I materialised into existence, something which was rather more awkward than Star Trek suggested.
Imagine how painful it would be for each and every nerve ending in your body to be exposed to cold air, just for a second, before your flesh enveloped it and protected it once more.
It was an odd sensation to feel one's brain forming, but it felt like a strong itch, as though someone has lightly stroked my head.
I saw a lot of blood form, and then get pulled into my system.
My eyes then came, which was rather odd, since I could see what was happening anyway…
Hmm. Perhaps I can see things as a disembodied soul… Ah well, eyes are coming now…
My eyes slotted into place, rotated a bit. My vision became more restrained, but more like it was when I was ordinary on Earth.
I noted that they were slightly more powerful than my original ones, since I didn't need glasses to read writing on the wall on the opposite side of the room.
Arms grew hair quickly, and so did my legs.
My genital regions seemed to be exactly as they were on Earth, something that was rather worrying, if one thought about it, since that would mean that this alien's computer has a perfect image of me naked on it, which, judging by the sheer amount of Douglas Adams-ery going on, would probably be uploaded onto the equivalent of the internet as some kind of pornography, in some attempt by the universe to humiliate the mundane human that has been rescued from death by Vogon by a mysterious alien…
Great. I'm a parody of Arthur Dent. Hmm. Now… How many bets that this alien has something odd about them, possibly on the head… Oh, and instead of a cheerful Eddie, we'll probably have a really insightful to the point of prophetic Windows-esque computer… That's what I would write if this was my story…
Hey, how come I don't feel sad about all the people who are dead?
Really, I don't feel anything for any of them.
Mum, Dad, they're dead.
That girl I lost my virginity to, dead.
Welsh Teachers… OH YES THIS IS AWESOME HAHA THEY'RE DEAD!
MacDonalds, gone. No-one will ever be able to get a large Big Mac meal with a chocolate milkshake and a Smarties Mcflurry ever again. Well, at least from my universe.
Hey… My universe… So, surely that would mean that there is an identical universe somewhere, where everything is the same except some tiny, ignorable detail, right? So, I could go home, albeit to a different home… Different except the same.
So… No-one gets hurt "except the ones who are dead, but there's no point crying about them right now, and we made a neat gun and we had some fun, and here we are, still alive…".
[Author's Note: Sorry, had to add what I remember of the Portal end credits here. Just seemed silly enough to put in.]
I shook my head, and saw that my body was complete. The machine I was in was sort of what I would expect a cryogenics chamber to look like, but then again, the purpose of it was different.
A teleporter, right? I always did think the panels in the teleport room in Star Trek looked silly… You'd need an insane amount of computational power, which, albeit is feasible, technically is silly, when you could place people in capsules, like this.
I opened the capsule with a sharp kick, hurting my toe in the meantime.
As the tears stopped flowing from my eyes, I saw some movement.
There was a green creature moving around, fast enough to be at the edge of my vision.
"Um… Hello? Are you the person who rescued me?" I asked, feeling anxious. The conversation over his messenger program seemed strained, as though he didn't want me on his ship. He did mention that it was his computer that wanted me aboard, not him, which suggested an AI was on board, which made the decision for him.
The green blur passed by me again, but this time stopped for a nanosecond in front of me, leaving a piece of paper and what looked like…
Those clothes… Are they… Oh my. He must've read my mind when I was still digital.
The robes of Darth Raan. I created them, for the purposes of being used in Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic. Long robes, which cover a lot of the body, but capable of being swished back like a cape. Small red bits here and there that never made it into the game, representing the blood of my foes.
And… Oh my. He even included… The symbol.
The symbol that was engraved on a small metal button on the front of the robes was a simple one, but it represented my victory in a nightmare long ago.
Two small circles above a larger circle.
The gigantic Mickey Mouse. I struck him down to the ground and defeated him. I forgot I was going to put this on the robes, as a little signature. Heh. I had really weird nightmares when I was little… Too graphic for such a young child.
I put on the robes, since I was beginning to shiver slightly, and not entirely from the cold.
I picked up the paper and started to read.
I am currently trying to lower my own biological speed so that I can converse with you. Please bear with me a little longer, I'm currently in a rather… hyper… state since I had to deal with a bunch of interdimensional mice in order to save you from your version of Earth.
By the time you've finished reading this letter, I should be in a state in which your mind can process without having a headache. In case you do get a headache though, there is a small handtowel in your right pocket. Suck the yellow end for paracetamol, okay?
