Elmiryn huffed as she ran along the cosmic lane, her eyes on the lookout for anything dangerous. She may have given Meznik the slip, but it would just be a matter of time before the demon found her again. After she had learned what she needed from him, she knew she needed to break away. She would not live as Syria did.
Thanks to the help of a rather strange disembodied entity, Elmiryn found herself running in a direction. She thought she recognized some of the flashes she saw in the Worlds she passed, but she couldn’t be sure. Traveling in the Other Place was not like traveling in the greater reaches of the universe.
To her relief, her journey was uneventful. Its end destination?
“A gate,” Elmiryn breathed, stopping short of the large shimmering passage that would grant her entry into the mortal realm of some world. Did her strange ally lead her straight back home? “One way to find out…”
And with hand outstretched, Elmiryn pressed in through the gate…
Only to find her foot falling through air.
With a shout, the warrior tried to twist around and catch the edge of the gate, but she wasn’t quick enough. She careened through space, a single word flying through her mind:
Before she promptly crashed through what felt like cold hide, then slammed onto a bed of green leaves. Elmiryn stared up through a hole of torn plastic at the sky where she could see the gate shimmer once before vanishing from sight. A temporary door? Or maybe it was one of those conditional things–like it only existed if the prick end of some planet bum-fucked some sun. Regardless of the reason, it was gone, and Elmiryn started to wonder if her disembodied ally was really an ally at all. Why did she insist on making strange deals with spirits?
Elmiryn’s winded musing was interrupted by a new voice nearby.
“What the HELL?”
The woman craned her head back just as a shadow fell over her.
Another woman stood over Elmiryn, her dark eyes glaring. She wore a thin white cotton tank top with no bra and blue bloxers, no socks or shoes. Her black hair was buzzed short on the sides, but left long at the top, and her furious gaze was framed by thick black glasses. Then Elmiryn finally noticed the gun in the stranger’s hand. A revolver by the looks of it.
“Who the fuck are you, and why are you in my lettuce bed?” the newcomer demanded.
Elmiryn sat up with a wince. “Believe me, I didn’t want to be in your lettuce bed…”
“Who. Are. You?”
The redhead rolled her eyes shut as she rubbed the pain out of her back. She must have landed on a rock or something.
“I’m a bird. I’m a plane. I’m…really not in the mood for questions,” she groused.
Elmiryn stiffened at the sound of the pistol’s hammer cocking back.
The dark haired woman’s glare had narrowed. “I’m not in the mood for games either. How about you just get up then and we can let the cops decide what to do with you?”
“Cops…” Elmiryn chuckled. “I should tell you, I’m not from around here. I don’t think they’ll know what to do with me!”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I’m a fucking alien and I’m going to melt your brain with my alien powers. Can you put the gun away, please? I didn’t mean to mess up your stupid lettuce bed!”
Elmiryn stood to her feet with a grunt, the other woman following her warily with her gun. The warrior gave her a look. “What? Are you really gonna shoot me over some vegetables?”
The woman’s frown deepened, but she uncocked her pistol and pointed it skyward. Her eyes traveled the length of Elmiryn’s body. When she returned her gaze, she gave a faint one-shoulder shrug.
“For an alien you sure do like ren-fair clothing,” she remarked.
Elmiryn frowned at her. “Ren-what?”
“Ren-fair. Y’know. Renaissance fair? Does your planet not have that?”
“Renaissance…” the warrior murmured, searching her vocabulary.
Apparently she took too long, because the other woman sighed and said, “Forget it. My name’s May. May Kliff. What about you? Do you at least have names on your planet?”
Elmiryn spared her a grin. “I’m Elmiryn. So what World am I in?”
“Yeah like…” the redhead trailed off. With a sigh she rephrased. “I meant to say, where am I?”
“Felmore, California. Also, it’s the year 2013 A.D. and Barack Obama is currently in office. Need any more hints?” May said with an ironic smirk.
“Maybe…” Elmiryn rubbed her head with shaky hands. Not only were her withdrawals back, but her head was hurting her to an unusual degree. “Can I trouble you for a stiff drink? Please?”
“Fall through somebody’s greenhouse and ask for a drink? Gotta love America…” May muttered as she turned and walked away.
Elmiryn blinked after her a moment before realizing she was expected to follow.
The two women exited the greenhouse and crossed through a small overgrown backyard to the backdoor of a small white house. May entered through the screen door, and let it shut behind her. Elmiryn hesitated only a beat before entering in after her.
May’s home was small and modest, and while Elmiryn was able to identify some things she saw (“Radio, fridge, phone,”) there were some things she couldn’t. Like the big black box sitting across from the sofa, or the strange metal devices sitting on the counter in the kitchen. As she tried to fill in these blanks, Elmiryn’s headache flared, and she groaned, leaning against the wall for support.
Elmiryn felt a cold glass touch her shoulder and opened her eyes to see May holding a glass of what looked to be rum on ice to her. The warrior took it gratefully and swallowed the drink in one go. It burned pleasantly. She pointed at the big black box in the living room.
“I can’t remember what this is,” she mumbled.
May gave her a confused look. “You mean the television?”
“Geez, either you hit your head really hard, or you’re telling me the truth about that ‘alien’ thing!”
“I’m not an alien,” Elmiryn returned sullenly. “I was just joking around. Don’t call me an alien.” The warrior slid down the wall, staring forlornly into her empty glass. She held it up to May with a pout. “Can I have some more?”
May put her hands on her hips. “I don’t know if you need more! Maybe you’ve got a concussion? I can take you to a hospital and–”
“NO!” Elmiryn slammed her free hand onto the floor and glared up at May. “No hospitals! This isn’t something they can fix!”
“But your head–!”
“It’s just the Universe being angry at me, okay!? I don’t belong in this world, and it’s punishing me for the few things I remember about it!” Elmiryn set her glass down and pressed her palms into the sides of her head. She screamed up at the ceiling. “Hey! HEY! I know what cars are, and planes, and penicilin, and computers, and condoms, and video games! Take THAT Universe! Fuck you!”
May stared down at Elmiryn with eyebrows raised practically to her hairline. “So you’re really not from my world?”
“How else did I fall into your gods damned greenhouse?” Elmiryn snapped. “Did you hear a plane go by or something? I came through a portal!”
“But why did you come here?”
“I wasn’t trying to come here! I was trying to get home! I have friends waiting for me!”
May exhaled deeply and tapped her bare foot. She looked over at her phone. “To call or not to call…”
This put Elmiryn on alert. “Call who?” she asked warily.
But May was already walking to the phone, “I’m a freelance problem solver. I deal in really bizarre stuff, but sometimes, when I’m too busy to take on a client’s case, I call these friends of mine over in downtown. They’re better at dealing with inter-dimensional stuff than I am.”
“And who,” Elmiryn started slowly. “Might these two ‘friends’ of yours be?”
May glanced at her, the phone pressed to her ear. “I guess you might have heard of them, huh? They say they’ve got a reputation in other dimensions.”
“But who?” the redhead pressed. “Who are your friends!?”
May opened her mouth to answer but was interrupted when her doorbell rang. Frowning she hung up the phone and went to open the front door. Elmiryn craned her neck to try and see around the woman, but May effectively blocked sight of who stood before her.
Turns out, Elmiryn didn’t need to see to know who it was.
“Julie? Molly?” May exclaimed. “Geez, I was just about to call you!”
And that was when Elmiryn jumped up and ran out the back door.