Badasses Of the Multiverse: Book 6: “The Mexican, The Lawyer, And The Mechanic.”
Volume 1: “The Heroes.”
Chapter 08: “Into Laguna Negra.”
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, an alternate Earth. Date, sometime close to the turn of the second millennium AD. Place, Unknown Time, mid-morning.
The next thing Pedro, Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch knew, they were sitting on a patch of grass, looking up at the sunny blue sky.
It was a sunny day, with a few clouds. The temperature was warm, with a moderately strong breeze that was noticeable, but did not affect one's movement.
As the four men looked back down, at each other, Leigharch complimented, “I will give this, Pedro. You know how to arrive during wonderful breaks in the weather.”
Pedro pocketed his reality device, as he replied, “Thanks. Now, let's get up, and see where we are.”
Matthew commented, “Anywhere is better than being shot at.”
Matt agreed, “You got that right.”
The four men stood up, and looked around them.
To one side, of the gassy patch of earth they were on, they saw they were beside a major four highway. There was a grassy median, with palm trees between the pair of roads that went in opposite direction. They saw a few vehicles pass by from both directions. But, the highway was not that busy.
On their other side, they saw a harbor, with a large body of clear, blue water.
And on a small pier, right in front of them, about a hundred feet from them, was a small ship, which was Moored right side of the pier. The front of the ship pointed out towards the seat.
But, the type of the ship, caught all four of the men's eyes. For the ship was PT Boat.
As all four men started at the PT boat, Matt asked, “Is that a PT boat?”
Matthew replied, “I believe so.”
Leigharch inquired, “Could it be the Lagoon. I mean how many PT boats are there left? Look around at the some of the cars around here. It has to be the mid nineteen nineties, at least.”
Matt commented, “That is possible.”
Pedro then notice a man using a mop to clean the back deck of the ship. Even though the man had his back turned to them, Pedro immediately recognize the man by his muscular build, dark skin, bald head, and clothing.
Pedro said, in a slightly confused tone of voice, “I don't know how. But, I think that is Dutch. And that means that is the Lagoon.”
Matthew flatly stated, “We better not be back in Roanapur. Again.”
Leigharch asked, “How many times have you been to Roanapur?”
Matthew answered, “Once. But, that is enough times, to last me a while.”
Leigharch commented, “I know the feeling. That is why I didn't stick around that city, too much.” He then continued, in a more supportive tone of voice, “And cheer up. Though, I don't know where we are. I can say, with certainty, This is not Roanapur. I have been up and down the harbor of Roanapur, many times. We are not in that city. Look passed the boats. There is not even a cove protecting the harbor, like Roanapur has.”
As Leigharch suggested, Pedro looked out passed the boats. And he saw what Leigharch meant.
Pedro stated, “Leigharch is right. There is not even a large stone outcropping in front of the harbor. You know. The small island with the broken Buddhist statue, in an alcove, that faced the sea.”
Matt questioned, “So, if we are not in Roanapur, where are we?”
Pedro suggested, “Let's just take the simple approach. We go up and ask, Dutch. But, let's not call him by name.”
Matt replied, “Good idea.”
The four men then walked over to the small pier that the Lagoon was moored to. The pier was for the four men to walk side by side. But instead, Pedro and Matthew were in front, while Leigharch and Matt walked behind them.
Less than a minute later, they walks up beside the back of the Lagoon. All four men then looked up, and to their right, towards the back of the Lagoon.
Fortunately, at the moment, Dutch was mopping the left back side of the Lagoon.
Pedro politely requested, “Excuse us, sir. Could we please have a moment of your time?”
Dutch turned around to look at him.
All the four men saw that this Dutch was a much younger man, than the Dutch of Roanapur. This Dutch was looking to be in his early to mid twenties.
But, other than that, this Dutch looked the same. Including, his shaved bald head, black goatee, and earrings.
And this Dutch's clothing was similar to the clothing the Dutch from Roanapur wore. Though, this Dutch did not have on his flack jacket, but he did have on his green shades, over his eyes. And the rest of this Dutch's clothing was the same as the Dutch from Roanapur. With this Dutch wearing a green shirt, pants, belt, and boots.
Pedro mentally wondered, 'Dutch seems too young. How could that... No way. It couldn't be. I only talked about it. It cannot be that damn easy. If it is, then this multiverse is a far crazier than even I imagined it could be.'
Meanwhile, Matthew thought, 'Oh Pedro. If we are where I think we are. We are in real trouble. On so many levels.'
Dutch looked down at the four men, with his mop still in his hands. He calmly asked, in english, “What can I do for you?”
Pedro inquired, “I apologize, But, my friends and I are a little lost. What city are we in?”
Dutch answered, “You are in the city of Santo Domingo of the Dominican Republic.”
Pedro thought, with worry, 'Oh no. No. No. No. It can't be. Can it?.. There is one more question that I have to know, before my suspicious are confirmed.'
Pedro went to ask, “Thank you. I have another question for you. Have you ever been to Thailand?”
Dutch responded, “Nope. And I have no plans on leaving the Caribbean Sea. anytime soon. What do you ask?”
Pedro thought, 'Oh my god. We are in the Laguna Negra reality. Still, I need to answer Dutch, in a tactful way, or we could get into trouble here.'
Pedro answered, “I have been there. And you look like someone I know from there.”
Dutch flatly said, “Well, I am not him.”
Pedro tactfully replied, “I see that now, sir. And thank for you time.” He turned to the other three men beside him, as he said, “We know where we are, let's head out of here.”
The other three men nodded in agreement. The four men turned around and walked down the pier, towards land.
Leigharch and Matt lead the way, with Matthew and Pedro behind them.
As Dutch watched the four men walk away from him, he muttered in his breath, “Tourists.”
Dutch then went back to mopping the deck of the Lagoon, as he thought, 'I look forward to Benny and Revy showing up, and we and get this job, I have line up for us, underway... And at least they were no too busy to answer the phone. When I did call, and talked to Benny, this morning.'
Nearby, on the pier, as the four men continued walking, at a leisurely pace, Matt could tell that something had agitated Pedro and Matthew, during their conversation with Dutch.
Matt thought, 'I need to find out what is going on. And this might be the best time to do just that.'
A few seconds later, when the reached dry land, and they were out of earshot of Dutch, Matt stopped and turned around to face Pedro and Matthew.
Leigharch noticed Matt's actions, and he did the same.
Pedro and Matthew also immediately stopping, so they would not run into the two other men.
Matt turned to Pedro and Matthew, as he demanded, in a stern, but not angry, tone of voice, “Okay guys. Level with me. What is going on?”
Leigharch looked at Pedro and Matthew, as he said, “Yea. That would be nice to know.”
Matthew and Pedro turned to look at Leigharch and Matt.
Matthew then turned to Pedro, as he said, “We have to tell them. Or, we will have a mutiny on our hands.”
Pedro looked over at Matthew. He sighed, as he agreed, “I know. I will tell them.”
Pedro and Matthew then looked back at Leigharch and Matt, as Pedro said, “Okay. We will tell you what is going on. There is a lot more going on than we told you.”
Matt flatly stated, “That is obvious.”
Pedro said, “As you know. You are from fiction realities. And there are countless other realities that are fiction, as well.”
Leigharch replied, “Yes.”
Matt said, “Of course.”
Pedro asked, “Do you both know what fanfiction is?”
Leigharch answered, “Of course. Every trekkie does. Our fandom practically invented it.”
Matthew countered, “That is debatable. I believe the oldest known case of fanfiction is the plays of the Death of Julius Caesar, in Ancient Rome.”
Leigharch thought about Matthew's comment. He then said, “Now, that I think about it. You might right, Matthew.”
Matt stated, “I know what you are talking about... Elias is a yaoi fan. And I accidentally looked at her computer screen, when I visited her home one time. And I read what was on the screen of one of those stories, posted on the internet... I regret doing so. Though fortunately, I didn't get into trouble with Elias, over the matter. She was more embarrassed with herself, than upset with me, at someone finding out about her little hobby.”
Pedro thought, with mild disbelief, 'You just don't know some people. And this is a reminder that fictional series only scratch the surface of the personalities and personal lives of the people those series show. Let alone their tastes and hobbies.'
Pedro commented, “I am glad you know. Though, I don't want to know about such hobbies... Still, be that as it may. Someone that Matthew and I know of, wrote some fanfiction.”
Matt asked, “And what happened?”
Pedro responded, “The fanfiction in question was fairly long. Four books. The title of the entire series is, Badasses Of the Multiverse. Both, Matthew and I have read those stories.”
Matthew commented, “And reading it does take a hit to one's sanity points.”
Pedro stated, “True. And the way the writer wrote these stories was that she wanted to push the envelop on a lot of genres. And the entire story ended up being a gender bending, pan-reality, action series, that dealt with people, places, times, and realities, across the multiverse. And most of those of the cast, whom started as men, ended up as women. Either part time, or full time.”
Matt flatly stated, “That is messed up.”
Pedro quietly said, “I know.” He then turned to Leigharch, as he continued, in a sober tone of voice, “And to make matters worse, for you Leigharch. That blond friend you mentioned Shenhua has met. Well, that woman's name is Akira. She was not part of the Black Lagoon cast. She was a character from another series, titled, Gacha Garcha Secret.”
“And that puts your Black Lagoon reality as one of the reality effected by those stories. With the timeline, when we met you being in book one of that fanfiction series. With that series effecting those you know, in that reality.”
Leigharch was able to put to and two, together, on what Pedro was hinting at. He began to ask, in a worried tone of voice, “So, if I had stuck around, I would have...”
Matthew said, “By now, you would have been playing for the other team, in a bra.”
Pedro thought, 'I might as well tell him.' Pedro mentioned, “And while the people you know are still alive. Most of the major players moved to my home town. Which is why we left. Still, the group you worked with no longer exists. With Roanapur ending up becoming a ghost town.”
As Leigharch took in all this information, he flatly responded, “Damn. What type drugs was this person on at the time, when she wrote this? Because, I would love to try the combination that she was using at the time.”
Pedro answered, “That's the thing. She stated she wasn't on any drugs at the time. Or, at least nothing illegal.”
Leigharch commented, “I guess some people are naturally crazier than others.”
Pedro thought, 'Actually, Lee stated that when she wrote those stories, she felt like she was channeling someone, or something, else. But, mentioning that now would only confuse matters, further.' Pedro said, “That is possible.”
Matt stated, “I have got to say. I have never heard of that genre combination before. Still, I can guess that all those characters learned about these stories, and whom wrote the stories, and they came to your reality to find this writer? So, they could have their revenge?”
Pedro responded, “Yes. Oh yes. You could say her story got away from her. Or, more like she was trying to get away from her story. And for various reasons, the writer of those stories ended up in my home town. And she used the internet to bait them into coming to my home town. Where she was hiding. I found this out, after the fact.”
Leigharch said, “And I thought I was crazy.”
Pedro stated, “She had fairly good reasons in doing so.”
Matt inquired, “Did they ever catch this writer?”
Pedro replied, “Yes.”
Leigharch asked, “How messy was it?”
Matthew spoke up, “We never asked. We did not want to know.”
Matth complimented, “That was a wise course of action. Or, lack there of.”
Pedro said, “We agree. Though, the writer is fine, now. And the issue is settled.”
Matt requested, “Good. So, can we read these stories?”
Pedro offered, “If we ever return to my home reality, we can arrange that. If your sanity can handle reading those stories.”
Leigharch commented, “It is kind of hard to lose something I never had.”
Matt flatly stated, “I will take my chances. Still, I am correct in assuming that this means when a person writes a story. That story become real in another reality, or realities?”
Pedro replied, “Yes.”
Matt inquired further, “And that if a person writes about another story, adding to that story. Then, that reality changes, or it creates a new reality?”
Pedro answered, “Yes. It is either that reality is changed, or the act creates an alternate reality of the reality being written about. I believe that it is more than likely a case of the action creating a new alternate reality, instead of the first reality being changed.”
Matt replied, “I think you are right. So, what is this writer like?”
Pedro said, “She is a sweet woman that did something incredibly stupid, by writing those stories, without her realizing what she did, until those she wrote about came after her.'
Matt responded, “Yes. I can see that. So, how does all this fit into this weird reality we now find ourselves in? We have a young Dutch, on the Lagoon, in the Caribbean Sea, instead of the Gulf of Thailand.”
Pedro answered, “When Matthew and I started this journey. We got into a discussion, and I talked about a theory on what the Black Lagoon series might have originally been if one take a few things into account.”
Matt questioned, “And?”
Pedro said, “We are in the reality we theorized about.”
Matt asked, “Are you sure?”
Pedro answered, “Yes. A younger Dutch in Santo Domingo is exactly what we talked about. And from what I understand now, that it is so easy to accidentally create a reality, that is it scary. I guess is all comes down to the power of imagination and belief.”
Leigharch commented, “That's heavy.”
Matt stated, “Yes. That is disturbing. But, it is either that, or all possible realities do exist, and your idea just came to be in sync with this specific reality.”
Pedro sighed, as he said, “To be honest, I am not sure what to think about our situation, anymore.” He thought, with tiredness, and disbelief, 'The mind screwing is just too much, and too often, to think about the implications of all of this, that we are talking about.'
Matt replied, “I can appreciate that.”
Leigharch asked, “So, what do you call this reality?”
Pedro answered, “Laguna Negra. Spanish for, Black Lagoon. Since the main language here is spanish.”
Leigharch commented, “That works for me.”
Matthew replied, “And me.”
Matt said, “I can live with it. So, who else is here?
Pedro stated, “As you can guess. Variations of the Black Lagoon characters.”
Leigharch asked, “Perhaps, even myself?”
Pedro replied, “Maybe.”
Matthew said, “Listen, if they are anything like their counterparts. Yourself, included, Leigharch. As long as we keep our heads down, we should be fine.”
Matt suggested, “I can see the logic in that. Or, we could leave?”
Matthew replied, “Perhaps.” He looked over at Pedro, as he commented, “Though, I am beginning to believe that you should let someone else use the reality device. Such as myself.”
Leigharch asked, “Why is that?”
Matthew looked over at Leigharch, as he answered, “Because, Pedro cannot seem to teleport properly, from one reality, to the next. We sometimes end up where we should not be. Such as now. It has practically become a running gag.”
Pedro said, “I just need to keep my mind more on where we are heading, when I use the device.”
Matthew deadpanned, “That is pretty much an obvious statement.”
Matt commented, “Well, since the places we have been to, so far, have been fairly nice. I say we let Pedro keep that device. For now.”
Leigharch said, “I agree. And some randomness is always nice.”
Matthew flatly stated, “Fine. But, if we get into trouble. Again. Don't blame me.”
Leigharch flatly replied, “We won't... Still, you all could let me use the reality traveling device. Once you show me how to work it.”
Matthew, Matt, and Pedro, said, in unison, “No.”
Matthew inquired, “Now, that is settled. The only matter left is, do we stay? Or, do we go?”
Leigharch suggested, “I say we stay. Listen. We are already here. We have an idea of what to expect here. So, we might as well enjoy our stay here.”
Matthew said, “Okay. I can go long with that.”
Matt replied, “So can I.”
Pedro commented, “I am in no rush to go anywhere.”
Matthew inquired, “So, has anyone been to any version of this city before?” He shrugged towards Pedro, as he continued, “I know that Pedro here, has.”
Pedro said, “I have been here, before.”
Matt mentioned, “So have I... For a law enforcement convention. It was a good trip. And the people here. Or, should say, there. Were nice.”
Matthew said, “At least we have two people that know their way around this city.”
Pedro countered, “I didn't say that. I know of a few of the beaches, around here. And couple of the resorts. Also, they have a nice park here, on the west end of the city. The park is called the Parque Mirador del Este.”
Matthew asked, “And you, Matt?”
Matt sheepishly admitted, “Honestly, I spent most of my time either at the convention, or on the beach.”
Leigharch said, “There is no shame in that.”
Matthew agreed, “No. There isn't.”
Pedro mentioned, “Well, I know spanish. It is my native language. So, if we need to ask for more directions, that should be fine. Also, this is a fairly nice city. So, like Matthew put it. As long as we are polite. We will be fine.”
Leigharch replied, “Okay.”
Matt inquired, “That will make things easier. Still, where do we go from here?”
The four men look around.
Pedro spotted, to his right, a nearby set of streetlights, and intersection, about a hundred yards from them. Pedro also saw that there was a crosswalk, across the two streets, at the intersection. With the crosswalk leading to a pair of sidewalks, on both sides of the street, that lead deeper into the city.
Pedro used his right hand to pointed at the crosswalk, as he looked in that direction. He stated, “We will go that way. It is best not to jaywalk on a highway, in a foreign land.” He then dropped his right arm back to his side.
The other thee men looked the direction of the crosswalk, as Matt agreed, “You got that right.”
Matthew said, “That is probably the best way to go from here.”
Leigharch stated, “I can agree with that. So, let's head over there, and see what this town is made of.”
Pedro commented, “I couldn't have said it better, myself, Leigharch.”
Leigharch cracked a grin, as he replied, “Thanks. Now, let's go.”
The four men then turned towards the crosswalk, as that start walking in that direction, so they could head further into the city of Santo Domingo.
An hour later, on an empty sidewalk, by a two lane road, a few city blocks inland, to where Pedro, Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch arrive, Daiyu, River, and Lee, appeared. With rows of houses on both sides of the street.
All three women were facing each other, as River pocketed her reality device.
River said, in english, “Well, here we are.”
Lee commented, in english, “That was a fun week in Caracas. For a second time, I might add.”
Daiyu agreed, in english, “Yea. It really was. So, where are we?”
River responded, “Before I get to that, I need to tell you about where I tracked Matthew and Pedro to.”
Daiyu deadpanned, “Dare I ask?”
Lee said, “Okay. I'll bite. Where?”
River stated, “Well, after we parted in the Star Trek reality, in New Orleans, it seems that those two loveable fools when to the Gargoyles reality for less than an hour. Then, they headed to Coruscant, during the imperial era, for a few hours. They, then spent less than an hour in a city north of Roanapur, in Thailand, in Daiyu's home reality, about a month after Akira first showed up. And finally, they spent around an hour in the Star Trek reality. This time, on Deep Space Nine, a month or so after Bob stopped going there. And finally, they came here, roughly an hour ago.”
Daiyu commented, with slight disbelief in her tone of voice, “I would think that Matthew and Pedro would know better than to go to those realities.”
Lee theorized, “Perhaps they were being chased?”
Daiyu said, “Well, if that is the case, it is clear that Pedro thinks he can handle the situation. Or, he would immediately head back home, and ask for help from the armies of badasses he knows. Including, us.”
“Those at the casino would help them, because Matthew is good friends with Annie. And they know it would displease us, if they didn't.”
“And while Balalaika and Hotel Moscow would leave them alone, and stay neutral, most of Revy's group would willing help Matthew and Pedro. And the rest would help because Pedro is friends with Melanie and Bao. And those two women would bar Revy and the others from their bars if they did not help them.”
River commented, “Well, if there is a problem, Matthew and Pedro didn't think it was important enough to think about. Or, I would have picked up on it.” She mentally reflected, 'Or, at the very least I would have read Pedro's thoughts. Given Matthew knows how to shield his thoughts. And I have to admit that was a nice trick for Matthew to keep under his hat, during all this time.”
Daiyu replied, “Exactly.”
Lee complimented, “Okay. I can see what you are saying. Good points, girls.”
Daiyu said, “Thank you.”
River commented, “Thanks, Lee.”
Daiyu asked, “Now, back to the original question. Where and when are we?”
River answered, “And I am not really sure which reality we are in. All I can say this is an alternate Earth, in the mid nineteen nineties in Santo Domingo, in the Dominica Republic, near the coastline. And it is late morning.”
It was then that the three women looked around, they saw they were on the sidewalk of a neighborhood with houses lining both sides of the two lane room. There were was a sidewalk on the other side of the road.
There were no vehicles driving by, nor people on the sidewalks.
Lee commented, “It must be a week day. Either people are at work, or at school. So, no one is around.”
Chang said, “I can go along with that.”
River agreed, “So can I.”
Lee then noticed a red, two door, nineteen sixty-nine Dodge Coronet car, parked on the road, next to the sidewalk, about twenty feet from them. With the car's back facing them, on the right side of the road, by the curb. And through the back window, Lee could tell that the driver's seat was on the left side of the car.
Lee thought, 'That car looks familiar, but I am not going to say anything.'
Lee looked back to Daiyu and River, as she commented, “Well, one thing is sure. This place has modern technology, by Daiyu and my standards. Which means, among other things, indoor plumbing. And while I enjoy being a woman, peeing on the ground as a woman gets old after a while.” She thought, 'And I cannot change male in this clothing.
River and Daiyu turned back to look at Lee, as River stated, “You are right about that.”
Daiyu commented, “Be that as it may. Why would Matthew and Pedro come here?”
Lee answered, “Well, after all those reality jumps. Maybe they wanted to come to someplace safe for some R&R. And this is not a bad place to go in the Caribbean sea. It is a first world nation, with nice people and a modern culture. If I wanted to take a vacation in the area. This city would be one of the cities on my top ten list.”
Daiyu said, “I will keep that in mind?”
Lee asked, “How close are we to Pedro and Matthew teleport locations?”
River answered, “A few blocks from here. They teleported closer to the shore. And I teleported here, because didn't want to risk us being seen, just appearing, by large groups of people, at a beach.”
Lee said, “Good decision to teleport us here, instead.”
Chang replied, “I agree. It is a good call.”
River replied, “Thank you. And as I said. They came here, roughly an hour ago.”
Lee stated, “That is not to bad. Though, I doubt they are still there. Still, we can track, and likely catch up with them, soon enough.”
River said, “My thoughts, exactly.”
Suddenly, they heard a house door open nearby them, on their side of the sidewalk. With the door that opened being directly in front of the red Dodge Coronet car.
When the three women turned to see who it was, they were surprised by whom they saw.
In a diagonal direction, thirty feet from them, up a few steps of a small porch, across from the Dodge Coronet, they saw Benny, as a male adult. He had on his usual clothing, including his orange hawaiian shirt. He was wearing his glasses. And his long blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail. But, this was a much younger man, man in his late teens to early twenties.
The porch let down a concrete walkway which connected to the sidewalk, where the Dodge Coronet was.
As Benny walked down the steps, a young woman followed close behind. With her locking the door knob from the inside.
As the woman closed the door behind her, and followed Benny, the three women recognized her as Revy. This Revy looked looked the Revy they knew. Including, the hair, skin tone. Even her head was pulled back in a ponytail, and the tattoo across her right shoulder and right upper arm. She even had on the same clothing at the Revy they knew. She even had her two semi-automatic pistols holstered in her shoulder holsters.
But, like Benny, this Revy appeared to be in her late teens to early twenties.
The women then saw, as Benny turned back to look Revy, Revy looked back towards Benny. And both adults smiled at each other.
Benny then turned back around, and heading down the walkway, with Revy walking down the steps to join him.
River whispered, “That is Benny and Revy. But, this is not Roanapur.”
Daiyu replied, “I know.”
Both Daiyu and River turned to look at Lee.
Lee noticed this, as she commented, in a confused tone of voice, “Don't look me? I am as clueless as you are on this. As such, this is not my fault.”
River and Daiyu looked at each other.
River answered Daiyu, unspoken question, “She is telling the truth.”
The three women turned back took look at Benny and Revy.
Daiyu asked, “What are they thinking?”
River stated, “They are thinking about the sex they had together, last night in their bed. And a little more love making this morning. And they are also thinking of how much fun it is to be boyfriend and girlfriend to each other.”
Daiyu stated, “I know Revy, very well. Revy and Benny were never in a romantic relationship. That never happened.”
River quipped, “Well, the romance, between those two, happened in this reality.”
Daiyu questioned, “So, how are we going to find out what is going on?”
Lee calmly suggested, “Let's go talk to them.”
Daiyu pointed out, “In doing so, we could get shot at. She is armed, and likely has a hair trigger temper.”
Lee stated, “Not if we handle this delicately. If they are in a good mood from sex last night, and this morning. Then, as long as we are nice, we should be fine.”
River agreed, “She has a point.”
Daiyu said, “Fine. Though, I will do the talking.”
Lee replied, “Okay. But, let's hope they don't recognize you.”
Daiyu stated, “If that happens. I will deal with it, in as civil a manner, as possible. Now, let's go.”
The three women then walked towards Revy and Benny.
As the three women approached the couple, they overheard Benny and Revy's conversation.
Benny asked, in english, “Did you remember to lock the door?”
Revy replied, in english, “Yep.”
By then, Benny and Revy were standing on the sidewalk, as Daiyu, Lee, and River came to a stop, ten feet from them, with the car near all five of the adults.
Daiyu cleared her throat. She then calmly said, “Excuse me.”
Benny and Revy stopped in their tracks, at they looked at the three women.
Revy asked, “And you are?”
Daiyu answered, “We are tourists.” She thought, 'Which is not exactly a lie.” She continued, “And we were wondering. You both look like a couple of people we know. So, we thought it would ask you. Have you ever been to Thailand before?”
Revy turned to Benny, as she said, “I will let you handle this, Benny.”
Benny looked over at Revy, as he replied, “Okay, Revy.”
Daiyu thought, 'At least they have the same names.'
Benny and Revy both turned back to look at Daiyu, River, and Lee.
Benny calmly said, “I am sorry. But, we have never been to Thailand.”
Daiyu thought, 'That confirms that you are not from an earlier part of my timeline, in my home reality.'
