Author's Note: This would've been out sooner, but I was having some nasty computer trouble that impacted my account. Anyway, this chapter may surprise you, and may seem kind of a strange idea, but once I got the idea in my head, I knew I had to do it.
San Diego, California
It was a sunny morning in San Diego. Once upon a time, not too long ago, the lovely weather would have been appreciated by countless swaths of people. San Diego was, after all, the eighth largest city in the American state of California, filled to the brim with residents from a diverse range of ethnicities, religions, sexualities, and other such things. Sadly, that was the past, and the present was far, far different. The population was now but a fraction of what it once was. All of the tall, impressive buildings that once made up the city skyline now stood in ruins, in the shadow of a tower so tall and so wide that it nearly blocked out the golden rays of light. The tower was almost feature list, being nothing more than a sterile metallic white. Above the very top of the tower floated a holographic projection of a stylized pear. It shifted from one vibrant color to another. It was one of the only non-white features the structure had. In place of any conventional doors were the entrances to a pair of giant passageways that glowed with harsh pink lights. Giant, simplistically designed white trucks entered through one of them while others exited from the other. These trucks dominated the streets of San Diego. There were no windows on the tower, save for the very top floor, which appeared to have walls made entirely of glass. There, a somewhat thin woman stood, looking down at the world below. She was thirty years of age at most, and appeared to be Caucasian, albeit with a slight tan. She had dark brown eyes and hair. Her attire was a blue sweater and black pants. The room she was in was a spacious private office that was only made slightly less sterile than the rest of the building by the fine abstract art she had hung up along the pristine white walls.
"It figures that Americans are the ones who failed to save 'America's Finest City'." she commented.
She sat down at her clear glass desk. On her desk was a framed photo of herself when she was in her teens. Back then, she let her hair grow out long and wore glasses, contrasting her current self's much shorter, tighter hairstyle and use of advanced contact lenses. In her photo, she was standing with some other teenage girls, whom she recognized as her old roommates from back in her days in boarding school.
"Things were so much different then." the woman said aloud to herself.
A knock could then be heard on the metallic door that served as the sole entrance to her office. The woman instinctively clapped her hands and the door opened and a man entered. He wore a sleek, metallic dark gray armor that covered his entire torso, arms, legs, hands, and feet, with a tattered scarlet shawl worn over the shoulders. The lower half of his face was covered by a device that resembled a dark gray airsoft mask, but with glowing red patterns on it that resembled rows of pointed teeth. The upper half of his face was that of a black man with several patches of heavily scarred skin. His left eye had a noticeable row of stitching above it, which replaced his eyebrow. His head was bald, visibly due to even more burn scars.
"Good morning, ma'am." the man greeted in an electronically distorted voice as he walked up to her desk.
"Cut the pleasantries, Bloodtooth." the woman snapped at him, holding up her hand at him.
"Well excuse me. I didn't realize you'd be in such a nasty mood." the one called Bloodtooth countered.
"Ugh! Forget it, okay? I just have a lot on my mind." she said to him, agitated more with herself than with him.
"Can't say I blame you. I'll get to the point of my being here; The window you gave the squatters will be up soon. The device is prepped. After it goes off, San Diego shall be the first city to be completely dominated by the Pear Corporation. None will stand in your way." Bloodtooth stated ominously.
The woman nodded silently in approval. Despite this, she looked almost conflicted. She glanced down at the framed picture on her desk. Bloodtooth stepped forward and snatched it up to see it for himself.
"Hey! That isn't yours to touch!" she barked at him.
She snatched the photo from his hands and slapped it back down on her desk. Bloodtooth angrily glared down at her. He threw up his hands in irritation at her behavior.
"You're just straight up crazy! You really have become a selfish bitch, Quinn." Bloodtooth said, finally calling her by name. "If you hadn't saved my life, I'd be gone by now. I didn't sign up for this madness, Pensky. I'm only going along with it because I know you'll destroy me if I don't. ...Everyone else who we've lost would think this was a terrible joke if I could tell them."
Quinn was silent. She was clearly angered by that comment, but also genuinely hurt. Once upon a time, she could even imagine the one she now called Bloodtooth talking in such a way to anyone. They had been friends then. She wasn't sure what they were now.
"They were my friends too. If I could go back to those innocent days at PCA, I would." Bloodtooth continued. "...I know that you would too. You could be with Logan again, or even Mark."
He paused and then began laughing. Even with the distortion to Bloodtooth's voice, anyone could hear the cruelness in it. Quinn flinched. She seemed genuinely unnerved by it all.
