Yakko's World OWBC - Interlude

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What happens in the Dead Realm, doesn't always stay there.

What happens in the Dead Realm, doesn't always stay there.

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  • 1. Um, so is it safe? Or are all of you going to lynch me?So this is kind of an interlude. Except it is pretty damn important to the plot, so I don’t recommend skipping this.It’s also written in a different style than how I normally put out stories. (And it was written over a year ago.)I hope you enjoy!
  • 2. It was bright.
  • 3. Brighter than it had any right to be and it was that incongruousness which finally forced Wil Wheaton Warner into opening hiseyes.
  • 4. He immediately shut them again as the light stabbed into his eyes, that was obviously not the best idea hed ever had. "Fuck," hegroaned turning over on the hard ground, trying to escape from the blinding glare. However, those movements made him aware ofother pains the most insistent was the throbbing pain up near his hairline.
  • 5. He reached up and felt the phantom hole there and it was then that he remembered.
  • 6. The prom...
  • 7. Dancing...
  • 8. The after party bonfire...
  • 9. Then her: Anemones mom, Lilys mom, Roses mom, Sakuras mom. The woman they had all been warned about, the woman theyhad been brought up to fear.Drea...
  • 10. She was just as frightening as he had imagined she was when he was little. She was the stuff of nightmares. She was mad.And shed killed him...
  • 11. Wil shivered. He was dead. Oh fuck, he was dead. He was barely sixteen and he was dead. He moaned, curling up into a littleball. This couldnt be happening.That bitch shot him. Shot him like he was nothing.And he was dead.
  • 12. He screamed.And that seemed to get somebodys attention. "Holy hell, weve got a Rememberer! Why didnt someone tell us we had simselfkids incoming!"
  • 13. A sound of papers flipping. "I dont know, sir. He wasnt on the scheduled list of deaths.""Suicide?" the first voice asked.The papers rustled some more. "No, murdered," the second voice replied. Then came a buzzing that sounded like a silenced cellphone. "And Ive just heard back from headquarters, weve got more incoming. We’ve got a lot more incoming. This is big.""Fuck," the first voice swore. "Youd better call in the rest of the office. Its going to be an all hands kind of night.""Yes, sir!" Then Wil heard the sound of someone scurrying away, through the sounds of his keening.
  • 14. "Hey, kid, you alright?" he felt a thin hand reach down to touch his knee and unbidden his eyes flew open and he stared…
  • 15. He stared right into the faceless mask of Death.
  • 16. He didnt have time to think about that mask because at that moment a translucent yellow figure called out. "Weve gotincoming, sir!"The skeletal figure nodded and then walked through a door that magically appeared near him.
  • 17. Scooting himself up against a wall, Wil took that reprieve as a chance to survey his surroundings. Anything to keep his mind off ofthe horrible fact that he was dead.
  • 18. It appeared to be a waiting room with a desk in one corner, where the yellow woman was doing some kind of office work. Therewere couches positioned near the center of the room and a low coffee table with a few books and magazines scattered on it. Theroom was windowless and doorless.
  • 19. Although the latter seemed to change as needed when several doors appeared all at once and several cloaked figures along with awoman dressed in a hula girl outfit and another ghostly figure stepped through.
  • 20. "So Shins got himself a massacre?" one figure asked.The woman shrugged. "Thats what the page said.""Why are you here, Bob?" another cloaked figure asked the woman.
  • 21. "Heard that we got Rememberers in this batch. You know what happened the last time" she answered. "I figured I could helpwith the..." she made a circling motion by her ear.The cloaked figures nodded. "So do we know how many incoming to expect?" one asked the original ghostly figure.The translucent woman shook her head. "No. Weve got one now, Jack. Shins down picking up another one. If you could?"
  • 22. The questioner squared his shoulders. "Right. Ill go help with the pickups. You get started on the paperwork. Lets hope we canget out of here at a decent hour tonight." And the same door that the original reaper, Shin, used before appeared on the wall andthe cloaked figure stepped through.So he was the first, Wil thought. Not something he wanted to be the first of in the grand scheme of things.
  • 23. A bright light appeared in the center of the room and the first cloaked figure reappeared with a crumpled up body at their feet.Elizabeth... His brother Joss girlfriend and one of the director-persons daughters.Shin turned to the rest of the figures clustered around the desk. "Is there anyone that can help? Shes a Rememberer, too.Ive got to go back. Theres just so many I cant let them get lost."
