A sane human might ask, ‘how did you know it would be Wonderland or Mole People?’. An insane person would naturally respond with ‘it was the drugs’. Portals and drugs lead to Wonderland in some form or another eighty percent of the time. Mole People however seemed to be my own special demon. They were everywhere, and I half suspected some cursed a statue of me as a symbol for doom.
I provided neither of the explanations to a delirious Ted. He was drugged on some sort of soup they had force fed down his mouth after capture. The Red Queen had decided that offing our heads could wait until the morning, and the part time villain journalist had been too flabbergasted by my nonchalance to fight back. By the time he tried to use his little red orbs whatevers, they had blasted him with a spray that smelled like mildew and bark.
And why should I care about fighting back? In my version of the world there was no personal fear of death. Postponing our death until morning meant certain disaster would happen tonight. In a Wonderland that meant Alice, or some other person who fit the role. I had met an Alan once in some reverse gendered version with a Red King with disgustingly thick thighs. If you think it was a bit twisted, then you’d be right. They put me in leather bondage gear and trussed me around like a pig. I took seven showers and went through two bars of soap in a hotel after that one.
Past trauma almost rolled off me at this point. That left me staring at the walls. Being jailed did suck in a lot of ways. My biggest regret was not having a television to pass time with. Imprisonment underground with glowing fungus for lighting was disturbing, disgusting, and boring.
“Ted,” I felt annoyingly calm.
“Here’s to you Missus Robinson,” he sung in response.
My eyes rolled and lips pulled to one side. We were in a dirt kingdom underground, getting out wasn’t an issue, for him anyway. Now that the immediate threat of the Red Queen was mitigated, we had to worry more about Alice. Alices, Alans, or Bobs from Accounting were all bad news. Other people in this sort of nightmare would probably put Ted at risk. I didn’t really want Ted to die. He offered me a job and that meant something.
“Teddy loves you more than you will know,” my jail cell partner said. He stood in front of a chunk of dirt with one hand against the wall. The smile on his face might have been captivating to certain woman, if he didn’t look so god damned drunk and stupid.
“Is that your real voice?”
“Real? Oh I can assure you they’re very real.” He nodded rapidly. “There’s a sway that no silicone can properly imitate, but it’s more obvious when she’s,” he whistled for a moment then shook his head rapidly. Blinking rapidly didn’t help, and soon Ted was on the floor giggling about something.
“Hey!” Spittle hit my back from shouting. One fist clenched and for the tenth time this week I wished for super strength or laser beam eyes.
Sharp metal reflected as a pointy stick jabbed through the bars. I flinched back, not wanting to be stabbed. Wanting my life to end didn’t mean the same thing as being masochistic.
“Get back worm!” the Mole Man guard shouted. More bits of dirt and spit flaked off towards us. One particularly gooey arc hung across three bars. Our guards eyes were mismatched, one milky white and the other shifted around aimlessly.
“I’m sorry Miss Jackson,” Ted mumbled while managing not to look apologetic in the least.
Metal scrapped violently down the hall. Chattering sounds echoed as someone yelled. The guard’s head turned while his ugly booger crusted nose started sniffing. He, it, whatever the potato sack wearing gender was, shouted then ran off. Other people could be heard scuffling with each other. A chill rippled down up my spine until then settled on a fear tightened crown.
“Back! Back I say! This is the Red Queen’s,” whatever the guard was shouting cut off with a gurgle.
“Stay away from the Queen’s prisoners!” another creature yelled. It’s voice slurred together words which nearly spat out before a scream echoed down the hall.
“Ted,” I started shaking the man’s shoulder while whispering. “Ted you need to go. Or we need to go. Pull out a doorway maker thing, we need to get out of here.”
Footsteps came first, slow steady pacing that echoed down the hall. Each one made the muscles in my neck tighten. I wasn’t afraid of mole people, rocks falling on me, being framed or free falling over a river, but that pacing did the trick. One foot shuffled along, not because the person was dead legged, but because they enjoyed the scraping sound.
