"Hello Mr Blackpaw, if you will please have a seat over there we will get to you in a moment."
I looked to where the secretary had gestured and ploped myself down in a chair, picking up an old issue of national geographics. I don't think it can be considered a real waiting room if it doesn't have at least one ancient issue of the publication. As I absent-mindedly thumbed my way through the pages, I wondered about the reason I had been called. The lady on the phone hadn't said much, just that in a recent diving run (Hell generated so much paperwork people actually went diving in it to find stuff) Someone had come across a file marked specifically for me. So here I was now, in the lobby that led to one of the many warehouses full of paper that ensured hell ran smoothly.
After I finished an interesting article about how to field dress a deer, the secretary informed me that "Mr. Johnson" was now available. She led me into a back room, where a bright red little creature about the size of my fist, with two tiny horns and a tail ending in a spade, was sitting and sharpening a tiny pitchfork. Next to him was a manilla envelope that said Kyle Blackpaw on it.
I sat down at the table across from him, as the rather busty foxy secretary lady tottered back out into the lobby on her high heels.
All of a sudden the imp looked up at me "Ah, you must be the one they call Blackpaw. Yes, good to see you. Yes, see we seem to have encountered a bit of an issue. You see, this file is marked for you and you alone, and in fact did quite a number on the poor fellow who found it. It seems that it has been protected in such a way that nobody can open it. Which has made everyone curious, what does it say. Well, since its yours, we figure you can open it. So go ahead. Open it."
There wasn't really much for me to do except open the damn file was there. Well it probably would have been better if I hadn't because the thing was booby trapped. When I opened, there weren't any papers at all. Just a bright flash, a subtle tear in the fabric of reality, and a kid who looked a lot like me when I was younger. Something happened, there was more flashing and a huge throbbing in my head. Suddenly I felt myself go full on demonic for a split second, my fur turning to chitin, spikes erupting from everywhere, my canines elongating and becoming razorsharp, my tail turning whiplike and tipped in a nasty blade. All I could do was growl and shriek in pain, my head feeling like someone had shoved a white hot lance through it. And then as rapidly as it began, the poor german shepherd puppy who was being forced to watch all this was fused into me, then violently torn back into his own dimension, I think.
Not knowing how to respond to what had just happened, I did the only logical thing there was. I passed out.
I woke up with both a giant red squirel in a top hat and a nude hampster boy standing over me, in what I immediately recognised from the feel as my childhood bed. After a second it registered that the former was Razielphustar, Arch Hell Gaurdian and a friend of mine. The other was Bubbles, my roommate and, for those who still used such conventions, my mate. That isn't to say I didn't yiff other people, but Bubbles and I had a really deep and rather complicated connection. Looking around I also spotted 326 (a messenger robot who lived with me now due to some sort of error) on my head board, and I could feel Foofoo (my sentient blankie) wrapped around me tightly. They were all obviiously worried, and visibly relieved when I sat up.
For a while everyone just hugged me, especially Bubbles, who had obviously been crying pretty hard. After a while I broke the silence and asked the obvious question "what the hell happened?"
Razielphustar sighed and sat down in my deskchair, and took a moment to organize what he was going to say. "Well, I guess it all goes back to that file. After you triggered whatever was in it, it became safe to read again. And according to what was in it, there are two of you. Well, in a way. In another reality, one that you were never supposed to exist in, you came into being, completely in parallel with this one. So someone, and we still haven't figured out who, although we're looking into it, decided that to correct that, they would rip the you out of that reality and meld it with you you. Unfortunately they appear to have botched the job, so instead of the two of you combining into one, you each just swapped a little piece of your soul."
I broke in here "That would explain why I've got some memories of things im pretty sure never happened to me." I caught a glance at the name on the file. It now read 'Kyle "Blackpaw" Flint'
"umm whats with the name?" I gestured to the folder that Razielphustar was holding.
Bubblles suddenly squeezed me tighter while Razzy explained. "We aren't sure. There is a lot to what happened here that makes no sense, a lot of which I don't think we've even begun to figure out. The least of which is that in every file where you are mentioned, along with anywhere else your name is written, it has changed from Blackpaw to Flint. That is a ton of paperwork, and its going to take a bit to change it all back, but don't worry about it, we will turn it all back eventually."
I rolled the name around in my mouth a bit, and decided I liked it. "Nah you can leave it as Flint. I think it fits me much better than Blackpaw." As I said this Bubbles squeezed me hard.
Razielphustar then telepathically said to me *he's been pretty worried that what happened is going to change you, so I'm going to go now and let you two talk it out* and with that, he picked up 326, who quipped "Good to have you back on the side of justice, pardner." (Which I knew meant he was happy that I was ok)
I leaned down and nuzzled the top of Bubble's head, and began to gently run my fingers through the fur on his back. I hadn't needed Razzy to tell me he was worried, I could read my little hampster like a book. But I was no good with words, and especially in situations like this they tended to fail me. So instead I decided to show him that I still loved him the same as before.