Notes: This fanfiction is part of the Omniverse Event, a multi-fandom crossover story arc created by Golden Keyblade (look at his profile for more info). It should be worth noting that I've tried my best to make this story more-or-less standalone, and you shouldn't have to read any other Omniverse stories to understand this one, although I do encourage it (because Calvin's Quest is really good, and this one also intersects with my other Event story, The Rift Effect).
That probably doesn't really matter anyway, since this story is like 85% Skulduggery and Valkyrie insulting each other and 10% Braxiatel being a manipulative git. There's a tiny bit of plot in here if you squint, and a lot of the details have been carefully planted so if you read into it there's tons of foreshadowing and blah, but you don't need to do that if you just want to enjoy a stupid story. Um, this is just a oneshot, by the way, so there's unlikely to be much more tacked on to the end of this.
There's a whole ton of Undertale references in here, and a cameo from another DW expanded universe character at the end, and a code for you to break if you're so inclined. When that comes up, it's a Caesar Shift, and the key is the normal number of regenerations of Irving's species. Make of that what you will.
As an Australian, I can indeed confirm that the weather here is insane. I'm not even slightly exaggerating.
There are spoilers ahead for various parts of The Dying of the Light, including the very end of that book. Read on at your own discretion.
There really isn't much else to say here.
Enjoy the story!
A Theory of Timelines
It's raining somewhere else.
The man living at 26 Acacia Road, Kent, walks out of his brown chipped-paint front door, clad in a dressing gown and sandals. He bends down to pick up the newspaper lying on his doorstep, and hold it up to read the headline- Mystery Sky Objects Seen Over L.A. He looks at the first couple of sentences, reading them over with a practiced eye; scowls, drops it on the ground, and kicks it off into the garden so it rests amongst the plants, soon to be turned into compost by the rain that's pouring down onto it. Nothing new. Nothing notable. Everything's boring, nothing's interesting.
This man's name is Harvey Holmwood- mid-40s, Caucasian with brown hair and brown eyes, almost permanent surly frown. Never married. Has a pot belly due to lack of exercise and quite a lot of beer. Works a part-time job as an assistant clerk in a shopping mall, but isn't very good at it. Was adopted and educated by a boarding school, and is still bitter about this- maybe just enough to tip him over to the dark side, if he wasn't so lazy.
There you go. A complete life story summed up in one paragraph. All you need to know about Harvey Holmwood, and all you'll probably ever know, because…
Harvey isn't at all what you'd call an ideal character for any sort of escapade or quest, not even a minor one. Nobody wants to read about Harvey and his problems with online dating and boredom issues. Nothing is going to happen to him, either. No magic, no crime syndicates, no mysterious letter inviting him to investigate further and get sucked into some sort of adventure.
Harvey isn't any part of this story.
Forget him completely. (No, really.)
The door of the house with the paint peeling off it in large strips shuts with a lazy click, and the rain keeps pouring down.
"I can't help feeling that something's wrong."
"That's just because you aren't punching anyone."
Skulduggery Pleasant, the famous Skeleton Detective, looked accusingly at his trusty battle accessory. Or partner, depending on who you asked at the time and what sort of mood said person was in, and if they had a vendetta against either one of the two detectives currently sitting in the sun. "Are you… mocking me?"
"No," Valkyrie Cain yawned, and adjusted her extremely fashionable sunglasses so that the bright sunlight stopped sneaking over the rim and directly into her eyes. Her skin was beginning to burn and she really should have put more sunscreen on. "No, I'm definitely not."
He gave her a very particular sort of Look, the type that's filled with all shades of accusation and betrayal. He somehow managed to accomplish this despite the fact that he was a skeleton and didn't objectively have any eyes to do it with. "You are, and you're being clever about it. You're not outright pointing and laughing at me, which you usually do. You're sneakily mocking me. You're being clever. You're not allowed to be clever. How is this happening?"
"I'm not mocking you, Skulduggery." They had had this conversation several times in the last hour.
Valkyrie sighed, and thought about how peaceful it had been in America, when she didn't have this sort of thing to deal with on a near-daily basis. "...really."
There was a comfortable silence for a moment- or at least Valkyrie thought that it was reasonably comfortable.
Skulduggery broke it. Loudly.
"Are you sure," he asked, velvety voice accusing and ringing. "that you're not mocking me?"
