Set in the world of Star Wars The Clone Wars and The Bad Batch… then again, perhaps it is not. Maybe, it is all a simulation? Perhaps an illusion created by someone else? The bard possibly? Trying to be clever? Yeah, this is it folks, the paradox!
A time travel short tale with an alternate universe inside of a modern setting and then beating the simulation kind of a situation happening, causing all kinds of shenanigans for the clones?
Inspired by the Existential Troopers by the Auralnauts.
Waking up, from a nightmare?
'Being part of someone else's elaborate simulation is never fun, especially, if you have no means to run away. But, there are always possibilities, if you want something bad enough.'
"Jesse? Are we dead?"
Kix asked, feeling surprised of having woken up at all. Having remained in whatever the nightmarish state the two of them had been inside of. At least it had felt like a bad dream.
Having come back to consciousness in the total darkness just then. Nothing around Kix or his partner Jesse. Only seemingly, empty space. But they were both there, at least. So that was good. Right?
"No! We are not! We managed to finally get out!"
Jesse exclaimed sounding totally chipper and alert much to Kix's surprise.
"From the simulation!"
Jesse felt totally exhilarated.
Of the very fact that the two of them, the supposed clone troopers having been part of an illusion of sorts. Created by someone or something. And then only ending up dying in said illusion.
But now, through careful plotting and planning. With several carefully placed hoaxes and ploys inside the simulated tale they had been the victims of? Well, they were free of it now! Having ended up in this, space. But together. Which was a good start.
"We beat the system?"
Kix blinked unable to fathom it as of yet. That the two of them, were actually out. Gotten away from it all. Having escaped, the evil simulation.
"Yaass! We did!"
Jesse got up from the floor, or whatever solid ground they two of them had landed on.
"Where are we though?"
Kix asked not really sure if this was a better or worse deal for them after all.
"Well, I would say we are in the dimension between dimensions."
Jesse stated factually. Of course he could not be sure. He had only heard the rumours of this place. Even of the fact it was possible to escape the simulation.
"What is that then?"
Kix was sure he had heard of it. But he had no idea what it really meant. It was all mainly Jesse's doing. Getting them where they were now.
"Well, it is a kind of a space, like a parallel dimension. Where you are neither dead nor alive and time simply stands still."
Jesse was pretty sure he had gotten the gist of it right though. But it did not really matter as long as they were out of the simulation. Anything was better than that.
"Oh? But this does not seem like a fun place to be in. At all."
Kix glanced around again, and still found nothing there. It was only darkness. But somehow, they could see each other though.
"Yeah? Well, this is just a brief stop for us. Before we get outta here and somewhere nicer."
Jesse assured his partner. Getting up and offering his hand to Kix to help him up too.
"Come on. Let's see if we can figure something out."
Pulling Kix up, the two clones stood there for a moment. Pondering, wondering, what their options really where and what they should do next. Before then deciding which way they should head to. As it all looked the same, so guess any direction was as good as any? Right?
Jesse offered getting a nod from Kix only, who was willing to follow Jesse's lead wherever it was taking them.
Which way are we headed then?
'All roads lead to Coruscant. Or in this case, perhaps, Rome?'
Kix sounded frustrated and somewhat tired after the two of them had been roaming endlessly inside the whatever the place was they were inside of now.
Jesse looked around, but there was no real answer to be found. But, then another thought occurred to him as well.
"What if we try to push ourselves out of this place? I mean, it looks like there is nothing there. But what if there is a doorway hidden there somewhere and we just need to find it?"
Jesse looked hopefully at Kix before he started to feel around the immediate area with his hands.
Kix shook his head. The shenanigans he was ready to put up with his partner. But, then soon enough followed Jesse's lead just the same. And much to both their surprises, they stumbled onto something.
"This is it! It's our ticket outta here!"
Jesse chimed cheerfully and started pushing. Hard. And waddaya know! The karking dark wall simply gave in.
Watching Jesse half disappearing into the wall got Kix alarmed.
"Jesse! Wait! That could be dangerous. Shouldn't we…?"
Kix's objections and warnings fell into deaf ears, as soon enough, Jesse had disappeared through the wall.
Kix stood on the other side. Still and panicked not sure if he should follow or not.
Kix's voice was a sad whisper.
"Kix! Come on through! It will be fine!"
Jesse's voice sounded through the dark barrier between them.
Kix gulped audibly. But he then gathered himself and re-encouraged by Jesse's actions and his voice. Kix decided to go though as well.
As Kix pushed through and reached the other side, he could see they were certainly out of the darkness. The whatever void they had been inside of. The parallel dimension?
But, they were definitely not in Coruscant any more!
