Note: read “Lavender: Worlds Apart” first. You should probably have read “One Man Army”, “The Citadel”, “Streets of Rage”, “Nu Wub, Nu Heawt”, “Where Everything Ends” and “Calvins At Work” by now too.
In the Inn Between Worlds, in one of the many rooms often rented out to lodgers from different worlds, me and Marley sit down with the Chris and Amy Oldman of a timeline where everything went right for Chris.
No, not that Amy. This one is blonde. I guess Chris doesn’t really have a type.
They’re both armed with silver weapons.
“Okay, Chris. What’s this about?”
“You, Cal. Or at least, another you.”
I’ve actually met a few of my counterparts at the Inn, but I’m guessing it’s not one of them. They didn’t seem much different from me, except the one who had a scar over his left eye. He had a sad look on his face when he saw Judy. Maybe she’s dead in his timeline? I didn’t want to ask.
“Okay, and what did the other me do? Was it your me? Igor said that he overheard you mention something about a demon me, did your me get some sip?”
“He killed my entire family. And it wasn’t my you, because he killed my you too. He forced my Lavender to choose between sparing me or her. Obviously, she chose me.”
“Chris… I’m so sorry. What about Amy’s family?”
Amy speaks up, sounding strained.
“He killed them first, Cal. He killed them, and our son too, and he let me go because he said that I’m hot and have nice cans. Then he flew off to the Oldman farm to kill Chris’ family.”
Chris just stares at the wall when Amy mentions Little Cal. I had met him too.
I’m sorry, kid…
Don’t blame yourself, Cal. Blame the OTHER you. You aren’t responsible for what your alternate selves do. If you start blaming yourself now, you’ll NEVER stop.
I don’t think you’re any less worthy. You would never do something like that, Cal. I can feel it in your soul.
“And you’re sure it wasn’t a demonic James? Because we have one of those, and that sounds like something he’d say.”
“My James always treated women with respect. He was dating this nice young woman, Lilah. So she’s heartbroken now.”
“We don’t have anything left back home, Cal. We don’t know where to go.”
“We came here, thinking we’d hunt him down. But we don’t know which timeline the demonic you came from, or where he went. Igor can’t help you go to another world if you don’t know which world you need to go to. So we didn’t bother telling him.”
“We’ve been staying here ever since, hoping we’d run into you you.”
“Igor also said that he overheard you mention a citadel.”
“Yeah, the demon you said to me that he needed to get back to the citadel before the O.M.A. showed up. I don’t know which citadel or what the O.M.A. is.”
“I don’t know either, Chris.”
“Oh-Emm-Ay… dat speww oh-mah, wite?”
“Eyyy! You’re really starting to get the hang of spelling. We’ll have you reading yet, Mar!”
“Mawwey wan join da Fwuffy Buk Kwub. But wut oh-mah meen?”
“I think it’s Dutch for grandma? But that doesn’t make sense. The best theory I’ve got is that an alternate version of Nanny is looking for him. I think our Nanny would be disappointed if I became a demon.”
“Wook at wut jus happund, daddeh. Teww Mawwey how yu fink dat wud wowk owt fow daddeh.”
As I’m laughing, Chris and Amy seem confused.
“What did just happen?”
“Yeah, where did you get that sword?”
Me and Marley laugh together.
Then I take a deep breath.
“The short version is, Pierre and Deston’s dad turned out to not be dead, and he’s also an X-Positive wizard, but he was also secretly planning to kill the Pope, destroy Christianity and establish a magical dictatorship using wizard robots, Satan’s blood and 1% of Chaos’ power, and he also killed their mother to cover his tracks. But it’s cool, she’s got angelic powers now, so do four of our other friends who died, and they’re currently catching up with their loved ones. Oh, and we talked some sense into Pierre and Deston’s dad, after stopping him from destroying the world with a gigantic chunk of moon rock, which I broke apart by using this magical talking sword, given to me by a magical talking tree who lives in a forest full of fairies, one of whom I suspect has a crush on me. Before you say anything, yes, I know how ridiculous all of this sounds.”
