The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.
He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.
Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?
“What do you mean you didn’t get off?” said Alicia, her voice filled with incredulity. “I mean, you’re here. Is this a joke?” In the small diner, she sat smiling across the table from Charon, a plate of chili fries between them.
The ferryman had changed his clothes in order to more closely resemble his avatar photo from the cyber-dating site. He fingered the collar of his dark red polo shirt, stretching it further from his neck. He was unused to wearing such constrictive clothing. “It’s not that type of job, Alicia,” he said.
“You said you were a boat captain,” asserted his would-be girlfriend. “I would love to go on a cruise, watch you work even just a day, and spend some real time together. I already feel I know you so well from our chats.”
“Well, STYPE is a wonderful tool,” admitted Charon, “but nothing beats face-to-face.” He put his hand on Alicia’s, and the blond woman’s smile radiated warmth and welcoming.
“You’re such a smoothy,” said Alicia. “And I’m glad we took our time to get to know each other in the chatroom, though I admit I love styping too.” She blushed a lovely shade of rose. “Getting to see and hear you from so far away! And your voice sounds so rich.”
“You have a great voice too,” said Charon, “but I really just came to say that I didn’t get the time off like I’d hoped. So it’s going to be awhile before we can get together.”
Alicia giggled. “Oh, give it up! I’m not buying you sailed all the way from Australia just to tell me you couldn’t meet me.”
Charon sighed. “I didn’t say I worked in Australia.” He fingered his beard, which he had kept close cropped, but there was nothing he could do about the way his eyes blazed. He was a denizen of the Underworld. It came with the lifestyle.
“You did,” asserted Alicia. “You said ‘Down Under.’”
“As in the Underworld,” said Charon.
Alicia laughed, a light and thoroughly delightful sound. Charon wondered why someone as enchanting as her had resorted to a cyber-dating website. “Oh, everyone thinks their job is hell,” she said. “See, that’s what I like about you. You wore out one joke, but you just made another, got back on the horse… or boat, so to speak.” She gnawed on a fry, then gave it a strange look and wrapped it in her napkin instead.
Charon grabbed her other hand. “No, I’m not joking,” he said, “and this is the sort of thing I had to say in person.” He looked into her eyes, and this time he not only let his eyes blaze but encouraged them. The effect riveted Alicia to the spot. “I’m Charon, I ferry the souls of the departed across the River Styx into Hades, land of the Dead.”
“So, so…” Alicia stumbled over her words. “’Down Under’ meant…?” She pointed at the floor.
“I live and work in the Underworld. My boat is the ferry that takes souls across the Styx.” Charon’s smoldering gaze softened, and his voice lost its ethereal quality. ”And I just couldn’t stand the thought of telling you about myself, entirely about myself, without doing it in person.” He gripped both her hands more tightly in his. “I know I didn’t get the time off, but I promise I will do everything I can to make it happen.”
“But… but…” Alicia struggled to speak as she pointed at his glowing face. No one else in the diner seemed to notice. “You are…”
“Yup,” said Charon. “I have to take care of something for awhile, but hopefully it’ll be wrapped up soon and then I can get that time off so we can really spend some time together.”
“What do you have to take care of?” she asked; dread crept up her spine like a frosty spider.
“Oh, nothing special,” he said. “Just preventing an apocalypse.” He didn’t mention the unusual circumstances. As long as he was quick enough, everything would turn out fine. He hoped.
Ye gods, he hoped.
Alicia’s mouth worked but nothing came out.
“It happens more often than you’d think,” said Charon, patting her hands to reassure her – and possibly himself. “So don’t worry about it. But when I’m done saving the world, I’m all yours.” He winked, and Alicia felt herself melting as she gazed at his dazzling smile.
Well, he wouldn’t be the first weird guy I’ve fallen for, she mused as her head spun. She wondered if he had put a glamor on her, but dismissed her doubts just as quickly. There were easier ways for an immortal to get a girlfriend than cyber-dating.
**All episodes listed here.
**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.