stuck in this room.”
There were more footsteps, as if a large group had come to gather on the other side of the door. “Hey, hello?” a male voice called.
“Hey!” Marty Five called. “You guys friendly?”
“Depends on what you mean by that,” a English-accented female voice commented.
“Right now, it means you’re willing to get us out of here.”
“Then I suppose we are.”
“What happened to you, anyway?” another female voice asked – this one sounded American, and was higher-pitched than the other.
“We’ve been kidnapped by this looney,” Marty One said succinctly. “He’s planning on killing us for revenge against our Docs. He stuck us in here so he could go confront them, or something.”
“That’s kind of stupid.”
“Never said the guy was a genius. Can you get the door open?”
There were some more jiggling sounds. “Alice, you wouldn’t happen to have a key to the door on you?” the male voice said.
“No,” said the English female voice. “And even if I did, we couldn’t be sure if it would work. Slightly different Wonderland and all that.”
“Too bad your power only works on you, huh Victor?” said the latest Marty’s voice.
“Yes,” another English-accented, male voice replied. “Though – perhaps I could go through and try and open it from the other side?”
“Wait a sec, I think I’ve got an easy solution to this,” the first male voice said. “Any of you guys near the door?”
The Martys looked at each other, puzzled. “Uh, no,” Marty Four said.
“Good. The rest of you, back up.”
“Simon, what are you--”
The American female voice was cut off by what sounded like a chainsaw starting up. “SIMON!” Alice’s voice yelled, sounding utterly shocked.
“Relax! I know what I’m doing!” Moments later, the whirring blade of a chainsaw tore through the wood of the door. The Martys gawked as it cut a neat, almost man-sized hole out of the middle. The hunk of wood fell inward, and a twenty-ish looking man with red hair poked his head inside. “See, they’re fine,” he said, glancing behind him.
“Even still,” the American female voice said.
A little girl with short brown hair popped her head into the room. “Hi! I’m Dee,” she introduced herself with a bright smile.
“Nice to meet you,” Marty Six got out, still a little stunned.
“Why the hell do you have a chainsaw?” Marty Four asked, eyes wide.
“Yes, why are you carrying that thing around?” the American female voice said.
“In case we ran into trouble!”
“Simon, you’re rather paranoid, aren’t you?”
“After everything’s that’s happened to me, can you blame me?” Simon looked around the group of Martys. “And these guys said something about a psychopath.”
“I believe they used the term ‘looney,’ the American female voice said, appearing at the hole. She was also red-haired, and looked just a bit older than Simon. She surveyed the group of Martys. “How are you boys?”
“Oh, you know, except for the kidnapping thing, just fine,” Marty One said sarcastically.
“That one’s bleeding!” Dee announced, looking at Marty Three’s shirt in horror.
“No, it actually stopped a little while ago,” Marty Three said. “Still hurts, but I don’t think I’m in danger of dying anytime soon.”
“Still, we might want to get that looked at,” Simon said, frowning at the wound. “Yeesh – what happened to you guys again?”
“This guy named Jack has been grabbing any Marty he can find,” Marty Two said. “Bastard figured out a way to skip around realities. It’s all part of some vendetta thing he’s got against the last Marty – Marty Ten? – and Doc.”
“He’s a monster, that’s the quickest way to sum it up,” Marty Ten said.
“We can figure it out later,” said a auburn-haired girl, also stepping through the hole. She was wearing what looked like an “Alice In Wonderland” dress – one that had some odd-looking reddish stains on it. “Right now, I’d think they’d all prefer if we concentrated on untying them.”
“Without the chainsaw,” Marty Four added.
Another person came through the hole, ducking as he did. Marty Nine blinked, startled. “What – Victor??”
The pale, thin young man straightened, looking confused. “Er, yes?”
“I thought you were with Doc! How’d you join up with these guys?” Marty Nine paused and took in Victor’s clothes. “And what’s with the suit?”
“It’s – the one I usually wear.”
“No it isn’t. This looks like it came straight out of the 19th century.”
“It did.” Victor scratched his head, then looked apologetic. “I do believe you have me confused with another Victor.”
“We have two,” Dee announced proudly.
