Badasses Of the Multiverse: Book 6: Volume 1: Chapter 07

Badasses Of the Multiverse: Book 6: “The Mexican, The Lawyer, And The Mechanic.”

Volume 1: “The Heroes.”

Chapter 07: “Another Nine Lives.”

By Paul Cousins.

Copyright Disclaimer: All copyrighted places, characters, items, and events, within the story, are held by their current owners. No profit is being made on this work of fiction.

(_)

Reality, unknown, but on an Earth. Date, Unknown, though in a modern time. Place, Unknown. Yet, a tropical place that is not Roanapur. Time, the middle of the afternoon, on a sunny, warm day, with a clear, blue sky.

The next thing, after Pedro, Matthew, and Matt, left the Star Wars reality, they were on Earth, on a sunny day, without a cloud in pearl blue sky. The temperature was warm, with a slight breeze blowing in the air.

Pedro had his reality device in his right hand, and he decided to keep it out.

The three men took a few steps away from each other. As they looked around, they saw that they were in a sidewalk, and behind them was a large concrete wall, which was a fence to a five story buildings.

Also, there were various types of buildings stretching across the distance, behind the concrete wall.

In front of them was a four lane highway, with a grassy median dividing the hallway into two lanes, then the median, then two lanes of traffic going the other way. They could see traffic intersections in the distance, going both ways down the road.

The median itself had grass, with palm trees in it, which were planted in a row.

Across the highway was a dense underbrush of various bushes, vines, and trees.

They saw no one around, though every few seconds, few cars passed by them, from both directions.

All in all, their surroundings gave off a pleasant vibe to them.

The three men continued to look around, with Matt being closest to the concrete wall, with Pedro and Matthew both to his right. Though, Pedro was closer to him, then Matthew.

Matt looked at the two other men, as he commented, “Looks like we are on Earth.”

Pedro stated, “We are in a tropical area. And with this traffic, and the placement of the sun, I would saw it is earlier afternoon, right after lunch, which is an off hour for traffic. Also, it look likes are we are on the outskirts of a town.”

Matthew watched another car drive by them, as he mentioned, “Well, the cars here are driving on the left side of the road.”

Matt stated, “Well, that narrows down where we are. And given the vegetation, I would saw we are somewhere in Southeast Asia from India, to Thailand, to the islands of the South China Sea. But, how can you not already know that, Pedro?”

Pedro looked at Matt, as he shrugged. He replied, “Reality traveling is just as much an art, as a science.”

Matt responded, “Well, either way. This means we could be in, India, Burma, many of the islands of the South China Sea, or Thailand.”

Pedro complimented, “That is pretty good detective work, Matt.”

Matt cracked a grin, as he replied, “Thank you.”

Matthew looked at Pedro, as he flatly stated, “We better not be in Roanapur.”

Pedro turned to Matthew, as he calmly responded, “This does not look like Roanapur.”

Matthew replied, “We'll see.”

Matt said, “Well, given the looks of the buildings, we are some time in a modern era for us.”

Matthew looked at Pedro and Matt, as he pointed out, “For you two.”

Matt conceded, “Okay. For Pedro and I.”

Matthew said, “Still, your era is not a bad time to be in.”

Matt requested, “No. It isn't. And now, guys. Since we have a moment of quiet, and privacy. Level with me. Clearly a lot more is going on than you are telling me. Such, as what is that device in your hand, Pedro?”

Pedro and Matthew looked at each other. Pedro said, “I'll do the talking.”

Matthew shrugged, as he replied, “Fine with me. It saves me from getting my ass kicked if he doesn't like the answers.”

Pedro cracked grin, as he and Matthew turned back to look at Matt.

As Pedro looked at Matt, he thought, 'We are going to have to tell him something. Still, I do have my reality device in my right hand, so I can let him get a better look at it, as we talk.'

Pedro held up the reality device in his right hand, for Matt to see. He stated, “This device allows us to travel instantly to any time, place, and reality, we want to go to.”

Matthew spoke up, “And we don't have a clue about how it works.”

Pedro looked over at Matthew, as he thought, 'I thought you wanted me to do the talking. Oh well.' He then back to Matt, as he said, “True. But, we do know how to use it. To use this device, you need to think of reality, place, and time, you want to go. And while holding that thought, you press the large red button in the center of the device, and you instantly head there. Also, people and objects that are close to you, come along for the right.”

Matt commented, “That explains how I ended up with you.”

Pedro pocketed his reality device into his right side pants pocket, under his coat, as he replied, “Yes. It does.”

Matthew said, “Unfortunately, Pedro is not that good at taking us to places in the multiverse.”

Pedro sighed, as he conceded, “There does seem to be a learning curve in using it.”

Matt turned to Matthew, as he inquired, “So, why is he using the device, instead of you, Matthew?”

Matthew answered, “Because, Pedro is a dyed in the wool fanboy of just about all fictional series. He knows just about every good place and time to go, in the multiverse. And he knows what place and which people to avoid.”

Pedro quickly pointed out, “Though, I avoid pornographic material. I got plenty of tail back home.” He mentally reflected, 'But, there are some manga that are borderline porn, which have pretty good in plot, and character development. Such as the Gacha Gacha Secret series, and the Kampfer manga and anime series. Though, I respected Akira and Natsuru, as people, long before I personally them.'

Matt chuckled a little. He then teased. “I bet you did.” He thought, 'Though, I doubt you tried to sleep with one of the Black Lagoon women. Unless you are crazier than I think. And I am not going to ask. Because, I am in too deep, as is. And I am slightly worried what your answer would be.'

Pedro mentioned, “The reason we don't want to head to Roanapur, besides the obvious, is that some things go down in that place, that later having an effect on those people of my home reality, and other realities. Including, Matthew and I. So, if we head into the past, we risk altering the past. This also applies to a past place, or person. If we do anything to alter the past, we risk creating a reality destroying paradox.”

Matthew stated, “These paradoxes are hard to miss. You will know you are starting messing up if you see the sky start to change colors, and begin to break apart.”

Matthew thought, 'That is how Lee wrote the rules in her stories.'

Matthew continued, “Still, even at that point, if you stop what you are doing, the paradox will dissipate, and everything and everyone should remain all right.”

Matt realized, as he thought, with concern, 'These guys are not kidding.' He conceded, “That is a good reason to be wary of messing with the past, of any reality.”

Pedro said, “Yes. That is the point. But, as long as we are careful about who was meet, and we say, and do, we will be fine.”

Matthew commented, “Just follow our lead, and we should be okay.”

Matt replied, “I will keep that in mind.” He thought, 'I guess I will do just that. At least, until I have a better handle on the situation.'

Matt then looked behind Pedro and Mathew, in at a diagonal direction, to Matt's left, from the sidewalk, to the grassy median. He saw someone suddenly appear standing on the median, and that person had just turned to face them.

Matt immediately recognized who it was, as continued to look at the person. He stated, “Guys. That guy is black armored man is back.”

Pedro and Matthew turned around to see black powerarmored man, whom was about sixty feet away from them.

Matthew complained, in a dispassionate tone of voice, “Oh hell. It is him, again.”

Pedro casually said, “It looks like that is him.”

Matthew mentioned, “And we didn't see him in the Star Wars reality.”

Pedro responded, “Yea. And I guess he skipped the Star Wars reality. So, that likely means he can track us without going to across realities, without following us to each reality.” He thought, 'This is bad. From what I understand, that is better tracking technology, than was Revy and her crew used against Bob, and later, Lee.'

Matthew commented, “It is possible Chang, River, and Lee, are tracking us the same way.”

Pedro thought, 'That is a good point. We did not see them at the weapons depot. Meaning, that Chang is continuing research on reality traveling and tracking technology. And Revy and her friends did not have access to some of that technology. Not that I hold it against Chang to continue such research. In his position, I would likely continue that research, as well.'

Matt thought, 'So, Chang is after them. And he is with someone named River and Lee. Lee could be anyone. And the only River I can think of is from the Firefly series. And Chang wouldn't be crazy enough to date her... Would he?... Well, the Black Lagoon series did hinted that he taught Revy. And Shenhua works for him. So, it might be possible he is attracted to dangerous and insane woman. And River would fall into those two categories.'

'But, since Chang is after them, I still might get the chance to meet Chang. So, I might get the chance to ask him a few questions I have for them. But, then again, I might not. I will decide when, or if, I ask Chang those questions, if we ever meet Chang. Which at this point, might be a very big, if.'

Pedro said, “That is possible. And if that is the case, first we have to lose this guy, before we can use our reality device.”

Matthew agreed, “You got that right.”

The black armored man then used his right hand to gently wave towards them, before dropping his right hand back to his side.

Pedro commented, “And he still has his sense of humor.”

Matthew stated, “That is good. It is going to make dealing with him a lot easier.”

Pedro said, “I hope so. Because, I don't think we are going to be able to outrun him on foot.”

Matthew inquired, “If that armor can do half of what I expect it can, I think you are right. So, do you think we could talk him into letting us go.”

Pedro answered, “I doubt it. But, I am more than happy to try.” He thought, 'What we really need is a miracle.'

Suddenly, a brown, four door, car pulled out, from a side street, between some buildings, on the three men's side of the road, between them and the black armored man. The car immediately turned to the left, and towards the three men.

With the car then coming to a stop, on outside lane, by the curb, right beside the three men, with the car's two passenger doors facing the three men. Though, the windows were rolled up.

Pedro thought, with astonishment, 'Damn. That was fast... Not that I am complaining.'

The front left passenger door window rolled down, and they heard a male voice, from inside, in the right driver's seat, ask, in english, “You guys need a lift?”

Pedro face the car, as he replied, “We sure do.”

The male voice stated, “Then, get in. The doors are unlocked.”

Pedro quickly said, “I call shotgun.”

Pedro swiftly opened the front passenger door, and got in.

At the same time, Matt opened the back passenger door, and got in. Matt quickly moved to the other side of the backseat, to allow Matthew to get into the back seat.

After Pedro and Matthew then swiftly closed doors.

The three men then turned to look a the driver, as the driver turned to face them, and the car, itself.

The car had the driver's seat located on the right side of the car.

The car had a brown leather interior, and the car used an automatic transmission, with the stick for the transmission being place on the left side of the shaft, right behind the steering wheel.

Meanwhile, the driver was a fair skin man. He had a slender build, along with short, blond hair, and a blond bushy beard. Though, given his eyebrows where brown, his blond hair and beard could have been dyed. Though, his hair was yellow blond, and not bleach white blond.

The man appeared to be dressed in white medical scrubs. Also, the driver was buckled to his seat.

The driver cracked a grin, as he said, “Buckle up.” He then turned back to face the front of the road, as he floored the gas pedal, making the car immediately start to zoom away from the black powerarmored man. With the man then started weaving between the few cars that were in front of it, as the driver did his best to escape the black armored man, as quickly as possible.

Though, from seeing the sudden, erratic, through skillful driving, Pedro, Matthew, and Matt immediately realized that they had better do as the driver said. And they all quickly buckled up into their seats.

(_)

At that moment, while black powerarmored man watched the four men drove away from him, he happily thought, 'If they want a chase. I can give them a chase. And I can have some fun in doing so.'

(_)

A few seconds in the car, Pedro turned the driver, as he said, “Thanks for the lift. You really helped us back there.”

The driver continued looking in front of him, as he stated, “No problem. When I came to a stop, I saw you three looking worried, towards that black armored dude. You looked like you needed the help. I know what it is like to be in tight situations.”

Meanwhile, Matthew looked behind them, as he saw the black armored man flying towards them, at just enough speed to keep up with them. He stated, “We are not out of the fire yet, guys. We got incoming.”

Matt looked out the rear window, as he saw the flying armored man, as well. He thought, 'Damn. Matthew's right. Though, this is not the first time I have dealt with flying powerarmor. It is pretty much an old hat to me. Though, I usually had a lot of help, when I face such foes. And if I am right, he should start firing something from his arms and hands, any moment, now.'

The flying man then started firing energy shots, from energy cannons that popped up from hidden compartments located on the top of the forearms of man's armor.

Matt mentally lamented, 'Yes. I was right.'

The energy shots the hit ground, near the car that Pedro, Matt, and Matthew, were riding in.

While the powearmored man was to high in the air to see in the middle rearview mirror, Pedro turned to his right, to see the flying powerarmored man in the rearview mirror, in the passenger mirror. He said, “It looks like that armor is not just for show.”

Looked to his left, on the rearview mirror on the driver's side door, to see that flying black armored man. He divided him attention between the road in front of him, and the flying person behind him, as he flatly asked, “Damn. Who is after you?”

Pedro replied, “It is a long story.”

The bearded driver cracked a grin, as he replied, “Those are my favorites. Now, hang on. We are going to take a quick ride through this city.”

A second later, they reached an intersection, with streetlights handing from power lines above them. They light was red, but the driver ignored it, as he turned turned left, onto a road that lead into the city, while he avoided hitting an incoming car.

The powerarmored man flew behind hand, as he continued to fire shots at them. But, the driver weaved through traffic, to avoid the shots.

As Pedro watched the drive weaved between cars and people. The driver sometimes even went on the wrong side of the road, and the sidewalk, a few times, before he steer his brown car back to going down the proper side of the road. But, as the driver did this, he skillfully navigate this insane obstacle course, while not hitting anyone car, people, animals, nor later objects.

Pedro thought, with admiration, 'I have been in a few chases myself. Usually with me being the driver. And I can tell this driver knows what he is doing. He has clearly done this before. A lot. Still there are a few things he need to know about the situation.'