Benny cracked a grin, as he continued, “Though, you kind of look like someone we know.”
Daiyu thought, 'Interesting.' She inquired, “And who is this that?”
Benny answered, “A mexican guy named, Chavez. You look so much like him that you could be his sister, from an asian mother.”
Daiyu though, 'So, this is an alternate reality of my home reality, from half away across the world. Maybe Chavez is my counterpart. And he is Mexican, instead of asian. That is kind of neat, to think about. Still...” She said, “I knew both my parents, So I doubt that is the case. But, thank you.”
Benny thought, 'At least she is polite. And that means that Revy won't have to run them off.'
River thought, 'And at least you and Revy are being cordial.'
Benny requested, “Now, if you don't mind. We are kind of in a rush.”
Revy turned to Benny, as she questioned, “We are?”
Benny looked over at Revy, as he answered, “Yea. While you were in the shower, Dutch, call this morning. We have a job.”
Revy cracked a grin, as she said, in an excited manner, “Cool.” She then walked a few steps closer to Benny, and she passionately kissed him on the lips, for a few seconds.
Benny returned Revy's kiss.
As soon as they broke the kiss, Revy requested, “Now, let's go.”
Benny said, “I'll drive.”
Revy replied, “That's fine with me.”
Daiyu thought, 'There is one more question I have to ask them, before they leave.' She quickly inquired, “Before you both leave. I have one more question. Have either of you met a man that goes by the name of either Rokuro, or Rock?”
Revy and Benny turned to look at Daiyu, as they both flatly said, in unison, “No.”
Benny and Revy then turned toward the red Dodge Coronet, as they walked closer to the car.
Benny walked around to the left driver's side, while Revy headed for the passenger door.
Both adults pulled out their car keys, and unlocked and opened the doors on their side of the car.
They both got into the car, and shut their doors behind them.
A few seconds later, Benny started the car, and the romantic couple then took off down the road.
As soon as Lee, Daiyu, and River, saw the car turn down on other street, Lee commented, “This day is becoming very strange.”
Daiyu said, “I'll agree with that. Also, I will say that before Rock showed up, I did sense a little sexual tension between Revy and Benny. But, it never went anywhere, because, at the time, Benny was still slightly scared of Revy. “
River commented, “This could be a case of, for want of a nail.”
Daiyu asked, “From Richard the Third?”
Lee stated, “Actually, while Shakespeare came up with the idea. The term, for want of a nail, comes from, Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.”
River grinned, as she complimented, “Leave it to the writer to get the quote correct.”
Lee asked, “Thank you. So, what do we do now?”
All three women turned back to look at each other, as Daiyu stated, “Well, I am willing to guess that Chavez is my mexican counterpart here. And a version of Dutch is here, as well. It is safe to say that there are other counterparts of those we know, whom are here, as well.”
Lee mentioned, “And counterparts can be very different from each other. This Revy was very nice.”
Daiyu replied, “Exactly.”
Lee pointed out, “Though, that could be because she is getting laid on a regular basis.”
Daiyu shrugged, as she responded, “That is true. The Revy we know seems to do better after she has slept with Rock. Also, this could be a variation of what happened in Roanapur. Only, the events happened here, in a similar time period, in Santo Domingo, on the other side of the world. One reality removed.”
Lee replied, “That is possible.”
Daiyu commented, “Still, there are too many unknowns here for me to be conformable with this situation.”
River suggested, “I agree. Let us find Matthew and Pedro before they can get into any more trouble.”
Daiyu agreed, “Good idea.”
Lee requested, “Lead the way, River.”
River held up her right hand, as she pointed in the opposite direction, down the road, from which Benny and Revy drove away from. She then dropped her hand back to her side, as she looked at Daiyu and Lee. She stated, “It is safe to say that Dutch is on the Lagoon. And they are heading for the harbor. If I was Matthew and Pedro, I would head inland.”
Lee agreed, “That makes sense.”
Daiyu said, “Then, we go inland. I am with, Lee. You are on point, River. Let us find those two fools, and go home, before any of us find ourselves in more trouble.”
River replied, “Agreed.” She then turned, and she started walking, down the sidewalk, in the direction she pointed, with Lee and Daiyu turned, and followed right behind her.
During the time River, Chang, and Lee spoke to the Laguna Negra reality's Benny and Revy, Pedro, Matthew, Matt, and Matthew, had been walking for around an hour, down the various sidewalks. They direction they went took them away from the three women, whom were tracking them.
Presently, Pedro and his group came to a stop, at another crosswalk.
The four men stood by each other, as they noticed that a few vehicles beside them had stopped at the red light. To their right, was the curb of the sidewalk they were on.
While they waiting to cross the intersection, Leigharch complained, “I'm beat. Even my sores have sores.”
Matt commented, “I am doing okay. So, what is your problem?”
Leigharch turned to Matt, as he stated, “My problem is, I don't have a vehicle to drive in.”
Matthew said, “Guys. Calm down. Perhaps it is best we just fine some place to sit down, and maybe grab a snack. We will feel better, afterward.”
Pedro stated, “Matthew's right. And do not worry. I do have means of paying for a few meals, and lodging.”
Matt said, “Okay. I can go along with that.”
Leigharch requested, “Do you think you could wrangle a car, or a jeep, for us to ride in?”
Pedro answered, “Unfortunately, no. We cannot take it with us. So, it is not worth getting one. And it is not like someone is just going to drive up and offer us a lift.”
Then, Leigharch noticed from the corner of his left eye, right beside them, on the road, in the front of the vehicles that had come to a stop, at the red light, was a green jeep.
Leigharch turned to the jeep, and he saw who was driving that jeep. He stated, “You got to be bloody kidding me.”
Pedro, Matthew, and Matt turned to see who Leigharch was looking at.
Pedro said, “I stand, corrected.”
In front of them, in the left driver's seat, of an otherwise empty green jeep, with its top and windows down, with its engine idling, was the Leigharch of that reality. He was wearing similar clothing at the Leigharch from the Black Lagoon reality. All the way down to the sunglasses he wore.
The other Leigharch then looked in Pedro, Leigharch, Matthew, and Matt's direction, and he did a double-take. He then asked, in english, “Well, what do we have here?”
Leigharch answered, “A lot of interesting questions. And a lot of interesting answers.”
The other Leigharch smiled, as he said, “Sounds like fun. Get in, and we will talk as I drive.”
Pedro said, “As long as you don't have a lead foot, that should not be a problem.”
The other Leigharch replied, “Don't worry. I am not in a hurry today. But, if you don't mind, I would like my bro here to ride shotgun, beside me.”
Pedro looked over at Leigharch, then back to the other Leigharch, as he inquired, “I am good with that. Still, I have to ask, are you stoned, or drunk, at the moment?”
The other Leigharch responded, “Nah. It is to early for that.”
Pedro replied, “That is what I wanted to hear.”
Meanwhile, Matt thought, 'This day is just getting stranger by the minute.'
Matthew stated, “I am not riding in the middle.”
Pedro said, “Neither, am I.”
Matt heard Pedro and Matthew. He then realized, as he winced, while he stated, “Ah hell.”
The other men just chuckled a little, at Matt's response.
As they other men calmed down, the other Leigharch requested, “Now, hop on board. This light is going to turn any second.”
Pedro calmly said, “Everyone. Please, get in the jeep.”
As the four men started walking towards, and around the jeep, Matthew asked, “Should we where our seatbelts?”
The other Leigharch commented, “That won't be a problem. I don't have any seatbelts in the backseat.”
Matthew stated, “I find that to be a big problem.”
Pedro sternly said, “Just get in.”
Matthew went silent, as he comply with Pedro's request.
The men didn't both to open the doors. They just climb into the jeep.
Leigharch sat down in the front passenger seat, with the other Leigharch, to his left, in the driver's seat.
Matthew got into the right side of the backseat of the jeep. With Matt in the middle. And Pedro sitting on the left side of the backseat, right behind the other Leigharch.
Pedro shift himself closer to the outside of the jeep, to his left. As Matthew did the same, to his right. To give Matt, whom was in the middle, more room.
Pedro turned to Matt, as he asked, “Do you have enough room, Matt?”
Matt looked over at Pedro, as he said, “I can live with it.”
A second later, the light turned green.
The other Leigharch noticed this, as he stated, “Okay gents. Here we go”
Everyone else in the jeep turned their attention towards their front, as the other Leigharch pressed on the gas pedal, and jeep began to move.
Though, instead of the other Leigharch flooring the gas pedal down, and gunning the engine. He took thinks gently. And the jeep slowly began building speed, with the other vehicles behind them. The other Leigharch continued increasing the speed until he was driving around thirty-five miles an hour. Which was both a sane speed, and the same speed the other vehicles on the road were going at, as well.
The other Leigharch continued looking in front of them, as he casually asked, “So where do you want to go?”
Leigharch also looked in front of them, as he answered, in a relaxed tone of voice, “We are not heading to anywhere special.”
The other Leigharch responded, “Okay. Now, if you are anything like me. You are a recreational user. And while it is a little early for me, I am more than happy to share with what I have, with me.”
Leigharch thought, 'I wonder.' He turned back to his left, and look over at Pedro, Matt, and Matthew. All three men gave Leigharch a stern look, that promised him pain if he accepted his counterpart's offer.
Leigharch then turned back to look at the other Leigharch. He then back to the front of the vehicle, as thought, 'That kills that idea.'
Leigharch hesitatingly said, “I will have to pass for, right now.”
The other Leigharch inquired, “Well, the offer is open, if you change your mind. Now, I have to ask? Where are you from? If you are aliens? I love Star Trek. Along as you are nice, can deal with it. If you are spies. I know people you might want to get into touch with. But first, I would like to know where you are from?”
Leigharch answered, “We from various other realities in the multiverse.”
That other Leigharch asked, “That is even better. So, what were you?”
Leigharch said, “I use to be a freelance driver, and pilot, for a local mob boss. Only, live on the other side of the planet. My job was based in a city called, Roanapur, on the eastern coast of Thailand. And I worked in Thailand, Indochina, and various islands of the south china sea.”
The other Leigharch responded, “That is interesting. I even have a similar job, that takes me all over the Caribbean Sea. Though, I am based, here, in Santo Domingo.”
Leigharch replied, “Cool.”
Pedro thought, 'This might be a first. Two lunatics, that are each other counterparts, having a sane, rational conversation. Still, I will let Leigharch have his chat with his counterpart. It might be beneficial for the both of them.'
The other Leigharch continued look in front of him, as he turned on his left turn single. He then made his interior turn lane. A second later, he turned into the turn lane, with them coming up to an intersection, and traffic light, that was green for them.
As the other Leigharch slowed down a bit, he checked to make sure there was no on coming traffic on the two left lanes. Then, during a green light, and he turned onto another street. He soon he straighten out his jeep, and his turn blinker automatically turned off.
The other Leigharch continued looking in front of him, as he said, “So, you said you are a freelancer driver for the mob?”
Leigharch said, “Yes. I was. Then, I left for medical reasons. And recently, from what I am told, the group I worked for is no longer exists.”
The other Leigharch happily replied, “All the better. That means I can ask questions without worrying about reprisals.”
Leigharch agreed, “That is true.”
The other Leigharch asked, “So, which mob did you work for?”
Leigharch replied, “A Triad group from Hong Kong. Though, I worked with the part of that organization assigned to Thailand. And I wasn't actually a member. As I said, I was a freelancer.”
The other Leigharch inquired, “Oh. How were they like to work for?”
Leigharch said, “Pretty good, actually. They paid well. I went to interesting places. And the hours were decent.”
The other Leigharch questioned, “Sounds good. So, did you do well in that job?”
Leigharch responded, “I did, until I ODed so bad that my brains were melted for a while.”
The other Leigharch commented, “That happens. And that is why I am careful with my drug use.”
Leigharch stated, “Well, I was not. Still, my employer was nice enough to get me help, arranging me to be put into an upscale asylum, until I recovered.”
The other Leigharch said, “That is nice. And it sounds like what my boss would do.”
Leigharch asked, “Good. So, who do you mainly work for?”
The other Leigharch answered, “I mainly accepted jobs from the local mexican cartel. It is lead by this nice, considerate mexican named, Chavez.”
Pedro and Matthew silently looked at each other. While between them, Matt noticed this, but he did not say anything about it.
Leigharch asked, “What is this, Chavez, like?”
The other Leigharch casually stated, “He is an easy going, casual guy. But, he can kick some serious ass, when he wants too.”
Leigharch commented, “That sounds like my former boss, Chang.”
The other Leigharch inquired, “Does this, Chang, use two pistols at once, while he acts like cool badass?”
Leigharch answered, with a bit of excitement in his tone of voice, “Absolutely. Like a badass gunfighter from a Hong Kong crime movie.”
The other Leigharch commented, “Well, Chavez acts like a modern badass from a mexican western.”
Leigharch offhandedly said, “Well, I have one of those, too. The guy behind you.”
The other Leigharch saw in the reflection, of his center rearview mirror. He saw Pedro grinned at Leigharch's compliment.
The other Leigharch turned his attention back to the road in front of him, as he replied, “Cool.”
Leigharch thought, 'I won't mention that Pedro and Matt are cops. That could lead to problems.' He said, “I guess Chang and Chavez are likely counterparts. Like you and I.”
The other Leigharch responded, “I agree. So, who are your friends?”
Leigharch thought, 'As much as I like myself. I know myself too well. If I tell him something important. He will like tell Chang... I mean Chavez.' He coyly answered, “I have not gotten the full story on them. Yet. I have been out of the loop too long. But, I am making progress.”
Pedro spoke up, “Our stories are the type that are best discussed over drinks.”
The other Leigharch commented, in a slightly excited tone of voice, “I love those types of stories. Unfortunately, I am busy at the moment.”
Pedro inwardly smiled, as he thought, 'Exactly. You said it is to early for drugs. I guess that is includes alcohol, as well. And I see I am right. As such, this sidesteps those questions.'
Leigharch questioned, “I thought you are not one a job, at the moment?”
The other Leigharch stated, “I am not. It just so happens that I am heading to meet Chavez, right now. To get paid for a recent job I did for him. Actually, I did the job, in town.”
Leigharch replied, “Okay So, you work in town, as well. I find that interesting, considering, I mostly worked out of town.”
The other Leigharch commented, “I guess, unlike you. I do take a few jobs in town. Though, as I said. Like you, I work all around my area. In this case, the islands and continents, surround the Caribbean sea. I bet this beats working on the islands of the South China sea?”
Leigharch countered, “I do not know. I find a lot of asians to be hot.”
The other Leigharch responded, “So, are some of the locals here.”
Leigharch replied, “I won't disagree with you on that fact.” He then smiled, as he continued, “And it is a warm enough climate, in both areas, for the babes to wear bikinis, year round.”
The other Leigharch smiled, as he stated, “Exactly. Still, I am a few minutes from getting to Chavez's estate. And I have a feeling that you guys would prefer not to meet him, and his organization.”
Leigharch said, “You would be correct. How far are you from where Chavez's place, exactly?”
The other Leigharch answered, “A few blocks from here. Unfortunately, it is an appointment, that I do not want to be late for. Or, I would put it off, to spent time with you guys. So, I think is might be best let you off here.”
Leigharch sadly replied, “In that case. I have to agree.”
The other Leigharch slowed down his jeep, as he pulled up to an empty sidewalk, to their right. As he came to a stop next to a nearby, by the sidewalk, he put his vehicle in park.
Leigharch and Matthew were the first two men to hop out of the car, and onto the side walk. Matt followed behind, with Pedro being the last passengers to leave the jeep.
Fortunately, the street was not very busy, with traffic, as the four men get out of the vehicle, to their right side.
When all four of men in Pedro's group were on the sidewalk, to the right of the green jeep, they stood near each other, as they turned to look at the other Leigharch, whom was still in the driver's seat, with the engine of his car continuing to idle.
The other Leigharch, looked over at the four men, as he sadly commented, “Well, though this was brief, it was fun.”
Pedro said, “We appreciate the lift.”
Matt stated, “Thanks for the ride.”
Matthew said, “Yea. It is fun. And more pleasant than I expected.”
Pedro and Matt choked down their desire to chuckle a little at Matthew's comment.
Leigharch commented, “I wish I could spend some more time with you. But, I have to head out with these guys.”
The other Leigharch stated, “I know the feeling. But, happy trails to you, bro.
Leigharch said, “You too, Leigharch. And be careful with the drug use. Or, you might up in an asylum, like I did. Or, even dead.”
The other Leigharch requested, “Don't worry. I will. And I hope someday you might come to visit.”
Leigharch mentioned, “Depending on how things settle out for me. Now, that I know you are here, I just might do that. Then, we will have some real fun.”
The other Leigharch grinned, as he happily replied, “I look forward to it.”
The other Leigharch then turned back in front of him, and put his jeep into drive. He then took off down the road, at a leisurely pace.
The four men then watched the other Leigharch safely turn his jeep, to the left, down another road.
When the other Leigharch's green jeep was out of sight, the four men turned to look at each other.
Pedro looked over at Leigharch, as he commented, “Thank you for being discreet on what you said about us.”
Leigharch turned Pedro, as he replied, “No problem. You spend enough time in this business, you learn what to say. And what not to say.”
Pedro asked, “Exactly. So, how did you enjoy talking with your counterpart?”
Leigharch answered, “It was one of the best conversations of my life. And I think my counterpart... My bro, would agree... So, which way are we going?”
With his right hand, Pedro pointed in the direction, opposite from the way the other Leigharch drove off to. He then dropped his right hand back to his side, as he stated, “I have no interest in running into Chavez. So, we will go in the opposite direction from where Chavez is currently located.”
Pedro thought, 'Also, if we walk passed a place to get a snack, I will suggest we stop there, to do so. With it being my treat.'
Matt agreed, “I can go along with that.”
Matthew complimented, “That is a bright idea. We do not want to get mixed up in the local mafia politics of this place.”
Pedro looked over at Matt, as he said, “You got that right, Matthew.” He then turned back to look at Leigharch, as he asked, “So, how are your feet?”
Leigharch stated, “Better. Now, that they have rested some. And thanks for asking.”
Pedro replied, “You're welcome.”
Leigharch requested, “Now please, lead the way, Pedro.”
Pedro replied, “With pleasure.”
Pedro then turned in the direction he had points, as he started walking down the sidewalk, with the other three men following behind him.
Ten minutes later, the other Leigharch, in his green jeep, make it to the gates of Chavez's in town estate. The building was a large two story home, with a large yard surround it, with an indoor pulled. On the outside, separating the street from the yard, on all sides, was a large, tall, concrete fence.
There were two gated entrances of the yard around the building. Each gate entrance were two gates, made of steel bars, that swung inwardly into the resident.
There were guards stations at the gates, throughout the yard, and inside building. Also, there were cameras, and a security room inside the building, that was manned by two, well paid, guards, all the time.
Leigharch pulled his jeep up beside the gate, where a guard was standing next to him, on the driver's side of the car.
The guard was looking at Leigharch. And was wearing a suit, with a pistol in a hidden shoulder holster. Also, there was a walkie-talkie radio strapped to the right side of his belt.
Leigharch look at the guard, as he said, in spanish, “Please inform Chavez that is it Leigharch.”
The guard calmly responded, in spanish, “Leigharch, you are expected.”
Leigharch commented, “I hope I am not late.”
The guard stated, “As far as I know, you are on time. And I will let the boss know you will be inside, in the minute.”
Leigharch replied, “Thank you.”
The guard turned a numerical pad, by him, that was on the side of the concrete fenced wall, next to the left side of the gate entrance.
The guard punched a code into the pad, and a second later, the gates opened, inwardly.
The guard then pulled out his radio, as Leigharch slowly drove his jeep into the residence’s driveway.
Three minutes later, Leigharch found a place on the driveway to park his care, and he had walked through the main front doors to the building, which were unlocked, at that time of days.
Leigharch gently closed the right door he had opened to enter the building, in the first place. He then turned back around to look at the main entrance of the building.
In front of Leigharch were two grand staircases on both sides. Though, Chavez's study was on the first floor, down a few hallways, that begin at a door which was between the two the staircases.
Leigharch thought, 'It is best I not keep Chavez waiting.”
Leigharch casual walked across the room, and between the staircases. When he reached the entrance to the hallway, he saw a woman he recognized, walked out of the hallway.
Both of them stood, at they look at each other.
The woman was almost as tall as Leigharch. And the woman had a slender, thought athletic physical build. The woman appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She had pale skin, and short black hair, that went down to her neckline.
There were no visible scars on her body.
The woman wore an off shoulder, long sleeved, purple dress, with embroiders red roses on it. Her purple dress went down to right below her knees. Around her waist was a black leather belt. She wore black leather, cowgirl boots, with zippers on the interior sides of the boots. She a black clock and hood, that went down to her boots, and went over her head.
The hood head her black hair, and the top of her face. With the cloak hiding more of the rest of her body, with only her chin, chest, and the front of her legs exposed.
Somewhere, hidden among her clothing were two, sheathed, nineteen twenties mexican style fighting knives. Each knife had a loop on the bottom of hilts that allowed her to hook to cord. Each cord was looped around a cloth bracer on both her forearms. With the cords and bracers hidden under her sleeves, until she needed to use them.
The woman connected the cords to her knives, so she could use her long knifes in a similar fashion as a long distance ball and chain whip.
Also, places in slits, along the belt around her waist, were mexican style throwing knives.
All in all, the woman gave a slightly scary, though sexy, goth look.
Leigharch look at the woman, as he thought, 'Ah, Sawyer. The Senora de Santa Muerte, or Lady of Saint Death. She is not a person one would want to meet in a dark alley. Nor, make an enemy. Still, once I got to know her, she is not such a bad person. Still, she is good with her knives, and she knows it. Also, while she originally from Texas, nobody questions her using that title of, Lady of Saint Death.'
Sawyer looked at Leigharch, in his face, as she calmly said, in spanish, “Hello Leigharch.”
Leigharch replied, “Hello Sawyer.”
Sawyer asked, “How are things with you?”
Leigharch plainly said, “Just driving. You?”
Sawyer casually answered, “Death and disposal. As usual.”
Leigharch stated, “Well, I came to see your boss. And I don't want to keep you from you work.”
Sawyer said, “Thank you. We will talk, later.”
Leigharch happily replied, “I look forward to it.”
Both adults turned, and walked passed each other. With Leigharch entering the hallway, while Sawyer walked towards the front doors.
Less than a minute later, Leigharch reached Chavez's office. The brown wooden door, to Chavez's office, was open.
Leigharch came to a stop in front of threshold of the door, as he looked inside
The room itself was fairly large for an office. The room had red carpeting, with brown wooden paneling around the walls, that went up waist left. The top part of the walls, and high ceiling were painted a tan color.
Most of the lighting in the room came from a medium sized chandelier, hung in the center of the room, with soft yellow bulbs places in the chandelier to mimic the look of lit candles.
To the left side of the room, against the wall, were bookshelves, a filing cabinet, and a couple of nightstands.
In front of the bookshelves was a small table with two cushioned armchairs set across from each other, at the table.
In the right side of the room was an entertainment system. With a set of shelves, with the TV in the center, a couple of game consoles, DVD/CD player. There were also a number of DVDs, CDs, and video games discs, on the various shelves.
There were also a few painting hung around the walls of the room.
And from previous meetings with Chavez, Leigharch knew that there was a large, analog clock set right above the door he was standing under.
Six feet in front of the TV was a tan leather couch, which face the TV. Between the TV and couch was a small, low coffee table.
On the far wall, from Leigharch, were two sliding glass doors, beside each other, in the wall. These sliding glass doors looked out into an open, gardened, courtyard, in the middle of the building.
The light that did not come form the chandelier, came from the sunlight filtering from the sliding glass doors.
Across the room from Leigharch ten feet from the sliding glass doors, was a brown oak desk, which faced Leigharch. In front of the desk were two cushioned armchairs.
Behind the desk sat Chavez, in his large, cushioned armchair.
Chavez was a man in his later thirties to early forties. He had tanned skin, hispanic facial features, and black hair, which was cut short, and styled similar to Chang's hair style. Chavez was in good physical shape and health. Along with this, Chavez had a lean to medium physical build.
Chavez was dressed in the same style of clothing as his counterpart, Chang. Only instead of a black long coat, pants, and waistcoat, he wore a velvet long coat, pants, and waistcoat. His button up shirt, under his waist coat, were white.
Though, the scarf draped loosely down the sides of his coat, from the back of his neck, was black. And the tie he wore around his neck, over his white shirt, inside the collar of his shirt, but under his velvet waistcoat, was black. He also wore black gusset loafers on his feet, a black leather belt around the waist of his pants, and sunglasses over his eyes.
Along with his clothing, Chavez had two semi-automatic pistols that were holstered in twin holsters, behind his waist, attached to his belt, like Chang did.
But, unlike Chang, Chavez's weapons of choice were not two Beretta Seventy-six twenty-two caliber semi-automatic pistols.
Chavez weapons of choice were two Ruger MK-II semi-automatic pistols. The Ruger MK-II semi-automatic pistol fired twenty-two caliber rounds. And each ammo magazine could hold up to ten rounds, like the ammo magazines of the Beretta Seventy-six semi-automatic pistols.
Specifically, the version of Ruger MK-II pistols that Chavez had were stainless steel, with custom, short barrel, built in suppressors. The pistols also had custom grips. Though, there were still standard iron sights on both the back of the top of each pistol, and at the top of the end of the barrel of each pistol.