"I never could understand your taste in men. Then again, you never really were a normal girl. Somebody really should have stepped in before you could do the terrible things you've done." he continued on.
"Half the world was gone, 'buddy'." Quinn stated.
Bloodtooth pounding his clenched hands on her desk, causing slight cracks to form in it.
"I don't need reminding about that! If that hadn't happened, none of this would've! You wouldn't have been to seize control of Pear! I wouldn't have had to be transformed by you! My fiancé would still be alive! Our friends would still be alive!" Bloodtooth screamed at her.
"Don't you think I know that?!" Quinn hollered back, incredibly upset. "I'm saving the world, you bastard! This is all for the ones who weren't there when the missing came back! I'm going to bring everyone back and I'll be the hero in the end!"
"You? A hero?" Bloodtooth snorted. "Even fucking Captain Man is more legit a hero than you, and he's a total idiot!"
Quinn sprung up and slapped him across the face in a rage.
"Get out of my office! Now!" she loudly ordered him. "Or else!"
Bloodtooth closed his eyes, turned around and headed back towards the door. Quinn walked over to where she was standing before and looked back down at the city.
"I have one more thing to say to you before you go, Bloodtooth." Quinn uttered.
Bloodtooth stopped with one foot out the door so he could hear her as requested. Neither one of them turned to look at each other.
"You are not the same person that our friends knew, and you never will be again." Quinn told him coldly.
Bloodtooth stayed silent for a few seconds before responding.
"Same goes for you. You're the real monster here." Bloodtooth retorted.
He then slammed the door behind him as he left. Quinn punched the glass in front of her and scowled as tears formed in her eyes.
"I already knew that, Michael. Lord knows I already knew." Quinn murmured.
She stared out at the horizon. It was a sunny morning in San Diego, and Quinn Pensky, famous inventor and the current CEO of the Pear Corporation, felt her heart grow darker. Ever since the night everything changed, that was a daily occurrence. One that never felt any less awful. If she had turned her head ever so slightly to the right, she would have noticed that one of the only vehicles on the roads in the shadow of the tower that wasn't one of her giant white transport trucks was a small, hot pink sports car. Inside of it was the driver, a feminine figure who hadn't set foot in San Diego for over two years.
"They really did it." the woman said to herself as she took in her surroundings. "Pear has everything they could ever want. Almost."
She clenched her right hand into a fist as she drove further away from the tower.
"This city could've been mine. If I hadn't left." she told herself.
She looked into her rearview mirror. The woman briefly looked at her own reflection in the glass with great intensity. She was a thin Caucasian female in her late 20s, with long, shiny dark hair that she had tied back into a single bun. Her eyes were deep brown, like a pool of unbothered mud. She wore a svelte black suit jacket and knee length skirt over a white button down blouse with thin, pink vertical stripes, as well as black shoes over see through leggings she had on under her skirt. There wasn't any traffic on the way to her destination. She was confident that she'd arrive there in time. Not that she really wanted to.
"That frickin' boob…" she groaned.
The Parker-Nichols Household
The woman in the car drove down a long road, in a more suburban part of the city. Even though she was much further away from the Pear Corp. Tower than before, the massive structure could still be made out in the distance. It really was just that intimidatingly massive. Just like with the larger buildings, the houses that lined both sides of the road were either reduced to ruins or otherwise abandoned. It was a depressing, eerie sight. The houses that still stood, while left to become dirty and dilapidated, were still identifiable as having once been very nice homes. It hadn't been a bad place to live at some point, but now it was. On one house front was a statement written in green spray paint. She stopped to take a moment to read it.
"...'San Diego Is Dead - Beware of the Pear'..." the woman read as she passed by it.
Suddenly, a crazed looking, wild haired, bearded man appeared. The grimy, decaying old clothes he was clad in allowed him to blend with a half collapsed house next to the house she stopped to look at. He began pounding on the door of the pink sports car.
"Get me outta here! I can't live like this anymore! Take me with you!" the man begged, his voice booming like thunder.
The woman screamed as the desperate survivor smashed the window next to her into pieces with his bare hands. Several bits of glass became embedded in his hands, but that didn't phase him at all. The glass scratched the woman's face lightly and left small tears in some of her clothes, mainly her jacket.
"Stay away from me! I'm here for someone else!" she screamed.
She punched the man in the face and he fell backward, giving her the chance to drive off. The man began pounding on the ground while sobbing uncontrollably. The woman could hear him as she kept driving away.
"No! Don't leave me! I used to be a star! I used to have a real life!" the name cried.
She kept driving forward, but then she heard him say something that made her heart skip a beat. Something that both surprised and shook her in ways she never expected.
