Hero's Diary: Day 1, Part 16
11/02/17 at 12:46 EST

Pirohiko and I took a seat on some nearby corpses for a moment to rest when Etranger walked over. "Take a look at what's happening back on Earth!"

I had accepted the fact that I was on another planet by now, but I still didn't agree with the notion that Etranger's ability to transmit Earth broadcast signals as video directly into my retinas was in any way believable. This was further troubling because the signals, being transmit directly into my retinas, were also audible. And though I still hadn't gotten used to it, I also couldn't prevent it from happening, so I was once again forced to lower my guard as the world around me was replaced with a scene I didn't belong in.

It was at the hospital again, in the same room where we witnessed Jose Gaspacho die. There he lay, still dead, and there was his granddaughter, still roughly my age.

"The Unlosing Ranger can't lose," Gaspacho murmured from beyond the grave.

This caught the young lady's attention. "Grampa? Grampa!?"

"He can't lose!" Gaspacho shouted, jostling himself awake. The monitor hooked up to his circulatory system was whirring itself back to work and soon began beeping again. "Oh, Maria, I thought we'd lost him!"

"Grampa? I thought you were dead!"

"I thought so, too," he replied. "But then I had a wonderful dream, and in that dream, the Unlosing Ranger was kicking ass!"

Maria adopted a sheepish look. "But, the Unlosing Ranger lost...That's why you almost died in the first place..."

Gaspacho shook his head. "No, Maria. He didn't lose." He reached out, patting her on the head. "He's just...resting. No, he's just preparing for his big victory! You'll see."

The scene vanished, and I was returned to reality.

"I don't believe it," Pirohiko declared. "The Jose Gaspacho of Earth was revived! When we saved the Jose Gaspacho of Bizarro Earth, it brought the Jose Gaspacho of Earth back to life!"

"What do you mean you don't believe it!?" Etranger shouted at him, once again upset by something he'd said. "That was the entire point of this exercise! You're a Guardian Angel; how do you not know about the connection between Earth and Bizarro Earth!?" She sighed, placing her hands on her hips. "Bizarro Earth and Earth are spiritually connected. They're different, but they're also similar. Events in Bizarro Earth can change what happens back on Earth - even reverse changes that couldn't otherwise be reversed, in some cases."

"So it's basically a parallel world," Pirohiko replied thoughtfully. His thinking cap was on again. "When the Gaspacho of Earth died, the Gaspacho of Bizarro Earth became suicidal in order to continue the unity between the two worlds. But when we saved the Gaspacho of Bizarro Earth, the change was made back on Earth to re-balance things. I get it."

"You get it? I'm actually impressed!"

"Hey!" Pirohiko snapped his fingers. He suddenly looked very excited. "Then, if we find the Bizarro version of me, and save his life, then I'll be able to return to life back on Earth!"

"Yeah, in theory," Etranger confirmed. "There's a problem with that, though."

"W-what's...that?" He asked nervously.

"Take a look at what you're sitting on."

Pirohiko leaned to one side, lifting his leg up to check underneath. Some bandages, some rotting flesh - not sanitary, but nothing unexpected. He rose to his feet and turned around to get a closer look at the twice-killed undead creature he was sitting on. "Wait a minute...that hair. That scarf...!?" He dropped to his knees and reached down to reveal something on the corpse that I didn't want to see. I quickly turned away before I could see what he was doing. "That birth mark!? This is..."

"The Pirohiko of Bizarro Earth!" Etranger declared. "You aren't going anywhere, and it's your own damn fault."

"No way!" Pirohiko cried. "This can't be happening to me!"

"We're going back," Etranger stated. "We've completed our mission, the Unlosing Ranger received his training, and there's no reason to stick around. We've still got a planet to save."

Etranger began using some more of her unexplained magical powers to transport us back to the Space Platform. As the blue light surrounded us, I wondered: Do I also have a Bizarro Earth counterpart?

In a flash we were again standing on the platform in Space. "We're back," Etranger pointed out. "Now that you're back home safe and sound, why don't you go visit your wife and daughter?"

Nobody moved. I had no idea Pirohiko had a family - he didn't really seem responsible enough for such a thing. That was when he opened his mouth and, as he had been known to do, made this nightmare of mine even worse.

"She's right," Pirohiko said. "You should let your loved ones know you're alright."

He was talking to me.

She was talking to me.

When did I end up with a wife and daughter!? In no way can this end well. And in no way can it get any more awkward.
Tagged under: ZHP
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