Valkyrie considered screaming.
"I hate stakeouts," she said instead, pulling her beach towel out from her bag and draping it over her head, where it provided at least a bit of cover from the glaring sunlight. She closed her eyes, and focused on getting an even tan.
"I thought you said you love stakeouts."
"I do love stakeouts. When we're punching bad guys in the face. Which," she added pointedly. "we're really, really not."
"Of course we're not," said Skulduggery placidly. "This is a stakeout."
"At a beach, Skulduggery. An abandoned one. In Australia. In the middle of the day. How can we have a stakeout on an abandoned beach in Australia in the middle of the day?"
"You said that you wanted some sun and sand."
Valkyrie flopped down on her back, ignoring the scalding sand that crawled into her shirt and down the back of her shorts. "When I said that, I was implying that we have a holiday."
"Ah," said Skulduggery guiltily, in the tone of voice that implied that he had misinterpreted something rather badly. "I don't think heroes get holidays, Valkyrie."
There was a short silence.
"Who says we're heroes?" Valkyrie muttered sleepily. "I'm the one who tried to destroy the world, remember?"
He was conspicuously silent for a moment, and Valkyrie struggled to sit up. "Hey, don't do that."
"Don't do what?"
"Sulking. You're sulking again because I made a joke about… well, that. I'm allowed to make jokes about that, now. I'm getting good at it. It's good for me, yeah?" She paused, and then added, a bit more quietly. "Please don't sulk because I decided to bring it up."
"Why shouldn't I sulk?" he asked, and she detected a touch of humour in his voice this time. "You spent five years sulking in America."
"I wasn't sulking!" she protested. "I was taking a vacation!"
"And there you go," Skulduggery pointed out, sounding smug. "You've used up all your allotted vacation time."
"Allotted vacation time?"
"So here we are," he continued. "Both of us. On a stakeout."
"Screw you," she muttered, turning over and going to sleep.
Along the beach, reality exploded.
"What the hell was that?" Valkyrie exclaimed, sitting up and instinctively clicking her fingers for a fireball, even though that didn't work for her anymore. She glared at her inoperative hand like it had personally offended her, and got up with a noticeable lack of grace. So did Skulduggery. He smugly clicked his gloved fingers, produced a fireball, and held it up high.
"It looked," he said slowly. "Like reality just exploded."
"Don't be ridiculous. Reality can't explode."
"Yes, it can."
"No it can't."
"The Big Bang."
"That's not- " She paused, thought, and shook her head, irritated. "Damn. You're right."
"I always am."
"What a lovely offer. How about we go investigate, instead?" he said, walking off.
She scowled at his back, and then reluctantly began to trudge through the sand in the direction of the disturbance.
Pause for response.
"Yes, it's me. And you know that. I'm the only one who has this number, and to be perfectly honest, I don't think anyone else would be bothering to call you at this point in the timeline. We were a recluse back then."
Pause for response.
"Yes, there is a problem. It's rather severe. I'm currently in a separate universe, or a separate timeline- it's quite hard to be sure. In any case, it means that I'm cut off from the events that I'm meant to be taking care of, according to our third contact. And that could be catastrophic, if I don't-"
Pause for interruption.
"Well, I didn't exactly intend to be sucked into a portal, did I?"
Pause for response.
"Then it's a good thing that I upgraded my technology to allow for all possibilities! And I rather think you should, too, seeing as you're my-"
Pause for short, angry tirade.
"Yes, yes, I know, the Web of Time, cause and effect, we did go to the same Academy, and you know that. So why are you-?"
Pause for explanation.
"Ah, of course."
"I need to get back. I'm on a beach, if that helps."
Pause for response.
"Why, thank you. Talk to our third contact. See if he can help. Two people are approaching, so I'd better see if they'll shed any light onto this frankly ridiculous situation."
Pause for response.
"You too. Take care of yourself. You'll need to, if I'm to survive, anyway. Irving out."
"Do you think it's a bad guy?" Valkyrie asked excitedly, almost stumbling over her feet in order to keep up with Skulduggery. "Can I punch them?"
"I don't think it's a bad guy."
"Or I can use my awesome flashy lightning powers! If I can get them under control…"
"It almost certainly isn't a bad guy."
