Does anyone ever think about what the other universes that
the Barkeep created were like? It goes without saying that Sparks, Croach and
the Red Plains Rider ended up in the reciprocated onus designated as dating in
a bunch of universes, either two of them together or all three of them.
However, there must have been universes where Croach never ended up under onus
to Sparks in the first place. In those universes, Sparks probably doesn’t live
This are my ideas about some of the AUs that the Barkeep made-
1. There’s a universe where Cactoid Jim saved Croach’s
village and Croach ended up under onus to him. Croach learned to express his
emotions much better than in the main universe because he learned from Jim
rather than Sparks.
Croach and Jim make a good team and don’t really argue.
However, G'loot Praktaw (neither of the designated it as ‘Mars’ while talking
to each other) is a much darker place. Jim was living on the outskirts of G'loot
Praktaw, helping humans and Martians alike, when he saved Croach’s village. He’d
once thought about upholding the law officially but G'loot Praktaw’s Marshal
was killed before he got the chance.
Before the USSA could assign a new marshal to Mars, the
Halley’s Comet Gang killed most of the human settlers on the red planet. The colonization
was deemed a failure and most of the remaining humans left. The planet became a
haven for varmints of all sorts.
Red stayed and joined Jim and Croach in their attempts to
save the world she loves.
2. There’s a universe where no one saved Croach’s village.
Every Martian youngling, who hadn’t completed their Hee-Ros K’west and got their
Nah Nohtek, perished. The Martians blamed the humans and it caused another war.
The USSA got involved and in the end most of the Martains were killed.
3. There’s a universe where Croach really was pregnant with
Sparks’ baby. One night, before the baby was born, Sparks got really drunk and admitted that the
reason he was freaking out so much wasn’t because he didn’t want to have a
child with Croach.
The real reason he was panicking was because he had no idea
how to raise a half-human half-martian baby. He’d baby proofed Mars when he
thought he was going to be a father to Red’s baby but he didn’t know how to do
that for a baby that wasn’t fully human.
Sparks didn’t know how to help their baby understand all
their senses when he only had five or how good Croach would be at helping their
child deal with emotions. Sparks knew
that he couldn’t complete dangerous martain rituals so that their child didn’t have to.
He didn’t know if Nah Nohtek was compatible with humans (or half-humans) at
that point. He worried that their child would end up feeling the same way as
the Red Plains Rider, that they didn’t belong with humans or martians.
Sparks was also having a lot of nightmares about the fact
that he’d accidentally killed Croach that one time. He kept thinking about the
fact that he’d not only killed Croach but also their unborn child.
Croach took Sparks’ confessions well once he understood why
Sparks was so worried. They talked and, while he was still really worried,
Sparks knew they could do it. It was one of the universes where they end up
The best thing about Croach’s “Sparks you’re needed at the bar” line in The Piano Had Been Thinking is that, based on the pretty solid thinking that Croach believes that ‘sparks-nevada’ is a first name (of sorts), Sparks’ name wasn’t shortened to a first name, but to a NICKNAME