  • 24. The woman wearing a hula skirt spoke up with a sympathetic look on her face. "I can take her, you go get the next one. Its notlike theres a ton of platinum deaths for me to attend right now."
  • 25. "Thanks, Bob." Then the Death walked back through the door the rest of the robed figures following him.
  • 26. Two more bright lights appeared but when Will could see clearly, he could only make out three figures: two Deaths and anothercrumpled body.Uncle Israel...
  • 27. "Shit! Shit! Shit!" the figure without a body at their feet swore, pushing back his cowl to reveal a handsome black haired manwith curls. "Darned aliens!"
  • 28. Bob looked up from where she was crouched next to Elizabeth. "What happened?""Alien kid. One of the casualties, I tried to bring her back with me, I tried. But motherfu-- alien DNA! It shorted out thetransport system. Ive lost her. Her soul just turned to dust in between my fingers. Just... shit!" he swore again."Im sorry, Zane. I know how hard that is to take. Was it your first?"The robed man, Zane, nodded.
  • 29. "Those are always the worst," Bob said sadly. "I wish there was some way to tell these alien pollination techs that theyre justdestroying the souls of their offspring. I mean now that poor alien kids family, they wont be able to resurrect them or even seethem someplace else in the multiverse. That kids just gone."
  • 30. "I know," Zane said, looking dejected. "I tried, Bob, really I did. But...""It wasnt your fault, Zane," Bob tried to soothe. "All of the long term Reapers have had to go through this. Some more thanothers. Just ask Ruth or Jez, theyll tell you."
  • 31. Wil tried to figure out just who they meant by the alien kid. Then it clicked. Muscat. Uncle Omans alien daughter. She wasthe one they were talking about. He let out a keening cry, scooting further into the corner. Pulling his knees up to his chest androcking back and forth, he tried to force away the words. Will them not to be true. He didnt want Muscat to be gone with nohope of resurrection or rebirth. He didnt want it to be true.Around him, he heard the flurry of reapers and assistants. But he blocked it out, trying to retain what little bit of his sanity hehad left."Whats wrong with him?" he heard someone ask.Unsurprisingly it was Bob who answered. "Hes a Rememberer."
  • 32. "A simself kid?" he heard Zane ask. "What about her?" He motioned to the blonde on the floor."The same. Thankfully she hasnt woken up, yet.""I havent encountered a Rememberer before, I think we only have one or two in my verse. We just dont have that manysimselves in my verse so this isn’t a problem."Bob snorted. "Youre lucky."Zanes face darkened briefly. "If you want to call it that."
  • 33. Wil was distracted from Zane and Bob by another pillar of light that preceded the arrival of someone else in the waiting room.He immediately cast his eyes at the cloaked figures feet then let out another moan. It was his Aunt Star.
  • 34. For a few moments, things seemed to calm down. Aunt Star got up faster than either Uncle Izzy or Elizabeth who were both stilldown for the count. The woman looked around and seemed to shrug, seemingly accepting things better than Wil was at themoment. He stared at her as she went over to Uncle Izzy and nudged with him with her foot.
  • 35. "Five more minutes," Izzy moaned and rolled over. Then, as if realizing he wasnt in bed he sat up straight, his eyes dartingaround wildly. For a moment, he thought Uncle Izzy was going to start screaming and crying like he himself had done when hedfirst woken up in this place. Then a lethargic calm seemed to come over him, much like how Aunt Star was behaving. It was odd.
  • 36. As if sensing his confusion, the unhooded Reaper, Zane, looked over at him. "Its because theyre not Rememberers," the mansaid.Wil wrinkled his brow in confusion. Theyd been saying that term ever since he showed up in this place, but he still wasnt quitesure what it meant.
  • 37. Zane walked over toward him slowly. Then stopped a few paces away and leaned on the wall. Close enough to have a conversationwithout it seeming weird, but far enough away so that Wil didnt feel threatened.Screwing up his courage, Wil asked. "Dont they know theyre dead?"Zane shrugged. "Yes and no. They know theyre dead. They dont know what it means or how they got here."That was all the conversation that the two could have before something else interrupted.
  • 38. Elizabeth screaming.