“Two Vic – what am I saying,” Marty Nine said, looking at his counterparts. “I’ve got ten of me here.”
“Eleven,” said a familiar voice. The latest Marty stepped through the hole, shaking his head. “You know, this isn’t – what. . .the hell?”
There was a bit of staring. Although the Martys were very much used to seeing themselves at this point, there was something a bit odd about their newest counterpart. Most of them, while looking very similar, had some sort of subtle differences to their appearances – at the very least, they were all different ages. This newest one, however, was identical to Marty Nine. The same strangely handsome face, the same slightly-stretched frame – even their clothes were almost the same. If the newcomer had been wearing a red shirt instead of blue under his jacket, there might have been no way to tell them apart. “Holy shit,” Marty Five mumbled.
Marty Nine stared at his duplicate, then shifted his gaze over to Victor. “Uh – you wanna explain the whole 19th century thing to me again? ‘Cause, if – I’m – here, I’m not getting it.”
“Okay, this is freaky, even for me,” the new Marty said, frowning. “The name Carlos make you want to throw up?”
“The name Andrew make you want to punch somebody?” Marty Nine countered.
“Guess you’re definitely me then. But – then how do you know Victor? He should be – uh – I hate to say this, Victor, but you would be long dead.”
“Perhaps it’s a descendant of mine?” Victor offered up.
“One who looks just like you?” Marty Nine said suspiciously.
“Actually, our kids are gonna turn out to be practical clones of us, so don’t rule it out right away,” Marty Eight said.
“Yeah, I’ve heard about that.” The latest Marty shook his head. “What is it about us that makes our lives so weird?”
“It couldn’t possibly be that you’ve got a mad scientist for a best friend, could it?” Simon joked.
“Actually, when you think about it, a lot of the weirdest stuff that happens to me doesn’t have much to do with Doc.”
“. . .That’s right,” Simon admitted, frowning. “Huh.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” the red-headed girl said. “Vic said you were actually from an idea she had for a story where Victor was a victim of the Fae too, you were supposed to--”
Her eyes suddenly went wide. “Oh my God.”
“What is it, Lucy?” Simon asked, looking concerned.
“If he knows Victor. . . .” Lucy looked around the group of Martys. “Guys – what if these are the Martys – from the fanfics?”
“The what?” Marty Six said, looking baffled.
The new Marty followed her gaze. “Holy shit, I think you might be onto something,” he said. “That guy there looks like NoTril. And those guys – I’d swear they were VampDoc’s and VampDoc2's.”
“Wait, how – what--” Marty Two started babbling, trying to get his head wrapped around everything.
“Look, we’re confused enough – explanations, please?” Marty Four demanded, letting his eyes glow just a bit. If these guys already knew about his and Doc’s condition (and he assumed they did, why else would they say ‘VampDoc?’), there was no harm.
The group looked at each other. “O-kay, who wants to ruin someone’s lifeview forever?” the new Marty said, fiddling with his hands and generally looking extremely awkward.
“There has to be a way to break it to them gently,” Lucy insisted.
“I really don’t think there is,” Simon said.
“Whatever you’ve got to tell us, it can’t be any weirder than anything we’re currently living,” Marty Five said.
“Oh?” The new Marty folded his arms. “What if I told you you were all fictional?”
“. . .Wait, what?”
“You’ve seen the movie?” Marty Ten blurted.
The new Marty blinked. “Hang on, how the hell do you know about this?”
“There’s something about our version of the Clock Tower that weakens reality or something along those lines,” Marty Ten reluctantly explained, as the others gaped at him. “We’ve met the actors who played us – once when they came over to our world accidentally, the other when Doc and I had to chase Jack when he got into theirs.”
“Sheesh, and I thought she was mean to me.”
“Who’s she?” Marty Six asked, feeling the start of a pounding headache.
“Vicky!” Dee offered up.
“It’s short for ‘mundane,’” Simon said, fidgeting. “It’s kind of complicated.”
“Why does everything have to be complicated?” Marty Three complained.
“I don’t know, I don’t make the rules! She does!”
“She makes the rules? Who is she, God?” Marty One said sarcastically.