Pedro turned to the driver, as he stated, “Keep in mind, those energy shots are the real deal. One hit and we are likely dead.”

While the driver continued to look towards the front, the driver calmly said, “Don't worry. I have been in worse firefights than this.”

Pedro mentally wondered, 'Who is this man?... I'll find out, later... If we survive.'

Meanwhile, in the backseat, behind the driver, Matt continued to look at the black armored man, whom was flying in the air. He thought, with annoyance, 'I am not just going to sit here and be shot at.'

Matt undid his seat belt, as he turned around, to face the rear car window, that was right behind him and Matthew.

Matthew turned towards Matt, as he noticed that his friend had undone his seat belt. He stated, “Put your seat belt back on. We are in the middle of a chase. On sharp turn and bounce around the backseat, and you will likely hurt both yourself, and me.”

Matt looked over Matthew, as he replied, “Relax. I have likely been in more chases than you have.”

Matthew conceded, “I will give you that one.”

(_)

As this went on in the backseat, the driver risked a quick glance in his middle rearview mirror, to see that Matt was out of his seat. He then turned his attention back to the road in front of them, and his driver's side rearview mirror, and the flying man coming after them.

The driver thought, 'I think he has an idea. And I will take it easy on the turns, while he is out of his seat. Also, it is clear that guy in armor is playing with us. He could have caught up with us. But, he hasn't. I don't know what is going on, but I have to lose that man first, and then I can get some answers from these guys.'

The driver then made another successful turn, while avoiding cars from multiple lanes of traffic. Though, all of the cars came to a stop, without crashing to each other, something else, nor someone else. And the driver made the turn while riding his brakes a little. This wore the breaks a bit, but by decelerating during the curve, then speeding up, as his brown car straightened out, it more for a more gentle turn.

(_)

Meanwhile, in the backseat, Matthew watched Matt use his right hand to pull something from an interior coat pocket, on the left side of his coat.

Matt then held out what the item was, in his right hand. It was a hole puncher for breaking windows.

Matt commented, “You would be surprised how often I use this.”

Matt turned his attention back to the back window in front of him.

He used his right hand to press the flat, cylindrical part of his hole puncher against the glass.

The pressured cocked the internal spring mechanism, until it reached point where the spring was set loose, with the spike attached to the spring driving into the glass, breaking the glass. Though, because the back window was safety glass, is did not shatter. Instead, except for a few small pieces, the window became like crackled mesh.

Matt used his covered right forearm to push the glass mesh out of the car. The mesh then bounced off the back hood, and onto the road, itself.

A second later, the driver made another turn, down another street.

Matthew quickly gripped Matt's right shoulder and right upper arm, to steady him.

As soon as the turn was over, and the inertia of the turn ceased, Matthew let go of Matt.

Matt turned to Matthew, as he said, “Thank.”

Matthew replied, “No problem.”

Matt then used his right hand to put his hole puncher back into the interior coat pocket he had pulled it out from. With his right hand in his coat, he next reached for the grip of his Smith & Wesson five nine four six semi-automatic pistol, that was in a shoulder holster, under his left armpit.

Matt then pulled out his semi-automatic pistol. Next, he pulled back the slide, sending a round into the chamber.

Matthew saw what Matt was doing, and he placed the palms of his hands against his ears, to protect his hear. He also kept his seat belt on, as he turned to his left, to look up at the flying person.

Meanwhile, Matt took aim at the flying man's chest, and he fired his weapon at the person that was attacking him.

Matt saw as his bullets bounced off of the black armor of the flying man.

Matt did even fire half the bullets in his magazine, as he quit firing. He though, in disappointed, 'I should have known better. But, it was worth a try.'

As Matt carefully holstered his pistol, he saw that the flying man did not seem pay his shoot any mind, as the man continued to fire energy cannons around the car, but not directly at them.

Matt mentally reflected, 'At least, I lucked out on not pissing him off.'

(_)

Meanwhile, in the front of the car, Pedro and the driver heard the rounds being fired pistol, which were loud in the cabin of the car, but with the pistol being fired near the back window threshold, close to the outside of the car, the shots were not as loud as they could have been.

While the driver was unfazed by the shooting, the sudden shots caught Pedro by surprise. With the sudden weapons fire slightly startling Pedro.

A few seconds later, after the shooting stopped. While still buckled, Pedro slid the chest buckle off of himself, so he could turn around, to look between the seats, at those in the back seat. He then yelled, in anger, towards Matt, whom was the only one in the back that Pedro knew was armed, “Warn us, the next time you decide to fire your gun, in close quarters?” He thought, with anger, 'That can hurt our hearing, if we are not careful.'

Pedro then forced himself to calm down, as he thought, 'Since I am the leader of this group. I have to calm down. Still, I am a bit upset. But fortunately, this will only make our ears ring for the next hour, but we all should be fine.'

The driver just likely chuckled at what was going on around him, in his car. He then commented, in an offhanded manner, “This is why I prefer to deal work with people that use sharp objects, instead of guns.”

The driver's comment caught Pedro's attention, but Pedro still kept looking at Matt.

Matt heard Pedro's yelling. He turned to look at Pedro.

Matt thought, 'He is right. I should have warned everyone I was going to fire.'

Matt had sheepish look on his face, as he sincerely said, “I apologize. I will try to remember, next time.”

Nearby, Matthew turned to look at Pedro. He lowered his hands from his ears, while he silently listened to the conversation.

Pedro flatly stated, “Good. Also, use your head. Given you experience, you should know that bullets don't usual work on powearmor like that. That is why I haven't pulled out my gun against him. Because, I don't want to waste the bullets.” He mentally added, 'I doubt even my armor piercing rounds will do much against that armor. And that is not even considering if that powerarmor has a force field generator built into it.'

Matt fully turned fully in front. And he sat in his seat. As he buckled back up, he turned back to look Pedro in his eyes. Matt responded, “I just didn't feel like doing nothing.”

Pedro replied, in a calmer tone of voice, “I know the feeling.” He then turned back in his seat to face the road in front of them, with him sliding the chest part of his buckle over his body.

Matthew turned to Matt, as he said, “For what it's worth. You made some good, solid hits.”

Matt turned to Matthew, as he responded, “I know. But, that doesn't mean jack, if my bullets don't go through the armor.”

Matthew asked, “Do you have more bullets?”

Matt answered, “Yes. I am good on that. I didn't even use half of the ammo in my magazine.” He thought, 'I also have two loaded back up magazines, and a full, fifty round box of ammo in my coat.'

Matthew replied, “Good. I don't want you to run out of ammo, out here.”

Matt agreed, “You am me, both.”

(_)

Up front, in the brown, four door car, Pedro turned to look at the driver, as he thought, 'Now to find out more about the guy beside me.' He inquired, “What do you mean by that you prefer to work people that use sharp objects, instead of guns?”

Pedro's question caught the attention of Matthew and Matt, as the two men in the back seat turned towards the front of the car.

The driver casually answered, “It's a long story.”

Pedro and Matthew could not help but burst out laughing.

The driver continued looking in front of him, as he weaved around the road, to avoid cars, and energy blasts. He then took another high speed turn, as he asked, “What is with the laughter?”

Matt replied, “I am not sure myself. I am still waiting for the answer to that one.”

The driver let out a laugh. He said, “That was not the answer I was expecting. But, it was a good one.”

As Matthew and Pedro calmed down, Matthew said, “I wasn't expecting your answer, either. Also, sorry about you car. But, our friend here had the best of intentions.”

The driver smirked, as he continued to look in front of the car. He flatly stated, “I'm sure that is the case. And this isn't my car.”

Pedro, Matthew, and Matt, realized what the driver meant, as they exclaimed, almost in unison, “What?!”

The driver chuckled a little at their reaction. He then said, in a casual tone of voice, “Relax. It will likely be another our hour before this car is reported stolen. And even then, it will take time before they come looking for it...”

The driver made red light turn, on oncoming traffic, without hitting any cars.

The driver casually continued, “And by then, we will have lost this bloke, and ditched the car for something else to ride in.”

Matthew commented, “Would it concern you at all to know that I am a lawyer? And these two gentlemen with me are cops?

The driver let out a laugh. He then retorted. “And they are likely out of their jurisdictions. And you would likely represent me, if I paid you enough money.”

Matthew looked over at Pedro, as he complimented, “He's good.”

Pedro said, “Crazy, though sharp. Not a bad combination.”

The driver replied, “Thanks.”

Matt commented, “Not to sound insulting. But, with the way you are dressed, and act, I would guess are from an escape patient from a mental institution.”

The driver flatly answered, “That is very astute of you. Just a little while ago, I jumped the concrete fence at that cuckoo nest. When I reached the parking lot of the institution, I found this car unlocked, and hotwired this car.”

“I am fairly sure this care belongs to one of the doctors there. To be exact, I believe this car is owned by one of the nicer doctors there. That is why I am trying not to damage it. And on my way out of town, I saw you three, and the armored bloke that seemed to scare you. So, I decided to give you a left. Good karma, and all that. And I could use all the good karma I can get.”

Matthew agreed, “We all could use some more good karma.”

Matt thought, in slight disbelief, 'I am in a chase, with a flying man that is wearing powearmor, in another reality, while being driven down the road by a certified lunatic. It's official. This is one of the strangest days of my life. And that is saying something... Though, I might as well be polite. Experience has taught me that it is wise to humor the crazy ones.'

Matt hesitantly said, “Well... Thanks for the ride, at least.”

The driver happily replied, “You're welcome.”

Matthew questioned, “So, you are from the nuthouse?”

The driver looked in front of him, as he answered, “Yea. And hold that thought. I need to concentrate on driving for the moment.”

The driver then blew through a stop sign, as he turned left, down a two lane road.

The three men saw where they were heading, about a hundred of fifty yards down the nearly empty roadway.

Matthew questioned, “Is he doing what I think he is doing?”

Matt flatly commented, “Yep. He is insane.” He thought, 'And we must me crazy to continue to ride with him. Though, we don't have much choice in the matter.'

Pedro suggested, with concern in his tone of voice, “Hold on. This is going to get bumpy.”

Their worries were due to the fact they were fast approaching a two sided, bascule drawbridge, which was just starting to slowly raise.

As they got closer to the bridge, they saw, to their right of the bridge, a small sailing boat, which was waiting for the bridge to fully raise, so it could sail down the small river it was on.

The driver drove onto the wrong side of the road, to get around the lowered crossing bar, as he floored the gassed pedal, on the inclined bridged, that was slowly getting higher with each seconds.

Fortunately, the incline was only twenty degrees, allowing them to jump the small five foot gap, as they landed on the other side of the bridge, with little fanfare, and barely a bounce. With the landing not seriously damaging the shocks on the car's chassis.

The driver then quickly turn back on the left side of the road, to avoid the crossing bar on the right side of the bridge, on the lane with oncoming traffic, as he drove his car off the bridge, and back onto a two land road.

(_)

Following, behind them, in the air, the man in powearmor watched this, as he thought, 'Their driver must be insane.'

(_)

Back in the car, the driver then drove down another block, before he took a right, at a streetlight. Though, in this case, the light was green, with no oncoming traffic.

Matthew commented, “I think this is the first time you have had the right of way, during this entire chase.”

The driver continued to look down the road, as he agreed, in a causal tone of voice, “Yea. Our luck is finally starting to look up.”

(_)

Back in the air, the powerarmored man helmet's heads up display, in his face plate, alerted him to something important.

The powearmored man powered down looked at the readouts, as he thought, 'So, the local authorities are finally starting to decide to get our their asses in gear, and start to do something. Though, to be honest, I am surprised they have allowed this chase to drag on for this long. With none of them followed. Or, those cops we that passed by, may have not have wanted to follow me.'

The readouts shows communications signals between the local police station, and the police cars around the city. None of the police cars were anywhere near himself, nor his prey.

The flying man stop chasing the car, as he thought, 'I guess I spent too much time playing. I admit that I sometimes let things get handout, instead of acting immediately. It is a character flaw of mine, in so many ways.'

'Still, judging from what my suit is telling me, the local authorities will start to show up in five minutes. And while having a chase through town, with a few shots fired, is less than low key. Throwing down with the local police will upset, Gomez.'

'As of right now, this chase can be overlooked by Gomez, as long as the locals don't directly see me. And I will just have to jump realities, and catch my prey in the next reality they go to. Or, the reality after that, depending on how dangerous the place they head to, is.'

'And with these fools. One never knows. And I will also catch anyone with them.'

'Maybe I will head back to Mardi Gras in that Star Trek reality. Or, a bar I know of, in another reality. Decisions. Decisions. And I have never been one to pass up having some fun.'

The powearmored man then disappeared, as he jumped to another reality, to have some fun.

(_)

A few seconds ago, in the car, as it drove away, the driver noticed, in the driver's side mirror, from the corner of his eye, while mostly paying attention in front of him, that the powearmored guy has stopped flying, and he was now hovering in the air.

The driver commented, “Good news, the bloke has stopped chasing us.”

The driver then noticed armored man instantly disappear from sight.

The driver then turned his full attention back to in front of the car, as he made another turn, onto an adjoining, two lane street.

The driver stated, “Better news. He just disappeared. Though, I would like to know why he just gave on us?”

Pedro looked over at the driver, as he stated, “It likely means that police will soon be here.”

Matthew and Matt were already looking towards their front, as Matt inquired, “How do you figure that?”

Pedro looked in front of him, as he answered, “Because it is clear the person whom is after us would want to capture us, without causing too much trouble. He is clearly working for someone else that order him to take us alive, and to not directly confront the local police.”

Matthew said, “That does make sense.”

Matt asked, “Then, what was with the chase and the energy blasts?”

