The Silent Planet
The first thing Dipper and Mabel saw upon bursting through the portal was the face of the man who had kidnapped their Grunkles.
The first thing they heard was Ford yelling "Okay, shut it down!"
The first thing they did was skid to a halt and look around for their Grunkles.
It was only after Stanley and Stanford had been thoroughly hugged by everyone except Pacifica (who, herself, was drawn into a hug by her traveling companions) that the newcomers began to look around the room.
The most striking thing about the room was how small it was. Granted, it wasn't small by any normal conception of a room, but the many computers, not to mention the other pieces of technological equipment that were placed throughout the room, took up a lot of space, and the fact that there were now more than twenty occupants trying to fit into the room made the space seem cramped. Despite this, the room was cozy, with the technology being offset by soft pastel-colored walls and natural sunlight that sprinkled through various skylights and windows.
The second-most striking thing about the room was how many people were in it. At this point, the room was occupied by seven computer workstations, three large control panels, three dozen extension cords, a refrigerator, a large portal, various electronic components, several tables and chairs, nine adults, nine teenagers, a naked mole rat, a dinosaur, a sentient pizza slice, a giant realistic flying tiger, an Uncle Grandpa, and Frankenstein.
"Okay," Pacifica finally said. "What the heck just happened?"
"Yeah!" Mabel agreed, pointing an accusing finger at Uncle Grandpa. "Why'd you kidnap our Grunkles?"
"And what were you doing with Biffy?" Lee asked the Stans suspiciously.
"And what does Wade have to do with anything?" Kim asked Finnwich angrily.
"For that matter, why did you need Drakken?" Shego added. "I mean, I can't imagine he's that valuable."
"Hey!" Drakken complained.
"Oh, yeah, that one was a mistake on my part," Uncle Grandpa said. "They said to get the smart member of the Lipsky family. I thought it was the blue-skinned college dropout, not the guy with the sweet hair."
"Aw yeah!" Motor Ed crowed. "Recognize the sweet mullet power! Seriously!" He air-guitared.
"Wait, you wanted to nab my cousin instead of me?" Drakken asked, upset. "That is so not fair!"
"But yeah, I can explain why you're all here," Uncle Grandpa continued.
"We'd rather just grab our Grunkles and go," Dipper said.
"Yeah," Soos agreed.
"Us too," Kim said. "You coming, Shego?"
Shego nodded. "Oh yeah. Definitely." She grabbed Drakken by the arm. "C'mon, slowpoke, let's get outta here."
"Wait! You can't go yet!" Uncle Grandpa said frantically. "Otherwise this whole plot will have meant nothing! And that's a terrible ending!"
Shego stopped and eyed him appraisingly. "Alright, fat man. Start talking."
"Not in here," Uncle Grandpa said, walking over to a doorway. "In here."
Every single one of the newcomers looked at each other warily, but they walked through the doorway, followed by the people they thought had been kidnapped. Through the doorway lay a large conference room. The majority of the room was taken up by a large, round table with plenty of seats around it. Everybody sat down in groups consisting of people they already knew, but as they sat down a frown crossed Mabel's face.
"Hey! We forgot Waddles!" Mabel cried, distraught. Uncle Grandpa walked over to the empty seat next to Mabel and opened a portal. Waddles fell through onto the chair and oinked.
"Waddles!" Mabel said gratefully, picking up the pig and hugging him tightly. Uncle Grandpa walked over to his seat but remained standing.
"So, you're probably wondering why I brought you all here," Uncle Grandpa said.
"Uh, yeah," Lee said.
"No duh!" Jenny added.
"Whatever," Shego said.
"Yes!" Tina exclaimed.
"Holger wants to know!" Holger said.
"I don't really care," Kim said.
"Go on..." Soos said.
"Well, the story starts...hmm," Uncle Grandpa said thoughtfully. "How long ago was it? Wait, actually, that's not important. So, I woke up, as I usually do, and I got out of bed, and I stubbed my toe on a dresser. Hopping backwards, I lost my balance and fell straight into a swimming pool filled with hot dogs. There was only one thing for an Uncle Grandpa like me to do: eat all the hot dogs. That's right, I, Uncle Grandpa, ate an entire swimming pool of hot dogs. And that was when I realized...my show was still cancelled."
Mr. Gus nodded. "I hear that. I still wake up some days wondering what wacky and entertaining adventures we're going to get into before realizing that we've been cancelled."
"Yeah," Pizza Steve agreed. "And it stinks! The people of the world need more Pizza Steve! Those executives have no idea how important Pizza Steve! is!"
"I know, Pizza Steve," Uncle Grandpa agreed. "They had no vision."
"Wait, wait, hold on," Dipper said. "You were part of a TV show that got cancelled?"
"That's right, kid," Uncle Grandpa said, nodding.
"So what, you kidnapped our Grunkles for revenge?" Dipper asked, confused.
"Trust me, it'll make sense in a minute," Ford said.
Uncle Grandpa nodded. "Thanks, Stanford. Anyway, it's not only me. It's also..." He pointed at Lee Ping. "Unrenewed." He pointed at Dipper Pines. "Ended on own terms." He pointed at Kim Possible. "Unrenewed, revived, ended on own terms, now making a movie."
"Hey, we're not part of a TV show!" Kim complained. "I mean, we were in a movie, kind of, but–"
"Well I know we're not a TV show," Soos said. "If we were, I'd have a catchphrase. Like, I dunno, 'Bam! Soos time!'"
