Sarah Greenhilt/Zz'dtri/IFCC

"No, I was right, those things were not Belts of Flotation!" Sarah Greenhilt exclaimed. "I totally should not have believed you."

"Still, it was worth trying," said the dark elf clinging to the piece of driftwood next to the formerly-female Greenhilt family member. Secretly Zz'dtri appreciated her new, ample breasts that made her so much more buoyant than before, even if the feeling did not actually give any rules benefit. Sarah no longer had such an advantage, and her bulkier muscles did nothing to actually increase her strength score.

Still, Zz'dtri could not help but appreciate Sarah's lean, sculpted build, so handsome, so male, so… What's happening to me? Zz'dtri's chain of thoughts stopped with a shudder. Am I turning gay? They had been drifting for hours now. If full effect of the Belts of Masculinity/Femininity was not limited to just the immediate transformation…

Really, everything had started to go strange when that thing called "the Snarl", whatever it was, had got itself loose and eaten a lot of holes to the fabric of the planes themselves. Good and evil afterlives getting mixed up, earthquakes, tsunamis, the living and the dead ending up dumped randomly here and there, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria…

"Look, an island," Sarah interrupted his train of thoughts. "Let's guide this driftwood there." Zz'dtri paddled against the current with all her might.


The island was small and deserted indeed. Zz'dtri had walked around it in a half an hour and found no signs of other people. The weather was great, though, and there was a small spring that provided fresh water. As for the food, Zz'dtri had found out that coconuts crack open handily when one can cast Magic Missile.

The unlikely pair relaxed on the beach as the sun set below the ocean. Here, far from everything, it was hard to believe that the universe was in the process of ending. Cocooned in his calm, Zz'dtri was surprised when Sarah's lips sought her own. She did not resist, though, and allowed herself to be embraced by the god-like young human man. She would just try to have to forget that the beautiful youth was actually an old woman. On Sarah's strong arms that turned out to be easy.

"We might be the last people in the entire world," she murmured. "Let nothing stop us from having this beautiful moment before our souls die."

"Ahem," someone said behind them. The lovers turned around to see three tall beings clad in robes the color of dried blood. No faces were visible, but three pairs of eyes shone from below the hoods. One pair gleamed yellow, one purple, and one orange.

"You know, the destruction of your souls is a matter that is far from certain," the yellow-eyed being said.

"We have come here to discuss about it…" the one with purple eyes said.

"To offer a trade," concluded the one with orange eyes. "We are the Inter-Fiend Cooperation Commission." The three fiends each tried to produce a business card from some dimensional storage, but without success.

"Heaven, the Snarl had to go and eat those too," the purple-eyed fiend complained to the others. "We're going to have to make a new batch when this temporary matter is solved."

"Please don't use language like that here," the yellow eyes fiend said.

"Anyway," said the orange-eyed fiend. "You are Sarah Greenhilt, the currently-male mother of one Roy Greenhilt, who is centrally involved in this mess." Sarah peered at the fiend suspiciously.

"And you, the other one, are a mid-level wizard who just happens to be in the universe's top ten list of remaining arcane power, when so many of your competitors have gotten themselves eaten," concluded the fiend with yellow eyes.

"We just need a little help," said the purple-eyed fiend.

"I won't sell my soul or anything like that, and in any case I don't trust you worth anything, so please go away," Sarah announced.

"No, no, no," the fiends all said in a chorus.

"We don't want the world to be destroyed."

"We like the world."

"The Snarl on the loose will destroy us all, no matter the alignment."

"We have to let such piddling issues be beneath us for the moment."

"So, what do you want from us?" Zz'dtri said.

"We still have a little while before they get to the gate," said the orange-eyed fiend. "You know what, we'll help you save the world for free just this once, tell you how, planeshift you to the right place, everything. We'd just like you do a little something for us in the meanwhile."

"The world is ending," the yellow one said.

"We cannot be certain of our success," the orange one said.

"We would not like to die virgins," the purple one said, strangely wistful. Zz'dtri had never before known that fiends could be wistful.

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