Looking around them, the two clone troopers could see a busy street. Lots of people rushing about. But, it wasn't what either of them had expected though. As this, whatever the place was they were in, looked nothing like their universe. That much was for sure.
"What is this place?"
Kix asked not really expecting an answer from Jesse to that.
"Well… we are definitely somewhere else."
That much was for sure.
"As to where? Well, we just have to figure it out won't we."
Jesse smirked. The ever adventurous trooper was ready to explore this new vista.
"Come one. Let's get moving and see what we can find out."
Jesse took Kix by his hand, holding it in his own as he started heading to wherever the other people around them were hurrying to.
Kix shook his head but started moving however. Following the other man to wherever they were headed to.
From what Kix could fathom, the people around them seemed to be human from the looks of them. But, their clothing, the city streets and the vehicles moving around them were certainly nothing from their own world. Could this still be a dream? What if they were really dead and still in the dark void they had been in? And this was all, a simulation too?
"Come on Kix! We should get moving."
Jesse urged his partner after Kix had stopped and simply glared around him. But Kix remained standing in the same spot.
"Do you even know where you are going?"
Kix asked sounding defeated all of a sudden. The doubts slowly creeping in. Whether this, all of this really had been a good decision after all.
"I don't. But I trust in us. That we'll be Abel figure it out once we get there."
Jesse said with a coy smirk plastered on his face. As if he was onto a secret Kix was not.
"Well, guess there really is nothing better for us to do either!"
Kix shook his head, not sure whether to trust Jesse on this one or not. Then again, why stop now? After all, Kix would have followed Jesse to hell and back and well, guess he really had?
Kix took the offered hand and kept on moving alongside Jesse.
After all, they really did not have anything to lose at this point either. Having both died and all. At least, that was what was rattling inside of Kix's head. That very sentiment. That they had died and ended up in the void. But it did not seem to bother Jesse though. That very fact, of being dead?
Because Jesse had been adamant of one single fact. That they had been captives of a simulation and now, they had broken free.
"So, you are certain there is something for us here? In this, unusual place?"
Kix was privy to Jesse's hunches, his gut feelings of course. And mostly, they were correct.
"I am." Jesse smirked. "It's my gut telling me there is and I trust it. My gut!"
Jesse laughed out loud then.
"Well, you also trust your gut when it requires food, so?"
Kix wasn't trying to be funny. But guess he still trusted Jesse in all of this. And Jesse's gut.
"Naturally! But yeah, it's the gut telling me there are good things waiting for us if we just believe hard enough. Can you dig that Kix?"
Jesse caught Kix's eyes and tried to convey the feeling he had, which was to simply trust.
"I know you do love, trust your gut. And so, do I."
Kix put his arm around Jesse as the two of them continued moving forward to their awaiting future. As it seemed to be the thing for them now. After all, they were both in this, together and that was all that mattered.
Simulations be kriffed!
We are not dead after all, are we?
'See Star Wars fans, we are not dead! Not according to this fanon, non-canon alternate universe timeline of a thing! So, there will be more of us clones here, most definitely! The lesson for all you lot out there reading is, to never ever leave a clone behind! Lesson over!'
"This is all so amazing!"
Jesse was in awe of the new city the two of the had ventured into.
It also seemed, that whatever clothing or armour they had had while inside the void, had disappeared. And instead, they were wearing similar clothing to those around them.
Checking their pockets, they found devices there. Something reminiscent of a data pad, only somewhat smaller. And it seemed to have a communications option on it too.
They also found small pouches in the pockets, currently filled with what seemed to be some kind of credits. And then, some archaic looking key fobs. Perhaps for a house or a transportation device?
"How did this happen? I mean, we are wearing proper clothing. Or similar to those people around us. We even have money."
Kix sounded a tad untrustworthy for all this to be true. Having landed on some real good fortunes? Well that never really happened. Not to clones.
"It seems that we still look like we did before, at least to each other? Then how did this all happen? It was all… just there."
Kix glared into his partner's eyes, waiting for the answer.
"Maybe, we are, still dead?"
Jesse smirked seemingly not fazed by any of this. At all.
"That sounds plausible."
It was the logical explanation, as why else did they have all this? Kix did not mind though, if it meant that he could still be with Jesse. Even if it was in this odd kind of a dimension they seemed to be stuck in. At least it wasn't the bad kind of simulation they had escaped from. Right?
"But do we really care or not?"
Jesse then asked. Wanting to be sure they were both on the same wavelength.
"I don't if you don't."
Kix answered feeling the hands of Jesse's wrap around his body as the two of them remained standing in the same spot, never minding the passersby who were simply ignoring the two hugging men.
Looking out the window in silence. The two of them simply living in the moment. Even if it might just all have been a great big afterlife hoax. Jesse and Kix had found, their home.
