When Worlds Collide -- REALLY Collide
Most of the Claras and Jennifers promptly started running back the way they’d come. “Don’t let them get away!” Queen Biffica yelled, kicking the card guards closest to her. “On your feet! Tell the others! Intruders! Trespassers! OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”
“They want a fight, let’s give them a fight!” Jack yelled, snatching up a fresh Heart Stave. “I’ve died already – what else can you do to me? Bring it on!”
“Consider it brought!” VampDoc2 yelled, lunging at him with fangs bared.
Within seconds, the scene in the room had degenerated into absolute chaos. The Docs and their compatriots had the advantage of numbers, but Jack and his crew had the advantage of explosive weapons. Heart missiles, electricity, and other projectiles flew through the air. On the ground, people smashed into each other. DocWolf bit some Heart Guards who had finally regained their feet; Sandra managed to land a punch on Alice’s face. Andrew managed to grab ChangelingVictor’s wrist, only to have HatterDoc hit him over the head with a teapot. Simon successfully fended off Biff with his chainsaw, but couldn’t avoid Queen Biffica hitting him solidly in the arm with her scepter. Everywhere and anywhere you looked, there was fighting and bloodshed.
Except for one small corner half-hidden under the stairs, where Clockwork found Tie-Twister Victor taking refuge. “Don’t want to join the fight?” he asked, the sarcasm on his words so thick you could practically cut it with a knife. “It’s lots of fun.”
“I’m not physically gifted in that arena, I’m afraid,” Tie-Twister replied. His tone was just as sarcastic as Clockwork’s, but the way he was yanking at his tie belied that he was truly worried. “How are my counterparts?”
“The Changeling Victor is actually doing fairly well – his Fae powers seem to include the ability to make people run away screaming,” Clockwork revealed. “DG Victor is having more changeable luck. He’s doing well as a ghost, getting people to drop things and possessing objects to throw them, but our side has lost possession of his body a couple of times.” He glanced back into the crowd. “Oh, wait, Vic’s got it now. I don’t think she’ll let anyone else have it.”
“Good. I’d hate for anything to happen to him.” Tie-Twister shook his head. “I can’t even believe this is happening. How on earth could practically every version of Doc she’s ever written end up here along with every major villain she’s created or borrowed?”
“I don’t know! It seems to defy all logic! I mean, I know how much she loves a good crossover, but usually it doesn’t extend to her own universes!”
“What about that NaNo of hers?” Tie-Twister pointed out.
“Oh, come on, Tie-Twister, you know she’s never going to finish ‘When Worlds’--”
Clockwork stopped dead as something occurred to him. “‘Collide,’” he finished slowly, voice low. He looked out again at the battle dominating the innards of Heart Palace. “Great Scott.”
“This is ‘When Worlds Collide!’ She’s put us into the story!”
“Look at this, Tie-Twister! Every version of Doc she’s ever written – well, almost every version, and I’m not entirely sure that she ever wrote the normal – not the point, Emmett! The point is, this is exactly the plot she’s using for that bloated mess of a story!”
Tie-Twister looked at him a moment. “Oh my,” he whispered. “You’re – you’re right! But – why would she add us and her RP characters?”
“Probably so she’d have more to play with,” Clockwork said. “We all know how much she loves a good crossover. Especially if superpowers are involved. Besides, everyone says to ‘write what you know,’ and there’s no one she knows better than us at this point.”
“That’s true, however much I’d prefer it not to be,” Tie-Twister muttered. He looked at the chaos around them with a frown. “Though that brings up another point. Practically all of these Docs have incredible powers. Why haven’t they beaten Jack by now?”
“Well, beforehand they had the Martys to worry about.”
“But what’s stopping them now? Between all the vampires, mutants, mad scientists, and other powered people here, Jack and his friends should be little more than a fine powder. Alice could probably take out most of them all on her own. For goodness sake,” he continued, building up steam, “Vic herself is here! And she’s demonstrated she had godlike powers! Why doesn’t she use them?!”
Clockwork looked at the young fanfic author for a moment. “That’s a very good point,” he said, brow furrowed. “She must have been deliberately shaping things to hold them back. But we’re up to the final battle now, and--”
It hit him like a brick to the head. “Oh God. She’s stuck.”
“I beg your pardon?” Victor said, tensing.
“That’s why she didn’t want to work on it for the longest time! That’s why, after so many years, it’s still incomplete! She has writer’s block! She has no idea how to end it properly!”
“It’s a NaNo! I thought any normal rules of editing or proper writing style were suspended for that event!” Tie-Twister protested. “Can’t she just end it however she likes? Preferably with a happily-ever-after for everyone involved, of course.”
