Wanna know a secret?
(Of course you do, no one has ever said no to that question.)
Alternate realties were never part of God’s grand plan. When the Divine Creator was casting light into the Void to cast aside the darkness in order for the universe to be born
(an idea She may or not have stole, incidentally)
She was a bit distracted – to say the least. And so She was completely oblivious to the machinations of another force that waited until just… the… right… moment to give Her a little nudge. The result? A cosmic sneeze.
Do you know what happens when God sneezes as She’s creating the universe?
That’s right, you clever rascals: She hits the “copy” and “paste” functions on her Divine Laptop and the Multiverse is born! Millennia later, God is nowhere to be found, and The Light and The Grey, two-thirds of the operatives She put into place to maintain the Balance that keeps all of reality humming, have been vanquished by the remaining original demi-gods, The Dark. Why does any of this matter in the context of this particular drama, you ask?
Keep reading, you virtual bookworms…
William Nemesis was lost in his mind’s eye, floating between realities as his unconscious body lay on the Empire Diner’s busted tile floor. To be honest, it was quite peaceful.
(You just knew it wouldn’t last, right?)
“Time to wake up, you superpowered Xerox,” the tone was unmistakably tender yet simultaneously ominous. An impossibly soft, unblemished hand gestured towards the greasy spoon’s galley beckoning a pot of ice-cold java. At it’s new mistress’ command it was briefly poised upright over the slumbering hero – then it wasn’t.
“Son of Jor-el!” Nemesis sputtered between involuntary gulps of frigid brew. He sprang up, fully expecting to direct a telekinetic blast at an unknown assailant with a particularly cruel sense of humor. He took in the sight of a statuesque, well-toned knockout with aquamarine orbs
(eyes, you perverts)
elevated cheekbones, flowing raven locks and ruby red lips Snow White would trade every dwarf’s soul for.
“The rest of me is down here, sport,” a melodic voice and two of those perfect arms, their wrists wrapped in maroon bands directed.
William slooowly examined a fluttering blue cape that gave off a vibe even a low-level telepath like him could pick up on and a crimson bikini top that sat above an exposed midriff you could bounce a quarter off of. A golden belt with a skull belt buckle would have held up a pair of spandex Daisy Dukes – if they weren’t painted on. Legs that stretched on forever ended at thigh-high reptilian boots.
“Convinced I’m not a threat, sport?” the barely-clad siren questioned.
“Not really. I’ve faced plenty of foxes who wanted to rip my throat out… but if you truly wanted me dead I doubt you would have woke me up first. Do you have a stage name, baroness?”
Her response was succinct and deliberately mysterious. “I am… Strange.”
“I believe you,” Nemesis got to his feet guardedly before he continued. “I really hate to have to be the one tell you this, lady… but that handle’s taken.”
His new friend was unfazed by this revelation. “Madame Strange.”
The female Strange debuted in 1941, 22 years before her male counterpart.
Brushing the detritus from his tattered uniform, Nemesis refused to take his eyes off this new player. “Not to be rude, Madame, I’m glad to see another hero survived this Multiversal Purge, but you’re a little late to the game. The bad guys have been dispatched with extreme prejudice. As for what happens next… well, I suppose I could use some help, especially since Golden Lad is most likely freaking out and is possibly powerless right now.” Making his way to the Empire’s damaged front door, he waved the female strange to follow. “We need to hit the streets, there are some people we need to wake up.”
But as he crossed the threshold to this alternate Gotham he found his path blocked by an imposing figure.
“You cannot follow this unchanging path, adventurer,” she commanded in an assertive but irresistibly alluring tone. “We need to talk.”
“We’ve just met and you’re already breaking up with me?’
“Your banter may have charmed other females throughout the cosmos… like that ridiculous…” she gulped and winced before continuing, “Aerial Wench, I believe was her name. But it is wasted on me. I have a higher duty to attend to.”
“Aerial Wench?” Nemesis searched his erotic memory banks. ‘Oh! You mean Ginger! Her code-name was Sky Girl. She was a sweet gal with no real powers, though she had plenty of pluck and loved to -” William ceased his amorous recollections as a realization hit him like a cold shower. “Wait a megaversal minute… have you been following me from world to world?”
“Indeed!” she boasted, somehow standing even taller as she did so. “And I must say, if you spent as much time carefully considering the consequences of this holy crusade as you do bedding femme fatales, you would have realized -”
Nemesis disrupted her tirade, moving in even closer as a furious wave overtook him. “I could have used your help on some of those worlds! Entire universes have died because I couldn’t stop The Dark’s lackeys from hitting the self-destruct button before I could liberate everyone! The only reason I’ve had so many hook-ups is so I can forget about all the blood on my hands!” He pressed in even further.
Too far, in fact.
Madame Strange raised her arms in instinctual defense, casting a spell out of sheer reflex. Nemesis appeared to vanish in a puff of billowing smoke. Strange stood motionless, shocked by her actions and then cast her sublime gaze at the floor where a bullfrog in a green cow skin jacket and a tattered ensemble sat.
“The bitch turned me into Throg.” Nemesis croaked.
Now here’s a holiday gift. Thanks, Hook.
(and Merry Christmas to you and yours!)
I hope your holidays were blissful, my friend.
You certainly deserve it.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas Robert and all the best for 2023.
And to you as well.
I truly appreciate the support over the last few years.
Been catching up. That ending was unexpected. Hope you have a Merry Christmas, Hook.
It’s great to hear from you again, old friend
Ooh, another character… and what are dwarf-souls fetching on the open market these days?
About a cool million.
Glad you like Madame Strange.
There are so many great public domain characters to choose from but she stood out.
Bullfrog Nemesis, ah, that’s pretty… Strange.
Happy, Merry Christmas, Robert! I hope you and your family are enjoying yourselves, and staying warm. 🙂
We’re doing our best, thanks!
You are a talented writer, Hook. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.
It was great, thanks, Jennie!
I hope yours was phenomenal as well.
Another thrilling chapter, my friend. Happy New Year to you.