"I'm Drake fuckin' Parker!" the man cried out.
The car came to a screeching halt. The woman stepped out of the car. She looked stunned.
"Dr...dr...Drake? I...can't believe this." she said.
She walked over towards Drake, who was now softly weeping and curled up into a ball, his right eye frequently twitching.
"I need my guitar. I need my guitar. I need my guitar. I need my guitar. I need my guitar." he repeatedly said.
The woman, while still apprehensive, touched her hand to his hairy face, gaunt face. She gasped as she was finally able to recognize it.
"For some reason...I just figured you'd be the same when I found you. I never thought you'd change so much...but I should've." she remarked.
Drake stared up at her and his eyes widened. He recognized her face. She had changed less than he had since everything in their world became so different.
"...oh my god. It's you." Drake said, his tears ceasing to flow down his beard. "Is it really you, Megan?"
She nodded yes. His eyes widened and he pulled away from her.
"Don't hurt me!" Drake shrieked.
Megan rolled her eyes. That brought back memories of her youth.
"Fine. I'm not in the mood right now anyway." Megan smirked.
Drake stood up.
"Y...you came looking for me? Why?" he asked.
Megan cocked an eyebrow and motioned all around herself with outstretched arms.
"Because this place has gone to hell, Drake!" Megan loudly answered. "Don't tell me you want to stay, because I know you don't! ...Nobody outside of that damn tower wants to stay. Look, I know we've had our issues, but I'm not going to just leave you to die here. You're my brother."
Drake scowled at his younger sister.
"I'm supposed to believe that you care about me?! After all the torture you put me through for laughs?! No way! You're probably in bed with that chick who took over Pear! I won't trust you with my life, Megan!" Drake shouted.
"You think I would risk my own life just to screw you over?! If I wanted you to suffer, I would just leave you in this rubble to rot!" Megan shouted back at him. "I know you're an idiot, but don't be stupid!"
Drake glared at her for a moment before his face softened.
"How's mom? Are she and Walter...well...are they well?" Drake asked.
"Yes, Drake. They're doing okay. They're safe in Wellsville. They bought the house they were renting for their vacation after the city was declared property of Pear." Megan answered. "...Josh is okay too."
Drake crossed his arms.
"Don't mention Josh to me. Just don't. He abandoned me." Drake huffed.
Megan sighed and placed her right hand on his.
"Drake, Josh meant to come back, but he everyone thought the world was ending. None of us even knew if you were among this missing." Megan said to him.
Drake broke down crying in his sister's arms.
"I wasn't! I had to see it all happen! No matter where I ran, people were blowing away in the wind! I went to everyone I could think of; Helen, Craig and Eric, even Crazy Steve! All of them were gone! Just...just...gone…" Drake sobbed, "...and I wished I was too."
Megan didn't know what to say, so she just didn't say anything. She guided Drake towards her car. Buckled him into the passenger's seat, got in the driver's seat, and began to drive. After several minutes of silence, she finally thought of something to bring up.
"Why weren't you squatting in our house? Did something happen to it?" she asked.
"It was destroyed in a fire." Drake answered.
"I was worried you would say that." Megan admitted.
"Some of the other people left in the neighborhood went crazy. They started burning down their own homes. Some of the fire spread to our old place. By the time the Pear goons ran them out of the area, it was too late." Drake elaborated to her.
"So you've been more-or-less homeless since then?" Megan asked.
Drake grimly hung his head down.
"No wonder you look so different. I...I'm sorry you went through that. I mean it." Megan spoke to him.
Things became silent again for a few more minutes as Megan continued to drive along, trying to get back to a route out of San Diego. It was Drake who broke the silence this time.
"Did you come to find me because Josh forgot about me?" he asked.
Megan knew she had to dismiss that idea, and quickly at that.
"Of course not!" Megan blurted out. "Drake...Josh wanted to be the one to find you. He really did, I swear. But…"
"But what?" Drake asked.
"He has new responsibilities now. Ones that kept him from being able to try." Megan stated.
"So he got a job he cares about more than me. Sounds about right." Drake grumbled.
"Quit being a boob!" Megan snapped at him. "That's not it at all."
"Then what is it then?" Drake demanded to know.
Megan took a deep breath. This wasn't because she had a lot to say, but because she had wanted Josh to be the one to tell him the news. She decided to use the most simple language she could.
"His baby." Megan then divulged.
She looked at Drake, who looked absolutely stunned by what she said.
"Josh is a dad?" Drake gasped.
