Death + Star (1-17-18)

Eva calls her ability to travel between dimensions “Slip,” and Slip is totally boring because every dimension is almost exactly the same until one day, one minor difference changes everything. [Link to post.]

Eva stepped out of her blue shimmering portal and stared around at the park, then sighed.

She always landed in the park, no matter which Earth she landed on. She slid off her backpack and rooted around in it, then pulled out her notepad and pen. After hefting the sack on her back again, she looked around at the strangers enjoying the sunshine. She spotted a handsome man sitting on a bench alone watching people. He wore blue jeans and a black t-shirt. She smiled to herself when she spotted a tattoo on his forearm.

“He’ll do.” Eva walked toward the man. He did not notice her until she stood in front of him.

“Hi. I’m Eva, and I’m conducting a poll about current events. Do you mind if I asked you some questions?” Her speech was practiced enough to sound honest. Determined to find differences between universes, Eva began to catalog every universe she visited. The man smiled at her and nodded.

“Sure, I guess. I’m not from around here though, so I doubt I’ll know any of the answers,” he said. Eva smiled and sat down on the bench next to him.
“Oh? Are you new to the area?” She asked. The man nodded.
“Just passing through. My name is Jake by the way.” Jake held a hand out, and she shook it. She stared at the tattoo on his forearm. A scythe with a golden 14 on the blade.

“That’s a cool tattoo,” Eva said. Before Jake could respond she continued talking. “Anyway, first question. You should know this even if you’re not from the area. Who is the current President of the United States?” Jake’s eyes rolled upward as he tried to think.

“Oh. Uhhh. Donald Trump?” Jake said with a shrug.

“Oh shit, really? I mean, yeah. You’re absolutely right.” Eva flipped to a new page in her notebook and wrote down his answer. It was the first time she heard it. She wanted to leave the universe then and there, but she wondered if Jake might like to travel with her. She didn’t know anything about him, though she found herself drawn to him for some reason.

“Do you like to travel?” Eva asked. Jake chuckled, and his eyes sparkled.

“Yeah, I do a good bit of traveling. That’s not a poll question, is it?” Eva blushed, but was interrupted by a kid’s voice yelling across the park.

“JAAAAAKE!” Eva turned to see a young pale boy dressed completely in black walking towards them.

“Oh, you have a son?” Eva asked. After running through a few scenarios in her mind she decided she would still invite him along, even if he was a single father. Her sigh of relief was almost audible when Jake shook his head.

“No, it’s more of big brother situation. You know, kind of like the organization?” Eva nodded and scooted closer to him to brush her knee against his.

“Hey Oren, what’s up?” Jake asked the boy when he arrived in front of them. The boy stared at Eva. “Hey, staring’s rude.” Jake said. The boy blinked.

“I’m bored. Let’s go,” Oren said. Jake looked at his watch, then shook his head.

“Nope. Still got an hour to go.”

“But-” Oren began to complain. Jake held up his hand and extended his pinky finger. A glimmering red thread was tied around it.

“Nope. This is my game right now. When it’s your turn you can pick the time frame.” Oren sighed heavily and looked up to Eva. She sat quietly watching the interaction. She thought it would be fun to join in.

“A game? That sounds fun, can I play?” Eva asked. Jake and Oren disagreed simultaneously.

“No.” Jake said.

“YES!” Oren reached out to grab Eva’s hand, then jerked his hand back the moment they made contact. Oren smiled. Eva thought she caught a glimpse of red in his eyes.

“Can I ask you a question first?” Oren asked. “It’s a fast question. Don’t think about it, just answer okay?” Eva smiled and nodded when it seemed she would get to play with them.

“What’syourfavoritenumber?” Oren blurted the question.

35

“Do you have a tattoo with the number 35 on it?” Jake asked. Eva nodded.

“I have a star with the number 35 on it, on the top of my foot.”

“Awesome! So what can you do?” Oren asked. He took a step closer to Eva and stared into her eyes.

“What?” Eva asked. Confused by how much they knew about her.

“What. Can. YOU. Do?” Oren asked.

“I have to go now,” Eva said. She closed her notepad and stood to leave.

“Wait,” Jake said. “Look.” Jake pointed at a couple jogging across the park. Eva looked and wondered what Jake wanted to show her.

“They’re just standing there?” Jake shook his head.

“Look closer.” Eva did. The couple was mid stride. The woman hovered in mid-air with both feet of the ground. The man kept one foot in the air, taking a large step. Neither moved.

“I can stop time,” Jake said. “What can you do?” he asked. He snapped his fingers and the couple continued their job. Eva sat down on the bench again.

“Whoa.” Eva took a deep breath. “I can Slip.”

“Slip? So you’re clumsy?” Oren asked with a giggle. “That’s not a power.”

“I can cross universes, I call it Slipping. I’m not actually from this universe,” she sighed with disappointment. “It’s not that great a power though. All universes I’ve been to are pretty much exactly the same. Though, this one has Trump as president, so that’s new.”

“You’re doing it wrong.” Oren said, followed by more laughter. Eva’s feelings were bruised a bit when she noticed Jake laughing too.

“What?” Eva asked.

“Can I see your hole?” Jake asked, then a sharp shade of red overtook his face. “I mean, your portal?” Oren’s laughter seemed to ignite Jake’s face even more. Eva blushed slightly and looked around at the park. No one nearby.

She stood and concentrated. A single drop of water appeared floating in the air, then it grew until it was big enough to walk through. Eva smiled at her blue shimmering portal, and turned to present it to Jake.

“I knew she was doing it wrong,” Oren said to Jake. Oren created a black dot in the air and it grew just like Eva’s. It looked like a hole in reality.

“What’s that?” Eva asked.

“This is what it’s supposed to look like,” Oren said smugly. Jake stepped forward.

“You probably just need more practice is all,” he said, to distract from Oren’s rudeness.

“That’s why everything is the same when you ‘Slip’,” Oren said while rolling his eyes. Jake decided to take over the explanation. He smiled at Eva and sat down on the bench, patting the seat next to him. She joined him and both portals dissipated.

“There’s infinite universes out there, but it helps if you think of them like a spectrum,” Jake said. “All universes that are similar are kind of grouped together. To really travel universes you have to go to a different part of the spectrum. But you’ve been stuck in the same section, so everything looks the same.” Jake smiled and took her hand.
“Want to see what’s really out there?”

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