a version of Willemina Wilson becomes a Keeper.
warnings: AU - Fateverse. sci-fi. technobabble. rampant bad 616 references. hints of het (sort of). language: pg-13 (primetime tv plus s*** and f***).
pairing: background Will/Dory (Billy/Teddy).
timeline: Network Operations 3652 (AD 6188); local year AD 4105.
disclaimer: characters belong to marvel. au and au versions belong to me.
notes: 1) "to bequeath" is "to leave to, as inheritance." 2) Mina's LYBs talk back a lot. 3) the shampoo fairies are a reference to The Itsy-Bitsy Only Competent Person Present (Dreams of the Waking Man). 4) marrying the world's most eligible bachelor and leading the Avengers is exactly what the first Auditor did. 5) kipple is something Philip K. Dick talks about in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" in simplest terms, kipple is the useless junk that humans accumulate and can never seem to be rid of (old receipts, junk mail, empty matchbooks); it reproduces when unobserved (such as when we go to sleep at night). Dick was really amazing in his little commentaries about the trappings of materialistic society. 6) Glock, as usual, is the Glock 17. Austrian semi-auto pistol, the workhorse of the 9mm world. 7) konpeito are "candy stars." they're little knobby round sugar candies usually around a centimeter in diameter. in Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), konpeito is what they fed the soot gremlins that stoked the bathhouse furnace. jumbo konpeito are gumball-sized (around three centimeters in diameter). 8) Lotto is one of the American lottery games. [if you don't know what a lottery game is, basically, you spend anywhere from one to ten bucks on a ticket with a number combination, and if that's the number that comes up, you take the ticket in to redeem your winnings. the jackpots get up to millions of dollars (paid in small amounts over time). it's the ultimate in futile gambling.] 9) "cool beans" was Trixie's tagline in the English dub of Speed Racer. 10) yes, the last line is a reference to ItsJustSomeRandomGuy's Marvel vs. DC videos on Youtube.
visit The Fateverse Glossary (merianmoriarty (dot) deviantart (dot) com/art/Fateverse-Glossary-174203180) for terms, concepts, Nodes, and important people.
Willemina Wilson has seen some weird shit. Like, with capital letters—Weird Shit.
Going twinkly-poof in a Trekkish flash of light in mid-conversation is pretty fucking weird.
Behind her is a sheer drop. Before her is a big set of stone doors, straight out of Lord of the frigging Rings.
Hi, welcome to Helm's Deep.
A funky laser-beam scans her.
And now some Tron? Really? For fuck's sake.
You shut up. Bitch.
~"Go away, I'm busy and we're not expecting any visitors,"~ a man frets distractedly over some hidden speaker.
~"Yes we are, dear, remember?"~ replies a woman's voice. ~"The DBA told us last week."~
~"We are? She did? What f—why w—okay, okay, get the door."~
Mina arches an eyebrow when some epic mechanical sounds start up on the other side of the doors.
In the darkened hallway beyond, a blonde woman has her hand on a lever. She's very pretty. Mina immediately hates her for this.
"Hi!" the woman says with a perfect smile. "I'm Dory, as in Theodora, but I couldn't stand Dora because of that creepy cartoon with the talking backpack."
Okay, she's got a point there.
"Howdy, Barbie," Mina says with a jaunty wave. "I'm Mina, as in Willemina, but if you call me Willie like the whiny bitch in Indiana Jones, I'll fucking shoot you."
Dorkiest name ever.
—smiles woodenly. "Nice to meet you, Mina. You're here to see my husband, the Collector." She jerks her head toward the other end of the hall, and her pretty blond hair bounces like something from a shampoo commercial.
Shampoo fairies, tinkle-tinkle-tinkle…
What? Where do you get this shit?
Jesus. Whatever. Next you'll be telling me there's an alternate dimension where I marry the world's most eligible bachelor and I run the Avengers.
Wow. Not gonna touch that one.
The door shuts behind Mina, so she follows Dorky Dory toward the light at the other end of the hallway.
The chamber at the end is huge and filled with dancing sunbeams and junk. Millions of little bits and pieces. Bottles of liquids and jars of marbles. Gum wrappers, fish hooks, pieces of string. Plastic straws (the bendy kind) and empty milk jugs.
"So what does he collect?"
In the middle of the room, right under the brightest sunlight, a scrawny guy is perched on a ladder. He's fiddling with a huge bundle of assorted light bulbs hanging from the ceiling like mismatched grapes. "Know what kipple is?" he asks.
Mina looks around. "This is pretty much the definition."
"Does it really breed in dusty corners?"
"Oh, yes," says the skinny guy. "N-not—not here." He gesticulates. "No. Not here. Everywhere—almost everywhere—else. It's, it—there's a matter of quantum resonant similarities and the Fidelis Effect, which all has to do with a bunch of very intriguing probabilities dealing with entanglement and—"
"Off-topic, honey," says Dory.
"Oh. Oh, yeah," the guy says, bonking himself on the head. He hops down from the ladder and holds out a hand to shake. "William Maximoff. CT…203, I think? I haven't looked lately. You, if the paperwork is right, you're Mina Wilson FT101-Omega. Do me a quick, quick favor, and just—" He throws something at her, so she catches it.
Oh, look, an empty snowglobe.
"Just what I always wanted?" Mina tries, slanting a skeptical look at the Collector.
He twiddles his fingers in a wheel-turning motion. "Just—j-just fiddle with it. Go on."
Sure. Why the fuck not. It's been that kind of day.
Mina tosses the thing between her hands for a little bit without really paying attention.
"Try…closing your eyes, maybe?" suggests the Collector.
Shrugging, she does. The little sphere feels like it's getting warmer. She's bored already…
Automatic motions. Like drumming fingers against a desk, like clicking a pen, like taking apart a Glock and putting it back together. Like playing with a knife.
It beeps at her so suddenly that she jumps back and drops it. It makes a beautiful ringing noise when it hits the ground.
~Ow. Ident verified. Hello, Mina, my name's Eight-ball.~
"What. The. Fuck," Mina says.
On the floor, the thing's twinkling in the sun, lighting up blue and white and green like the reflection of Christmas lights.
"Good, good, good," says the Collector. "That's all your problem now, Keeper 192. Just a small matter of barter… You have a bag of candy with you—I need it."
Mina puts a protective hand over the pouch of her utility belt where said candy is hiding. "My jumbo konpeito? You know how hard it is to get these things outside Japan?"
"Yes, actually, I really, really do, but, but I need them. Or, well, someone. Someone else not me will need them, possibly something like a hundred years ago, so I have to have them here, I've got just the place for them, they'll be completely safe—"
"What the hell are jumbo konpeito good for, besides eating?" Mina demands.
"Ah—um—possibly projectile warfare? I don't really know, that's not my job, I just know that they belong on the table with the other sizes."
~You should listen to him, Mina.~
"Hey, you pipe down," she snaps at the little globe. "I've already got an annoying voice in my head, so you'll have to go find a different job."
~Just trust me on this, okay? I can see the futures.~
"You mean future?"
~No, more than one. I'm very handy to have around, Mina.~
She considers that. "Can you tell me what the Lotto numbers are gonna be?"
~In some world. With 85.3% certainty. Little numbered ping pong balls are subject to a lot of random particle interaction, you know. It's a lot easier to tell you exactly where every pigeon on Manhattan will shit within a given twenty-minute period, or whether the guy walking down the sidewalk in front of you is about to get hit by a bus.~
Dory makes a (very pretty) horrified face. Will half-nods in agreement (or concession).
Mina grins. "Cool beans," she says, and picks up the glass ball.
That's right, kids, we can see the future.