  • 39. Wil retreated into himself and Zane seemed to understand that the teen wasnt up for talking.Across the room, Bob the Hula Zombie had managed to calm Elizabeth down enough that the girl was only crying softly."Weve got more incoming, sir!" the yellow woman called out.
  • 40. "Fuck!" the figure Wil had identified as Shin exclaimed. "How many?""Uncertain, sir. Shes starting back up again."Shin swore again. "Okay, someone follow me. Lets try to keep this as orderly as possible." He looked around the room. "Andcan someone start these spirits on their questionnaires and paperwork?""Yes, sir!" another ghostly figure chirped.
  • 41. "Questionnaires?" Wil asked.Zane snorted. "Theyre a waste of time. I never ask my reaps to do them.""Oh.""That stays between you and me."
  • 42. Wil nodded. He didn’t have time to say anything because the lei-wearing reaper returned with his reap and Wil felt the blood inhis veins turn to ice.It was his cousin, Palau. The current generation’s heiress.And her mother was a simself.
  • 43. Wil glanced up at Zane. “She’s going to be like me.”“What?”“Her mom’s a simself. She’s going to remember.” Wil was surprised at how hollow his voice was. He felt a twinge of guilt runthrough him. The fact that his cousin was lying in front of him, he felt like he should be crying or something. But he felt emptyand numb, it must be shock, he thought to himself.
  • 44. “Crap,” Zane said with some heat. “I’ll tell Spicoli.” He motioned to the lei-wearing reaper.
  • 45. Wil watched Zane relay the news to the other Reaper who took fairly well. Or at least that is what he made out of the oddgesture Spicoli made.
  • 46. Spicoli then seemed to shrug and a long blond haired man wearing swim trunks and flip flops appeared in his place. “I’ll take careof the wahine, brah. She’ll be fly. Just needs some pizza and juice.”Zane looked confused for a moment then shook his head.
  • 47. “He’ll watch out for her,” Zane said coming back over to near Wil.“And get pizza and juice?”“At least it’s not bubbles and brew.”“I don’t think she’d mind,” Wil said thinking of Palau’s behavior at the party.“She might not. But I don’t think Shin would approve.”
  • 48. As if summoned, the bright light returned and this time Wil felt his breath catch in his throat when he glimpsed the body at thefeet of Shin. It was Rose, Joss best friend other than his cousin Kor. She was also Dreas daughter.A shiver went down Wils spine. It was going to get worse, he knew it and he felt himself start to tremble.
  • 49. Zane seemed to notice and asked him softly, "Whats wrong?"Wil just shook his head, unable to voice the words. He just stared at the spot where the reapers appeared with their charges andwaited.
  • 50. He didnt have long. Another bright light and the next arrival appeared. This time Wil wasnt the one to stiffen in surprise, hiscompanion looked at the teenager in a fauxhawk and the reaper gasped."Quinn..." Zane whispered.
  • 51. Wils head whipped toward the man. How in the hell did this Reaper know his cousins boyfriend?Zane didnt seem to acknowledge Wils curiosity, he just slumped further against the wall and closed his eyes. Wil could makeout the mans mouth moving, forming words, but he couldnt hear what he was saying.
  • 52. Are you okay?" he asked after a few moments.Zane shot the teen an indecipherable look. "No," he answered finally. "But I dont think anyone is okay tonight."Wil couldnt help but agree with him.
  • 53. It was quiet for a few minutes, the office ghosts were seated around all of the arrivals except for Elizabeth, Palau, and Wil askingquestions and making little notes on a clipboard when the sims answered. They all seemed to be giving the three simself kids awide berth. Well, other than Bob, Spicoli and Zane, Wil amended. Zane hadnt left Wils wall and Bob was still seated withElizabeth, one arm around the blonde girls shoulders. Spicoli had been good to his word and he and Palau were seated on onecouch eating pizza. The two other reapers were off to one side talking quietly among themselves, every so often casting a lookover toward his side of the room.Wil appreciated the quiet, he didnt want to think about the fact that seven people he knew had been murdered. One of themmore than murdered, annihilated.
  • 54. Then a thought struck him. "Its not over, is it?" he asked, half to himself.Zane heard him though and answered, "No, it isnt. If it were over, wed get the all clear signal so those of us from other versescould go back to them. And the secretary would get the notification that visitors would now be allowed."
  • 55. Wil looked up at the other man in confusion. "Visitors? Were dead, whod visit us here?""Other dead people, of course. Those that have passed on." Zane smiled comfortingly at Wil."So you mean like Aunt Osaka or Grampa Yakko?""Yakko?" Zane asked. "Youre his grandson?"
