"Dave! Bro, buddy, pal, friend, comrade, soul sista!" John exclaimed climbing a rocky outcrop with grace only an elephant in roller skates could muster. "Is it really you? The Starsky to my Hutch? The Silent Bob to my Jay? The Piccolo to my Goku? The little tea cup guy in Beauty and the Beast to my sentient tea kettle?!" The bespectacled boy paused and thought that last one over. He quickly fumbled for a recovery line just as he fumbled for a foothold in order to climb up to Dave's position in the Land of Wind and Shade. "I uh...ironically of course. Disney movies are for babies."
Although John wasn't aware of Dave's shiver at the mention of Disney movies, he could tell right off the bat that something was wrong. His friend wasn't his usual self. Strider had let soul sista by without so much as a snarky sigh. Normally an oversight like this would have been a great personal victory for John, but knowing that his best friend had become some nigh omnipotent time traveler, a burdened mind meant something more than just a bad day. Did he see something bad that was about to happen? Did he just witness the end? Did he find out Santa was a bald faced lie via his time wizardry?! Needless to say, John's head began to spin and he nearly forgot the big news he was planning on divulging.
"Hey chum!" John said eventually pulling himself up. "Gosh, you were really up here, huh? You coulda slid down you know! I think my thumb is bleeding." He laughed and went to put a hand on Dave's shoulder, but as he did, Dave fell over like a cardboard cutout...because he was a cardboard cutout. As Egbert reeled in shock, a pale hand grabbed him on his own shoulder and the Heir of Breath screeched like a school girl with a snake in her boot. Typical Strider voodoo ninja bullshit at its finest.
"That's freaky time shit for you. And then you said oh wow."
"Oh wow---" John cut himself off and laughed. "Gosh, it's almost like you're psychic now! I think all my breath powers have given me is like...super minty breath. Go on, smell."
Dave walked right into the old garlic breath trap and gagged. "Nah, that wasn't hokey psychic bullshit, that was straight up knowing how Egberts are. Your default answer to about everything is either oh wow or golly. Shit, it's like an Opie Taylor soundboard." He knew all about Opie Taylor soundboards. He made them popular and then instantly blogged about the downfall of such a hardcore interest. Ironically of course.
The Heir thought this over and realized his friend was right. Still, the news he had to share overshadowed his strong moral upbringing and lack of exclamatory phrases. "Ok man, you're in one piece, that's cool. You're smarmy, that's cool. You're cool, that's cool...but get this! Do you know what I've been doing alone in a lab recently?"
The Knight of Time adjusted his shades and raised an eyebrow with a smoothness unparallelled by man or talking dog. "I dunno man, I thought you were just exclusively pumpin' iron with your right arm lately, no need to ruin the illusion."
John took a moment to analyze the innuendo and readied a laugh, but the stern image of his father's giant nose in his mind caused a great shame to overcome him. He simply hung his head and kicked at the dirt with his shoe. "No, I was just gonna say that I'm everyone's dad, even my own! See I used ectobiology to create us all in tubes! Kinda funny how I never really met any of your guys in real life before, it turns out, we were even born together! Like a giant slimy mess of paradox sibs! Me and Jade are practically brother and sister, and you and Rose are too! Isn't that WILD?!"
Acting as the greatest of foils, Dave simply looked back at John without any sort of energy. "Hmph, so, then that explains why I got beat..." He snapped his fingers and a Croc who he had hidden behind a rock began to throw cherry blossoms into the air like a bullshit Japanese anime. "Only one of the Strider clan could ever hope to defeat me..."
"If anime has taught me anything, the cherry blossoms-or sakuras- are symbolic of your longing. What's the matter, bro?" John said stepping closer to his ailing compadre. "I mean this is a bit over the top even for you. This is like 10th degree irony, did I freak you out or something? I know it’s kinda crazy, but it’s true!”
Dave turned to John and shook his head. “That’s actually p cool, ngl, but it’s just making me put two and two together.” He looked off into the distance and his consort threw more cherry blossoms while nakking sluttily. “John, listen man, I gotta get something off my chest before I rush off and get all sultry and personal with my destiny, alright? This might be a while on account of all the emotions and you probably crying at one point.”
“Hey if you’ve got something on your mind, I’m here for you, Dave.” John said nodding warmly. “But there’s still tons of adventuring and fighting to do! Are you sure this won’t set us back at all? Jade isn’t even in the Medium yet!”
“Jade gets in, you get stabbed in the chest, you get a gay hoodie, you get stabbed in the chest again, and your grandma makes you lasagna for dinner. Spoiler.” Dave said as if he was reading off a grocery list. “To add to the mystery, those are mostly out of order. Now, since all that shit is predetermined, do you wanna help me sort this shit out or do you want me to spoil the part about you getting some fruity rainbow hammer too?”
John frowned and took a seat on a rock. “I was just kidding…you didn’t have to go and spoil anything. I bet the hoddie isn’t even that gay…” He muttered to himself for a spell and shook his head in confusion. “Just let me ask one thing before you begin, ok? What do you mean by getting defeated and chasing after your destiny and all that? Oh and serious, crocodiles? Those are some sweet consorts!”
“See man, now is the time. I’ve put two and two together thanks to this game, so I can settle an old score. And to answer that last part, hell yeah, these nakkers are fresh. Just don’t fall asleep around them. Hungry little fucks.” Dave took a seat next to John and began.
“It was like…eleven years ago or something….”