Pre Story Notes:
What is the fourth wall? Anyone who's been reading a while should know the infamous logic barrier that separates story from reader.
In comedy, oft you will find the fourth wall ignored and shattered as the characters talk directly to the reader as if they knew there were in the story the entire time. It may be used to make an aside to the reader, or perhaps to explain something in detail. But one thing is for certain. The Fourth Wall is either in place, or broken...
But what would you say would happen if the Fourth Wall were less of a fine line, and more of a blur? What separates fiction from reality but little more than stepping half an inch to the left of last week?
Can you discern fantasy from reality?
Luna looked at me in shock.
"What do you mean, your house?" She continued.
I meant exactly what I said. There's no other house in the world that looked like this. Considering the custom remodeling we did to the bathroom... It was a generic site-built home, but the bathroom wall had been partially knocked down and expanded into the garage. And where the old tub had been was walled off and was now the Washer and Dryer spot. I would know the setup, I helped build it.
"This is my place," I continued at length. "I'm sure of it."
I could almost feel my body starting to shake as I stepped into the hallway again. Gray tile floor, with a tile right at the bathroom door that made a popping sound every time you stepped on it-
Yes, this was the place. And to my left, less than a dozen feet away, was my bedroom.
"My room," I thought out loud, moving towards the door. My room, my clothes, my BOOTS, my-
I grabbed the handle and gave a twist, then frowned. Locked. Of course it was locked. I locked the door when I went to sleep. I hate to be bothered. And considering I had abruptly left the premises VIA unconventional methods, I hadn't exactly had a chance to unlock it. Figures...
"Okay," I commented idly, staring at the handle as if willing to unlock it. After a moment, I remembered.
"Screwdriver," I stuck my finger in the air, turning left and heading towards the front of the house. My lock wasn't exactly a very complicated bit. It was a generic simple lock you could open easily, providing you had a small enough screwdriver.
As I did so, a rapid thumping sound drew my attention to the front window, where my dog was laying, but looking towards me.
"Hey puppy," I commented automatically in English as I turned into the kitchen. Technically of course, the dog was an old fart. No sooner did the words come out of my mouth did I feel Luna practically climb right up my back to drape herself on my shoulder in near panic.
"That's your dog?!" she huffed quietly in my ear. "He's huge!"
"He's harmless," I shrugged, stepping into the garage, careful not to trip over anything.
"I thought you said he was a Pit-Bull," the feline hissed.
"He is," I shrugged, reaching up to find the light switch chain... "But I neglected to inform you that he was raised with a cat, and he's twelve."
Yeah, my dog was raised with a cat and it reached the point where I swore he thought of himself as half-cat. And like I said, he's twelve. He's too old and lazy to really do anything but wag his tail and pant in your general direction. But I digress. Doing my best to shuffle around to the back of the garage where the tool chests were, I went to work hunting for a screwdriver small enough to fit my handle.
"You told me you'd have him EAT me!" the cat countered as I shifted to another drawer.
"It's called LYING, Luna," I rolled my eyes. "Part of the much vaunted BLUFFING technique. It can be used on more than just the straight questions you know."
"What else were you lying about then?" the feline asked suspiciously. Finally, I found a flat head and a Phillips that looked like they would do the job and grabbed them both.
"Well, since you're stuck with me," I continued, meandering my way around the clutter back to the kitchen. "I guess it's okay to tell you who the Moon Princess really is."
"You lied about something like THAT?!" Luna asked, no longer keeping her tone down.
"Well, I was trying not to blow the timeline worse than it already was," I shrugged. "Do you have any idea what kind of damage I could do with my knowledge?"
The feline was quiet as I returned to the bedroom door. My dog had gotten up in the time I was in the garage and had discovered Ryoga, who was just staying put, petting the animal. Good. The last thing I need is for Ryoga to wander out the front door and end up lost in central Texas.
Fiddling around with the screwdrivers, I finally managed to get the lock undone, and opened my door with a satisfying 'HA!'
