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Portal Fordal

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Ford ran through the crowded market, cursing as a blast from a rifle hits the ground at his feet. He fiddled with something on his wrist as he ran, typing in a code of coordinates set to land him in another random dimension, this time with the automatic program actually running which locked onto habitable conditions for him. He did not want a repeat of the time he jumped into the vacuum of space -- he had to throw a perfectly good blaster away to move him back to the portal he came through.

 

Another blast grazed his elbow and he flinched, diving into a nearby alleyway where they were likely going to look for him first, but it was better than nothing. He was almost done inputting the code anyways, so it wouldn’t matter if they trapped him in there as long as he stalled for a few more seconds...

 

A shadow appeared in the entrance to the alley, blocking his only means of escaping without a portal. Fortunately, his pursuers didn’t know he had the machine at his wrist working again.

 

“Well, well, well! It seems I’m gonna finally get ya, this time, Ford! I’ve never forgiven you for stealing that die from me, you backstabbing cheat,” the figure growled, shifting shoulders forward into a ready (and intimidating) stance. Ford stood up, straight as he could while still being ready to run.

 

“In my defense, you were planning to turn me into the authorities. I couldn’t just stay there, and I still had the die from when you gave it to me. I didn’t steal it, technically,” Ford countered, pressing a final button and activating the machine on his wrist. It began to buzz quietly. The figure’s expression changed, somehow more angry than before, and leaped to tackle Ford. He was surprisingly agile for such a large species.

 

Ford slipped to the side, dodging the other, then stepped back as a spark of light quickly formed into a small circular portal. He watched it grow, while keeping an eye on his enemy. As the other stood, the portal became large enough to enter, and Ford dove in.

 

“So long, T’aaz! See you never,” he gloated as he passed through. The expression on the other’s face was one of pure rage, but before he could do anything Ford was gone, portal closed close behind him.

“RRRRRRRGH! That stupid human…” T’aaz growled, motioning to the other figure that approached to stand down, “He’s gone,”

 

“Sir… should I track the portal?” they asked, softly, “It’s not too late…”

 

T’aaz looked up, then smiled at the smaller figure.

 

“Yes, do it now. He’s not getting away that easily,”

 

---

 

Ford’s smile faded, and he sat down on the beach he landed at to catch his breath. That chase took a lot out of him, and he wasn’t as confident as he showed himself to be. What if the repairs hadn’t worked? Speaking of…

 

He glanced at his wrist, feeling an unnatural head coming from the machine.

 

Ah… Ford thought, It’s on fire. That’s not good.

 

Easily patting out the fire, he looked around to see where he ended up. It was a beach, the sun just starting to lower, and surprisingly… crunchy sand? No, that wasn’t sand, he had stepped on some shards of glass. He noticed that even though the sun was setting, the sky seemed the tiniest bit more… green than his own home. It must have more nitrogen in the atmosphere compared to his dimension, but evidently not enough to hinder his breathing. Before he could come to any more conclusions, however, his entire thought process jerked to a stop as he saw two children staring at him, most likely having seen him appear out of the portal. Two boys, and most likely twins.

 

They looked like… Ford and Stan, when they were kids.

 

“… Woah, magic portal!” one of the boys gasped as the other stared, wide-eyed. With that, Ford knew without a doubt that these two kids were this dimension’s version of him and his brother.

 

“Ah, hello there…” Ford said slowly.

 

The boy with the glasses, Ford’s young counterpart, stared at the machine on his wrist, possibly trying to figure it out, or at least figure out what it was for. Ford glanced at it, saw it was charred, and looked back to the boys. After an awkward moment, he decided to kneel on one knee and hold out his hand to shake.

 

“Nice to meet you. I am an inter-dimensional traveler,” he figured he might as well tell the truth (well, part of it). Their curiosity knew no bounds, “Apologies for suddenly appearing out of nowhere like that, I was in a bit of a hurry...” Ford trailed off as this dimension’s Stanley eagerly took his offered hand, shaking it with a passion.

“Hey, neato! Poindexter, check it out, this guy’s got six fingers too!” Stanley said, wide-eyed and turning towards his brother, who raised his eyebrows.

 

“Wait, really? I’ve never met someone else with six fingers before,” he said, almost reverently as he stepped up the the older man and took his hand. Ford flinched, expecting the world around him to fall apart as he touched his counterpart, but nothing happened. Looks like that other Fiddleford was not correct, fortunately. He schooled his expression, then looked at the two boys.

 

“Well, neither have I, actually, not even now.” He admitted, adding “I told you I’m an inter-dimensional traveler, didn’t I?” When his counterpart looked confused.

 

Both Stanley’s and Stanford’s eyes widened at that as they realized what Ford’s statement implied.

 

“No… Way! You’re… THAT’S SO COOL!” Stanley shouted, shaking in excitement, as Stanford grinned from ear to ear. Ford chuckled at their expressions, reminded of his childhood.

 

“Yes, I am indeed an alternate version of Stanford here, you guys can call me Ford. I really shouldn’t be… interfering, but,” Ford glanced at his wrist, “It looks like I’m going to be here for a while, for at least a few weeks.” His machine was charred and broken, and he didn’t even want to guess how much damage has been made to the circuits. He really didn’t want to bother this dimension’s flow of events but he knew the two boys wouldn’t just leave him alone if he isolated himself, after appearing through a portal that popped up out nowhere. Stanford’s smile grew even larger, an idea forming in his head.

 

“Hey, you could stay with us! Pa would love you!” He exclaimed, already thinking of sleeping arrangements and introductions. Ford winced.

 

“I do not know if that would be such a good idea…” Ford said. He didn’t want to meet his father, in any dimension,  if he was to be perfectly honest. That man was… well, he wasn’t a good man, but it took a while for Ford to realize that. Too long.  

 

“Nope! Too late, you’re coming with us!” Stanley shouted, grabbing the older version of his brother by his wrist. Ford didn’t resist, he knew there was no stopping his brother once he started.

 

Sometimes he wonders what his brother is doing these days, back in his home dimension.