“This message is being broadcast on every possible frequency and device in every language. Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic,” the short, stocky woman said into the microphone. Several of the soldiers around her needed to look twice; they were surprised by the sweet, soft voice that came out of her mouth. It did not match the red skull tattoo on her bald head as far as they were concerned.
“Where’s Ms. Sharp?” A portly, haggard man asked the woman beside him. They stood at one corner of the room away from the broadcaster. “Shouldn’t she be here to make sure everything goes smoothly?” he asked; his tone of voice clearly hinted that things would not go smoothly without her. The short, dark-haired woman sighed.
“Mr. President, this was an unexpected test for us. She had an important prior engagement.”
“More important than the end of the world?” the President asked. The woman nodded firmly, clearly; then, she smiled.
“You have to remember you’re not the only Earth anymore.” The man scowled at her but nodded.
“Remember: Look for the red scissors logo. Do not trust any other portal,” the bald woman kept reading her prepared statement to the world.
“So,.. what’s happening exactly, Margaret?” The President asked the woman next to him again. “Ms. Sharp said to call the moment skeletons start falling out of the sky, but she didn’t explain anything.” The woman gave him a cool glare.
“My name is Melody, Mr. President,” she reminded him. “As for what’s going on. Your Earth is being invaded by a powerful woman that we don’t know how to stop yet,” she explained.
“A woman?” The president chuckled nervously. “A woman? A single person is doing this?” Melody nodded. “And you really think we can evacuate the Earth?”
“That’s the goal we’re working toward,” she said with a polite, business-like, frigid smile.
“The skeletons were once people like you from Earths that she conquered.”
“…and remember: When you start your new life on your new Earth, Sharp Development is responsible for your second chance,” the bald woman said.
“She sounds like a commercial,” the President remarked. Melody nodded in agreement.
“Maybe a bit too much. We’ll tweak that part,” she replied as the bald woman walked up to them; she finished her broadcast. “Well, what do you think?” Melody asked her. The stocky woman shrugged.
“It felt a bit long; I found a few spots we can cut out. And we need a different way to mention Sharp Development. Right now it sounds a bit too much like an advertisement,” she said.
“Thanks, Janet,” Melody replied. “Next we should-” Melody was interrupted by the sound of rapid gunfire from outside the room. The few soldiers in the room immediately faced the door and readied their weapons. Janet and Melody looked at the closed door.
“Definitely too long,” Janet said. She wiggled her fingers at the air and opened a tall black portal behind Melody. The President’s aide appeared next to him.
“We need to get you to safety, Mr. President,” he said. The nervous man looked at Melody.
“Okay, I’m ready to go,” he said. Janet walked past Melody and disappeared into the portal. The President attempted to follow her, but Melody stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
“Go where?” she asked.
“With you! You’re evacuating the Earth, you can start with me,” he stood up straighter trying to loom his authority over her. Melody shook her head.
“This was a test; like a fire-drill,” Heavy, impactful thuds came through the door; the skeletons were trying to break in. “Thanks to you we have a ballpark for how fast we need to deploy,” she said with a smile and stepped backward into the black hole.
“I helped! You can take me because I helped!” He panicked and stepped forward. He couldn’t get into the portal because Melody stood right at its edge.
“I can,” she winked. “But, I don’t want to.” The portal closed.