The custom grips on the pistols were pearl, with each side of the grip having an inlaid gold snake running up the grips, in a serpentine fashion. With the head being located at the top of the grip, and the tail at the bottom of the grip. Each of the snake heads faced towards the front end of the barrel of the pistol.
Between each curves of the snakes was a spanish word, reading downward. The entire phase on each grip was, 'Nuestra Senora de la Santa Muerte', which translated in english to, 'Our Lady of the Holy Death'.
Leigharch saw that Chavez had yet to noticed him, do to Chavez reading a document on his desk, near his phone.
Leigharch spoke up, in spanish, “Hello Chavez.”
Chavez looked up at Leigharch, as he happily said, in spanish, “Hello Leigharch. Please, come in.”
Leigharch calmly walk over to stand in front of Chavez's desk, between the two chairs in front of the desk.
Chavez stated, “I guess you are here to be paid.” He then looked to his right, and he opened the top drawer on the right side of the desk. He pulled out an a thick, white envelope, and he set it at the front of his desk, near Leigharch. Next, he closed the desk drawer he had open, as he turned back to look at Leigharch.
Leigharch took to steps forward, as he leaned over and picked up the envelope from Chavez's desk. When the envelope was in his hands, he leaned back up, as he took two steps back, to stand where he had been, between the two chairs in front of the desk.
Leigharch tucked into his right back pants pocket, as he looked back at Chavez. He dropped his hands to his sides, as he said, “Thank you, sir.”
Chavez responded, “No problem. You do good work. And you are punctual. Such as being here, on time. As such, you should be paid for that quality work. So, is there anything else you wish to discuss with me?”
Leigharch thought, 'I am going to have to tell him. If I don't. I might get mistaken for that Leigharch. With Chavez wondering why I was with that group of men. That could end badly for me.'
Leigharch mentioned, “Yea. There is one thing. I gave a few people a lift, on my way here. I dropped them off a few blocks back.”
Chavez inquired, “Why did you do that, Leigharch? You know better than to pick up hitchhikers.”
Leigharch answered, “Because. Believe it, or not. One of them, looks exactly like me. My spitting image. Right now do my accent, and name.”
Chavez requested, with intrigue in his tone of voice, “Interesting. Tell me more.”
Leigharch stated, “Well, the other Leigharch and those with him, claim to be from different realities, in the multiverse. Do you know these terms? If not, I would be more than happy to explain them to you.”
Chavez replied, “Yes. I know what those terms mean. Please, go on.”
Leigharch said, “Anyway, I came to a stop at a red light, saw them, and I offered them a lift, in exchange for some answers.”
Chavez questioned, “Do you have any proof, to back up their claims?”
Leigharch responded, “Other than the fact that other Leigharch looks, and sounds, exactly like me. No. But, that was not all. The other Leigharch told me some very interesting things about his life.”
Chavez asked, “Such as?”
Leigharch stated, “It seems, in this other Leigharch's home reality, that he was based in a city called, Roanapur, on the eastern coast of Thailand. And he worked in Thailand, Indochina, and the islands of the South China Sea.
Chavez inquired, “Who did this other Leigharch work for?”
Leigharch said, “I was just getting to that. He worked mostly as a freelancer driver, like me. Only he worked for a branch of a Triad group, from Hong Kong, that was based out of, I guess Roanapur. And the most interesting part was that the boss of this Triad group, in Thailand, was named Chang.”
“And from comparing you, with Chang, we both agreed that you two might be counterparts to our two realities. Like this other Leigharch is to me. I hope you are upset with me talking about you, in this manner, with someone else. I only gave a vague description of you.”
Chavez responded, “In this case. No, I am not upset. As long as you kept your comments vague, I am fine with it. And I have to admit. Even it if is a lie. It is entertaining to hear.”
Leigharch agreed, “I know. And that bloke, and the others with him, were nice to me.”
Chavez requested, “That is good. Now, please describe these others with him?”
Leigharch stated, “There were three men with him. Two were in their early forties. The other was in his twenties. One of the men in his forties was redhead caucasian man. The other man that age was a black haired mexican. I know he was mexican because the other Leigharch said so. And the man in his twenties was a brown haired caucasian.”
Chavez asked, “Did you get any information on those three men?”
Leigharch answered, “No. They were very cagy. And this other Leigharch was cagy, when he was not talking about himself.”
Chavez responded, “Disappointing, but not surprising. Still, what were their demeanor?”
Leigharch said, “While they were cagy, they were really nice to me. So, if you decide to go after them. Please, try to be nice.”
Chavez replied, “I will keep that mind.”
Leigharch mentioned, “And I get the feeling that they are on the run.”
Chavez inquired, “How do you know?”
Leigharch stated, “Experience. After being in enough chases, you know what to look for. So, they might be gone before we know it.”
Chavez said, “Then, the problem will solve itself.”
Leigharch responded, “My thoughts exactly. Still, I wanted to tell you, in case word got back that I was seen with a group of strange men.”
Chavez stated, “That is completely understandable, Leigharch. Do you have anything else you wish to add to this matter?”
Leigharch commented, “No. I guess, I will leave you to your work.”
Chavez said, “Have a good day, Leigharch. I will contact you, if I have a job for you.”
Leigharch replied, “Thank you, Chavez. And I hope you have a good day, as well.”
Leigharch then turned around, and he walked out of the room, through the same open door as he came in.
Chavez watched Leigharch disappear down the hallway. Chavez then thought, with curiosity, 'Even with his drug habit, when he is sober, and not stoned, Leigharch has always been honest. And when he is not, he sometimes makes outlandish statements. But, as far as I know. Either way, he never directly lies to anyone. He actually believes what he is saying, at the time. No matter how crazy his claims are.'
Chavez grinned, as he continued his thoughts, 'And some of his more crazier claims are very funny.'
Chavez then dropped his grin, as he mentally reflected, 'Though, it looks like I am going to have to have someone to look into this. And the only person I have, that I feel that I can trust to handle this matter, and my orders, properly, on this matter is Sawyer.'
'I will have to call her back. That won't be a problem. And I will assign her to find these men. Also, Leigharch states they are not that far, and he gave me decent descriptions of them. So, finding them will not be that hard. With her motorcycle, Sawyer will likely be able to find them in an hour, or so.'
'Though, as a favor to Leigharch... Well, my Leigharch, I will order Sawyer to not harm the men, and only look for answers to questions, from these four strange men. As long as the men answer her questions, they are to be left unharmed, and let go.'
'And I will figure out these questions, before Sawyer comes to see me, about this matter.'
'If these men are from another reality. And they are being chased, it is best to let them leave. So, that whomever is hunting them, will follow them to the next reality they go too.'
'Besides, I know Sawyer does not like body disposal detail. She is good at it. But, she prefers killing, over getting rid of the bodies. And I can appreciate on this matter. No one likes to clean up after their self, nor others.'
Chavez mused, as he continued his thoughts, 'Still, I wonder what it would be like to meet my counterpart? And it is quite likely there counterparts for everyone I know... This is an interesting subject. Still, as much as I would like to investigate this matter further, I do not want to become to involved in this personal manner. And thus attract the unwanted attention from others. I do not want to rise the suspicious of the other crimes family in the city. Concerning anything to do with myself. Especially, Roberta and her Hotel Caracas.'
Chavez then reached for his phone, he pressed conference mode, and he dialed an extension to the security room in his home.
After two rings, the phone was picked up on the other end of the line. Through the speaker of the phone, one of the guards station in the security room, calmly asked, in spanish, “Boss, what can we do for you?”
Chavez stated, into the phone, “Contact Sawyer's pager. And have her come see me, as soon as possible. Thank you.”
Chavez pressed a button on the phone, to hang up the phone connection.
Chavez thought, 'Now, to wait for her to show up. With luck, she will be back within ten to twenty minutes. And in the meantime, I can look over this contact for the deed to some beach front properly here, that I plan to buy with one of my shell companies.'
Chavez then went back to reading the contact on his desk.
An hour later, in the afternoon, in an empty alleyway, in another part of Santo Domingo, Fabiola, from the present, appeared.
Fabiola had her long green hair in a ponytail. She wore black socks, black boots, black leather pants, black leather belt, a green blouse, and a black leather jacket. Under her outer clothing, she wore brown boyshorts, and a green sports bra. Also, she had shoulder holsters, hidden under her jacket. The each of the two shoulder holsters had a loaded Beretta seventy-six pistol holstered in it. And she had a couple of boxes of ammo, as well, on her person.
These two pistols were Chang's original twenty-two caliber pistols, that she took from Chang's boomer double, several years ago, at the top of Chang's tower, during the fall of Roanapur. Also, in slots in the shoulder holsters, below where each pistol was located, there were extra loaded ammo magazines for her pistols.
In her left hand was a tracking tablet, while in her right hand was holding a reality device.
Fabiola looked around, as she pocketed her reality device. She saw that no one was around. She thought, 'Good. I am alone.'
Fabiola then took her tracking tablet in both hands, as she looked at it. She thought, 'Let's see. I am on an alternate Earth, during the nineteen nineties... Damn, I feel old, all of a sudden. Still, this does looked like that bad of a place. While, I have not been to Santo Domingo before, I hear it is a nice city...'
'Now, are they still here?...'
Fabiola looked over that data on the tracking tablet, as she continued her thoughts, with a bit of happiness, 'Yes! Both Pedro and Matthew, along with Chang, River, and Lee, are still here. There are no exit signals shown. And their entry signals show that I am only a few hours behind everyone. I have finally caught up with them, after only a few hours of work.... Now, I just need to find them...'
She then pulled up the back of her jacket, and she stuff the tracking tablet in the back of her pants. She the let her jacket go, as she thought, “That should not be too difficult. While, I doubt they where they came, in this reality. But, I am sure they are in this city. And that will make things easy for me. I will just ask around, for the most interesting places in this town. I am sure I will run into at least one group, or the other.'
'And given Chang, River, and Lee, are looking for Pedro and Matthew, as well. Either I will find the trio, and they will lead me to the duo. Or, I will find the duo, and the trio will come to me, looking for the duo.'
'Either way, it is a win-win situation for me... And besides, I have been meaning to visit this city. And how different can the same city be, between realities? I am sure I will be fine...'
Fabiola then turned towards the closest exit to the alleyway. Next, she walked out the alleyway. After which, while she stood on the sidewalk, she looked at which direction most of the vehicles and pedestrian traffic were going. Finally, she turned, and walked down the sidewalk, in the direction of where the most foot, and vehicle, traffic were coming from.
A few minutes later, elsewhere in the city, the four men a small restaurant they had a meal out.
Almost an hour ago, about five minutes after the other Leigharch had dropped them off, on the sidewalk, their wondering had lead them to a nice, small, local restaurant.
Pedro recommended, Matthew's suggestion of taking a break and getting something to eat and drink. With all of them agreeing to do so.
After they had finished their meal, Pedro used some of his U.S. cash to pay for the meals, and leave a nice tip for the waiter that serve them.
They were no one else around, on the sidewalk, and street, but them, except for the occasion vehicle that drove by.
While they continued walking down the sidewalk, Matthew asked, “So, how does everyone feel now?”
Matt replied, “Much better.”
Pedro said, “I am fine.” He looked over to Leigharch, as he inquired, “How are your feet?”
Leigharch noticed Pedro's question was directed at him, as he answered, “My feet are doing even much better, after that break.”
Pedro replied, “Good.”
Pedro look back towards the front.
Matt asked, “So, what are we going to next?
Pedro said, “That depends on you guys.”
Suddenly, the four men came heard the roar of a motorcycle coming towards them, from the far left side of the street.
When they immediately came to a stop, as they turned to look at the motorcycle. They saw it was a black Yamaha V-Max. As the driver got closer, they saw that it was a slender woman, whom was wearing a black full helmet and tinted visor, along with a cloak, and under the cloak was a purple dress, belt with knives on it, and black cowgirl boots. At the top of her clock was a hood that was pulled back to her neck line, to wear her helmet.
While the motorcycle driver pass by them, she turned her head towards them.
The men then suddenly watched as she immediately slowed down, as she did a u-turn, as she began heading back towards them, from the right side of the street.
As the four men continued to look at the woman Matthew commented, “She is clearly armed.”
Pedro replied, “I know.”
Matthew questioned, “Do you think she is after us?”
Pedro said, “With our luck. Most certainly.”
Matt asked, “Should I pull out my gun?”
Pedro continued looking at the woman, as he sternly said, “Most certainly not. Good first impressions have saved my life more times than I care to admit.”
Pedro thought, 'While some people consider me a loose cannon, and a cowboy cop. And to a degree, I am. Unlike U.S. cops, I don't pull my weapon, until I am sure there is a threat. Pulling a gun on every person one talks to, is just asking for trouble that eventually gets one dead. Due to the person having the gun pointed out at reacting badly, out of fear for their life. With that person either winding up dead, or killing the cop that had the weapon draw on the person.'
Matt conceded, “You may have a point there.”
Leigharch commented, “Well, whomever it is. Here she is.”
Just then, the motorcycle came to a stop, on the street, beside them, next to the sidewalk, with the front of the bike facing them, to their left, by the curb of the sidewalk.
The woman turned off the motorcycle, pulled out the key from the ignition, popped the kickstand, and she got off the two-wheel vehicle, on her right side, which was the side that Pedro, Matthew, Leigharch, and Matt were on.
The woman then turned face them, as she took of her helmet, and held her helmet in her left hand, with the helmet tucked under her left arm.
The four immediately recognized the woman's face and hair, if not her body.
As the four men looked at the woman, Pedro thought, 'I guess the other Leigharch talked about us, with Chavez. And he called this Sawyer out to find us. Which, would not be hard, given she was looking for someone that looks like Leigharch, walking with three other men that she would not know.'
'Now, to see if I can talk our way out of this mess.'
Matthew thought, with more annoyance, than anger, 'Damn it, Pedro. When you come up with something. You are like, Lee. You go all the way. Still, I will let you do the talking.'
Matt thought, 'She looks like Sawyer meets Shenhua. With Sawyer's head, hair, and style in goth style clothing. Only, with Shenhua's figure, and choice of knives as weapons. And with Shenhua's figure, her figure is more sexy, than cute. Still, I am not going to say anything, and risk drawing her attention towards me.'
Leigharch thought, 'I sometimes hate being right. Not that I blame my bro for telling Chavez. It would be his only safe move. Given, we would likely be seen by others, with them thinking, I am him. And Chavez asking why he was with some strange men. So, he would have to tell Chavez to head off the rumor mill. As such, I am okay with him. And that is why I did not give any real details about neither my life, nor those with me.'
'Still, this woman looks like Shenhua, meets someone else. I am not sure who. But, it might be best to let Pedro here talk to her. That way, if the violence starts, I can have a nice head start.'
Sawyer continued to look at the men, as she though, 'They clearly have heard of me. And given three of these men are caucasian, I think it is best I speak to them, in engish.' She said, in english, in a very nice voice, in a southeastern U.S. accent, “From the looks on your faces. I am guessing that you have heard of me.”
Pedro answered, “Something like that.” He thought, 'She has a nice voice. And it is likely Chavez did not tell her everything, that the other Leigharch told Chavez. So, I will just be careful about what I say. And I know the others will stay quiet, given they don't want to risk saying the wrong thing to her.'
Matthew thought, 'While, she doesn't sound like our Sawyer, nor our Shenhua. That could be for a couple of reasons. I don't see any scars on her throat, so she is speaking in her original voice. Where as our Sawyer had to have surgery to fix her vocal cords. And she definitely got her money's worth. Given she now has a voice like an angel.'
'Also, the accent is not surprising. I have overheard from Lee, that the Sawyer we know is from the Texas, in her reality.'
Sawyer stated, “Well, not to worry. I am only here to ask questions.”
Pedro thought, 'She wants to talk. That is good. It means we might not have to fight our way out of this mess.' He said, “I would be more than happy to answer your questions. Within reason.”
Sawyer replied, “That will be fine.”
Pedro thought, 'Now, to confirm what I believe to be the case.' He calmly asked, “How do you wished to be addressed?”
Sawyer answered, “Sawyer, will be fine.”
Pedro thought, with concern, 'Well, that confirms that.'
Leigharch thought, 'So, she is a combination of Shenhua, and the Cleaner. I remember Shenhua visiting and telling me how she let Sawyer, and a guy named Lotton, live with her, after a job that went pear shaped, for all three of them.'
Pedro inquired, “Let me guess. Your Leigharch told Chavez about us?”
Sawyer said, “Correct. And from what Chavez told me, our Leigharch said good things about you.”
Pedro responded, “That is comforting to know.” He mentally added, 'That is likely the only reason she has not pulled out her long knives. Which I am sure are somewhere on her person.' He inquired, “So, as to not sound like lunatics, when we answer your questions. How much do you know?”
Sawyer stated, “That is a fair question, given what I have heard about you from Chavez. Leigharch said that you four claimed to be from another reality.” She look over at Leigharch, and then back to Pedro, as she continued, “And after taking a look at your blond friend here. I am beginning to think there is some substance to your claims.”
Pedro mentioned, “Yes. We are. And we are actually from four separate realities.”
Sawyer requested, “That is interesting. Do you care to tell me what realities you are from?”
Pedro thought, 'I have just the answer in mind.' He said, “It would take us all day to tell you.”
Sawyer stated, “I believe you. And I do not have the inclination, nor desire for such drawn out answers. As such, I will have to forgo getting those answers.”
Pedro thought, 'Good. The next time I see them, I am going to have to thank, Lee, and Ed, for coming up with such an answer, when Ed talked to Balalaika, in Book Three of Lee's stories... Well, maybe I will just thank Ed... After all, Lee is the reason we are in this mess, in the first place.'
Sawyer inquired, “Still, I guess the most important question is, why are you here?”
Pedro answered, “We are just passing through. And we do not wish to involve you, nor the organization you were with. So please, will you please us go.”
Sawyer responded, “Given the direction of this conversation, and you willingness to be forthcoming, I would be more than happy too. After you have finished answering a few more of my questions. Leigharch mentioned had that he had a feeling that someone is after you four. Is that true?”
Pedro thought, 'Not matter the reality. Leigharch instincts are good.' He admitted, “Unfortunately, yes. This is one of the main reasons we do not wish to involve you, or anyone else here. In truth, we are not planning to stay long.”
Sawyer inquired, “That is perfectly understandable. Now, are those after you a danger to us, or this city.”
Pedro stated, “No. They prefer to be discreet, and they are only interested in us.”
Sawyer said, “Good. I will inform Chavez of what you have said. And I believe as long as you stay out of trouble, and you are gone by tomorrow afternoon, there will be no problems between us.”
Pedro replied, “That is our full current plan.”
Sawyer stated, “Then, I do not believe we will have any problems with you. Also, stick to the tourist areas of the city. You will draw less attention to yourself.”
Pedro replied, “Thank you for your suggestion.”
Sawyer said, “You're welcome. And I hope you enjoy your stay in Santo Domingo.”
Pedro responded, “It has been fun so far. As long as we don't have any trouble, I think it will be a good visit.”
Sawyer commented, “See that you don't get into trouble.”
Sawyer was about to turn back to her motorcycle, when Leigharch spoke up, as he requested, “Hey Sawyer. Before you leave. I have a question. Is there a decent place to get a drink around here?”
Pedro, Matt, and Matthew, groaned, as Matthew thought, 'Leave it to the lunatic to ask the dangerous assassin, where to get a drink at.'
Sawyer cracked a grin, a she thought, 'Interesting. He also has Leigharch's voice... Well, if he is looking for a place to drink. I have a place in mind.' She stated, “Well, Leigharch?...”
Leigharch replied, “Yes. That is my name, as well.”
Sawyer said, “Well, Leigharch, I do have a place in mind. There is a bar, about a mile from here, called, the Yellowflag.”
Leigharch suddenly started laughing, while Pedro, Matthew, and Matt looked at each other.
Sawyer calmly asked, “What?”
Leigharch calmed down, as he and the three other men looked back over at Sawyer.
Pedro stated, “There is a Yellowflag bar in our Leigarch's home reality, as well.”
Leigharch said, with a bit of excitement in his tone of voice, “Yea. But, my Yellowflag is in Roanapur, Thailand.”
She thought, 'Chavez did say that this Leigharch had worked in Thailand. In a city called, Roanapur.' She commented, “You are all becoming more interesting by the minute.”
Leigharch replied, “Thank you, Sawyer.”
Sawyer thought, 'I will have to tell Chavez and my Leigharch, about this, as well. Also...' She inquired, “Now, that I think about it. Chavez mentioned that he had a counterpart that you knew of?”
Pedro said, “Yes. We believe that Chevez's counterpart is an asian man named, Chang, that we know of. From what your Leigharch said about your boss, Chang is just an asian version of him.”
Sawyer asked, “Okay. I can actually see that. So, do I have a counterpart?”
Pedro thought, 'I might as well tell her.' He answered, “Actually, you seem to be a composite of two nice women we know of.”
While Matthew and Matt remained calm, as Leigharch snorted, in response to what Pedro said.
Sawyer raised an eyebrow, as she questioned, in a disbelieving tone of voice, “Nice?... Really?...”
Pedro thought, 'She's got me there.' He admitted, “Okay. They are nice when they are in a good mood.”
Sawyer let out a small laugh. She then said, “Much better. Now, please explain.”
Pedro stated, “Sawyer, your face, color hair, hair style, and clothing style, are similar to the Sawyer we know. Though, the Sawyer we know is a much smaller woman, who has more of a cute goth look, than a sexy goth look you have. Your body figure, and choice of weapons, in the form of knives, is similar to a Taiwanese woman we know, whom is named, Shenhua.”
Sawyer asked, “Interesting. What do those two women like? And what do they do?”
Pedro answered, “Their names are Shenhua and Sawyer, liked your name. Both of them are good friends with each other. Shenhua was an assassin for Chang. And Sawyer was a freelancer that did body disposal work. Though, both have since moved onto to do other things.” Pedro thought, 'It might be best to leave out everything else, including, they are also not loved, with a gender bent Lotton. And all three of them are mothers.'
Sawyer commented, “Actually, that explains a lot. Given, I have both those jobs.”
Pedro complimented, “And I bet you are good at both those jobs.”
Sawyer gave Pedro a wicked smile, as she replied, “That I am.”
Meanwhile, Matthew thought. 'We need to change the subject, towards something more constructive, to get her to leave. Before, she changes her mind one wanting more questions answered. With those questions being type that we don't want to tell her, nor Chavez.'
Matthew spoke up, “So, where is this Yellowflag. You said it was a mile from here?”
Sawyer responded, “Ah yes. I almost forgot. Yes. The Yellowflag is around a mile from here. It is a three story building, with a large neon sign in front that says, Yellowflag.”
Pedro commented, “That sounds about the same as the Yellowflag we know of.”
Sawyer commented, “That figures. And I will be more than happy to give you directions.”
Sawyer held up her right hand, as she pointed down the street, to her right side. She began, “Since you don't know the street names. I will make this simple for you. You go down a block, and then take a left. Then, on the third streetlight light, down the road, you take another left...”
Sawyer then spent the next few seconds giving the for men directions.
When she finished, she dropped her right hand back to her side, as she asked, “So, did you get all that?”
Matthew answered, “Yes. We did. And thank you for the directions.”
Sawyer responded, “Thank you for answering my questions. While I don't mind killing, I do mind disposing of bodies.”
Pedro thought, 'Just like our Sawyer.'
Sawyer stated, “Now, have a safe journey.”
Leigharch stated, “You, as well, Sawyer.”
Sawyer looked over at Leigharch, and gave him a warm smile. She then put back her helmet, turned around, got onto her motorcycle, inserted the key into the ignition, kicked the kick stand back up, started the engine. She then let her motorcycle engine roar, as she road away from them, and down the street, in the direction she had come in.
When they saw Sawyer turned down another street, at an intersection, all four men let out a breath, in relief.
The four men then turned to look at each other, as Matthew commented, “I didn't realize how dangerous someone's imagination could be.”
Matt stated, “At least we got out of that meeting in one piece.”
Matthew replied, “True.”
Matt requested, “Pedro. The next time you have an idea about reality, don't think about it.”
Pedro replied, “I'll try not to.”
Leigharch commented, “I think it would be a good idea, if we when to the Yellowflag and had a drink. We could all sure use on, right now.”
Matthew replied, “I agree. And it is too tempting an opportunity to pass up.”
Leigharch agreed, “You are right about that. Now, let's start heading there. I want to get there, before the five PM crowd gets there.”
The four men started walking down the sidewalk, in the direction that Sawyer had pointed, Pedro said, “That is not a bad idea. Though, given I doubt it is even one o'clock, right now, we have plenty of time, to get there, and get our drinks.
Leigharch replied, “That is a good point.”
Matt inquired, “You know. Speaking of people we should be worried about. Do you think we have to worry about the powearmored man showing up.
Pedro stated, “I doubt it. He likes to show up, almost immediately, when we arrive at a reality. And we have been here for a few hours, and we haven't seen any trace of him.”
Matt replied, “That is a good point.”
Matthew asked, “So, what do you all plan on getting, once we get to the Yellowflag bar?”
Matt stated, “I will have to see what they have.”
Leigharch replied, “The same.”
Pedro said, “I am open to selections.”
Matthew stated, “That is fine with me. Even I am not sure what I will get. But, I am sure that Pedro here is buying.”
Pedro said, “I don't mind, as long as everyone behaves.”
Matt replied, “I can go long with that.”
Matthew said, “So can I.”
Leigharch commented, “Same here.”