"Anyway," I continued, walking into my bedroom. "Since it likely doesn't matter now, I might as well tell you that the Moon Princess has been right under your whiskers the whole time."
"You mean?" the cat bounded to the floor and looked up at me incredulously.
"Usagi," I shrugged.
"USAGI?!" Luna echoed. "There's no way... There's just no- USAGI? This is a joke right?"
I paused and looked calmly at the cat.
"Does this look like my joking face to you?"
Luna sighed, then glanced around my room. Taking in the desk, the bed, the shelves of anime and manga, the computer, the wall scrolls. One of which she fixated on and simply stared at...
"Is that?" she began, jumping up on the foot of my bed. "That really is..."
"Yes," I nodded, digging in my hamper. "That's them."
"We really are just entertainment to you," the cat. "Who's the little one?"
"Chibi-usa," I shrugged. "Usagi's daughter."
"DAUGHTER?" Luna gaped. "But I've never seen, Usagi's never... What?"
"Look," I paused as I threw a pair of black pants on my bed. "You need to realize that I know just about EVERYTHING. I'm a walking, talking answer to every question about everyone and everything that happens to you guys for the next four years."
"I still don't understand," Luna shook her head. "I mean, I understand, but this is just..."
"How about this," I got an idea that might just work. Turning to my shelf. "How about I SHOW you."
Reaching for the second shelf, left side, I pulled a box out. Then I pulled a smaller box out of that and looked at the back. What did Sasami say it was? Episode thirty? That's... Disk six. Luna stared at the box dumbfounded as I popped the DVD in question out, turned to my TV and Playstation 2, and fired it up.
"Here," I commented as I started the episode. "This is what was supposed to happen..."
Then I paused noticing there was no sound. Well, yes, I should enable the line-in setup on my computer. The way I have things wired.... I'm not getting in to custom sound configurations. Pausing to check the time, I noted it was only 10:30 in the morning.
That got me thinking. What day is it?
Double clicking on the clock, I opened it and discovered that despite my travels, it was only about ten hours or so since I had 'left'. Washu wasn't kidding about the whole lack of temporal alignment.
As Luna stared at the TV screen, I quietly pressed the button on the crab-tooth piece I had never bothered to remove from my ear. Washu needed to know where I was... This would be massively important.
The call signal chimed once, twice, three times. Then it continued to repeat endlessly. By the tenth time I simply hit the button again to stop it. Nothing... That was strange. Why wasn't she answering?
Sighing, I simply sat back in my chair to think a moment. I was at a loss. I had Mitoto cleaning the bathroom, Ryoga playing with my dog, and a talking cat watching my TV. If it weren't for them, I could almost shrug off everything that's happened like it never did.
I was still wearing Mousse's oversized clothing, I still had a beacon shaped like a crab, a shiny little crystal, and a dagger charged with exorcism powers. What to do?
While I was thinking, I pulled up my web browser and went about my normal routine. Email... Inbox Dollars... I'll mess with that later. Spam, some more spam... Mark it as such and go on. Eh, nothing of importance.
I wonder. What would the guys at spacebattles think of this mess? Clicking the link, I rolled over to the forum. It was the usual commotion. Inane topics like 'An Azula For You', or 'Spacebattles Motivational Posters' and the VS section was busy with half a dozen things I hadn't seen, or cared too much about. The usual junk. They wouldn't notice anything I have to say out of anything else.
I've got a thought for you guys. What are your opinions on alternate realities? For example, let's say there are alternate realities across the multiverse that contain every form of fiction you've ever seen.
Do you think it would be possible to tie those realities together?
It was vague, but then again. I knew how these guys got. Anything too exact might raise weird questions. Plus, if you wanted advice, well... NEVER ask Spacebattles for advice. At least, not where they know it as asking for advice.
Standing up, I moved over to the clothing I had fished out. Time to change into something that actually fit for once. Luna was immersed in the TV animation, and she was also a cat, so she was a non-factor as I quickly swapped into my own pants. Oh... God. After two days or so wearing the wrong damn clothing, it was nice to finally be in some clothes that FIT! You have no idea.