There was a moment of silence. “Actually, that is sort of her job description, isn’t it?” Victor said slowly.
“I ain’t calling her God,” the new Marty said firmly. “The last thing she needs is an ego. Worse than the one she already has.”
“She really doesn’t have an ego, she’s just – her,” Lucy pointed out.
“Wait, wait, what’s this about being God actually being her job,” Marty Two said, eyes wide.
“You guys know anything about fanfic? Writing stories based on movies and books and TV shows?” the new Marty said.
“Only from Dad’s sci-fi magazines.”
“Yeah, well, it’s done with a lot of stuff other than sci-fi,” the new Marty said. “Including the movie we’re from, Back To The Future.” He grinned weakly. “Surprise, you’re written by a movie-obsessed girl with a thing for Doc.”
The silence was much longer than a moment this time. “You’re gonna have to repeat that,” Marty Eight said finally.
“You really want me to?”
“You’re saying – we don’t exist?” Marty Eight said slowly.
“No, you exist, you just happen to exist thanks to a crazy woman.”
“She’s not all bad,” Dee protested, looking up at him. “She made us too.” A curious expression stole over her face. “Does that make her my mommy?”
“Say what, Dee?” the new Marty said, blinking.
Dee, however, was already frowning. “But the person who really made me was Daddy,” she continued. “But Vicky made him, right?”
“Uh, most of him, yeah,” Simon said, scratching his head.
Dee nodded, then grinned again. “So maybe she’s my grandma!”
There was a brief silence, then the newcomers started giggling uncontrollably. “Why don’t you ask her when we see her next?” Alice said with a mischievous smile.
“Can we get back to our reality crumbling around us?” Marty Six snapped, annoyed. “And can you untie us already?”
“Oh, yeah, sorry.” The group dispersed, selecting Martys at random and working on the ropes. “It’s just we’re so used to it by this point. . . .”
“How the hell do you get used to a thing like that?” Marty One demanded as the new Marty undid the knots binding his legs together.
“Well, it helps we live right down the road from her.” Seeing his counterpart’s confused stare, the new Marty quickly added, “It’s all sorts of complicated. I dunno if I can give you a short version.”
“Can you try?”
“Look, the pertinent points are, she’s got more than this one running around in her head,” Lucy said, jerking her head toward the new Marty. “And more than one Doc. I think there’s – nine altogether? Yeah, nine. And two Victors besides. They all live in a house in something called the ‘headspace’ – that’s where we live too. We’re up the road in the Inkwell Bar.”
“You – live in a bar?” Marty Three said, deciding that focusing on that was easier than focusing on anything else.
“It’s really more of a restaurant, she just calls it a bar,” Lucy shrugged, pulling on Marty Four’s ropes. “And there’s little apartments in the back.”
Marty Five was shaking his head. “Nine Docs, nine other us-es, two Victors – how about the rest of you, do you have duplicates running around?”
Lucy laughed. “No, we’re lucky. We’re unique.”
“Some of us, anyway,” Alice corrected with a small smile. “You’re the only one here who was born without the help of her fangirling over something.”
“Au contraire. I’m based off a Emilie Autumn song and video, remember?”
“That hardly counts--”
“Hey!” Simon suddenly protested, looking up with a glare from where he was trying to free Marty Seven.
“I didn’t mean it like that,” Alice said. “Hers didn’t have a storyline. It was merely a song and a picture she liked.”
“That’s technically what happened to me too.”
“Yes, but your video had a story attached.”
“Let’s not fight,” Victor said, glancing between them as he freed Marty Two. “Otherwise our guests here might forget their manners and decide to punch us for delaying too much.”
“We’re too confused and tired to punch anybody,” Marty Four said, letting his head thud against the wall as Lucy got the ropes around his legs free. “I just want to go home.”
“How’d you guys get here, anyway?” the new Marty asked as he finally got Marty One loose. “I mean, I know you mentioned dimension-jumping, but Wonderland has to be the last place you’d end up. Especially this Wonderland.”
“I dunno, we crashed while we were arriving,” Marty One said, rubbing his wrists. “Maybe that had something to do with it. And what do you mean, this Wonderland? Isn’t there only the one?”