The four men then walked down the sidewalk, as they followed Sawyer's directions to the Yellowflag bar in town.
On a two story building, in the distance, the black powearmored man had just found his prey. Though, as he watched his prey, from a distance, he saw the exchange between slightly taller Sawyer, and Pedro's group. With Sawyer soon getting back on her motorcycle, and driving off down the road, away from the others.
The powearmored man watched the men begin to walk down a sidewalk, as he thought, with slightly concern and worry, 'A woman that is a cross between Shenhua and Sawyer, with a mexican mafia motif. Okay. I am not touching this reality with a ten foot pole. I am out of here. I will catch these guys, later.'
The powerarmor man then disappeared, in the blink of eye, as he jumped to another reality.
Half an hour later, after Laguna Negra reality's Sawyer has met with Pedro, Matthew, Leigharch, and Matt. In another part of the city of Santo Domingo, Fabiola was still walking down the sidewalks, on a two lane road, of the city, as she searched for her friends.
The sidewalk she was on was empty. With the street being to her left side, and the buildings being to her right side.
As she continued walking, she thought, 'It looks like this is going to be harder than I thought. Due to this being a tourist town, seeing people from out of town are not that uncommon. Still, I am sure I will find them, or I will track them when they use their reality devices.'
'Though, I do wonder what this day might bring for me? Because, I am so bored.'
Just then, she reached the corner of the sidewalk, at the intersection, with another two lane road. As she was about to turn to her right, she came to an abrupt stop, as she saw who was standing, ten feet from her.
Standing in a blue school girl's uniform, with a skirt that went down, below the knees, was a much younger, mirror version of Fabiola, herself.
The younger Fabiola could not have been fifteen, at most. She had green long hair, like Fabiola did. With her hair being tied back in a ponytail, at multiple points, just like Fabiola's hair was.
As Fabiola looked at her younger counterpart, she thought, 'I really should have know better than to complain about being bored. Still, I don't believe it. I am in some sort of alternate reality of my own home reality. And my counterpart lives in this is Santo Domingo, instead of Caracas, or Roanapur... Well, at least it is not that sewer, Roanapur. And this is a good city to live in.'
The Young Fabiola spoke, as she calmly inquired, in spanish, “Forgive me, madam. But, you look just like me.”
Fabiola thought, 'I might as well tell the truth. I am not going to leave a version of myself, asking questions about this meeting, for the rest of her life.' She answered, in a calm tone of voice, in spanish, “In a way, I am. My name is, Fabiola Iglesias. Is that your name, as well?”
Young Fabiola responded, “Yes. Are you me, from the future?”
Fabiola stated, “No. I have never been to this city before, for very long.” She thought, 'I have only spent a few days, vacationing here... Well, the Santo Domingo of my reality... With Garcia and Roberta. A few times. But, it is best not to get into that.' She continued, “I am is your older counterpart, from another reality in the multiverse.”
Young Fabiola replied, “Cool. So, why are you here?”
Fabiola said, “I am tracking down some fools, that are my friends. So, I can bring them home.”
Young Fabiola giggled a little. She then commented, “That is also how I ended up here.”
Fabiola said, “Some things just never change.”
Young Fabiola replied, “That would be correct, madam.”
Fabiola requested, “Please. Call me, Fabiola.”
Young Fabiola said, in a jovial tone of voice, “Fine. I will call you Fabiola, as you long as you call me, Fabiola.”
Fabiola giggled a little, at her younger counterpart's joke. She then inquired, “Okay, Fabiola. So, what are you doing? And why are you wearing the dress?”
Young Fabiola answered, “I was just got let out of school for the day, and I was going to run some errands. Then, I plan to head home.”
Fabiola asked, “So, where is your home?”
Young Fabiola inquired, with a hint of concern in her tone of voice, “Why do you want to know?”
Fabiola caught the hint of concern from her counterpart. She backtracked, as she said, “No offense intended. I was just curious.”
Young Fabiola replied, “It is a long story.”
Fabiola let out a laugh. She then stated, “Isn't it, always?”
Young Fabiola agreed, “That does seem to be the case.”
Fabiola thought, 'I might as well ask her.' She inquired, “You would have happened to have seen two men? A black haired hispanic, and a casucian brown haired man? Or, a group of three women? A black haired asian, a redhead cascascian, and a black haired caucasian?”
Young Fabiola politely answered, “I apologize. But, we get so many tourists in this city, that such people are not uncommon.”
Fabiola mentally reflected, 'My thoughts, exactly. And unlike us. There are not that many green haired women, with green eyes, in the multiverse. It is why I avoid some realities. Like the Big Trouble In Little China reality. From that crazy nineteen eighties film.'
'The evil sorcerers there are crazy about green eyed women. They would go nuts at seeing a woman, with natural green eyes and green hair. Such as myself, or you. But, since I have nothing better to do. I might as well find out more about your life, young Fabiola.'
Fabiola requested, “That is okay. Still, I am in no rush. Would you like to have a little talk with me, right now.”
Young Fabiola said, with a little bit of excitement in her tone of voice, “Absolutely. So, who are these friends of yours?”
Fabiola thought, 'If I want answer from her. I will first have to answer her questions.'
Fabiola commented, “They are an interesting mix of people. The black haired man is named, Pedro. He is a cop. The brown haired man is name, Matthew. He is a lawyer. There is Chang, the asian woman. While the redhead is named, River. She is a genius. Then, there is the black haired caucasian, whom goes by, Lee. Though, I am not really friends with Chang. But, I am friends of the other four.”
Fabiola mentally reflected, 'I will be honest. After spending a few years getting to know Lee, off an on. River and the other were right. She is a decent woman. And I have had some pleasant conversations with her. And she can through some nice parties. Even Roberta and Garcia will admit to that.'
'Though, Chang is still... Chang. I just cannot get around that. At least, Lee made an effort to change, while Chang really did not.'
Young Fabiola asked, with curiosity in her tone of voice, “Who is Chang? And why she not your friend?”
Fabiola groaned, as she thought, 'I guess, in her place, I would ask the same questions. I might as well answer her.'
Fabiola responded, “I guess you got me there. Well, Chang is friends with the other four, and I am friends with the other four. So, we tolerate each other.”
“Though, the main problem with Chang, has that Chang is a former Hong Kong mafia boss. And Chang was originally a man. Though, due to incidents in the multiverse, he can now change into a she, at will. He has a sense of humor, and he is a very good fighter, whom likes two use pistols at once, in battle.”
Fabiola mentally reflect, 'Though, I also like to use two pistols, or shotguns, at once. But, I am not going to mention that to someone, like you, whom is so young, and innocent... I hope.'
Young Fabiola commented, “Besides, the gender trick, and being chinese. That sound like someone a know. A mexican man, named Chavez, whom controls the mexican cartel here.”
Fabiola said, “It sounds like Chang and Chavez are counterparts.”
Young Fabiola replied, “That is possible.”
Fabiola stated, “Let's hope they don't meet.”
Young Fabiola said, “Agreed.”
Fabiola thought, 'Wait a minute... I wonder...' She asked, “This isn't a city that is controlled by various crime families, vying for control of the drugs and arms trade.”
Young Fabiola answered, “Yes. It is. Though, most of the trade, itself, goes through Haiti.”
Fabiola sarcastically thought, 'Great. This place is like Roanapur. I misjudged this place. But, my young counterpart seems to be happy, here. I wonder why.'
Young Fabiola inquired, “Do you know of such a place?”
Fabiola answered, “Yes. A sewer of a city, call Roanapur, that was on the eastern coast of Thailand. But, Roanapur no long exists in my home reality.”
Young Fabiola replied, “Well, this town is not that bad. It is actually, quite nice.”
Fabiola replied, “I will take your word on that.” She thought, 'Though, if you are here. I need to ask about Garcia and Roberta of this reality.' She asked, “So, do you know a Garcia Lovelace? Or, a Roberta?”
Young Fabiola answered, “I know both of them. They are good friends of mine.”
Fabiola asked, “Are they both alright?”
Young Fabiola stated, “Yes. I take it you are friends with their counterparts, in your home reality?”
Fabiola inquired, “Yes. They are both good friends, whom I care about.”
Young Fabiola commented, “That is nice to know. And I feel the same way about my Garcia and Roberta.”
Fabiola thought, 'I guess somethings truly don't change. No matter than reality. Though, I do wonder one thing about them.' She asked, “How old is Garcia? And Roberta?”
Young Fabiola answered, “Garcia is a year younger than me. And I am not sure how old Roberta is. As you know, it is impolite to ask a woman her age. But, I would guess that she is around thirty.”
Fabiola replied, “That is fine.” She thought, 'So, the Garcia and Roberta here are around the same age during the time that I was this girl's age.'
Young Fabiola asked, “Good. So, what do you do, when you are not crossing realities?”
Fabiola answered, “I am a badass maid.”
Young Fabiola inquired, “How exactly does that work?”
Fabiola casually stated, “A lot of gunfighting, while wearing a maids outfit.”
Young Fabiola commented, “That doesn't sound half bad.”
Fabiola replied, “It isn't” She thought, 'Now, for the next question.' She inquired, “So, where are you staying, Fabiola?”
Young Fabiola answered, “I am staying with Roberta, and Garcia, at the Hotel Caracas headquarters, outside of town.”
Fabiola asked, in a concerned tone of voice, “Who is Hotel Caracas?”
Young Fabiola questioned, “You have not heard of them?”
Fabiola admitted, “No. They do not exist in my reality?” She thought, 'Though, I know another group, with Hotel, in their name.'
Young Fabiola explained, “Hotel Caracas are one of the mafias in this town. And they are basically composed of ex-FARC members that left the service of their organization, and the Colombian cartels, to form their own group. Roberta is their leader.”
Fabiola thought, 'I can guess what happened. In this reality, when Roberta broke ranks, and left her guard post with the cartels. She convinced some of her FARC friends to come with her. Still, I need to know more about your Roberta. I have a feeling that I know where this is going to lead, but I need to confirm my suspicions.'
Fabiola requested, “Could you please describe your, Roberta?”
Young Fabiola responded, “Sure. Though, she has a dark side, my Roberta is a very nice woman to both Garcia, and myself. She is very skilled in combat. Both in hand to hand, and various firearms. She prefer to use two semi-automatic pistols at once, in combat. The most distinguishing part of her, besides her long purple hair. Which is tied in a ponytail, long our hair. Is that she has scars running down the right side of her face, and she has scars on various places, along the front parts of her neck, chest, stomach, and upper thighs.”
Fabiola thought, with mild surprise, 'So, this Roberta is a cross between my Roberta and Balalaika. And Hotel Caracas is this Roberta's Hotel Moscow. While I love Roberta deeply, as a friend. Those are still some scary thoughts.'
'And I believe it is best not to mention Balalaika to her. Doing so will only confuse the situation between us.'
Young Fabiola noticed something was troubling Fabiola. She asked, “What is the problem?”
Fabiola answered, “Well, there are some similarities between my Roberta, and your Roberta. Such as her well manned nature, her use of two pistols at once. And her combat skills. Though, in my reality, Roberta is a maid for the Lovelace family.”
Fabiola thought, 'Given her age. I will leave out that after Garcia became a man, both Roberta and I became his lovers. I will also leave out Garcia's gender bending. If she was anything like the prude, when I was her age, she would just not understand.'
Young Fabiola flatly questioned, “Just a maid?”
Fabiola replied, in a defense manner, “Well, a badass maid. And Roberta is my teacher.”
Young Fabiola stated, in a voice of confidence, “Well, my Roberta is a badass mafia boss. And she is my teacher.”
Fabiola sighed, as she said, “It is not a contest.” She thought, 'I forgot how competitive I could be at her age.'
Young Fabiola asked, “Okay. So, where are you, your Roberta, and Garcia living?”
Fabiola answered, “The Lovelace estate outside of Caracas. We work for the Lovelace household.”
Young Fabiola said, in a sad tone of voice, “That is nice. But unfortunately, that is not the case here.”
Fabiola noticed Young Fabiola's sad tone of voice. She asked, with concern in her tone of voice, “What happened to the Lovelace family?”
Young Fabiola answered, “A Colombian cartel killed Diego and kidnapped Garcia, while my was visiting family... In the slums of Caracas... Still, I was able to track Garcia down to Santo Domingo. I even ran into the Lagoon group that kidnapped, Garcia. Fortunately, while searching for Garcia, I run into Roberta, and Hotel Caracas. It was a surprisingly pleasant meeting. And it turned out that Roberta's father was best friends with Diego Lovelace, and she decided to help me save Garcia, while killing a whole lot of Colombian cartel members.”
Fabiola mentioned, “Yea. My Roberta also hated the Colombian Cartel. And her father was best friends with Diego in my reality, as well.”
Young Fabiola continued, “Interesting. Well, among other things, Roberta even spared the lives of all three members of the Lagoon crew, due to them having good relations towards her organization... And I will admit that Benny and Dutch seem like fairly nice people. And Revy is tolerable, when she is not drunk.”
Fabiola thought, 'I wonder.' She asked, “Are you talking about, Dutch, Revy, and Benny, and their group, Lagoon company?”
Young Fabiola answered, “Yes. That is the name of their organization.”
Fabiola thought, 'I guess Rock is not part of the Lagoon crew. Though, that makes sense, given we are on the wrong side of the world, from him. Still, could the same thing have happened here, when Garcia was kidnapped, and taken to Roanapur? I have to ask.'
Fabiola inquired, “Let me guess. When it came to rescuing Garcia, before things were settled, there was a massive, four hour fistfight, between Roberta and Revy?”
Young Fabiola commented, “Actually, I was the one that had the four hour long fistfight with Revy. And in the end, she was on the ground, and I was still standing... Barely...”
Fabiola eyes slightly widened at hearing her young counterpart's comment. She thought, 'I guess I am a tougher badass than I thought I was.' She forced herself to calm down, as she complimented, in a joyous tone of voice, “Good for you.”
Young Fabiola happily replied, “Thanks And from what it sounds like, instead of you, it was Roberta that fought Revy and won.”
Fabiola answered, “You could say that.” She mentally added, 'They knocked each other down. But, Roberta was able to get back up and walk away, while Revy was out cold.'
Young Fabiola commented, “It must have been some fight.”
Fabiola answered, “It was.” She thought, 'Though, I had to watch it from the Black Lagoon series. But, I am not about to mention that to you. Still...' She asked, “So, what happened next?”
Young Fabiola stated, “Well, Roberta took both Garcia and I, into her home. She was so impressed with my skills that she decided to start to personally teach me what she knows on use of firearms and hand to hand combat.”
Fabiola commented, “Yes. That is what my Roberta taught me, as well.”
Young Fabiola said, “As, I would expect she would. When Roberta is not working, she is usually helping the two of us, in some way. Also, she is teaching Garcia some of those same lessons, as well.”
Fabiola stated, “I am not surprised.” She thought, 'After Roberta returned home, while she was crippled, she start teaching Garcia, as well. With me doing the physical sparring with Garcia. Because, at the time, she could not do so. And teaching both of us, to her mind off of her physical and mental problems.'
'I also used this time to fulfill Garcia's request in teaching he what I knew of capoeira. And at the same time, while I teaching Garcia capoeira, by training and sparing with him, Roberta sat and watched.'
'And when Roberta returned to our home, as a cyborg, the problem of her teaching Garcia, and myself, was solved, for the most part. Though, she did not harm us. She did have to reteach herself, on her new level of strength. But, that was not to difficult with her. And she took over most of the instruction on hand to hand combat, for the both of us.'
'Not that I am going to mention that whole incident to my young counterpart, here. About how my Roberta went on the warpath. I don't want her to worry. But, there is another minor matter that I need to ask her about.'
Fabiola commented, “Given you mentioned you just got out of school, for the day. I take it from the school uniform, from the school you attend?”
Young Fabiola responded, “Yes. Roberta enrolled both Garcia and I into a private school. That is why I am wearing this uniform. We both just got let out of school. Garcia is already heading him, while I was about to run a few errands.”
Fabiola said, “Sorry about ruining your scheduling.”
Young Fabiola happily replied, “No problem. Meeting you is vastly more important. And I can always do those errands, later. None of them are immediate.”
Fabiola stated, “Okay. And it is very nice to hear about you, Roberta, and Garcia. I hope things work out for all three of you.”
Young Fabiola smiled warmly at Fabiola, as she said, “Thank you.”
Fabiola returned her counterpart's warm smile, as she replied, “You're welcome.”
Young Fabiola asked, “So, you said that you, and your Roberta, live with Garcia and Diego?”
Fabiola coyly said, in a sad tone of voice, “We do live with Garcia, but Diego died years ago.”
Young Fabiola replied, “I was hoping that was not the case.”
Fabiola said, “I was hoping the same when I asked you about your Lovelace family. I guess somethings cannot be prevents.”
Young Fabiola commented, “I will disagree with you, for the sake of hope.”
Fabiola replied, “I can agree, and go along with that.”
Young Fabiola became a bit more joyful, as she inquired, “Good. By the way, you look great for your age... I mean, you are still young. And no offense intended.”
Fabiola happily replied, “None taken. I know look good.”
Young Fabiola said, “I agree. And I am looking for to fulling out as much as you have” Young Fabiola looked at a slightly downward, at Fabiola's breasts.
Fabiola noticed that her younger counterpart was looking at her breasts, which were respectable, and almost the size of Roberta's breasts. Fabiola grinned wickedly, as she commented, “And they're real.”
Both of them laughed a little, at the older Fabiola's comment.
As they calmed down, Young Fabiola looked back to Fabiola's face, as she said, “Still, if you are this old, that means that Garcia has reached adulthood.”
Fabiola stated, “Yes. And Garcia is a very handsome, honorable man, whom would make his parents proud.”
Young Fabiola replied, “That is all I wanted to hear. And I can see from the look on your face that you have feelings for him.”
Fabiola slyly responded, “Once you get to know Garcia, it is hard not to care about him.”
Young Fabiola agreed, “That's true. I have some feelings for my Garcia. Still, I am not sure if I should move forward with my feeling towards him.”
Fabiola thought, 'She needs someone to talk to about this. And I am the only person who fully understand the situation she is in.' She said, “That would depend on how Garcia feels about you, along with Roberta, or some other woman.”
Young Fabiola stated, “Yes. If those two of my reality are any indication, that can get complicated. Roberta is way too old for him. And both of them know that. But, it is clear they do care for each other very deeply.” She looked down at the concrete sidewalk, as she continued, in a quite tone of voice, “And I don't want to ruin that.”
Fabiola thought, 'At least, you understand the situation. And you care enough about those two, to not ruin things for anyone of you. Fortunately, I know just want to say, to help you.'
Fabiola responded, in a comforting, supportive, tone of voice, “I feel for you. And it was the same for my Garcia and Roberta. They had to wait until Garcia reached adulthood, until they could move forward in their relationship. And that has been years ago, for us. And it has worked out well for them.” She mentally add, 'And me.'
Young Fabiola looked back up at Fabiola's face, as she commented, in a casual tone of voice, “Okay. It is not like you ever slept with him.”
Young Fabiola noticed Fabiola body slightly jerk back. And she understood what her older counterpart's reaction meant. She accused, “Wait a minute... You did sleep with, Garcia? Didn't you? Behind Roberta's back?”
Fabiola stumbled on her words, as she responded, “No. Yes. It is kind of complicated. But, Roberta was okay with it...” She took a second to compose herself. She then continued, “Look, we all make foolish decisions. But, I feel that when I slept with Garcia, for the first time, that was not a foolish decision.”
Young Fabiola said, “I always thought, I would wait until marriage, when I would first make love with someone.”
Fabiola stated, “At your age, I felt the same way. And chastity is a wonderful thing. But, if you find that right person, even at your age. Then, hold onto that person. And take things slowly. Like I did with Garcia.”
Young Fabiola realized, as she commented, “This was not a rash decision on your part?”
Fabiola soberly said, “No. Nor, was it for, Garcia. It came about very slowly. When it happened, it was just... So, natural for both of us.”
Young Fabiola asked, “How did Roberta react to this? When she found out. She could not have just been okay with this.”
Fabiola thought, 'I am not going to get into Roberta rampage, mental breakdown, physical injuries, and what was done to help her recover.' She coyly answered. “Like I said. It was complicate... She was away, for medical rehabilitation.”
Young Fabiola inquired, “What happened?”
Fabiola said, “A lot of things. I do not want to get into it... But, she got better, and I admitted what had happened to her, and she took the news very well, towards both Garcia, and myself.”
“Still, when it comes to our chastity, as women. Like all things, the key is to make sure that person is worth giving your virginity too. In my case, I feel Garcia was worth it. Though, you need to make sure to use a condom, like we did. You do not want to accidentally end up pregnant at your age.”
Young Fabiola replied, “I full agree... Hold it. Are you a mother?”
Fabiola stated, “No. But, I have thought about having children. I am at that age, and I am in a good position in my life, where the thought of having children is on my mind. But, the thought of having children does not consume me. It is more of a consideration.”
Young Fabiola complimented, “That is a good way to look at it.”
Fabiola replied, “Thank you.”
Young Fabiola inquired, “So, how should I handle this little love triangle that is forming between Garcia, Roberta, and myself?
Fabiola stated, “You need to keep in mind that your Roberta is clearly different than my Roberta. And I am sure that your Garcia is somewhat different than mine. I am not saying that is a bad thing. It is just that this is the case. So, I am not sure how you should approach this problem.”
Young Fabiola said, “I will tread carefully. But, I think I will be fine.”
Fabiola complimented, “I agree. You have a lot more going for you, than I did at your age.”
Young Fabiola replied, “That is comforting to know.”
Fabiola suggested, “If necessary, talk to the two of them, before you do anything foolish.”
Young Fabiola stated, “If I have too. That is what I plan to do. I trust both of them with my life. And they are both very understanding.”
Fabiola replied, “That is good.”
Young Fabiola casually asked, “So, how was your first time?”
Fabiola groaned slightly, as she thought, 'I am going to have to answer this.' She answered, “To begin with, it was slightly painful. For obvious reasons.”
Young Fabiola question, with a mix of curiosity and confusion, “What do you mean?”
Fabiola questioned, “You haven't had that talk yet?”
Young Fabiola inquired, “What talk?”
Fabiola flatly replied, “About having sex. And what to expect for your first time.”
Young Fabiola admitted, in a slightly embarrassed tone of voice, “Not really. But, I do know what goes into which hole, down there.”
Fabiola sighed, as she thought, 'That is oversimplifying the situation. And I am going to have to explain a few things to you. So, you know what to expect. And I will do so, in a delicate manner.'
Fabiola stated, in a calm, reassuring tone of voice, “Okay. To start with, there is a piece of skin down there that tears, when a woman first has intercourse. It hurts. It will bleed a little. But, you will get over it. Just give yourself a few minutes to recover. Also, wait until you are wet down there, before you start intercourse. And I am not talking about pee. Foreplay will help with that. Do not force anything. Take things slowly. There is a rhythm to doing this. So, let the experiences come naturally. And you will do fine.”
Fabiola thought, 'I am so happy that Roberta had that talk with me, when she first became my teacher. I feel that with the whole Hotel Caracas issue, her Roberta has not had time yet, to have such a talk.'
Young Fabiola replied, “I will keep that in mind.” A lecherous grin then curled on her lips, as she asked, “So, how was it between you two? Specifically. For your first time?”
Fabiola answered, “It was Garcia's first time, as well. I will state that though we were both obviously inexperienced. I will still give Garcia points for effort.”
Young Fabiola giggled a little. She then said, “That is nice.”
Fabiola returned her counterpart's lecherous grin, as she mentioned, “And subsequent times were much more pleasurable for both of us.”
Young Fabiola said, with joy in her tone of voice, “Then, I have much to look forward too.”
Fabiola agreed, “Yes. You do. Just remember to take your time, be careful, and use a condom.”
Young Fabiola flatly replied, “Do not worry. I will.” She then continued in a slightly disappointed tone of voice, “Well, I need to get going. While those errands can wait. I have things to do today, that just cannot wait.”
Fabiola said, “I fully understand.”
Young Fabiola commented, “Still, meeting you has been very weird for me. And I am sure for you.”
Fabiola responded, “You are correct. I feel the same way. Though, it has been a good conversation. And a good meeting.”
Young Fabiola suggested, “True. Perhaps we can continue this conversation at a later date.”
Fabiola happily replied, “I would look forward to doing so.”
Young Fabiola smiled at Fabiola, as she said, “See you, Fabiola.”
Fabiola returned her younger counterpart's smile, as she kindly stated, “You too, Fabiola.”
The two girls then walked passed each other, as they turned a corner on the sidewalk, and went the way the other had come from.
A Fabiola walked, 'That was a wonderful meeting. Maybe, when this is over, I will come back and visit my counterpart, during a much longer stay.'
When the older Fabiola was out of sight, of the younger Fabiola, the younger Fabiola quickened her pace, as she thought, 'I need to find a taxi, and get back home immediately. I need to tell Roberta about this meeting.”
Half an hour later, outside of the city of Santo Domingo, a taxi drove towards the gated entrance of a large plantation estate. The main building, along with the auxiliary buildings, were surrounded by a large iron rod fence, with gates that were iron rods.
The main plantation building was a large, three story spanish plantation home, with an interior, outdoor courtyard. And there was a pool behind the back of the main building.
And while this plantation was originally a sugar cane plantation, the only sugar cane farming done on the plantation, at the present, was done so as a cover.
For the plantation was now the home, and headquarters, of Hotel Caracas. With the origination using the sugarcane business. In both production, and shipment. As a cover for their smuggling operations.
