Everywhere Girl #1 (of 4)

A Welcome to Everywhere

Think of a remarkably pale girl, with the slightest hint of chocolate skin tone, dressed in an inadequate, spiky leather outfit. Now, picture her dropped into a swirling gray mass of space, time, matter, energy, and thought - if you can - and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Finally, think of several menacing shapes in the background, sort of indistinct through this blender of creation, and you're there!

(That should do for a 'cover', shouldn't it?)

Notice: for those of you that are faint of heart, the following tale isn't exactly what one would call G-rated in nature. It contains a plethora of bad language, excessive violence, sexual innuendo, and of course, things that would get this story burned, were it in a printed form, by the more fanatical elements of just about any religion on earth. In other words, if these things offend you - you've been warned.

(That should do for a 'disclaimer', shouldn't it?)

***

Franky Gray had taken to wandering the earth. Well, wandering across America, at least, as she was what one could refer to as being a particularly wanted young woman. Being legally dead has no bearing on this, as she managed, after her death, to rob a bank and mangle a police officer. She wasn't quite herself during that period, of course, but that didn't make her feel better. Even if she was forced to behave so, the simple fact of the matter was that she did.

So, trying to atone for what she'd done, Franky decided to walk the earth, hoping to use the abilities she gained in her bizarre resurrection to help others. You see, Franky is a rejuvenate, a person brought back from the dead via an arcane, technomantic process that enhanced her strength, stamina, and durability significantly. She was supposed to be the prime servant of a mad mage, but a particularly curious Voodoo Houngan freed her from that fate.*

It was after this that she hit the road, and having walked for several weeks, Franky has finally arrived in the second largest metropolitan area she'd ever experienced: downtown Omaha, Nebraska; she'd never left Chicago until now, and was generally avoiding the bigger cities if at all possible. Her arrival in this particular city was unavoidable, and after walking its streets for several hours, she wound up in a shabby looking dive called Kwan's Steakhouse.

There were several tables and booths at this dingy looking bar and grill, with two doorways leading out - one went to the restrooms, and the other went downstairs, from where the sounds of high tech music was issuing forth. Ordering a quarter pound burger and a big glass of caffeine filled citrus soda, Franky inquired about the nature of the downstairs area. The bartender, a man named Kwan, said "It's the dance club."

"Well, the dance clubs, anyway. There's three of 'em down there, but I have to warn you, missy..." Kwan stopped for a dramatic pause, during which he acquired an almost comically ominous appearance. "There's a lot of weirdoes down there in the club. Enter at your own risk. Oh, and your burger'll be ready in five minutes." Franky sat down to take in the sights, and internally grooved to the techno beats and such coming from downstairs.

Once her order arrived, and she'd eaten her full of high-grade Omaha beef burger and Idaho potato French fries, Franky decided to trek downstairs to this so called club of weirdoes. After all, with her enhanced physique, what could possibly hurt her down there? Bullets bounced off of her body, for Pete's sake! Once she'd descended the stairs, she saw the sign that announced that she had, in fact, just entered Club Invertebrate - and the name wasn't kidding!

There were all manner of what could only be described as freaks hanging out in the club. No, not your average club-going posers who dress all weird to make themselves feel alternative, but real freaks. Franky saw folks with greenish, scaly skin, a lady with large, sharp pincers instead of hands, a man with lumpy burn-scar flesh, and quintuplet bartenders - at least, all five of them at all five of the Club's bars looked absolutely identical to each other!

Over on the dance floor, there was a girl in rather short silver spandex shorts and a gigantic orange afro grooving out to the current disco beat, and this hideously old man in a saggy black leather bodysuit adorned with spikes everywhere was attempting to move with her. Of course, he only managed to drool all over the floor while eyeballing the disco queen, but that didn't stop either of them from having fun.

Somewhat overwhelmed, Franky decided that her best bet was to have a seat, to absorb all the weirdness she just walked into. Sure, the circumstances around her own so-called origin were weird, but her oddity was like a mere drop in the ocean of this strange place. Not that this troubled her any, but it was something unexpected, especially in the sleepy town she assumed Omaha to be. This required some looking into.

Before she could accomplish that, however, Franky was approached by a big man. A very big man, with oak-brown skin, a rippling muscular body that was hidden from sight by only a small pair of biker shorts, and - get this - four arms! Looking up at the exceedingly tall man, her vision hanging on his three inch high flat top for a good second or five, she then looked him in the eye and said, as calmly as she could, "Yes?"

The man smiled, his teeth almost glowing a brilliant white, and laughed. "Ah hah! You're a smooth one! Care for a drink?" Amused by this whole situation, especially the fact that this man sounded just like Barry White, Franky agreed to have one.

"Grog, please - sounds like this is going be an interesting night." The four armed man ordered, and the bartender delivered one flaming bowl of greenish Grog to the table. Franky sipped it, and coughed.

"Wow, that's strong!" She sipped again, and decided she liked it a lot, and then asked about her sudden admirer. "So, what the Hell is this place, and why haven't I seen you before? I mean, a four-armed giant like yourself ought to have gotten himself on the news at least once - if only for the novelty value." The man grinned again, and sipped his own drink, some sort of greenish, candy apple tasting brew.

"Fair enough. This is Club Invertebrate, as the sign says on the stairs, and it's a, shall we say, haven for folks that don't fit in outside. Of course, it's also the grounding point of a nexus between all manner of places. I'm really surprised you people don't know about it - I mean, it's on your world, and all, and-." As if he realized that he'd slipped, the four armed man suddenly clammed up, though Franky wasn't about to let him get away with it.