“Not anymore,” Alice said with a slight sigh.
“Vicky likes crossovers,” the new Marty said. “A lot. That’s what got me in trouble, honestly.”
Marty Seven looked up at Simon as the guy got his legs loose. “You know, I think we skipped a step somewhere,” he said. “How about you guys tell us exactly who you are? Names, where you come from – it would probably help a lot.”
“Yeah – I mean, we technically know who two of you are, but with everything you decided to throw at us. . . .” Marty Two agreed.
“Right,” the new Marty said. “How about we get you all untied first, though?”
“We’re in favor of that.”
The group fell into silence for a short while, as the newcomers worked out the knots in the ropes. Finally, though, all the Martys were free. They all set about standing and stretching out their limbs. “Thanks,” Marty One said. “Now, how about we start with Marty Eleven here? Who exactly are you? Besides, you know, another one of us.”
The new Marty snorted. “I’m a Marty who got captured by these assholes called the Fae,” he said. “Ended up playing concerts there for two years before Doc and I made a run for it.”
“Playing concerts? That doesn’t sound so bad,” Marty Five says.
“He’s neglecting to mention the guy kept me up there for days at a time,” Marty Nine said, voice bitter. “And drugged me to keep me awake. Not to mention the mood swings. . . .” He shuddered.
The new Marty sent him a sympathetic look. “Tell me about it. And the reason I look a little better than you guys? That’s what happened when he slapped me around.”
There was much staring. “Holy shit,” was Marty Eight’s opinion. “That’s twisted.”
“You don’t have to tell me. I’m so thankful I managed to get out of there.”
“Would have been nicer if Dad hadn’t ended up blind during the escape though, huh?” Marty Nine nodded.
The new Marty looked at him oddly. “What? What’s this about Dad going blind?”
“. . .Didn’t you make a break for it when Carlos dragged him to Arcadia?”
The new Marty’s jaw dropped. “He was gonna – I’m gonna kill her!” he snarled. “Dragging my father into that hell? I thought what she did to me and Doc was bad enough!”
“Calm down, Marty – you know very well by now how much she loves her angst,” Lucy said, patting his shoulder.
“Even still, no reason to wreck three lives. . . .”
“Let’s get past the fact that, if she’s the reason Doc, Dad, and I got stuck in Arcadia, I might help you kill her,” Marty Nine said, holding up his hands with a deep frown. “You guys ran early?”
“Yeah – we were left alone in Doc’s basement, realized this might be our chance, snuck out, and took off. It was smooth sailing for a while, but then a pack of briarwolves found us. We got separated during the fight, and – well, I made it back to Hill Valley, but --”
A cold chill ran up every Marty’s spine. “Doc – didn’t?” Marty Nine said softly, looking like his worst nightmare had suddenly come true.
“No, but not for the reason you’re thinking of,” the new Marty said hastily. “He got stuck in an alternate universe Chicago. Turns out there’s these ‘rifts’ that open up and suck people into another world. Doc ran from the Hedge into Grant Park. Apparently it took him crashing into a tree to notice the difference, though.”
“So this whole ‘traveling between dimensions’ thing can happen naturally?” Marty One said disbelievingly.
“Oh yeah – ask Victor,” the new Marty said, pointing to the boy standing next to him. “He got eaten by one too.”
Almost all heads swivelled toward the pale young man. “You’ve traveled between dimensions?” Marty Four said.
Victor fiddled with his tie. “Yes – quite by accident, but yes,” he admitted. “As Marty – er, my Marty; for general edification he’s generally called Museical – put it, I was ‘eaten’ by a rift. I was on the stone bridge by my town one moment, in an abandoned warehouse the next. Not to mention over 100 years in the future. And in another country.”
“At least you weren’t kidnapped by some psycho twin of Doc’s,” Marty One pointed out.
“No, but I did end up in the middle of a situation where people like me were being actively targeted for death by a hate group.”
“. . .Does crossing between dimensions always suck?”
“Well, there’s not much that’s awful here,” Alice said. “Besides the Queen, but she’s always awful.”
“Wait til you see her,” Lucy said with a shit-eating grin. “You’ll have to bite clean through your tongue to keep from laughing.”
“We’ve seen her – she’s more weird than funny,” Marty Five said, frowning. Lucy pouted. “So, Victor, you’re--”
“Victor Van Dort,” Victor introduced himself. “One of you seems to know some version of me, but I assume I’m a stranger to the rest?”
Nods all around. “Taking it you’re from the past,” Marty One added. “What with the whole ‘over 100 years in the future’ thing you just mentioned.”
“I’m from 1875 originally,” Victor confirmed. “Burtonsville, England. A tiny village that’s only notable for having one of the first commercial canneries for the time period.”
“His father owned the place,” Museical added. “That jive with what you know of your Victor, other me?”
“Pretty much,” Marty Nine nodded. “Except for being from the Victorian era.”
“Hey, isn’t that roughly where – uh, when – Marty Seven came from?” Marty Six suddenly realized.
“Really? You know him, then?” Simon asked, leaning toward Marty Seven.
Marty Seven gave him an awkward look. “Ich fürchte, ich habe kein Wort verstanden, du hast gesagt.”
“. . .I’m – assuming that’s a no?”
“He only speaks German,” Marty One explained. “Something to do with the weird-ass time period he lives in. Hang on.” He turned to Marty Seven, rattling off what the group wanted to know in German. Marty Seven nodded, then shook his head. “Nope, no Victors,” he said, looking back at the others.
“How do you speak German?” Museical asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Doc and I got stuck in a time loop once – remember Groundhog Day?” Marty One said. “While we were figuring things out, we spent a couple of loops just having fun. I decided to have Doc teach me German for the hell of it. It’s actually pretty useful for having a private conversation.”
“And for random mes who speak German,” Museical said, tilting his head at Marty Seven.
“Does he know who I am?” Alice asked, looking curious.
“That depends – who are you?” Marty Four asked. “You know, besides a huge ‘Alice In Wonderland’ fan.”
Alice suddenly laughed. “There can be none larger – Alice Pleasance Liddell, at your service,” she said with a small curtsy.
There was a moment of surprised blinking. “Hang on, you’re the Alice?” Marty Eight said. “I just thought you had an appropriate first name!”
Alice shook her head. “I am the Alice. Or, well, I suppose I’m technically a Alice – but for the purposes of this conversation, the Alice is fine.”
“How do we know the Alice from Wonderland?” Marty Five demanded. “Something happen on a time trip and your Vic decide to move her in?”
“Not exactly,” Museical said with a grin. “Vic just really likes ‘Alice In Wonderland’ – or, uh, this really specific version of it.”
“You mean, sort of like the Disney movie?”
“Yeah, sort of. Somebody made a video game out of it. ‘American McGee’s Alice.’ That’s our Alice.”
“How do you make a video game out of Alice In Wonderland?” Marty Three wondered.
“I think there was one for the Commodore 64, actually,” Marty Two said thoughtfully. “You had to go around figuring out all sorts of weird puzzles and shit.”
“Mine’s – rather different,” Alice said, suddenly looking a bit uncomfortable.
“Well, I bet! What have you been doing lately, painting the roses--” Marty Six asked, leaning forward to peer at her apron.
Only to freeze, eyes widening. “That’s. . .not. . .paint. . . .”
“She’s not an insane murderer!” Museical hurriedly said as the other Martys stared. “Uh – well – she is, sort of, but – not like that!”
“Stunning defense,” Simon said with a smirk.
“Shut up, chainsaw boy.”
“I guess you guys would know her,” Marty One reluctantly admitted. “But what’s the deal with the blood?”
“Mr. McGee is a right bloody bastard, that’s what’s the deal,” Alice said in a rather bitter voice.
“The premise of the game is that Alice’s family dies in a house fire not too long after Looking-Glass, and the guilt of being the only survivor sends her into an asylum,” Lucy explained. “She’s eventually sucked back into a warped Wonderland to kill the Queen of Hearts and regain her sanity. That’s the meaning behind the blood.”
“Dark,” Marty Four said succinctly.
