Hidden Mall 84: One of These Things is Not Like the Other

“We’re all different, and some of us got the short end of the stick.  Clearly, you’re one of them.” Abseil did not turn around. She didn’t dare.  If she did, if she saw there were guns pointed at her, she’d run and never stop running. She lifted her chin instead.  “But even you know shooting people from behind is pretty damn stupid.  It makes you look bad. I mean. You’re here to shop, right?  Starting a massacre in the middle of the mall is a good way to get kicked out.”

Now she tried to make her voice sound trivial, like none of this mattered. She remembered trying this with Vic one other time, and it hadn’t gone great, but on the other hand, it hadn’t gone too horribly either. 

It was weird, talking to Vic wearing her face – and the more Abseil talked to Evil-Abby, the more sure she was that it wasn’t one of her.  Sure, there’d been differences, just as she was saying, but there were differences and then there was being a whole different person

“Oh, no.” Evil-Abby’s voice dripped with sarcasm.  “That’s just what I’m worried about.  Getting kicked out.  How would I ever live if someone kicked me out of this mall?”

“Well, the question is,” Abseil continued – there was the next fountain; she just had to get her group there.  “It’s where would you end up?  I mean, it’s not like you – or your people there-” Don’t call them lackeys, don’t call them lackeys, you do not want to piss off the people with guns – “are in your home universe right now.  Pretty sure this mall is one without a home universe at all.  So where would you end up? Where would they end up?”

In a tv show, this would be where the villain said pff, like I care about them, and all her minions would abandon her. 

Sadly, even Vic wasn’t quite that stupid.  “Pff-“

Was she?

“-like I care about where I end up?  I can be Abby anywhere. Look, almost all the Abbies are dead.  Once you’re gone, I might very well be the last Abby left in the multiverse. And once that happens, it doesn’t matter where I get popped out, does it?  I’ll just slide along and be Abby.  Somewhere.”

Abseil reached the fountain and took the left turn.  “I wish you luck with the terrifying void between the universes,” she called, and, if she was talking to herself, she almost meant it.

Since she was pretty sure she was somehow talking to Vic-puppeting-Abby, she didn’t mean it at all.

“Please step inside Burlington Coat Factory for our new sale,” the mall blared.  “Hurry ahead to get the best deals!”

Abseil broke into a sprint, slowing just enough to make sure everyone with her was following.  

“Please step inside Burlington…”

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