The plantation was well guarded. With armed guards stations at the gates, and throughout the fenced part of the plantation. There were also a camera system that monitors the outside, and interior common areas, of the plantation. The camera system was tied into security room in the main building, with at least two guards stationed in that room, around the clock.
Those that worked the fields, were vetted, local labors, whom were not allowed inside the gated area of the plantation. Though, Hotel Caracas did pay their labors a generous wage for their work, and their silence. Unlike the slave labor that the cartels employed for their drug production, in some parts of the world.
As the taxi came to a stop, near the front double, iron rod, gates, the guard standing duty at the entrance, looked over at them.
The guard was a brown haired, hispanic man in his late twenties, He has a holstered pistol on the right side of his belt, with a hand held radio clipped to the left side of his belt. He wore black military boots, blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and sunglasses.
The guard turned his attention to the taxi, idling near him.
A few second later, the man watched Fabiola get out of the back, with her then shutting the right, back passenger door.
As drove away, Fabiola turned to the guard, whom was only around twenty feet away, across the driveway entrance of plantation.
Both of them stood on the outside sides of the raise concrete curbed blocks, that were set against the driveway, and back up against the fence.
The guard said, in spanish, “Hi Fabiola.”
Fabiola recognized the guard, as she inquired, in spanish, “Hi Silvio. How are you, today?”
Silvio happy answered, “Fine. And Garcia is already inside.”
Fabiola requested, “Good. Can you let me in?”
Silvio replied, “Sure.” Silvio then turned to the camera that was place at the top of the gate corner on his side, so the guards in the security room could see his face. He wave his right hand towards the camera.
Silvio dropped his hand, as those in the security room had saw him. The guards stationed in the security room opened the gates for Fabiola.
Silvio turned back to watch as Fabiola walked through the entrance of the driveway, and passed the gates, as she headed for the main building.
A few seconds later, as the gates closed, Silvio turned his attention back to the road in front of him, as he resume his guard duties.
Meanwhile, Fabiola walked up the driveway, towards the front entrance to the main building of the plantation.
Fortunately, the plantation home was only around a hundred yards from the front gates.
And while Fabiola was in a hurry, she did not run. Because she did not want to alarm the security forces that monitored the plantation.
A few minutes later, Fabiola made it to the front double-doors of the plantation home. The doors were unlocked during the day, and she opened the right door to enter the building.
Fabiola gently closed the door behind her. She then turned around, to look at the entryway room she was in.
There were windows, to the sides of the doors, that allowed sunlight to come in. The windows had red curtains on the sides, but they were pulled back to allow those inside to see what was going on, outside.
Fabiola then turned back around, with her back to the doors.
In front of Fabiola, and to her left was the entrance to a set of stairs. She first flight of stairs let to the second story. The stairs then turned to the right, a hundred of eighty degrees, to go to the third story of the building.
Just then, she saw Garcia passing by her, from across the room. Garcia was in his blue, school boy's uniform. And like his counterpart, at that age, his blond hair was cut short, but, to his neckline. Also, Garcia was a teenage boy is good physical shape.
Fabiola started walking closer to Garcia, as she thought, 'Ah. One of the people I wanted to see, just now.'
As Fabiola walked closer to Garcia, from the corner of his eye, Garcia saw Fabiola.
Garcia came to a stop, as he turned to look at Fabiola. He said, in spanish, “Hi Fabiola.”
By then, Fabiola came to a stop, a few feet from Garcia, as she responded, in spanish, “Hi Garcia.”
Garcia asked, “What are you doing back home, so soon? I though you were going to go run some errands, for groceries?”
Fabiola coyly responded, “Something came up, that I need to talk to Roberta about it. So, where is she?”
Garcia answered, with a bit of disgust in his tone of voice, “Roberta is in a meeting with leader of the Florida Cartel. They are in the formal sitting room.”
Fabiola notice Garcia's tone of voice. She commented, in a comforting tone of voice “I know you are not completely happy with the situation. But, the situation may someday change for the better.”
Garcia responded, in a heartfelt tone of voice, “I understand that. But, do you sometimes get the feeling that it could have turned out differently?”
Fabiola giggled, a little, at Garcia's comment.
Garcia asked, “What is it?”
Fabiola calmed down, as she stated, “We will talk about it, later. And I fully agree with you. But, I need to talk to Roberta, first.”
Garcia requested, “Okay. But, please do not get into a fight with that cowgirl, like last time.”
Fabiola shrugged, as she casually said, “The west wing of the building needed redecorating, anyway.”
Garcia could not help himself, as he chuckled a little at Fabiola's comment.
Fabiola asked, “So, what are you planning on doing this afternoon?”
Garcia stopped laughing, as he answered. “I plan do a little exercise and sparring in the gym. Then, I am going to do my homework.”
Fabiola said, “I will help you with all three. As soon as I am finished talking to Roberta. Which should not take too long.”
Garcia happily replied, “Thanks, Fabiola.”
Fabiola responded, “You're welcome, Garcia.”
Garcia then turned to his left, and walked off, to another part of the building.
Meanwhile, Fabiola turned to her left, and she headed down a hallway.
Around half a minute later, Fabiola began to walk within sight of the open entrance to the formal sitting room of the building. Where guests were taken to meet.
As Fabiola approached the entrance to the room, she began to overhear the conversation taking place inside of the formal sitting room.
At that moment, inside the formal living room of the estate, Roberta of Hotel Carcasas, was hosting a meeting with the leader of The Florida Cartel, and her immediate subordinate.
The room itself was simple enough. Light tan painted walls and ceiling. There was a sliding glass door, on the opposite side of the room from hallway entrance. providing sunlight, to see with, from the outside, interior courtyard of the building.
The floor composed of large, light brown tiles. There was a large, red patterned rug under the furniture.
There were a few nightstands around the walls of the room, which had electric lamps, which used incandescent, soft yellow light bulbs.
The main furniture was over the rug were two tanned, cushioned, couches, which faced each other. There was wooden, black stained, rectangular coffee table between the two couches.
The two couched and table were set so in a perpendicular angle to the two entrances to the room, to allow for better flow pattern in the room.
On the couch, on the left side of the room, from the hallway entrance, was Roberta of Hotel Caracas.
Roberta looked and wore clothing similar to her counterpart, but she did not appear exactly the same at Roberta of the Black Lagoon reality.
Roberta was a woman in her later twenties, to early thirties. She was in great physical shape. She had very long, purple hair, which went below her waist, and was tied at multiple points, to keep it in check. And she had scars that went down the right side of her face, and other parts of the front of her body.
Roberta wore black cowgirl boots, blue denim blue jeans, with a brown leather belt. She had on a short sleeved white blouse, with a sleeveless blue denim vest. Around the collar of her shirt, she had on a bolo tie with a blue amulet.
Her two, loaded, nineteen twenty-seven Sistema forty-five caliber semi-automatic pistols were were holster, in dual holsters, attached to her belt, behind her back.
Sitting across the coffee table from Roberta, while facing her, was the leader of the Florida Cartel, Yolanda.
Yolanda was a much older, fair skin woman, in her seventies to early eighties. Though, Yolanda was in excellent physical shape for her age.
Yolanda had a black eyepatch covering her right eye. Yolanda's short, white hair was covered by a solid black bandanna, over her forehead, and the front top of her head.
Yolanda wore a long white long sleeved, button up blouse. Over her blouse was a black sleeveless leather vest, that hid her shoulder holster, under her left armpit. In her holster, was her loaded, gold plated, semi-automatic, desert eagle pistol.
The bottom of Yolanda's white shirt was tucked into a long black skirt, which went down to her ankles. The bottom of her skirt partly covered the top of the black laced boots, she on her feet, that went half way up her lower legs.
Standing behind the couch Yolanda was sitting in, while facing Roberta, was Yolanda's subordinate, and second in command, Eda.
Eda was a fair skin woman whom was around the same age as Roberta. She had a slender, thought athletic figure. She long blond hair, that went down to her waistline. And she let her blond hair hang loosely, down her back.
Eda's clothing was a cowgirl meets biker, motif. She were brown cowgirl boots, brown pants, with a brown leather belt. Tucked into her pants was a light brown short sleeved, button up shirt, with a brown leather jacket over her shirt. Hidden under her jacket
was her shoulder holster, which was under her left armpit. In the shoulder holster was her loaded, semi-automatic Glock seventeen L pistol.
Eda had on her sunglasses, over her eyes, and she wore a brown cowgirl hat. She was also quietly chewing some bubblegum in her mouth.
Behind Roberta, facing Yolanda and Eda, were two ex-FARC members of Hotel Caracas. They both wore green fatigues, and black military boots. Their loaded pistols were holstered in side holster. One of the ex-FARC soldiers was a man, the other soldier was a woman.
Yolanda looked over at Roberat, as she calmly said, in english, “Recently, our shipments, in Port-au-prince, have gone missing.”
Roberta had a lit cuban cigar, which she held in her right fingers. She reached down, towards the ashtray, in front of her, on the coffee table, where she knocked some of the ash off of the end of her cigar.
Roberta then leaned back, in her couch, as she took a drag from her cigar.
A few seconds later, Roberta let out a puff of smoke. After which, she inquired, in english, “So, you think we might have had something to do with these disappearance?”
Yolanda said, in a diplomatic manner, “The thought had cross our minds.”
Roberta asked, “And what lead you to suspect us?”
Yolanda stated, “No witnesses survived. And we could find no evidence. All bullets were hollowpoints, which are difficult to identify the calibers of. Along with this, the few bullets that were identified, were varied. Making identification of any suspects even more difficult. And there were no shell casings found. Also, this was done quietly, and quickly. And your organization is one of the few whom could pull off such a magnificent operation, and get away with it.”
Roberta tactfully responded, “I will take that as a compliment. Still, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.”
Yolanda conceded, “True.”
Eda flatly stated, in english, “Cut the crap, Roberta. You, and your friends here did it. And we all know your group did it.”
Yolanda looked up at Eda, with a stern look on her face. She then looked back down at Roberta, as relaxed her face. She calmly said, “You will have to forgive my subordinate. She sometimes lets her mouth run off from her.”
Roberta calmly responded, “I can appreciate that. And I do prefer someone that is open with their feelings. Rather than one that would stab me in the back.”
Yolanda replied, “That is comforting to know.”
Roberta stated, “And I will admit that we have motive. Though, are you sure it was not one of the branches of your patron organizations?”
Yolanda said, “I doubt it. They would gloat about such... Incidents.”
Roberta replied, “Fair enough.”
Just then, from the corner of her left eye, Eda noticed Fabiola standing in the hallway entrance. She turn to her head to her left to look a Fabiola, as she sarcastically said, “Well, isn't it, the little chica.”
Fabiola replied, in an even tone of voice, in english, “Hello, to you too. Eda.”
The others also looked over at Fabiola, including Roberta. Whom looked up, and turned to her right at Fabiola.
Roberta inquired, in spanish, “Fabiola, is there something the matter?”
Fabiola answered, in spanish, “Yes. There is something I need to discuss with you. I was hoping your meeting was wrapping up.”
Roberta said, “Go stand by my troops, and we will talk later.”
Fabiola nodded once, in confirmation. She then turned to her left, as she walked over to stand beside the two members of Hotel Caracas. Next, she turned to face Eda and Yolanda. As she did so, Eda stared back at Fabiola. With both of them just looking at each other, with intense dislike, for one another, seen in their eyes.
Meanwhile, Yolanda chuckled a little, as she looked back over at Roberta. She teased, in a casual tone of voice, in english, “It seem we both need to teach our subordinates some matters.”
Roberta turned back towards Yolanda, as she tactfully said, in english, “The curse of leadership.”
Yolanda agreed, “Absolutely. Now, back to the topic at hand. You are at least willing to admit that you have motive. Chavez, you, and myself, are three of the leading suppliers for the Caribbean area. We get our supplies from the Colombian cartels, whom your organization loathes for very good reasons.”
Roberta said, “I am glad we agree on that point.”
Yolanda continued to look at Roberta, as she noticed the two guards behind Roberta, cracking grins.
Yolanda stated, “Chavez, and his group, get their drugs from Mexico and other parts of northern latin american. And you receive your drugs from parts of asia, by smuggling them into Cuba. And we all get our guns, and other weaponry, from various suppliers, around the world.”
“But, even then, you have the same problem as Chavez and I. That being that while it not surprising, in of itself. But, due to this, we find ourselves in a bit of an awkward situation. That being, because of the corruption in Haiti, it is easier for all of us to bring in and distribute our shipments, to the other islands, from this island.”
“This why we are all living here, in Santo Domingo... Well, that and the fact this this side of Hispaniola island, is far nicer than Haiti.”
Roberta commented, “Very true. And you will have no arguments from us, on what you just stated.”
Yolanda responded, “As I expected, my dear. And due to our organizations working in such close proximity to each other. Along with your skills. And your hatred of the Colombian cartels. Your organization has the means, motive, and opportunity, to take out our shipments.”
There was silence for a few moments, as Roberta and Yolanda look each other in their eyes. Both of their faces where masks of calmness.
The two mafia leaders continued to each other in their eyes, as Roberta took the lit cigar in her right fingers, held to her mouth, and took a slow drag.
They continued to look into each others eyes, while Roberta then moved her cigar away from her mouth, and she slowly, and calmly exhaled the smoke from her lungs.
Roberta then stated, calm, almost chilly tone of voice, “For my organization, and myself, our time in the jungle, and as the guard dogs of the cartels, taught us all one thing. That war is only profitable to those that are selling the weapons, supplies, and even the drugs...”
“That nothing ever gets better for those that actually fight the wars. It is only those that manage wars, from the top ranks, and those that sell to the army, whom see any profit from their efforts.”
“It seem that all ideologies have a price tag. Including, communism. And at the end of the day, only the rich can afford to have an ideology...”
“For the rest of us, the order of the day is, survival.”
Yolanda inquired, “That is an interesting point of view you have there. Still, where are you going with this?”
Roberta answered, “The point I am making is that war is not profitable for those whom fight it. It does not matter if the war is between armies. Between cartels. Or, it is just a simple dispute between family members.”
“Once we all agreed on the trade routes, and the amounts shipped per month, the situation has been very lucrative for all three of our organizations.”
Yolanda commented, “True. Though, I find it interesting, that your organization refused to ship to the U.S.”
Roberta stated, “Some would say that we would make more profit from shipping our goods to the U.S. I call such people, fools.”
“Anyone whom bothers to look into the matter can see that their currency is a few bad political decisions away from inflation and collapse. That their nation's population is so heavily armed, that they do not need nuclear weapons to kill the entire world, twice over.”
“That they are literally a nation of trigger happy fools, looking around the world, for where next, to shoot off their guns, and fire their missiles, at people... And then, there is their government. It has become a hobby for the authorities of U.S. to tear down people like us. And they love to do it. Even towards those that they have previously allied with. And all that is required to be a target is for the circumstance to suit their purposes.”
Yolanda remained silent and calm, as she merely raised an eyebrow in interest at what Roberta was saying.
Meanwhile, Eda grimaced, but she did not verbally response.
Roberta noticed this very subtle reactions by Yolanda, and the not so subtle reaction from Eda. Roberta remained calm, as she continued, “It seems that war on... Anyone, makes for good public relations for their elections. Even against their own people. As with their so-called, War on Drugs.”
“And in doing so, they trick the american people into thinking that they are safer, and better off due to such efforts. While these same authorities tighten the shackles of the very people they claim to protect.”
“Meanwhile, here, in the Caribbean region, the situation is much nicer, all around. The nations here are not unified, in their stances on the products we sell. These conditions allow us to be more flexible, with less risk.”
“It is said that a fool and their money are soon parted. Those that come to this region, to visit, and not stay. And they tend to be rich, and impatient. They are looking for a good time. They want that good time, immediately. So, they will not shop around. As such, they are more than willing to pay the price we set, for each fix they want.”
“And the number of rich fools that visit this region, annually, is in the millions. We don't even have to try that hard to find them. They come to us.”
“All we have to do is keep things quiet. And there is so little hassle we have to deal with from the authorities. Bribery is so cheap here, in the islands, that it is at a discount. And all because the locals have a vested interest in keeping things quiet.”
“If a tourist goes missing, or ODs, it is usually swept under the rug, because such publicity would be bad for everyone's business. Both legitimate and not so legitimate.”
“Tourists are a fickle customer base. And everyone involved realizes this. Though, while they scare easily. They also part with their money easily. That is why we tolerate selling to such an impatient, emotionally immature, weak willed customer base.”
“Along with all this. Many of these islands are self-sufficient. They grow and fish for most of their food. If the rest of the world ended tomorrow, in a nuclear inferno, the populations of these islands would mostly likely still be able to take care of themselves. In which case, we could take control.”
“And don't you dare deny that such thought have not occurred to you, as well.”
Yolanda admitted, “Such thoughts have crossed my mind, from time to time.”
Eda just looked down at Yolanda, with her eyes showing mild surprise, before she quickly composed herself. She looked back at Roberta, the two guards, and Fabiola.
Roberta cracked an ever so slight grin on her lips, as she saw Eda's reactions, from the corner of her eyes, while she continued to look directly at Yolanda. She went onto say, “Good. What I am trying to say is that I do not want a war. Because rocking this boat is foolish. Nothing is gained from any of us in doing so.”
“And while you have reason to ask of us, I have been forthcoming towards your questions. To maintain this peace, I have been willing make concessions, such as this conversation...”
Roberta voice turned slightly lower, and a bit threatening, as she continued, “And we both know that neither of us want to get on the other's bad side.”
Roberta voice became more relaxed, as she requested, “So, I ask you to leave here, in peace.”
Yolanda conceded, “You have made several good points, Roberta.” She then got up from the couch she was sitting in, and she stood up. She continued to look at Roberta, as she offered, “I believe I have made my point in coming here. And I have other matters to attend to. I hope you come visit us, in our home, some time.”
Roberta calmly replied, “I may take you up on your offer. Someday.”
Yolanda gave Roberta a warm smile, that did not seem so warm. She said, “Well, if you do decide too. You are more than welcome to come to our home, when you feel like it.” She turned to Eda, as she continued, “Come. There is much we have to do, today.”
Eda replied, “Yes ma'am.”
Roberta looked up at her two guards, as she ordered, “Kindly escort Yolanda and Ed, out of the building, and to their car. And make sure they safely leave the estate.”
The two guards did not respond, as they walked to their right, around Roberta.
Yolanda and Eda remained silent, as Roberta's two guards escort them out of the room.
With the four adults out of sight, Roberta then look at her cigar. The burning part of it was almost to her fingers. She leaned down, and she put out her cigar, in the ashtray. Next, she left the cigar in the ashtray, as she leaned back, in the couch she was sitting in.
With four other adults out of the room, down the hallway, and out of ear shot, she commented, in spanish, “That old matriarch is the most dangerous of them all.”
Fabiola heard Roberta's question. She walked around to towards the hallway entrance. As she came to a stop, she turned to face Roberta. She asked, in spanish, “Why is that?”
Roberta looked up at her, as she answered, “Because she is patient. She understands when to be polite, and when not to. And she understands the use of subtly, and the value of having steel hidden under a velvet cloth.”
Roberta thought, 'And I have a feeling Yolanda knows more concerning combat, and diplomacy, that I could ever hope to learn. And she was right to suspect us. We did have a hand in some of those shipment disappearances. But, not all of them. Maybe, Chavez took care of the rest of the shipments. Though, Yolanda will not make a move, unless she had evidence. Which I doubt she will ever find. Given, we of Hotel Caracas, are very good at what we do.'
'Still, we will stop doing such operations. Because sparking a mob war would be bad business for everyone involved. I only did it to piss off the Colombians. I do not want to risk upsetting Yolanda, and her patron organizations. I am good. But, I don't think Hotel Caracas could go head to head with her resources, and survive...'
'Though, that is a matter to think about, later. Right now, I should talk to Fabiola. She clearly has something on her mind. And she is home much earlier than I expected. Meaning something came up. But, since she is alright. She must have met someone, or learn something from someone. With her feeling that it must be important to rush home, and interrupt my meeting. Due to her knowing better, I am giving her the benefit of the double.'
'Yet. Whatever happened, is not serious, because she is unharmed. And she is acting anxious. So, I best find out what is going on. So, I can decide if I need to take action on whatever it is, or not.'
Though, before Roberta could ask her young friend, Fabiola commented, “I do not understand how you can tolerate such people.”
Roberta stated, “It is the cost of doing business.” Her tone turned more warm, with concern, as she asked, “So Fabiola, why did you interrupt us, just now?”
Fabiola coyly said, “I met someone, this afternoon.”
Roberta thought, with mild annoyance, 'If she interrupted the conversation between Yolanda and I, over meeting a boy. I am going to drag her to the gym. And hand her ass to her, on the training mats.' She calmly asked, “Who?”
Fabiola answered, “As crazy as it sounds. I literally met myself.”
Roberta thought, with amusement, 'Okay. This is an interesting, answer.' She requested, “Please explain. In detail.”
Fabiola said, “After school let out, for the day, I was walking down a sidewalk, to do some errands. When I met this older woman. She appeared to be in her late twenties. But, she looks exactly what I expect to look like when I am her age. And she even had my voice.”
Roberta thought, 'This is not the answer I was expecting. And Fabiola knows better than to lie to me.' She continued her thoughts, with curiosity, 'Besides, I want to see where this conversation goes.'
Roberta asked, “So, how would you look, as an adult?”
Fabiola grinned, as she stated, “When I fill out, I going to come close to rivaling you.”
Roberta playfully teased, “Well, when you reach that point, you will have more attention at the beach.”
Fabiola happily replied, “Perhaps.”
Roberta questioned, “So, did you talk with this woman?”
Fabiola responded, “Of course. She claimed to be, Fabiola, as well. Only she was from another reality. She did not tell me how she traveled across the multiverse, but she did tell me a number of other things. She is friends with her Garcia and Roberta. Though, there were differences.”
Roberta replied, “Such as?”
Fabiola thought, 'I think I will leave the girl talk I had with the other Fabiola, out of this conversation. But, I can still have a little fun.' She said, “You and I were badass maids, living in the Lovelace home.”
Roberta raised both of her eyebrows in surprise. A second later, she lowered her eyebrows, as she commented, “That is different.”
Roberta thought, 'I admit it. I can see that. But, I don't think I would be proud of being in such a position. Still, Fabiola was originally a maid for the Lovelace family. And I do not want to insult her, and hurt her feelings. So, I won't say anything on the matter. Still, I have other questions for her.'
Roberta asked, “So, why is she here? Or, has she already left?”
Fabiola stated, “As far as I know. She is still here. And the reason she is here is that looking for her friends, whom have she believes have traveled to this reality.”
Roberta thought, 'Like the reason why you originally came to this island. I find that poetic.' She guessed, “She wants to find them, and return them home, before they cause trouble?”
Fabiola said, “Yes. During our conversation, that is what she told me.”
Roberta thought, 'So, she is here just to find her friends. That is nice.' Roberta inquired, “Interesting. So, did this Fabiola tell you who she was after?”
Fabiola answered, “Yes. I got a basic description of them. They are in two groups. One group is two men. A black haired hispanic, and a brown haired caucasian. The other group is composed of three... People. Two caucasions. One has red hair, and the other has black hair. But, the last member of that group is the most interesting. This person's name is Chang. And from what I can gather, he is an asian counterpart to Chavez.”
Roberta replied, with intrigue in her tone of voice, “That is interesting.”
Fabiola lips curled into a mischievous grin, as she stated, with a bit of excitement in her tone of voice, “That isn't the best part. The other Fabiola claimed that this Chang could change gender at will.”
Roberta thought, 'I will have to meet this, Chang. Along with the others. I need to take care of this, now. And even though Fabiola clearly believes that this is true. Even if it turns out not to be true, it will still be worth looking into... And I really do need something to take my mind off of the meeting I just had with Yolanda.'
Roberta calmly responded, “Thank you, Fabiola. That is all very interesting. You were correct to bring this to my attention, as soon as possible. And I will take care of this problem, personally.”
Fabiola requested, in a concerned tone of voice, “The other Fabiola is a nice woman. And from what I understand, she, and the others, are not here to hurt anyone. So, please go easy on them.”
Roberta stated, “To prevent them from causing trouble, and possible confusion,
I plan to ask them to leave. If they comply, they have nothing to fear from myself, and my troops. If they do not comply. Then, they will only themselves to blame for what happens next.”
Fabiola commented, “Okay. I can live with that... I am going to go help Garcia, now.”
Roberta said, “That would be good.” Roberta's tone of voice became warmer, as she continued, “And Fabiola. Have faith, that things will turn out alright for all those involved.”
Fabiola warmly smiled at Roberta, as she complimented, “I will. Few in your position would give people even a single chance to do what is right.”
Roberta returned Fabiola's smile, with her own genuinely warm smile. She kindly said, “Yes. And that is what separates me, from my contemporaries here. Now, go see to young Garcia.”
Fabiola replied, “Yes, ma'am.” She then turned around, walked out of the room, and into the hallway.
When Fabiola was out of sight, Roberta stood up from the couch, that she had been sitting in. She then turned to her left, to looked out, through the sliding glass window, and into the outside, interior courtyard beyond it.
Roberta thought, 'It looks like I am going to have a busy afternoon ahead of me. I will have to make a few phone calls. To find these people. Contact the local authorities to stay out of my coming confrontation with them. Then, round up the troops for a daytime operation.'
