May we have a word with you m'am?


Throughout the known multiverses, there are certain constants.

The speed of light.
Things will always go wrong at the worst time.
People in secret official positions will always dress in black.

Cassie was tired. Her waterproof mascara was showing heavy strain from her crying. If she heard one more comment about her perfume, she would claw out that persons eyes.

Her world was wrong, somehow, and she couldn't quite place what it was.

Granted, folks had a bit more style than normal, heck, even the winos had on matching Tommy Hilfiger outfits but she knew something was wrong. Even if she'd get yelled at, she just wanted to go home.

She tried to wipe her eyes with the soggy remains of her tissue and looked up at the two stiff gentlemen dressed in black Armani suits and matching sunglasses. Normally, she would have swooned at their muscular figures wrapped in fine virgin wool, but right now she could care less.

She braced for yet another barrage of insults about her shoes.

"We're here to take you home, ma'm"

That was definitely not what she had expected to hear.

"Excuse me?"

"We're here to take you home."

"Who are you?"

"That's not really important right now, is it?"

Cassie was confused. Normally a natural, pleasant state for the girl, but now it was really starting to get dull.

"Phase vector is 0.91234 and growing." It was the first time she heard the other one speak. He appeared to be looking over her shoulder, she started to turn to see what he might be looking at when the first one spoke again.

"M'am, we should hurry. The Fashion Police have been tipped off and are due here soon. I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't want to deal with them."

'Clarissa and Beth are here?' thought Cassie, 'Geez, perfect, and I'm like such a mess.'

She barely noticed as the two quickly escorted her out of the park and into a sleek black Limo.

"Phase vector 0.8"

"We seem to have bought a bit of time, good. I'll need to run a few tests on you M'am, can I ask you to hold this rod?"

She took what appeared to be a pen. It was a bit warm to the touch, but not uncomfortable. A series of lights flickered on top of it."

"Thank you Ms. McBlonde. We have the information we're looking for."

"How did you..."

"That's not really important either, is it? Oh, and Sibyl and Pythia aren't going to find out about us, right?."

"Oh, no. They won't!"

"Oh, yes they will" cried back the audience of excited children.

Cassie sat and blinked for a second. Sure enough, there were a number of children, possibly first or second grade, leaning forward, giggling and pointing behind her.

Cassie turned slowly, not knowing exactly what to expect, and even more confused by the collection of actors in very bad pirate costumes. She definitely was on some sort of set as the plywood trees could definitely use several new coats of paint.

"Say your line" hissed the "pirate" with a stuffed parrot sewn onto his shoulder.

"My what?" Cassie started to say but was inturrupted by some very loud screaming.

"TRIPE! TRIPE! IT'S ALL DRIVEL, I TELL YOU!". A rather disturbed looking man holding a pen rushed from backstage. Two of the pirates, dressed in black, grabbed him and started dragging the still shouting man back off stage when he dropped his pen next to Cassie. Cassie, suddenly aware of the very small skirt and fishnets she was wearing, carefully stooped down to pick it up. It was a vaguely familiar metalic tube with a few blinking lights on it. She felt disoriented again after she stood up.

She saw the Parrot, and reached for it.

Her bed was a bit cool, but just as comfortable as she remembered. She held the small stuffed parrot and simply stared at it, not knowing if she was awake or still asleep. Still, she clutched the parrot making sure that at least it was real. Oddly, she could still see the broken threads where it had attached to the pirate's jacket.

"A dream, that's it, it must just have been a dream." she mumbled to herself.

She thought she heard the door close. She rolled over and fell asleep.