Matthew commented, “Because he wanted to have some fun. He had us dead to rights. But, instead of going for the kill, he just played with us. And he ran out of time... Though, that means we have also run out of time, and we need to hide, before the police show up.” He thought, 'Then, we can use our reality device to leave this reality.'

The driver stated, “That will not be problem. We are coming up to a nice hiding place that I know about, in this city.”

Pedro stated, “So, you knew the layout of this city in advance. Not bad at all.”

The driver said, “Thanks. It pays to know the streets before you have the chase.”

Pedro agreed, “You got that right.”

Pedro them noticed them pass some large, metal warehouses to the left side of the street.

A few seconds later, the driver then turned left, down a narrow two lane street, that was set between to large, metal warehouses.

The men then saw then pass by row after row of rusted and abandoned warehouses.

The driver commented, “As you can guess, this town has seen better days. And we should be right about... There.”

The driver then turned his car to the right, and into one of the warehouse, whose large sliding double-doors were missing.

As the driver slowed the car, while they rolled inside, the other men got a good look of their surroundings.

The walls and roof of the warehouse has so rusted with holes, that there was plenty of sunlight to shine in, for the four men to look around.

They saw warehouse itself was just an empty, deserted hull.

The driver then stopped his car completely. He next put it in park, and turned off off the ignition.

The driver then undid his seat belt, as turned to look at his three passengers. He commented, in a casual tone of voice, “The police here will likely do a basic search the streets. But, they likely won't come here for hours. If at all. So, we are fine for the moment.”

The other three men undid their seat belts, as Pedro replied, “Good. That means we can get some answers.”

The driver defensively said, “I hope my driving was not too upsetting for you.”

Pedro stated, “On the contrary. Your driving was excellent. I have never seen anyone drive with such skill before. Also, we owe you for picking us up. So, since you are on the run, I was thinking of offering to take you with us.”

Matthew questioned, “Really?”

Pedro looked over at Matthew, as he replied, “Yes.” Pedro turned back to the driver, as he continued, “As soon as we find out who he is.”

The driver responded, “Thanks. Though, I have questions of my own. Such as, who is this guy after you? And is he really flying in powerarmor, firing energy shots at us.?”

Pedro answered, “We are not sure who he is. And yes, he was flying in powerarmor, while firing at us.”

The driver inquired, “You guys aren't locals? Are you?”

Pedro deadpanned, “Isn't that obvious.”

In response, the driver started laughing.

Matthew inquired, “And how about yourself?”

As the driver calmed down, he admitted, “Nah. I am not really from around here, either.”

Matt flatly asked, “So, who are you?”

The driver answered, “I doubt you would know me. I am a simple driver for a local mob boss. And I was committed because I when too far with my drug habit. Though, being in the loony bin cleaned me out some.”

Then, with those comments, it all clicked for Pedro, concerning the identity of their driver.

Pedro turned to face the driver, so he took a closer looked at the blond, bearded man, as he thought, 'Nah... It couldn't be?... Could it?... Could he be him?... Well, Lee's stories never did mention whatever happened to him. So, it is a possibility... And I might as well ask him...' He questioned, “Is your name, Leigharch?”

The driver cracked a grin, as he answered, “So, you do know me. Cool.”

Pedro stated, “Yes. We do.” He mentally reflected, 'And you were talking about working with Shenhua, when you stated you prefer to work with someone that used sharp objects, instead of guns. Such as Revy, and her guns.'

Matthew commented, “Damn it. We are back in Roanapur.”

Leigharch stated, “Nope. This is a city north of Roanapur. Still, even though I just escaped from the lunatic asylum here, this is a nice town. And I hate that I am leaving it this way.”

Matthew commented, “I admit it. I shouldn't have mentioned Roanapur, when we jumped. That is why were are here.”

Pedro looked at Matthew, as he stated, “Well, I was trying not to think about Roanapur.”

Matthew pointed out, “Trying not to think about something, is still thinking about something. And even I will admit that is a bit of a mindscrew to think about. Along with this, Matt mentioned finding help. Which is why we dropped into the lap of mister crazy driver here.”

Matt commented, in a defensive mattered, “Don't blame me for this mess.”

Matthew said, “We aren't. Actually, I am complimenting you on how your suggestion that we find some help may have helped us.”

Matt replied, in a slightly confused tone of voice, “Oh... Thank you.” He mentally added, 'I think...' Matt then continued his thoughts, in a more direct manner, 'Though, it figures that I would suggest we get some help, and we end up with a lunatic, like Leigharch. From what I have seen so far with these two, that seems par for course, for us, in this mess.'

Leigharch chuckled a little, at the antics of his passengers, as he thought, 'I have picked up a few crazies before. But, none this funny.'

Pedro looked at Leigharch, as he thought, 'As much as I would like to bring Leigharch with us. There are a few things we first need to know.'

Pedro inquired, “We heard you finally went off the deep end, and didn't come back? So, Chang had you committed to an asylum?”

Leigharch stopped chuckling, as he answered, “Yea. I went Mars, but I finally came back down to Earth, a few months later.”

Matthew deadpanned, “Join the club.”

Leigharch commented, “Yea. Well, when I came too, I found myself in a straight jacket. Word of advice. Never mix LSD and weed. The effects are... Unpredictable.”

Matthew asked, “Oh... I know that from experience... So, how long ago was that?”

Leigharch said, “Around a few months ago. Since that time, I have been trying to convince them I wasn't insane anymore. Though, it is kind of hard to lie about being crazy, when you are so plainly insane. BWAHAHAHAHA!!...”

Leigharch then forced himself to calm down, as he continued, “Still, Shenhua was nice enough to visit me, on occasion. Late time she came, she said she met a new blond female friend. Anyway, I finally escaped, only to pick you guys up, and be chased by a guy in powerarmor. Whom we just lost. Not that I blame you guys for any of this. I am having to much fun to care.”

Matthew commented, “We appreciate that.”

Leigharch stated, “Hey, for a driver, losing a guy in flying powerarmor is notch in anyone's belt.”

Matthew agreed, “I can see that. So, what can you do?” He thought, 'I wonder if he has any other skills besides driving.”

Leigharch answered, “I can skillfully drive, or pilot, just about anything I can get my hands on.”

Matt commented, “Well, that explains why Chang hired you.”

Leigharch happily replied, “Thanks.”

Matthew responded, “Don't think so full of yourself. I know how to pilot a Star Fury. And I am not that bad at it.”

Matt thought, 'A Starfury from Babylon Five... Well, he is from the B Five reality.”

Pedro thought, 'The Babylon Five Earth Force Starfury is likely one of the most maneuverable star-fighter in the known multiverse. Still...' He asked, “When did you learn to do that?”

Matthew smiled towards Pedro, as he said, “It was one of the perks of working for my previous boss. He offered a three month long. On the weekends. Course on learning to fly a Starfury. And I was one of his subordinates to take him up on his offer. While that is nowhere near the needed time and course work to get a certified to fly one. I can still fly one just fine.”

Pedro though, 'I can see Garibaldi teaching his top employees a few tricks. Like learning to fly a Starfury. And this might come in handy sometime.'

Pedro said, “Well, that is pretty cool.”

Matthew maintained his smile, as he replied, “I know.”

Leigharch inquired, with slight curiosity in his tone of voice, “Is that some sort of jet?”

Matthew turned to Leigharch. His smile curled into a smirk, as he commented, “Something like that.”

Leigharch questioned, “So, how do you know Chang?”

Matthew coyly answered, “We will get to that, later.”

Pedro suggested, “It might be best if we continue this conversation outside the car.”

Matthew thought, 'He wants to get us into a position where we can use our reality device.' He said, “I agree. Besides, we could use the opportunity to stretch our legs.”

Matt replied, “I am fine with that.”

Leigharch inquired, “What do you have in mind?”

Pedro stated, “We have our exit. But, we need to be out of the car to use it. I say we group up in front of the car.”

Leigharch replied, “Okay.”

All four men got out car, and shut the car doors behind them.

While they walk up to the front of the car, at a casual pace, Pedro thought, 'While that is some interesting information from Matthew, I need to focus on Leigharch, and when we are, in the Black Lagoon anime reality.'

'From the statements mister lunatic driver has made, I would guess the Black Lagoon anime series just ended. And this is the reality where Lee's stories just began, with Shenhua meeting Akira. I know where and when we are.'

'Though, I cannot just leave Leigharch here. Chang would eventually come get him, when Chang's temporarily goes off the deep end. I am not going to have someone go through that fate, if I can stop it.'

'And now that I think about it, with that powearmored man after us, I may have subconsciously wanted meet someone that was good at escaping. I guess Matt's suggestion helped, and I got my wish. With us being teleported in a time and place that would allow us to meet Leigharch in a way he would want to aid us...'

'And besides, Leigharch is of the same vein of crazy as Howlin Mad Murdock, from the A-Team. I guess that would make me the Hannibal of the team.'

'Actually, one could look at my group here as a team of expies. Matt always had that agent Mulder vibe. Matthew is pretty much a cleaned out, Doctor Gonzo. Leigharch is Howlin Mad Murdock. And though I will never admit it to anyone, sometimes I model my law enforcement career on Gene Hunt.'

'Now, that is an interesting combination of expies... Still, there is something else I need to know.'

By then, the four men had come to a stop, in front of the brown, four door car, as they looked at each other.

Pedro asked, “So Leigharch, are you clean?”

Leigharch answered, “Yes. As I said before. Though, I do like to talk fast when I am excited. So, I can see how you missed that. But, I am wanted now.”

Matthew pointed out, “So are we.”

Pedro asked, “Which comes back to my offer. Would you like to come with us?”

Leigharch inquired, “Where?”

Pedro said, “Anywhere you want?”

Leigharch replied, “Alright, I would like to go to Quarks bar on DS9. I would kill for a drink, and a holosuite experience.”

Pedro thought, 'Why not? We have already been to the Star Trek reality, once. With only minor problems. Though, we will have to figure out how to pay for it.' He said, “That can be arranged.”

Leigharch snickered, as he said, “And they call me crazy.”

Pedro pulled out his reality device, as he stated, “Well, crazy-boy, welcome to the insanity.”

Leigharch stopped snickering, as he asked, “What am I missing here?”

Matthew commented, “How do we put this delicately?... We might as well just state it straight out. We have a device that lets us instantly travel to any place, time, and reality.”

Leigharch requested, “Not that I don't believe you. But, where is this device?”

Pedro used his right hand to pulled out his reality device, and he held it in a manner that allow Leigharch to see it.

Leigharch looked at the device, then back to the men. He commented, “That is such a small thing for such a large claim.”

Matt deadpanned, “Trust me. It works.”

Pedro commented, “This device lets us travel to other realities. Including, fictional realities.”

Matthew mentioned, “Actually, some of us are from fictional realities.”

Leigharch quickly asked, “Whoa hold it... Is my reality a work of fiction in another reality?”

Matt complimented, “He sure is sharp on the up take.”

Pedro stated, “The series you are from is called, Black Lagoon.”

Leigharch questioned, “Lagoon? Like that boat that the crazy redheaded bird, and the japanese bloke are from?”

Pedro complimented, in a slightly surprised tone of voice, “You are sharp. And you are correct.”

Leigharch requested, “I would like to see that series, sometime.”

Pedro responded, “The series is both in an anime, and a manga version. And I would be more than happy to arrange you to look at both versions, if the situation allows us to do so.”

Leigharch asked, “Fair enough... Say. Am I in the Black Lagoon series?”

Matthew replied, “Yea.”

Leigharch questioned, with slightly embarrassment in his tone of voice, “How stoned was I?”

Matthew said, “You thought you were drive between rows of a hundred playmate babes from the nineties.”

Leigharch let out a laugh. He then stated, “Damn. I must have been really gone then.”

Pedro said, “You were. And to answer your next question. The two episodes you were in of that series dealt with that briefcase indecent in Basilan island.”

Leigharch replied, with slight excitement in his tone of voice, “Ah. I remember that one.”

Matthew deadpanned, “Don't we all.”

Leigharch asked, “So, what fictional realities are you guys from? And what are your names?”

Matt answered, “Well, given the situation we are in. I do not see a reason we shouldn't tell you who we are. I am Detective Matt Bluestone of the NYPD. They say I am from the Gargoyles animated series.”

Matthew said, “My name is Matthew McCormick. I am a lawyer. And I am from Mars Dome One, in the Babylon Five reality.”

Leigharch questioned, “So, it was that type of Starfury?”

Matthew replied, “Yes.”

Leigharch requested, “Could you teach me to fly one of those things, sometime?”

Matthew calmly stated, without even a hint of sarcasm in his tone of voice, “Sorry, but I do not have a Star Fury simulator with me. But, I can tell you about the controls.”

Leigharch replied, “That will be fine.” He then turned to looked at Pedro, as he inquired, “And what about you?”

Pedro answered, “I am Police Chief Pedro Del Soto, of a Mexican city known as Plata Podrido. And I do not think I come from a fictional reality.” He thought, 'At least, none that I know of.'

Leigharch said, “That is cool, too. So, where are we heading, next?”

Matt commented, “Yes. I was wondering that, as well.”

Pedro stated, “I see no reason why we not should give Leigharch his request. We go to Quarks, in Deep Space Nine. I would say a month, or two, after the last time Bob left that spacestation.”

Leigharch asked, “Who is Bob?”

Pedro answered, “Long stories. Literally.”

Leigharch asked, “Okay. So, what do you want me to do?”

Pedro said, “Just walk up close to me. This will only take a second. Though, when we get there, we have to act low key. Or, security will be onto us.”