Roberta then turned around, walked out of the room, and into the hallway, as she headed towards her office, to make the phone calls she needed, to begin her search.
Ten minutes later, within the city limits of Santo Domingo, a few miles from Chavez's in town headquarters, Pedro, Matthew, Leigharch, and Matt were walking down the sidewalk.
They were about to reach the last turn, concerning the directions Sawyer gave them to the Yellowflag.
It was still early to mid-afternoon, and the streets and walkways of the part of town they were very sparse. With not many people around.
While the four men continued walking together, in a group, Matt wondered out loud, “So, what do you think this bar is going to look like?”
Pedro said, “With our luck, the bar will likely look exactly the same as the Yellowflag in Roanapur.”
The round men then turned to their left, down the sidewalk. And they immediately stopped in their tracks, as the looked across the two lane street, to their right, at a large three story building.
As they stared at building, Pedro smirked.
Matt commented, “Interesting.”
Matthew just rolled his eyes, for a second, in disbelief. He then looked back at the building.
Leigharch said, “Well, I'll be.”
On the other side of the street was a three story building. The three story building looked exactly like the Yellowflag building, in Roanapur. Right down to the neon sign that said, “Yellowflag”, in large letters, above the front entrance of the bar.
Pedro stated, with a bit of mirth in his tone of voice, “Oh. I sometimes like it when I am right.”
Matt inquired, with amusement in his tone of voice, “Well, you are batting a thousand. Anything else you wish to add?”
Pedro said, “If Revy is in there, we walk away.”
Matt replied, “Amen to that.”
All four of the men chuckled a little at Pedro and Matthew's comments.
As they calmed down, Matthew said, “Come on guys. Let's all get a drink.”
Pedro agreed, “Good idea.”
The four men then check all four ways, down the roads, for possible traffic. Since the two land road that the Yellowflag was on, had a stop sign, instead of a traffic light. When traffic was clear, they just walked on the crosswalk, to the other side of the road.
A minute later, the four men walked inside of the Yellowflag. They stand to a stop, just inside the bar.
Matthew was the last once into the bar, and he gently shut the double-doors, to the entrance, behind them.
All four men stood in place, as they took a look around the bar room.
The room itself, including the layout of the tables and chairs, lighting, flooring, ceiling, walls, and bar counter, was virtually the same as the bar room in the Yellowflag, in Roanapur. Even the doors restroom, and the back area of the building, which including the stairway, were the same.
Given the time of day, there were only a handful of customers in the bar. Most of whom were scatter throughout the room, drinking their drinks, while minding their own business.
The four men did not recognize any of the customers.
Pedro looked by the bar counter, as he thought, 'Good. Revy is not here. That means we can enjoy ourselves.'
But, there were differences, that the men immediately noticed.
Attention turned to the bartender, whom was wipe down glasses, with a rag, behind the bar counter.
Instead of Bao behind the counter, it was Boris, as he appeared in the Black Lagoon series. Boris even had short brown hair, and the same scar running across the bridge of his nose. He wore a black long sleeved shirt, brown pants, brown leather belt, and brown shoes.
Pedro thought, 'I shouldn't be surprised about this change. I haven't seen Balalaika. And it would make since that this bar is not owned and run by Bao. Given, Bao was a South Vietnam Veteran whom fled to Thailand, at the end of the Vietnam-U.S. war. And that would be on the other side of the planet from here.'
'And if there is no Hotel Moscow, Boris is a likely choice to be the bartender here.'
'If this Boris is anything like his counterpart, he is likely russian, and a former Vozdushno-Desantnye Vojska member, whom was honorably discharged, and retired. And he is certainly competent enough to go out on his own. And all this would make him badass enough to handle being a bartender here. Also, the Caribbean region would be a good place to make a fresh start in one's life.'
Leigharch commented, “Damn. That bartender looks rough.”
Pedro thought, 'It is not surprising that Leigharch would not recognized, Boris. The characters in Black Lagoon liked to be low key, especially, people like Boris. And in the series, Boris tried not to attract attention towards himself. Though, he had nerves of steel. Along with being a dutiful, loyal, competent, second in command for Balalaika.'
'Also, it is best we don't mention Boris, by name. Since, we have not met him, yet. And if we did mention his name, he might grow suspicious of us, and refuse to serve us drinks. He might even throw us out of his bar. Still...'
Pedro said, “Yes. And we likely don't know the half of it.”
Pedro thought, 'Which is probably true.'
Just then, across the room, on the back wall, behind the counter, Boris looked up from wiping glasses, with a rag, as he noticed the four men looking at him, and possibly talking about him.
Boris gave the four men a stern, icy, stare, and in response, all four men immediately turned their attention towards somewhere else in the room.
As he looked elsewhere in the room, Pedro thought, 'Yep. With a look like that. He is a badass.'
Boris then went back to wiping off glasses with a rag.
Meanwhile, the four men by the entrance continued to look around. They also noticed, that unlike the other Yellowflag in Roanapur, this bar has about three waitresses on staff, attending to the customers in the room.
There were three waitresses attending to the customers inside the room.
The waitresses were all young, attractive women. Though, they were no in skimpy clothing. They wore pants, shirts, and shoe.
Pedro thought, 'Well, those waitresses are new... Or, should I say, different, from the Yellowflag?... And I admire this Boris is his dress code is for the women that work for him. If he has this type of dress code, he likely does not have a whorehouse upstairs. I wonder he used for the upstairs. Not that I am going to ask. Though, he could have a nice apartment upstairs, that he lives in. Not that I really care, one way, or the other.'
Pedro complimented, “I have to say the bartender has enough self-respect to not make his women were skimpy clothing.”
Matthew looked over at his friends. He realized what Pedro was not saying, as he thought, 'It is intelligent to not mention, Boris, by name. Considering he is aware of us.' He agreed, “Yes. Having the women in respectable clothing kind of classes up the joint.”
The other three men then looked at each other, as Matt said, “I agree. I think I am going to enjoy this place.”
Leigharch commented, “I could care less, either way.”
Matthew suggested, “Now, let's fine ourselves a table.”
Pedro looked around, and he saw an empty table with six chairs, near the right, back corner of the room.
Pedro suggested, “Let's take the table, to the far right corner of the room.”
The other for men looked over at the table Pedro had suggest they sit at.
Matt agreed, “Yes. That will work for us.”
Matthew stated, “As long as my front is to the door, I am okay.”
Pedro agreed, “I feel the same way.”
Leigharch plainly said, “I don't care. As long as I can have a beer.”
Pedro stated, “Let's go, then.” He and the other three men, then made their way to the table in the far left corner of the room.
Nearby, one of the waitress noticed the four men walked over and sat down at the left, corner table.
When the four men reached the large table with six chairs, Matt sat at in the chair, with his back to the rear wall. Pedro sat to Matt's left, near the corner the room. Matthew sat to Pedro's left, near the corner, though closer to the right wall of the room. Leigharch sat to Matthew's left, with his back to the right wall of the room. The two chairs, facing the corner, with their backs to the rest of the room, were left empty.
While the four men became comfortable in their seats, one of the waitress walked
walk up to their table.
The waitress was a slender woman, with short, amber red hair. Her skin was lightly tanned. And her facial features revealed she was a fair skin woman with a nice tan.
The four men looked up waitress, as the woman looked down at them.
The waitress pulled out a pen and notepad. She looked at the four men, as she happily said, in english, “Welcome to Yellowflag. How may I take you order?”
Leigharch jokingly said, “I will take you, and a few of the other women here.”
With a straight face, the waitress calmly responded, “I apologize, sir. But, you will have to talk to the bartender about the nightly arrangements upstairs.”
Leigharch casually replied, “I was just kidding.”
The waitress flatly said, “Good.”
The four men understood the context of what the woman was saying.
Pedro thought, 'I guess there might be a whorehouse upstairs. Not that it really matters to me. Though, it is possible that Boris runs and owns the building. So, he likely is the one that controls and arranges such matters. Though, that is an issue for another time. For now, I have to ask this woman an important question.'
Pedro inquired, “Do you accept, U.S. cash, as payment?”
Waitress answered, “Yes.”
Pedro stated, “Well then, I will have a cold bottle of beer. A decent brand. I'm not picky.”
Leigharch replied, “The same.”
Matthew commented, “I could use a beer, as well.”
Matt said, “Make that four beers. I want to stay sober.” He mentally reflected, 'While these guys have been nice to me. I don't trust them enough to be drunk around them.'
The waitress wrote down their orders on her notepad. She looked up from her notepad, and towards the men.
The waitress replied, “Okay. I will have then out for you, in a minute.” She turned around, and she headed to the bar counter to fill their orders.
Meanwhile, at that moment, nearby, outside, Fabiola was walking down a sidewalk, from in the opposite direction from which Pedro, Matthew, Matt, and Leigharch, had come from.
While Fabiola continued walking, she paid attention to her surrounding, and the people she passed by, as she thought, 'Now, where should I look?... Damn. I cannot think of anywhere, any of them would specifically go in this city... And meeting my younger is still messing with my head. And while it was a good meeting. The experience was weird for me... Still, I just need something to get back on their trail... Some place to start from... All I just need is a sign...'
Fabiola then turned a corner, to her right, and she saw the Yellowflag building, across the two lane street, to her left.
Fabiola smiled, as she thought, 'That will do.' She then headed towards the Yellowflag.
A minute later, Fabiola walked into the bar, with her gently shut the door she had opened, behind her.
Fabiola stood, as she took a look around the bar. She thought, 'This day just keeps getting weirder and weirder. This place is exactly like the Yellowflag in Roanapur… Before I wrecked it... Still, they did rebuild, again.'
Fabiola then spotted Boris, behind the bar counter, across the room. She saw that he was wearing casual clothing, and was standing behind the bar counter, as he used a rag to wipe a glass.
Fabiola thought, with amusement, 'So, this reality's Boris is the bartender here. And the waitresses are a nice touch. Especially, since he let them where casual clothing. That shows a certain level of respect towards the women... Now, are any of my friends here?..'
Fabiola looked around, she soon spotted, to her right, on the far corner, as waitress using a round tray to serve bottles of beer to four men. Two of men Fabiola recognized as Matthew and Pedro.
Fabiola happily thought, 'There they are. And if I stick with them, River, Lee, and Chang, will eventually show up. And we can all go home. Still, who are those to with them?... Wait a minute, is that Leigharch?... It is... Well, I did track Matthew and Pedro to my home reality, at few different points in time, in my past. Including, Thailand, and even my own home town of Caracas, Valenzuela. They could have picked Leigharch up somewhere in Thailand. From what I understand, that is where he was last known to be.'
'I guess Rock won that betting pool. With it turning out that Leigharch found his own way into traveling the multiverse. And Pedro and Matthew are just crazy enough to let Leigharch go with them...'
'Still, whenever Shenhua mentioned Leigharch. She said he was a great guy that just went a little to hard on the drugs. So, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.'
'Also, who is the carrot top?... I will have to ask them.'
Fabiola then calmly walked towards Pedro's group.
While Fabiola walked across the room, Boris looked up, and he did a double-take. He then looked back at what he was doing, to make sure she did not notice him.
Boris thought, with concern, 'That woman looks like Fabiola's older sister... And that means possible trouble. I better call Roberta.' He set down the glass and rag in his hands, as he made his way to the rotary phone that was under the backside of his bar counter.
Then, with his right hand, he picked up the receiver of the phone, and held it to his right ear, as he used his left hand to dial a number.
At that moment, in the far right corner of the room, the waitress has just finished serving them their four bottles of beer. With the waitress walking away, to see to her other customers.
All four men opened their cold beer bottles, as they held them.
They all took a drink of their beer.
After Pedro swallowed his beer, he said, “Not bad.”
Matthew commented, “It's okay.”
Matt said, “I have had better.”
Leigharch commented, “It's cold, and not bitter. So, I am happy.”
Pedro held up his bottle of beer, as he toasted, “To no more trouble on our journeys.”
The other three men held up their bottles of beer, as Leigharch happily said, “Here, hear.”
All four men then took another swallow of their bottles of beer.
A second later, they heard someone cough once, near them.
They looked over to see Fabiola staring at them, with her facing the right back corner of the room, where their table was located at.
Leigharch commented, in a relaxed tone of voice, “Lads. It looks like we spoke to soon.”
All four of the men then set their beer bottles on the table, as they looked over at Fabiola.
Matt thought, 'That's Fabiola. Older, yes. Hotter, yes. But still, Fabiola. And she is one of the nicer women of the Black Lagoon series. So, as long as we are polite, I should be fine.'
Matthew said, “Hi Fabiola. Long time no see.”
Matt thought, 'And these guys know her. At this point, that doesn't surprise me.'
Fabiola flatly stated, in english, “Don't give me that, Matthew. You and Pedro here are in a lot of trouble.”
Matthew sarcastically replied, “Oh, we already knew that. That is why we left.”
Leigharch quietly snickered a little, for a few seconds, at Matthew's response.
Fabiola rolled her eyes for a seconds. She then looked back at the four men, sitting before her, as she said, “That is not what I meant.”
Pedro spoke up, “Please, listen Fabiola. We have our reasons for leaving. So, why don't you sit down, so we can talk.”
Fabiola thought, 'At least Pedro is being polite, and reasonable.' She replied, “Alright.” She then walked over and sat in the chair, to Matt' right, with her facing the table.
Once Fabiola got comfortable in her chair, she looked at the men around her, at the table. She inquired, “So, why did you two leave?”
Pedro soberly answered, “Well, after over two years of dealing with you crew's insanity. It all came to a head when Balalaika broke into my home, with a few of her... Subordinates, using a key, while Matthew was visiting me.”
Matt thought, with mild surprise, 'I really underestimated Pedro and Matthew's fortitude. I don't think I could handle such a group, like that, for very long. At least Goliath and his family are nice and polite, as long as you don't anger them. And unlike the Lagoon women. They are not crazy.'
Leigharch commented, in a sympathetic tone of voice, “Dude. I feel for you. Nobody ever wants to get old Fryface's bad side.”
Pedro turned to Leigharch, as he said, “I appreciate you concern, Leigharch.” He then continued, in a stern tone of voice, “Never. And I mean, never, call Balalaika, that name.”
Leigharch quickly replied, “Okay. I will never do that again.”
Pedro commented, “Besides. Balalaika is no longer that old.”
Leigharch asked, “Part of Lee's stories?”
Pedro said, “Yes. I will tell you, later.”
Leigharch replied, “Okay.”
Pedro turned back to look at Fabiola.
Fabiola noticed the exchange between the two men, as she thought, 'So, Pedro and Matthew told Leigharch, and likely the carrot top, about Lee's stories. But, they haven't had a chance to show them Lee's stories, yet... That makes sense... Still, I need to know what happened at that meeting with Balalaika.'
Fabiola asked, “What happened next?”
Pedro answered, “Relax. She just gave us a warning, and left. But after that, we decided that it was time to leave. Before something worse happened to us.”
Fabiola questioned, “Such as?”
Pedro flatly stated, “The vat process.”
Fabiola flatly begin, “They would never...” Her tone of voice then became more sober, as she continued, “Okay... They might... And given the situation, I can see why you would leave.”
Pedro said, “I am glad you appreciate where we are coming from.” He thought, with a bit of relief, 'Good. She sees our point of view, and she is not going to try to force us to come back with her.'
Matthew thought, 'Okay. We dodge a bullet there, and we now have Fabiola on our side. With her, we don't have to worry about Roberta. This is very good, indeed.'
Matt inquired, “What is the vat process?”
Pedro turned to Matt, as he said, “Trust me. You don't want to know.”
Fabiola stated, “You will find out when you read Lee's stories.”
Matt said, “I looked forward to such a clearly interesting read.”
Pedro turned back to look at Fabiola, as he complimented, “I must admit, your tracking skills have only gotten better with time.”
Fabiola admitted, “While I tracked to to this reality, this time, and this city. To be honest. It was dumb luck that I found you in this bar.”
Pedro replied, “Either way, you found us.” He looked around at the other men at his table. He then looked back at Fabiola, as he said, “I guess some introductions are in order.”
Fabiola responded, “Yes. Though, I already know who Leigharch here, is.” She looked over at Leigharch, as she continued, “Shenhua is going to be happy to see you.”
Leigharch looked over at Fabiola. He smile, as he said, “I look forward to seeing her, as well. And given you has long green hair, and green eyes. I take it that you are the little maid that made such a mess of the Yellowflag. But, I am guessing you grew up. Because, there is nothing little about you, right now. And given my two friends called you, Fabiola. I can guess that is your name.”
Fabiola thought, 'How does he know about me? Has he seen the series?' She asked, “Yes. It is. And it has been a few years since then. So, how did you learn of me?”
Leigharch replied, “She mentioned you, when she visited me at the hospital.”
Fabiola replied, “Oh...” She mentally added, 'So, Leigharch might not have seen the series, yet. And given his mental state, I doubt that showing him the series will drive him crazy. Because, if he was committed, he might already be crazy... Though, Shenhua said he was a nice guy. But, he still might be crazy... I will find out, in a little bit... For right now, I do have one other question, in mind.'
Fabiola inquired, “So, when did you leave our reality?”
Leigharch asked, “I am more than happy to answer your questions. From what the others here have told me, It has been a few years since I left. Your... Maturity, and comments, confirm that.”
'And to answer your question. I left soon after Shenhua visited me, and told me that she had met a blond babe that had moved in with her, the Cleaner, and some guy named, Lotton. Also, from what Pedro and Matthew have said, I got out just in time.”
Fabiola thought, 'Ah. The blond much have been, Akira. So, this confirms he is from our reality. Where Lee's stories happened.' She said, “That very likely true.” She turned to Matt, as she asked, “So, who is the cute carrot top?”
Pedro, Matthew, and Leigharch, snickered a little, while Matt slightly blushed.
Matt looked at Fabiola, as he calmly answered, “I am Detective Matt Bluestone of the NYPD.”
Matt's name, and his appearance, clicked in Fabiola's memory, as she thought, 'Could he be?...' She questioned, “Of the Gargoyles reality?”
Matt replied, “From what Pedro has said. Yes.”
Fabiola thought, 'Though, he looks a few years older. The years have clearly been kind to him.' She said, in a slightly excited tone of voice, “Cool. I have been a big fan of yours, and your friends, since I was a teenager.”
Matt commented, “That is nice.” He mentally reflected, with a bit of sarcasm, 'Just great. Now, I have to dealing a fangirl, whom can kick more ass than all of Goliath's clan combined. I best stay on her good side.'
Pedro looked over at Matt, as he stated “Relax, Matt. Fabiola is a nice woman. And being friends with her, makes you with her friends.”
Fabiola smiled at Pedro, for his compliment.
Matt realized what Pedro was hinting at, as he thought, with mild relief, 'That means I don't have to worry about Roberta, or likely a number of other Black Lagoon badasses. Among possible others that Fabiola, Pedro, and Matthew, know.'
Pedro turned back to Fabiola, as he said, “And for your next question. Yes. Matt has seen your series.”
Fabiola thought, 'Damn. Pedro is good.' She turned to Matt, as she asked, “Nice. What did you think of us?”
Matt carefully said, “You... You are nice... The others... Not so much...”
Fabiola giggled a little. She then conceded, “A fair assessment. Though, I don't see why you are so worried. You have faced your share of badasses women. Your partner, Elisa, is a badass. And so is Angela. Then, there are those you have probably fought over the years. Such as Demona, Hyena, and Fox Xanatos.”
Matt stated, “Elisa and Angela are wonderful to have as friends. I trust them both with my life. Same goes for the rest of Angela's clan. The other three women, I would prefer to take a day off, than face again. I one time got mixed in a battle with a Demona, where I was one on one against her, for a while there. In a cat and mouse game. With her being the cat.”
Fabiola thought, 'I wonder if that incident was similar to what happened to Hudson and Goliath, early in the Gargoyles's series? Though...' She commented, “So, just wait until morning, when she turns human.”
Matt said, “Good idea. But, she already learned her lesson on that one. One time she got caught in the middle of a fight, just before dawn, and we captured her while she changed. Due to the pain she feels, while changing. After that, she started looking into powerarmor that automatically adjusted to her size and shape, along with instantly injecting her with painkillers, when she starts to change.”
Fabiola replied, “Oh...” She thought, 'That would be a problem.'
Matt responded, “Yea... Fortunately, when I faced her, I was able to evade her, until I could get to help. I still occasionally have nightmares from that incident. Then, later on, she started using her magical abilities to mystically enchant her powerarmor. That made her even more dangerous in combat.”
Fabiola thought, 'Wait a minute...' She asked, “Hold on a moment. Don't you have friends that can use magic?”
Matt stated, “Well, I wouldn't say, friends. Though, when it comes to Demona using magic, having Puck around, comes in handy. Even with that binding spell, his knowledge of magical wards and protections is vast. And on several occasions, Puck has used the excuse of teaching, or protecting, Alex as a way to use his magic to help us.”
“Though, raw combat, and magical spells are not when Demona is the most dangerous. She is most dangerous when she uses the power she wields through her company, Nightstone Unlimited. And the army of lawyers she has on her staff. Her vast wealth, and corporate connections, has also allowed her to increase her resources when it comes to the both magic and science.”
“More than once, Demona has forced David Xanatos to keep on his toes, when she conducted corporate warfare against Xanatos' companies, and personal holdings.”
Matthew said, “I could see how that could be a problem.”
Pedro commented, “So can I. Care to give us some examples of what you are talking about?”
Matt stated, “Sure. Demona one time proved how good she was in the boardroom, when she practically stole Cyberbiotics out from under Fox's nose. It took a lot of effort for David and Fox to get the company that her father, Halcyon Renard, built, back from Demona.”
Pedro thought, 'Well, it sounds like at least, Fox got her father's company back. But, what about Demona?...' He questioned, “Does Demona still hate humanity?”
Matt commented, “From what I have been told. She doesn't go off on rants against humanity as often as she use too. Though, it did help that the Xanatos and my friends decided, for their own sake, they needed to get the Hunters off Demana's back. So, she would be less inclined to use her now vast power and influence to go on a destructive rampage, again.”
“The surprising part was that it was so simple. They were able to convince the Hunters that their attempts to kill Demona were futile, given the immortality spell she is under makes it so that only Macbeth can kill her, and vise versa. With both of them dying in the process.”
Pedro said, “That is a good sign.” He mentally reflected, 'Getting the Hunters off her back definitely would give her some time to think. Though, Demona may not hate humanity as much as she use too. But, even though she is now human, half the time, she still probably does not like humans in general… Still, I want to know about Matt's opinions on the other two.'
Pedro inquired, “So, what about the other two? Fox? And Hyena?”
Matt stated, “I one time faced that crazy cyborg, Hyena, alone. I beat her and arrested her, but afterward, I was in the hospital for a few days. Though, as you can see, I recovered. And Fox Xanatos... Well, my friends and I have an understanding with the Xanatos family.”
Fabiola requested, “Please explained?” She thought, 'I always wondered how that worked out for them.'
Matt said, “Well, after the police station was blow up, Xanatos' let the gargoyles live in the castle, due to the Gargoyles help in saving their son from Oberon. In exchange for helping to protect the castle, and the Xanatos family. And given some of the enemies we have faced over the years, it has been a good alliance.”
“Eventually, Goliath, David, and Fox came to a more detailed agreement that was workable for all parties.”
“From what I was told, the deal was that so as long as the Xanatos' are not trying to take over the world, or do anything to unethical, things would just keep rolling along.”
“Though, we are all waiting to see what type of person Alex grows up to be. Given the whole Oberon incident, which Elisa told me about. Along, with even as a baby, Alex has vast magical powers. The Xanatos decided to not have any more children, until they saw how Alex would turn out as an adult. Due to that, Alex is an only child. Though, in the castle, he has gone up with Brooklyn and Katana's kids. And they are good friends. So, it is okay.”
Pedro guessed, “You are all hoping that Alex turned out to be a good person? And thus, in a generation, Alex's presence defuses the danger that David and Fox present to the world?”
Matt stated, “Exactly. We are seeing if Plato was right. That people are generally born good. Alex stands to inherit the Xanatos fortune and control of his parents' holdings.”
Pedro said, “That is a lot.”
Matt responded, “Yes. It is. And while David and Fox are still a little on the evil side. They have gotten a lot better. Mostly for the sake of their son. Setting an example, as it were. Also, Owen, or should I say, Puck, is a fairly honorable person. Though, he has a wicked sense humor.”
Matthew deadpanned, “Don't we all.”
Matt said, “Perhaps... Still, Puck has been good nanny, and teacher to Alex. And Alex has becoming somewhat responsible with his powers. The good news is that he hasn't hurt anyone with his powers. But, he has his moments.”
Fabiola asked, “Such as?”
Matt answered, “When Alex was five, he got into a phase were he like clowns. By itself, not bad. But, on his sixth birthday, in the morning, when the Xanatos' had a private birthday party for Alex. With a larger party with the gargoyles, scheduled that night. When he blew out his candles, he made a wish. For everyone in the city to turn into clowns. And with his powers, that actually happened.”
The other four adults at the table when silent, with mild shock at what they heard.
Matt continued, “Though, no one was harmed. But, the population of the city was turned into clowns. Including the gargoyles. Most of them were not happy when they woke up to find they were turned into clown versions of themselves.”
Matthew questioned, “Someone has to ask. What do living clown gargoyles look like?”
Matt flatly said, “The stuff of nightmares. Fortunately, Puck was able to reverse the spell, a few hours, later, after dark.”