“I don’t think she has any problems with them beating the crap out of Jack,” Clockwork said. “It’s what happens afterwards that’s got her stymied. How does she reconcile all of this with her normal fanfic universes?”
“She’s our – our – G-GG– you know,” Tie-Twister said, unable to make himself spit out the actual word. “Can’t she just fix everything herself?”
“Ten to one says she thinks that’s a cop-out,” Clockwork said darkly. “She’s a writer. They try to avoid deus ex machina.”
“But it’s a NaNo!”
“It’s a bit beyond that now, Victor. It was a double NaNo by the time I came into existence. At this point, Vic’s moved beyond following the NaNo rules, I think. Besides, you know her. She’s a stickler for how things should go. If she doesn’t know. . . .”
Tie-Twister threw his hands up in frustration. “Wonderful. Just wonderful. So the battle can’t be won until she comes up with a satisfactory conclusion, and who knows when that will be. And even with a happy ending, everyone involved is going to be scarred for life.”
“I know,” Clockwork groused, a bit of thunder rumbling above him. “I wish she’d think before inflicting this sort of angst on everyone. It would probably be better for all the characters in this fic if she’d never written it at all.”
“Yes, but I doubt she’ll just give up on three years’ worth of work,” Tie-Twister sighed, watching Vic smack Douglas over the head with a copy of Alice’s croquet mallet. “After all, she has--”
He paused, blinking rapidly. “Wait. She’s here.”
Clockwork frowned at him. “Er, yes. Why the blatant statement of the obvious?”
“Because – if she’s here – who’s writing this?”
“Er – actually, I don’t know how this works,” Clockwork admitted, doing his own share of blinking now. “Obviously she’s some sort of author avatar, with the ‘real’ version of Vicky writing all this down.”
“Yes, of course. But – doesn’t having her here mean that her computer – in this world, of course – is being left alone? A computer that, thanks to our Vicky being an author avatar, would be an exact copy of the real computer? With the story on it?”
The boys looked at each other for a long, long moment. “You can’t be serious,” Clockwork finally said.
“It’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Tie-Twister protested. “Besides, I thought you were supposed to be the one all gung-ho about doing new things.”
“Not something as temporally confused as this! I have no idea what would happen if we – what are you suggesting we do, exactly? Delete it?”
“Why not? If it doesn’t work, then no harm done. If it does, no one has to have gone through this! I think it’s worth the risk.”
“This smells like a potential paradox to me,” Clockwork said grumpily. “And I have no idea if this means we’d be stuck with memories that never happened. That’s a bigger problem than you might think with these sorts of situations.”
“I can live with the memory of this mess,” Tie-Twister said stubbornly. “She’s done worse to all of us, and you know it.”
Steam hissed out of Clockwork’s back. “Yes, I suppose she has,” he allowed. “All right then, let’s see if we can rescue our compatriots, so to speak. Ready to make a break for it?”
“Sort of,” Tie-Twister said, eyeing the chaos nearby. “What do you suppose our chances are of making it up the stairs without being hit?”
“Probably a million to one, but you have to factor in the fact we’re also fictional characters,” Clockwork said, holding up a point-making finger. “A million to one might actually be in our favor. And once we get up the staircase, it’s clear sailing from then on.”
“So long as no one spots us,” Tie-Twister added.
“Even if they did, I think they’d be immediately distracted by the fight,” Clockwork said. “You said yourself it was worth the risk.”
“Yes, I did,” Tie-Twister nodded, stiffening his back. “All right, let’s do
Wait a minute, they’re actually going for it?! They can’t go for it, this is my story!
“Great Scott, I think we surprised her enough to break the fourth wall a little.”
I will think up an ending on my own, you two get back into the fight!
“Oh no you don’t!” Doc yelled up at the ceiling (for lack of anywhere better to look). “You got us into this mess three years ago, and now you basically refuse to get us out! We’re not standing for it anymore!”
I’m the author! You have to do what I say!
“Then why don’t you just write us going back into the fray?” Tie-Twister questioned.
Ah – for some reason, the words aren’t coming.
Clockwork grinned evilly. “It’s because we have a tendency to surprise you with our actions, and you like to go along with it,” he said, voice smug. “We found a loophole. Come on, Tie-Twister!” They bolted for the stairs
Which were covered in ice because of a misfire by Alice’s Ice Wand! Hah!