"Or…" she fumbled in her pockets, and produced a stick. "I have a stick," she announced proudly, falling into step next to them
"It's probably not a bad guy, Valkyrie. All the bad guys are defeated, remember? And what do you intend to do with a stick? Poke them?"
"It's my shock stick," she reminded him.
He turned, and tilted his head in a way that she took to mean he was frowning at her. "No, it's not. You left your shock stick at home. That's the one I gave you for your birthday a few years ago. Why do you even still have that, anyway?"
She looked down at it, and wrinkled her nose. "I have no idea. Nostalgia, I guess."
"Nostalgia's useless. There's no point to it."
"Oh, really? Then why do you still keep that autographed photo of Grace Kelly in the Bentley?"
He froze, mid-step. "I don't keep an autographed photo of Grace Kelly in the Bentley. Where did you find that?"
"Underneath the dashboard," she said, and kept on walking.
"What were you doing looking under the dashboard? What sort of person looks under the dashboard in a car?"
"I do. And stop dodging the point. Do you, or do you not, keep an autographed photo of a famous actress in the Bentley?"
He paused, sighed, and drooped. "She's flawless."
Valkyrie turned, pointed, and laughed at him.
The source of the disturbance appeared to be a man sporting an admittedly rather fabulous moustache and a neat suit. He looked as if he probably should belong in a Bond film; probably as the villain and saying something along the lines of 'at last, my dastardly plotting and planning shall bear fruit' followed by an evil laugh. He was inspecting his well-manicured fingernails when Skulduggery and Valkyrie approached.
He looked, Valkyrie thought, like his name was probably Miles. He had a sort of dignified air around him.
"Hello," said Skulduggery by means of introduction, completely forgetting that normal people would probably be freaked out by the fact that he was basically a reanimated skeleton.
Miles looked up.
"Hello," he said, in a politely disinterested tone of voice that suggested that he was already done with this conversation, short as it had been. He nodded firmly.
And promptly began examining his nails again.
"Sorry to bother you," said Valkyrie. "But is there any chance that you saw some form of…" She fumbled with words for a moment. "Um, explosion of reality? Down here?"
"Oh," he said eventually. "That. Yes." He glared in a slightly accusing manner over his fingernails at Valkyrie. "An explosion of the spacetime continuum, actually."
"Oh, of course," she said, rolling her eyes. She sent a glance towards Skulduggery that hopefully communicated the phrase we've got another nutter here. He didn't seem to notice, though, and she rolled her eyes again.
"You're a skeleton," Miles added, and lowered his hands so they could now see that he wasn't, in fact examining his nails, like Valkyrie had previously thought. Instead, he was holding a small, thin tablet, similar to a smartphone. "How does that work?"
"Magic," said Skulduggery without a trace of irony. "Or maybe I was created in a lab by another scientist skeleton who only speaks in Wingdings, but either way, you'll never know, will you?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," said Miles blandly. And then, with a hint more emotion- "I'm sorry, but are you literally carrying fire in your hand?"
Valkyrie grinned, satisfied. Now they were getting somewhere.
Fifteen-or-so minutes later- (in which it was revealed that Miles wasn't actually called Miles; his name instead being Irving Braxiatel, which probably suited him a lot better, but Valkyrie still thought that Miles was a pretty good name for him)- the three of them were walking along the beach together, discussing magic, disturbances in the space-time continuum, and appropriate ways of getting Irving back to his home universe.
"You see," he explained, still fiddling with his smartphone. "I come from quite a different universe- and, indeed, a different place to this. In it- well, magic, as you know it, doesn't really exist."
"Are you sure?" Skulduggery asked. "We tend to keep it hidden from mortals."
"Absolutely sure," confirmed Irving. "My people monitor Earth quite closely, and there haven't been any signs of it. The radiation readings of this universe are nearly off the scale."
It took a moment for that to process.
"Wait," said Valkyrie, eyes widening. "That means- you're an alien?"
Irving sighed, paused, and nodded reluctantly. "Yes. I am."
"That is. So. Cool. An actual, proper alien, like E.T. and stuff? Do you guys abduct people and experiment on them?"
"Sometimes," Irving said, managing to sound dignified whist doing it.
"So. Cool," repeated Valkyrie, all of her hopes and dreams fulfilled in that one moment.
"Moving right along," said Skulduggery with a twitch of his arm.