They grew closer and I backed up to the rear of the dirt jail cell. My pathetic fingers tried to dig out dirt rapidly. Ted was snoring and I wasn’t sure how to operate his bio-regradable red orbs. Another creature gurgled loudly just around the corner. Our mole man guard with the glassy eye had probably been sent to an afterlife, or whatever it was overgrown drug induced rats went.
A woman stepped slowly into view. Her head tilted to one side and a grin stretched up forever. One of her eyes actually gleamed with a single shard of light as her vision located me. The music in my head cut out with a screech of noise. The lanky girl with four butcher knives strapped to her chest turned towards me.
You don’t understand how horrifying this moment was. I could paint out every single aspect of it, dress it up all prettily word words, and not be able to explain a terror so deep it came with its own soundtrack. I mean the kind of musical background that jangled at the wrong times with low baritone humming. See, she had a thing for me.
“Adam. Darling.” She wasn’t even loud.
In short, this scared the piss out of me. She wasn’t an Alice, or Alan, or someone filling the role. This was The Alice, a twisted version of every Goth’s drugged out nightmare while reading Lewis Carroll’s original works. She loved stabbing people, and thought we were dating. The stabbing was still a thing, despite our one sided relationship.
“Hey,” my voice shook with all the seriousness a lie could muster, “how’s it going beautiful?”
We were certainly not dating. This was the part in my halicanginic trip where I often swore never to hit the bong pipe, or any other version of drugs, ever again. I always promised, then wanted to destress. Normally I got a few hours after one hero encounter in which to breathe, it should have been safe to light up a simple reefer.
“It’s been almost two months. You never call, you never write.” The Alice actually sounded upset. She brushed back a strand of hair and revealed pale features with irises that were nearly black. One side of her face struggled to smile while the other displayed teeth that might have been sharpened.
“Only four weeks,” I tried to tone down the damage. Once we had made it three months without seeing each other. Not meeting her was on my top ten list of things not to do on a Saturday, mostly because her idea of showing affection involved being stabbed.
“Thirty eight days is not four weeks, it’s two months,” she responded with casually wiping one side of her knife off on the blue and white skirt. The Alice could outright hurt me. The Alice might be able to kill me, but she scared me too much to find out.
“Here’s to you Missus Robinson!” Ted woke up with an abrupt shout.
I froze as his words registered. The Alice too held very still, her thin shoulders were slack and the smile faded. My companions half mumbled groaning was the only noise. That and a skittering sort of background music that picked up in pitch as The Alice tilted her delightfully creepy head in my direction. She sudden scowled so hard it almost turned into a smile.
“Who’s this Robinson whore?” The Alice asked abruptly. “Is that where you go all the time? Back to her?”
“No, he’s just singing,” I tried to defend myself verbally while looking for a deeper hole to merge with.
“I don’t believe you Adam. You never call, you never write. It must be because of this hussy.” Her words shifted rapidly from mechanical and worn down to animated. The deep blacks of her eyes lifted with red swirls. Fresh blood dripped from the knife’s edge in a darker hue. Even the ambient fungus lighting started to shift colors.
Crazy, right? So I’ll pause the recount here with a hard learned life lesson. If a woman whose hobbies include gutting children’s story villains is even remotely attracted to you, don’t ever mention another girl in her hearing. Don’t even mention that you know other girls. Don’t mention that your mother, or grandmother are technically females. Hopefully you just popped into being and grew up in a vacuum. Of course that’s insane, but so is The Alice. And please, if you met The Alice, don’t tell her I ever mentioned any of this. Just smile, and tell that wonderful woman that I’m counting the seconds until our next reunion.
“Ted, Ted wake up now,” I muttered quickly. One foot kicked at him. There was no use; we were already off the deep end. The crazy switch had flipped to full blast and a floodgate of insane psychedelic jealousy was about to unleash upon us.