Leigharch admitted, “I think you're crazy. But, if you can get us there. I will be as quiet as a mouse.”

Pedro responded, “Good. And it is okay if you think we are crazy. Being crazy is a perfectly sane response to the situation we find ourselves in.”

Leigharch cracked a grin, as he said, “Then, I think I will fit right in with this lot.”

Pedro stated, “My thoughts, exactly. Now, gather closer, people.”

Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch walked up to stand close to Pedro.

Pedro then thought of the time, place, and reality they wanted to go, as he pressed the rest button on his reality device.

The next thing the four men knew, they were in an empty, small futuristic hallway, which was moderately lit. With the room temperature being comfortable for them.

As they looked around, Leigharch commented, “Well, this does look like a Federation style hallway.”

Pedro pocketed his reality device, as he said, “That is because it is.”

Matthew inquired, “Do you think we alerted any of the station's sensors?”

Pedro stated, “I doubt it. I teleported right by Bob's quarters. With the sensors around here keyed not to alert security to teleports. With the only learning that Bob was on the station, after he notified them. But, if I am wrong, it is best not to stick around here. Just in case, security it sent here to check things out.”

Matthew said, “Okay. I agree.” He thought, 'Teleporting near Bob's quarters would the safest place to do so. Because the sensors here are keyed not to alert security, to doing so.'

Matt asked, “So, do you know your way around?”

Pedro answered, “I should, once we get to one of the docking pylons, or other landmark in here.”

Matt replied, “That's fine.”

Pedro requested, “Good. Also, keep in mind this is a not just a spacestation, but a spaceport. So, they expect strangely dressed people to come and go. As long as we are polite, we will be fine. Now, follow me.” He then started walking down the hallway, as a casual pace.

The other three men followed behind Pedro.

As they walked, Leigharch was right behind Pedro. While behind Leigharch, Matt and Matthew walked beside each other. With Matthew being to Matt's left side.

Matt turned his head towards Matthew, as he thought, 'I wonder...' He inquired, “Since you are from the Babylon Five reality. That series was a rival to the Deep Space Nine series. Do you have any problems being here?”

Matthew turned to Matt, as he cracked a grin. He said, “I saw this, and the other Star Trek series, as a kid. I really liked this one. I always wanted to come here, as well. Believe it, or not, human science fiction in general is still very big in my reality.”

“Even with all the space age technology we use, and the aliens we know. Star Trek and Star Wars are still both considered classics. Much the same way Shakespeare's plays are considered classics for your time. Like Hamlet, or Richard The Third...”

Matthew's lips curled into a wicked grin, as he continued, “Actually, I have some alien friends that like Star Wars, Star Trek, and other human science fiction series.”

Matthew's grin slightly widened, as he went onto said, “And it is always fun when they do cosplay.”

Matthew then turned to look in front of himself, as he stated, in a happy tone of voice, “Now, let's have some fun.” He then dropped his grin, as he continued to walked.

Matt shrugged, as he replied, “Okay.” He then turned towards his front, as he mentally reflected, 'It makes sense, in a twisted way, that Babylon Five would have Trekkies. They had good taste in everything else. So, why not fiction.”

The four men soon exited the hallway, and into the second story of Promenade. They came to a stop, as they noticed about four or five people staring at the outer window of the station, right in front of them.

Matt asked, “What is this all about?”

Pedro realized what was going on, as he said, “If it is what I think it is. Walk with me, while looking into the window, that the others are looking out of, into space. If I am right, we are about to see the wormhole open.”

Matt replied, “Cool. I always wanted to see that.”

Matthew commented, “We all do.”

They walked across a small bridge, between the inner and outer ring of the second floor. The second floor also had plenty of guardrails around the empty spaces that allow those on the second floor, to see the first floor below.

As they made it halfway across the bridge, they kept their eyes on the window in question, while being careful not to walk into someone, nor the railing. Then, they came to a stop, as they saw a ship enter the wormhole, with the wormhole becoming visible. A second later, it closed, and disappeared from sight.

Matthew commented, “Video does not do that wormhole justice.”

Matt said, “I agree.”

Leigharch stated, “If it wasn't for the fact that it would attract attention, I squeal like a little girl, after seeing that.”

Pedro quietly said, “I think we all would.”

The four men chuckled a little at their comments.

As they calmed down, Matt asked, “So, where is Quarks?”

Pedro answered, “While there is a second story entrance. I suggest we used the main entrance, which is on the floor below us.”

Matthew agreed, “Good idea.”

Leigharch commented, “It is sometimes best to walk in through the front door.”

Matt said, “Going through the front will not attraction the wrong kind of attention, in people won't think we are trying to sneak in.”

Matthew looked around, though the empty spaces, between the balconies and catwalks. He then saw the entrance to Quarks.

Matthew pointed at the entrance, with his right hand, as he stated, “There is main bar entrance, right there.”

The other three men look at Matthew, then at the direction he was pointing.

As the three men turned to look at the entrance to Quarks, Matthew dropped his right hand back to his side.

Matt asked, “Okay. I admit it. I am a little rusty on my knowledge of this place. I do not see any stairs. So, how do we get down there?”

Pedro looked over at a nearby lift, which was on their floor, and it was empty. He stated, “We take that nearby lift, down there.”

Pedro started walking towards the lift, with the other three men following behind them.

As they made their way towards the nearby lift, Matthew inquired “Though, there is one important matter we need to solve, before we go in there. How do we pay? Gold is not worth anything here. Only latinum is. And it is practically sacrilegious for a Ferengi to do anything for free.”

As they continued walked, Pedro pointed out, “Ah, but Ferengi value information. Especially, a Ferengi, like Quark. I will just make sure not to mention anything that can be used against us. Nor, our home realities.”

Matt commented, “That would be wise.”

Leigharch said, with a bit of excitement in his tone of voice, “Then, what are we waiting for? Let's head down there.”

They soon made it to the lift, which was on their level. With the four men walking onto the lift.

(_)

A few minutes later, after taking a lift, which they found the panel buttons for were exactly like an elevator, on a two story building. With only up and down arrows, they soon made it to the lower floor.

They then walked to the bar entrance to Quarks.

As they walked into the bar known as Quarks, they came to a stop, at the entrance threshold, as they took a little around.

The four men stood as a group, as they noticed that in the back of the room there was a spiral stair case that led to a seconds story balcony that over looked the bottom floor of the bar.

Also, the bar was moderately busy, with it being about half full. Most of the patrons were either at the dining tables on the first story, in the middle of the room, and second story balcony, over looking the first floor, from the back of the room.

To the four men's left, on the first floor, were the roulette style doba tables. With the doba tables being stationed by beautiful doba girls, whom were scantily clad humanoid women of various alien species, including a few human woman. There were a few customers gambling at the doba tables.

To the four men's right, was the bar counter. Where they saw there were a few number of people sitting in chairs, at the bar counter.

There were also few waiters and waitresses at the dining tables, taking care of orders by the customers.

And Quark, the Ferengi owner and manager of the bar, was serving a few customers, from behind the bar counter of his business.

When Pedro turned his attention to the doba tables, he thought, 'Yes. I am where I want to be. The doba tables, and doba girls prove this is the DS9 station in the timeline that is part of book three of Badasses of the Multiverse, post events of those stories, when Quark became the main ambassador for the Ferengi Alliance.'

“Also, in book three, Akira backed up Bob claims, that Bob told Quark, that this was all a fictional reality. So, Quark already knows some important pieces to this puzzle. But, given what happened, Quark was likely left more confused, by that meeting, than anything else. So, I won't mention I know about that meeting. Because, doing so might backfire on us. Quark might even call security.'

'And I do not want the Star Trek Federation to learn about reality travel. That could cause a whole lot of problems, for a whole lot of people. Including us, and our friends.'

'Still, I can use what I know to help us.'

Pedro stated, “Let's head to the counter.” He then turned to his right, and he walked towards an empty spot at the bar counter, with Matt, Matthew, and Leigharch, following behind him.

When the form men walked up to stand in front of bar counter, Quark, whom was behind the bar counter, looked over at the four strangely dressed human men.

Quark continued to look at the four men, as he set down the glass he had been wiping with a rag, and the rag itself, on a shelf, under the back of the counter.

Quark walked up to stand across the counter from the men. Quark looked at the four men, as the four men looked at Quark.

Quark's eyes stopped at Leigharch, as he commented, “You look like you just escape from an insane asylum.”

Leigharch cracked a grin, as he said, “I like you. You are sharp as I thought you would be.”

Quark thought, 'He acts like he knows me. That is possible. My brother is the Grand Nagus. But, it is to early in this acquisition, to ask such curious question.' He inquired, “I will take that as a compliment. So, what will you have?”

Pedro looked over at his friends. He then looked back to Quark, as he said, “First, I believe my friends need to find a table, while we talk.”

Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch got the message, that Pedro needed to conduct his business, alone.

Matthew thought, 'Pedro has been a good negotiator, so far. So, why not know.'

Quark turned to Pedro, as he thought, 'So, this human wishes to speak to me. Interesting.' He stated, “I have a whole room full of tables. As long as you are paying customers, and there is not one at the table, take your pick.”

Pedro looked over at his friends, as he stated, “Go find a table. With luck, this will not take long.”

Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch, silently turned and walked over to set at a nearby, empty table. With the three men sitting in a direction that faced Pedro and Quark.

With the three men sitting down, Pedro turned back towards Quark.

Quark questioned, “So, what will you be having?”

Pedro said, “To start with. While we are customers, we came to barter.”

Quark inquired, “What do you have to trade?”

Pedro answered, “The one thing that is more valuable that latinum. Information.”

Quark thought, with curiosity, 'That is true.' He asked, with a bit of curiosity in his tone of voice, “What type of information?”

Pedro smirked, “Do you remember, Bob?”

From Quark's subtle facial reaction of mild surprise, Pedro could tell that Quark knew Bob.

Pedro thought, 'Good. He knows Bob. That confirms we are in the reality that we wanted to be in.'

Quark questioned, “How is Bob doing? It has been a month, or so, since I last saw him.”

Pedro replied, “Long story short. Though, it has been decades for Bob, Bob's doing fine. We will get to him in a little while.”

Quark responded, “That is nice. Still, how can information about Bob be useful to me?”

Pedro complimented, “Good question. Quark. And yes, I know who you are. Anyway, the answer is simple. You and I both know about the wormhole aliens, inside the wormhole that this station is parked beside. Well, we also know that they are non-linear. And it is possible to use the wormhole to travel to parallel realities that are similar to this reality. That has already happened to some of the crew of this station.”

Quark quietly said, “The mirror universe.” He thought, with interest, 'These four human men might not be from this reality, like Bob. And this man wants to trade such information with me. If I play my cards right. This could be a very lucrative transaction for me.'

Pedro cracked a wicked grin, as he stated, “Yes. And that is barely a taste of what is out there.”

“Now Quark, you need to stop thinking of that wormhole outside, as a wormhole that just connects the Alpha quadrant to the Gamma quadrant. And you need to start thinking about that wormhole as a nexus point in the multiverse.”

“Your little station here is a port of call to a much larger sea than you realize. Instead of being a sea of space, you station is a port of call to the high seas of reality.”

Pedro thought, with delight, 'I will admit that I love that line that Lee and Chang came up with.'

Quark returned Pedro smile, with a tooth smile of his own. He complimented, “Catchy phrase.”

Pedro responded, “Thanks. I know the person that came up with the phrase. Anyway, it is the fact that the wormhole is a nexus point, which is the very reason that Bob came here in the first place. It is one of the few places his enemies could not track him too. Though, not to worry, we are not staying long.”

Quark requested, “Okay. You spin a good tale. But, until we move forward, I am going to need some proof.”

Pedro answered, “The proof is your customers. Your bar is right beside of this wormhole to the multiverse. And if you want proof, ask yourself this question. How many people lately had come into your bar, and bartered for services, and goods? Instead of paying with gold pressed latinum?”

Quark was quiet for a few seconds. He realized, as he thought, 'More than I can counter.' He then admitted, “A lot, lately. And that does explain some of the crazier claims that Bob has made to me, when he was drunk.”

Quark thought, 'I honestly did not know what to make of the blond woman that came for Bob, that night. She said some things to me.... Knew some things about me... And she made the same claims as Bob, and these humans, that this reality is a work of fiction. At the time, I knew better than to ask about such questions. But today, I have a chance to ask those same questions, with less risk to myself.'

Pedro continued smiling, as he said, “My point exactly. And we will get to those claims, later on, as well.”

Quark inquired, “Okay. You have my attention. What information are we talking about?”

Pedro answered, “Information on the origins those that were with Bob, those that were after Bob, and their friends. And what all of these people are currently up to. If you decline, we will head right out the door, and you will likely never see us, again. Because, this all comes down to if you are interested, or not.”

Quark thought, 'Hearing this human out will not cost me anything. So, why not?' He said, “I think we can do business.”

Pedro thought, 'I will try to be vague. But, I think I can get what we need from him, in exchange for what I tell him.' He replied, “Glad to hear it.” He then looked around the room. He turned back to Quark, as continued, “Though, I believe this room is a little to public for such a discussion.”

Quark responded, “I agree. We will have have to continued this discussion in my office.”

Pedro asked, “You have an office?” He thought, 'The DS9 series never showed you with an office. You just used part of the second story of your bar, or your personal quarters, as impromptu offices.'

Quark coyly answered, “I have any type I want. Any time I want.”

Pedro looked over to his friends, setting at a table. He then looked back at Quark, as he requested, “I want to bring my friends with me.”

Quark questioned, “Looking for some back up?”

