Part 22E: Worlds Collide!

So I rush outside, elbowing Target A out of the way, his smelly, saggy belly giving to my arm, and the horse backs up as I head up the stairs from this basement hellhole.

The air outside isn't very much nicer than it was down in the parts room. The street is grimy and dark and the buildings are tall and gloomy.  Raised on Valhalla -- clean, forested Valhalla with its few sparse towers that gleam like pearls made of platinum -- I'm pretty hard on every other place, but there's not many places that would suffer by comparison to New York City.  I felt bad for Rachel having to live here, but only for a moment because I remembered that she'd only lived her for about a day before Target A had taken her body, dismembered it, reassembling her with bits and pieces of others and trying to animate her.

Then I felt bad for Rachel for all different reasons.

The horse points up into the sky. 

There are flying saucers all over the sky, and the sky itself is ugly in a way that I don't like to describe.  It's... boiling, is possibly the only word I can use.  As these flying saucers are spreading over the sky, their cool, dull gray undersides lit by tiny blue running lights, the atmosphere above them is turning liquid and gurgling and churning, like molten lava which in a second was what I realized it was.

"Hell..." I said.

"What?" Target A next to me is barely holding it together.

"It's Hell," I say to him.  "The dimensions must be coming together."

We watch for a second the broiling of the atmosphere.  I wonder if the flying saucers are related to the sky or not.

"We should go," the horse says.

"Go where?" I ask.

We all stare again for a second.  The red glow from the sky is illuminating the street now, but not in a good way.  It's making it uglier, if anything, like everything has a thin sheen of blood on it.  But people have started noticing. I'm not sure what time it is or whether people in a neighborhood like this care much about business hours but whether they do or not, the commotion and light are starting to rouse people, who lean out of windows looking up or walk down the front steps of their tenements.

I hear a sound I'm unfamiliar with, a kind of snurffling followed by a whooosh and then a high-pitched whine that gets higher and higher until it can't be heard, falling right out of the top of the scale.

Above us, tiny missiles appear: someone is fighting the saucers, which are spread in (so far as I can tell) an even pattern above the city.  As the missiles near them, the saucers change their stance a little: I can see one drop below the others, and that one shoots out multiple blue beams, beams that freeze the missiles in their tracks.

The other saucers, above that one, are starting to glow on top, a blue light that is emanating outwards from the domes we can barely see.

"We should get under cover," I say to the horse.

"I'd rather leave."

"We can't cross the dimensions on our own."

"You need to cross dimensions?" Target A says.

I eye him distastefully.  He's important to the plans, in some way -- I was never told what -- but that doesn't change the fact that he's dirty, and out of shape, and that he spent his life cutting up women to make them into slaves.

He's also crying.

Dammit.  Can't the bad guys just be bad?

"Yes," I tell him.

"I know someone who can do that," he says.

"Of course you do.  The people you work for."

He shook his head.  "I don't want to work for them anymore."

A pause.

"It's someone else."

There is more whooshing and high-pitched whines.  I look up at the sky again.  The red, boiling pestilence of Hell's atmosphere is closer, and it's getting hotter, in fact.  Everything around us including us has a red tinge to it.  I can smell sulfur.  From the tops of the saucers, the blue glows are getting bigger and brighter, pressing back against the Hell-sky, almost, like holding the blanket up over your head.

"Who is it?" I ask Target A.

He rubs his hands together.  "I don't know..."

I sigh in exasperation.  "Horse, can you take us someplace more safe than this?  Fly low?"

The man interrupts as the Horse says his name is Simon and yes he can: The man says: "I don't know if we should call her."

"Her who?" I say.  Now, in the sky, there are more missiles bursting against blue force shields.  I can see bits of shrapnel raining down.  The blue saucers are holding steady but the red sky of Hell is looming even closer.  I can hear now a distant hissing sound that I know is a roar that is too far away to register as such.  Hell is crashing onto Earth and I am arguing with a fat vivisectionist in a dark alley.

"I don't know her name." Target A says.  "But I don't think she's very nice."

The protecting flying saucer takes a hit and explodes.  The sky is full of missiles now and I can hear, from farther away, some rumbling that sounds militaryish.  There are darkening circles in the Hell Sky that do not bode well.  We are caught in a battle that is forming in the intersection between two dimensions and one of those dimensions happens to be the one that every other dimension uses as a place of punishment and prison.

"Call her," I say.

The man gets wide-eyed and says "Don't say I didn't warn you," and pulls out a little pennywhistle, which he blows into.

I don't hear anything from that.

The sky is starting to fall:  there are large blobs of actual magma, fist-sized, dropping down onto buildings and another flying saucer has been exploded and people are starting to run and scream now.  We stand there, motionless for a second, staring at the man, who is blowing with all his might into the tiny whistle.

"Let's go," I whisper to Simon the Horse.

"Mom?!" I hear behind me.

No comments: