“You’re not explaining this very well,” Marie said, finishing the rest of her sangria.
“I’m sorry,” Alice huffed, “I’m drunk and it’s complicated.” They both held their glances out to Galen at the same time, glaring at each other. Galen hesitantly filled Alice’s first, and Marie scowled.
“In the beginning, there was one planet,” Hershel said in a voice straight off a nature special, and Marie jumped almost guilty. Galen leaned back in his chair and folded his hands over his stomach, and Elsy looked up for the first time and met Marie’s gaze briefly.
“One planet, called Aarth, which started with a big bang and evolved over billions of years,” Hershel continued. His voice, Marie thought, was a curious mix of Morgan Freeman and Stephan Fry.
“Aarth’s population grew to the point of overcrowding. And so, to solve the overpopulation problem, Aarth created a second planet, called Barth” – Marie swallowed a cough and turned in into an unconvincing sneeze – “from the beginning, bang and all, and stimulated the same time conditions and gravity fields and weather patterns the Aarththons had long since invented.”
“Soon enough, Barth had the same problem. And they created two planets – Carth, and Darth, from scratch, and repeated the whole process, and so on and so forth.”
“But you said this planet was a copy of a planet,” Marie said, confused and definitely tipsy. She braced herself against the table and tried to pay attention.
“Exactly. The Carthigians discovered how to copy planets and move them to different dimensions, which is how Carth 2A and Carth 3A got started, because it’s way faster to copy a planet then birth a planet and wait around for it to mature.”
Marie sat back and ran her fingers through her hair, trying to flex life back into them. They’d inexplicably started to tingle, and she felt like her head was coming loose and floating away. She subtly tried to push it back onto her neck.
“What about Earth?” Marie asked.
“Darth created Earth. And Farth and Garth and Harth, while they were at it, which frankly seems like a giant waste of time.”
Marie closed her eyes tightly and reopened them. She was still sitting in a dingy blue plastered room around a dining room table with four insane strangers in an unknown town.
“You assholes are crazy, and I want to go home,” she said firmly.
“I’m afraid we can’t send you back yet, Marie,” Alice replied, interlacing her hands on the table. “You see, we need you here.”
Marie started to laugh manically.
“You assholes are crazy,” she repeated, standing up from the table, taking a step backwards, and promptly keeling over.
Word Count – 15843