Pedro casually stated, “Quite the contrary. If they come with us, they are less likely to get into trouble.”

Quark burst out laughing, for a few seconds.

As Quark calmed down, he said, in a jovial tone of voice, “Okay. I know people that can be like that. It is this way to my office.” He thought, my employees can handle the bar for a few minutes, while I talk business, with these men.'

Quark then walked around to the exit to the bar counter.

(_)

Around twenty seconds ago, at a nearby table, Matt, Matthew, and Leigharch watched the conversation, between Pedro and Quark.

Matt asked, “What do think Pedro is saying to him?”

Matthew answered, “He is probably trying to convince Quark to help us.”

Leigharch pointed out, “Yea. But, the Ferengi are all about profit. And we have none.”

Matthew responded, “Remember what Pedro stated. We have knowledge. Pedro realizes this. And Quark is intelligent enough to realize that.”

Leigharch mentioned, “Rule seventy-four.”

Matt questioned, “Huh?”

Leigharch explained, “Rule seventy-four of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition is, knowledge equals profit.”

Matthew thought, with slight disbelief, 'And they call me a fanboy.'

Matt hesitantly replied, “Okay...” He thought, 'I must remember it is best to humor the lunatics.'

Suddenly, they saw Quark walking away from Pedro.

Leigharch asked, “What is going on, now?”

Matthew said, “I don't know. But, I have a feeling that we will find out soon enough.”

Quark then came back around to stand by Pedro, on the side of the bar counter, the mexican police chief was on.

Pedro then turned towards them, and he motioned with his right hand to for them come.

Matthew commented, “I think he wants us to join him.”

Matt said, “It is not like we have anything better to do.”

Leigharch commented, “That is fine with me.”

As they got up from their seats, they saw Quark begin walking towards the back of the bar, with Pedro following right behind them.

The three men followed behind Quark and Pedro.

A few seconds later, they reached that spiral staircase, in the back of the bar, that lead to the second story balcony.

After they reached the second story balcony, Quark left them passed some tables, and into a hallway, in the back of the bar.

As they reached the hallway, they saw that there were several metal doors, in rows, on both sides of the hallways.

Quark then came to a stop in front of one of the doors to his right side. He pressed a few buttons on the panel. The doors them slide open and Quark walked in.

When the four human followed, they came to a stop, just inside the room. They stood, lined in a row, as they looked around.

Meanwhile, Quark walked further into the room. He then came to stop, as he turned around to face the four human men.

The four human men continued to look at tell-tale grid pattern on the walls, ceiling, and floor, of the large room they were in.

Leigharch stated, with a bit of excitement in his tone of voice, “Oh my. It's a holodeck. We're on a holodeck.”

Quark corrected, in a flat tone of voice, “Actually, it is a holo-suite.”

Pedro quickly commented, “I apologize for my friend's outburst. But, this is all new to him.” He mentally added, 'And for us.'

Matthew mentioned, “He is also clinically insane, and easily excitable.”

Quark asked, “Does he have money?”

Leigharch replied, “Sadly, not at that moment.”

Quark stated, “That is alright. Doors close.”

The door closed behind them.

As the sound of the doors clanging closed, the four human men turned around to see the closed doors disappear from sight.

The four men turned around to look at Quark.

Matt complimented, “Nice trick.”

Quark grinneed, as he said, “You haven't see anything, yet. And since I am in cheerful mood, I will go with something festive. Computer. Run Quark Mountain Villa Office O One.”

Suddenly, the room turn into a white room, with the corners being being large the white, stone, columns, that went up to a rounded, white, stone ceiling, with baseboard around circling around the corners of the ceiling.

There were no walls, nor windows, leaving only the rounded awning, above them. And they were under the center of the awning.

Instead, the room lead to a small, circular outside terrace that dropped off about ten feet from the edges of the awing.

The floor was flat, and covered in red stones of different sizes and shapes.

It was daytime outside, with a pearl blue sky. Though, awning blocked out the sun from directly hitting them.

The men also saw that in the distance, white snow capped mountains in all directions. With the mountains going as far as they could see in all directions.

Also, they four human men noticed they were above the cloud line, with only a pearl blue sky above them.

There was a light breeze, going through the room, that gave the room a cool, but still comfortable, temperature.

Along with all this, a large, brown, rectangular, wooden desk, appeared right in front of Quark, with the cushioned chair for the desk being beside Quark, to his left.

There was silence for a few seconds, while Quark's smile became a little wider, as he saw the four men could not hide astonishment from their faces.

Leigharch stated, “I'm impressed.”

Matthew flatly said, “We all are.”

Quark commented, “While I do pay for most of my holo-programs. I design my office programs, myself.”

Pedro complimented, “You have real artistic talent.”

Quark replied, “Thank you.”

Matt commented, “If you ever decide to close your bar. I have not doubt you can get a good job as an interior decorator.”

Quark responded, “Thank you. And I conduct my ambassadorial duties in here, and in my bar.”

Matt questioned, “Huh? What ambassadorial duties?” He thought, 'I don't remember him becoming an ambassador in the series.'

Matthew quickly said, “We will talk about it, later.”

Quark noticed the exchange between Matt and Matthew. He thought, 'Interesting.'

Quark sat down in his chair, as he faced the four, standing men.

Quark ordered, “Computer. Standard table chairs, evenly spaced apart, in a parallel row, facing the front of my desk.”

Suddenly, the men saw four chairs, like the ones at tables in the bar, at Quarks, appear, in a row, a foot apart, five feet in front of Quark's desk.

Quark said, “Please, sit down. There is much we need to discuss.”

The four men sat down.

On the far left sat Leigharch. To Leigharch right was Pedro. To Pedro's right was Matthew. To Matthew's right was Matt.

After the four human men as sat down in the chairs Quark provide, Quark said, “Computer. Security Protocol. Quark One.”

Suddenly, four large humanoid aliens, in black suits appear. They stood against each of the four columns of the awing, while facing those present.

The humans look around the room at the guards, as Quark cautioned, “A warning. The holo-safeties, and the cameras are off, in this room, until this program ends. Or, if I order, otherwise. And these guards can hurt you, if I order them to do so.”

The four men turned back to look at Quark, as Pedro stated, “That is understandable.”

Quark requested, “So, what are your names?”

Pedro thought, 'I am not going to give Quark anything than I have to.' He said, “At this time, we would prefer not to give you our names.”

Quark responded, “As long as you information checks out, I could careless what your names are. So, what do you want in exchange for the information you are offering?”

Pedro answered, “Food, drink, and lodging, for a few days. Along with a change of cloths for my bearded friend, here.”

Leigharch scratched his beard, as he commented, “Also, a razor, some shaving cream, a comb and a handtowel. My beard itches a little.”

Quark stated, “I can help you with the clothing and other items. But, arranging lodgings here would be difficult. Commander Nerys is very strict on those that stay on the station. Even I won't cross her on that matter.”

Pedro said, “Okay. We will settle for the clothing and other items. And a little food and drink.”

Quark replied, “Fine.” He thought, 'That is nothing compared to what these men might tell me.'

Matthew then remember something from the supplemental materials on the Star Trek Deep Space Nine series. He commented, “Not to sound a day late, and a dollar short. But, are you sure it is wise to tell him the truth about multiverse. Let us remember what Twim had to clean up.”

The four human men noticed Quark fidgeted a little in his seat, at the mention of the name, Twim.

Matt asked. “What are you talking about?”

Pedro answered, “He is talking about Grand Nagus Twim.” He thought, 'From the Legends of the Ferengi, Star Trek book.'

Quark hesitantly inquired, “So, you guys know about that...Incident?”

Pedro replied, “We know the basics.”

Matt retorted, “I don't.”

Leigharch spoke up, “Guys. I got this... Let's see... If I remember this happened in year seventeen eight hundred and twenty-two of Ferenginar.”

Quark said, “That would be correct. And I will admit that was not my people's most profitable year.”

Leigharch responded, “That would be the understatement of the millennium. During that year. Over twenty thousand Grand Magi held office. The Ferengi Financial Exchange crashed over thirty-one hundred times. With the same exchange setting record highs over twelve thousand times.”

“There were over forty-one thousand civil wars among the Ferengi Alliance. And millions of interstellar wars incited by the Ferengi. And the Ferenginar sun went nova at least once a week.”

Pedro thought, 'It figures that given all the Star Trek jokes Leigharch made in the Black Lagoon series, that he would be a diehard Trekkie.'

Matt look around, at the others, with a look of disbelief, he stated, “That cannot be true.”

Quark sighed. He confirmed, as he said, “It is.”

Matt hesitantly asked, “What happen to cause all that?”

Leigharch answered, “That was the year that the Ferengi discovered time travel.”

Matt stated, “Oh... If that case I don't think it is a sane idea to even be here.”

Pedro turned to Matt, as he commented, “We left our sanity behind us when start jumping realities.” He looked over at Quark, as he continued, “And we would not want to be ungrateful visitors to our host.”

Quark's cracked a grin at Pedro's commented. Quark thought, 'At least the man knows his manners.'

Pedro said, “Anyway, a Ferengi named Twim found a way to fix that paradoxical insanity. And when the all was said and done, Twim ended up Grand Negas. He then made time travel for Ferengi a crime, punishable by death.”

Quark replied, “True.”

Matt commented, “After all that, I can understatement why he would institute such a harsh punishment for time travel.”

Pedro look Quark in his eyes, as Pedro stated, “Still, I doubt you will make the same mistake, again.”

Quark mentioned, “Those fools, back then, sold their time travel technology to anyone they could, barely days after they got their technology working right. They thought that time travel was the product they sold. Not the services, and products, time travel could bring to the present. Nor, did they take into account the dangers of offering such technology, to such an ambitious customer base.”

“This was why rule number two-hundred and one of the Rules of Acquisition was invented. Never sell newly developed technology, without profit and dangers being first established, concerning said technology.”

Quark thought, 'Before that, we Ferengi believed that two hundred rules was enough. And that set of two hundred rules was all we needed to have a great society. And we were horribly wrong. Still, it was a number of centuries between the creations of rule two hundred, and two hundred and one.'

Matthew said, “I can agree with that rule.”

Quark looked over at Matthew, as he asked, “And you are?”

Leigharch stated, “He's our lawyer.”

Quark deadpanned, “But, of course.” He thought, with mild concern, 'Now, to find out what happened to Bob.'

Quark inquired, “Still, my first question is, whatever happened to Bob? He was a good customer, and a nice guy. You said he was fine. But, not anything else. I was wondering give me some details on what happened to him.”

Pedro answered, “Bob is married, with two kids.” He mentally added, 'I will leave the gender bending, that Bob has been through, out of the discussion.'

Quark questioned, “So, he finally married that redhead he kept pining for, in my bar?”

Pedro said, “Yes. That is the woman he married.”

Quark happily stated, “Good for him. I hope he is happy.”

Pedro responded, “Yes. He is. Now, my turn to ask a question. Did they ever cure what happened on Ferenginar?” He mentally added, 'I always wondered about that. Though, I am sure that the Federation in Birdy's reality already have a cure. Lee all but stated that. Still, Lee left open what happened on Ferenginar.'

Quark flatly answered, “A treatment, yes. A cure, no. They are no longer contagious, but they still have that... Condition. And it is inherited. The kids have the condition, as well. And it can also be transmitting by blood, or sex. Also, while the quarantine measures have been removed, there are still some restrictions on those that were affected by that virus.”

Matt asked, in a curious tone of voice, “What are you talking about?”

Matthew flatly said, “You don't want to know.”

Quark agreed, “You friend is right. You don't want to know.”

Matt thought, 'Something has happened here, that was not in the series, that these men know about. But, I am going to have to stay silent about, until I find out what exactly they are talking about.'

Pedro thought, 'So, those effected by that gender bending plague can still transmit the virus through fluids. But, not by air, nor touch. Though, sex can still also transmit the virus, like what happened to Lee, when River impregnated her.'

'Fortunately, when I learned that, I always realized that the gender bending virus Lee was infected with did not make her contagious, by air, or touch. I am not even sure sex can do it. Considering, I have not heard of any of the normal people that Security crew have slept with, suddenly being able to change gender with a sneeze.'

'Though, I am sure a blood transfusion, or I guess pregnancy, in Lee's case can do it. And she and River's children also have the virus. But, they are no contiguous either. With Wash and Book seeming to be nice people, as they are now.'

'Still, it doesn't take a genius to piece that much about those two. Nor, does it take a genius to figure out what this means for Quark.'

Pedro soberly said, “I can imagine that has limited your romantic options.”

Quark coyly responded, “Yes. It has. Though, synthehol is not the only synthetic thing I sale in this bar.”

The other men fully understood what Quark was referring to.

Leigharch chuckled a little. He then playfully said, “Dirty old man.”

Quark took Leigharch's comment in jest, as he calmly quipped, “I'm not that old.”

Pedro thought, 'I got to get this conversation back on track.' He pointed out, in a kind tone of voice, “Well, at least you can now visit your family on that world.”

Quark coyly replied, “Yes. It has made family unions more... Interesting... Now, what is this big secret that you are planning on telling me?”

That was silence for a few seconds, as Pedro decided out to phrase his next comments.

Pedro thought, 'How should I put this... Oh, that should work, nicely...'

Pedro calmly stated, “To paraphrase something you one time said to Garak, about root beer, in comparison to the Federation, here. The truth we are about to tell you, at first, it is vile and bitter. But, over time you will begin to like it, and see the opportunities that said truth presents.”

Quark asked, with concern in his tone of voice, “How do you know about Garak? And how did you know I said that to him?”