“Who’s Missus Robinson,” The Alice yelled at me through the bars. Her knife started sawing away at metal. Sparks flew off which only served to illuminate a maniacally twisted expression
I shoved Ted to one side then started digging through the small pouch he carried in a pocket. Probable immortality be damned, that woman scared the life out of me. When stuck between the mole people army of cards, or whatever they were, and a psychopathic killer whose sole purpose seemed to be dancing between bad versions of Alice in Wonderland, the choice was simple. Run far, and fast, then escape through the rabbit hole, looking glass, or puddle of water.
A handful of red orbs came out as Alice started finished sawing through the part half of a bar. The bottom still kept our cage secure, but it wouldn’t last long. I spilled the bag while whistling madly in hopes that something would work. Technomancer devices were picky, cranky, and usually useless for anyone but their owner.
Something did work. A dozen red orbs rattled around like dice settling. They started vibrating as The Alice’s sawing intensified. Dirt rumbled and part of the walls started crumbling. Walls like Telegraph’s secret layer started to form. False lava spilled across the floor behind us. Dumb luck or my superpower made an escape that didn’t let my crazed stalker in immediately.
I lifted up Ted then started shuffling forward., being high hours before had mostly worn off but the opening doorway taunted me with unsteady vibrating. Overhead the walls slowly transformed. The older reporter was still covered in questionable gunk.
“What’s going on?” He slurred the words. “I was, having a great dream about this, lady I used to know.”
“We’re going on a cruise, congratulations.,” I said.
The hallway split off in three directions. None of them looked safe. Dead bodies lined the right hallway, which meant that left might have cannon fodder to get in the way. Anything to slow down the woman chasing us. That or we might run into the Red Queen. These nightmare worlds, much like any alternate reality, started to break apart upon the big bad monster’s passing.
Right never worked out for me that well. Straight ahead was for stupid heroes with brute force. I went left. Right now, anything would be leaping from the fire back into a simple frying pan.
Metal scraped against walls which were still forming. That sound scared me into shuffling faster. Still, the sound grew closer, until it seemed to crawl up my spine.
“Adam,” The Alice said in a disturbingly delighted tone. “You know I don’t like it when you run.”
Of course I ran. The hallways were crumbling around us and reforming into a disturbingly large maze. Ted’s base must have been far bigger than expected, or I triggered some supremely huge setup intended for larger fights. I tried to whistle like he had done, in hopes that the red orbs would return or some other magical ability would kick in.
“Do any of these have portals?” I hadn’t thought until now to ask.
“No,” Ted sounded more coherent. His legs were still a mess, and were losing ground.
“Snackkkkkkkkkkk!” a large creature slurred in a deep enough rumble to vibrate the walls. The urge to wet myself hit because I realized this might actually be good for us, or me at least. “Snicker Snack! Snicker Snack!”
Dirt fell. Scraping of metal against metal stopped. I heard a very depressed sigh of air from behind us. The slow shuffle of steps that never seemed to fall far behind also stopped.
“What’s that!” Ted demanded with an abrupt head jerk.
“We need to run, keep running, don’t stop for anything!” I shouted then let the man go. He might be safer on his own. “Look for the queen!”
Ted’s body swayed while I wondered exactly what was wrong with me. The halls felt longer than they should be, fungus glowed along all the walls, creating a dull green ambiance. Despite the madness of our situation I was trying to be a hero again. My natural impulse to put other’s first wasn’t borne of altruism, but fatalism. People had been saved by me before, that counted as a positive moment in my life.
“What’s got your knickers in a twist,” Ted mumbled while staggering after me.
“Psychopath with a knife, very bad. Thinks killing people is funny.” I started off a long list of possible reasons. There were plenty.
“Adammmmmmm,” her voice sounded downright musical for a crazy woman. It be bottled up then sold to a porno or music company, maybe both. “Don’t think a Jabberwocky will distract me! Adammmmmmmmmm come back here and tell me all about this other woman!”