"So, guess we are part of this world now. And whatever this means for us, then it should all be good."
Jesse kissed Kix gently on his neck, having his arms around his lover.
A thought then occurred to Kix.
"Perhaps there are others of our kin here too? Maybe we should find out?"
"Hey, that device, the iPhone pad thingy?"
Jesse having the same thought apparently as Kix had just had.
"That should be able to figure out if more of our brethren are here, right?"
Jesse was all exited now.
Kix could see Jesse's eyes lit up again. Like it had several times since their arrival to this new place.
"Well, maybe we could try to see if some of our old friends are on here?"
Jesse picked his data pad up from his pocket and started scrolling the screen, as he had figured out how it worked rather quickly. Not much difference to what they were used to.
Getting into a section where it said contacts, he pulled up the data. There were plenty of unknown names there. But soon enough, Jesse started seeing familiar names popping up there.
"Kix, you wanna see this."
Jesse said then and Kix turned to look at the pad in Jesse's hand.
Kix read the names popping up there as Jesse kept on scrolling.
"Yeah. They are here and plenty of others too."
Jesse gulped in surprise as he spoke rather softly now.
"So, they all died… and then made their way here? With us? To this, dimension? That we are in? Right at this moment?"
Kix was confused, not sure as to what to make of this whole thing. Not sure of the how's and even the logistics of it all.
"Cannot be sure."
Jesse sounded thoughtful for a moment. But prepared to take it all at face value, like he had so far.
"What if we just call some of them and ask what they are doing here. You know, in this, place?"
There was a moment of silence between them again. Both contemplating their status as it was becoming somewhat overwhelming for them both at the very moment. Being alive and all. And then again not or not really knowing for sure.
But did it really matter? So what if their lives were simple illusions. Created by whatever or whomever? It was all good, right?
"Let's call Fives first."
Kix finally decided.
"Maybe he can tell us what is going on in here. After all, he died before us."
"Yeah, let's do it."
Jesse pushed the screen buttons and soon enough, the dial tone sounded in the otherwise silent room where they were standing in. Their home.
"Hey guys! Good to see you made it here!"
The familiar voice on the other end of the call sounded.
Old friends in new dimensions
'It was a simulation we were in, and now, this is a new dimension we are living in. Or then, it is all but an illusion and we are all dead? Then again, life, is an illusion!'
"Fives? Is that really you?"
Kix asked in disbelief, seeing the familiar face. But, then again, still suspecting this was all just an elaborate spice dream he was having while being dead. Did dead people dream? Kix did not know.
"Yeah, brother, it's me!"
Fives had a huge grin plastered on his face seeing the two long lost clones standing in front of him.
Jesse was the first to react, as he pounced on the other man, grabbing Fives in for a huge hug.
"Hey bud, it's really good to see you!"
Jesse had tears in his eyes, as did Fives. The reunion with their long lost friend was certainly emotional, for all of them.
It was Kix's turn and after a moment of hesitation, he too embraced Fives. Having the concrete proof it was really Fives Kix was seeing and hugging. And not some mirage or illusion.
Kix exclaimed then, while being held by the other man.
"I can't believe it is really you!"
"Yeah, well, guess we all figured out the same thing. How to beat the simulation."
Fives let out a laugh as he released Kix from his grip.
Kix was surprised to hear again about the simulation. It seemed to be a repeating theme during this, whatever it was they were inside of now. First Jesse and now Fives talking about it like it was something the clones should have known about.
"Yeah, all of us, actually."
Fives chuckled then.
"We are all here, the supposedly dead clones."
Fives revealed to the two new arrivals.
"All of us?"
Jesse too was surprised, even if he had been the one of the two to figure out where they were. Or rather, where they were headed.
"Yeah, all of us."
Fives smiled. Being happy to see Jesse and Kix having made it out of the simulation too.
It was a tender moment for all there of them. Having reunited with their kin. All alive. At least, that is what they thought of themselves to be as at the moment. Because the fact of it was yet uncertain.
But no matter what it was, the place, the universe, the plane of their existence. If they felt like they were alive. All of them. And so, who was to say it wasn't real!
"This, this is absolutely fantastic!"
Jesse exclaimed piling on the celebration of it all.
"It is indeed!"
Fives told the two, all three of them patting each other on the others back, staying close and being all touchy feely as if in fear of losing it all in a blink of an eye.
"So, guess you have been here a while then?"
Kix asked after the three of them had settled.
"I have, but I was far from the first one to arrive."
Fives revealed as much.
"Like I said, all us clones. We are all here now."
"I still can't believe it all to be true."
Kix shook his head.