“It haf bin a cway-zee fukkin dawk time, Kwis. Su yu can pwob-ab-wee eem-ag-in how Mawwey an daddeh feew abowt dis.”
Chris and Amy stare blankly at us while they process all of this.
“Wow. Okay, yeah, that’s a lot. So, um, I’m sorry we had to dump this on you.”
“We didn’t know, we’ve been here all night.”
“Yeah, we were talking to this really interesting guy. Grey clothes, red mask and goggles.”
“Did he have a creature with him that looks kinda like what you’d get if you bonded the Venom symbiote to a fluffy, Chris?”
“You know him?”
“My Vic knows him. They fought once. It ended in a draw. Now they’re drinking buddies. A lot of Vic’s friendships started that way, Chris.”
“Our Vic lives a pretty violent lifestyle, so I’m not surprised. And our ChaotiX is heartbroken too, about what happened to our you. They just don’t know what to do without you. So I told our Deston that the demonic Calvin is ours to kill. He just hooked us up with these silver weapons and told us to wait for you you here. He knew I’d met you at the Inn before.”
“It’s funny, isn’t it Chris?”
“What is, Cal?”
“Now our timelines have something in common: you want me dead.”
Chris manages to laugh.
“Only difference is, I’m not the bad guy. It’s not my fault.”
“See, when you say it, it sounds sincere. My Chris never stopped believing his own lies. So what are you guys gonna do now?”
“…I don’t know. I didn’t think this far ahead. I guess I’ve got that in common with your me. Um… I don’t suppose we could crash in your timeline, Cal? I know Igor wouldn’t mind.”
“He knows there’s nothing left for us back home.”
“Sure. Leslie’s got a spare room, and a doohickey that blocks all the, uh, nocturnal noises he and Helen make. Lavender and their other fluffies sleep like fluffy logs these days, so does Keith.”
“Won’t there be two of me, though?”
“Um… about that, Amy… you know all of those Invasions that happened in our timeline?”
“Yeah? Oh. Which one did it?”
“Do you really wanna know, Amy?”
“It’s how I died, so yes. Just tell me what happened.”
“It was the first one, Amy. A couple of demons found you and… well, we found your corpse, and, uh…”
“They fucked me to death, didn’t they.”
“Oh yeah. It was fuckin’ gruesome. I’m not gonna describe what happened in detail, I’m just gonna say that I’ve seen what happens when Slayer rapes something while he’s in demon form. That happened.”
“Mawwey knu dat fwuffies can be pwetty howny, but sumtimes, Swayew am jus tuu howny.”
“Hey, he doesn’t rape fluffies anymore, Mar. He doesn’t even hurt them. All that horny has to go somewhere. Better to have him rape our enemies than to have him rape our friends.”
I realise something, and a huge grin appears on my face.
“Oh man, our Leslie and Lavender are about to get even more good news.”
As Calvin, Marley, Chris and Amy make their way out of the Inn Between Worlds, another Calvin, sitting at a table near the exit, notices the quartet heading out.
“We’ll talk to the Docs, they can help hunt down that demonic me…”
“An dey can pwob-ab-wee fine dat sit-uh-dew, tuu…”
“Our Deston sent us to find you for a reason, Cal.”
“And that reason is: your timeline has a you, ours doesn’t.”
They don’t notice him.
While he’s currently in street clothes, the other Calvin is wearing a small badge on his shirt, a badge most people wouldn’t give a second glance.
The badge has the letters “O.M.A.” on it.
If you didn’t know anything about this Calvin, and did know Dutch, you’d think he just really loves his grandmother.
He heard everything the quartet said on the way out.
So he finishes his drink, pays Igor at the bar, and makes his way out.
“CQK-1 needs to hear about this.”