I hugged myself, walking down the street, trying to hide my face and the tears falling from my eyes. Aaron and I rarely fought, but we also rarely had reason to. We had been together since I was in high school even though we were about as opposite of people as you could be.

I was quiet, an introvert. I loved to read and paint, I had a creative mind. Aaron was a partier, an extrovert who liked to drink and party with his friends. We usually did our own things and we were good with it, got along great.

Tonight he had begged me to go with him to his best friend’s Halloween party, saying he didn’t want to be the only one there without a date on his arm. I got dressed up as Dorothy Gale from Wizard of Oz and went out with him to the huge party, the only girl there not dressed like a slutty something. That was when things started going bad. He was an outrageous flirt, I knew that about him and I didn’t mind. It was when he started dancing with other women and grinding on them on the dance floor, touching them inappropriately and letting them touch him that my feelings started getting hurt. When a girl grabbed his dick through his pants, stroking him on the dance floor while he shoved his tongue down her throat, I decided I had hit my limit. I hadn’t made a fuss, just quietly told him I was going to call an UBER and go home, I was tired.

He was drunk and had gotten upset, taken my phone and said no, I would stay with him and hang out. Sarah, the girlfriend of his best friend Alex, had yelled at him, told him to stop being such an asshole and dancing with other girls and hurting me. He yelled at her, told her to mind her business, then yelled at me like it had been my fault he had been called out. Alex yelled at him, then his other friend Jason had yelled at him and his fried Roderick told him he was being a douchebag, especially to me.

Aaron took off, leaving me alone at the party without a phone and therefore my wallet since my phone case was my wallet too. I had followed him to the street, but he was gone. Instead of going back in, I had started walking, feeling gutted. I had always known he had a temper, but I was very rarely on the receiving end of it, mostly because I never gave him a single reason. After seeing him tonight, seeing what he would do while I was with him, it made me wonder what he did when I wasn’t there. It broke my heart.

I wiped my eyes and looked up, trying to gauge how far I was from home, but it was hard to get oriented while walking. Everything seemed to look different. Was I even on the right street? I walked up to the intersection and looked at the street names, but they weren’t familiar. I thought I had turned on the right one, right next to the gas station with the blinking lotto lotto lotto sign.

I looked around, but the streets were dark and empty this late. I should have gone back in and asked Sarah for a ride home, but I had been too embarrassed.

I saw a light flash and I turned, thinking a cop was behind me, then gaped in astonishment as a… portal? opened in the middle of the street, widening and turning into a circle large enough for a man to leap through. Another man dove through, tackling the first man and they fought, punching and grappling, rolling on the ground. I moved to the side, looking at the portal into what looked like another dark street, somewhere else. Somewhere foreign. Was this some ornate costume special effect? A full minute passed and the portal began shrinking, leaving the two men and I in the dark as they continued to struggle and fight. The first man broke free and hit something on his arm and another portal began opening. He kicked the other man back as hard as he could, then dove through the portal to a place I couldn’t see. The other man followed him and I ran to the portal to watch the two men struggling again on a dark, cobblestone street.

I was gobsmacked and completely numb as I watched them. Had I been roofied? Drugged? Was this real or some halloween stunt? I peeked into the portal, then stepped in, looking back to make sure it was still behind me as I stepped into a whole new place. A place that had to be somewhere else in the world. I stayed close, ready to go back through in a moment, before the time was up. The other had lasted almost two minutes. This place looked so odd! I took another step away from the portal, looking around, trying to figure out where I was. What was going on.

The portal snapped closed behind me and I spun, terrified, looking for it. I turned again and the two men were going through another portal. It closed right behind them.

“Wait!” I yelled desperately, but they were gone and I was alone on the dark cobblestone street.

Panic welled up as I looked around. What sort of idiot just walked into a portal to another place!?! I was a moron. How was I going to get home? I didn’t have my passport or even an ID, they were all in my phone case that Aaron had taken with him. Shit shit shit!

I ran down to the first intersection of the old street, then froze. There was a… something hovering in the street drifting closer to me. It was dark, but I could make out an ovalish body and three long tentacle type legs swaying below it as it drifted closer. The moonlight hit it and it shone metallically and I realized it was a robot of some sort.

It seemed to go on alert, it’s body tensing and somehow I knew it was aware of me now. “Halt! Curfew breach. Halt! Scan breach. Halt! Incoming instructions.”

I panicked, turning to run as fast as my short legs would carry me. The thing pursued, if not very quickly. I dodged down alleys and streets, sprinting with fear fueling me. Where the hell was I? Was that thing going to kill me?

I made it to a street with lights and paused, looking around.the buildings around me all looked mostly the same in the dark, but now I could see windows on what looked like the second story of a warehouse. Two of them were pushed open, the bottoms tilted out. I scrambled up the ladder on the closer single story building and onto the roof, then ran to the side of the warehouse, stepping onto the narrow edge and side stepping down until I was at the first open window. I grabbed the ledge and pulled myself in, then hung there a moment. There was no second floor, it was open to the first floor and it was a long drop. I steeled myself, ready to bend my legs, then let go. I rolled and the impact drove the air out of me, but I was fairly certain I was alright as I sat up and took stock of myself.

I stood and looked around the warehouse. It was mostly open and there were chairs and couches, as well as what looked like a kitchen area, all open in the huge space. Along the back wall, boxes were stacked high, but I knew the warehouse went further back than that wall of boxes. I moved closer and there was an opening where the boxes overlapped with about three feet between them. Behind the two walls were several beds, mostly an odd sort of twin sized and one large one in the corner at a 45 degree angle to the room. There was a small, glowing lamp lit, but I knew it wasn’t fire. It was something else that glowed like fire.

Where was I?

I went back out to the front and looked around, looking for something that might tell me where I was. I found a glossy piece of paper, but I could not read the language written on it. I opened the cupboards in the kitchen, but I could not read the labels on the food either. None of it was in writing I recognized.

I wondered if the squid robot was still looking for me as I picked up some sort of electronic device off one of the tables and looked around at all of the strange things. I went back to the boxes and started to open one as I heard noise, the sound of the door being opened. I dove behind the boxes to the corner and froze, trying not to move or breathe as I listened. Was it the squidbot?

No, voices, very human.

“… won’t be getting any more any time soon,” said a man with a deep, heavy voice.

“Get all he has then and make sure he knows that we are to be informed first when he does get more,” another man demanded. His voice was also deep and very commanding.

There was noise like a lot of people moving and shuffling around, sitting on the furniture.

“I wonder what has the sentries up in arms,” a woman wondered out loud.

“I’ve never seen so many out at once,” a new male voice offered.

“Probably a verse breech,” the commanding voice said dismissively. “Layton, why did you leave the scanner out here?”

“I didn’t.”

“Callen, sweep,” the commanding voice said quickly.

My heart pounded as the voices went quiet and I pressed into the boxes and the shadows as hard as I could, praying I wouldn’t be seen or heard.

A silhouette of a man came around the boxes and went straight to the back and I watched him look around and behind the beds. He was tall and he wore a skin tight shirt and pants that looked almost like rubber, all in black and white. His head was shaved up one side and arched up high to flow down the opposite side in a cascade of bright white.

He turned and started back to the front and his eyes fell on me hunched into the corner. He looked grim as he marched to me and yanked me up, then pulled me out front as I let out a terrified yelp.

There were eight people out front, not including the man dragging me and they were all dressed similar to him in tight rubber clothes. Some had half their heads shaved, , but not the two girls or the smallest man. A large man had both sides of his head shaved and the mohawk he had was plaited in a braid like I had never seen, the sleek black of his hair at odds with his bright amber eyes.

The white haired man dragged me to him and stopped me in front of him as everyone gathered around me, looking at me in confusion.

“Is that a girl?”

“Why is she dressed like that?”

“Is it a child?”

“All of you hold your tongues,” the black haired man snapped as I looked up at him in terror. “Why are you here?” he asked me. “Are you a spy for Allowman?”

“I… I… don’t know what that is. Please, I was just trying to hide from the squidbot thing, it was yelling at me.”

“Squidbot,” the small man snorted.

“Lair!” black hair hissed at the boy. “Girl… you are a girl?”


“What is your name? What is your accent? Where are you from?”

“My name is Olivia… I am from the United States. Where am I?”