Pedro explained, “I am getting to that. And the easiest way to state this is. You, and everything you know. This station, this reality. Even the parallel reality you mentioned before. Is a work of fiction originating from various alternate Earths, during the late twentieth century. This work of fiction is titled, Star Trek.”

There was silence in the room, with only a slight breeze making any noise. Quark blinked a couple of times. He the calmly said, “Pardon me. But, I am going to have to ask for some proof for your claims. Anything less, as a response, would be grounds for my future committal to a psychiatric ward.”

Leigharch commented, “Actually, the nuthouse I went to, wasn't that bad. If they had let me drive a car, occasionally, I would have stayed there.”

Quark sarcastically replied, “That is refreshing to know. Do any of you other, gentlemen, have something to offer as proof.”

Matthew ignored Leigharch's comment, as he offered, “Yes. And not offense, nor blackmail intended. But, we could list all the embarrassing things you have done over the last several years. And it is a very long list. Starting with the lengths you went to, to save the Ferengi economy.”

Leigharch cracked a wicked grin, as he joked, “Oh yea. The bird went chirp.”

No one laughed at Leigharch's joke.

Matt said, “I would prefer not to think about that episode.”

Pedro stated, “Most people prefer not to think about that episode. Myself included.” He mentally added, 'Along with, Lee.'

Quark immediately realized what Matthew and Leigharch was alluding to, as he replied, with concern in his tone of voice, “I would prefer you not do so. And I believe you.”

Matthew replied, “Good.”

Pedro diplomatically said, “I am glad that you are taking us at our word.”

Quark stated, “That is not much more I can take from you, at the moment.”

Pedro said, “Not to worry. This conversation is far from over.”

Leigharch mentioned, “By the way, fans of the Star Trek franchise are call Trekkies.”

Quark said, as his voice dripping with sarcasm, “How very original.”

Leigharch chuckled at little, in responded.

Quark inquired, “Of course. Given the some of insanity I have seen. The question has to be asked. What drugs were your people on when you created this reality?

Pedro answered, “I am not sure. But, given the original series was made during the hippie movement, of the Nineteen Sixies, on Earth, in the U.S. I am sure there was some drug use involved, somewhere along the line.”

Quark caught Pedro's comment, as he further asked, “What do you mean by, original series?”

Pedro stated, “The series about you... Which you were a major supporting character. Was aptly titled, Deep Space Nine. DS9 for short. And your series is actually the third television series created in the Star Trek franchise. There have also been movies, books, comics, video games. Even toys. Including, a toy of your character. The only reason we do not have holo-novels, are that holo-decks have yet to be invented, during that time, in those realities where Star Trek exists as fiction.”

Quark questioned, “Okay. That is twisted. But, I can see the profit in such a franchise. So, how popular is this... Star Trek franchise?”

Matthew spoke up, “The franchise has had its ups and downs. But, it is still very respected, and considered ground breaking, in many respects. Such, as the concept of peaceful exploration, and the Federation system itself.”

Pedro thought, 'I guess you would know, Matthew.' He mentioned, “But, like all things. Those that maintained the franchise like to keeps things fresh and bold. And so, there is drama and unfortunate violence. And sometimes even war. Like the Dominion war, or confrontations with the Borg.”

Quark said, “Sadly, war is always profitable. But, I did not realize that even the idea of war could be so destructive.”

Pedro stated, “We understand that, as well. Though, the franchise also inspired the creation of technology in our reality. Actually, much of our modern hospital equipment, when it comes to monitors of a patient's vitals, are something straight out of a sick bay, in this reality.”

Quark responded, “Now, that is interesting. So, how do works of fiction become reality? How does it work?” He mentally wondered, 'I wonder how Jake would handle knowing that the fiction works he wrote actually exist in another realities? Not, that I am ever going to mention this conversation to him. But still, I wonder.'

Pedro answered, “We don't know. But, it seems that when someone creates fiction in one reality, that fiction becomes reality, with a past, present, and future, in another reality.”

Quark asked, “Interesting. Does this apply to just human created fiction? Or, is this applied to alien fiction, as well.”

Pedro stated, “Now, that I think about it. I can see that realities based off of alien fiction could exist, as well.”

Quark lips curled into very wide, toothy smile, as he said, “Intriguing. So, who else in this reality knows about this reality being fiction? And other works of fictions existing as reality, across the multiverse?”

Pedro thought, 'Quark is as much on the uptake, as I expected him to be.' He answered, “Bob. Of course. Also, Kira... I mean Commander Nerys. By way of Bob. Whom brought her the entire Star Trek series and movies. Including the DS9 series. She likely still has a copy of the DS9 in her quarters.”

Quark agreed, “Yes. Given Kira's nature. She likely has a hard copy. Though, not on her computer files.”

Pedro replied, “That is to be expected for someone in her rank and position.”

Quark asked, “My thoughts exactly. So, who else knows?”

Pedro answered, “Well, Kira informed the Bajoran government. And I believe that is everyone who knows on this plane of existence.”

Quark understood the subtext of what Pedro has said. He commented, “That explains how Bob was allowed to live on the station. And when he came to visit me, he always had gold pressed latinum bars in his pockets.”

Pedro mentioned, “Yes. He even sold some technology from other realities, to the Bajoran government.”

Quark stated, “That could be a very lucrative venture.”

Pedro coyly commented, “If done so in moderation.”

Quark snorted, “That is debatable. But, not worth debating over.”

Pedro agreed, “You're right. It is not worth debating. But, it is still dangerous.”

Quark replied, “I can agree with you on that.”

Pedro stated, “Good. Also, it should be noted, that the Federation should not be told anything of this discussed in this meeting.”

Quark said, “I fully agree.” He then realized something, as he blurted out, “What a minute. If Kira has seen the Deep Space Nine series, then that means that Kira knows everything about me.”

Pedro suggested, “Yes. And it would be wise to stay on her good side.”

Quark replied, “Fortunately, I have. So far.” While he hid his worry from his face, he thought with concern, 'Oh. This is not good. Still, before I decide what to do next, I will have to figure out where the copies are and see them myself.'

Pedro thought, “He is good at hiding his emotions. But, I need to allay his fears.' He stated, “If Kira was going to pull something on you, from the information she has. She would have done so by now.”

Quark questioned, “I hope you are right. So, how do you fit in all this?”

Pedro stated, “Those after Bob, and many of their friends, all decided to come live in our city, and we finally decided to leave.” He mentally added, 'That is not the complete truth. But, it is close enough for Quark.'

Quark snorted, “That figures. So, this is like a holo-suite that won't turn off?”

Pedro said, “It is a lot more stable than that. This is a reality. It is just one created from the imagination of others, from other realities.

Quark began, “Like when one of those of the...”

Pedro quickly realized what Quark was going to say. He swiftly interrupted Quark, by stating, “Never say that letter of the english alphabet out loud. They are likely listening in. Just waiting for an opportunity to show up.”

Leigharch chimed in, “Speak of the devil, and he may appear.”

Pedro agreed, “Exactly.”

Quark responded, “Fair enough.” He thought, as he hid his amazement, 'This man probably spared me a whole lot of grief by stopping me from finishing that sentence.'

'And what a conversation we are having. The potential for profit from this is staggering. I can barely even imagine the possibilities of what such technology, in combination with one's own imagination, could create. I could potentially make more profit than all of wealth in the Divine Treasury. But first...'

Quark requested, “It is clear that you used reality technology to get here. It is possible I could purchase working reality traveling technology from you? Along with you teaching me how to work this technology. I assure you, my offer will be worth your while.” He thought, 'I would gladly sell everything I have, to get my hands on such working technology. And even then, that price would be cheap.'

Pedro stated, “Let me guess. You are thinking of selling everything you have, and then some, to get your hands on this technology.”

Quark complimented, “Good guess.” He thought, as he realized, 'These people are as sharp as I am. I have to stay on my toes.'

Pedro stated, “Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to even give you such technology. There are those after us whom would took grave offense for us doing so. Also, there are those that have abused this technology before, whom we know about.”

Pedro thought, 'Ironic, the same people, in both cases. But, Chang did learn his lesson. And Lee and River do keep him in line. So, there are no worries there. Still, I am going to have to get some more reasons to justify my decision to decline Quark's offer. Or, he might be tempted to turn those guards on us, and force us to give him the technology.'

'Though, as Ferengi go, Quark is straightforward about his profit, and he prefers to use non-violent methods to get what he wants. Like most Ferengi, his greed can sometimes get the better of him. And those guards are solid holograms. As such, they are bulletproof, and unkillable by most means in this holodeck... Err, holo-suite... Oh, that is a good reason.'

Pedro continued, “And there is the very real chance that if I give you access to this technology, it would make what happened in the year that Ferengi discovered time travel, look like a Sunday afternoon picnic.”

Quark thought, 'I don't think he is lying. I think he honestly believes what he just said. And he may have made a point, or two with his statement. But still, all this means is that I have to change tactics, and make my offer to him, from another direction.'

'Though, I am sure he is concerned that I might use my guards to force them to give me the technology. But, I do not operate my business that way. If I did, I would be like my cousin, Gaila, and I would sell weapons to the highest bidder.'

'The only reason I would resort to violence is in self-defense, or defense of the Ferengi way of life. If these humans do not give me their technology. I will still let them leave. What they have already told me is plenty enough to have the start of a very solid foundation to work on this very profitable venture.'

'And with my wealth, from being ambassador of of the Ferengi Alliance, I have plenty of latinum to start my own research in the matter of multiverse travel. Away from station. Away from prying eyes, such as Kira. And given I have first hand experience with traveling to the mirror universe. I have access to the basic information on reality travel, that I can use as a platform, to figure out how to travel the multiverse, myself.'

Quark suggested, “I will give you that one. How about I just scan the reality traveling technology you have? Then, you tell me how to use it. And I can replicate my own technology.”

Pedro countered, “We both know how dangerous replicating devices that alter reality are. Such as Martus' gaming machines. I do not want a record of this device on a computer here. What if the Romulans, or the Klingons hacked into your computers, and got a hold of this technology? And that is not even thinking about the Dominion, or the Borg.”

“I know for a fact that Odo use to regularly hack into your computers. Even if I was going to offer you this technology, your equipment isn't secure enough to handle these kinds of secrets.”

Quark concerned, “When you put it like that. You are making a lot of sense.” He thought, 'And I just knew that Odo was doing that. But, I could never prove it. Still, he never did get anything that could stick on me for very long.'

Pedro pointed out, “Besides, I promised you information. Not technology. And I have delivered on my promise.”

Quark stated, “True. You have. And perhaps it is for the best that I do not have access to this technology.” He mentally added, 'For now. Still, I got a leg up on everyone here, save for Kira. And these men have given me a starting point. And I have done more with less. In the meantime, I have to find a way to secretly get a hold of Kira's personal copies of the Star Trek series. So, I can see them. That will be hard, but not impossible.'

Pedro flatly stated, “We all know you are planning to look into this technology. And right now, you are focusing getting the copies of the DS9 series, from Kira, to watch.”

Quark eyes widened slightly, for half a second, before they returned to normal. He replied, “You know me way too well.”

Pedro said, “Don't worry. We are okay with your plans. We would expect nothing less from you, Quark. Only a fool would pass up the opportunities we presented to you. And you are no fool.”

Quark replied, “Thank you for being understanding.”

Pedro responded, “No problem. Just as long as you hold up your end of the bargain.”

Quark said, “No worries there. What you have asked for is so little, in exchange for so much. And who knows. You might come back here, and we might do business, again. I made a nice, tidy profit from, Bob.”

Pedro commented, “I am sure you did. And perhaps we will come back today. Your bar is well know to many people. So, as reality travel grows, I am sure others will show up to Quarks, as a tourist spot. And you will make even more profit.” He thought, 'If that has not already been the case.'

Quark responded, “I look forward to that day. So, is there anything else you wish to discuss, gentlemen?”

Pedro looked around, at his friends. He saw them looking back and him.

Pedro then turned back to look at Quark, as he said, “I believe that we don't have anything else to say on the matter.”

Quark stated, “Then, I have a business to run. Though, I will have of my employees see to your bearded friend's clothing, and grooming needs.”

Leigharch said, “Thank you.”

Quark inquired, “Are replicated clothes okay with you?”

Leigharch answered, “As long as I get to pick the clothing, colors, the styles, and the sizes of my clothing.”

Quark stated, “If the clothing is not too intricate, that will not be a problem. And I will give you one set to us. Now, what do you have in mind?”

Leigharch said, “Basic clothing. Such as pants, shoes, shirt, underwear, sock, belt, sunglasses. Just a basic ensemble to replace what I am wearing.”

Quark commented, “That can be arranged.”

Leigharch replied, “Good.”

Quark got up from his chair. He then ordered, “Computer. Open doors.”

Suddenly, the holo-suite doors opened behind the four human men.

Quark said, “Now, gentlemen. If you would kindly get up and follow me, we get to the next part of our arrangement. And as your bearded friend gets changed, you can have some complimentary glasses of ice water, at the counter of my bar.”

Pedro replied, “That will be fine.” He thought, 'He clearly still wants us around. And for Ferengi, even giving out free ice water is a rarity. I would stick around just for that. So, I could say I once got something free from a Ferengi.'

Pedro then stood up, with Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch also standing up right after he did.

Quark said, “Computer. Remove desk and chairs.”

Suddenly, Quark desk and chair, along with the four chairs the humans were using, disappeared.

Quark then walked between Pedro and Matthew, and out the door. As the other four men soon turned, and followed the Ferengi into the hallways.