“You have no idea,” Alice sighed. “But you have nothing to fear from me, I swear. I don’t hurt my friends – not – not intentionally, anyway.” Victor put an arm around her.
“You know what, we can use all the allies we can get, so we’re just gonna believe you for now,” Marty Five decided. “Besides, I’m pretty sure our Docs could kick your ass if it turns out you’re lying.”
“Doc versus Alice? I dunno,” Museical commented. “Alice is really good with her Vorpal Blade.”
“Yes, but against your Doc, especially if he was mad? I think he could beat me easily,” Alice said. “And I don’t know how well I’d do against a whole group of Docs. Unless I decided to use the Jabberwock’s Eye Staff, or the Blunderbuss.”
“Can we not talk about people shooting Doc?” Marty Eight said, grimacing. “It brings back some nasty memories.”
“Of course, my apologies,” Alice said, looking dutifully embarrassed.
“What about the rest of you?” Marty One asked, looking between the remaining members of the group. “What’s your stories?”
“I’m Simon Garfunkle – yes, that is my actual name,” Simon said, looking annoyed as some of the Martys arched disbelieving eyebrows. “And no, I’m not related to the singer – it’s ‘le,’ not ‘el.’”
“Who names their kid Simon when their last name is Garfunkle?” Marty Nine wondered.
“It gets worse – his middle name is Arthur,” Lucy provided.
“. . .Were your parents high when they named you, or just evil?”
“I don’t know,” Simon said with a small groan. “Part of me thinks it’s just part of my usual luck – I was born on April Fool’s Day. But then I remember my little brother is Carey Casey.”
“I think your parents are just awful at naming kids,” Museical commented with a tiny smirk.
“Yeah, lucky for the world they only had two.”
“How about you tell us why you have a chainsaw?” Marty Eight suggested.
“Like I said, I have the weirdest luck. I got the chainsaw fighting zombies. Also a nice shotgun and flamethrower. Before that, I was caught by a giant squid after I fell out of an airplane.”
“. . .We’re supposed to believe this?”
“No, this actually happened,” Museical said. “He’s from a couple of music videos our mun saw online and liked.”
“Music videos?” Marty Three said.
“Yeah, it weirded me out too,” Simon said. “But it’s the truth. Band named Lemon Demon did a couple of songs about my adventures, another company illustrated them, and somehow Vic got inspired to actually make me and give me a name.”
“So, really, it’s her fault you’ve got the goofy name,” Marty Four said.
“Yes, and one day I shall make her pay.”
“You from a music video too?” Marty Five asked Lucy as a joke.
“Actually, I did get some of my inspiration from one,” Lucy replied, making him blink. “My name’s Lucy Leech. I get it from an Emilie Autumn song, ‘Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches,’ and I happen to share her face. Apparently Vic liked the picture someone chose when making a lyrics video to the song.”
“This ‘Vic’ person sounds really, really strange – uh, no offense,” Marty Nine hastily added.
The others laughed. “None taken, trust me,” Museical said.
“Anyway, I’m pretty average – grew up with two loving parents, started playing the violin when was a kid, majored in acting and music in college,” Lucy rattled off. “My special thing is that I’m a muse – I can inspire people just like the old Greek goddesses and all that. I’d demonstrate, but I don’t think we need anybody running off to draw something neat or compose some new music right now.”
“Not really, no,” Marty Two said. “Cripes, muses, changelings, Wonderland. . . .” He looked at the little girl. “What makes you special?”
“I can turn into a little girl,” Dee announced proudly.
The Martys looked at her, then at each other. “Uh – you mean a different little girl?” Marty Three guessed.
“No, this little girl!”
“She’s not human to start with,” Museical said, shifting his weight from foot to foot.
“Well, what is she, then?” Marty Four asked, frowning.
“Tell them your full name, sweetie,” Lucy prompted.
“DeLorean 1981 Brown!” Dee said, grinning to beat the band.
Marty One’s jaw dropped. “No. No way. She’s not--”
“The time machine, yeah,” Museical confirmed. “We’ve never gotten her to understand that DeLorean’s really not a name.”
“It’s good enough for me,” Dee said obstinately.