Opening my dresser I fished out another one of my generic brown shirts. The 'Mo Dakka Fo Life' shirt was cool, but it needed to be washed. Then I fished out a pair of socks, and then threw on my boots. MY boots. Steel Toe, slip resistant, water resistant, BOOTS. No more blisters. No more ill fitting house slippers.
With a getup more fitting of... well... Just more fitting period... I flopped back down in my chair and hit the refresh button. There were already three posts...
I'm not sure. I suppose that it would depend on how you could go from one reality to another. As for 'every form of fiction you've ever seen', perhaps the respective creators got 'psychic flashes' from these other worlds. I use the term 'psychic flashes' because I honestly can't come up with a better term.
Oh, a parallel worlds thread... I LOVE the concept of parallel worlds, each one slightly different from neighbors. So, to answer questions Op rises...
Yes, I do believe thee are PWs where events go exactly like or very close to what is fiction in our world. Why not, if it is theoretically possible?
There are many fictions that have a multiverse in them. The One for example or The Manifold series where from one universe where the Downstreamers destroyed their universe and created multiple ones and there is the every action creates a separate and distinct universe of its own setings like Stargate for example.
If there were different universes for every fiction created there would need to be some stratification or layering so that the ones with a single universe or with a limited number of ones to be able to exist.
Well, that answered my question pretty quick. But then again, this is a sci-fi board. These guys tended to latch on to this sort of thing. Maybe I could throw in an example... I sat back rubbing my face as I thought up a response and paused. I need to shave. But first... Glancing at Luna, who was thoroughly enthralled in watching herself on the TV, I had an idea. Just a little nudge in a direction...
So let's say I pick up one of my DVD's off the shelf. In this case, I have Sailor Moon season one uncut here...
What would you guys say to a reality, where that IS reality?
Posting that, I turned to the corner where I kept my electric razor. Time to get rid of this sandpaper that was growing on my face.
"Hey!" Ryoga stuck his head in the door. "Uh... If you don't mind telling me, should I be doing something?"
I shrugged, flipping the razor on with a click. "Chill out, take a seat, relax. Help Mitoto. I don't care. Just don't leave this house under any circumstances, and don't use that breaking point move of yours."
"How do you know about that?" he asked.
"Did you not notice who I was working for?" I asked evasively. "She taught you the move after all."
"Oh," Hibiki blinked. "I guess you're right."
Ryoga glanced around my room for a moment, mulling over the layout.
"What's all that stuff?" he asked, indicating my computers.
"Expensive," I replied curtly as I worked on my five O clock (and then some) shadow. "I work on music in my spare time."
"You're a singer?" the lost boy asked.
"I sing like crap," I replied. "I prefer the term sound engineer. Fits what I do better than musician or composer."
Ryoga seemed to think about it for a while. My computer equipment had almost fifteen years on anything that existed in Ranma, and probably a lot more than anything he had likely seen directly. His lack of experience in such things meant I could probably bluff about it and have him be none the wiser. Which, now that I thought about it, was a good idea. The less he realized what was going on, the less likely he would do anything rash. Ryoga was a walking tank of a man. It's highly likely that the natural toughness he got from his home universe combined with his absurd toughness training could result in a lot of property damage if he got out, got lost, and started something. I'm not joking. The guy could punch holes in concrete with his finger as a warm up. If something happened, it would take an air strike to put him down.
"It's top of the line stuff," I lied. Most of my gear was third rate bargain bin. "You would spend most of the rest of your life paying for it if it got broken. So don't touch it okay?"
Ryoga backed out of the room a bit, and looked around, unsure. Mitoto was still working in the bathroom from the sound of things. At a loss, Ryoga wandered back over to her and offered a hand in scrubbing something. Rather than bother with keeping an eye on them, I simply tapped my door with my foot to shut it and clicked refresh.
There were a few more posts to read...
Shrug and continue on my way. Its not my reality so why would i care?
Girls in sailor outfits?
Oh come on Vlad aren't you like 300 hundred or something? I think there a little young for you
578 actually. But who's counting?
