"So, what ideas do we have to improve the lives of Walter Bishop and those around him?"
"Not to mention all the people on the two Earths."
It was another meeting of the group of aliens dedicated to exploring alternate universes where Walter Bishop and his associates found increased happiness.
This group had a name that, in English, translates roughly into something like "Obangu." For our purposes here, we shall refer to them as Enhancers. Of course, you are free to make up your own name as we go along.
The Enhancers (or your name here) all cooed telepathically when one fellow raised his tentacle. His name was "Obanga" because he was a very ordinary inoffensive fellow. It would be as if one of us named someone "Human" or "Person."
Obanga telepathically, and enthusiastically, relayed his proposal.
"Suppose I go back in time and I plant a suggestion in Walter's mind that he must keep Elizabeth away. This would be after the events of that crucial night, when he brought back Peter from the Other Side and the two were rescued by an Observer named September."
The others clucked their approval.
"That should have interesting, and very positive, consequences," Colangu murmured. He sat at the head of the table. His name meant "Council Leader of the People." "Let's see what plays out, shall we?"
When the group joined minds, they were able to watch what would take place in a possible alternate future.
"Carla, I need you to do something for me." Walter Bishop spoke to his assistant Carla Warren as they stood over an unconscious but recovering Peter. "Now that you've helped me here a little, I need you to go to my house, and I need you to sedate Elizabeth."
When Carla stared at him, it was as if she were rolling her eyes without actually doing so.
"Walter, I can't just go around sedating people. Especially not your wife."
"Then find someone who can! A doctor, a nurse, a paramedic. Anyone! And do it quickly!" Quite suddenly, Walter's demanding tone changed to one of gentle supplication. "Listen to me. I fully intend to return Peter, this Peter, to his own world. But I can't do that should Elizabeth come here and see him. It was bad enough when she simply saw him through the viewing device. She must be kept away from here!"
Carla had a look on her face, one of intense debate. That she was even considering Walter's request at all was incredible.
Earlier, she and Walter had gotten into a very nasty argument. Then she and Nina Sharp tussled with Walter just before he crossed over into that other world.
Carla even had to help Nina seek medical attention for her injured hand. Now here she was with Walter and the boy taken from another world.
Yet for Carla, it was one of those things. She objected to what Walter was doing but she also realized it was best to help him minimize the damage.
"All right, Walter. I'll do it."
"Thank you," he said, practically gasping out the words while his eyes were moist.
Because of Carla, Walter was able to return Peter to the Other Side and place him in his own bed. But maybe he lingered too long.
"Don't move," someone said.
Walter turned. It was Walternate. And with him, a shadowy figure.
"This is Lieutenant Broyles. Though he is a recent West Point graduate, he is quite skilled, I assure you."
Inwardly, Walter groaned. He really hadn't thought this through, had he? If the son of a prominent scientist went missing, even for a short time, the place should be swarming with police and private security. It made sense there would be at least one guard in the house. And here he was, this Broyles fellow.
"Keep your hands where I can see them," Broyles ordered, aiming a formidable pistol.
As he raised his hands, Walter noted that the tall dark man looked like a giant praying mantis. His bald head and large dark eyes gave him an eerie alien appearance. Of course, Walter realized this odd observation could be the result of fatigue and stress.
"Please don't hurt me," Walter pleaded. "I had medicine for the boy." He nodded toward a vial on a nightstand while offering an uncertain smile.
Quickly, Walternate checked Peter's vital signs.
"He does seem better. I shall have to have a doctor verify it, of course. In the meantime, you are to remain here."
"I saw you from another world," Walter blurted out. Broyles had already snatched away the vial. "You were distracted by the bald man in the fedora."
Walternate gave him a sharp look. "How would you know about that?" Then, waving his hand, he gave a dismissive shaking of his head. "Never mind. Broyles, take him to my study and watch him."
In short order, Walternate met Walter in his study.
"Peter is indeed cured. It has been verified by doctors and also by the bald man in the fedora. He is called September. He has verified your story about another world. He has also brought more disturbing news." Leaning on his desk with two fists, Walternate outlined the grim case. "In crossing over to this world twice, you have damaged the fabric between the two worlds. We have had not one but two events in our city that serve as evidence of this destruction."
"I am very sorry to hear that." Walter bowed his head.
"You must remain here and help repair the damage you have done. That will be your penance."
"It will be my reward," Walter insisted gently. "But first, I should like to invent a way to communicate with my world. I need Elizabeth to know I'm all right. She's already lost Peter. She can't lose me, too."