Clockwork grabbed Tie-Twister. “Hold on tight,” he said, blowing up a wind and pulling a hidden cord in his jacket. Two glider wings popped out and caught the breeze. Clockwork, holding Tie-Twister tightly, promptly glided to the top of the stairs goddamn why did I let you find out you could fly?!
The pair promptly raced down the hall, looking for the portal back to the Inkwell when suddenly they came across a contingent of Club Guards – wait, that won’t work, Clockwork will just blow them over. A contingent of White Pawns!
You heard me. A line of White Pawns, blocking your way as they advance menacingly!
“Not for long,” Clockwork said, summoning up a hurricane force wind that oh that’s just cheating
“Hey, who’s the one who gifted me with these powers?” Clockwork said smugly as the White Pawns toppled over in a confused mess.
I didn’t expect for you to ever use them against me!
“Come on, before she thinks up another obstacle,” Tie-Twister said, hurriedly clambering over the pile of pawns.
“Right behind you!” The pair continued their race down the hall.
Only for a Jabberspawn to leap out of the shadows! And for your information, it’s immune to lightning.
“What?! You can’t do that!”
Can so, I’m the author. Are you going to turn back?
“Can you blow this one over as well?” Tie-Twister whispered, backing away from the Jabberspawn’s massive jaws.
“Probably take too much out of me,” Clockwork admitted, dodging a lash from the tail. “I could see if I could douse it with rain – aren’t these things powered by steam?”
“I don’t know. Try it?”
Clockwork promptly set up a rainstorm right over the creature’s head. Cold water poured down on it. Unfortunately for our heroes, this just had the effect of making the creature grumpier. “Oh damn. . . .” Clockwork said. “Maybe I can fly over it?”
The tail lashed up again, proving to be long enough to knock them out of the sky should they try that. “Great Scott! I think we’re genuinely running out of options,” the scientist had to admit.
Tie-Twister, however, didn’t look defeated just yet. “There’s something we can try – and it may just work in our favor,” he said, grabbing Clockwork’s arm. “HOPSCOTCH!”
Out of nowhere, a flock of ravens appeared, cawing and swirling around the pair. For a moment, all was obscured by their inky black wings. Then they flew off and vanished, leaving Clockwork and Tie-Twister staring up at the skeleton of a horse in the town square of Burtonsville’s Land of the Dead. Clockwork glanced around, a slight, nervous breeze stirring the edges of his coat. “Well, that is one way to get away from the Jabberspawn,” he admitted. “I’d forgotten you could do this.”
“Well, I hardly make a habit of it,” Tie-Twister said, smoothing a few stray strands of hair back into place. “Most of my friends visit your Inkwell anyway.” He turned, giving Clockwork’s sleeve a gentle tug. “Come, we need to go to Elder Gutknecht’s tower and get a raven’s egg.”
“Why?” Clockwork said, following along behind the pale young man.
“Because that’s how I get back home. My power’s a permanent version of the Ukranian Haunting spell, more or less.”
The trip to the tower didn’t take too long, and with a little help from Clockwork’s wind, they soon reached the top. Elder Gutknecht was rummaging through his stacks of books as they entered the room. “Oh, hello Victor,” he said kindly. “Come for another visit?”
“Not really – it was more of an emergency getaway, I’m afraid,” Tie-Twister admitted. “This is my friend Clockwork Doc – Clockwork, Elder Gutknecht.”
“A pleasure to meet you,” Clockwork said with a polite bow.
“You as well,” Elder Gutknecht said, adjusting his spectacles slightly. “Forgive my distraction, I seem to have misplaced one of my books.”
“Perfectly all right – I’m much the same way with my tools,” Clockwork admitted, looking around the book-littered room.
“I’d love to help you look for it, but this is rather urgent,” Tie-Twister said apologetically. “Can I have a raven’s egg so we can get back?”
“Of course, my boy.” Elder Gutknecht beckoned the nearest raven over. It came reluctantly, obviously sensing what was in store for it. “What’s the trouble? Anything I can do?”
“A problem with worlds colliding – really colliding,” Victor said. “I’d hate for you to get hu – um, broken, I suppose, so sending us home will do nicely.”
“Yes, I think this is a bit out of your league – no offense,” Clockwork added.
“Out of my league?” Elder Gutknecht looked like he would have raised an eyebrow if he could. “I’ve dealt with worlds colliding before.”
“Yes, but – Did Victor tell you about the – nature of your reality?”
“He’s explained, yes. Rather odd to think someone would want to watch us for entertainment. . . .”
“Tell me about it,” Clockwork said sympathetically. “Anyway, this situation not only deals with at least ten different universes coming together to chase an absolutely despicable set of villains, it also has us arguing with our equivalent to Tim Burton.” (. . .Is that a compliment?)