Half a minute after the five adults left, the holo-suite sensors detected there was not customers in the room, and it closed its doors, as it shut down the holo-program that was running inside the room.

(_)

Thirty minutes later, Leigharch was in the large men's restroom, located down a first floor hallway of Quarks.

At the moment, Leigharch was the only one in the men's restroom.

Leigharch was standing in front of the large mirror that was above the row of sinks.

On the counter that connected the sinks together, was the small cup of shaving cream, a disposable razor, a comb, and a small hand towel.

Leigharch had just finished shaving off his beard, after he had combed his hair. He then wiped off his face with a hand towel that had been damped by hot water from the sink.

As he finished wiping off his face, he turned off the hot water. He then discarded the cloth, comb, small cup of shaving cream, and the disposable razor, into a nearby waste bin, which was under the counter. And he folded the hand towel, and left on the counter, by the sink.

Leigharch then looked at himself in the mirror. He was wearing the clothing that one of Quark's employees had made from him, from the replicator. Though, Leigharch got to choose what clothing.

Leigharch had on white socks, boxer shorts, and green, unbutton turtle-neck shirt. He had his shirt tucked into his brown pants. And he had a brown leather belt around his waist. Also, he wore brown hiking boots.

Leigharch picked up the green tinted sunglasses which he had set on the counter. He put the sunglasses on, over his eyes, as he looked in the mirror.

Leigharch smiled, as he happily said, “Looking good.” He mentally added, 'I was tempted to have my leather bracelets, and gold necklaces replicated, but I could not find the specific patterns I wanted. Oh well. I will have them replaced, later.'

As Leigharch continued to look at himself, someone walked into the restroom, and the man came to a stop, as he noticed Leigharch staring at himself.

The man said to Leigharch, as he joked, in english, “And here, I thought was the one with a sense of in fashion.”

Leigharch heard the man's strange voice, and he laughed at the joke. He turned to see the man was dress in a red and black cloth costume. There was red and black mask covering his head and face. Along with this, around his waist, he wore utility belt, with several pouches on it.

He also had sub-machine guns holstered in shoulder holsters, under his armpit, and he had two katana swords sheathed in scabbards, on his back, in a crisscross fashion.

Leigharch commented, in a caution tone of voice, “You got to be careful with those weapons. That will get you into trouble here.”

The strangely dressed man cracked a grin, under his mask, as he coyly pointed out, “I like trouble. Besides, they likely think these tools are part of this costume, which they are. And that I am heading for a holo-suite.”

Leigharch asked, “But, let me guess. They are real?”

The man answered, “That they are.”

Leigharch complimented, “You look and sound just crazy enough to pull it off.”

The man responded, “Thanks. I hope you don't have a problem with me being that crazy?”

Leigharch stated, “No. I admire crazy. And if crazy happens to be a sexy babe, I would find her attractive.”

The man said, “Yes. I can see the appeal. And there are plenty of babes out there for the both of us.”

Leigharch agreed, “You got that right. Well, I got places to be, and people to meet.”

The man replied, “Same here.”

Leigharch said, “See you.”

The man stated, “Good luck.”

Leigharch then headed out of the restroom, with the man watching Leigharch leave by the door automatically sliding open for Leigharch.

Leigharch the walked of restroom, and into a hallway.

As soon as door slid closed, Wade Deadpool Wilson quietly said, “And see you around, Leigharch.”

Deadpool then took care of his business, washed his hands, and existed the men's restroom.

(_)

Less than a minute later, Leigharch exit the hallway he was in, and into the back of the first floor of Quark's bar.

Leigharch quickly saw Pedro, Matthew, and Matthew, sitting in stools at the bar, across the room, with their back turns to him.

Pedro was on the far left, then Matthew to Pedro's right, and finally Matt to Matthew's right.

Leigharch also saw Quark serving other customers, on the other side of the bar counter, to Pedro's left.

Leigharch quickly made his way through the table section of the bar, to the counter.

As he approached his new friends, he asked, “So, how do I look?”

Leigharch came to a stop, to be standing beside the bar counter, to Matt's right side, with his back to the entrance of the bar.

Pedro, Matthew, and Matt, looked up from their small glasses of clean, pure, ice water, as they turned to face Leigharch.

As the three men looked at Leigharch, in his new clothing, Matt complimented, “You are looking much better, Leigharch.”

Leigharch replied, “Thanks. I feel better.” He then sat in the stool that was right beside him. Though, he still faced his three friends.

Pedro said, “Glad to hear it.” He thought, 'Leigharch picked clothing that was similar to what he was wearing in the Black Lagoon series. But, not the exact clothing.'

Matt asked, “So, what do you three want to do next?”

Leigharch requested, “I was wondering if we could visit a jewelry store. I would like to replace my gold necklaces, that I lost.”

Pedro flatly stated, “No. We cannot afford to pay for anything like that. And I am not about to tempt you into stealing something.”

Leigharch quipped, “You're no fun.”

Pedro responded, “I am trying to keep you out of trouble. Take that for what it's worth.”

Leigharch let out a laugh. He replied, “Okay.”

The four men then continued their conversation.

(_)

Meanwhile, in the back of the room, on the first floor, Wade Deadpool Wilson existed the hallway.

Deadpool then turned to his right, towards a nearby table. The table was set against the wall, between the hallway he had just exited, and the spiral staircase that lead to the second balcony.

As Wade approached the table, he saw his business partner, Cad Bane, sitting in one of the chairs, at the table, with his back to the wall.

Cad Bane was dress in his usual clothing, long coat, equipment, weapons, and nice, brown, wide brimmed fedora hat.

Deadpool then sat down at the table, with his back to the wall, as well, while he was to Cad Bane's left side.

On the table, in front of Wade, was a nearly full glass of a jack and cola, with ice cubes in the glass.

In front of Bane, on the table, was half a glass full of Andorian ale, which was a cold blue liquid.

Deadpool pulled up the front of his mask to where his mouth was exposed. He then picked up glass of jack and cola, with ice. He took a swallow of the cold liquid. Next, he set the glass back down.

Deadpool looked over at Bane, as he thought, 'The two of us have been working together, as both freelancers, and for Gomez, for the last few years. At least just a few years for us. Relatively speaking, given we travel the multiverse. And we have made a very good, profitable team. I am so glad that Gomez introduced us to each other, and that Bane agreed to work with me.'

'I keep him from going too far, and I am his walking meat shield. Though, we need to find another job, or this partnership could become strained.'

Wade looked around the room, as he asked, “So, which mission are we taking, next? I have always wanted to go after a Jedi.”

Bane continued looking around the room, as well. He picked up his glass Andorian ale, took a sip, and he then set down the glass. He then flatly stated, in galactic basic, “I don't hunt, Jedi.”

Deadpool commented, “Look, I know that, whether you want to admit it, or not, you are scared of Jedi, and other super-powered beings. And that doesn't make you any less of a badass. It just means you are sane. Or, relatively sane. Hell, some of them scare me, and I am completely bonkers.”

“And I made a career out of facing super-powered beings, before. I have even faced a few gods before. And several demons and devils. And though, most of the time I got my ass kicked. I did survive. And what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, and more devious.”

“Also, I can say, from personal experience, that though the healing factor helps. Ultimately, the deciding factor is you getting passed the fear.”

“To that end, there is one thing you need to remember, that I have personally found to be true. To quote the great, Adam Warren. Even gods can die, motherfucker.”

“And I have personally found that is a very true statement, as long as you have the right tools to use.”

“In such situations, fire works best. Especially, napalm. That is, if you don't have access to nukes. Cold is makes a very good second option. Especially, near absolute zero. And barring those tools. Just bring more firepower. They will eventually go down.”

Cad Bane just stayed silently, as he looked at Wade. He thought, 'Why did Gomez partner us up? Oh yea. Deadpool, for all his annoyance, and insanity, is unlikable. I should know. I have tested out that theory very thoroughly. And his skills at killing are on par with my own.'

'He is also dependable. One of the best shots I know of. Myself included. With those swords, he is almost as good as a Jedi master. And he has always been fair when it comes to payment for our bounties. He has never tried to cheat me. He has always been honest when it has come to doing the job.'

'Though, Wade has stopped me from going after a bounty, when things started to get messy. Also, Gomez tends to agree with Wade concerning such situations. Not that I really mind, because it has been a good arrangement. And I do not want to ruin such a profitable venture.'

'My main problem with him is that, barring a few exceptions, he won't shut up. But, then again, he used his talking as a weapon against his enemies, and doing so seems to work. So, I don't complain too much about that.'

Bane commented, “Those are some good points, Wade. It is unfortunate that such beings do not live by the same set of rules they attempt to force on everyone else.”

Deadpool commented, “When have we ever follow such rules?”

Bane cracked a grin, as he replied, “I see what you mean.” He mentally added, 'And Wade has a good sense of humor.'

From the corner of his eye, Deadpool noticed Bane's smile. He returned Bane's smile, as he said, “Thanks.”

As Deadpool and Bane continued looking around the bar, Bane said, “I have to admit that this is a nice bar.”

Deadpool commented, “I have always had good taste in fiction.” He thought, 'And Star Trek is a classic.'

Bane continued to grin, as he replied, “And payment is simple enough.”

Deadpool responded, “Yea. Alpha Quadrant banks are not that hard to teleport in and out of. While they are shielded from transport beam outs. Teleporting from one reality to another, is another matter. With us sidestepping their energy shields, in both getting in and getting out.”

Bane maintained his grin, as he stated, “And the vices here are so many. And so plentiful. The drinking. The gambling...” Bane's lips curled into a wicked grin, as he continued, “And the holo-suites.”

Deadpool said, “I must say those holo-suites put the standard cathouse to shame. And I am happy to have a willing convert with me, to enjoy the fun.”

Cad replied, “I wouldn't go that farm Wade. But, I will admit that you always have a way to come up with some fun.”

Deadpool said, “That is what I like about you, Bane. You have a good since of humor, and you know good taste when you see it.”

Bane's grin widened ever so slightly at Wade's comment, as he replied, “It is an acquired skill.”

Deadpool agreed, “That it is.”

Bane mentioned, “Still, after the passed few years of working with you, I don't even understand half the jokes you tell.”

Deadpool said, “But, you got to admit that the jokes I make, that you get, are funny.”

Bane agreed, “True.”

Deadpool continued looking out among the crowd, until he eyes turned towards the bar counter, where he saw Leigharch talking to three men. Two of the men. A brown hair haired man and a black haired man. He recognized from a bounty post. There was also a third, red haired man, that was closer to Leigharch, than the two other men at the counter. And it seemed that all four men were talking with each other.

Wade mentally wondered, 'Aren't those the two men those that Gomez put a bounty, on a few days ago? And what are they doing with Leigharch? And that redhead?... Is that?... No way. That is Matt Bluestone of the Gargoyles reality... How did he, and Leigharch hook up with these other two men?... Still, either way, I think we can have a little fun with this.”

Deadpool continued to look at his prey, as he calmly said, “Well, if you want to some fun. I can provide some, right now. But, we can never come back here again.”

Bane stated, “That is okay. There are other places that have holo-suites we can use.”

Wade responded, “Glad you are on board. Take a look at the counter. I think the brown and black haired men, sitting together, are the two bounties, posted by Gomez, a few days ago.”

Bane looked over at the counter, and as he stared at Pedro and Matthew, he said, “Wade, I believe you are correct. And they have been sitting in front of us the entire time. Good catch.”

Deadpool replied, “Thanks, Bane.”

Bane pointed out, “Though, the bounties on those two are not that high.”

Deadpool countered, “True. But, we do this for the fun and challenge. And not just the money.

Bane shrugged, as he replied, “Of course.”

Deadpool went onto say, “And what is more of a challenge, than to pull this off. By capturing these two people. In the one of the most heavily armed space stations in Alpha Quadrant, of this reality. While doing all this under the nosed of Star Fleet security.”

Bane said, “Yes. This would be a challenge. Still, it would not hold a candle to my break in and escape of the Jedi Temple, back on Coruscant.”

Deadpool stated, “Dude. Even I will admit that is a high watermark for one's career. Not only breaking in, and getting the item you were after. But, escaping by using a cloak and hood, as simple disguise, and walking their front doors, is textbook case of taking refuge in audacity.”

Cad commented, “Yes. I loved it when you showed me that episode, as well.”

Deadpool responded, “It was fun watching both the movies, and both clone wars series with you.”

Bane stated, “Yes. It was. And, at the time, if I had known that was Obiwan, undercover, during that one mission, I would not have saved his life.”

Deadpool commented, “We all make mistakes. Sometime. If you get me drunk enough. I may tell you about the time, this psycho chick, with multiple personality disorder, name Typhoid Mary, used holographic technology, to trick me into sleeping with her. That really messed me up in my head, for a while.”

Bane teased, “More so, than usual?”

Deadpool cracked a grin, as he responded, “Yea. But, I got over it. Still. Back to the bounties. We don't want Gomez's Black Iron Vader wannabe gets these bounties, first.”

Cad inquired, “I agree. Though, do you think he is here?”

Deadpool answered, “No. For all the fun I make about him. He has always prefers to stick to the shadows and wait for the proper opportunity to strike. And he is actually pretty good at his job. When is head is in the game. As such, he will not show his helmeted face on this station.”

Bane commented, “To each, his own. How do you want to handle this?”

Deadpool mentioned, “Do you remember how we caught those three bounties in that bar room ballet on the Cloud City of Bespin?”

Bane pointed out, “Yes. But, we don't have a wookiee with us, this time.”

Deadpool stated, “We don't need one. There are likely not that many armed people in here. I will play the wookiee, and you will clean up after me. We will then corner them, and capture them.”