"Of course," Walternate said with a gentle grin.
As he rose from his desk, Walternate smiled as he grasped Walter's right hand with his own two hands.
"I am very grateful to you for saving my son," he said warmly.
Walter's eyes were moist, his smile a flickering one.
"I had to," he said in a tearful voice. "I lost my Peter. I couldn't let your Peter die, too."
"Of course," Walter said quietly. His face squinted up as he smiled even more. "I am very glad we met in this way. If not, I would have assumed the people from your world were trying to destroy my own. I would have, in turn, attempted to destroy your world."
"Then I am glad we met this way as well." At first, Walter held that flickering smile, then he looked stricken. "I am terribly sorry for the damage I caused. But I trust you understand why I did it."
Walternate almost laughed, a rare sight, Walter guessed. "I do indeed! Of all people, I understand the most." After giving Walter a light tap on the shoulder, Walternate gestured to a small lab in his study. "Now you can make up for the damage. Let's get started together, shall we?"
"Let's!" As he slowly rose, Walter looked quizzical. "Do you have any licorice?"
Again, Walternate almost laughed.
"Of course I do!"
"Well! That is a very satisfactory very happy outcome indeed!" Colangu said as the other members of the council telepathically sighed with contentment while flapping their tentacles.
With his one squid eye raised, Colangu looked across the table.
"Anything else to add, Obanga?"
"Let me add that Walter was successful in communicating with Elizabeth," Obanga said in a chipper squeaky voice. He then slipped into the voice of Walter. "And Walternate and I were successful in building a bridge between our two worlds."
The others nodded and cooed their approval, not only at the outcome but at the impersonation. Colangu then lifted a long tentacle-like finger.
"What other ideas are out there? Yes, Bobangu?"
The one called Bobangu adopted both the face and the voice of Walter.
"I want Olivia to be exposed to gamma radiation!"
A terrifying image appeared of Olivia Dunham flashing her FBI credentials then turning big and green. She growled and roared while the room behind her burst into flames.
Bobangu-as-Walter lifted a lecturing tentacle-finger as he spoke or rather narrated. He sounded something like a cadence-filled preacher.
"Now, whenever Olivia Dunham becomes angry or outraged, an incredible metamorphosis occurs!"
"No!" the others shouted vehemently.
"You wouldn't like her when she's angry," Bobangu responded sheepishly, his Walter visage melting away.
Colangu shook his head. "I can't see how that could possibly result in increased happiness for Walter and his associates. Rather, increased tragedy and misery."
Bobangu had always been a problem. In fact, he was the reason the group was involved in the Walter Bishop Project.
Thousands of years ago, there was what became known as the "Bobangu Incident." It was back when humans had abilities.
Some humans could shoot lightning bolts out of their hands, employ heat vision or run at super-speed. Others could move things with their minds or travel to other dimensions. The humans with lesser abilities, such as the ability to communicate with fish or control insects, regarded the more gifted humans as super-human or, in some cases, as gods.
In any case, Bobangu thought it would be funny to use some super-technology to shut off all the human powers. He meant it as a temporary thing, a practical joke to instill shock and alarm among his Obangu brothers. But when the group was unable to restore power to the technology, the human loss of powers became permanent.
As penance, Bobangu was required to create a human form to mate with a human female and create a line of mentally advanced humans who would aid in the development of human societies.
In each subsequent generation, the was at least one genius who introduced new technology and advanced knowledge. These geniuses helped build pyramids and great walls, invented faster means of transportation, sparked an Industrial Revolution, even worked on ways to bring out the latent abilities in humans once again.
From this line of advanced humans was born one Walter Bishop, who once theorized that aliens had taken away the abilities humans once had. Walter didn't know it had been done by one practical joker alien.
That the Enhancers helped bring about Walter's existence was one reason they took such a special interest in him.
Bobangu once again adopted the face of Walter and talked in his voice.
"What if there were to be a book?" Bobangu-Walter mused aloud. He gestured with a tentacle. "'The Walter Bishop Guide To Talking To Women.' Where one walks up to a woman and says, 'You're very pretty. Do you have any licorice?'"
"No," Colangu said curtly and quietly. With his squid eyes half-closed, he glanced around the table. "What other ideas do we have?"
A tentacle shot up, and the owner of the tentacle, Robangu, immediately launched into his rapid-fire presentation.
"What if Elizabeth that is the Elizabeth from Walter's world not Alt-Elizabeth went withWalter because she found out what he was doing or he told her and she insisted she go with him and Walter decided it would take longer to argue with her and he's got that medicine that won't last very long what about that?"
