My watch alarm woke me along with the feeling of something warm, soft and cuddly attached to my side. Looking down, Romie was clutching to me in her sleep, I could see there was a slight amount of drool from her that was wetting my t-shirt as well… eww… I really hoped she had her shots.
Reaching over, I silenced the alarm. So much for condition 2 and 3, I sighed. Reaching down I did a quick self-check of the Boys, they seemed ok so at least she abided by condition 1. Deciding to poke her cheek to wake her up, I whispered,
“Hey… time to get up Sunshine, I gotta go to work.”
“Mmm five more minutes.” She mumbled as she hugged me tighter.
I wanted to tell myself that this wasn’t nice. That there wasn’t some part of me deep down that wanted to hug her back and enjoy some kind of sleepy companionship in a nice warm bed with a cute girl, even if it was just for a little while. I swallowed hard, couldn’t exactly allow myself such luxuries. There was shit to do.
Pulling myself out of her embrace I proceeded to get dressed. Turning back towards the bed I saw that she had vanished and there was a small folded note where she had once been laying.
Opening it I struggled to read the words. I had a basic understanding of the alphabet here but it was much more difficult then anything from any language back home. To be honest, I was close to being border line illiterate. After a while I was able to piece together what she wrote. It read:
Thank you for a magical night, you were amazing,
Love Romie 💋
At the end there was a kiss mark from her pressing her lips on the paper. Huh, didn’t know they had lipstick here?
Suddenly the mark itself flew up and kissed me on the cheek. I instinctively slapped it. Looking over to a mirror I found there was nothing there. Peering back to the paper, the mark was still there… some stupid Wonderland magic I guessed.
It was mid morning as the conference began. The Order delegates arrived first. Inquisitior Fredrickson and his two companions. The first one appeared to be a Paladin as he had on armor covered with so many holy symbols he could have just been mistaken for a NASCAR driver. He also had a look that just screamed dick that matched his personality as he sneered at me during introductions. Classy… real classy…dick.
The other was a Lucy Lawless look-alike cept on roids. Old Xena, appeared to have quite a bit of city miles on her, but I was sure she could kick my ass, so I made certain to be polite to the Warrior Princess.
The Mamono delegates arrived soon after. Katrina I already knew, followed by some kung fu panda chick, then… soooonnnnn of a bitch…. look what the cat dragged in… Romie .. I guess Puss n Boots was more than what she seemed. That’s what I get for taking strays home.
Romie saw me glaring at her and waved with a smile. I glared even harder in hopes my pyrotechnic powers would somehow set her on fire. Damn still no luck on that.
“A friend of yours?” Inquisitior Fredrickson asked. I knew what the asshole was trying to get at.
“Nah, just someone I met at the bar last night. Gave her the disappointment of her life,” I said truthfully.
That seemed to appease him as we all sat down for the shindig.
2 hours later…
I sighed as the roar of voices arguing reached an almost deafening level. I had to do something fast before shit got even more out of hand. Faced with extremely limited options, I did what any normal, sane person would do… I pulled out my gun.
Aiming at the ceiling, I pulled the trigger and let Winona voice her extreme displeasure at all the bullshit going on. The loud explosion of gunpowder over whelmed all other voices as the room became dead silent.
“You dare betray your oath of no magic?” Bellowed Fredrickson, glaring at me from across the table.
”First of all I didn’t betray shit, you promised each other no magic. My happy ass wasn’t involved in that little agreement. Second of all, it wasn’t magic, it was science – this is something called a gun and it makes me a hell of a lot more dangerous to piss off than anyone else in this room.” I said glaring at everyone as I holstered my girl.
“Now that I have your attention, as mediator it is my responsibility to tell you all that you’re acting like a bunch of brats! These are negotiations and compromises for peace you don’t get everything you want and neither does the other guy…gal. At the end you’ll probably leave feeling like you got nothing and you know what? The other persons probably feeling the same. This is a process for us all to sit down, hammer out something we can all grudgingly agree on and maybe give peace a shot.” I finished as I looked at everyone in the room. The teach from my Public Speaking class would have been proud if he could only see me now. The bastard gave me an undeserved C minus by the way.
