I haven’t known Martialla for very long. Despite that she’s become the most important person in my life. It’s a funny world huh? I suppose we’re friends now. You go to another dimension and back with someone fighting monsters and that’s an experience you know?
I don’t know her well, but well enough to be very surprised when she broke down. She didn’t seem like the type to do that. She seemed like a tough cookie. I mean she is tough, I haven’t changed my mind about that, I just mean I didn’t expect her to be the one to fall to pieces once we got back. It just always seemed to me like she wouldn’t fly apart no matter what was happening.
As surprised as I am about that I’m even more surprised in myself for not doing the same. It makes no sense. I’m just a singer. I don’t know anything about fighting or the military or magic or other dimensions. What we just went through? That would get to anyone. I was a little freaked out about how I wasn’t freaking out. I should be feeling something. I just had a near death experience. A near death experience cherry on top of a real weird sundae of transdimensional craziness. All I could think was how thirsty I was. I wanted a Coke. That was my big reaction to what had happened.
Martialla was slumped into a weird crouch against the side of the rollercoaster loading area in an unintentional wall sit of sorts. Her non-bulletproof vest had been ripped open along both sides and was hanging down around her waist like she was wearing a skirt. I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of her wearing a skirt. It’s just so wrong.
She managed to stop hyperventilating and wiped a big glob of snot off her face “I didn’t think we were going to make it.”
I was trying to wring the blood out of my hair “I had my doubts there for a minute myself. But we did make it. If this was an action movie it would be a little silly that we were running to a rollercoaster but it is what it is right?”
She looked back at the blood-spattered front of the coaster, a goofy cartoonish plastic dragon head “What happened to them?”
I shook my head “I don’t know. I saw a couple of them get in the cave behind us but once we came out here they were gone.”
She looked up at me expectantly “So we can go across to their world but they can’t come across to ours?”
I shrugged “I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe they never got into the coaster at all. We need to figure out what the Sam Hill is going on here before we go back. That’s assuming we want to do anything at all about this. You were excited about exploring before. How about now? Honestly, I could go either way on this. You want to tear this shit down I’ll get a demo crew out here tomorrow.”
She closed her eyes like she was meditating “Going Either Way Number Six, I got a guy in Walla-Walla that will pay a hundred eighty bucks for that one.” She opened her eyes back up for a moment “You’ll never get a crew out here that fast.”
I smiled slightly “That was more of a figure of speech. You want to continue down this path? I’m game. You want to bury this shit and forget it forever? That’s cool too.”
She nodded and then levered herself up to her feet “Did we just get all those people killed?”
I thought for a moment “Yeah . . . but we meant well. Mostly. We would have helped them if we could. If it makes you feel better it seemed like they had a very short life expectancy in front of them anyway. They’re losing a war so bad all the men are dead and their forests are full of monsters. Maybe we can make money on this thing by sending people over there just to see how good we have it over here by comparison.”
“How are you so calm?” she asked, seeming to take my measure.
“I don’t know that either. But I’m also hungry. Is there a good Thai place around here?”