Things In Common.

By Adrian Tullberg


Deep in the realms of the multiverse, there are junction points, places where denizens of any time, place or imaginings can cross the inter-dimensional boundaries in relative health and safety.

Given human nature, these junction points are filled with bars.

Occasionally there's the odd coffee shop (and a solitary Seven-Eleven that does a booming business every late Saturday night/early Sunday morning ) but the establishments that boomed in these otherworldly realms were the drinking kind.

Legend had it that one intellectual dreamer had proposed a university, a great meeting hall where those with knowledge, imagination, and reach would discuss, debate, and conjecture from all points of creation. Then one less intellectually inclined but more versed in common sense pointed out to said dreamer that there was a better chance of slipping out and seeing strippers without the wife knowing about it if a decent pub was built there instead. Common sense (and monetary sense) won out, and considering the habits of academia, many intellectuals met there as well, so everybody was happy.

In one of those establishments, two women were beginning to enter the physical/psychological state known to the scientific community as 'ratarsed'. They intended to steadily climb to 'shitfaced' and then level off at 'semi-paralytic' or 'under the table', whichever came first.

The first of the two women was a regal-looking African-American with blinding white hair and eyes. She had just ordered a triple vodka and told the bartender to bring the bottle.

The second was a raven-haired woman with green eyes and a feline grace. She had a standing order for rum-and-cokes, and the establishment knew it was better to be well supplied rather than annoy her.

The two women clinked glasses, abet a little unsteadily. "To the bitch that's screwing us both over."

"May she be diced, sliced and preserved for future generations as a warning to all."

"I wouldn't waste the alcohol." The dark haired woman swallowed her drink in one go.

Two men headed over from the bar to their table, pulling up seats. One was a short, swarthy, hairy man, in black leathers and an open jacket displaying his chest. The other was a dark, foreboding figure in a swirling cape, holding a vodka martini, shaken not stirred (despite the fact that everybody knew that Ian Fleming was on something serious when he invented that particular method of mixing alcohol, this was a truly pathetic James Bond fan)

"Evenin' ladies ..." the short man took a long pull of his beer (Canadian, of course.) "Whut's happenin'?"

"She ..." The regal woman's tone left no doubts who this person was. "... has done it again."

The dark haired woman took out a PDA and started tapping with the stylus before handing it over to dark and profitably foreboding.

The two men looked at the little clip, both with pained looks on their faces.

"Oh ..." Swarthy decided to just agree with everything these two said. Less pain all round. "... I'm sorry. Really."

"It wasn't enough with me, was it?" muttered the regal woman. She raised her voice an octave "Do you know what happens to a frog when it's struck by lightning?"

The mysterious man reached out and patted her hand. He was about to say something when he caught a look at the shorter one's expression, and kept his mouth shut.

"It wasn't just her though ... it was also thanks to that Whedon guy as well ..."

At that, the woman stood, turned, and threw her glass with unerring accuracy at the back of a Californian blonde's head. The heavy shot glass shattered at exactly the right spot, and she went down like a sack of bricks.

"Thanks for reminding me."

The two men decided that some reassurance was in order. "It's not going to be a big deal."

"Look at him ..." The short one pointed to a large man all in black with the exception of a white skull on his front. "Was portrayed in a straight to video with Dolph Ludgren. Ludgren."

"Oh that poor man ..." The regal one was always the most empathic, and the amount she'd drunken meant she had a lot of empathy to give away.

"But he stuck in there. He persevered. Now he's got a major movie coming out."

"Who's starring?"

"Ah ... Thomas Jane?"

The name was drawing a blank, so the brooding one decided to expand. "John Travolta's also plays the villian? And Rebecca Rojin-Stamos?"

This didn't seem to mollify the brunette. "It's always different with you men, isn't it?"

The swarthy one felt the sinking feeling men always gets when a woman decided to go on a diatribe from the moral high-ground.

"Oh come on ..."

"You. Hugh Jackman's breakout role. Now he's ... well, not big, but definitively heading that way."

"Thanks to that guy, I have to wax my chest. Daily."

"Oh ..." The regal woman peered closer at the swarthy man's chest. "I wondered why the forest was a little sparse ..."

"And you ..." she pointed in the general direction of the other man. "Tim Burton directing, Michael Keaton ..."

"... not to mention a double dose of Schumacher." Despite the years separating the incident, the man still needed a fortifying drink at the thought of it.

"But guess what, you're getting Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale for your comeback!" The brunette slumped in her chair. "All I get is my name and origin mangled, a costume that a porn star would laugh at, and Sharon Stone as my arch nemesis ..."

"Does she take her top off?"

The dark mysterious man smacked the back of the smaller man's head, just below the adamantium.

"Everybody gets a comeback." Dark and swirling cape turned and pointed to a group of eight guys that had just come in from a neighbouring pub. The regal one recognised the one with the brown curly hair and the long scarf, the only person without a healing factor who could challenge the swarthy man to a drinking contest. "They're getting a comeback."

The swarthy one tried one last attempt at mollification. "It could be worse."


He pointed at a group of four people (one who was on fire and not really noticing it) who were sitting rather despondently in a corner booth. His finger then moved to cover a man in a brightly primary-coloured classic uniform and cape with a less colourful expression, nursing a gin and tonic.

"Good point." The brunette swirled around the ice in her drink. "I still want her killed, slowly and painfully."

"How about another drink?"

"Even better ..."


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