”We will not bargain with rutting animals!” Cried Sir Dicksalot suddenly as he slammed his fist on the table. Xena, Warrior Princess voiced her 2 cents as well saying something about abominations of nature or some crap.
Katrina countered that by propositioning her…. aaaaaand shit kinda went back down hill again after that. Everyone left soon after, leaving me alone in the hall. I suppose they didn’t believe me about my gun threats, to be honest I wouldn’t have either. A guy with a six-shooter in a land of swords and magic, what a joke…
I sighed wondering if this was truly the end before the beginning could even take place. I’m just some stupid college kid trying play diplomat, did I really think I had a snowball’s chance in hell to pull this off? I had to try though, telling myself that while fighting back the darkness of depression. Sighing again, I decided to treat myself.
I looked to see if anyone was still around. It seemed that I was alone, so I took out from my bag two of my most precious items left from home- my phone and earbuds. I checked the battery: 32% – good enough for a couple of songs. Sooner or later I’d have to try to hit up a Raiju for a recharge. Popping the ear buds in, and hitting the shuffle button I let the comforting, familiar music blanket over me. It had been a long day and a taste from home was badly needed. Sighing, I stared up at the hole in the ceiling that Winona made. There was a plan B. It was something I was working on during the long trip here. A long shot for sure but maybe it was so off the wall that they would all agree. I closed my eyes to visions of handshakes and champagne corks popping in my head.
Later I went to go see Inquisitior Fredrickson. Sure he was a pompous Order prick but out of all of them, he seemed the most reasonable. He was skeptical about returning to the table after today’s disaster, but I told him I had something myself to bring to the table that might work for all parties. He wanted to know what it was but I told him I wanted all parties to hear it. Fredrickson grudgingly agreed to attend tomorrow and would do his best to bring Xena and Dicksalot. I genuinely thanked him, after all it was a second chance that was badly needed to try to make this Hail Mary happen.
Before taking my leave, Fredrickson asked me about Winona. The idea of the Order or anyone on this little slice of heaven of a world armed with guns made my stomach sink. So I lied and said the materials to make such a thing were only available from my world. He seemed disappointed at the news, as I knew he would be. Sorry guy, but arming anyone with tools that could be used for mass murder wasn’t exactly on my agenda.
I knocked on Katrina’s door. 10 to 1 odds this would immediately get taken out of context but I guess that’s why they pay me the big bucks. She opened it and immediately smiled as she saw me.
“Well this is certainly a welcomed surprise,” She said as she seductively hung on the side of the door,
“Why don’t you come in.” She opened it wider to reveal she was wearing a skimpy white lace negligée. Fuck, this is why I never went to Vegas, too many bad odds… and prostitutes. Why the hell did it also feel like I just walked into a hard-core porn vid by the way?
“Hey, I’m just here on business, ok?” I said entering. The room was dim, light only by a few candles here in there, mostly around the bed. I swore I heard Patrick Stewarts voice bellow “Red Alert!” along with alarms from the Enterprise going off in my head.
When I turned around to face her, I got a close encounter of the horny kind by her literally jumping on me. We collapsed to the floor in a heap, her on top and me on the bottom locking hands with her as I tried to wrestle for some personal space. At least I was able to defend myself at that point, if good ol’ Captain Picard hadn’t warned me, things probably would have gone south…er.
“You have no idea how long I waited for this!” She exclaimed huskily, her spade tail swinging back and forth behind her excitedly.
“I just wanna talk!”
“That’s what they all say!”
I had to do something, I might be immune to her charm magic but she was still stronger than me. I felt her slowly overpowering me dispite the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Hunching up my knees, I rocked backwards and was able to throw her over.
Scrambling my awkward ass up, Katrina simply somersaulted and made a perfect 10 point landing. Nothing like being rapey and going for the gold at the same time. We faced each other again eye to eye as I tried one more time,
”Look, I need to talk to you, calm the fuck down and stop with this shit.”