“Honestly, I think Macbeth got the largest laugh that day. When everyone turned into clowns that day, Macbeth was able to get a picture of Demona, in human form, as a clown. Then later, after sunset. And I don't know how he did it without Demona finding out. He got a picture of Demona's gargoyle form as a clown. He mentioned that he is saving those picture for a rainy. As blackmail material, if Demona goes to far off the rails, again.”
Matthew chuckled a little, while the other four adults by Matt, remained silent. Matthew then replied, “I bet.”
As Matt calmed down, he commented, “Though, when Alex started to take an interest in dinosaurs and dragons, we all put our foot down.”
Pedro asked, “Yea. I could see how that could have also been a problem, If it was not stopped, beforehand. So, how old is Alex, in your time?” He thought, 'I really don't feel like doing the math in my head, right now.'
Matt answered, “Alex is thirteen. And he has become a bit obnoxious since he hit puberty. He is not evil. Just obnoxious”
Pedro commented, “Everyone is obnoxious at that age.”
Matt shrugged towards Pedro. He then turned to look to Fabiola, as he inquired, “I have to ask. Are any of you after me? Because I really don't want to drag this mess back home with me.”
Leigharch commented, “Yea. I would like to know that, myself.”
Fabiola looked over at Leigharch. She then turned to look at Matt, as she stated, “Don't worry. No one is after you two. And when this is over, Matt, we will return you to the proper time, space and reality, you came from.”
Matt replied, “Thanks. It is glad to hear that.”
Leigharch asked, “And what about me? From what Matthew and Pedro have told me, I cannot go back home.”
Fabiola said, “No. You can't. You can always come live in De La Plata Podrido. That is the town Pedro is from. I am sure the others would love to help to set you up.”
Leigharch said, “Thanks. I may take you up on your offer.”
Fabiola replied, “No problem.”
Matt inquired, “Fabiola. How many of your friends know about my series?” He thought, 'I don't want one of them. Such as Revy. Trying to fight me. I do not think I would survive such an encounter.'
Fabiola answered, “A few. But, your series doesn't come up often in our conversations.”
Matt thought, 'That is comforting to know.'
Fabiola continued, “Though, Lee talked about you guys once. Most recently. Lee compared Fox Xanatos to Balalaika, and a few others.”
Matt stated, “That would be a fair comparison. Fox is up there with your group of women.”
Fabiola let out a small laugh. She then said, “I agree. Also, Roberta and Master Lovelace have seen your series. I bought a copy of your series, a few years ago.”
Matt questioned, “And their opinion on us?”
Fabiola replied, “Respectable.”
Matt said, “Okay. I will take that.”
Fabiola mentally reflected, 'I thought you would.'
Pedro thought, 'I wonder if she ever got a chance to watch her own series?' He inquired, “Fabiola, did you ever watched your own series?”
Fabiola answered, “Yes. We even read the manga. Though, some of it was hard to get through. For obvious reasons. We had to replace our living room TV, twice. And don't get me started on how pissed off Roberta and Garcia were when they found that Roberta's manga counterpart came out of that battle with the Gray Foxes, in the poppy fields, in one piece... At least physically, that is.”
Pedro replied, “I bet.”
Fabiola went onto say, “Yes. It took a while for me to calm both of them down. It was not a very pleasant experience, for all three of us. And I do believe I made a mistake when it came to Rock. When I first met Rock. I thought he was a bastard for what he put us through. But, after watching the series all the way through, I came to realize that when it came to Rock, it was more of a case of developing a thick skin, than him being a bastard. And he was just playing the bastard as a way to make sure we didn't ever return to Roanapur.”
Pedro commented, “Yea. That would fit perfectly on how Rock does things.”
Fabiola responded, “I know. Perhaps, I shouldn't have shot Rock with that blank bullet.”
Pedro stated, “Actually, I think doing so was a good idea. It bought Rock back down to earth. Rock may not have been a bastard, but he was full of himself, at the time. And I know he ribs recovered less than a month later.”
Fabiola said, “True. I can go along with your reasoning. And she did turn out well, in the end.”
Matt caught the misuse of the pronoun by Fabiola on her previous statement. He questioned, “Hold up a minute. She? As in Rock is now a woman?”
Leigharch inquired, “The bloke's a bird now? I heard what you guys said earlier, but I really didn't believe you.”
Matthew answered for Pedro and Fabiola, “Well, believe it. And yes. She is now actually a woman. And a hot one at that. We will tell you, later.”
Fabiola giggled a little. She then said, “It is a long story.”
Pedro and Matthew groaned a little at Fabiola's comment.
Matthew then sarcastically commented, “To say the least.”
Fabiola giggle a little more at Pedro and Matthew's reaction to her comment.
Pedro thought, 'It would be best if I kept this conversation moving.' He asked, “So Fabiola, who sent you? Clearly, it wasn't Chang.”
Fabiola stopped giggling, as she simply answered, “It was Annie who sent me to find all of you.”
Matthew commented, “So, she was worried about us?”
Fabiola replied, “Yes. She was.”
Matthew said, “That is touching.”
Matt asked, “Who is Annie?”
Pedro leaned over and whisper into Matt's left ear.
A few seconds later, as Pedro sat straight up, everyone watched was Matt's eyes widened, and his jaw dropped.
Pedro, Matthew, and Fabiola started laughing at Matt's reaction.
Leigharch wrongly felt let out on the joke, as he asked, “Hey. What am I missing, now? Is this Annie someone important? Or, someone that is dangerous?”
Matthew stopped laughing. He then said, “Both.” He then leaned over, and whisper something into Leigharch's right ear. When Matthew finished, he sat back up.
A few moments later, Leigharch started laughing, for a few seconds. He then stated, in excitement, “Scotty, don't beam me up. If I am this crazy, I don't want to come back. Whatever you are giving me. Double the dosage. I am loving this.”
Pedro thought, 'He still thinks he is in the asylum... Oh well. Whatever works for him.'
As Matt forced himself to calm down, he flatly stated, “How did that happen to him? Of all people?” He thought, 'No wonder these two were not worried about meeting Vader, on Coruscant. They knew him... Err, her. Personally. And it sounds like these three are friends with her.'
Pedro stopped laughing, as he answered, “It is literally a long story.”
Pedro, Matthew, and Fabiola then started laughing some more.
The three adults reaction caused Leigharch to calm down, as he felt like he was left out again. He commented, “I have a feeling that I have quite a bit to catching up to do.”
Matthew calmed down enough to say, “A lot, actually.” He then went back to laughing with his friends.
Meanwhile, Matt calmed down some more, from the stress he felt, as he mentally questioned, 'I worry for the sanity of my companions... Well, Leigharch is already nuts. And Fabiola clearly has her moments. But, I thought Pedro and Matthew were at least somewhat sane... Though, given the insane situation we find ourselves in, I would have thought otherwise...'
'Finding out that Darth Vader has been turned into a chick. That is way up there on the crazy meter... Not that I am going to say any of this to their faces... I want to return home, and away from this lunatic asylum that I now realize is the multiverse... At least back home, in New York City, I was paid to deal with crazy situations. Here, I am doing it pro bono.'
Matthew, Pedro, and Fabiola, calmed down, the amber redheaded waitress came up to their take, in front of the empty chair between Fabiola, and Leigharch. She looked down at Fabiola, as she asked, “May I take your orders, ma'ma?”
Fabiola looked up at the waitress, as she said, “I do not need anything at the moment. But, I will let you know, if I change my mind.”
The waitress nodded once in response. She then turned, and walked way. While Fabiola looked back towards the four men at her table.
Matt asked, “So, how do you three meet?”
Fabiola squirmed a little in her seat.
Matthew said, “For me. It wasn't the best of meetings.”
Pedro commented, “The same can be said for my meeting with her, and her friends.”
Leigharch teased, “Oh, fess up. And tell the class.”
Pedro stated, “I guess I will go, first. Given that I met Fabiola first, before Matthew. When Lee finally left town, with a reality device. I decided it was time to leave, as well. I went into hiding, in South America. But, they found me less than a day later.”
“In that living room, it was only me, in my shirt and boxer shorts. With Revy, Roberta, and Fabiola, on the warpath, looking for answers.”
Fabiola commented, “We were not that bad.”
Pedro looked over at her, and he gave her a stern look.
Fabiola gave a slightly embarrass expression on her face, as she conceded, “Okay. We were.”
Pedro turned to look at Matt, as he said, “During the meeting, Roberta gave me, the look.”
Matt asked, “What look?”
Pedro answered, “The same slasher smile, and crazed look in her eyes. The same look she gave Shenhua, int the Blood Trail arc, when Roberta snapped one of Shenhua's knives, with her teeth. And this look was mere inches from my face.”
Matt hesitantly said, “Oh...”
Leigharch commented, “While I am not sure about the even you are talking about. But, I do know who Roberta, the maid, is. And that she is very dangerous. So, that must have been a visual laxative for you.”
Pedro conceded, “No. But, it came close.”
Matt asked, “So, why are you still alive? While Fabiola here is nice. Revy and Roberta are not known for showing mercy.”
Pedro replied, “Because I told them everything I knew.”
Leigharch said, “I guess that would allow you to get out of that alive.”
Pedro responded, “Yes. They let me go, unharmed. And since they know where I was. There was no point in hiding. So, I returned to Plata Podrido, and my job as Police Chief, there.”
Matt turned to Matthew, as he inquired, “And you?”
Matthew answered, “Well, the first time I met Lee. She had been arrested by the police, in Mars Dome One. I was sent there was her lawyer. Then, Roberta attacked that station, with Lee and I escaping to the police garages. That is where Fabiola here ambushed us with her shotguns. Fortunately, Lee was about to trick her, and we got to my car, and started heading out, before she realized what was happening. With Lee driving. That is when she pulled out the grenade launcher, and started firing out us.”
By now, the four men could tell from Fabiola's body language, that she was embarrass by the whom affair. Fabiola spoke up, in a slightly meek tone of voice, “But, I missed. Which I am happy about, now.”
Matthew turned to Fabiola, as he went onto say, “Yes. You are.” He turned back to Matt, as he continued, “And we escaped the garage, we ended up in a chase across town, with Roberta on her heels. Until we reached a fortress with enough firepower to force her to retreat. Then, I soon parted ways with Lee.”
“Later that morning, Chang's forces picked me up, and took me to Plata Podrido, in Pedro's home reality... Where Chang wanted me to be his lawyer... Which I accept. And it was not that bad a job... Soon after, Pedro and I were forced to become designated drivers for Fabiola, and her friends, when they went drinking. And that is how we met.”
Leigharch commented, “Damn. You guys have had one hell of a ride.”
Matt complimented, “You guys are far more badass than I first realized.”
Matthew countered, “No. We were just lucky.”
Pedro agreed, “Yea. I am going to stick to, luck, on that argument.”
Fabiola said, “You both sell yourselves short. But, I won't gloat about that either.”
Pedro complimented, “That is because you are so well mannered, Fabiola.”
Fabiola replied, “Thank you.”
Matthew asked, “So, how have you been, Fabiola? I hope you tracking us was not to difficult.”
Fabiola stated, “No, it wasn't... Though... Look guys. I had something interesting happen to me, today.”
Matthew inquired, with concern in his tone of voice, “What happened?
Fabiola looked down at the table, as she answered, “I met my counterpart, here. And while we both had a good time. We admitted to the each other, that the meeting unnerved both of us. And the event is still playing with my head.”
Pedro commented, “Considering everything you have been through. I find that to be an odd response.”
Fabiola looked up, at the men, as she stated, “Well, for me, it has been more of a case of weird things happening to those around me. Weird things just have not happened personally to me. I seem to have always been the person that was along for the ride, to someone else's insanity. Until today.”
Pedro rhetorically replied, in a casual tone of voice, “What can we say? But, welcome to the insanity.”
Matthew pointed out, “Fabiola. You have been rolling the dice in the weirdness department for a while now. Be happy that meeting your counterpart is the only weird event to happen to you.”
Leigharch mentioned, “Yea. I even met my counterpart today. And our meeting went along smoothly.”
Fabiola shrugged, as she said, “Thanks.” She then continued, in a slightly tired tone of voice, “Though, I will be honest. I am not as crazy as Roberta, Revy, and the others.”
Pedro said, “We already realize that. You seem to be one of the most sane individuals among your group.”
Fabiola responded, “Thank you. And just like you, and Matthew. I need a break from them...” She looked down at the table, as she continued, in a more tired tone of voice, “From their insanity...” She looked up, and around the table, at the four men, as she requested, “I was wondering. Could I run with you guys for a while? We don't have to come back home anytime soon. Annie just wants me to make sure you are fine, and you will eventually return, in a timely manner for them. And by that, I mean, for them, it can be a week. For us, it can be a few months... What do you say?”
Matthew said, “Fine with me. I always liked your company.”
Pedro stated, “I can always use another person that knows how to use a gun.” He thought, 'Our survivability will go up exponentially, with her being with us. Besides, she really is a sweet woman to be around. Though, all of us know better than to make a pass at her. Unless she specifically tells one of us that she is interested in that person. In that way.'
Matt commented, “I have no problems with you coming a long.”
Leigharch gave Fabiola a lecherous look, as he casually said, “I am okay with you coming, as long as I am allowed to mentally undress you.”
The other four adults at the table looked at Leigharch with surprised on their faces.
Fabiola was the most surprise, as she looked at the lunatic driver. She thought, 'There goes Shenhua's claims that Leigharch is a nice guy... Or, maybe he really is just being crazy. From what I know, he seems to have gotten along fine with Shenhua. So, he has to be at least a little crazy to stay around her, though be nice, at the same time. Still, it is best to check, first.'
Fabiola flatly inquired, in a slightly annoyed tone of voice, “You are aware I am armed?”
Leigharch lecherous smile turned into a smirked, as he stated, “I just got out of the nuthouse. And Shenhua is a good friend of mine. You don't scare me.”
Fabiola thought, 'Yes. He is crazy.'
Pedro thought, 'Unless I do something quickly. This is going to go down hill, real quick.' He offered, “If Leigharch keeps his fantasies to himself, are you okay with our company?”
Fabiola turned to Pedro, as she thought, 'That is a nice peace offering.' She replied, “I can live with that.” She then turned to Leigharch, as she warned, in a grim tone of voice, “But, if he tries to cop a feel, he is losing the hand he makes the attempt with.”
Pedro casually said, “I will provide you with the knife to do that with. Or, do you prefer a hatchet?”
All five adults laughed a little at Pedro's comment, for a few seconds.
As they calmed down, Fabiola turned to Pedro. She smiled at Pedro, as she replied, in a relaxed tone of voice, “Fair enough.”
The five adults them continued their pleasant conversation.
At that moment, outside the entrance of the Yellowflag, Lee, Chang, and River, walked up to the front doors of the bar. As the three women came to a stop, they looked up at the neon sign above them, then back to each other.
Lee complimented, “I still find it hard to believe that the Yellowflag bar exists here, as well.”
River said, “Well, it does.”
Daiyu complimented “River, it was good thinking on your part to come here.”
River shrugged, as she responded, “Hey. Once I started hearing thoughts mentioning the Yellowflag, from the people around here. I figured we might want to check this place out.”
Daiyu agreed, “Yes. I did. I figure that this place would be too much for that fanboy, Pedro, to pass up. And Matthew will most assuredly be with him.”
River replied, “My thoughts, exactly.”
Lee said, “Mine, as well. Now, let's go inside, and see if they are in there.”
Lee opened the door to their left. They then walked inside the bar.
As soon as, all three women had entered the bar, with Lee gently closing the door being them, they stood beside each other, as they looked around.
Daiyu commented, “Nice place. Looks exactly like the Yellowflag in Roanapur.” She thought, 'And this place really brings back the good memories. Though, I only rarely ever went to that bar. It was just too low class for a man in my position.”
River just snorted, at hearing Daiyu's thoughts. She thought, 'But, from your thoughts, you enjoyed it every time you went there. The only reason you stopped going was that your student, Revy, keep getting drunk, and shooing up the place. And since you like her, and you don't want to risk her going to the more upscale bars in that town, that you and Balalaika preferred. You and Balalaika took turns, occasionally paying for repairs to that bar.'
'And honestly. Given the number of times Revy wrecked the Yellowflag, I am not surprised how much Bao charges Revy and her friends, to regularly reserve the Rats Nest bar for them.'
Lee stated, “I like that this bar has waitresses, and that those waitresses are wearing tasteful, though function clothing.”
River commented, “I agree.”
Lee spotted Boris, as she quietly inquired, “Is that Boris, of this reality?”
River looked to her right side, as she answered, “From his thoughts. Yes. That is him. And I got better news. Look to your right, to the back of the room. You will see Pedro and Matthew. And they have friends.”
Lee and Daiyu to their right, and they saw Pedro, Matthew, and three other adult
Lee commented, “Ah. We found them.” She then saw someone with their back turned to them. But, Lee also noticed the person's recognized long green hair, which hit the floor, and tied at multiple points, as a ponytail. She asked, “Is that Fabiola?”
River said, “Yes.”
Lee then recognized someone else, as she questioned. “And is that Leigharch?”
River replied, “Yep.”
Daiyu commented, “He doesn't look a day older, since I last saw him.”
River stated, “That is because, he isn't. From what I can read of his mind. He just left your home reality, about the same time Akira first arrive.”
Daiyu commented, “Good. That means he is still young. But, is he sane?”
River stated, “No. But, he seems to be lucid enough to be civil around people.”
Daiyu stated, “That is close enough. That man never really had a firm grasp on reality, to begin with.”
River joked, “Then, he will fit right in.”
The three women giggled a little, for a few seconds.
As they calmed down, Lee noticed the redheaded man at the table, as she inquired, “I wonder who the redheaded guy is?”
Daiyu replied, “I am not sure myself. But, he does seem familiar.”
Lee asked, “I know. But, I just cannot place him. What about you, River?”
River commented, “I cannot get a good read off of him. His mind is slightly... Cagy. He has experience with telepaths. But, not as much as Matthew's mind.”
Daiyu inquired, “Interesting. Still, What are they doing with Matthew, Fabiola, and Pedro?
River casually answered, “Well, let's take a page from Lee, this morning, and walk up to their table, and ask them. It worked with Revy and Benny, early today.”
Daiyu agreed, “That is a good point.” She thought, 'Ask a stupid question. Get a stupid answer.'
River just giggled a little at Daiyu's thoughts.
Lee replied, “Thanks.”
River stopped giggling, as she said, “You're welcome.” She then started walking towards the group of five adults in the right back corner of the bar, with Lee and Daiyu following behind her.
Meanwhile, at the table in the back corner of the room, Pedro took another swallow of his beer. He then set his bottle of beer down on the table, in front of him, as he asked, “So, where do you want to go to first, Fabiola?
Fabiola looked over at Pedro, as she replied, “I am not sure. I am taking this one day at a time.”
Matthew complimented, “That is a good approach to take.”
Fabiola turned to Matthew, as she replied, “Thank you.”
Leigharch pointed, “Still, we need to decided where to go next.”
Matt commented, “As long as we can stay out of trouble, I could care less where we go.”
Matt thought, 'Unless it is my home. Though, talking them in taking me home is going to be harder than I thought. But, I believe Fabiola is the key to doing that. She has to have one of those devices on her. So even, at worst, if I stole one of the device, they would not be stranded. Though, I need to make sure to know how to use them, first. It is clear from Pedro and Matthew's experiences, that using such devices is easier said, than done.'
Just then, from nearby, Pedro, Matthew, and Fabiola, heard a familiar feminine voice say, in a casual tone of voice, in english, “Well, you all could just return to my casino. I am more than happy to put you up for a few nights, in some very nice suites.”
The five adults turned towards the direction of where the voice came from.
The saw Daiyu standing right behind the empty chair at the table. With River to her left, and Lee to her right. With them standing between Fabiola's right side and Leigharch's left side.
The five adults at the table saw that all three women were looking at them.
Daiyu continued, in english, “I will even give you a little spending money to gamble with. Though, I cannot promise you will stay out of trouble.”
The five adults at the table continued to look at the three women standing by them, as Matt asked, “Are these three women after you two?”
Matthew replied, “Yep.” He mentally added, 'I guess it is academic, now.' He saw River's lips curl into a very slight smile. He continued thinking, 'Yea. Laugh it up, River.'
Pedro turned to Matt, as he mentioned, “On the bright side, they are not here to fight.”
Matt though, 'That figures.' He said, “Then, I will leave this to you two.”
Pedro looked over at River, Daiyu, and Lee, as he inquired, in a casually tone of voice, “So, how did you find us, this time?”
Daiyu answered, in an offhanded tone of voice, “Please. This is the Yellowflag. This place would be too tempting for you two fanboys to not have a drink here.”
Matthew turned to Pedro, as he said, “She has us there.” He then looked back at River, Daiyu, and Lee.
Pedro sarcastically commented, “Well, that is good detective work on your parts... Very obvious.”
Daiyu let out a laugh. She cracked a grin, as she said, “Thank you. I guess you would know.”
Pedro flatly replied, “Touche.”
Fabiola commented, “Well, I had the same idea.”
Lee said, in english, “I am not surprised. Great minds think alike.”
Fabiola looked over at Lee, as she replied, “I will take that as a compliment.”
Lee just warmly smiled towards Fabiola.
Meanwhile, Leigharch focused on Daiyu's face, as he thought, 'I don't know who the two caucasian chicks are. But, that asian woman looks familiar. I just cannot place her face.'
River smiled inwardly at reading Leigharch's thoughts. She thought, 'Oh, this is going to be so much fun. Though, I think Chang needs to handle this. Also, I need to speak to someone else, first.
River turned to Fabiola, as she asked, in english, “What are you doing here, Fabiola?”
Fabiola adjusted her seat, to her right, to allow her looked up at River's face. She coyly answered, “Your absence has being noticed by others. I was sent to find all of you.”
Lee realized, as she said, “Oh hell. We are not going to be back in five minutes.” She thought, 'I guess we abused the time dilation trick, one too many times.'
Daiyu stated, “It cannot be helped. We will get back, when we get back. It might be a few days to a week.” She focused on Fabiola, as she continued, “That is, if returning within that amount of time is not going to cause a paradox?”
Fabiola realized Daiyu was speaking to her. She turned to Daiyu, as she said, “I left a day after you three left, so that should not be a problem.”
Daiyu responded, “Good. We will add a few more days to that. So, this should not be a problem.” She turned to Pedro and Matthew, as she continued, “Especially, considering we now have found whom we are looking for. And we are in a position to do something about it.”
Matthew stated, “As we said before. We are not going back.”
Leigharch was paying attention to what was being said around him. He thought, 'I might as well ask, before we get to deep into this conversation.' Leigharch spoke up, as he inquired, “Not to be rude. But, who are you women?”
Daiyu looked over at Leigharch, as she said, “Leigharch, I thought you would recognize me.”
Leigharch casually responded, “Sorry, lady. I don't. Though, you do look familiar, I just cannot place your face.”
Daiyu calmly requested, with a bit of mischievousness in her tone of voice, “Then, take a closer look at my face.” She then gave Leigharch a wicked grin, that was more playful, than threatening.
Everyone at the table was quiet, as Leigharch look at Daiyu's face for a few seconds. Then, as Daiyu's familiar smile rekindled long forgotten memories in Leigharch's mind, he realized who the woman reminded him of. Leigharch raised an eyebrow in interest, as he asked, “Chang?”
Daiyu grin widened slightly, as she nodded once towards Leigharch. She happily said, in a sincere tone of voice, “It is good to see you again, Leigharch.”
Matt thought, 'Well, that figures. And this confirms what Pedro and Matthew said about the gender bending of the Black Lagoon cast. Also, this explains why Pedro and Matthew are running away from their problem. Chang would be someone I would run from, as well. And I really need to read those stories, to find out how Chang, and the others, ended up being turned into women.'
Leigharch stated, in an excited tone of voice, “Same here. Pedro and Matthew told me that a lot happened. And I figured you would be the exception to the rule. But, damn. I guess, I was wrong. That more happened than I suspected.”
Daiyu replied, “Yes. A lot happened.”
Leigharch mentioned, “Pedro said he was welcoming me to the insanity. But, this is a reach. Are you stuck as a girl? Or, can you change back?”
Daiyu answered, “I can change back and forth, at will. Actually, by a sneeze. But, that is close enough. So, there is no problem there.”
Leigharch commented, “Chang. I hope you don't take this the wrong way. But, you always struck me as someone that would likely be more than happy to play both sides of the fence. If you were given a chance to do so.”
Daiyu let out a small laugh. She then said, “No offense taken. And you are correct.”
Leigharch responded, “Okay. I would ask you to show me that ability, right now. But, I don't want you to ruin that nice dress you have on.”
Daiyu smile became warmer towards Leigharch, as she replied, “I appreciate that. Also, call me Daiyu in this form.”
Leigharch inquired, “Okay... Daiyu. So, who are the two women with you?”
Daiyu said, “I will let them introduce themselves.”
Lee stated, “I am, Lee.”
Matt inquired, “The Lee who wrote those stories? That Lee?”
Lee said, in a sheepish tone of voice, “Yes. That was not one of my brighter ideas.”
Matt looked over at Fabiola. He then turned back to Lee, as he commented, “If half of what I have heard about you is true. I am surprised, you are still breathing.”
Lee agreed, “So am I.”
Leigharch asked, “And the redhead?”
River answered, “I am, River Tam. Yes. The same River, from from Firefly reality. Post Serenity movie. But, that was years ago, and I am much saner, now.”