  • 56. Wil nodded. "Yeah. He died when I was little but Joss and Dad told me all about him," he said softly. He then pointed across theroom. "Uncle Izzys his son. Palau’s the heiress to the challenge he founded. The alien kid that was lost was one of hisgranddaughters."Zane sighed. "Damn. I wish Id known."Wil looked at him sadly. "Would it have made a difference?"The man nodded. "I wouldnt have tried to do it myself, Id have asked Jack or Spicoli to do it. Theyve been reapers longer thanme."
  • 57. "But why is it such a big deal?"Taking a deep breath, Zane gave Wil a sincere look. "Because Yakkos my friend.""Oh.""Im sorry about your cousin? Sister?""Cousin.""Im sorry. I really am. She... it..." he trailed off, his hands making helpless motions.
  • 58. Screwing up his courage, Wil asked. "Can you tell me why Muscat was so hard to reap? Thats the right term, reap?""Yeah, its the right term," Zane responded and sighed again. "I probably shouldnt tell you this, its probably some ReaperSecret, but you know what? I dont care. You deserve to know!"
  • 59. Shins pager went off as the secretary ghost cried out at the same time. "Incoming!"
  • 60. Zane looked at the reapers across the room and then drew up his hood. "But Ill tell you later."Wil nodded and settled down to wait as Zane and Shin walked through the door leading to his home universe.
  • 61. The minutes passed and Wil found himself watching Elizabeth. She was no longer crying but instead was looking at Rose, curiosityetched on her features.She turned to Bob. "Why is she here?" she asked softly. "I mean, how did she die?"
  • 62. Spicoli answered. "She died protecting some blue-haired dude. Pushed him out of the way and took the bullet herself."Elizabeths eyes widened and Wil felt his doing the same. Rose had died saving Joss. Shed let her mom kill her rather than letJoss die. The thought was kind of staggering.The blonde girl shrugged off Bobs arm. "I need to talk to her."Bob looked at her sadly. "She wont remember what youve talked about when shes resurrected if she is."
  • 63. Elizabeth nodded. "I know. She wont remember but I will. And I know my moms going to resurrect me. I know it. Dad wouldnever forgive her if she didnt.""Your mom may not have a choice," Bob pointed out."Shes the director-person," Elizabeth stated firmly."Yeah, shes the avatar, but shes not the one moving the mouse.""Ill be resurrected. And right now, before I am, I need to talk to Rose."Bob shrugged. "Have at it, girlie."
  • 64. Elizabeth walked over to where Rose was sitting filling out paperwork. However before she could say anything, she, and everyoneelse in the room, was distracted by two pillars of light signaling the return of Zane and Shin with two more dead souls.
  • 65. Unlike the rest of the arrivals, these dead souls were standing upright and seemed to be restrained by their Reaper companions.Then the light surrounding them faded and Wil could see just who the new arrivals were.Uncle Onslow and the woman who had killed Wil and probably everyone else in the room, Andrea Fitzhugh. Drea.
  • 66. Drea was dead, but she didnt seem to register the change in venue. She struggled against Shin trying to attack Uncle Onslow but thereaper held fast. "Ill kill you, you bastard! This is all your fault! Everything is your fault! You did this! I don’t know what you did, but it’syour fault! I’ll kill you for this!" she raged.
  • 67. Uncle Onslow just chuckled and looked pleased with himself. "I would beg to differ. You are much too late to kill me seeing as weare both already dead."
  • 68. Drea looked around the room seeming to take in the ghosts, reapers, and dead souls there. "How?" she breathed then shotOnslow a venomous look. "This your fault. If you hadnt cheated on me, none of this would have happened. If you and yourdamned family had died like you were supposed to in that fire, I would have never killed my daughter. You fucking made me kill mydaughter, you bastard.""Your logic is quite warped, woman," Onslow sneered. "I will take responsibility for not loving you as much as I loved my beloved,but the rest? Those were your own actions."
  • 69. Drea lunged forward trying to get at Onslow all the while screeching incoherently.
  • 70. Onslow just looked amused and then turned to Zane. "Do you think you could uncuff me? I swear on the soul of my wife and thewell-being of my children that I will not make any trouble."Zane glanced at the man sympathetically. "Its not my call to make..." He looked at Shin with a questioning expression on hisface.