"Hmm. Yes," Colangu said, much as Walter might. He gave an authoritative nod. "Let's see what develops from that."
"Back away, both of you."
Though she was unarmed, Elizabeth Bishop looked deadly serious. And dangerous. For some reason, she was posed like a ninja warrior, knees slightly bent, one arm above her head ready to strike,. A bluff perhaps. But Carla Warren and Nina Sharp weren't taking any chances.
"Elizabeth, please. You don't want to do this." Nina held out her right hand in a beseeching manner, her face full of pleading.
"You don't understand the consequences," Carla said.
"I don't care," Elizabeth said. "I won't let Peter die again."
And with that, Elizabeth and Walter went through the gate. On the other side, Walter smiled his most pleased and satisfied smile.
"Well done, my dear. If you hadn't been with me, I might have gotten in a tussle with those two and this vial of medicine might have been broken."
"We must hurry," Elizabeth urged/ordered. She tugged on her coat. It was her idea to bring along the compounds for the medication so, if necessary, they could recreate it.
They walked quickly. Once at their destination, they had no problem sneaking into the place. It was so much like their own. They found no police, no security. There was no reason for such. It wasn't like Walter had abducted this world's Peter. All they had to do was quietly sneak past the other Elizabeth, Alt-Elizabeth.
As he moved about quietly with his wife, Walter thought how odd it was that Elizabeth embraced this visit to another world. But then as a girl she loved adventure stories so it made sense she would relish this experience. Especially when it was a chance to see Peter again. Or at least a Peter in another world.
They entered the room. When Elizabeth saw this other Peter, her face was full of love and sadness. While Elizabeth brushed Peter's hair with her hand, Walter quickly administered the medicine. Then he, too, stopped to look at the sleeping face of this other Peter.
Then, fearing they were lingering too long, Walter took Elizabeth by the arm.
"We must go, my dear," he said softly and sadly.
"No," she said in a tearful voice. "I don't wish to leave."
"Who are you?" someone demanded. "What are you doing?"
It was Alt-Elizabeth. With her was a frowning glaring Walternate.
"We are from another world," Walter stammered. "I brought medicine to cure him."
Quickly, Alt-Elizabeth went to Peter's side.
"We didn't do anything to hurt him," Elizabeth insisted, sounding very annoyed and put out.
Alt-Elizabeth shot her a very sharp look. "You better not have!"
"If you have, you'll regret it," Walternate said in a low menacing voice.
In short order, they learned the news: Peter was fine. But there was bad news.
"Because the two of you crossed over, there have been two events in our city," Walternate said in a kind of grumbling voice. "One at Harvard, the other in the downtown area. This means you cannot go back. Doing so would only cause more damage. You must stay here and help us repair the damage."
With a glum look, Walter nodded. "It will be our penance. My penance."
"I don't want to go back, anyway," Elizabeth said. "I want to stay here and help take care of Peter."
Alt-Elizabeth raised a skeptical eyebrow. "I'm not sure about that."
"Oh, please," Elizabeth pleaded. She placed a hand on the shoulder of Alt-Elizabeth. "I know we love our children very much, but it would helpful to have someone to relieve the burdens and provide some time off."
"But it could be confusing for Peter."
"I think we could find a way to explain things." Elizabeth suddenly looked very sad, and tearful, as if the events of the night had finally taken their toll. "Besides, he is so much like my own Peter. I would enjoy taking care of him. I need to."
As Alt-Elizabeth considered. Walternate wore his warmest smile as he offered a hearty handshake. "The one called September confirmed your incredible story. Otherwise, I would have assumed you belong in an insane asylum."
Walter chuckled. "I should hate for that to happen to me."
"Please," Elizabeth pleaded once again. "From one mother to another. Let's give this a try, shall we?"
After another moment's consideration, Alt-Elizabeth smiled. "Let's!"
So over the years they all worked together. While the two Walters built a bridge between their two worlds, the two Elizabeths took turns raising Peter. At first, they tried to trick him into thinking he had only one mother. But Peter was too smart for that, he saw right through it. When they explained the truth to him, he not only took it well, he thought it was really cool. It was all they could do to keep him from blabbing it to other children at school.
This arrangement, the two of them raising Peter, worked so well that Alt-Elizabeth joked that what every mother needed was another duplicate mother to help out.
Occasionally, though, the two women would have their usual nasty argument, which usually went something like this:
"I have just as much right to do this as you. I am just as much Peter's mother as you are!"
