“I’m coming! Hold on!” Chanta yelled at the door while struggling with two large navy suitcases. Frustrated and eager she dropped them and ran to the door. “Coming!” she yelled again to make sure they knew she was there, lest they leave without her. She threw the door open; two women stood on her doorstep. A tall, pale, dark haired woman wearing a white business stood in front of a short, chubby bald woman. A red tattoo of a skull decorated the top of the short woman’s head. “Ms. Sharp?” Chanta asked with a smile. The woman nodded.
“Chanta Cleer?” The woman asked. Chanta nodded with a large smile, then stood aside to open the door wider.
“Come in!” Ms. Sharp stepped over the threshold, and the short woman followed her in. Once both guests were in the house Chanta closed the door. She eyed both women up and down, then reached out to poke the short woman. Something inside her told her she should not poke Ms. Sharp. “You’re real! You’re really here! You came to rescue me!” She fought off the urge to hug either of them, they did not seem to be the affectionate type. She remembered her luggage and used her nervous energy to go and grab them.
“Janet, send the bags home please,” Ms. Sharp said. Before Chanta reached her bags a dark black hole opened up beneath the pair of suitcases and swallowed them whole. She stopped in her tracks.
“Whoa, awesome!” She turned around to face the two women again. “I guess I’m ready!” She fidgeted, trying to keep her eagerness in check.
“Just a few formalities to deal with first,” Ms. Sharp said. A small black hole appeared in front of the dark haired woman, and she slipped a hand into it. She pulled out a clipboard with several papers, and a pen attached. “I’m sure you understand. Chanta nodded.
“Of course,” she smiled broadly. “I can’t even imagine the maze of laws you have to deal with running a multi-universe corporation.” Ms. Sharp gave a pleasant chuckle.
“You’re right about that. Let’s sit down,” she gestured to Chanta’s dark red couch, then sat herself down. Chanta joined Ms. Sharp on the couch, slightly sad that it would be the last time. “You’re a Unique, right?” Ms. Sharp asked. Chanta nodded.
“#1, El Gallo,” she held up her wrist to show her tattoo; a small yellow chick sitting atop the number one. The woman in white checked off a box on the clipboard.
“Did you ever meet a Mundo, or any other Uniques?” Ms. Sharp asked. Chanta took a moment to think, then gave a half nod.
“Never met a Mundo, and I didn’t even know there were other Uniques until I logged into the AlterNet,” she shrugged. “I met a Plant couple in the game though, a Melón, and a Sandía. They were nice. OH! Can you help me meet them? I know Plants can’t leave their earth, but…” she did not finish her thought, but she cast a side glance at the short woman.
“I’m sure we can arrange something,” Ms. Sharp winked at Chanta with her right eye while she checked off two separate boxes on her form. “If you tell me their names and classes, Janet can start looking into which Earth they’re from,” she added.
“The Melón is a craftsman, gunsmith, named Calliope. The Sandía is a gunslinger named Sandy,” Chanta volunteered the information. Without a word Janet disappeared into a black hole.
“She’s going to check the logs,” Ms. Sharp said, then attached the pen to the clipboard and set them aside. “Actually, I think we did that wrong. This is all just habit, but I didn’t stop and think about the fact that you’re the last one here,” Ms. Sharp gave a soft laugh. “I guess now we’re stuck waiting for our ride, she won’t be long though.”
“You mean you can’t…” Chanta wiggled her fingers in the air the same way she’d seen Janet do it to open a portal. Ms. Sharp smiled then shook her head.
“Oh no, I’m a Zero. I’m helpless without Janet,” she said.
“Wow. You never wanted to stay in the AlterNet?” Chanta asked. “I almost let myself bloom until I saw your job posting for Uniques,” she added. “Everyone else in the world let themselves bloom, I didn’t have anyone left.” Ms. Sharp nodded sympathetically.
“I’ve seen it happen to so many Earths, but it always surprises me how eager people are to abandon their humanity.” Ms. Sharp shrugged. “I can’t imagine letting this body become a tree while my consciousness floats around as a character in another universe. It’s just trading one temporary form for another since they can’t respawn,” she said. “I like this one enough,” she smiled. In the corner of her eye Chanta noticed movement and she realized that Janet appeared next to Ms. Sharp without a sound. She leaned in to whisper into the woman’s ear, and Ms. Sharp’s smile grew large enough to show her perfect, pearly white teeth.
“Janet found them. We can stop by and say hi before we get you settled in your new job, if you like,” she said. Chanta nodded. “That would be awesome!” Chanta hopped off her couch eager to go. Janet wiggled her fingers in the air to create a large black hole.
“After you,” Ms. Sharp said as she guided Chanta to the portal. The young woman jumped in, followed by Ms. Sharp and Janet.