"Hey, now! 'My' world? So what are you supposed to be, some kind of alien? Bah! You're just another kook." Getting up to leave, Franky was nonetheless knocked down by a massive gust of air, coming from a small circular cage suspended from the ceiling. Looking at the thing, she saw that it was full of a blue nimbus of light, and as her eyes adjusted to it (as compared to the gloom of the Club), something jumped out at her drinking partner.

Smashing their table to tiny wood and plastic bits, the thing that jumped at Franky's multiply armed friend resolved itself into a big bag of scales, claws, and bloody-minded menace. "I have you now, Organ Donor! You can't make new bits of yourself faster than I can cut 'em off anymore, for I have mastered a spell of lightning swiftness! Ahaa!" In a blur of motion, the scaly horror that jumped the (apparent) Organ Donor began hacking bits off the 'alien'.

Franky watched in abject horror as arms, legs, fingers, hands, feet, and even heads were lopped off of the man, though he seemed to grow replacements almost as fast as they were being cut off. Mesmerized by the symphony of mutilation before her, Franky eventually realized that the clawed creature was right; her 'friend' was losing this battle of speed, and wasn't likely going to survive much longer. After all, ten times his body mass in parts lay strewn about him.

Though she didn't necessarily like the fellow, he didn't deserve this fate, and as such, she decided to help him out. Running forward, she kicked the savage beast in the back of the head, and a sucking sound suddenly revealed that her foot had gone about six inches into the monster's skull. It didn't seem to like this, though, and spun around to meet this new opponent head-on. "Don't like me killing your mate, eh? Take this!"

"What? Mate?! Why you!" Before Franky could get back at the beast, however, it hit her with a savage backhanded punch that sent her flying - flying right into that blue nimbus of light, and clean through! A momentary disorientation washed over poor Franky, and when she recovered, she wished she hadn't; the world around her was a blurry, chaotic soup of, of, of. She didn't know what to call it, save for... everything.

She saw strange energies swirling about, amidst visions of the past, present, and future. She saw bizarre places overlapping the familiar trappings of human civilization. She had strange visions of beasts mundane and fantastic, and devices used to control and combat them. She was subject to ideas mundane and awe-inspiring. She was, in short, immersed in the essence of the Between, that place which is at the center of all spaces and times, yet also outside them.

She then went into shock as the spatial, temporal, physical, spiritual, and conceptual forces around her battered all that which is her, and her mind swam through the essence of Creation's blender for an eternity, or merely a few minutes, she wasn't sure. It was definitely a wild ride, and it was even more shocking when somebody pulled her out of her union with the Between, somebody who was calling out her name.

"Franky! Franky!!" Wake up!!!" She focused back into a semblance of temporal awareness, and when she did, Franky was more than a little angry to see this four-armed goon, this Organ Donor, shaking her violently. Not only that, however, the man wasn't alone. He was floating in the midst of a conceptual renaissance with this blonde woman who was wearing nothing but a pink lacy outfit best suited for evening wear. Say, bedtime.

"I didn't tell you my name, you creep. You been following me?!" With that, the blonde woman in the inadequate dress spoke up. "For three weeks, young lady, after that Kedae knocked you through the Club's vortex. Since you didn't know where you were going, you apparently got knocked everywhere - namely, here. It took me quite a bit of time to yank you out of that state, you know... we almost lost you for good.

"You're lucky. We've never seen anybody survive a dunking in the Between for so long." Seeing that Franky wasn't really listening, but instead letting her mind wander around in the presence of the Between surrounding them, the lady in pink introduced herself. "The name's Psychoturge, and this is the Organ Donor, though I think you've met him. We wanted to thank you for saving his life. That Kedae thing that jumped him was good - real good."

Seeing her suddenly renewed blank stare, Psychoturge continued. "Demons. A particularly nasty brew of demons from some backwater spaghetti-time plane. It's a long story, we'll tell you on the way home." With that, the scantily clad woman in pink began waving her hands, and the three of them started moving through the everything, making their way back to the Club Invertebrate. As the doorway loomed in the distance, Franky stopped.

"Wait! You can't take me home, I haven't got anything left there! Besides, this place is perfect for me! You said this place is everywhere, it's this so called Between. I can use this! Use it to get away from home, get away from everything, and... and find out what I really want. You can't take me home!" She looked at the two of them, and the Organ Donor shrugged, an impressive maneuver for a man with four shoulders.

Psychoturge looked at the girl for a good minute or so, though admittedly time is what one makes it where they are, and nodded. "Fine, fine, fine. But we're not just leaving you here. You're coming with us for awhile, until you know what you're getting into. If you still want to stay after that, we'll let you. But, we can take you home any time, and let you get on with your life there. It's your call."

Franky pondered this for about six seconds, thinking about what a life she has on Earth, and decided against it. "I want to come with you." Psychoturge smiled, as the master psimancer sensed something of a potential in this youth, something she couldn't quite put her finger on just yet. But it was both something she could use and something significant in the cosmic scheme of things - how cosmic, however, she wasn't sure. Not yet.

She knew she would find out soon enough. After all, the girl wanted to play around in the Between, and if experience was any indicator, the Between often brought out the best in people - or the worst. And that was the problem, then, wasn't it? Was Psychoturge going to be the mentor of the multiverse's greatest new heroine, or its most terrible tyrant? Only time would tell - and there's all kinds of time in the Between...

* See Agency 13 #5.

***

Join us next time as Franky Gray is introduced to Psychoturge and the Organ Donor's many allies in the extraplanar mercenary group known as Departure. Will she begin to make the adjustment to a life amongst the multitudinous planes of existence, or will life in the Between drive the poor little rejuvenate to abject madness? Or will the diabolical Kedae finish them all off before any of these questions are answered? There's one way to find out... see you in thirty!

***

Everywhere Girl #1 (of 4) - A Welcome to Everywhere
© 2001, 2004, 2012 Denny Hill 2, All rights reserved and so forth.

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