Not really yours, but still sincerely,
Holt, [call me Vex, it's much easier to pronounce, and is a little embarrassing for everyone to say the first words my mother said when I was born when addressing me.]
I laughed at that last bit,
The green blur appeared in front of me, but it was obviously trying to slow down, but it was still vibrating quickly enough for it to be blurry.
Eventually, features started to become visible.
Vex, as I had started to think of him, was basically a human with very small horns coming out of his forehead.
I opened my mouth to say something, but he spoke.
"It's the horns, isn't it? Every time I find a planet which Bezel has been to in its deep past, they always remember the horns…"
"Bezel? The Bub with the Dark Ship? My brother?"
"Bezel… Bub… Oh, Bezelbub! He's meant to be some kind of demon/devil on Earth!"
"…Yeah. He's been to a lot of iterations of your planet… Apparently, he likes the confusion between himself and the other horned gods on your world… There's Pan, which seems an odd name for a god… I'd never name a deity after something you fry eggs in… There's that one in that religion that has yet to start a war, isn't there, what's it called…."
He pulled out a very familiar book for anyone who has viewed the television series of Hitchhiker's Guide.
It lit up, and on its obviously LED-based screen, a few hundred symbols and images flashed past which pretty much summed up Wicca.
"Wicca, a religion found on Earth, originally started as a bet on the planet Hjakuak. Legend says that a Horensil by the name of Fgahjohd bet another Horensil by the name of Fgahjokd that he couldn't create a religion on some minor planet that creates huge wars.
So, eventually, the two Horesilae came down to Earth, with an entourage of beings that looked vaguely spiritual, but, in fact, were actually stuffed winged humanoids and old hunting trophies.
Fgahjohd created Christianity, something he was very proud of for the two seconds it took before he got bored of it.
Fgahjokt created Wicca, Buddhism, and a really secular religion which mostly involved a bunch of monks meditating and practising martial arts. The secular monks eventually just became Buddhists to simplify matters with their neighbours.
Fgahjokt time travelled across Earth's history, and occasionally helped out holy men and people in danger, using various disguises to prevent his non-Earth heritage from freaking out the humans.
Eventually, after ten minutes worth of meddling across all of time as a disembodied voice and as a burning shrub, Fgahjokt also got bored and went home.
Technically, Fgahjohd won the bet, since Christianity did make the most wars, especially with the religions that were on Earth beforehand. However, eventually as the humans reached the stage which most non-Earth beings considered to be their planet's teenage years, in which space travel and such started, towards the 20th-21st century, religions began to die out, and it was the peaceful religions that lasted the longest.
Fgajohd is said to have killed himself at the hearing of this, which is just as well, since Fgajokt was burning the ship they were on as an insurance scam at that moment.
These events happened in probability axis 442 to 99912, by 22213X Persei GOOMAGOOMAKARAKOOA 10032100Y.
Bezel, the Bub.
The Spaghetti Monster
We were both silent after that.
Then I had an urgent question.
"… Can I get one of those?"
"Huh?" Vex said, his horns turning pink, presumably in confusion.
"A Hitchiker's Guide. Where would I have to go to get one? Preferably a researcher's one."
He quickly tapped some keys on a nearby computer
"… Well… I've been avoiding that region of this universe for a while ever since they released the new version, V 2.5, but…. We might be able to get a classic one in another dimension… But… I'd like you to promise something to me."
"The universe we are going to has a version of Earth. I'd try to avoid it, but it's simpler to go to the nearest probability axis than go to a specific one."
"Why should we avoid it?"
"Because… It's almost identical to yours. Except one really crucial point. Most interstellar travellers avoid that version of it unless they intend to settle there."
"Because… It has magic."
"MAGIC?" I said, feeling every nerve in my body suddenly tighten in excitement.
"… Tell me, is there any books in your world, by a Miss Rowling?" he said, looking incredibly embarrassed.
"… I kinda told her some of the story of me going through school, okay? She was kinda hot, I met her at a party, she told me her life story, I told her an altered version of mine!"
"… So you've beaten a giant snake?" I asked, understanding dawning.
"Yeah. A real life Basilisk. Was a fugging bastard to kill, I can tell you that. However, the building I was in had a really good air conditioning system, and since reptiles are cold blooded in most realities, it died quickly when I jumped the juice a bit. I think she got the idea of wands from my description of my old electromagnetic screwdriver."
"… So… You're the real Harry Potter, then?