  • 71. The other reaper shrugged. The movement unsettling his hood revealing features very different from those of Zane and Spicoli."Hes a Rememberer but hes also died before. So its up to you.“Wils brow wrinkled. Uncle Onslow had died before? When? And how had he gotten back?
  • 72. Shrugging his hood back, Zane asked a similar question. "Hes died before? But I dont remember you talking about this simselfkid in the office.""Thats because youre not in the office enough," Shin shot back. "But to answer your question, hes a vampire. I never reapedhim, but that doesnt mean he didnt die."
  • 73. "Oh." Zane turned back to Onslow. "So you arent going to go crazy if I let you go?""I am already quite insane, thanks to that woman. But I will not cause you or any of your office any grief.""Okay," Zane said. The reaper then snapped his fingers and Onslow was free.
  • 74. The man shot a triumphant look at Drea before very deliberately turning his back on her and walking away, rubbing his wrists.Onslows red eyes flicked about the room taking in all of the spirits there and those not there. But the man didnt say anythingbut walked over to where Israel was seated and leaned against the couch next to the teen.
  • 75. Shin snapped his fingers and a small barred room appeared around Drea, and the waiting room seemed to let out a collective sighof relief. It was over.
  • 76. On cue, all of the reapers pagers went off and the secretarys phone rang. "Hello," the ghost answered while the reaperschecked their devices. "I see... Thank goodness for that... Ill tell them...""Weve got the all clear." Shin looked over toward her expectantly. "What did Nancy say?" he asked."The same. She also warned that there was quite a lot of visitors for this bunch. Including...." she trailed off.
  • 77. Shin sighed. "I know. You dont need to tell me. Just the last names on my reap list were enough. Youve hidden all of thewhiteout and permanent markers, right?""Theyre locked in my bottom drawer.""Okay, send them in."
  • 78. Wil didnt have time to ponder just who they were talking about because he was distracted by several doors appearing at once.The reapers and office ghosts left through the smaller doors. Going back to their respective universes, Wil guessed. All exceptfor Zane who had walked back to the wall by Wil and was leaning on it again and Spicoli who was still talking animatedly to Palau.The large door was a bit of a mystery. It looked foreboding but then Wil remembered what Zane had told him earlier, that thespirits in the waiting room would get visitors. He wondered if anyone would come for him.
  • 79. The door opened and a familiar figure jumped through and struck a pose. "Hello everybody!" Then the dread-locked man skippedover to Shin who seemed to be trying his hardest not to facepalm. "Didja miss me Shiny-Shinnie-Poo? Is that a new hair color?I like! Its all nice and silvery and stuff."
  • 80. "Hello, Yakko," Shin said with a long suffering sigh. "Why am I not surprised that youre the first one here?"Yakkos eyes got wide. "But Shiny-locks, how could I stay away? I mean you know how much I love you and Gladys! Hello,Gladys!"The yellow secretary ghost waved back from her desk.
  • 81. " And look, Spicolis here," Yakko continued. “How’s it hanging?"The surfer reaper laughed. “Killer, brah! Killer. We’re chillin’ and having some food. Then the wahine and I are doing somebubbles later. Wanna join?”“Oh yeah! You have the best bubbles!" He mimed floating in the air. He quickly recovered and bounced around Shin. “But that’snot why I’m here. I saw the arrival board and I knew I just needed to be here first to see everyone."
  • 82. He paused and a deadly serious look came over his face. "And youre going to let me see them, arent you, Shinnie-poo?"Shin nodded. "I hadnt planned on keeping you away."
  • 83. The seriousness faded away as quickly as it had come. "Good! So who to see first?" he asked, tapping his chin. "I know! All ofthem!" Yakko made a motion as if to separate himself into multiple copies.The reaper placed one hand on Yakkos arm. "One at a time, I dont need more than one of you running around.""Aww, Shin! You dont let me have any fun! Just for that, Im going to play at your house next week!"Shin facepalmed. "I cant win."
  • 84. During the exchange, a few spirits had wandered into the waiting room. Most of them, WIl recognized, but a few wereunfamiliar. Such as the fireman, policewoman, or another man with large black wings. A few confused him, like the director-person’s husband, Scott, Rose’s dad, Mr. Fitzhugh, and a wolf-like dog. Then there were the ones he expected to see, AuntOsaka, Gramma Jo, and...