“Oh I think the fun is just getting started, what do you think Romie?” She asked staring at the bed.
What the fuck?
Romie appeared suddenly, lounging on the mattress, watching us with the same intent as how I used to when I watched Wrestlemania.
“I think we should hear what he has to say, I’m curious.” She said tracing a digit along the sheets while staring at me with an odd expression.
“Well I’m curious as to how his cock will feel in me, we’ll listen to what he has to say later.” She said, getting ready to spring at me for the second time. We looked at each other, her hands were making a creepy grabbing motion that promised trouble.
“You will not touch him again.”
We both looked back over at her. She had stood from the bed, her voice was cold, hollow, murderous, and full of power, her eyes glowed red. The ditzy, cute little Cheshire was suddenly replaced by a very dangerous woman. Now I don’t normally piss my pants folks, but I’ll tell you I came damn close that time. I was waiting for her to go full on Carrie- and I seriously doubted Chief O’Brian was ready to beam me up- when Katrina spoke,
“Of…of course. It will not happen .” She said standing straight and lowering her eyes in compliance.
What the fuck…again.
2 things sprang to mind, first that I probably wasn’t going to die and or witness a murder and second; exactly how high up there was Romie? I thought Katrina was in charge of the Mamono brigade, but maybe I was wrong?
“Okay, good! Now what did you wanna say?” She asked in her normal, cheerful voice, suddenly her old self.
“Uh…yeah… “ I began eloquently, “I was gonna say before I was so rudely sexually assaulted,” I took a moment to glare at Katrina.
”I know things didn’t exactly go well today, but I would like a chance for a do over, I have a plan that might just work for everyone involved. What do you say?” I asked switching between Katrina and Romie.
“Tch, why? We’re winning. It’s estimated that within 5 years the Order will collapse and we will be victorious.” Bragged Katrina.
“And we talked about what would happen after, Katrina but obviously you’re choosing to ignore my warnings on that. But you’re forgetting a single important fact.”
“Oh and what’s that?” She said in a mocking tone.
”The human spirit. I have the benefit of knowing human history more than either of you. When we’re backed into a corner we will do some stupid desperate shit, and not even care about the consequences. One day you’ll be on the cusp on taking that victory lap and some poor desperate bastard or bastards will unleash something they don’t understand or can’t control and it will spell doom for this world.”
“My, you’re handsome and melodramatic. Quite a combination Donnie. Besides, if memory serves, you said you ‘didnt give a fuck about this world’. I do hope I used your words correctly.” Katrina purred.
“Mock me all you want, it will happen,” I said looking to Romie, “This is our chance to avoid so many possibilities where disaster will come crashing down on everyone.”
I thought back to my own world; Nuclear, biological, and other nightmares… with the magic of this world the very same things could be a possibility.
“We will think about it.” Was all that she said, still staring at me with a ghost of a Cheshire grin on her face.
I sighed as I thanked them and took my leave without anymore incidents. It was the best I could do, kinda hard to convince a side that’s winning to… well not win.
That evening, I hauled my exhausted ass though the door of my room, I froze seeing something out of the corner of my eye. Below my crappy little tree lay a single present. Gift wrapped with brown paper, red ribbon and a little bow on top. Walking over I knelt down to touch it with a shaky hand. How was this possible? I heard a soft pop behind me and the voice of Romie,
”I didn’t know when your fat guy friend was coming to leave you gifts but I wanted to make sure there was one there from me.” She said quietly.
I sat down on my ass like a little kid and held the gift in my lap. Drops of water started to wet the wrapper. It took me a moment to realize they were my tears. It was something so stupid, it shouldn’t have affected me like it did. I started to heave and sob uncontrollably. Romie rushed over and held me in her arms. Maybe it was the fact that despite everything, I felt that somehow I failed. Hell, maybe it was the holidays, maybe it was the stress of everything, maybe I just needed a good cry, I donno but I just continued to bawl my eyes out on her shoulder. Her thick curly hair tickled my face and her smell comforted me. She held me through the night as I grieved, not saying a single word….