"Yeah, and my family wouldn't be broke," Pacifica added.
"Plus, I've got scrapes and bruises from crawling through the vents!" Lee added. "No way was that all shot on a soundstage or anything!"
"And we're all still around," Tina pointed out. "If we were just characters in a cancelled TV show, how would we still exist?"
"Belly Bag?" Uncle Grandpa asked.
"Sure thing, Uncle G!" the bag around Uncle Grandpa's waist said, holding out a hot dog and a cane with a jeweled knob on top.
"Thanks, Belly Bag," Uncle Grandpa said. He devoured the hot dog and then used the cane to point at Lee. "So, tell me something. What have you been doing since you stopped that evil corporation from taking over the world?"
"Hunting vampires, no thanks to you," Jenny said bitterly.
"Oh, yeah," Uncle Grandpa said, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. "But, uh, what were you doing before you started hunting vampires?"
"Uh, I dunno, just figuring out how to repair my family and settling into a normal high school career?" Lee said.
"Two weeks with no action after a couple of hectic months, huh kid?" Uncle Grandpa asked.
Lee crossed his arms. "Just because it didn't require a lot of running around and fighting doesn't mean it wasn't hectic."
Uncle Grandpa nodded. "Okay. How about you?" He pointed the cane at Dipper and Mabel. "What did you guys do after the Never Mind All That?"
"We went back home," Dipper said. He frowned. "Wait. How much did our Grunkles tell you?"
"Not important right now!" Uncle Grandpa said. "You went back home, and–"
"Our Grunkles went sailing," Mabel supplied.
"I ran the Mystery Shack with Melody," Soos said.
"My family slid into poverty," Pacifica said bitterly.
"Okay!" Uncle Grandpa said. "Now, I want each one of you to truthfully name one specific thing that happened between the time when Dipper and Mabel left Gravity Falls and when they came back this summer. Actually, scratch that. Name one thing that happened between January and now. Just one specific thing that happened."
None of them spoke up until Pacifica said "I took on more hours working after school let out."
Uncle Grandpa nodded. "Okay, yes, that's been mentioned before. Anyone else?"
"I...watched some anime?" Soos ventured.
"What was it called?" Uncle Grandpa asked.
Soos opened and closed his mouth several times before looking down at the table, ashamed. "I don't remember."
"We got our parents to allow us to come back to Gravity Falls?" Mabel asked.
"Do you remember them doing that?" Uncle Grandpa asked.
Mabel didn't respond.
"Do you even know what they look like?" Uncle Grandpa asked. "Can you picture their faces in your heads?"
Dipper and Mabel started to look worried. Their Grunkles looked at them, concerned.
"Uncle Grandpa, I think that's enough of this line of questioning," Ford said.
"Yeah, you're worrying the kids," Stan added.
"Okey-dokey," Uncle Grandpa said. He pointed at Kim. "I have just one question for all of you: what year is it?"
Kim looked at him, confused. "It's 2006."
Ron responded at the same time. "2007."
They looked at each other, surprised and a bit confused.
"I thought it was 2007, myself," Motor Ed said.
Shego looked straight ahead, disturbed. "I–I can't tell."
"Wait, it's 2013," Dipper said.
"Dude, it is?" Soos asked, shocked. "I've been writing 2017 for months now!"
"Hold on, hold on," Tina said. "Maybe we all come from different dimensions or different times. After all, Uncle Grandpa can rip the fabric of reality–and is that really your name?"
"Yes it is, and yes I can," Uncle Grandpa said confidently. Waddles oinked. "That's right, Waddles. And you are all from different universes. Different fictional universes, that is!"
The room erupted into chaos as all of the newcomers (except for Mr. Gus, Pizza Steve, Frankenstein, and Giant Realistic Flying Tiger) tried to talk over each other.
"Now, now, settle down," Uncle Grandpa said. His words had no effect. Giant Realistic Flying Tiger let out an incredibly loud roar, and the room quieted immediately.
"Thanks, Tiger," Uncle Grandpa said. "Anyway, it's nothing to be ashamed of. I'm fictional myself. You know, assuming there's that much of a difference between fictional and real anyway. Because I've never seen any evidence of the 'real' world not being fictional. The point is, I've seen all your universes, and their stories revolve around you. So, I had to bring you all together to reveal this." Jenny stuck her hand into the air. "Yes, Jenny?"
"Okay, mister crazy person," Jenny said, rolling her eyes, "let's just say you're right about us all being fictional. Why's it matter, anyway? And why'd you have to kidnap Biffy and like, a bunch of other people? Why not just bring us here and tell us instead of making us run around on some weird adventure?"
"If I do that, there's no story," Uncle Grandpa said. "There has to be a story if I'm going to do something. It wouldn't be very interesting if I just brought you all here and told you this. If you're all going to end up here, you need to have a reason, otherwise the story doesn't matter. So I came up with this story, and now you're all here!"
The room fell silent. Kim pushed her chair away from the table and stood up.
"Yeah, it's nice you think that, but I just don't believe it," Kim said. "C'mon, Ron, we're going."
"Kim, it's true," Wade said. "He's really telling you the truth."
Kim rolled her eyes. "Look, Wade, if you don't want to come with us that's fine, but we're going home."
"Yeah," Ron said. "Sorry, buddy, but I have class tomorrow."
"You don't believe me?" Uncle Grandpa asked.
"Honestly?" Kim said. "Not at all."
"Then why don't you look up?" Biffy asked.
Kim rolled her eyes but tilted her head back and looked directly at you.