Wonderland--here travels the Alices, the Hares, and everything in-between. Where in the dank dark of the woods, deep into the swamps, Bandersnatches and their ilk wait to tear you into tiny little pieces. Where The Red Queen is fighting with her sister The White Queen, and the Mirrored World where the Alices were supposed to have come from is starting to look more appealing to more than a few of wonderland's citizens by the day. In all of this, the Red Queen has made a very simple request: Find for her the Black Alice who started the mess with her twin sister.
Xander wanders separated from his friends, his world, and all things that he held familiar. Wonderland had started out as a game--a simple children's online game. One month separated him from the real world and got him trapped in the Digital and the servers that host Wonderland. But In Red City, he finds something of a purpose, something to put him back on track to maybe getting home. In audience with The Red Queen, he is offered riches, fame, forgiveness and protection just as long as he brings back the Black Alice to the red queen-- dead or alive. A tall order, when no one really knows who she is and what she looks like, but Xander is sure that he knows who the queen wants--and that she's his ticket out of Wonderland and back to the familiarity of the real world and home. Desperation drives him to accept the suspicious offer--and madness will make him try to follow through on his vow.
But, like everything else in Wonderland, nothing is ever simple. After all, if that were the case, he wouldn't have to go hunting for The Black Alice in the first place.
As he finished the last bite of his food, he finally heard a noise at the edge of the clearing in front of him. He looked up with a start, already half raised. There was girl there in the fading light of the day, in a black cloak and mask, standing very still and quiet.
“Oh,” he said, relaxing. “Imogene.”
The figure shook her head slowly instead of greeting him. Xander looked closer. She was shorter than Imogene, though dressed almost exactly the same, and as she raised her arm to pull the hood down, he saw around the plain black mask. Scars. There were scars everywhere. Xander stared, at first dumbfounded. She had come to him. She was standing there, the Vorpal Sword now visible, and she had come to him.
Xander grinned, standing up outside of his shelter. “Oh, it’s YOU. It’s been a long long time, Blacky. You came to me. How STUPID of you. You know that I’m going to take your head off and give it to the Red Queen as a present.”
She gave a sigh, as if he had said something that she was hoping that he wouldn’t. He laughed.
“What, did you think that my opinion on the matter of the collection of your head would have changed?” Xander put his hand on Flandre. She wasn’t happy about this, seemed to be threatening to not come out of the scabbard at all, but Xander knew that eventually she would have to. It was part of what she was supposed to do as his sword—be his weapon against his enemies.
Blacky tilted her head and watched him for a few moments. She didn’t say a word, but finally reached up to unclasp her cloak. She set her pack and the cloak out of the way. Her clothing might have been similar to Imogene’s but now Xander could see that it contained white, where as Imogene’s clothing was all black, the only way to tell different pieces being the texture.
“What? Are you too good to talk to me?”
She didn’t answer and Xander growled, hand crossing over his body to grip at Flandre’s hilt. “I guess so. Now, why don’t you stand still and let me take your head off.”
Blacky drew the Vorpal sword, hush falling in the already quiet woods as she pointed it at him, a silent invitation for him to come forward with everything he had.
Xander’s grin darkened and he growled with great pleasure, “I thought that you’d never ask.”