Matt thought, with worry, 'Oh hell, no. This just keeps getting worse.'
Leigharch turned to River, as he said, “Sorry. I have not heard of you.”
Daiyu turned to River, as she commented, “He probably hasn't seen your series.” She turned back to Leigharch, as she said, “But we can fix that, once we get back to the casino.”
Matt looked at the three women standing before them, as he inquired, “Well heard of you, River. You're a first rate badass. Among other things. But, aren't you suppose to have brown hair?”
River turned to Matt, as she said, “While I am a natural brunette, I dye my hair red.”
Leigharch looked at River, as he replied, “And it is a lovely shade of red, at that.” He turned to Daiyu, as he continued, “And from what the others are saying, Daiyu. I see you traded up on your badass babes.”
Daiyu said, “Thank you.”
Fabiola commented, “I can vouch for River's sanity. She is now one of the sanest women I know.”
Matt said, “That is comforting to know.”
Matthew turned to Fabiola, as he mentioned, “Though, given the women you know, that is not saying much.”
Fabiola looked over at Matthew, as she warned, “You don't want to go there.”
Matthew quickly replied, “Just kidding.”
Fabiola just rolled her eyes for a second. Then, she and Matthew turned back to looked at River, Daiyu, and Lee.
Meanwhile, Matt thought, 'I have to keep in mine that this is River from the Firefly reality. And she is a telepath? Though, I do have some defensive training against mind readings.'
River was finally able to overhear some of Matt's thoughts. She turned to Matt, as she asked, “Don't worry. I keep the secrets I learn to myself. And you are?”
Matt thought, 'I might as well tell her. Even with my mental defenses, she can still read some of my thoughts.' He answered, “Detective Matt Bluestone of the NYPD.”
With the mention of his name, Daiyu, River, and Lee, immediately recognized the man. Daiyu stated, “Matthew, Pedro, I thought you two knew better than to bring someone from that reality with you.” She thought, 'There are very important reasons as to why I banned people from going to that reality. Mainly because the badasses of that reality could probably take us in a fight.'
Matthew answered, “At the time, we did not really have a choice in the matter. And we know better than to go back.”
Daiyu asked, “What happened to get Matt and Leigharch to go with you?”
Pedro answered, “Not to joke. But, it is a long story.”
There was silence for a few seconds. Daiyu then flatly said, “Fine.. I will get my answers, later.”
Pedro replied, “If we return home, we will tell you about it.”
Daiyu let out a small chuckled. She said, “Not, if. But, when.”
Pedro just groaned, in response to Daiyu's comment.
Lee turned to Matt, as she asked, “Are you doing okay with this situation, Matt? Reality travel is not for everyone.”
Matt commented, “Yea. I'm okay. I have been having fun with these gentlemen, whom are with me.” He thought, 'And with Fabiola joining us, it will be even more interesting.'
River held back a giggle, as she read Matt's mind. She thought, 'Oh, now this is funny. And I hope they all have fun.'
Daiyu offered, “Well, if you want to get back home, just get in touch with me. Pedro and Matthew know how to do that.”
Matt looked over at Daiyu, as he replied, “I will.”
Daiyu asked, “So, Leigharch and Matt, has Pedro told you two about his home city?”
Leigharch said, “Not really.”
Matt commented, “Bits and pieces.”
Pedro frowned towards Daiyu, but Daiyu ignored him, as she offered, “Well, Roanapur is gone. But, we set up shop in Pedro's town. The city is call De La Plato Podrido, Mexico. Or, Of The Rotten Silver.”
“And Leigharch, I would be more than happy to hire you back to your old job. And Matt, you are more than welcome to visit my casino, while we try to get you back home. Like, I said. I will even give you some money to gamble with.”
Daiyu thought, 'The guys and girls back in Plata Podrido would love to meet you, Matt. And I am sure Shenhua would like to see you again, Leigharch.'
Matt spoke first, as he said, “Thank you for the offer. And while I would be more than grateful for a ticket back home. I don't gamble.”
Daiyu shrugged, as she responded, “To each his own.” She looked over at Leigharch, as she continued, “And you Leigharch?”
Leigharch stated, “Thanks. But, I am still weighing my options. Though. No joke. I appreciate that when I finally went off the deep in, you and Shenhua had me sent to that asylum. All things consider, you had me taken care of. Thank you for that. And though, I am currently running with these guys. Once this is over, we'll talk.”
Daiyu thought, 'At least, Leigharch is grateful for what I did for him.” She commented, in a casual tone of voice, “No problem. And consider what I said to be a standing offer, with no expiration date.”
Leigharch replied, “Okay.”
Daiyu looked back over at Pedro and Matthew, as she said, “Now, back to the matter at hand. Not to spoil Leigharch, and Matt's fun. But, you two are coming with us.”
Pedro frowned, as he flatly stated, “None of you seem to know how to take, no, for an answer.”
Daiyu commented, “Well, your city needs you.”
Pedro stated, “I realize that. But, I cannot do that in a pine box. And Balalaika made it very clear, to me, that if I did try to help my city, especially when my actions came into conflict to her agenda, that I would end up in a pine box... If I was lucky.”
Daiyu responded, “I can understand where you are coming from. I will have a discussions with Balalaika, about you.”
Pedro deadpanned, “And when has she ever listened to anyone else?”
Daiyu conceded, “You may have a point there. But, I still have enough pull to protect you, and Matthew.”
Pedro replied, “Perhaps... But, in doing so, what favors would I end up owing you?”
Daiyu commented, “I really find that annoying, considering your brother was a mafia boss.”
Pedro immediately noticed that everyone, at the table, but Matthew, was looking at him with intense looks on their faces.
Pedro thought, 'At least, Matthew already knows the truth about this whole mess. I am glad that I came clean with him, and that I told him, a year ago, about my brother. Matthew said that what I told him did not change his opinion of me. Thus, proving that Matthew is a good friend. And I don't want to lose him. Still, I need to clear up this mess, right now.'
Pedro looked around the table, as he calmly stated, “Well, it pays to know how the other side plays the game. Also, my brother retired from that life, and he joined the priesthood. And before any of you ask. Yes. I care deeply about my brother. And even though, for a while, we were one opposite sides of the law, we did love each other.”
Matt shrugged, as he thought, 'So, his brother was a mafia boss. It is clear he quit, and that Pedro is on good terms with him.' He said, “I have heard worse.”
Leigharch chuckled a little, as he thought, 'And I thought my life was interesting.' He commented, “It really don't matter to me.”
Fabiola thought, 'Just went you think you know someone.' She said, “Okay.”
Pedro stated, “Thanks.” He turned to back to look at Diayu.
Daiyu notice Pedro looking at her. She commented, “I still think we can work this out.”
Pedro sighed, as he replied, “I am not sure we can.”
River looked over at Matthew, as she asked, “Besides what you told us. Matthew, why did you leave?”
Matthew smiled, as he looked at River. He then shrugged towards River, as he said, “What can I say? Pedro made a convincing argument to leave.” He mentally added, 'We do not want to end up brainwashed in those vats, while also being turned into women.'
River said, “We would never do that, unless absolutely necessary.”
Matthew thought, 'Define, necessary?'
River realized she was not going to win this debate, as she slumped her head in defeat.
Leigharch noticed the one sided conversation, as he asked, “Am I missing something here?”
Fabiola commented, “River is a passive telepath. She can surface thoughts, but she cannot project thoughts. Just relax your mind, and not think about anything at the surface, and she cannot read what you are thinking.”
River looked up at the adults sitting at the table, as she admitted, “That is correct. And I cannot turn this ability, off.”
Leigharch shrugged, as he said, “Okay. Not that I really mind you taking a look in my mind, lass.”
River replied, “Okay.”
Leigharch looked over at Lee. He then turned to look at Daiyu, as he said, “Daiyu, I can understand you dating a hot telepath. But, what is with you being with Lee, here? From what I understand, she is the one that got you into this mess.”
Lee stated, “A story for another time. And one told in private, and not in public.”
Daiyu said, “Lee is correct.”
Leigharch replied, “Okay.”
Fabiola requested, “Given you three will likely return home, before I do. Could you let Roberta and Annie know, I am staying with these guys for a while. But, I will make sure they return home in one piece.”
Daiyu replied, “We will.” She thought, 'With you along, I am sure they will be fine. Still...' She said, “Just make sure they return home, in a timely fashion, from our point of view.”
Fabiola said, “I will.”
Pedro thought, 'And that will give us time to change you mind, Fabiola.'
River overheard Pedro's thoughts, as she mentally reflected, 'We'll see. She might convince you to come home. We will just have to wait and see how things turn out.'
Just then, everyone in the room heard a familiar, female voice speak, from outside, the front of the Yellowflag, through a bullhorn, in english, “To those that are not of this world! Slowly exit though the front doors, now!”
The eyes of Daiyu, River, Fabiola, Lee, Pedro, and Matthew, went wide for a few seconds.
While the six adults forced themselves to calm down, Lee turned to River, as she asked, “Is that who I think it is?”
River turned around, to face the front windows, on the right front side of the building. She looked out windows, but the sunlight was hitting the windows at an angle that caused the windows to shine, and prevented those in the bar from looking outside.
Though, when she used her telepathic abilities, she immediately knew who it was. She said, in a serious tone of voice, “Yes. And we should do as she says, right now.”
Lee replied, “Okay.”
Matt asked, “Who is it?”
Pedro turned to Matt, as he commented, “You will find out soon enough. Though, I wonder how she found us?”
Nearby, Fabiola slightly squirmed in her seat. But, everyone was too worried to notice.
Suddenly, they heard a familiar male voice say, from the middle part of the back wall, in english, with a russian accent, “I would suggest you do as the woman outside requests. She is not the type of person that someone would want to cross.”
The eight adults in the back right corner of the room, turned towards the male voice.
They saw Boris looked at them from behind the bar counter.
Boris commented, “And don't worry about the beers. They are on the house.” He mentally added, 'And I don't want to be blamed for keeping her waiting.'
Pedro said, “Thank you.” He turned to his friends, as he stated, “Everyone. It is clear we are currently in over our heads. We need to get up and go outside. It would be best that we try not escape. And instead we will play this by ear, and talk our way out.”
Matt asked, “Are you sure?”
Pedro commented, “Even if we used our devices to escape, I am sure she would eventually find us, someday. And I don't want to piss her off, and give her a reason to come after us. At least, right now, she just wants to talk.”
Matt immediately realized who Pedro was talking about. He hesitatingly said, “Okay. I am with you.”
Pedro look at the others sitting, or standing, at the table. He asked, “Anyone else have a problem with this plan.”
Daiyu replied, “No”
River commented, “Nope.”
Lee said, “I'm good.”
Matt stated, “Whatever makes you happy.”
Matthew responded, “You have gotten us out of tougher jams.”
Fabiola stated, “It is best that I stay with you.”
Leigharch requested, “Just lead the way.”
Pedro, Matthew, Fabiola, Leigharch, and Matt, got up from their seats. Then, they, along with Lee, Daiyu, and River, started walking towards the front double-door entrance of the bar.
While the eight adults walked towards the exit, Boris, the customers and the waitresses, watched them leave through the front doors.
After the eight adults had exited the bar, the people still in the bar went back to what they were doing.
A few seconds later, the eight adults had exited the front doors, with Fabiola and Lee gently shutting the doors behind them.
The eight adults stood side by side, with Lee, Daiyu, and River, to the left of the front doors, from the building. With Pedro, and Matthew right in front of the doors. And Matt, Leigharch, and Fabiola to the right of the front doors, from the building.
All eight adults were looking in front of them. And what they saw greatly concerned them.
Standing thirty feet away from them, on the other side of the road, they saw Roberta facing this. The Roberta of the reality they were in, was wearing an olive colored greatcoat, and she has a scar on the right side of her face. Though, much like Balalaika, this reality's Roberta wore greatcoat like a cloak, around her neck and shoulder, while she left her arms and hands free of the sleeves of the greatcoat.
Under Roberta's greatcoat, which was left open, the eight adults could see that she was wearing similar civilian clothing, when compared to the counterpart, the eight adults knew about.
This Roberta wore a short sleeved white blouse, with a bolo tie around her neck. The bolo tie had a blue amulet on it. Over the blouse was a sleeveless blue denim leather vest. She wore blue jeans that were held up by a brown leather belt. She wore black cowgirl boots.
She also had holsters for her two semi-automatic pistols attached to the back of her belt.
Also, Roberta's long purple hair was allow to drape loosely down her back, to her waistline. She was holding a bullhorn in her left hand, and in her right hand was one of her Sistema nineteen twenty-seven pistols. The front of the bullhorn was pointed at the ground, while the end of the barrel of the semi-automatic pistol was point at them.
And the eights adults also saw that Roberta was not alone, She was standing right in front of a semicircle various automatic vehicles, with the interior of the semicircle facing the entrance to the Yellowflag. And the semicircle encompassing the two lanes of the road, and the sidewalk, on the other side of the road.
Right behind the vehicles, were over twenty men and women in FARC uniforms, and they were all holding various automatic rifles. All of their weapons were pointed at Pedro, Matthew, Fabiola, Leigharch, Matt, Daiyu, Lee, and River.
Pedro thought, 'Yep. That is Roberta. And from the scar and greatcoat, I can guess she is a composite character of both the Roberta and Balalaika of the Black Lagoon reality. Thus, arguably making her, potentially, the scariest, and most dangerous, human woman, in the multiverse.'
'Along with this, I can guess the men and women in fatigues, whom are holding their weapons towards us, are members of Hotel Caracas, which Roberta leaders.'
Meanwhile, Matthew thought, with worry, 'Pedro, you really know how to find trouble. Because we're screwed.'
River overheard their thoughts, as she thought, 'Okay. Something is going on between these two. And I am not sure what. And right now is not the time for such questions.'
Roberta calmly stated, in english, “Hello. I am Roberta of Hotel Carcasas. You will listen to what I have to tell you, and then you will comply with my orders. If you do not. The alternative of what I will have done to you is very obvious.”
River was impressed, as she thought, 'Now, that is how a person in authority gives orders. And I don't think we can take them. If this Roberta is anything like our Roberta, and Hotel Caracas is anything like Hotel Moscow. We don't stand a chance.'
'Fortunately, this Roberta seems to want to do things peacefully. So, we will hear her out, and maybe we can get out of this mess in a diplomatic manner. But, I am not going to agree to anything, until I know more about what she has to say, and what I would be agreeing too.'
'And it might be best if I do the talking.'
River said, in a calm tone of voice, “We will listen to what you have to say. And we will go from there.”
Roberta responded, “Good. I have never met anyone from another reality before. And I hope this turns out to be a good meeting for everyone involved.”
Roberta's comment caught most of the reality travelers by surprise.
Daiyu calmly asked, “How did you learn about us?”
Roberta answered, “Your Fabiola told my Fabiola the basics of what was going on. And I put the rest of the pieces together.”
Pedro, Daiyu, River, Lee, Matt, Matthew, and Leigharch, looked over at Fabiola.
Fabiola turned to look at the others, as she sheepishly said, “Sorry guys. I probably shouldn't have said anything to my counterpart. But, I couldn't help myself. She was just a teenager, and she needed advice. And I was the only one who could her give that advice.”
Pedro stated, “We will discuss this later.” He mentally added, 'If we survive.'
All eight reality traveler looked back at Roberta.
Roberta stated, “It seems we have a problem here. That problem being, trouble. As in you are trouble, and I want you out of my city, before you cause any more trouble in this city.”
Daiyu said, “We are more than happy to leave.”
Roberta responded, “That is pleasant to hear...' She cracked a grin, as she continued, “Chavez...”
Daiyu quickly said, “My name is, Chang.” She mentally added, 'This is no point in using my alias, since she seems to recognize me, in some way. And it seems that this reality has my counterpart. And with a name like Chavez, he is likely from latin america. Still, I am not going to risk rocking this boat, by asking questions.'
'And I can ask Fabiola, Pedro, and Matthew, my questions, later.'
Roberta commented, “Well, Chang... I always wondered what you would look like as a woman. I even like the asian flair, as well.”
Daiyu complimented, “Thank you. And that greatcoat looks nice on you. I may mention that to my Roberta.”
Roberta responded, “I appreciate that. I found it to be quite a fashion statement for one in authority.” She mentally added, 'The local weather might be a bit warm to wear it. But first impressions are always important. And I want to press upon the fact of my authority towards them.'
'Also, I do enjoy the high left of competency that the people of this city have. I did not have to search long. Given it was Boris whom called me. I will have to generously reward Boris, later. After I have these people leave... I think I will have one of my subordinates drop off a fat envelop of money, at the Yellowflag here, to Boris, later tonight... I won't do it personally, because I do have to keep up appearances.'
Daiyu thought, 'This explains why Balalaika wore her greatcoat every chance she could get. Though, the heat and humidity did preclude her from wearing her coat most of the time... Still, we need to get down to business.'
Daiyu asked, “So, what do you want of us?”
Roberta answered, “As I said before. I want you all to leave. Though, I do not want a fight in front of me. And it seems you, and your two friends are after the others. Well, you are not catching them here. I do not want to risk needless, unnecessary violence, in my city, if I can avoid it. Both your groups will leave separately. To prevent any fights. The ones you are after will leave first. Then, you three.”
Daiyu thought, 'This Roberta sounds kind of like me, when I was playing peacemaker of Roanapur. And I am not going to argue with her. It is a fair request.'
Pedro thought, 'Her statement is a very good sign that she seems to have gotten the better parts of Roberta and Balalaika, from the Black Lagoon reality.'
Daiyu thought, 'Let's see what the others think.'
Daiyu looked around her, at those standing by her, as she asked, “Is this okay with you six?”
River said, “I am okay with that.”
Lee agreed, “So am I.”
Matt stated, “I think we all are.”
Matthew, Pedro, Leigharch, each nodded once in agreement.
Daiyu thought, 'Good. They want to leave this way, as well.' She turned to Roberta, as she commented, “Fine. We will leave, peacefully, on your terms.”
Roberta replied, “Good.” She then looked over at Leigharch, as she asked, “What are you doing here, Leigharch?”
Leigharch answered, “Actually, I am with them. You are thinking of the Leigharch from this reality, whom we met earlier today.”
Roberta thought, 'If they met the Leigharch from here, then likely Chavez already knows about them. I was correct in dealing with them, now. Before, Chavez could take action. With the situation possibly spiraling out of control.'
Roberta commented, “I will have to have a chat with... My Leigharch, then.”
Leigharch stated, “Well, we didn't tell him much. So, he doesn't really know anything.”
Roberta complimented, “That was very wise of you.”
Leigharch requested, “Also, could you please go easy on him. He will real nice to us.”
Roberta stated, “As long as he answers my questions, I see no reason to bring harm to him.”
Leigharch replied, “Thank you.”
Daiyu looked over at River and Lee, as she commented, “Guys. I am starting to believe it would be best if we return home.” She looked back over at Pedro and Matthew, as she continued, “Even if it is without them.”
Daiyu thought, 'With Fabiola with them. I am sure they will return safely home, in a timely manner. And we do have other concerns to deal with.' She turned back to look at Roberta, as she continued her thoughts, 'After with deal with this current issue.'
River commented, “I am good with that.”
Lee agreed. “Yea. Let's go home.”
Pedro and Matthew could not help but crack a grin at hearing Daiyu, River, and Lee's comments.
Roberta thought, 'At least this Chang's two friends have some common sense.' She said, “That would be wise. I found that sometimes it is best to let matters play out. As long as such matters don't risk one's personal interests.”
Roberta looked over at Fabiola, as she continued in a warm tone of voice, “Good luck, Fabiola. My Fabiola said that she felt you were a good person. I find her to be a good judge of character. I hope you bring happiness and friendship to mine, and Garcia's counterparts, along with others.”
Fabiola kindly replied, in a polite tone of voice, “I do. And my Roberta, and Garcia are good friends of mine.”
Roberta calmly said, “That helps to put my mind at ease.”
Fabiola gave Roberta a warm smile, which Roberta immediately returned.
Pedro looked between Fabiola and Roberta, as he thought, 'Now, with the badass leader happy, and in a good mood, it would get a good time to leave. But, we need to reach for our reality devices, without accidentally getting shoot.'
Pedro focused his attention on Roberta, as he calmly stated, “Roberta. We use small, hand held device to travel from one reality to another. We have to be close to each other, for us to teleport multiple people. And we usually keep these items in our pockets. And while you want us to leave, we do not want to get shot in our attempt to comply with your orders.”
Roberta looked over at Pedro, as she calmly said, “My subordinates all know english. And they will not shoot you, as long as you pull out your device slowly, and then you group together, to leave.”
Pedro responded, “That will be fine.”
Pedro thought, 'I guess this blows the lid on the secret of reality travel existing. At least where Hotel Caracas is concerned. And possibly those inside the bar, given we are shadowing the windows, and they can see us.'
'And there is Sawyer and the other Leigharch. So, that includes Chavez. As such, it is likely most of the criminal players in this city will learn about reality travel, by tomorrow morning.'
'Though, at this point, it cannot be helped. And we just need to leave, and find someplace better to go to.'
Pedro used his right hand to slowly reached into the pocket he had left his reality device in. He then slowly pulled out the device, and held it out, palm open, for everyone to see. Next, he gripped it again, as he turned to look at his group. He stated, “Okay guys. Group up, and let's get out of here. You too, Fabiola.”
Fabiola replied, “Okay.”
Fabiola, Matt, Matthew, and Leigharch, walked up to stand close to Pedro.
Matthew looked over at Pedro, as he asked, “So, where too?”
Pedro commented, “Anywhere but here. As long as it is peaceful, and nice.”
Matthew replied, “Works for me.”
Pedro said, “Don't worry, I have a nice time, place, and reality, in mind.”
Fabiola stated, “Good. Now, take us there.”
Pedro then thought of the reality, place, and time, he wanted to go to, as he pressed the red button on his reality device.
River, Lee, Daiyu, Roberta, the members of Hotel Caracas, and anyone else looking, saw the five adults instantly disappear, as they teleported to another reality.
While a few of the members of Hotel Caracas were mild unsure of what they saw, Roberta did not even blind an eye. She commented, with a bit of interest in her tone of voice, “That is interesting...” She looked over at Chang, whom she saw was looking back at her. She said, “Now, it is your turn, Chang.”
Daiyu used her right hand to slowly pulled out her reality device from a hidden pocket. She then held out her device, for everyone to see. As she pulled it closer to herself, River and Lee walked up to stand beside her, while they faced her.
Lee commented, “It is going to be nice to sleep in our bed tonight.”
River said, “You are forgetting about our shower, first.”
Lee asked, “True. And since we are not going to appear five minutes after we left. Because, from what Fabiola said, we were gone for longer. How long are we going to be gone, for those in my home reality?”
Daiyu commented, “I figure around a week will be fine. Around seven PM. And when we get there, we will send for room service, to bring us up some supper.”
River replied, “That will be fine.”
Lee said, “I agree.”
Several feet away, Roberta was silently overheard their conversation, as she thought, 'So, those three are a threesome. Given that is a version of Chavez, I am not surprised. Still, at least Chavez in any version seems to have good taste in women.'
Nearby, River continued to face Daiyu, as she thought, 'It would be so tempting to say, thank you, to Roberta. But, I don't want to get shot. Because, she might think I have read some of her secrets from her mind.'
River stated, “Let us get out of here.”
Daiyu turned to River, as she replied, “With pleasure.”
Daiyu then thought of the living room of their penthouse apartment, in Lee's reality, around a week after they left, with the local time being around seven PM. She held that thought, as she pushed the red button on her reality device.
Daiyu, River, and Lee, instantly disappeared from the sight of those that were looking at them, as they returned to their home.
A few seconds after Roberta saw Daiyu, River and Lee disappear, she used her right thumb to click on the hammer safety of her pistol. Next, she used her right hand to reach around the right side of her waist, under her greatcoat, and holster her pistol, behind her waist, by her other, loaded, nineteen twenty-seven Sistema semi-automatic pistol.
Roberta dropped her right hand to her side, as she thought, 'I think I will have no more trouble from them.'
Roberta smiled, as she happily continued her thoughts, 'It is good to be queen of this city. And the voice of reason. Though, as much I was prefer not to. I will have to tell my men and women to keep quiet about this.'
'And those fools inside that bar know better than to breath a word of anything they may have seen, or heard outside, just now.'
'Still, I will inform Fabiola, that everything went smoothly. Since she was the one that informed me of these people.'
'And I will also tell Garcia. I do not like keeping things from the young man. And I know he can keep such things in confidence. Plus, telling him will help to solidify the genuine trust I have come to earn from him. And I think I will tell him, while Fabiola is with us. So, we can have as single conversation on the matter. But, this is for later. Now, I believe I will just enjoy the rest of the day, with those I care for. Along with those two.'
Roberta then turned around, to face her men and women.
Roberta said, to her subordinates, in spanish, “Alright, let us head home.” She then started walking to one of the vehicles, as her men and women began filing in the various vehicles, with their intent starting their vehicles, and returning back to the headquarters, at the plantation home, outside of the city.
Within minutes, all of Hotel Caracas had left the front of the Yellowflag, in their vehicles, as they headed back to their headquarters, outside of the city of Santo Domingo.
The end of Badasses Of the Multiverse: Book 6: “The Mexican, The Lawyer, And The Mechanic”: Volume 1: “The Heroes.”
To be continued in Badasses Of the Multiverse: Book 6: “The Mexican, The Lawyer, And the Mechanic”: Volume 2: “The Villains.”
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