  • 85. "Beloved!" Onslow cried, running toward the spirit that entered the room last. He enveloped the woman in his arms and bent downto kiss her lips.
  • 86. Wil glanced away to where Drea was encased and saw her beating her fists against the bars. Thankfully he couldnt hear her,since he imagined that she was screaming loud enough to puncture eardrums.
  • 87. Wanting to find out who the visitors would go to, Wils eyes darted around. The faux-hawked man was talking with both Rose andQuinn. Odd. But the two did look a lot alike and Quinn and Erin didnt mention who their dad was. Which if what his gut wastelling him was true, it meant that Rhys Fitzhugh had more than five kids in Wils world.The director-person’s husband was talking softly with Elizabeth. Aunt Osaka was hugging Onslow and alternatively punching himplayfully in the arm. Aunt Olive had taken a step back and was watching the whole proceeding with sad eyes. Gramma Jo washugging Uncle Israel warmly. While Aunt Star pounced on the dog giving him belly rubs and hugs.
  • 88. Then his eyes found Grampa Yakkos. The dread-locked man looked from him to Palau to Israel then back again. Wil could almostfeel the indecision in the man. It was obvious Yakko wanted to spend time with both his children and grandchildren but didntknow how who to approach first. Yakkos head tilted to one side slightly when he caught sight of the winged man. Hisgrandfather then locked eyes with Zane and gave a small nod.Zane sighed but nodded back.Wil was confused again. What in the hell had just happened?
  • 89. He didnt have long to ponder that when the winged man walked over to him. "Wil Wheaton Warner?" the man asked. He lookedfrightening with his black clothes, stompy boots, messy hair, and black wings. The expression on the mans face did not easeWils sense of dread."Yeah?" he answered tremulously.
  • 90. "Im Spider Jerusalem Vetinari," the man said as if that explained everything. It didnt and at Wils blank glance the mancontinued. "Your mom asked me to help you."
  • 91. Wil looked up at Spider with a confused expression on his face. "My mom? How do you know my mom?""This isnt the place to talk about it, kid.""How do I know my mom sent you, then?" Wil asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "You could be a psychotic murderer.""Nope. Just related to one.""Like that makes me feel any better."
  • 92. "Im here to help you, not kiss your boo-boos and make it better. If you dont want my help, fine. I got other things to do." Spidergave his wings a stretch and started to turn away.Zane came over and put a hand on Spiders shoulder, stopping him from walking away. He looked at Wil. "Its okay. Spiders afriend. We know your grandfather." He called out "Hey, Yakko!"
  • 93. Grampa Yakko spun around, dreadlocks flying, nearly hitting Uncle Izzy in the face, but Uncle Izzy was too out-of-it to care. Hewaved enthusiastically. "Hey, Zane! Hey, Spidey-Widey! Can we do smores later?""I fucking hate it when he calls me that," Spider grumbled, but called back, "Raincheck on the smores, Yakko.""Yeah, thats a good idea. I got a Reaper to torment anyway," Yakko agreed.
  • 94. Wil stood up, using the wall for support, and walked over to Grampa Yakko. "Grampa? The guy with the wings wants me to go withhim. Should I?""Of course you should! There will be smores! Spidey-Widey makes the best smores ever!"
  • 95. "Wil? Its probably easiest if you dont hang around here too long," said Zane. "Youre a Rememberer, and itll complicate thingsfor everyone if you stay. Go with Spider.""Think of it this way," Spider said. "The worst that could happen already has." He shrugged. "Come with me, or stay. No skin offmy ass, although apparently there will be treats if you come.""Oh, uh.... Ill go then, I guess," Wil said. He had to trust that Grampa Yakko knew what he was talking about.
  • 96. Zane walked over to the yellow see-through woman. "Wil Wheaton Warners coming with us. Page me if you need him for anything.""Thanks for all your help, Zane," she said. "We really appreciate it. Let us know if we can return the favor.""This is one favor I hope I never have to call in," Zame replied sadly.
  • 97. "You coming too, Zane?" Spider asked. Zane nodded. "Okay." Spider went to the nearest door, which Wil wasnt even sure hadbeen there a second before. He put his hand on the knob and gave it a twist. "Lets go." He pulled open the door and steppedthrough. Zane waved Wil through, and followed close behind.