"You are not Peter's mother at all!"
"How dare you!"
But after a while both Elizabeths would apologize profusely and then fall weeping into each other's arms, while the two Walters stood in the background shaking their heads and then eating some licorice. It was the way civilized men resolved arguments. Or at least two civilized scientists living in a house with their two wives.
These two civilized scientists found a way to communicate with William Bell on Walter's world. Bell (or "Belly," as Walter called him) set up a series of experiments with children to unleash their latent abilities to cross over into other dimensions. One girl was especially adept at crossing over: Olivia Dunham, or "Olive," as Walter called her. Walternate grumbled about how Walter found the need to give everyone a nickname.
In a report, Bell wrote, "By having the children frequently practice crossing over, it protects them from sickness, disfigurement, and death, as would be the case if they were hastily assembled for an emergency."
"We could call them the Young Avengers," Walter said with a laugh in his voice.
"We could but we won't," Walternate sniffed.
Walter agreed with Belly's assessment, as did Walternate, and they found that "Olive" and the children greatly accelerated their efforts to build that bridge between their two worlds.
Eventually, the bridge was completed, Olivia was an FBI agent, and Peter was a fully grown engineer. So the two Walters and the two Elizabeths needed new challenges.
It was decided that Elizabeth should become a space-time traveler. This was especially necessary when September warned them of a takeover invasion by the Observers (a name coined by Peter and Olivia). Combining cortexiphan with the "quantum leap" technology of Doctor Sam Beckett, the two Walters turned Elizabeth into a time-and-space hopping reconnaissance scout.
In addition to reporting on the invasion plans of the Observers, Elizabeth excitedly reported other news.
"I met a group called the Sliders who go from one world to another but they've reported no invasion by the Observers on any of those other worlds. Only beasts they call 'Kromags.'
"I also met a group called 'S-G-One.' They use something they call a Mirror Device to travel from world to world looking for a suitable world for their people to live on. Their own world has been taken over by what they call the 'Goa'uld.' The survivors of that occupation are, for now, set up on what they call 'Alpha Site.'
"Along the way, S-G-One picked up a Clark Kent and a Lana Lang from a world taken over by President Lex Luthor, who was controlled by someone called 'Zod.' Again, no Observers." Elizabeth brightened. "Don't you see? These people could be allies."
"They don't sound like allies," Walternate sniffed. "They sound like people we have to save from oppressors."
"They are potential allies," Walter insisted.
"Yes, yes," Walternate said impatiently. "This is all very well and good. But we must learn more about the Observers and their planned invasion. We must send you as far into the future as we can."
"That could be very dangerous," Walter tutted.
"Is it not worth it to free billions from slavery over centuries?" Walternate raised an index finger for emphasis.
"It does no good if she dies!"
"It is worth the risk! It is only one life!"
"That is all easy for you to say," Walter said. "Yes, that is all very well and good for you. But it is my wife being endangered, not yours."
"Again, is it not worth it to save us all, to save all humanity?" The index finger and the vocal volume both went up so high Walternate sounded almost like a preacher.
"My Elizabeth might not even survive the trip to 2609 let alone gather any intelligence that would help us," Walter grumbled.
Walternate sighed. "We have worked together for many years. We have learned that sometimes we need a break from each other."
So that is what they did. The two Walters went off their own separate ways. Walter had found that if he took his mind off a problem for a while, the solution suddenly presented itself.
So he thought about other things of a non-scientific nature. Like how the two Olivias lived together in such harmony, and so did the two Astrids.
While that was pleasant to think about, reality came crashing in on Walter's mind. According to September, the Observers would invade in 2015. That meant there wasn't much time to gather an army, and all they really had were refugees like the Sliders, SG-1 and Clark Kent and Lana Lang.
Sure enough, insight came to Walter, and possible solutions.
When he went to find Walternate, he found Alt-Elizabeth ready with a lecture. She was even waving her index finger with a fierce look on her face
"It should be possible for you two to resolve this, especially if the Olivia from the other world can live with her counterpart here."
"Bolivia," Walter moaned.
Walternate frowned. "I wish you would not call our Olivia that."
"I find her most disagreeable, and much too sassy," Walter insisited. He then turned his attention to Alt-Elizabeth.. "It's true, my dear, that your husband and I are having a disagreement. But I shall not fall sobbing into your husband's arms as you ladies are wont to do."
"I am very glad of that," Walternate said.