“How the heck does the time machine turn into a little girl?” Marty Six asked weakly.
“Because it turns out there’s more than one version of the alternate universe with the crazy Chicago Doc ended up in,” Museical said. “One of them is where, if a vehicle gets sucked through a Rift, it can start turning human. That’s what happened to Dee, technically. The DeLorean was on the train tracks, and right before it got hit, a Rift opened up and pulled it through. On the other side, she turned into Dee.”
“Of course, what happened with us was, a little girl ran into the Inkwell and promptly pounced on Doc, calling him ‘Daddy,’” Simon added.
“He is my Daddy,” Dee said, in a rather “duh” tone. “He made me what I am. Isn’t that what Daddies do?”
There was a moment’s silence as the RP group pondered this. “She does have a bit of a point,” Victor allowed.
Marty One’s face was firmly in his palm. “This is completely nuts,” he groaned. “Of course, I can say that about everything in my life now. . . . Is there anyone else we should look out for?” he asked, finally looking up.
“Well, if you see a pair of puppies – one white, one black – that can talk--”
“And have particularly foul mouths, and a love of video games,” Alice added.
“–that would be Steve & Gary,” Museical finished. “They’re actually sentry turrets from some alternate future crazy company, but they can’t really walk like that, so if they’re around, they’re dogs. Don’t ask how they got dog forms, it looks like you’ve had all the weirdness you can handle.”
“All right, we won’t,” Marty Two agreed easily. “What about Doc? Where is he?”
“We seem to have lost him somewhere in here,” Simon admitted, looking behind him. “This place is like a maze.”
“He’s called Clockwork, and he’s from the same universe as me,” Museical added. “Only thanks to the Rift, he can’t use most of his Fae-given powers anymore. He’s got weather control instead. Apparently that’s a thing the Rift does.”
“Weather control? Like he could summon up a hurricane if he wanted?” Marty Eight said, genuinely impressed.
“Or even if he doesn’t want. The catch is that his emotions also affect the weather, so when he starts getting really upset. . . .”
The other Martys grimaced. “That’s gotta be fun,” was Marty Six’s opinion.
“Oh, it’s not as bad as all that,” Victor said quickly. “Doc’s gotten a pretty good handle on his powers. He’s very careful to keep himself calm. And his slip-ups usually only affect himself.”
“Yeah, he does his damndest not to cry,” Museical nodded. “Otherwise he gets rained on.”
“This also a result of the Mysterious Vic?” Marty One asked, folding his arms.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“I’d like to have a talk with her, then, tell her to stop screwing up my life.”
“We all would,” Museical said tiredly. “It never stops her, though, just so you know. The least you can hope for is something good happening to balance out the evil.”
“Why do you guys stick around, then?” Marty Four demanded.
“Where the hell are we gonna go?” Museical replied with a shrug. “And it really isn’t all bad. She does do nice stuff for once every so often. And the parties are amazing. Plus, she’s got a no-Fae policy at the Inkwell.”
Marty Nine sucked in his breath. “Oh, shit, I wish we had one here,” he said. “When I got caught, Andrew was around. He teamed up with Jack.”
The color drained from Museical’s face. “What? You mean – Andrew’s – Andrew’s here?”
“What was he doing in your world?” Alice demanded, looking rather horrified herself. “Shouldn’t he be back in Arcadia? Isn’t that where they usually stay?”
“Yeah! I don’t know why he was there, beyond the fact that he was obviously looking for Doc! And he’s definitely here now!”
“Damn it! We have to find Doc, and fast!” Museical said, whirling around. “If Andrew gets his hands on him again--”
“None of us want that,” Simon agreed. “The horror stories you two told us were enough. Come on, you guys, let’s go find Clockwork before more shit hits the fan.”
“Yeah,” Marty Nine agreed immediately.
“And maybe you can tell us about this ‘VampDoc and VampDoc2' stuff?” Marty Two added.
“Oh, yeah, the muses,” Lucy said. “Let’s walk and talk, we don’t have any time to spare.”
“Fine with us – lead on.”
“Okay,” Lucy said, as the group piled out of the room. “The muses are sort of like alternate versions of a couple of your Docs. . . .”