The man cocked his head slightly. “Did you verse breach here?”

“I… don’t know what that means?”

“Layton, scanner,” the man demanded.

Another man picked up the electronic device I had been looking at while the man holding my arm grabbed my right wrists and turned my arm over as he held it out. The other man used the instrument to scan my arm. He did it again, then again. “No chip, Endrew.”

The black haired man cocked his head again and looked me over. “So, from 68, 91 or 112. I am thinking 112 judging from the odd clothes.”

I looked around at all of them staring down at me and swallowed hard. “I still don’t know what you mean. Where am I?”

“Release her, Callen,” the man demanded. The large man let me go and I rubbed my arm. The man crossed his arms, looking down at me, scrutinizing me. “What is your age?”

“Twenty three.”

“You are petite.”


“Your clothes do not fit you, and yet you still show too much skin,” he said, gesturing at my legs in the dress.”

“It’s a costume, a dress… it fits fine.”

“Your form cannot be seen at all beneath it, and it shows skin. What sort of world allows so much skin outside of a home? And does not show form to know at a glance whether you are male or female?”

“I… I am wearing a dress? And make-up? And my hair…? Anyone looking knows I am a girl? Where am I?”

“144,” he answered, as if that should make sense to me.

“Is that the address here?”

“The paraverse number. This position in this paraverse is the same position you stepped here from in your own paraverse. 112 I think. You are in an alternate universe parallel to your own. How did you come? Your world is not allowed access to the paraverse transit system.”

“There were two men… they opened a sort of portal, a door… or opening and I stepped in to look… I thought it would stay open like the other one did, but it closed. They were fighting.”

“Bounty hunter,” a woman said, sniffing disdainfully.

“Leess,” the black haired man admonished. He looked back down at me. “You are trapped here now, with no chip. If the sentries find you, they will dispose of you.”

“Dispose? Like… kill me?!? There is no way back to my planet?!?”

“If we were to find someone who could transverse, they would have to be convinced to break the law to take you to 112 and risk having their rights stripped. Next to impossible and in order to find one, you would have to risk exposing yourself and being taken to be disposed of. No, girl, you are well and truly trapped here,” the man smirked, looking me over again. It wasn’t a pleasant look.

“I… what can I do? How can I get out of here? Is there a place in this world I can go to that they won’t kill me?”

Black hair stepped closer, shaking his head. “No, pet. There is nowhere for you to go. You will be just fine here though, won’t she boys?”

“Endrew…” one of the girls began, taking hold of his arm.

“Mallee, remove your hand,” he said, his nostrils flaring.

The girl yanked her hand back, flinching.

Black hair, Endrew? looked back to me. “Tell me about your world, pet. Tell me what women do to serve there.”

“What?!? Women don’t serve! We are people! Equal! There is no serving!”

The men all laughed and the girls looked at me wide eyed. I needed out of this place right now.

I glanced at the door they had all come in, but had no sooner laid eyes on it than Endrew took hold of a handful of my hair. “Do not consider it, pet,” he said, his voice low.

“Endrew,” the girl he had called Mallee begged pleadingly.

“Mallee, do not speak of it again,” he snapped. “Geon, you have been coveting Mallee, yes? Take her in hand.”

One of the other men smiled malevolently, yanking the girl back against him as she went pale. Endrew turned back to me, his eyes taking me in again as his hand held me in place by my hair. He wasn’t hurting me, or even being rough, but he had a tight, unyielding hold.

“Tell me about your world,” he commanded, Moving to a chair to sit down. He pulled me down to the floor by my hair, forcing me to sit between his legs.

“I don’t know what to say,” I said, my voice wavering in panic as the others also sat. Not the man who had taken the girl, he was pulling her back beyond the box wall. “I don’t know what this place is like… The roads are paved. We don’t have squidbots.”

“Sentries,” he corrected.

“Sentries. Or chips in our arms. We don’t dress like we are about to go deep sea diving and most people don’t shave their heads like you all seem to.”

“You have no leaders?”

“Of course… is that how you show leadership? Shaving your head?”

“Somewhat. How do you know who is above you?”

“You don’t… we don’t live like that, all people are equal.”

“It sounds like chaos if everyone thinks to lead.”

“We have leaders, but we elect them.”


