(I finished part two of The Last Days of Earth over the weekend, 97 pages and 45,762 words. Almost 8000 words written over two days, not too shabby.)
“Obviously,” I said in an attempt to keep Carla’s evident agitation from infecting some of the Creepies who might not handle being agitated very well, “either the general baseline properties of the universe have changed to allow our guests to appear here, or we were never in possession of all the facts about the universe and this new information should be written into our equations as variables from now on.”
“Did you have equations and a list of variables before?” Carla demanded.
“No,” I admitted. “That’s something else we should probably think about doing.”
“We might need a whiteboard,” Creepy said, and ran out.
Mell sat back down in her chair, knife vanishing once more. “While you two are drawing equations, maybe the rest of us can try to figure out why we’re here.”
“Couldn’t hurt,” I said, knowing perfectly well how inaccurate that statement was. “Usually when something like this happens and someone pops up from a portal or whatever, it becomes pretty obvious right away what is going on and why they’ve appeared.”
“Maybe we were just transported to this world so we could explore and use our powers to work our way into high-ranking positions in this world’s government structure,” Winona said innocently, “the way you did on Xix.”
“Um,” I said awkwardly.
“Do we have powers?” Mell asked.
“I’m not sure,” Winona admitted. “When Hatboy and Creepy came to Xix, they had enhanced magical abilities that allowed them to become Paladins.”
“Paladins,” Mister C of 9 hooted. “They’re the nerdiest ones.”
“I had an enhanced ability to use spells without getting exhausted by them,” I said. “I think it was related to the energy differential between this, uh, world and Xix. Time moved differently, so it was like my energy was restored so fast it was as if it never got used up in the first place. Or something like that. I never really thought about it.”
“You don’t say,” Carla muttered.
“And Creepy didn’t have magical abilities,” I added. “He just knew a bunch of high fantasy tropes he took advantage of.”
“Maybe we can do that,” Mister C of 9 suggested.
“Wait, hold on,” I said. “It – Creepy and I came from one place, and – yes, admittedly, we made a stupid mess in Xix, and I regret that,” I nodded to Winona. “I’d hope, since there are so many more of you from so many different places here, it might not be a good idea to make the same mistakes we did-”
“No no, you misunderstand me,” Winona said. “Carla was just saying that you two are the centre of something, and I admit I don’t understand what, but it was no accident that you were given access to Xix. You did make rather a mess, but throughout history you also righted a lot of wrongs, and … after your departure, things continued to improve thanks to the knowledge and perspective you’d given us. I’m not saying we should all go off and use our powers just to take over the government of this world for the fun of it-”
“Aw,” Mister C of 9 grumbled.
“What powers?” Mell demanded.
“-I am suggesting that this time, we have all been brought together in a similar way to the way you were brought to Xix previously, so we ought to consider the possibility that this time, we are here to right some wrong here.”
“Oh, look at that,” Carla said. “Proof that this isn’t a collection of alternate-universe Creepies,” she pointed at Winona. “He actually listened to me.”
“I listened,” I protested. “I said the same thing, it’s just that we haven’t identified the wrong that needs to be righted yet. I just didn’t want everyone to go wandering off and using their powers to try to take over the world before we had a chance to figure it out.”
“If anyone else mentions powers again…” Mell warned.
At that moment Creepy came back in, pulling a whiteboard on a wheeled stand behind him.
“Right,” he said, and uncapped a pen. “Let’s say this circle is the universe-”
“Wow,” Carla said, “you already fucked it up.”