Well, guess I should have expected this. Topic Derailed in no time flat... Though it looked like the next post was better. Judging from its size anyway...
I'd say there'd pretty much have to be more going on offscreen than we're ever explicitly shown. And I don't only mean the whole girls in short skirts fighting for love and justice angle - it's pretty ridiculous at first glance, subjectively speaking. Plenty of untapped potential in the background waiting to be explored, though, and maybe some of that will make the whole shebang make sense.
Hell, the whole 'having real and provable powers beyond mortal ken' issue alone would be food for more consideration than my brain can wrap itself around. I'd definitely hope Metallia wasn't a Yozi, anyway.
But I'm going off on a tangent again.
Alternate universes ... personally, I'm of the opinion that existence would be boring without infinite possibility, and following from that, everything is. Everything is, everything was, and everything will be. World as Myth is perfectly plausible from where I'm standing, if only because nobody's managed to prove the contrary yet.
Tying transfictionality together into one coherent whole ... just the idea gives me headaches. Tie together by what means? How would that even work with, say, a universe that has the vaguely described factor called 'magic' which folds, spindles and mutilates the laws of physics and one that doesn't? I could imagine it being tied together by concepts. Archetypes. Patterns of storytelling? That sort of thing. But that may be going too far into metaphysical hogwash.
Wait, what exactly do _you_ mean by 'tie together'? Some grand cosmic-scale fusion?
Well, this was inviting. A little more bait here...
Okay, by Tying together, I mean something like this.
Let's say one day our dear friendly neighborhood Random Omnipotent Being (ROB) decided to drop kick you into an alternate universe.
However, when you get there, the whole thing plays out to a T as fiction you've seen. Think of it as Self Insertion gone horribly wrong. In the former case of Sailor Moon... Let's say I end up landing right in the middle of Hikawa shrine during a monster attack.
How would we really suggest to handle that mess? (And the implications to 'fiction' as we know it?)
After hitting 'Submit', I glanced at the episode just in time to see Zoicite pluck the crystal out of Grampa, then fished the real thing out of my pocket. You know, a crystal the size of a golf ball had to be worth a small fortune. Though come to think of it. If I had the crystal, and I was here... That means the Senshi back in their world don't have it. I was walking around with what you could say was the equivalent to having the launch codes to every nuclear weapon in the US Inventory. Invariably this was both good and bad. Good because the Dark Kingdom couldn't get at it.
Bad, because the Senshi don't have it to get their Dues Ex plot crystal. Crap.
"How did you manage to beat that thing?" Luna asked into my thoughts. "I mean, Sailor Moon wasn't there to heal it."
I inwardly shuddered remembering the thing up close. On the TV screen, it looked goofy. But the real thing I realized was a lot scarier in person. Animation just did not do the thing justice. In fact, the comparison between the animation I saw, and everyone as I saw them was incredible. Bright animation coloring just did not match the colors of small details like I'd never really thought about how they would look realistically. Like the way Ayeka's hair didn't look so much watercolor purple as it did a darkened parrot-feather purple and had a fine texture. Or the way I could tell even in the dark that the monster's face wasn't so much plastic looking as it was angry red and sweaty looking. Or Luna here... Glancing at the cat, I could see the individual hairs of her fur lining the crescent moon shaped bald spot, and the odd discoloration that looked more like jaundice skin than yellow.
"Well?" the cat asked, glancing back so as not to miss Yuichiro head-butting and losing hilariously.
"I improvised," I commented. "I took a gamble on Rei's anti-demon abilities and gave her something to use as a focus. It helps its also got exorcism properties. Souvenir I picked up from a previous world. It worked spectacularly too."
"You took a big risk," Luna commented, watching more of the way the fight was supposed to have happened.
"It was that or die horribly," I shrugged, looking back at the computer. Refresh.
If I'm not getting out of the universe, then I'm fucked. I don't speak Japanese or carry heavy weapons around. I'd run like hell and hope that ROB will whisk me away. Then I'll head to the nearest embassy. If the monster follows it'll get a face full of M-16 fire courtesy of the marines.