Bane requested, “Fine with me. Now, show them what you got, Deadpool.”

Wade pulled down the bottom of his mask, as he cracked a grin. He said, with excitement in his tone of voice, “With pleasure.” He then stood up from his seat, as he continued, “Now, let's light this party up with some style.”

Deadpool and Bane then stood up from their chairs.

(_)

At that moment, behind the bar counter, Quark looked up from a customer, as he saw a man wearing a red and black mask and costume, stand up, across the room. He then saw the man pull out his sub-machine guns, and turn towards him.

Quark quickly ducked under his bar counter, as he thought, 'I have seen this dance before, way too many times. And I will have to call security. Or, security will come on its own. Depending on what happens, next. Fortunately, because this is consider sovereign territory, and I have diplomatic immunity, as long as I am not connected to these guys, I should be fine.'

'So, I will call after the dust settles.'

Pedro noticed Quark quickly ducked down under his bar counter. He mentally wondered, 'Why would he do that?' He turned around, and he saw Deadpool, standing up, looking at him, with his weapons draw. He also recognized the man sitting at the table in the back section of the room, by the back wall.

Pedro mentally screamed, 'Deadpool and Cad Bade!... Oh hell! I know who is after us! The same person that hired Cad Bane, and now Deadpool. And they just made us. We got to get to cover!'

Pedro turned back around, towards the bar counter, as he stated, “Everyone, over the bar! Duck and cover, now!” He then got out of his seat, and dived over the bar counter.

Fortunately, Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch overheard him, and they dived over the bar counter, as well.

(_)

A second later, across the room, Wade Deadpool Wilson screamed, with enthusiasm, “Libations for everybody! BWAHAHAHAHA!” As Deadpool continued laughing, he fired his sub-machine guns towards bar counter, but over everyone's head, and over the bottles on the shelves, above the wall, on the other side of the bar counter.

In response, cveryone else in the bar, but Bane, immediately ducked under their tables, or counters.

(_)

Across the room, under the bar counter, as bullets passed over his head, Quark sat on the floor, with his back to his bar counter. He looked to his right to see the four people he had just helped.

Also sitting on the floor, were Pedro, Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch.

Of these four men, the closest one to Quark was Pedro, then Matthew, then Matt, then Leigharch.

Quark muttered, “Security on the station has really gone downhill since Odo left.” He mentally added, 'I wish he was here. And this is not the first time I have thought that.'

Pedro overheard Quark. He turned to Quark, as he said, “We have heard of Odo. A professional, to a fault. He had a nice wit, and a dry sense of humor. And he had a good eye for detail. He kept people, such are yourself, on your toes, and thus prevented you from getting sloppy.”

Quark turned to Pedro, as he said, “Exactly.”

Pedro asked, “I noticed you do not have a weapon in hand. And I don't hear any return fire. So, I have to ask. Why don't you have automatic security phasers? Or, a hand weapon under this bar?”

Quark commented, “I am still waiting on the paperwork for a personal weapon. And I am already pushing my luck with Kira, with the dabo tables and holo-suites.”

Pedro questioned, “But, you're an ambassador?”

Quark pointed out, “Kira can still throw me off the station.”

Pedro conceded, “You have a point there.”

A few feet away, Matthew listened to Pedro and Quark's conversation, as he thought, 'I am not hurt, so I am good. I have complete confidence that Pedro will get us out of this mess.”

On the other side of Matthew, Matt turned to Leigharch, as he asked, “First time in a gunfight, at a bar?”

Leigharch turned to Matt, as he casually responded, “Nope. One of my lady friends, whom liked knives, took me to a bar once. Unfortunately, some redheaded woman there got drunk, and shot up the place. But, we both got of that place in one piece.”

Matthew thought, 'Shenhua likely took him to the Yellowflag. And Revy got drunk and shot up the place... Again.'

On the other side of the row of men behind the counter, Pedro said, “Looks like I will have to handle this problem.”

Quark asked, “How are you going to do that?”

Pedro used his right hand to reach into his coat, and pull out his Sistema pistol, from his holster, under his left armpit. He there was already a forty-five caliber hollowpoint round in the chamber of his pistol. With the hammer cocked back, but the pistol had the hammer safety flipped on.

Quark looked at the pistol, as he commented, “Okay. I have only seen those in Earth history data files, and holo-programs.”

Pedro looked at Quark, as he said, “Relax. I know what I am doing.” He thought, 'And I know exactly where to hit, Wade, to get him to stop fighting. Now, I just have to wait for the proper moment.'

Pedro then turned to face the bar counter, as he couched down, with both of his feet on the floor. He then used his right thumb to turn off the hammer safety.

A few seconds later, the gunshots to stop.

Pedro then swiftly jumped up to his feet, over the bar counter. He quickly took aim, fired one shot, and he then ducked back down behind the bar counter.

As Pedro ducked down, he turned around to sit with his back to the bar counter

A second later, Quark's wonderful hearing, heard a thud, coming from across the room.

Quark mentally wondered, 'Could he have gotten that guy with one shot?'

Pedro yelled, “Wrong bar, Wade!” He mentally added, 'One should to wait to make the snappy line, until after one is back undercover.'

Pedro used his right thumb to click on the hammer safety of the cocked pistol, with a bullet in its chamber. Next, he holstered his pistol.

It was then that Pedro saw his spent shell casing had landed beside him. He picked up the shell casing, and put it into his pocket, as he thought, 'Hollowpoints are very difficult to determine the ballistics of. And I will keep this shell, to help prevent those that examine this bar, after this fight, from figuring out what exact weapon I used.'

Quark turned to Pedro, as he stated, “Thank you. I hate it when my customers demand free drinks. But, why did you only shoot once?”

Pedro said, “If you know what you are doing, all you need is one shot.”

Quark shrugged, as he replied, “I can agree with that.”

Pedro thought, 'Besides. I am conserving ammo.'

Quark inquired, “So, it is over?”

Pedro answered, “Nope. We have to deal with the other guy.”

Quark commented, “Well, you sound like you know these people.”

Pedro stated, “Only by their reputations. The one that just fired at us is called, Deadpool. A lunatic that is one of the most dangerous mercenaries there is. And that gunshot will not keep him down for long. The one sitting at the table, in back, with the nice large hat, is a cold blooded bounty hunter named, Cad Bane. He is likely as good as Deadpool. Neither are locals. And I am guessing they are working together. And those two working together are a terrifying group.”

Quark said, “I will take your word on that.”

(_)

Across the room, Bane was standing, as he looked down, on the ground, to his left, at Wade was laying on his back. Bane could see that the hollowpoint round had entered Wade's neck, at where he voice box was, with it likely going through Wade's spine, severing the spinal cord. Removing his ability to move, from the neck down, at the moment. That wound, plus the momentum of the bullet, caused Wade to fall back, and collapse on the floor.

But, Bane also noticed that Wade's healing factor was quickly working, as it netted Wade's neck back together.

Bane thought, 'Wade, you idiot. I guess you did not take into account that one of our targets knows how to use his weapon. Though, it looks like you will be up and around, in less than a minute. And is was a nice shot by the other guy. Nice tactics, as well. He only stayed up long enough to take one shot, to take you down. And then he ducked back down to cover, instead of just foolishly looking at his handiwork.'

Meanwhile, Wade happily thought, 'He got my joke, and he knows my name. What a wonderful day it is when people understand me.'

A second later, Bane looked around to see the rest of the bar was still cowering before them.

Cad stood up from his chair, as he thought, 'No one else here seems to have a spine, but Wade, myself, and the guy that shot Wade. I guess I need to take care of matters, myself.'

Bane pulled out his blaster pistols, from their holsters, on the sides of his waist, as he calmly stated, “I have to thank you for silencing my friend. I have been trying to figure out how to shut him up all day. And that was some good shooting. But, I am still going to have to capture you.”

Bane then walked around hist table, to his right. Then, when he had a straight path to the bar counter, started firing towards, and above, the bar counter, but below the bottled on the shelves behind the counter. He continued firing, as he slowly made his way towards his prey.

(_)

Across the room, Pedro look up to see blaster bolts being fired over them. A few hit He thought, 'That has to be Cad Bane. And from the sounds of those foot steps, Cad getting closer. I don't think Bane is going to stop, until he is on top of us. That means I cannot return fire. But, the others need to know what is going on. And we need to get out of here.'

Pedro turned to Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch, as he stated, “I know who is after us.”

As Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch turned to look at Pedro, Matthew asked, “Who?”

Pedro answered, “Gomez.”

Matthew questioned, “From the stories?”

Pedro replied, “Yes.”

Matthew shrugged, as he said, “That makes sense. He would have the resources to send that powerarmored guy after us.”

Matt asked, “Who is Gomez?”

Pedro answered, “Gomez is a government spook that got his hands on the same technology we use to travel with. And he has a badass organization that works for him.”

Leigharch questioned, “How badass?”

Pedro stated, “In comparison, Gomez's organization makes Chang's organization look like street vendors.”

Leigharch commented, “That is bad.”

Matt inquired, “So, what do we do?”

Pedro answered, “First, we get out of here. Then, we will come up with a more long term plan, later.”

Matt agreed, “Good plan.”

Pedro turned to Quark, as he requested, “Quark, I need you to please back up, away from us.” He then turned back to face his friends, as he pulled out his reality device, from his right side pants pocket.

Quark replied, “No problem.” He then back away from the four other men behind the bar counter.

As Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch crawled closer to Pedro, Matthew commented, “It is safe to say we are never going to be able to come back here, again.”

Leigharch said, “That is kind of staying the obvious. And there are plenty of holo-suites, and alcoholic drinks, elsewhere.”

Unfortunately, Pedro mind was so focused on Cad Bane, that he did not fully pay attention to where he wanted to go. Instead, he just thought of somewhere tropical, on Earth, that was not in asia, and was during a modern period of time for humanity, from his point of voice. As he held those thoughts, he pushed the red button on the reality device.

Quark then watched as the four men instantly disappeared.

Quark thought, 'That was no transporter beam out. That was something completely different. And this merely adds credit to their claims of being from another reality. But, before I can do anything else, I need to survive the next few minutes.'

A few seconds later, the shooting stopped, and Quark looked up to see Bane and a fully healed Deadpool, leaning over the counter, and looking back down at him. Both of them with their firearms in their hands

Bane asked, “Where did they go?”

Quark answered, “No joke intended. But, they just disappear.”

Both men leaned about up straight.

Bane turned to Wade, as he inquired, “That figures. Shall we go after them?”

Wade holstered his sub-machine guns, as he turned to Bane. He said, “No. That man took me down with one shot. We do not know who they are. But, they are clearly more than capable of taking us down. And that man also called me by my name. So, they know who we are, and likely what we are capable of. As such, we would be at a disadvantage. I don't like being at a disadvantage. And I know that neither do you.”

Bane turned to Wade, as he growled, “Point taken. We will not go after them. Still, either way, we need to leave.”

Deadpool thought, 'I know you don't like walking away from bounties. But, this is one case I feel we need to do so.' He said, “Lead the way.”

Bane holstered his weapons. He then thought of the time, place, and reality he wanted to go to, as he press the red button the reality device strapped to the right side of belt, behind his right blaster holster.

By then, Quark had shift his position, to where he was leaning against the wall, behind the counter. This allowed him to see Bane and Deadpool.

Quark then watched as Bane and Deadpool disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Quark thought, 'And these guys used the same type of technology as those four men... Well, at least they are out of my hair. And I can start to focus and plan on what I learned today, from those four men. And I don't think they did that much damage to my bar, with is good.'

'As long as my customers and employees are fine, Kira won't give me to much grief over this. Which I believe will be the case. Considering those two only shot over our heads.'

A few seconds later, station security showed up, with their phasers in hand, and set to stun.

One of the security officers ordered, “Security. Nobody make any sudden movements.”

Quark thought, 'That is my cue.'

Quark slowly stood up, and looked at the security officers. He thought, 'I really hate it when customers leave without paying. And I hate it even more when I am the one left to do the explaining to station personnel. Still, these are small prices to pay for what I have learned to day.'

'Now, all I have to do is say I saw those involve transport away. And then, I can begin planning on secretly getting a hold, and clandestinely copying Kira's copies of Deep Space Nine. And I wonder what form they are in? Likely not in her computer files. They are probably in some form of disc, magnetic tape, data chip, or data crystal.'

'Though, it does not matter. I will find those series, and I will see them. Then, I will begin looking into reality travel. I have already visited on alternate reality before. The mirror universe. And I safely returned from that adventure. So, I personally know it is possible. All it will take is time and latinum, to find the research to make working reality traveling technology. Fortunately, I have plenty of both.'

'And I know a few people, of various alien races. Not my own. Of course. That will be more happy to do the research for me, and keep quiet about it, for a modest retainer.'

'Those Ferengi of Grand Nagus Twim's time did not realize how valuable and dangerous time travel technology was. But, on the other hand, I understand the dangers of both time travel, and reality travel. And unlike the fools of that time, I will not relinquish such technology, so cheaply. It will take far more than a few bars of gold pressed latinum for me to loosen my grip on such technology.'

'At the very least, this technology would be worth all the latinum in the Divine Treasury.'

'Now, to lie my way out of this current mess. Which should not be a problem. And then I will get to work on the greater glories now laid out before me.'

Quark calmly lied, “Gentlemen, please inform the Commander Nerys that I am willing to tell you everything I know of what has just transpired here. Though, there is not much to say on my part.”

And so, with no one hurt, Quark was able to talk his way out of the mess he found himself in. And then Quark began his own great multiversal adventure.

To be continued.



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