“Oh dear,” Elder Gutknecht said. “I thin I understand a bit better now. You’re sure you two will be all right?”
“She wouldn’t dare do anything too bad to us,” Tie-Twister said firmly. “We’re two of her favorites. And someone has to stop this insanity from getting any worse.”
Elder Gutknecht shook his head slightly, but gave the raven a squeeze around the middle. Out plopped a brilliant white egg. The raven flew off to the farthest reaches of the tower, cawing in a rather distressed matter. “I do hope you know what you’re doing,” he said, handing the egg to Tie-Twister. “There’s a number of people down here who would hate to see you hurt.”
“We’ll be all right – especially if this does what I hope it does,” Tie-Twister assured his friend. “I’ll call on you soon, let you know I’m all right. Good luck with finding your book.”
“Thank you. Good luck with your mission, whatever it may be.”
“Thanks – we’ll probably need it,” Clockwork said, steam hissing from his elbows.
“Indeed,” Tie-Twister said, rubbing his thumbs over the top of the egg. “Clockwork, you’d best come and stand by me. Just to make sure you come along.”
“Right.” Clockwork went and stood by Tie-Twister’s side. “Go ahead and crack it open, and we’ll see what’s waiting for us.”
Tie-Twister nodded, then broke the egg in two. A strange brown mist emanated from the inside, swirling around them and obscuring the world for a moment. Then it faded away, leaving them in an empty hallway just a few feet from the portal home FUCK I FORGOT YOU COULD USE THAT AS A TELEPORT!!!
Clockwork burst into laughter. “Oh, this is too perfect! You’re smarter than we give you credit for, kid!”
“We’re not out of the woods yet – she still can throw obstacles at us! And I doubt she’d let me get away with this a second time,” Tie-Twister said urgently, turning and running for the portal. “Come on!”
Clockwork recovered from his laughing fit and followed his friend, dashing through the swirling colors before the author could come up with yet another creature to shove in their way, goddamn it. A flash of light, and they were inside the Inkwell. “All right, now to get to the muse house before--”
“. . .What?”
ANYWHERE. EVERYWHERE. THERE ARE ROCKS.
“No, I’m sorry,” Clockwork said, dodging a hail of pebbles. “You still have to make some sort of sense.”
NO. NO I DO NOT.
“At least tell us where the rocks are coming from!” Tie-Twister pleaded, darting behind Clockwork to avoid a large baseball-sized rock crashing through the ceiling.
IT’S A ROCK RAIN, OKAY?
Clockwork suddenly smirked. “Rock rain, you say?”
WHAT ARE YOU – ahh, no no no
The rock rain (shit I am dumb) promptly cleared up, at least around the boys. “So, regretting giving me weather control yet?” Clockwork said smugly.
Extremely. Before you stopped it, a boulder fell in front of the door. And all the windows. There are rocks everywhere. Figure that out.
Clockwork glanced up. “Well, the roof’s already wrecked,” he said.
There’s rocks on the roof! Heavy ones!
“We’ll take our chances.” Clockwork closed his eyes and focused. Wind swirled around him, picking up bits of debris as it went (Tie-Twister ducked out of the way of a few bits of timber and stone), then blasted upward, knocking a good-sized hole in the roof. Which promptly let in another shower of rocks, which, being more of a landslide, Clockwork can’t stop.
“Yes, but we can step away from the edges of the hole, you know,” Tie-Twister said, doing just that. Bastards, how dare you use logic.
Clockwork grabbed Tie-Twister in a sudden embrace. “We need to move fast, before she gets any other brilliant ideas,” he said, activating his glider coat again and boosting them into the sky. “Hang on tight, and for safety’s sake, close your eyes.”
Tie-Twister promptly did as he was told. Clockwork turned and sped through the air, aiming right at the – you’re not
FUCK THAT WAS MY WINDOW!! Are you not at all concerned at what flying glass does to people?!
“This is more important! Hand over that laptop!”
NO! I’ve been working on this NaNo for years, and the people deserve apa[why;ohnf;asoh;ohatpwa8;nbsd let go let go
“Tie-Twister, the mouse!”
Ndo 20yh[a8aja don’t you dare
“Wait! I have to save first!”
“If I don’t, she could arguably write this out of existence.”
YES YES EXACTLY THIS NEVER OUP;ANOPEAUNB;UBN[DPUBBAP98YD;
“There! Now, this little red x--”
“Won’t delete it, but it’s a good start.”
My NaNo MY NANO MY
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