I think, knew really, that I had problems. Her voice actually sounded kind of attractive. Maybe if The Alice put her knife down, I mean, technically I was a virgin, at least in this dimension. No, that idea went out the window quickly. The Alice probably was a biter, or had razors in her undergarments. With my luck a Mat Hatter would appear out of nowhere then hit me with a teapot.
“Do you have lasers in that bag?” The next hallway looked suspiciously empty but fear made an idiot of me. “Like a level four death beams? We need a death beam. Yeah. Maybe that’ll hold her back.”
“Hold who back? What’s going on?” Ted walked after me with one hand pressed against his forehead. Upon the man’s other arm was a small glove. He drug it along the wall then licked his lips. A poor whistle came out.
“Beware the me! Snack beware me! I’ll eat you little worms!” The large rumbling bellow shook everything. A lava flow trickled into the large room behind us. I turned to look around for another exit but only found more hallways. Their destinations all looked the same.
I looked around with more than mild panic still making me jittery. The ceiling had no escape. There were no pitfalls or oddly confidential spike traps along the walls. Even the lava looked more like runny jello then anything capable of burning down a fantasy world city. The Alice wouldn’t be afraid of a drizzling snack.
“The Alice. We’re being chased by The Alice, the one who makes mothers drowning their babies look sane. The one that kills all the creatures in wonderland if given a chance,” I said in a rush.
There were objects rolling through the dirt rapidly towards Ted. Small red orbs flew out with pops like, I don’t know, surface to air missiles on their way towards a evil doer. Even drugged the man had priorities, it was admirable seeing a vaguely professional person working.
“Can you start over?” he asked while gathering up pieces from his collection. The lava stopped flowing, and there was a loud crash which shook the ground worse than anything else so far. One wall bulged abruptly.
The shuddering wall of dirt and roots made my heartbeat skip. One tried to rub away a stiffened expression. This week ranked high on the list of crappy weeks. The world conspired to keep me from feeling any happiness sometimes. I needed more levity in my life, without making fun of people. Maybe after this bout of nightmares I could find a hobby.
Ted had one hand under his arm. The man was cranking through costume while trying to make his eyebrows touch with each bang. A nearby wall shuddered from something being slammed. Long strands of black hair broke through the dirt and my stalker’s face grinned outward. She twisted around slowly and dirt gave way to a dimly lit room beyond.
“There you are dear,” The Alice spoke with dry monotone. Her eyes flashed red as a huge mutated mole rat bear conglomeration slammed in from the side.
“She’s rather eccentric,” Ted said. He had a microphone in his hand and the camera orb floated around. A shutter kept clicking as it changed angles.
I ignored them while waving my arms in the air. “Welcome to my life, if you survive, I would suggest sticking to phone calls. It’s safer for all of us.”
I wouldn’t mind having someone to talk to, even if it was mostly about business. We could call on weekends and talk shop about a job that barely made sense to me. Ted just needed to survive first.
He coughed once as the camera managed another lap. Dirt lined his face along with dull grey paste of some sort. Ted tried to wipe gunk off with a sleeve but only ended up smearing it more. Eventually his head shook and a professional smile emerged. The orb finished it’s lap and hovered at the ready, filming us.
“We’re here in a Wonderland of some sort, and once again our correspondent Adam has landed in a sticky situation. Adam, care to shed some light on what’s going on?”
“I’ve got a lot of great words for what’s going on,” I said. Walls shuddered again. The Alice’s wide smile preceded her form stepping through an ever widening crack. That hairy beast wasn’t dead yet, and barreled into her once again, carrying their battle on to new levels across from us.
“Adammmmmmmmmmmmm!” she nearly moaned in frustration.
“Is that sarcasm?” Ted’s head held still in complete confusion. The camera dipped lower in almost a depressive sigh. “I’m not sure we can make these segments work if you’re so sarcastic all the time.” He paused and stuck a finger in his head then wiggled it around. “Iggy, Angela? Are you there? Hello? I need an opinion.”
I exploded at Ted, he didn’t scare me.
