"Well I guess karma got him," Gypsy Ash gloated as she closed the conference call.
A crash in the art studio cut her short and the three Asheynas ran in the direction of the sound. The easel was knocked over and several of the canvases were torn. Pale fingers with long black nails clenched around a bottle of liquid labeled Frarn Red Nebula Whiskey stuck out from one of the tears. Ash ran over and snatched the bottle,
"Hey! I recognize this!"
Before she realized what was happening the black fingernails were holding a dagger that was held tightly against her throat. The other hand adjusted their owner's black leather corset before grabbing back the bottle of whiskey and taking a liberal swig.
"That, is mine. And I don't share my booze, as you well know," Shey snapped. Her eyes were bloodshot and she smelled of alcohol.
"Nice dagger," Dagger Ash commented, pulling out its twin.
Sheyna lowered the blade from Ash's neck and skipped over to inspect the knife. Her countenance completely switched as she studied the notched dagger intently. "Niiiice."
"Of course it's nice," Ash muttered, "It's the one I alway wanted."
Dagger Ash and Sheyna sat down in the middle of the wrecked studio and began pulling out knives and comparing. As they passed the bottle between them Ash shook her head, apparently not sharing didn't include her clone.
"They'll be at that for a while won't they?" Gypsy Ash asked, putting her arm around Ash she guided her out of the destroyed room and back to the office.
"Depends, both of them usually carry a lucky thirteen on them. My guess is they'll be at it as long as the whiskey holds out."
"You sure have some split personality stuff going on. We're all so... different, and not."
Ash shrugged. "I write about what I know... mostly. With some... artistic liberties taken for the more, particular, personality traits. What I really want to know is, where are all my villains?"
"Well I'm right here," a slightly more tipsy Sheyna stumbled into the room followed by Dagger Ash, neither had any visible daggers.
"Huh?" Ash and Gypsy Ash said at once.
"I'm the villain o'tha story. Come'on, I'm a heartless b*#$% of a pirate... you named my Rifter the 'Soul-less Ice Queen'! That doesn't 'zactly inspire the warm fuzzies... this whiskey does however. Y'got any more?"
"Uhhh..." Ash was unable to decide which answer would be better. On the one hand if she showed Sheyna where it was she avoided angry Sheyna... this was to be avoided at all costs. However drunk Sheyna was possibly worse, although she supposed she should be thankful no Brutor men came through with her.
"Yeah, I do..." Ash gave in. The war tattoos flashing on Sheyna's face convinced her that angry Sheyna was definitely the worse of the two. This version of herself was definitely the villain.
As Sheyna and Dagger Ash invaded her small stash of alcohol the other two Asheynas sat on the couch with their coffee.
"It makes sense," Gypsy Ash finally spoke.
"Sense? Nothing about any of this makes sense."
"No, the villain thing. Nature, the universe, everything... is about balance."
"So having a heavily armed drunk version of myself drinking with another heavily armed almost drunk version of myself is... balance."
"Balance must be maintained."
Ash listened as Gypsy Ash explained her theory. For every villain to escape a story a protagonist can escape. But the more protagonists that were pulled, the more villains were allowed to leave.
"But... but... wait it's there. Something in that tells us maybe how to fix it? We have to put them back in pairs?" Ash's face brightened at the thought she maybe began to have a handle on solving it.
"It would seem so... but that still leaves us with a few huge problems. What villains escaped, and when we find them, even if we can pair them with their protagonist, we still don't know how they got there. So putting them back seems..."
"Yeah. Still, I should call Dark and Dru back, this might help narrow his search." Ash jumped up and ran to the computer to ring Monty.
She found Sheyna sitting in her chair cursing under her breath at the computer which seemed to have exploded.
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY COMPUTER?!" Ash shrieked.
"Didn't mean to, Ash and I were having a knife throwing contest. One... got away." She pointed to a leather handled dagger that was embedded in the motherboard through the side of the tower.
"So I finally figure something out, and now I can't tell anyone?!"
"Why don't we just go see them?"
"The live on the other side of the planet in England for starters. I can't imagine what would happen if I tried to get us through security..."
"My ship doesn't have security." Sheyna looked confused.
"Your ship?" Ash's face matched Sheyna's.
"You didn't think I'd come through without my baby did you?"
"A Rifter? You brought a Rifter with out?"
"I'm sorry, what's a Rifter?" Gypsy Ash interrupted.
Ash turned with a half smile half grimace on her face. "A Rifter is a space ship." She turned back to Sheyna with a panicked look on her face. "Omigosh where did you..."
"Land it? There's an airport right down the street. No one saw it... I finally learned Civilian Cloaking."
"EEE! I could hug you right now!"
Sheyna backed away, hands ready to go for a dagger. "No touchy!"
"We're going to take a space ship? To England?"
"Why not?," Sheyna shrugged. "But if any of you touch the guns or the whiskey, I'll kill you mkay?"