"Yeah, Josh is a dad. I'm an aunt and you're an uncle. Walter Drake Nichols. That's the boy's name." Megan spelled out.
"He named his kid after me. He really does still care." Drake whispered.
For the first time in what felt like forever, Drake Parker smiled. Shortly after, the car soon became blanketed by the titanic shadow of Pear Corp. Tower. Even from high above, Quinn Pensky could see Megan's brightly colored vehicle. Her advanced Pear brand contact lenses helped with that. She had specifically designed them to be better than her old sets of conventional glasses. She gazed down at the car, watching it head off towards the distance. Behind her, a weasley looking old man in a white lab coat stood.
"Given the rate they are moving, it'll probably take whoever is in that car about thirty-three minutes to pass the city limits." Quinn told herself.
"Huh? What are you talking about, ma'am?" the man in her office asked, confused by his employer's statement.
"Nothing you have to worry about, Doctor McGriff. Just a random observation of mine." Quinn dismissively answered.
"So…" Dr. McGriff awkwardly paused, "...shall we activate the device now? All we need is your word and it's done.
Quinn turned to look at him. Something seemed unusual about her, at least from McGriff's perspective.
"No, not just yet. I want you to wait about an hour and a half. After that, you have the go ahead." Quinn answered.
"But why not do it now and have it over with?" Dr. McGriff questioned.
"That's an order, McGriff!" Quinn barked, before affecting her less agitated demeanor once more. "...I want to savor my victory. Let a girl live."
Doctor McGriff bowed his head to her and then left the room. In the hallway stood Bloodtooth, who watched the older man hurry down the hall, passing the cyborg by without even a word. McGriff had clearly seen him, but he was obviously scared by Bloodtooth and would rather avoid interacting with him. Bloodtooth leaned against a wall as he watched the Doctor skitter down the hall in the direction of the elevator he had come up in.
"I wonder if Zoey would find me as scary as he does." Bloodtooth pondered.
He then produced a red mobile phone with the Pear symbol on its back. On it was a picture of a girl. She was one of the girls from the picture on Pensky's desk that he had grabbed earlier. Her smile seemed so bright, so confident. Bloodtooth laughed as he touched his finger to the screen.
"I wasn't being completely honest with Quinn before, Zoey." Bloodtooth said to the image of the girl. "Yeah, I'm staying by her side until she decides to seek you out. No one has seen you since the world changed forever, but I know that she'll be able to find you no matter where you've gone. All I have to do is wait in till then and I'll finally have my chance...to kill you!"
He threw the phone onto the floor and stomped on it until it was completely destroyed. As he got in the elevator, Dr. McGriff could hear the electronically distorted cackles of Bloodtooth echo through the halls. He shuddered in fear as the doors closed. That nightmarish laugh was his least favorite sound in the world. One that would haunt his mind for years to come. He couldn't help but think of the day when he had watched himself turn into dust in front of his own bathroom mirror. Or how, just before it had started, he would've sworn that he had heard the sound of fingers snapping.
So...you may be wondering why I decided to bring some Nickelodeon sitcoms into the Infinity Crisis multiverse, and why I've done what I've done. Well, this went through a lot of revisions, but the core idea was this; "What would happen to a world where nobody would be prepared for the Blip?". From there, it dawned on me that a world made up of goofy sitcoms would probably be among one of those that would be left the most devastated and scarred by the event. The possibilities intrigued me, which eventually led to this. With that being said, here are...
- There's no great reasoning behind the numbering for this world. I just knew that I needed one.
- Quinn Pensky and Michael Barret (who is now Bloodtooth) are from Zoey 101.
- Logan Reece and Mark Del Figgalo both died in the chaos caused by the Snap. This caused Quinn to go down her dark path, take over Apple...er, I mean Pear...and seize San Diego as her own.
- No one has seen the titular Zoey since the disaster struck.
- Drake and Megan Parker are from Drake & Josh. Drake was the only one still in San Diego, while the rest of the family was elsewhere, and he had been lost to them ever since Pear took over the city. Megan knew this was her last chance to rescue her brother due to having an inside man at Pear, and figured somebody had to do it.
- Wellsville is the setting of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Walter and Audrey live there now.
- Josh probably lives in another country now. The USA is one of the countries that handled the Snap the worst in this reality and he had to flee the country with his wife, for the sake of the baby, who was born overseas. Josh is actually quite well off now and plans to have his whole family come move in with him once Drake is found.
- Dr. McGriff is supposed to be the brother of Ted McGriff from Hey Dude.
Alright, I hope you've been finding Glimpses to be an interesting enough read to keep an eye out for the next installment!