“Of course it is. That’s me, no idea how to be serious in the face of absolute crazy. All sarcasm and poor wit, all the time. Every day, because my life is great! Haven’t you been paying attention to what I’ve said? It’s all hookers and lap dances in this bitch!” I rambled while trying not to panic.
A knife flew through a small opening and embedded itself into dirt behind me. The Alice’s eyes locked on mine briefly. “You better not be seeing any hookers,” she said before once again being pulled into combat with her version of a boss monster.
The hallway left had collapsed. Their titanic battle kept rumbling everything. At least the ceiling looked stable this time, being almost crushed by rocks was fine if someone like Ice Princess was around to save me. I did not want to be pressed up against Ted or The Alice while they begged me to keep living. Running out there and fighting the Jabberwocky personally would be more attractive, except me fighting monster’s never ended well either.
“So that’s sarcasm,” Ted said while wiggling his ear. He pulled the digit out then sneezed rapidly twice. He almost completely ignored our impending doom, well his, not mine.
“Can you not tell?” I asked, struggling for something sane to talk about while looking for an exit.
More hallways were crumbling, nearly all that remained was the ever widening hole between our room and where The Alice fought. My mind wasn’t thinking fast enough. The world kept moving and everything crashed around.
“Not really, I’m tone deaf. I can’t even hear myself talk half the time, my second wife left me because I couldn’t tell the difference between don’t stop, and don’t, stop. Usually got it wrong at the right time. She loved it.”
My eyes closed tightly as everything started to make perfect sense. Ted was insane. We were on a drug induced trip to another dimension, and a crazy person chased me because were dating, while another wanted to work me in a job. I should have known when he used giant gauntlets to slap around a super hero.
“Snackkkkkk!” Thudding shook the walls. The Mole version of a Jabberwocky, which looked like a bear with extendable arms and a fuzzy pink crotch, flailed around wildly. The Alice rode it’s back stabbing downward with her largest blade.
Ted coughed then pulled out two new orbs. His camera kept floating around. The orbs were shoved into dirt below us. The man actually had the nerve to flash me a smile while bobbing his head.
The Alice and her pray twirled by once more. She looked like a tiny girl riding the back of some giant bear with a pink thong. I was both amazed and horrified.
Ted kept humming happily. In front of him a dirt mound was taking shape. One long nozzle thrust outward. Gears and spikes dug into the ground. Dirt kept transforming until the new creation took on the shape of nearly perfect metal and wiring.
It’s tip started to light up brightly. Ted and I both covered out faces with arms to block out the light. The Alice stabbed downward and her mole monstrosity mount started to crumple. The hum built in intensity while the cannons’ front end slowly gathered energy.
“What’s going on?” I asked Ted. My words were lost, the second time I screamed at him.
“Death beam! Only a rank two though. Cost me six month’s wages.” He was smiling delightfully. “This’ll be my first time firing it at a person! The heroes always stop me! That and Iggy tells me it’s an insurance risk! But none of this is real right?”
The noise had grown worse. Ted’s last words faded under the building sound. I lowered one arm slightly and could see The Alice.
“What’s that Adam? A gift from your hussy?” she asked without much expression while walking through the wide opening. Behind her the lifeless foot of a huge hairy creature could be seen. Any other body parts were gone, and red blood stained the green illumination.
“It’s clearly a candy machine,” I yelled back.
In reality this was a huge laser. Ted actually had a giant weapon that even now was building towards its crescendo. The Alice tilted her head in confusion then started to grin again. She didn’t give a flying fuck about any old death beam, and why should she? The Alice was nearly impossible to actually kill. I knew, god help me, I knew.
The beam went off. My eardrums burst and the faint sound of Ted’s maniacal laughter died was replaced by a ringing that went on forward. Everything tilted sideways as gravity seemed to change its orientation. Both feet stumbled to catch my body.
I huffed rapidly with wide eyes. Death beams were extremely terrifying, and kind of the most awesome things ever. The walls were still crumbling. Our new dirt tunnel went
The Alice stood there, and only her clothes showed signs of being damaged. Smoke curled off them and the edges were blackened. She looked down at her knife and brushed off dried blood with her fingers.