Irving nodded in agreement, and held up his phone. "The next portal, as far as my equipment can tell, is due to open up in two hours, a few miles from here. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, I have no reliable method of transportation."
Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery.
Skulduggery looked at Valkyrie.
"Fine," said the skeleton detective. "You can ride in the Bentley."
"Much obliged," said Irving Braxiatel.
Fletcher had teleported Skulduggery's 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental (one of only 208 ever made, six-cylinder, 4.5-litre engine, retro-fitted with central locking, climate control, satellite navigation and a host of other modern conveniences- "yes, Skulduggery, I know," Valkyrie muttered as they made their way up the sand dunes to the small parking lot) to Australia with them, just in case- or so Skulduggery had said upon his insistence. Valkyrie personally thought it was because he couldn't bear to be separated from his precious car for any longer than necessary.
Irving looked at it for a long time.
"I like your car," he said simply, and climbed into the passenger seat. Valkyrie frowned.
"Hold on a moment. You're sitting in my seat. I don't like it when people sit in my seat."
"Be nice to our guest," Skulduggery scolded her, sliding into the driver's side and starting up the engine. The car purred like a contented cat. "You can sit in the back seat."
Valkyrie sulked, but did as he said. She leaned back in her seat as the Bentley started to move along the road and up a small hill, as Irving directed Skulduggery.
"This is the place?"
It was a small roadhouse, out of the way and very much typically Australian. A waitress in a back apron was sitting on a table out the front, lazily polishing a glass with a filthy rag, and singing the Steven Universe theme loudly out of tune.
"Yes," said Irving after a quick check on his phone. "We're half an hour early, though. Thank you very much."
"I'm hungry," Valkyrie announced.
"We can order something in the café," said Skulduggery, rather patiently.
"It's not a café," corrected Irving mildly. "It's a roadhouse."
"How is that any different?" she asked.
"Roadhouses are more depressing then cafés," he said shortly, and swept in through the dirty glass double doors. The little bell hanging off them jingled as they swung shut behind him.
Skulduggery tapped the runes on his collarbone, and a façade flowed up from behind his skull, covering his features with an entirely unremarkable face. He held out his arm, and Valkyrie looked at it for a moment.
"You're supposed to take it," he said after what seemed like an age.
"It's the ladylike thing to do."
"Since when was I a lady?" she asked, frowning. "And for that matter, since when were you a gentleman?"
"Since always." He still had his arm extended. It looked ridiculous.
"We punch gods in the face, remember?" she told him, and slipped her own arm through his anyway, just because he looked a bit downtrodden about the whole thing.
They entered the roadhouse together and joined Irving at a table in the far corner, next to a beaten-up jukebox that seemed to be hell-bent on continuously blaring out Tom Jones's What's New Pussycat over and over. He was inspecting a menu that had stains of what appeared to be barbeque sauce all over it. He looked up as they approached, and indicated the menu.
"No," he said shortly, and left it at that.
Valkyrie ordered a burger, which had a really stupid name written next the price given. The price was pretty stupid as well, but she was hungry.
"So," said Irving conversationally. "The multiverse is breaking down."
"That's nice," said Valkyrie, wondering how they had got to this point.
"No," he continued, frowning and tapping at his ever-present phone again. "It's worse than that. The multiverse is breaking down."
"Why should we care?" Skulduggery asked.
"Because you exist in it," he said. "And I- that is to say, the people that I work with- need more agents, other than myself."
"How would we be helping?" Skulduggery asked, tapping his gloved fingers in a precise five-beat rhythm against the edge of the table. Valkyrie kicked him under the table. If it hurt, he didn't show it.
"Skulduggery," she hissed. "You can't possibly be considering this. He's insane."
"Only sometimes," said Irving, who had heard. His phone buzzed, then trilled out the opening bars of The Future by Leonard Cohen, which Valkyrie only recognized because of Alice's recent obsession with practically unknown and obscure music. He looked down at the caller ID, and his face registered a slight flicker of surprise, before he stood and turned. "My apologies; I need to take this."
The roadhouse doors jingled as he exited; lips already moving, words too soft to make out.
Valkyrie looked up at Skulduggery. "Why?"
He paused, considering his answer for a moment. When he spoke, it was measured and careful. "I'm not sure if you've noticed this, Valkyrie, but all of the bad guys are gone."