  • 98. They entered a garden lined with flowers and statues; in the center was a huge fountain that Wil longed to pour soap into. Theredidnt seem to be anywhere to sleep, or eat, or crap. It was just a garden in the middle of a desert landscape. The lack of anycreature comforts surprised him, but then he realized that he wasnt tired, or hungry, and he didnt need to go to the bathroom.Wil supposed it was a side effect of being dead. "Where are we?" he asked.
  • 99. "My place," Spider said."You live here?" Wil realized how dumb the question was as soon as it was out of his mouth."A little late for that," Spider said wryly. He waved a hand, his eyes going completely black. Some comfortable outdoor furnitureappeared in front of them."Howd you do that?" Wil was shocked."Like I said, this is my place. Its whatever I want it to be, or whatever I need it to be. Its a construct of my imagination, if thatmakes sense. It exists because I want it to."
  • 100. "That doesnt make sense, but nothing else here does." Wil sat down on the edge of the fountain, surreptitiously poking theleftover soap bubbles. "So how do you know my mom?""You know about SimSelves, right?" Spider asked."Well, duh, my mom is one," Wil said, putting all of the teenage scorn he could muster into the sentence."Okay, but do you know what that means?" Spider replied.Wils brow furrowed. "Um... um... um... What do you mean, what does it mean?"
  • 101. "Was I this dumb when I was your age?" Spider asked rhetorically.Zane shrugged."Look, Ima nutshell this for you," Spider said. "Your world isnt the only one out there. There are dozens, hundreds, maybe more.Youre from this one. Im from somewhere else. Zanes from a third place. The Reaper Jack? From somewhere completelydifferent. And each world has a SimSelf in charge of it. SimSelves are special. They can move from world to world. We generallycant. Where you are right now, this is the Dead Realm, and the rules are different here. The Dead Realm is sort of the nexus ofall the worlds.""Its the heart of the multiverse," Zane supplied. "Its like the only truck stop on a dimensional highway. Sooner or later, allworlds touch the Dead Realm."
  • 102. "But I saw Roses dad," Wil said. "He was different, though, and he wasnt just with Rose. He was talking to someone else, who Iguess was his son? But not in my world. How does that work?""Youre going to be here for a long time, and I dont want to give you information overload right now," Spider said. "Basically, youare the original you, but you can exist other places as an echo." He turned to Zane. "How many times have you been throughpuberty now, Zane?"Zane sighed. "Four, so far."Wil shuddered. "Once is bad enough.""Tell me about it," Zane said.Spider smirked. "Everyone wants me as an adult."
  • 103. Wil glanced at Spider. "So my moms a SimSelf, which makes her special. Why does that make me a Rememberer? Whats aRememberer?“
  • 104. "SimSelf children have some of their SimSelf parents specialness," Zane said. "And generally, SimSelf children dont die violentdeaths, if they die at all. But the ones who do die prematurely remember how they died, and what happened on the Dead Realm aswell as in other universes they’ve visited. They also seem to have access to some simself powers although that’s a crap shoot."
  • 105. “So that’s why I remember being older…” Wil trailed off. Then he turned away from Spider and Zane. “I dont want toremember! I dont want to be special! I don’t want powers! I want to not be dead. No offense, but this sucks!" the teen shouted.
  • 106. "We dont make the rules, kid. Were not even enforcing them," Spider said. "Your mom asked me to help, thats all.""Who is she to ask you?""Your moms the SimSelf who created my world," Spider said with a sour look on his face. "Believe me, I owe her exactly jackfucking squat, but trying to help you deal with this is the right thing to do."
  • 107. Wil turned to Zane. "What about your SimSelf?"Zane shrugged. "I must have one, but weve never met.""Yeah, but she beats on you like a redheaded stepchild," Spider said.
  • 108. Wil thought for a moment. "So, Mom is your Director-Person?""Pretty much," Spider said. "The terms change, but the ideas the same."
  • 109. "Then why did my Director-Person let her own kid die?""No clue," Spider said. "Were not privy to the intimate details of your universe." He narrowed his eyes at Wil. "And dont think Idont see you having thoughts about dumping soap into my fountain."
  • 110. Zane ran his hands through his curls. "Spiders very possessive of his fountain. He really hates when anyone else soaps it.""Sorry," said Wil. "Its just been a really bad day."