“Everyone votes, the person with the most votes wins.”

“What if they use force and make others vote? Or use other coercion methods?”

“That’s not how it works. They just have debates and people pick who they agree with most.”

“That sounds complicated and like a system built to be rigged. Why not fight or buy into leadership? Earn it in blood?”

I paled slightly. Is that how they did it here? Had he hurt or killed people to get his head shaved? “What is to stop your people from just shaving their heads? Pretending they earned it?” I asked.

They all laughed. “Then the first time they were challenged, they would die horribly,” Endrew laughed. “It is so odd to hear you speak. Your accent is so… off. The words are almost right, but just not. Do you have paint on your face?”

“It’s make-up. Girls wear makeup where I am from, on planet Earth.”

“Earth?!?” he asked, laughing. “You call it earth? Who would name an entire planet ‘dirt’?” he asked, laughing more.

I blushed.

“It is not even mostly made of earth, it is more water. What a strange place you come from. What do you call the planets? Rock? Gas?”

I blushed harder.

“I do not like the face paint. I wish you to remove it.”

“I… need a cloth and water, soap.”

“Lair,” Endrew snapped.

The small man jumped up, running to the kitchen area to get me a wet cloth. I tried to scrub my face as best I could with Endrew still holding a fistful of my hair. I looked up at him, my heart thudding in my chest. He looked me over thoughtfully.

“You look even younger now,” he said, almost unhappily. “I wish to see your form, you will remove the garment.”

I hugged myself, shaking my head slightly. “I don’t really want to do that,” I said softly, horrified.

“What you want is irrelevant, I gave you a command, pet.”

“My name is Olivia,” I said more boldly, beginning to lose my temper. Something I rarely ever did.

“You are my pet now. My little pet from another verse. I wish to see your form. I will not ask again.”

I hugged myself tighter, hunching down on myself as I looked away from him, refusing to do as he asked.

“Callen,” he snapped, letting go of my hair with a shove.

The huge man snatched me up off the floor, yanking my costume open down the back with a rip, then pulling it off of me as I struggled and whimpered, snatching at the fabric. Endrew was standing now, looking down at me as Callan held me up.

“What is that?” Endrew demanded in confusion, plucking at my bra and then my underwear.

“Don’t!” I begged, trying to hide myself.

“Are you bound in some way like a criminal?”

“No! It’s my underclothes!”

“What purpose do they serve?”

“They are just… sanitary. So my girl parts don’t touch anything they shouldn’t with my dress on.”

“That seems redundant. Remove them.”



Callen didn’t try to unfasten my bra, he just pried it off of me, pulling off the straps and yanking it over my head. The underwear, he just ripped as I cried and tried to curl up, sobbing.

“Straighten her. Where is your hair?” he demanded, putting his fingers on my bald pussy.

“Don’t touch me!” I squealed, trying to fold myself in half. The giant holding me was too strong.

“I am going to have to use corporal punishment?” he asked darkly. “I take no issue with that. Lair, get me a strap.”

“No! No, I have it removed! I wax!”

“Wax?” he asked, confused.

“Hot wax, when it dries and you pull it off, it takes the hair with it.”

“That sounds akin to turture. You subject yourself to this or it was a punishment?”

“I have it done on purpose. I don’t like hair there.”

“Why? It is natural. You look too young without it.”

“My boyfriend prefers it that way.”

“Boyfriend. Is that your keeper?”

“No! Please, let me go! Let me have my clothes back!”

“No. I wish to see your form. If not a keeper then just a companion?”

“No, boyfriend. Not married yet, but on our way there.”

“Married. He would be your keeper then?”

“No. We don’t have keepers! Women are equal! We have mutual partnerships, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives.”

“Who takes care of you? See’s you fed and clothed?”

“I do!”


“I have a job!”

“Females have assigned duties as men do?”

“We aren’t assigned, no one is assigned, but yes, we work too.”

“If you are not assigned, who does the jobs no one likes to do?”

“They are hired and paid well, with benefits.”

“Benefits? Like a slave?”

“No! Like health insurance and vacation time!”

“Your world seems confusing and not very organized.”

“May I cover now, please?” I asked, trying to twist and squirm out of the giant’s grip.