"I mean it is all so surreal."
"Well, guess it was just a matter of clicking one's heals and believing it to be true. I sure did after being shot. And well, guess my last thought of wanting to live made me able to break the system."
Jesse asked, trying to remember what his last thoughts had been.
"Yes. And so, I got here. Lucky for me, I landed close to a few other of our brethren and got caught up real fast too."
Fives told of his arrival to this place to the other two.
"I remember my last thought. It was of Jesse and how I did not want to leave him."
Kix revealed then.
"Guess we were lucky to get here together."
Kix glanced at his partner, getting a loving smile in response.
"Yeah? Well, the simulation, as we all here now know it to be, is not perfect. And I guess when the first one of us figured it out and managed to break the so called Fourth Wall. Well, it was all open house from there on end."
Fives told the other two. After all, the clones shared something which other humans did not. And perhaps, this was due to that very fact.
Jesse asked, not familiar with the term himself.
"Yeah, that is what they call the doorway out of the simulation."
Fives revealed again. Getting nods only from Jesse and Kix.
"So, what's next for us?"
Kix was curious. He meant for Jesse and him. And not really sure what was going on with the other clones either. But Fives was sure to know, haven been a while in the place after all.
"We live our lives and be free."
Fives told him then.
"Simple as that?"
Kix just had to ask, again.
"Simple, as that."
Fives replied with a wide smile on his face.
How long have we been dating?
'They might have been dating for a long while now, even if it had not really been part of the simulation, not in plain sight at least, but they both knew it to be oh so true.'
"So, this is really our home then?"
Kix walked into the large size flat which had large windows, with vistas overlooking the big city skyline. A gorgeous view for sure.
"Really our home?"
"Yeah. Looks fancy though."
Jesse was looking around in a kind of a disbelief even if he had been the one to sell this place to Kix up until now. As the key fobs they had found were the ones opening the front door to this place.
"Does it matter? It's ours and we are alive and we have our family here as well!"
Kix was feeling so much better now after meeting up with Fives and Hardcase too. With the promise of seeing more of their kin soon enough.
"No, it does not."
Jesse gave Kix a soft kiss on his lips. It felt so good, so right.
"Because we are here and we deserve this, whatever life this is after all we have been through."
"So, then what do you suggest we do now then? That we are free from it all and can decide for ourselves what we want to do?"
Kix sounded somewhat dreamy. His mind wandering off to all kinds of things they could do together finally, since leaving the simulation behind them and being in this new, life.
"Whatever we want sweetheart. Whatever we want!"
Jesse was kissing Kix some more now. Placing pecks and nips all over his face and neck. Back to Kix's lips.
"Well, I guess we should go and check out the bedroom then?"
Kix asked coyly, seeing as how things were currently going on. The kissing getting more heated the longer it continued.
Jesse's face lit up and then a lewd grin emerged.
"Lead the way, sweetheart! Lead the way!"
Being fully on board for whatever ideas Kix just might have for the two of them.
Smiling Kix started leading his partner towards what he had already figured out was the room they wanted to end up in after having checked their home already thoroughly a few times over.
Beating the simulation after all!
'Existentially thinking, being self aware, even if living in a simulation, another dimension, an after life, or something else - it was still all good, if one was thinking they really were alive and well. Then who cares how they ended up there in the first place, right?'
"We really are alive aren't we! We are still here!"
Kix exclaimed, the existential thinking taking over again. Especially after having had yet another discussion about how this was all possible with Jesse.
"Yeah, we finally beat the system!"
Jesse stated gingerly, only too happy to be alive and well, living. Not to mention the hot sex they had just had.
"So what next for us?"
Kix was lying on the bed, his arm around Jesse, neither of them in any hurry to get up. After all, they were no longer soldiers, no longer part of a war, no longer, well dead. But finally living the life by having beaten the very simulation they had been subjected to be a part of.
"Well, I was thinking…"
Jesse always the dreamer said then.
"We should get a boat and sail around this planet. Go fishing are plenty of great oceans and blue waters to do just that."
"We could invite some of the others to join."
Kix was immediately on board.
"Sounds good. And then, we could anchor on some remote reef or small island and spend some time in peace and quiet. Just us and our family."
Jesse was painting the very picture in his mind already for Kix.
"It all sounds totally lovely."
Kix felt a tad tired. But sleep was not the first thing on his mind. Not even after all the passionate sex the two of them had shared moments earlier. No, Kix definitely needed more of the same.
"But for now, that will have to wait."
Kix turned over and ended on top of Jesse, placing languid kisses over the warm body beneath his lips. Feeling Jesse shiver, but it wasn't because he was cold.
"We have plenty of time to plan all that… much later."
"Holo simulation over."