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Meanwhile, in another world...


Tick, tock, tick. Like a 50s noir, the dark and shadowy atmosphere of the cluttered office is periodically interrupted by the weak 'click' of each passing second.

"Look at you," the voice beckoned, "you fucking disgrace."

The suited man did not meet the gaze of the masked man that had appeared in his office.

"How many?" he asked.

The masked man cocked his head.

"How many have I killed letting you live?"

The masked man laughed, "I never keep count."

"I do."

"I know you did," the masked man spat as he walked over to the assortment of liquors and wines perched on the table near the door, "three hundred thousand death certificates, yeesh. Ain't saving the atmosphere with that kind of tree intake, eh? Oh, no Manischewitz? You call yourself a Jew?"

The suited man leaned back in the chair and swung around, resting his elbows on the desk.

"Can't blame me though, can ya?" the masked man said, "ain't my fault."

"Who's fault is is then?"

"...fucking kidding me? Yours."

The suited man laughed, "Heh, man you are an irritable sober, ain't ya?"

"Not the Manischewitz you stupid fuck! Everything!"

"Ha! Yeah, how do you reason that? I'm not the one going around killing people."

"Ultimately, it is your fault, bedrock. I'm just the result of your actions, after all."

"What you've done was totally out of my control!"

"Is it?!" the masked man screamed, lurching forward and pounding on the desk, "None of this would've happened if you had just stopped!"

Their eyeports met for an uncomfortable amount of times. Without moving, the Gascot continued, "On you marched. For what?"

"To stop you."

"Really? That's why you did what you did? Your intentions were selfless?"

Silence.

"Takes a strong man to deny the truth, doesn't it? You took these measures to vilify your own needs. What a genius idea, trap the bastard. Three cheers for the master trapper!"

"You don't know what you're talking about." bedrock spat.

"I know more than you think. You wanted to feel appreciated. Useful. To vilify yourself of your own perceived faults. You were spiteful. You were arrogant. Now, what do you have to show for it?"

"I have the full support of those idiots out there!" the orange man cackled, shooting up from his chair. "I have all the means I need to take your sorry ass out! Even more than that, even! Ha-ha, I have all those stupid fucks eating out of my goddamn hand, thanks to you! You dumb cocksucker! You fucked up! You gave me this leverage! Everything is your fault, and it's still, your fault. What do you think of that?!"

"I think you've proved my fucking point, dumbass."

Silence once again.

The orange man looked down, and slouched into his chair. "What...what happened to me?"

"You lost control. You started being...real. Hurts, doesn't it? There were over five thousand people alive in this, the day before yesterday. How many are alive today, I wonder? How many will be alive tomorrow? How many will you send to their deaths in order to catch me?"

The orange man shuddered.

"You can't go back now. You're far from done with what you've started."

"What I did wasn't unreasonable."

"But it was vastly inappropriate. The truth of the matter is, you decided overkill was the best option. You wanted to feel like something you're not, and well...now you have what you wanted. Full power. Does it feel good? Do you feel like a man yet?"

"I...did it to protect us."

"You're no savior. Stop lying to yourself. I know the truth is hard to hear, bedrock, but it's time you understood what you've done."

"This...this is all in my head! Everything, all this! It was your fault!"

"If this was in your head, we'd never be having this conversation. We'd never have a need to. This means I'm right. You know you're the bad guy. Even subconsciously, there's the revelation slowly tearing its way through into that thick skull of yours. You have to know...you know I'm right!"

"No...no...I can't...you..." the orange man stuttered.

"This isn't a fucking game, you idiot! Don't you realize this?! Your work is sacred! If you abuse the power, people get hurt!"

Sniffles.

"On some level, I know you know I'm right."

"I...I..."

"I didn't mean to hurt anybody..."

"No one ever does bedrock. For me, for us, it's over. I came here to do one thing, and as far as my own incompetence has brought me, I have irrecoverably destroyed my timeline. Time travel was a bad idea, but had I known...had I known what to do, had I known there was a different approach I could've taken, I suppose...I suppose I could've done things differently too."

bedrock started sobbing.

"History tells us that bedrockperson disappeared in April 2014, Gascot first appeared in February. I tried to come back, I tried to stop it all...history tells us bedrockperson disappeared because I came back to stop Gascot, history tells us Gascot appeared in February because I came back to stop him...the guilt, the shock, the terror...it broke me. It made me the husk bereft of humanity I am. Things weren't supposed to play out like this, and I don't know why they did. Maybe God or Buddha or whatever decided it was right for the world to change just to fuck with me...now...now I'm certain there is no place for me in any place I can conceive."

The sobbing continued.

"But hey bedrock, no matter what happens next, don't be too hard on yourself. Even now, after all you've done, you can still go home. Lucky you."

With that, the Gascot was gone.

No one heard the gunshot that killed the commander. When they found him slumped over his desk with the revolver in his hand, it seemed a weight had been lifted off the entire staff's shoulders. In that moment, for some inexplicable reason, the sight of this dead man made them almost euphoric. As if it made them feel like everything was going to be okay.

To this day, no one is exactly sure why. Perhaps it was just an after-effect, a confabulation. After all, after that day no one ever saw the Gascot ever again.

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