The Earth Is Flat. How hard is that to see?
So, clearly, I own none of these characters.
“Bob? Bob, wake up!” I banged on the railing as I walked down into the basement.
Bob is a very powerful spirit of intellect. He hangs out in a skull in my basement because… well, let’s say that there are certain people in the Nevernever you shouldn’t piss off. Think A Midsummer Night’s Dream with The Godfather and you get the picture. I keep him hidden, he helps me out with spells, we both end up happy.
“Darn it, Harry, I was just in the middle of a- sweet mother, a blonde and a redhead! Really, Harry? For me?”
Bob is America’s version of the dirty old man from anime. The last time I let him out of his skull, the college nearby produced a new Gone Wild
video and left a few confused co-eds.
Molly grinned. “Better than that, Bob, Willow’s a lesbian.” She wrapped an arm around Willow’s shoulder. “Maybe if you’re good…”
“Whatdya need?” Bob replied immediately. He cocked his skull. “You’re calling her Willow? She looks more like Lily Aldrin to me.”
Molly looked at Willow. “Huh. You’re right. You could be a dead ringer if you grew out your hair.”
Willow blushed. “But Lily’s all ‘ooh, I’m gonna take you now’ and I’m all ‘eep!’”
I cleared my throat. “And I’m all ‘Hey, let’s keep on track!’”
Molly stuck out her tongue. “We are. We just figured out that Willow’s dimension has Lily Adrin.”
“A vital clue.” I replied dryly.
“Whoa, whoa, hold the phone!” Bob exclaimed. “Willow’s dimension? You mean this is actually Willow? The
Willow? You’re not just calling her that ‘coza the lesbian witch thing?”
“Does everyone know about me?” Willow complained.
“We’re trying to get her back to her dimension, and we were hoping you might know something.” Molly said, sitting down. “Any ideas?”
“Can’t be done. We’re surrounded by the Nevernever. In fact, you have to punch a hole through
the Nevernever just to reach the Outer Gates, and beyond that you’ve got the Outsiders and Elder gods and all sorts of badness.”
Willow frowned. “That doesn’t sound right. The hell dimensions should be below us- on the vertical tier. Alternate timelines would be to the left and right, and alternate dimensions would be in front and behind. I think. It’s all pretty relative. But hell dimensions are always below!”
“I always thought of the Nevernever as a magical subspace.” We all turned to stare at Molly. “What? You know it’s true! It’s a symbological representation of the real world, condensed. You can take three steps to cross the world. Subspace!”
“That would make sense!” Willow said excitedly. “If it’s a magical anomaly caused by the density of the magic in this dimension, then it would naturally permeate through the dimensional barriers and fill the Void! Oh! And if it’s in the Void, it could fill in the space between other dimensions, not just yours, so it’d be like filling your wall with foam, and so you couldn’t sense anything but the hell dimension you come out in!”
“The Outsiders aren’t from a hell dimension!” Bob snapped. “They’re Outside
. Antithetical. Incompatible with The Reality That Is.”
“…oh. Huh.” Willow sat down.
“She may not be entirely off, then.” I said. “There’s three layers to our world, the physical, the magical, and the spiritual. The Nevernever is almost exclusively magical. If it is a projection or subspace or whatever, it would be superimposed over our physical reality. So if you go through it, you’d miss everything and head straight to the edge. Like taking an overpass or something.”
“So, because we use magic, we pass all the physical dimensions?” Molly frowned.
“That’s not good!” Willow exclaimed, standing up. “I can’t do it without magic! I mean, Fred could, ‘cause she spent five years in a cave working out the mathematics, but I don’t have five years, or even a cave and I’ve got to get back right away before Dawnie misses me and oh, my God, I haven’t finished warding the castle and they don’t have
anyone powerful enough to ward a whole castle, and what are they going to do when some big bad non-
physical demon comes rampaging in and starts killing everyone? We're screwed! Tell me you know how to drop below the Nevernever, we need to not use the Nevernever! Wait, you said three layers- but I can’t do spiritual! That would mean becoming a spirit and ascending to higher plane would be really bad
‘cause a Higher Power could hijack me and descend and made me do some vampire’s kid so I can give birth to an evil god and fall into a coma and die!”
I, having had extensive experience with this the night before, only stared for a moment. Really.
“Uh…” Molly replied intelligently.
“I like her!” Bob said cheerfully. “Can we keep her? I mean, it’s not too bad here, right?”
“They kill telepathic witches!
” Willow screeched.
“Oh. Well, that would be bad. But Harry can hide you, can’t you Harry?” Bob glanced over at Willow. “Harry’s really good at hiding wizards.” He whispered confidentially.
I rolled my eyes. “Bob, shut up. Willow, calm down. No one’s going to try and kill you. And we’ll figure something out. You obviously got here by magic, so it’s just a matter of- ignoring
the Nevernever. Angels and demons don’t bother with it, so there’s obviously an alternative path. Molly- you’re the nerd.”
“I am not a-“
“ Go see if you can find anything concrete about alternate dimensions. Maybe string theory or something. Bob, do the same with your contacts. Willow, you and I-“
There was a loud thumping on my door upstair. “Dresden? Wizard Dresden! There was a report of a large gathering of eldritch energy here! Are you all right?”
“Crap.” I muttered. “Okay, Willow, you can’t stay here. They’re going to want to check the basement. Um, ahhh… come with me!”
“See Willow?” Bob called cheerfully after us. “He really is good at hiding wizards!”
“Shut up, Bob!”