I could hear her talking, the words were dull and muffled.
“See Adam? If that’s a gift from your foul gap toothed harlot Missus Robison, then I’m afraid you’ve picked the wrong slut’s legs to crawl between. I’m so much better than her in every way,” The Alice stood up and slowly walked as music built. That, the sound of crazy, wasn’t muffled by still ringing ears.
My foot slipped. To one side the ground started vanishing into a deep hole. Ted and I backed up slowly to one of the walls.
“I’m afraid the ground will be a bit unstable under us,” Ted said calmly. “See the cannon generates energy by converting dirt beneath it. A design flaw I’m afraid.”
“That sounds wonderful.” Even now the dirt shifted around.
“I’m not sure how this relationship will work if you continue to be so difficult,” Ted smiled and irritatingly bright teeth were clear despite his grimy features.
“What relationship?” The Alice spoke calmly from forty feet away. Her wide eyes peered out from under stands of pitch black hair. “What relationship Adam?”
“Nothing beautiful, just some crazy talk. He’s harmless really, we were headed to a doctor to get him tested for multiple personality disorder,” I started throwing out random excuses but she wanted none of my lines. “Between you and me, he’s the craziest one in the room.”
“Are you calling me crazy?” she asked.
“I would never dare,” I said quickly, but the warning bell in my head had broken outright. Psycho movie murder mystery music started playing its jaunty tone. I looked around for the source of the sound but found only a breaking underground world.
“Do you think I’m crazy? Is that how you were lured away by this other whore? I’m sorry Adam, but if I can’t have you, no one can!” The Alice said while outright running in our direction. “And it’s not crazy if it’s love!”
The ground crumbled beneath us. Ted and I fell backwards with wind milling arms, and The Alice leaped in after. Eyes glowed with sinister red as her knife point ignored the laws of gravity and seemed to propel faster than we fell. I screamed, I screamed like a god damned little girl in the middle of a nightmare.
Cut me some slack, a psychotic woman with a knife was about to kill me. You would scream too.
|Age:||17 Earth Standard Years (4 years running)|
|Generalized Ratings as follows|
|Strength:||5 [Above Average]|
|Intelligence:||4 [Narrow Focus]|
|Agility:||6 [Highly Mobile]|
|Luck:||3 [Self Only]|
|Attitude:||Morose, murderous, possible bi-polar|
|Other items of note|
|Special enough to be ‘The’ Alice, unique in that regard. Ranks ninth on kill count of imaginary or other dimensional creatures. Obsessive. Possibly isn’t real and might be a figment of someone’s imagination.|
The Alice is tentatively classified as an immortal and unkillable. This is difficult to verify since those who encounter her are usually drugged in some manner. Her primary weapon seems to be blades, but witnesses state she has wielded other absurd objects.
Always looks the same, black hair, white apron, blue dress, pale features. Occasionally the shoes change.
There seems to be a connection between unstable pocket dimensions and her presence. Experts in multiple fields have attempted to figure out if she creates these herself, or someone else trips into the mutable ether which patterns itself after buried concepts. (See Files on Pocket Dimensions, Ether, Other Reality creation, Espers and Doctor Hat Man)
The Alice has been found in reality, or at least a link has been established between one girl formally living in Nebraska and the entity known as ‘The Alice’.Alice, her name in real life, is psychically tied to The Alice. Until last summer she was checked into a psychiatric hospital for treatment that is ongoing. Based on the medical charts (retrieval of these is allowed under the Powered Regulation Act, Clause 6 regarding ‘High Threat’), she was on a number of drugs that keep her physical form nearly comatose most days.
She escaped custody following an increasingly worry amount of sessions regarding ‘Her Boyfriend’ and has not been seen since Christmas. Professor Jules has suggested that any boyfriend of Alice should be ‘vigilant’ and ‘wary’.