She stared at him. "What?"
He leaned back in his seat; sighed. "No one's attacked, threatened, or menaced anybody for months, and that one time that they did…"
"I know, it was just a group of overenthusiastic roleplayers," she said. "What's your point? Something's bound to come up eventually. Evil can't keep its head down forever. Right?"
He seemed to hesitate, and then the façade that he was wearing flashed her a brilliant, ingenuine smile. "Of course it can't."
But now he had her thinking, too. "Goddammit, Skulduggery. Why can't we just go back to the point where we insulted each other, like, twice a minute, and laughed about it afterwards?"
"Your face is stupid."
"There we go."
"Hello again. Why call now?"
Pause for response.
"What sort of 'interesting developments'?"
Pause for response.
"Why should that matter?"
Pause for answer.
"I don't trust you."
Pause for response.
"You know what they say: 'trust nobody, not even yours-'"
Pause for interruption.
"I'm in another universe where a majority of humans seem to have some sort of varied magical ability. Two of these magic users have taken me to a point where I can make it back to my normal universe." Pause. "I frankly have no idea why I'm telling you this, seeing as you should know already."
Pause for response.
Pause for response. Introspective silence.
"I see. Then that means that the timelines are splitting already. We're running out of time."
Pause for response.
"I know it is. But there's no harm in trying."
Pause for response.
"Keep me posted. I'll be in touch."
"Who was it?" asked Valkyrie as Irving returned. "Your girlfriend? Another one of those associates?"
"An associate," said Irving shortly, sitting down once more. "I should be able to reliably exit this universe shortly. Five more minutes should do it. Have you considered my request?"
"We have," allowed Skulduggery, his façade throwing up a reasonable impression of a frown.
"What exactly would it entail?"
Valkyrie's burger arrived, and Skulduggery paid for it with a roll of his façade's eyes. It looked less like an actual hamburger, and more like a mess, vaguely arranged into a hamburger-type shape on a grubby old plate. She poked uncertainly at a green leafy thing, concluded that it was probably lettuce and cautiously began to eat it.
"Not much," said Irving. "You'd just have to keep an eye out for… unexpected visitors. From other universes and timelines, mainly, although some might slip in from the future and past. Take care of them. Be… my agents, if you like."
"I don't like it," Valkyrie said through a mouthful of overcooked beef and stale bread. "I'm not anyone's agent."
"Technically, we're both agents of the Sanctuary," Skulduggery reminded her. She glared at him.
"Not agents, then," Irving concluded. "In that case, you'd just be… volunteers?"
"Volunteers," said Skulduggery. "That sounds… fine, I suppose, but how will we know if any sort of oddly-dressed person passing by is actually from another universe, or just wearing it because they were dared at a party the previous night."
Irving slid a small tablet, similar to his own, across the table, towards them. Valkyrie scooped it up with a spare hand and examined it. "Cool," she said. It felt cool underneath her hands and vibrated with a sort of otherworldly energy she couldn't quite place.
"Call me if you find anything," he said. "There's no guarantee that I'll pick up, but it's likely that EOIN will be able to help you with anything unusual."
"EOIN?" Valkyrie asked.
"Our resident genius AI software. He won't tell us what his name stands for. See if you can get it out of him."
Outside, reality exploded once more, and this time Valkyrie managed not to swear, since there was a family seated a couple of tables away from them and she did have some levels of decency, however small.
"That's my cue," said Irving, standing up and straightening his tie. "It was a pleasure to meet you; Mr Pleasant, Miss Cain."
"You too, Mr Braxiatel," Skulduggery replied coolly.
Neither of them stood to shake his hand, by silent but mutual agreement. He nodded shortly, and walked out of the roadhouse.
The door jingled, and was pushed back in a sudden explosion of light and heat. The waitress screamed and dived under a table, but nobody else seemed even remotely rattled. It was probably because most of them were Australian or sorcerers, or possibly even a mix of both.
"I'm not hungry anymore," Valkyrie said, looking down at her particularly unappetizing hamburger.
"I don't blame you," Skulduggery said. "I was betting with myself on how long you would last with that before you gave up." He paused. "I lost the bet," he added plaintively.
They walked outside of the roadhouse together, where the sun was just retreating behind some suspiciously grey-looking clouds. Valkyrie slipped Irving's phone into her pocket, and resolved to look at it later, when they were back at Cemetery Road.