Well, assuming one should receive fore-warning, then well yeah...Unfortunately I'm not much of a Sailor Moon fan. Maybe when I was around 12 years old, but the events during that sequence of events is something I'm not aware of.
In any case, I'd be very very confused. Throw in a monster attack, I'll do whatever any normally confused and utterly frightened human being does: Either piss in my jeans, run away, hide, find out what the hell is going on, or hide. Combine or in any order as you'd wish. Assuming one was a total otaku and knew exactly what would happen, your very being there may or may not change things depending on the situation.
Don't die. Until you're reasonably sure that you're not going to die, don't even bother thinking about ramifications and implications of 'fiction' actually being real and just a step to the left of Reality As We Know It.
For the sake of the argument, I'm in ... what '92-'96 or something to that effect? In my body now, or in my body then? With or without 'vaild' ID and actual documented existence? Because that could get dicey.
I guess, above and beyond anything else, I'd make it a point to seek power. This ties into the whole 'don't die' issue. Before, I only suspected there are Big Bad Nasty Things out there waiting to crunch down on my soul. Now I KNOW. So yeah. Status quo was just upset and social norms may as well have been thrown out the window, and as much as I'd be potentially delighted at something like that happening, I'd also be scared as fuck of ending up, as I am, somewhere where Things That Should Not Be roam.
There were a few other short posts that had shown up from Panaka, Jonen C, Vlad III, and Valiant that could essentially be summed up as: Run Away. Hide. And, Cry, like a scared little girl. You know, being told that from guys who were usually 'CONQUER THE UNIVERSE!' any time a scenario of 'You are now HERE' came up...
So what about the PRACTICAL implications of such a jump?
You have the knowledge of the characters and the setting, and you just got dumped in the middle of it. What does this mean from your standpoint? And what could this mean on the larger scale. If one universe that was 'fictional' is now real, what about other 'fictional' universes?
I looked up, the episode was almost over. Sailor Moon was putting the coup-de-gras on the monster, returning him to grampa in a flash of poorly animated effects. I think the version I got out of Rei looked much cooler, and far more awesome. You know, demonic apparition bursting into flames and all that.
"Go ahead and watch the next one," I commented as the closing scene played out. Refresh.
Assuming one has all that knowledge, assuming you are indeed within a fictional reality (a misnomer if there was one), then your literally being there changes the dynamics of everything, especially should you take part in minor or, heaven forbid, major events in some shape or form. If you have indeed 'jumped' to such a universe, then it seems obvious that other fictional realities are also possible.
You THINK you know about the characters and the setting. Confirm and verify that this is accurate before trying something.
If it is accurate... Well, that's a valuable tool. Probably the biggest asset you're ever going to have - EVER. At least if you use it right.
So how will you use that? Depends on what kind of person you are.
"Don't be evil" is a good start.
In the SM setting... Well, a lot of the time the Girls could probably do with some tips and advise from genre savvy people who actually think about strategies to take down evil overlords and the like as a fricken *HOBBY*...
And if that didn't set off your sarcasm detector, you can actually ignore the sarcasm if you have some actual foreknowledge that might be useful - assuming you're able to verify it and shepherd it so that butterflies won't make it inaccurate.
As for other fictional universes...
That would depend on your ability to reach them, wouldn't it? If you can't reach them, it doesn't matter.
If you can... Well, the world just got a little bit bigger (and a lot more confusing).
Assume they're all real. And now you're stuck in one. Astronomically small chance. PRACTICALLY, that really wouldn't mean much, though, if you just wanted to live out your life. Flipside, transit is possible. Transit is therefore possible for Bad Things as well as Good Things. Chances are I just made a ripple and got noticed by something.
I froze and read that last line again...
"Chances are I just made a ripple and got noticed by something."
Made a ripple? ZOICITE! That's why he was there! Washu said I had a funky astral pattern. Celcia said I had an unusual aura. I bet when I appeared in Rei's bed, I sent out some kind of ethereal shockwave. Then it would follow that Zoicite felt that, came to investigate right when Rei was chasing me a few blocks north, found grampa instead, and BOOM! My very appearance set off a chain of events without so much as an action on my part. Good thing I handled that prick. Still, that introduced a whole new can of worms to the situation... I needed more info.
