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Their, captors for lack of a better word, at least appeared willing to reserve judgement. Though Billy's claim that they were from an alternate timeline had been met with skepticism, they hadn't been outright incredulous.

The Keldish had been brought to port in Seattle, and while the crew had been confined to the ship, Billy and his friends were put up under guard in a rather nice hotel. The soldiers and sailors they'd encountered so far had worn the typical uniforms of Cobra Vipers and Eels. But the guards at the hotel were something entirely different.

"I've seen them before." Billy said to Scarlet when they had a moment alone. "Years ago I spent a weekend in a world where Cobra was allied with a nation called Cobra-La. They were...bizarre is the only way I can think to put it. And their foot soldiers looked like these guys."

A few days later he was summoned to the penthouse. "Bring the child."

"Why?" Billy asked suspiciously. They'd not been mistreated, but he couldn't quite bring himself to relax.

"The Baroness wishes to meet her."

If pressed, Billy would have to admit that he'd deliberately not restrained Ana from rushing at the Baroness upon seeing her. Quite honestly he'd wanted to shake the opposition up a bit.


The Baroness gaped incredulously at the little girl who'd suddenly attached herself to her. "What?"

A man Billy recognized but couldn't place chuckled at the Baroness' discomfort. "Mommy? Something you want to tell me honey?"

"Ana," Billy said gently. "I don't think that's, technically, your mother."

Ana recovered herself quickly and backed away, blushing. "I'm sorry Ma'am." she said, curtsying. "I um, thought you were someone else." She sniffled and grabbed her father's hand.

"That's...quite alright." the Baroness said. "I understand completely. Am I to understand that in your world, I'm a mother?" Her voice was tightly controlled, but Billy could swear there was a slight tremor there.

"Yes," he confirmed. "So you believe us?"

"I think you'll find I and my husband are rather open to the possibility yes." she asnwered. She'd regained her composure.

"Call me Steeler." the man said, extending a hand.

"William Kessler." Billy shook his hand. "And this is my daughter, Anastasia. Steeler huh? Does the name G.I. Joe mean anything to you?"

Steeler's face grew hard. "You got one of those in your world too? How're they doing?"

"Weeeellll, we won."

That brought a sad smile to the man's face. "Good for you."

The Baroness sighed, and turned to the guard. "Please bring the others. I think we all have a great deal to talk about."
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William Kessler

June 2017

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