"Huh...hmmm..." The boy scratched his head as he scanned the diverse array of snacks lining before him. While he carefully looked over each and every candy bar and bag of chips for what must have been the third time at least, his twin let out a sigh of exasperation.

"Will you just choose one already?" Mabel groaned wearily as she rocked back and forth on her heels. "You're such a super-picky butt."

"I want to make sure that I make the right choice." Dipper answered snippily before going back to his over-meticulous selecting. "Okay...cheese puffs are a good classic...but maybe something sweet would be better...choco-cake? Nah..."

Near the end of her rope, Mabel threw her arms up in the air with a moan of over-exaggerated despair. "Arrgh! We're only buying snacks! It's not like the fate of the whole world depends on it or anything!"

"I told you, I want to-" Before he could finish, his sister had unleashed a bombardment of hard impatient pokes to his side.

"Pick one! Pick one! Pick one!" She chanted ceaselessly and without mercy. "Pick, pick pick, pick, one, one, one, one! Now! Pick one, Dipper! Pick one! Pick one! Pick one! One snack! One snack! Now! Now! Now! Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it..."

"Okay, okay!" He snapped as she successfully wore down his resistance to shreds. Desperate to get her to stop, he grabbed the first thing in reach with a loud huff. "See? Look, cheddar popcorn. I'll go with that. Are you happy now?"

Immediately she called off her assault, and beamed brightly from ear to ear in satisfaction. "Very."

"Well, at least one of us is." He grumbled, then nodded to the register. "Okay, let's-"

He didn't get one word further before a brilliant flash of light filled the corner side convenience store. With startled cries, the twins hurriedly shielded their eye. Meanwhile, a hoarse scream and a slam of the stockroom door signaled that the cashier has just fled in terror.

When the blinding light faded a few moments, the siblings lowered their hands and exchanged baffled looks with one another.

"...Okay, so what was that?" Mabel demanded confusedly.

"I have no ideaaaaaAAAAAAAAUUUGGGHHH!" A yell of horror ripped from Dipper's throat as a dripping mess of a tentacle suddenly darted from over a nearby shelf, wrapped itself tightly around his waist and yanked him away. Mabel let out a eardrum-shattering shriek she followed shortly after, and together they were lifted high into the air.

As they wriggled and squirmed helplessly, they finally laid eyes on their otherworldly attacker that had appeared from out of nowhere. There oozing amongst the upturned store shelves sat a semisolid monstrosity that seemed intent on defying description. It glowed brightly with a myriad of unnamable colors, and glared intently at them through countless eyes that formed and reformed all over its pulsating, faintly self-luminous body.

Instantly stricken half-mad with terror, the twins nearly yelled themselves hoarse as the living nightmare split partway down the middle, revealing a gaping maw and several rows of dripping razor-sharp fangs. However, just as a winding tongue the width of a small child slither forth, its terrible feeding was interrupted by yet another blinding flash that filled the store.

A moment later a barrage of bright crimson rays blasted into the monster's gelatinous, ceaselessly wriggling bulk. The creature from beyond let out an unholy screech as its molecules were painfully rearranged from the weapon fire, and with a puff of acrid-smelling smoke it was abruptly vaporized from existence.

With no tentacle-like appendages to keep them aloft, the twins promptly fell back to earth with cries of alarm. Thankfully, before they smacked into the tile floor, they were each smartly caught by a pair of strong arms .

"OOOF! Oh, whoa, th-thank you for..." Mabel's sputtered apology automatically died on her lips the moment she laid eyes on her rescuer.

There was no absolutely no denying that the woman gazing back was a battle-hardened warrior. Her harsh stare and numerous scars told tales of a hundred battles and countless brushes with death. Yet at the exact same time, there was undeniably something strongly and eerily familiar about her rosy cheeks and chocolate brown locks of hair.

"Where is it?" Her elder lookalike demanded breathlessly. "Where is it?"

Her head spinning with confusion, Mabel just sputtered uncontrollably, "Uhhh...I...I-I…"

"I got it!" Cried her partner, who was also quite the sight. With his matching sleek silver body armor and almost identical facial features he was a near perfect double, save of course his shorter brown hair, smart goatee and jet-black eyepatch.

Moving quickly, he set a thunderstruck Dipper on the ground, snatched the bag of popcorn from the boy's grip, and without a moment's pause he hurled the hastily chosen snack high into the air. He then raised a massive black rifle to his shoulder, and with one well-aimed blast of laser fire, it too ceased to be.

Immediately the two high-tech warriors let out twins sighs of relief. Meanwhile, the absolutely dumbfounded young Pines continued to gawk stupid at one another, and to their curious saviors.

"What the..." Dipper murmured before the young man knelt down, grabbed him by the shirt collar and stared him directly in the eyes.

"Do not pick the cheddar popcorn." He commanded flatly. "Got that?"

"I...I...uh..." The befuddled boy sputtered as he stared straight into the one good eye of his older doppelganger. "I-I...

"Do not, and I'm only going to say this one more time, do not pick the cheddar popcorn!" he repeated again, his tone thick with urgency. "We are not doing this again. Got it?"

"...Y-yes." Dipper barely managed to squeak with a barely perceptible nod.

"You better. Okay sis!" Their mission accomplished, her whistled sharply as he shouldered his weapon, signaling that it was time for them to go.

His partner flipped open a small panel on her arm and typed hurriedly on a tiny touchpad. Once more, the brilliant light filled the shop. Mabel and Dipper averted their eyes from the large tear that appeared in the middle of thin air, while the elder twins appeared as casual as could be as they stepped through the tear that had appeared seemingly from nowhere.

"Nice job with our timing, you butt." The young woman teased sarcastically as she hopped in and vanished out of sight.

"Hey, did you want to be off by a couple seconds, or a couple years? I only wanted to make sure..." The space-time rip closed up, and in the blink of an eye it had disappeared.

Just like that, peace had return to the now-thoroughly wrecked convenience store. All that was left was several upturned wracks and shelves, a small charred stain freshly marking the floor, and two almost indescribably confused adolescents. After sitting in stupefied silence for at least a good minute, Dipper shakily climbed to his feet.

"I...I think I'm going to choose a different snack" He announced with a quaver. "And...I'd like to take some time to think about it."

Mabel nodded wordlessly without a peep of protest. Her twin then quietly went to work sorting through the upturned sugary and salty treats that littered the floor. As he thought over his choice, he now of course took special caution to give the cheddar popcorn a wide berth.

While his sister waited as patiently as could be, she couldn't help but softly voice one opinion. "Y'know….I don't think I like your eyepatch. It makes you look way too much like a pirate..."

The End