  • 111. Zane flashed Spider the sad puppy eyes. Spider sighed. "Fine." He held out a hand, and a box of soap appeared in it. "Take it," hesaid to Wil. "But just this once."
  • 112. Wil hesitantly accepted the box of soap, and then upended it into the fountain. "Thanks. I feel a little better now."
  • 113. "Youre welcome," Spider said with poor grace."So how long am I going to be here?" Wil asked. "Who decides who gets to be resurrected? Whats going to happen to Drea? Isshe getting resurrected too? What about Uncle Onslow? How are they going to know that Muscat cant be brought back? Whatam I going to do while Im waiting?""One question at a time," Zane said calmly.
  • 114. "The time thing... Not gonna lie, thats pretty well gonna suck for you," Spider said. "Your mom explained about some sort ofrestriction or something, where no one can get a promotion until the heir has a baby, which considering the heir’s dead means thatthey’re kind of screwed. Which means no one can get a Bone Phone, so you all are just going to be hanging out on the Dead Realmuntil some miracle happens which considering the body count isn’t fucking likely. So it’s going to be a while.""That sucks," Wil said."I did say that," Spider reminded him."Yeah, you did. Are you sure theyre bringing me back? Who gets to decide?"
  • 115. "From what I was told, Im damn sure youre getting brought back, along with everyone else, except for Drea and Muscat. Theonly way anyone else is staying dead is if they want to stay dead." Spider cocked his head. "Not sure about your uncle, though."
  • 116. Zane chimed in, "Technically, Drea could come back, but I doubt Rhys would want to resurrect her.""One of her kids might," Spider pointed out. "Or one of her minions."Zane made a face. "Ill pull some strings, then. Take her to the Punished Realm myself, make sure no one can bring her back."
  • 117. "Thanks," Wil said dully. He was relieved that she wouldnt come back, but that didnt change what had already happened."As for your uncle, hes a special case," Zane said. "Technically, he committed suicide, which would mean hed end up an officeworker, but he also committed murder, so he should go to the Punished Realm." He shrugged. "Its Shins problem, not mine.""Isnt he also a Rememberer?" Wil asked."Not my problem," Zane reiterated.
  • 118. "You said that if someone didnt want to come back, they didnt have to, but how would the alive people know not to try?" Wilasked."Its up to the SimSelf in charge of the world to make that known," Spider said."I dont think anyones going to want to listen to the Director-Person at this point," Wil said. "Theyll probably be even more madwhen they find out Muscat cant come back."
  • 119. "Dont worry about it right now," Spider said. "Well--theyll--figure something out when the time comes.""So where am I staying? Do I go back to the gray room with everyone else?" Wil asked.
  • 120. "I said Id help, but Im not inclined to take on a permanent roommate right now," Spider said. "You can stay here sometimes, aslong as you understand what a sock on a doorknob means.""You can stay with me sometimes too," Zane said. "Im technically not allowed, but some rules are meant to be broken."Spider sighed. "I suppose this means I need to imagine myself an actual house with actual doorknobs.""I wouldnt mind that so much either," Zane said.“Prude.”Zane just shrugged.
  • 121. Looking at Wil, Spider sat down and said, "Listen, Im not gonna lie to you here. This sucks, and its gonna be rough, especiallyafter you get resurrected and youre the only one who Remembers all of this, because youre gonna be here for a lot longer thanthe other Rememberer who came in with you. I might not feel obligated to my SimSelf, but I sure as hell know what it was like tobe lonely, and you dont have to be. If you Remember nothing else, Remember that people are here to help you."
  • 122. Wil chewed his lower lip nervously. "So what do I do now?"
  • 123. Spiders eyes went black for a second. He waved towards a chess board that had sprouted out of the lawn. "Care for a game?“ ~*~
  • 124. That’s it for this chapter. Next chapter will cover, well, stuff. There are some people that need to be thanked here.For letting me use and abuse their sims: Orikes, SmoothieQueen, Peasant007, DocSupremeNerd, OliveTheGreat.I also need to give special consideration to DocSupremeNerd and Peasant007 for helping me with writing this. They were herewhen this was initially written out. And yes, I had permission to kill Quinn, again. Trust me there is a good reason for this.If you have any questions about how the Dead Realm or the people in it work please go read this:http://sims-crossing.livejournal.com/22184.htmlComments make the words and pictures flow and inspire me to continue, so I hope to hear from youUntil next time. Happy Simming!