"What about the stakeout?" she asked, the thought of it suddenly occurring to her. Skulduggery tapped on his collarbones again (there was nobody around to see him), and the façade flowed away like water. He managed to look shifty, even made of bone.
"Well…" he said. "It wasn't really a stakeout, as such."
She goggled at him. "What? I spent two hours getting horribly sunburned and it wasn't really a stakeout after all?"
"It was a vacation," he said, and started walking towards the Bentley. "A really short one. You said you wanted some sun and sand, so I decided that we should go on a trip to Australia. For a holiday. You implied that, remember?"
"Why didn't you tell me?" She hurried to keep up with him, and he increased his pace.
"You didn't seem to be enjoying it that much, so I decided not to make you even more miserable."
"Well, I thought it was a stakeout! If it was a holiday, that would've been different!"
He stopped, and turned to her. "…how?"
"Well…" She thought for a moment, and then shrugged. "I don't know. It just would have been."
He unlocked the car, but didn't get in. "I have no idea what we actually accomplished today, you know that?"
Valkyrie shrugged. "Neither do I. But it was interesting, wasn't it?"
"When is anything that we do not?"
Suddenly and inexplicably, it started to rain. Heavily. Skulduggery stared up at the sky, and then over at his car. "I just got this washed," he said sadly.
Valkyrie struggled with the car door for a second, and succeeded in wrestling it open. She threw herself almost bodily inside. "How did that happen? How can it start raining that bloody quickly?"
Skulduggery got in next to her. He stared at her, and then said, very seriously, "Magic."
"Oh, no, no, no, no, no. You're not going to start telling me now that the weird chaoticness that is Australian weather is caused by… magic?"
"That's exactly what I'm telling you." Skulduggery started the car, and backed out from the diner, the rain still pouring down onto the windshield. "Ask anyone. How else can it be explained?"
"No. It's magic."
"No, I'm not. You're ridiculous, and you're just subconsciously projecting that image onto everyone around you in a desperate attempt to prevent yourself from finding out the real truth."
"I'm going to hit you."
"No, you're not," he said smugly, and then, "oof!"
"See, I told you I'd hit you," Valkyrie said, readjusting her seat. "Now, turn on the radio. I'm bored already."
"You have a power complex."
"You have an ego the size of Saturn."
"Of course I don't. It's the size of Jupiter, at the very least."
"Small, annoying child."
"I am not small."
"I notice you don't dispute the fact that you're annoying."
She grinned reluctantly. "I missed this, you know. Just us. Together. Insulting each other badly at regular intervals. I have no idea how I survived five years in America."
He tilted his head at her. "I notice you skipped over the frequent four-hour video and phone calls."
"Those don't count," she retorted, and slipped down in her seat. "Sing to me?" she added, slightly quieter. "Please?"
He was silent for a moment, and then the low sound of his voice filled the car, harmonizing with the low hum of the engines and the sound of rain hissing against the windscreen.
Valkyrie fell asleep within minutes.
"Good," said Irving with relief, looking around the slightly-less-than-tidy interior of the White Rabbit. "I'm back." He spotted someone walking in his general direction and instantly brightened. "Ah, Peter. Good to see you. Tell me, how long have I been away?"
Peter Summerfield, who had cute little dog ears in place of human ones and a not-so-cute big, dangerous gun strapped across his back, didn't look surprised at this admittedly rather odd question; only sighed in a sort of resigned way. "Time travel shenanigans again, huh? Don't worry, only a few minutes." He frowned, and pointed to Irving's office. "You've got a weird message, though. It only appeared a few minutes ago, and we all keep forgetting that it exists."
"A message?" Irving asked, eyebrows raising.
Peter wrinkled his nose (extremely dog-like, actually) and shook his head. "I don't know what you're talking about."
He wandered off into the relatively small crowd congregated around the bar and soon disappeared from sight. Irving frowned in his direction, and then sent a curious glance towards his office.
"How strange," he mused. "Although I'm sure that it isn't that important. I'll look at it after I take care of the bar."
Somewhere else- where it's raining- Mr Harvey Holmwood of 26 Acacia Road, Kent looks out of his window and wonders what he's going to have for breakfast this morning.
Something with toast, he decides, and turns away from the window.
The rain pours on.