Then one day he showed up with a huge smile on his face and flush with cash. We hadn’t seen him in a while and figured he was locked up again or sulking somewhere, planning his revenge on Brilliant Brian. It turned out that he had been travelling to different dimensions to kill every alternate Brilliant Brian he could find that weren’t as formidable, some of them didn’t even have powers, they were simply guys who would’ve been The Pornographer’s foe. He explained that he found it very cathartic.
This was also when he transformed his persona. During his travels he started focusing on the ways the worlds were different instead of just using them as stepping-stones to help him in our world. He found a lot of places where our world’s celebrities had looser morals. He collected their pictures and movies in other worlds and brought them back to ours where he sold them at a premium. He built one of the most profitable porn businesses in the world from doing this. Since that day nobody ever called him The Transporter again, he became The Pornographer.
I did find The Pornographer’s website for this world. It wasn’t as robust as the one I knew. The fare was pretty standard. After a few more minutes clicking around the internet I did find where the studio was based. It was a slim chance made better when I found that it was run by someone with the same name as The Pornographer’s alter-ego. I doubted he would have powers. My only hope was that he had met The Pornographer I knew. Then I wouldn’t feel so stranded.
I memorized the address then set about finding something to wear. Nothing in Isaac Jenkins’ closet came close to fitting me. Even his “skinny” clothes draped off me.
In Dana’s dresser I found her workout clothes. It was the best I could manage if I didn’t want to run around naked. All her normal clothes were fitted for a woman’s cut. I managed to find a pair of black gym shorts and a gray tank top. The tank top was a bit tight and the shorts were cut higher than I would have preferred, but I was covered. It would serve for now. In the entire house I couldn’t find any shoes that fit me. Isaac’s were boats no matter how many socks I put on and Dana’s were surprisingly petite.
I retrieved the car keys and wallet from the kitchen and went to the garage. Sitting there was a gleaming, red Porsche. It was a wonder he could fit in it. I hit the button on the alarm and the car chirped. I grabbed the door handle when I started having a seizure.
It felt very much like the reality shift I experienced an hour earlier. It started in my head then expanded down my body to my feet. When it reached my knees they gave out and I fell to the garage floor. Every muscle in my body clenched tight. The world swirled around me, twisting and reforming. One moment I was in a garage, the next I was twitching in a parking lot.
I felt my skin expand and contract. Even through the pain I felt a moment of misplaced relief. I hoped that when this episode ended I would be outside my bar and everything would be fine. Eventually everything stopped. Once the pain stopped I tentatively opened my eyes to see a wall of yard tools.
My nose was bleeding, stronger this time. There was already a pool of blood on the garage floor, right underneath my head. I crawled over to the car and opened the door. I found some napkins stuffed into the door that I pressed against my face until the bleeding stopped. I crawled into the car and sat down. I couldn’t reach the pedals or the steering wheel from how far back the fat fuck had his seat. After fiddling with the controls I managed to get into a comfortable, drivable position.
I turned on the car and was assaulted by classical music set to full blast. I stabbed the off button on the radio. Isaac was a pretentious fuck. I shifted into reverse and backed out of the garage onto the street.
I punched the Pornographer’s address into Isaac’s GPS. This world’s street layout wasn’t the same as the Paradiso I knew. It was a long drive from where I was to where I wanted to go, which was troublesome. I didn’t know if that seizure I just had in the garage was a one-off. I didn’t want it to happen while I was on the freeway. Last thing I needed was to hospitalize myself.
I drove very carefully. I was on edge because of the seizures, but the car itself made me uneasy. It was ostentatious, drawing attention to itself with its bright red coloring and brand name. I always tried to stay low-key. That was how you stay alive.
On the freeway a police car fell in behind me. The road was busy, but not packed. I checked the speedometer. I was only a hair above the speed limit. There was no one on either side of me. He could easily pass me if he wanted to.
Isaac’s car was immaculate. There was nothing, not even a pen, that I could use as a weapon. If the cop pulled me over I was in big trouble. I flipped open Isaac’s wallet and glanced at the license again. The basic look of the face was the same, though I’d have to win bacon eating contests every day for a year to have his chins. I checked the mirror again. The cop was still behind me. I thought I had the chance of claiming a diet until I saw that the license had only been issued a month ago.
I switched lanes, preparing to exit the freeway. The cop kept right behind me. I expected as much. My plan was to lure him into an alley and kill him. Even without a gun I was still lethal. I didn’t want to. Not that I had a problem killing cops, it was just that doing that could possibly create more problems than I already had. On the other hand I wanted him gone. Right now he was a problem I could solve. In a world without super powers the cop hadn’t seen anything like me before.
My brain went ice cold and sent shivers down the rest of my body. It, stupidly, hadn’t occurred to me that I may not have my powers. I assumed that since I was in my body with my brain, and not in Isaac’s fleshy coffin, that I would still have my power. Not like I would’ve been able to check. There was no way Isaac owned a gun, nor would I be able to check and see if I could still shoot someone’s eye out at two-hundred yards with a pistol in suburbia.
I was about to exit and kill the cop when a someone in a black SUV screamed past. The police officer was obligated to chase after him instead of tailing me. I relaxed a bit. A minute later I passed them. The driver was out of his car, screaming so hard his face was a violent shade of purple. The cop had one hand up in a calming down motion while the other rested on his gun.
After that the rest of my drive passed without incident. I didn’t even see any other police out. The GPS lead me to right in front of a warehouse in a somewhat run-down neighborhood. A small sign outside read ‘Pat Murphy Productions.’ That was one of The Pornographer’s aliases. I parked across the street where there were less cars. The only spot available in front of the warehouse required parallel parking which wouldn’t be good for a quick getaway if I needed one.
I got out of the car and strode across the street. The pavement was hotter than I expected and stung my bare feet. I didn’t let it show, in case anyone was watching.
Inside the warehouse it was cool. The door opened into a makeshift entrance area that vaguely resembled a doctor’s waiting room. Only it was fake. The walls didn’t got all the way to the ceiling. They were just tall enough that you couldn’t see over them even if you stood on the uncomfortable looking chairs. The cute receptionist was reading a magazine when I entered. She had a radio on behind her that did nothing to mask the moans I could hear coming from behind the fake walls.
When the door clicked shut she lowered her magazine and gave me a slow look up and down. I realized then that I looked like an applicant for a porn movie. I smiled at her and she smiled back like she liked what she saw.