Here, Walter lifted an index finger. "Instead, I propose a solution. There is no way we can cause Elizabeth, any Elizabeth, to jump to the year 2609. Doctor Beckett's 'quantum leap' technology is far too limited in range, I'm afraid."
"But-" Here, Walter raised the finger high for emphasis. "-we can cause Elizabeth to jump to the year 2015. From there, she can use one of the Observers' supply tunnels from the future. S-G-One and the Sliders have plenty of experience sneaking in and out of places. They can advise her."
"They could even go with her," Walternate said.
"Clark Kent, too," Alt-Elizabeth said. Nay, insisted.
"Quite so," Walter said. It helped that Belly had invented a drug that enable adults to leap around in time and space. "Whatever Elizabeth finds out, I have a plan to confront the Observers when they arrive. I shall need to consult with Astrid. Your Astrid."
Here, the Enhancers all applauded for they loved Olivia, any Olivia, and Astrid, any Astrid but especially Alt-Astrid, and they were happy when Olivias and Astrids were happy.
"Now back to our vision," Colangu chirped.
In 2015, the Observers invaded. Or at least they attempted to invade.
When the first wave arrived, led by one Captain Windmark, some people were there to greet them. Among them: Walter, Walternate, William Bell, the two Elizabeths and Olivia Dunham. More than one Olivia, actually. The Astrids, too.
"Captain," Walter said in a strong bold voice. "Before you begin your invasion, I should like to show you something."
Windmark looked too perplexed to object as Walter thrust a portable device into his hand.
"What is this?" the captain asked.
"These are images of all of us working together," Walter said with a warm smile. "In doing so, we've accomplished a great deal. We've not only protected our two worlds."
"And repaired them," Walternate noted.
"But we were able to anticipate and prepare for future threats, possible threats." Walter didn't lose a beat, and he sounded as if he were giving a lecture.
William Bell, or Belly, wore a wry smile. "Of course, it helps to have the proper intelligence sources. And a super-computer."
"Which we built," Walter said.
"Together," Walternate said.
Fauxlivia wore her usual sassy smile. "We've worked together, too." She put her arm around her counterpart.
"We've solved a lot of cases that way, as you can see on that device there," Olivia said. Both Olivias smiled broadly. "It's the same with the Astrids."
"The two Astrids," Walternate clarified.
"Hello," Astrid Farnsworth said with her usual good cheer. Next to her, Alt-Astrid simply stared.
Astrid leaned in toward her sometimes-boss. "Walter, do you really think this is going to work?"
When Windmark lowered the device, he wore the unblinking gaze common to the Observers.
"I see it is so," Wintermark said. "Cooperation works better than coercion."
Walter lit up. "Really?"
"No, not really. I was, as you humans say, 'just messing with you.' Let the invasion proceed."
"I was afraid of that," Walter sighed.
"I predicted an 87% chance this plan would work," Alt-Astrid said in her usual monotone voice. "And a 97% chance the backup plan would work."
"Send in the clones!" Walter shouted.
At that point, Olivia turned into the Hulk. Then another Olivia stepped forward and another and another. There was, in fact, a small army of Olivias, and they all turned into Hulks. Each one growled and roared, and some of them twirled Observers around like slingshots while others simply smashed.
In the midst of that chaos, Walter smiled his broadest and most maniacal smile. "Why create just one Olivia-Hulk when you can create an entire army of them?" He then unleashed a device that melted the faces of the Observers before they floated away.
"Why have them float away? Because it's cool," Walter said.
He was, of course, drowned out by all the noise from the Olivia-Hulks and one Peter-Hulk who stuck his head up for just a moment.
The Enhancers all turned and gave Bobangu a sharp look.
"No!" they shouted.
There was a quick rewind on all the Hulk action then Windmark said, "It appears that cooperation works better than coercion or conflict."
"Really?" Walter said.
Windmark nodded. "'Yes, really.'"
"Is that decision based on emotion?" Bell asked.
Windmark shook his head. "It never seemed like a logical plan in the first place. We are trying to stop climate change in the future. It is not necessary to control all of human activity or behavior. Things such as private thought or imagination. This would require great effort and would not contribute to our goal." He tilted his head slightly to the right. "We shall attempt cooperation."
As a beaming Walter nodded, Elizabeth stepped forward offering both a gracious smile and her hand. Alt-Elizabeth stood behind her next to a non-Hulk Peter.
"We shall be happy to teach you the ways of cooperation," Elizabeth said.
"We've become experts," Alt-Elizabeth said with a little laugh in her voice.