So, let's up the stakes a little.
Let's say you've been through several realities in this fashion...
What would do in the short term?
Personally, I don't think reality hopping would be the most, PLEASANT thing to have occur. All kinds of nasty shit you know.
What would you do with your information?
I pulled my door and glanced at the clean team... Mitoto was now working on the floors with a mop she'd managed to produce from the garage. Ryoga was just out of sight in the kitchen, but something was getting moved. I bet it was the fridge.
Yep. How often does it get cleaned under there? God, I'd rather not think about it. Refresh.
Well, assuming you've made a few friends, you've learned lots about your situation.
Get items that would benefit you. Learn certain skills that can benefit you. The multi-verse isn't all sunshine and flowers, you'll need the skills to survive every hop and hope you'll get out with as little injury as possible.
Come to think of it... I had done that instinctively to a point already. Well, sorta... I turned down that big power up Washu had offered, not knowing I would have actually needed it. Refresh.
What every self respecting SB would do of course.
Take over the multiverse!
I'd take them over one at a time! Nothing can stop me!-
-Short term survive.
Long term depends on what has happened.
Okay, that was more reasonable. Refresh.
Multiple random reality hops? Ouch, man. Especially given some of the fiction out there... I remember an old (80s is old? fuck, *I'm* getting old...) movie about some guy who got randomly jumped to the side of the character Biggles, from the W.E Johns books. Usually because the character was in mortal danger and needed rescuing. After the first couple of transports, the guy goes into super prepared mode, and sits in a hotel room wearing a helmet, a machine gun and god only knows how much ammo. Eventually he has to take a shower due to the stink. Guess when he 'ports? And he lands in a nunnery, to boot...
I think my situation has been pretty close to that level of unpleasant thus far...
I cite Arthur Dent.
Try to just get on by. The universe will either ignore you (in which case you should get on fine) or it won't (in which case all bets are off and you should try to grab the initiative and take control of the situation).
Grab the initiative...
...Why does this sound like one of those Role Play threads where you wake up in bed with a girl from fiction?-
Er... Yeah, I'll just let that one sit without a response.
-Well the most prudent advice I can give is this:
DON'T PANIC, and make sure you have your towel.
Keep your cool, you could be what is essentially a Multiversal version of a wilderness survival situation, or you could just be in some sort of divine comedy.
Ether way, you're going to need a clear head.
Short term is obviously survival and trying to figure out the trigger that causes the jumps in the first place. Assuming it is something I have at least a little control over I will attempt to discover ways to grant me more control, if it isn't (for example its a ROB being a dick) then I don't concern myself with it as it is beyond my ability to influence.
Long term? Exploitation of absolutely everything I encounter. This can mean multiple different things, from making friends with powerful beings/entities all the way to asking The Culture to turn me into an E-dust Assassin in return for any information I might bring back with me on subsequent trips (assuming there are any). In short, if it can increase my personal power and survivability I will seek to exploit it in every way possible barring deliberate acts of evil. Obviously, this can change depending on the setting, places where evil is a matter of course requires that I too "up my game" so to speak so that I can survive, though at the bare minimum I will attempt to keep at least some shred of basic human decency regardless of where I am. At least, in regards to humans/near humans.
The real challenge, assuming I live long enough to aquire a decent amount of tech/abilities/allies is remaining sane and not allowing a sense of "I can do what I want because i'll never return here, thus can't be held accountable" to overwhelm me. In essence, trying to prevent myself from becoming the John Criton of the multi-verse.
Exploit everything? Hmmm...
So, the general idea in such a situation is either
A: Duck and Cover
B: Exploit EVERYTHING.
That sound about right?
Luna suddenly laughed.
"This is surreal," she commented. "I mean, I'm watching myself panic, but the way these scenes are cut it's OBVIOUS that Rhet Butler has the last crystal."
