Quick Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the world they inhabit. They were created by the fabulous people at Zombie Orpheus for their equally fabulous RPG, Masters of the Metaverse! Be sure to tune in to Twitch.TV/zombieorpheus every Monday at 6PM PST to see more!
Leaning back against the wall of the alien spacecraft, Rosie took a deep breath and sighed. She cast a glance over her right shoulder, to the space where the Tri-Dentures would have been sitting had they been there. But they weren’t. They were gone, vaporized in an instant by an alien laser beam. Three old ladies who had just wanted to have a nice cruise, dead. And it was her fault. Footsteps sounded from behind her and the President of the United States, or what remained of them, approached.
“Hi Rosie!” said Crash, cheerfully.
Rosie managed a small smile, “Oh, hi Crash.”
“What’s wrong? You don’t seem very happy. You seem sort of mad. Are you mad? Are you mad the old ladies died because you froze?” asked Crash.
“I’m not mad Crash. But yes, I’m upset about the Tri-Dentures. Three more people have died because of us, because of our being sent in here.”
“Oh. Okay. Do you wanna talk about?”
Rosie started, “Do you want to talk about? You don’t usually like to talk things out Crash, no offense.”
“No, not really. But you seem to like to talk about stuff. You talk about stuff a lot. So does Aquamarine. And Nick. And Jenika. And a lot of people. I’m trying to work on my interpersonal relationships. That’s what they called it in field agent training. So, I’m talking about stuff more. They called it dialoguing but it isn’t really like dialogue trees that much, there are a lot more variables. And more horns. And sirens.” he replied.
“I have noticed the extra eye contact.” said Rosie.
“Maybe if you talk about things then you won’t be mad any more.”
“I’m not mad Crash!” Rosie snapped, exasperated.
“You look mad.”
“You sound mad.”
“Definitely sound mad.” muttered Crash.
“I’m not mad Crash, I’m…I’m worried. Okay? I’m worried about all of this. I’m worried that all the people we’re jumping into are being hurt and forced to do things they don’t want to do. I’m worried that The Program came in and wiped out all the avatars in this metaverse because they were trying to find a talking turkey leg. I’m worried that we’re hurting more people than we’re helping, and that we’re never going to be able to get out of this without doing even more damage. And yes, I do feel bad that three little old ladies are dead now because we convinced them to come and take on an alien invasion with us. I mean, if we wouldn’t have shown up and leapt into them in the first place, they’d probably be back on that cruise ship. They’d still be alive if it wasn’t for us!”
Crash considered for a moment, “No they’d still be dead. If you’d left them on the cruise ship they would have died on the cruise ship. The aliens would have found them and killed them. Or sucked out their brains and used them as hosts. Or fed them to the pods. But they would have died.”
Rosie stared, “Thanks Crash.”
Rosie sighed and sat down heavily, “Crash, doesn’t any of this bother you?”
Crash inclined his head, taking some time to think it over. Finally he said, “Well, I don’t like the half-tars in this world. They’re not very powerful and they don’t have any skills that are that useful.”
“Hey now, Karl is an excellent boatsman!”
Crash shrugged, “Gatling was better. I don’t like being in these people. They’re regular people. They aren’t equipped to handle us. Even when I’m all Vinnie, I can still feel myself coming through. I don’t like that. And I’m not a fan of eighties memorabilia as a whole. So, that bothers me too.”
“No, Crash…I mean, doesn’t any of this bother you?” said Rosie, making a sweeping gesture around her, “The Program, The Founders, the murder, the bleed through, Scott, Nick, real people, all of it! We’re being held by a group of people who we know next to nothing about, who don’t seem to really know what they’re doing with us. We’re absorbing powers from other worlds, which are real by the way, for some reason which we don’t know about. And on top of that, this world was destroyed before we even got here because The Program wanted to find Brad. Except they didn’t know it was Brad in the first place, and neither did The Founders when they sent us in. No one is telling us anything and all we seem to be doing is making things worse! Doesn’t that bother you at all?”
“No. Not really.”
“Because, we’re always plotting against them. And if we’re plotting against them that means that we’re going to fight back. Right? So, that’s what matters.” said Crash, simply.
Rosie shook her head, “But what if what we’re doing in the meantime is hurting people? What if The Program starts murdering more avatars looking for more pieces that don’t belong? Pieces that are falling through because we’re causing bleed-through between the worlds?”
“I don’t know.” said Crash.
“Well, that makes two of us. At least you’re on board with the plan, you agree that The Founders are not good people either.”
“Oh, I don’t think they’re that bad. They let us have a nice house with cable. And I’m getting used to my new haircut, even though my ears are cold now. And I like going to McDonalds. They’re a lot nicer than The Program.”
“Well, maybe Crash”, said Rosie, “But they’re still lying to us. They’re still hiding things from us. They’re still keeping us from going back to living the lives that we used to have.”
“Do you want to leave? Do you want to go back?” asked Crash.
“Of course I do! Don’t you?”
“Not really. I like being a metapilot. I’m better…better than I was before. I don’t think…I don’t think I want to go back. Not right now.”
Rosie looked over at Crash with slight bewilderment, “If you aren’t trying to leave, than what is it that you’re fighting for? What do you want Crash?”
She was startled when Crash looked her directly in the eyes before answering. He wore an expression as if it were the most obvious in the world, as if he was surprised that she didn’t understand.
“I want to help save the world.”