Chapter 2 - The Fourth Man To Doom The Earth

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Rusty was a tough kinda guy in a tough kinda bar. A patriotic ex-patriot of the Divided State of the Anarcho-Capitalist Americas, Rusty felt it was his duty to kick an extra-especially large amount of ass now that he was stuck off-world. He was the ambassador of just exactly why it was a bad idea to mess with the DSA and worked hard to maintain the reputation. It was to this end that he was telling a largely embellished story about something that never happened to a Silicon-based life-form that looked like an upside-down screw with spider legs.

As he got to a particularly imaginary part of the story, he waved his arms in the air for emphasis. As he did so, his hand collided with a bipedal Lizard that was walking by, spilling both their beers and dooming Rusty’s home planet.

“Hey,” said Rusty in drunken anger “Why don’tcha watch where you’re going?”

“We think that maybe you should watch where you’re waving your hand!” hissed the Lizard in reply. It stood up and threw its fur cape back behind it, and straightened its crown.

“Well, you gonna buy me a new beer, or am I going to have to get rough?” asked Rusty, reaching for the unnecessarily large laser he wore openly on his belt.

“You fool. Do you have any idea who we are? We rule entire galaxies. We command more soldiers than there are beings in your universe. We refer to ourselves in the royal we! We could destroy your puny world and everyone on it,” boomed the Lizard, motioning towards the rest of the bar with his hand.

“I tell you what your majesty you go ahead and blow up this dump. I don’t even live here. Ain’t you never heard of humans? I ain’t from no one-city hole like Niddia Prime fulla bugs n’ shit. I’m from New New New Earth!”

Rusty beat his chest. Schoolin’ folk before beating their brains out always made him feel patriotic.

“The merest wave of my hand could reduce it to dead, dead, dead Earth,” the Lizard deadpanned. The joke was terrible, but two of his cronies laughed anyway just to kiss his ass.

“Oh yeah?” asked Rusty “Prove it.” 

* * *

“It’s definitely the past,” said Randal as he plodded through the dirt.

“It has to be the future,” replied Mint, trudging along beside him. She was from a later point in history than Randal and she felt this added weight to her opinion.

Randal and Mint had just appeared at this point in time a few hours ago via means they didn’t quite understand, and they still weren’t sure when they were. They had just started walking in a random direction from the place they materialized in.

“The air smells really clean. I remember reading in a comic-book somewhere that the air in the past would smell clean,” explained Randal.

“I don’t know what that is,” Mint replied “But the air is only cleaner in the past if you’re from a barbaric throwback civilization that hasn’t invented air cleaners yet.”

They arrived at the edge of a ridge, and looked down. Just below was a windowless building shaped like half a golf-ball. Spaceships had been parked haphazardly around it. A spinning hologram of neon alien letters identified the building as a bar to Mint. She would have bet a good sum of money that Randal couldn’t read them. Randal couldn’t, but even if he could he would have still been more concerned with a certain mirror colored saucer parked in a handicap space.
“Oh my god, isn’t that your ship Serendipity?” said Randal, pointing.

“It is,” Mint agreed.

“How Serendipitous”

“Not really,” replied Mint “It turns up like this all the time. If it’s here, that means we’ve obviously traveled into the future.”

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