Everyone present shook hands with Windmark, including both versions of Charlie Francis, Lincoln Lee, and Phillip Broyles as well as solo versions of SG-1, the Sliders, Clark Kent and Lang Lang. Not to mention the Walters, the Elizabeths, Peter and the Olivias and one Astrid Farnsworth. Alt-Astrid was too shy and wouldn't have made eye contact even if she did. Windmark didn't seem to take offense.
"And Windmark marries Alt-Astrid, and they live happily ever after. The end!" Bobanga said. The others telepathically glared at him. Bobangu lifted his squid shoulders. "Isn't that in keeping with our themes of cooperation and happiness?"
"Not that," Colangu harrumphed, and they switched back to scenes of the humans and the Observers getting along.
Walter had this goofy smile on his lined face. "I remember once when I was high I saw these giant letters in the sky identifying cities, towns, buildings and such."
"I'm sure that was very interesting," Walternate said drily.
"Are you high now, Walter?" Peter asked.
"Oh, no indeed. There is no need, Peter. Life is so good now one can get high on life itself."
"That's deep, Walter."
"Isn't it, though?" Walternate said, even drier than before.
"Good work, sweetie," Astrid said, giving Alt-Astrid a tap on the shoulder. As she walked away, Astrid silently mouthed the one-word question "sweetie?"
Wearing a teasing smile, as well as a shiny purple jacket, Fauxlivia pulled up alongside and gave Astrid a quick poke in the side. "Isn't that a lot like calling yourself 'sweetie/'"
"Yes,"Astrid admitted, her eyes all wide. "That's what made it so weird."
"I predicted there was an 87% chance this plan would succeed," Alt-Astrid said with her head tilted slightly and a kind of blankness in her eyes.
As the hand-shaking continued, Windmark repeated this phrase: "We shall work together."
Of course, as with all things, one can make a resolution to do something but one can stumble in the day-to-day process of actually doing it. So it was with Windmark and the Observers. From time to time, they tried to assert their will on the humans and rule over them instead of working cooperatively. It was then that members of Team Fringe had to advise them on how to resolve conflicts.
Fortunately, the team—with its two Walters, two Elizabeths, two Olivias, two Astrids and one (again, non-Hulk) Peter—had vast experience in this area. They had, after all, spent years living and working together. So when the Observers stumbled, the team put them back on the straight path.
Working together, Team Fringe and the Observers freed other worlds of oppression, with Walter supplying devices to dissolve faces and send oppressors floating away. (Because, again, it was cool). They freed the Sliders' home worlds of Kromags, SG-1's world of the Goa'uld, and Clark and Lana's world of the forces of Lex-Zod. Not to mention Zod himself.
Thus, through cooperation, freedom reigned throughout the multiple universes. And all because Elizabeth Bishop decided to travel with her husband to another world.
Bobangu spoke up once again: "If I may paraphrase Charles Dickens at the end of 'A Christmas Carol?'" (The others grumbled their reluctant assent.) "Walter Bishop became as good a husband, as good a scientist, as good a man as the good old Other Side had ever seen. To Peter Bishop from the other world, who did not die, he became a second father. And it was said of Walter Bishop that he knew how to protect planets well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that truly be said of each one of us!"
Here, Bobangu stretched out his tentacle arms wide. "And so as Walter Bishop observed -" (And here, he once again adopted the face and voice of Walter): "'Let's have some vanilla ice cream!'"
Colangu and the others simply stared for a moment. Then the Enhancers joined minds once again for one last final image of Walter raising a glass in a toast at a victory party.
When the images of a smiling Walter faded away, Colangu slapped his tentacles together.
"Very satisfactory indeed. Not only does Walter bring freedom to other worlds but by making the Observers his allies there is no need for him to travel into the future and be separated from Peter."
"Or his granddaughter Etta!" Obanga piped up.
"Yes! And it was all done without Hulks of any kind."
Colangu slapped his tentacles on the stainless steel conference room table. "I don't think we'll find a happier ending than this. Let's employ our Universe-Changing Device to have this alternate universe overwrite the one where everyone is so miserable just because Walter never returned Peter to the Other Side."
The others nodded and murmured their approval so loudly there was no need for an official vote with tentacles up or down. Besides, they could read each other's minds anyway.
It was then that a noise was heard: one of loud electrical discharge. When the Enhancers still at the table turned to look, there was Bobangu grinning sheepishly as he held up a frayed electrical cord sputtering sparks.
"Oops," he said, or the Obangu equivalent thereof.