"Now think about just how much more dangerous you've become with just that little fact," I commented. The feline looked at the TV, then back at me, then at the TV again.
"And you have everything in detail like this?" she asked. "It's like you were there the entire time. You even see what the enemies are doing. It's like... It's like."
"Sun Tsu," I commented with a smirk. "Know your enemy, know yourself, and victory is assured."
"I have to study this," Luna turned back to the TV. Heh... She was definitely prepared to exploit this if she could. Speaking of exploit... Refresh.
That does sound about right. Those are, however remember this clearly, guidelines. They aren't rules. You don't have to follow them. You can be chaotic neutral, evil, dastardly good, whatever. Your main goal is to survive and feel good about it. Theres also thinking short and long term.
Got that right. And before i forget don't forget D: Nuke it from orbit its the only way to be sure.
Gamebreak at the earliest possible times. If you know the main baddie is in the area hiding/watching, or is pulling a fake out, or whatever, or that you are right next to a 'nexus of power/power-up/sword that cleaves all evil/etc', you drop what you're doing and either get it yourself via blatant cheating, or helping the heroes get it, and still blatantly cheat.
To paraphrase the latest season - yes, unless it involves children crying. Or pretty girls crying.
What he said.
Be carefull. There may be laws of "nature that apply to a specific verse.
Good always wins, anything is possible as long as it is funny, ect. Think about the movie Action Man by the Governator if that helps.
I sat in my chair. I looked long and hard at the advice these guys didn't even know they were giving. If they only knew what was going on, they'd shit themselves. But, I think I had a handle on what to do.
Last Action Hero actually.
And good point.
So, Exploit everything, don't make girls cry... But Otherwise 'Raw Raw Fight Da Powah!'
Cool. I can dig that.
Anyway... I have work in ten minutes. I gotta roll.
I sat back to think. Exploit everything. Stay alive, don't be an ass and make children and girls cry. Timelines be damned. My mere presence alone could screw everything to hell in a hand basket. Causality be damned. I'm not going to let some world end in fire and death just because of some stupid butterfly effect. I'm better than that. Pottery Barn Rule: You break it, you bought it.
Idly clicking, went over to Youtube, quickly put in a search for 'Libera Me from Hell' and clicked on the first good link that came up...
Luna almost jumped when the same speakers that were blasting out crap quality sound of the old Sailor Moon season suddenly started drowning it out with a top quality opera singer. First order of business... Gear up. What do I need?
I left my chair, grabbing my car keys as the feline watched me curiously, then popped out the door.
"Do the Impossible See the Invisible," I chimed in with the song as I walked into the living room. Ryoga was holding the entire couch up for Mitoto.
"RAW RAW FIGHT THE POWAH!"
"Touch the untouchable, break the unbreakable." I continued with a smirk as I opened the front door. A song from Japan made fully in English. And it was epic and it fit the mood.
"RAW RAW FIGHT THE POWAH!"
Half way down the driveway, I hit the button on my keychain unlocking my car. Then made way over to the door and opened it, reaching down to pop the trunk. Walking to the back, I raised the hatch and looked around inside for a small backpack. Finding it, I quickly fished it out. It was a little triangular backpack I'd gotten from work a few years ago. One big strap that went over the shoulder like a bandoleer, a belt-like clip to make it stay in place... Never been used.
Locking my car back up again with a little chirp, I quickly returned to the house and my room.
"What are you doing?" Luna asked over the sound of the track I had started.
"Packing," I advised.
"Why?" Luna asked. "You're home."
I looked at the cat as I fished out two more brown shirts and several pairs of socks.
"But you aren't," I frowned. "And chances are, I'm not going to stay here when I go to sleep. A pattern is a pattern, and just because I'm home doesn't mean it will simply go away."
Ignoring any further commentary from the feline, I looked around. Clothes, Check. Glasses?
I grabbed my original glasses from their spot on my desk and stuffed them in with the clothes. I'd almost forgotten I was wearing an excellent pair made by Washu.
I reached over and unplugged my electric razor. I'd need to shave. Then I turned on a thought and pulled out my air rifle case. Inside I fished out my IET Soldier's Handbook, and a pair of old but still good binoculars I'd found somewhere. There was a lot of information in that handbook that could come in handy, especially the first aid section. Plus, if I ever got back to Luna's home universe, those Senshi were going to get my own personal version of Basic Combat Training.
What else would I need? Besides the obvious weapons like the ones I'd left at the cafe? Tunes! How many times was I about bored out of my skull waiting to do something? I turned and whipped up my Ipod, plugging it into the USB port before grabbing just about every song I could find on my hard drive and uploading it. Good thing I was picky. Most of everything I had could fit on this one gig pocket piece.
Thinking on that more, I grabbed my backup headphones, leaving my expensive Sennheisers in place.
I'm not exactly batman, but If I'm going to be an Outside Context Problem wherever I go, I'm going to do it right! Where's my digital camera? I'll get photos of my stuff as proof. Twelve megapixels of photo of each and every DVD and Manga I have. Man this music was pumping me up.
Too bad I couldn't just take my whole computer. But I had to take only what I could carry. My laptop could work, but it was old, it was slow, and its battery was kaput anyway. It would just be dead weight.
I fished my keys out of my pocket and set them on a shelf, then noticed a pair of pliers I had sitting there.
Leatherman! Where was my Leatherman Multitool? You never know when you're going to need a screwdriver... I rampaged around my room, tossing things here and there looking for it. Where the fuck is it?
I found it buried under a ton of papers in my box O junk where I tossed random things that didn't seem to go anywhere else. Why'd it end up there? I slipped the tool out of its normal holster and placed it into the phone holster on the backpack strap.
I got my camera and snapped a half dozen or so photos of every fiction in my collection, checking afterwards with the zoom to make sure I could read every title and see character images and such. Man this camera rocked. And I got it for Christmas too...
Looking at the screen reminded me of one more thing. The battery icon indicated about half charge. Turning out of my room, I quickly went to fish some Double A's out of the place I'd put them, and stuffed them in my pack with the camera.
My Ipod finished downloading the music I'd selected, so I grabbed that and its charger and placed both in next to the camera. Tech Tech Tech! A geek is nothing without his tech! As a minor thought, I grabbed the Mo Dakka Fo Life shirt and stuffed it in a side pocket. (Dirty) I stuffed Motoko's dagger in with the clothes I had, and then put the crystal in too. Washu's beacon would stay in my pocket. Zipping up the pockets, I looked around the room one more time before slipping the whole pack on and adjusting it to fit. Did I grab everything that would be more or less useful in the field?
As an afterthought, I reached over to a clipboard I had hanging on the wall, and plucked my Samurai Penguin Studios hat off it, then put it on.
"FIGHT DA POWAH!" the song exclaimed during a momentary musical gap, then launched into the climax. Heh, nice timing...
Bring on fictional reality! I was ready. As ready as I could get without something like power armor anyway. If I had no choice in this mess, I would make the best of it. Time to play the game by MY rules... I'm probably going to hate myself by some time tomarrow... But TOUGH. Either Reality is having an off day, or something, somewhere is taking a piss on my existence for its own personal enjoyment. Don't expect me to just roll over and cow to it. There is one thing I know that gives me the ultimate unfair advantage over everyone and everything I've met, and based on pattern, will likely meet.
I knew how everything worked in each reality. I knew who could be trusted, and who could not. I knew character histories, timelines, and even knew how the metaphysical concepts of some realities such as slapstick humor and poetic justice functioned. I could call every shot from a mile away if I so desired.
In short, I'm the most dangerous thing in all of fiction.
I'm an Outside Context Problem.
Time to act like one.
Post Chapter Credits Notes:
I'd like to thank the denziens of Spacebattles who agreed to participate in a mock thread for the content of this chapter. Special shoutouts go to all the names mentioned above for their contributions. There were actually six pages of content totalling more than one hundred posts... And more material than I would dare derail a chapter with. I will transcribe these and place them in the Sleeping With The girls forum for posterity.