I returned to Ricca glad to know that the colonies we had over there weren’t in too bad of shape. The rest of the tour didn’t feature any more trouble from whatever we’d been dealing with. As an added bonus, I found out I could just teleport all my problems to the moon. That’s… something. It actually feels kinda disappointing. Takes a lot of drama out of the situation. Feels like I don’t even need to fight. The military isn’t even needed. Hell, why bother with missiles and drones?
If it was really that easy, I also have to wonder why the people over in that other dimension didn’t do it so much? They could have teleported the island of Ricca into deep space and saved themselves a lot of trouble.
Something to ponder. I know we’re still studying the Telechamber. They haven’t reported it if it had some sort of negative effect on anything, but I really shouldn’t hope for one. It feels too easy, but making things easier is the point of progress.
I might as well whine about elevators making it less noteworthy if someone can climb stairs really quick. The other way around, though, I don’t like the idea of a future where anybody with an elevator can drop it on my head the instant I have an issue with them. This kind of power shouldn’t be in the hands of just anyone, because people are untrustworthy, short-sighted, stupid, and blinded by idealogies. Plus, most of them hate me. That’s a really good reason to make sure this kind of technology doesn’t get out.
I’ve had other things to worry about. First, the news came in from Toyotomi, who has talked with the old people and the palace staff of the Bronze City. They had no idea who this Eld person was. “The only child they knew King Garth to have was Elda,” Toyotomi told me over a phone call. “They concede Eld could have been a bastard.”
“I’ll say. Guy totally stole my thunder in that arena,” I answered.
“The King wasn’t known to have a mistress. Should I continue my inquiries into this matter?” he asked.
“Nah, you’ve done enough work on this. Let me know if the situation changes. There may be more of these weird visitations,” I said.
In my head, I scrolled through a list of incidents collected for me by the Intel people. Some of them could be nothing, just odd stories online that can’t be verified. It’s hard to say that about a train that appeared and crashed into the exact same train heading the opposite direction. After trying to figure out what time it would have had to leave the last stop based on its speed and pulling records, they had to conclude an entire train somehow appeared out of nowhere. On top of that, an octogenarian Elvis Presley showed up in a casino in Vegas, claiming he had a show scheduled.
Still things that could be considered part of this weird, weird world, I suppose. Then the White House reappeared and the same President I thought I’d dealt with turned out to still be alive. I’d have believed it was just a different version of the same asshole, but it wasn’t just him. It was the whole White House and all of the people in it. I’d be worried about some other enemies I tossed away coming back, but at least I threw Mot into the sun. If he can somehow survive that long enough to reappear, then he might just deserve to win.
That pretty much settles it. We’re not talking the undead or time travel. This is interdimensional mess. Lucky me, I have some of the best scientists around when it comes to the multiverse and traveling between universes within it. If there’s anybody who can figure out some sort of answer for why people from other dimensions are suddenly appearing, it would be them.
I had something to take care of while they dealt with that. I had a target to go after again.
After giving a press conference where he talked about how lucky he was to have been in the White House when it came back, the President of the United States left for a vacation. That worked out for me, I guess. It would have been tougher to get to him in the White House, though he really should have stayed in Washington to work out issues surrounding the succession of the government and the fighting that’s gone on. Nope. Instead of staying around the capital during a crisis, he went off to Florida.
The President owns a hotel and golf course there. It used to be his favorite place to spend time before I sent him on an extended stay out of town. It’s probably a thousand times better than the state the White House has to be in, not even having electrical power, but it’s also not a secure location where he can easily meet with members of the other branches of government to resolve the problem of who is in control of the nation. Also, I have a lot less information on the interior of the White House than I do that hotel.
The Telechamber dropped me off on the roof. A couple of men were standing there in black suits. One went to call it in with his wrist radio while the other went for a gun. He was fast, too. I grabbed the one calling it and yanked his wrist away from his mouth. I jabbed my other hand at his head. One finger in each eye and the thumb in his mouth. A shot rang out from his partner that actually hurt, even through the armor. It didn’t penetrate, but this wasn’t your average pistol. I tore the one guy’s head off and tossed it like a bowling ball at the one with the gun, who fired again. That shot gave me a headache and had me seeing stars. When I lowered my head from looking up at the night sky, I saw the bowling ball had hit him hard enough to stumble him. I rushed him, grabbed his gun hand, and tore the arm off. Then I spun and hit him in the side hard enough to launch him off the top of the building to his screaming death below.
Between the gunshots and the dead body on the pavement below, I knew I’d lost the element of surprise. I also knew where the President’s penthouse was: one floor down. I put on a song as I charged up my armor’s gauntlets, a nice little choir hymn called “Turn Down For What”. When the gauntlets were glowing nice and bright, I jumped up and made sure to land fists first on the ceiling. It collapsed inward and I landed in a bedroom full of gold leaf on everything except the four poster bed on which a tubby orange guy had been railing a woman wearing a Barack Obama mask in the ass.
He was turned to me as I stood up, insulation and drywall dust falling off my armor. “Who are you?” he asked.
I stalked over to him. Behind me, several more Secret Service agents rushed into the room. One shot some sort of grappling hook at me. I reached back and snatched it out of the air with one arm that began to tense and as an electrical current tried to zap me. Rather than turn my pubic hair into an afro, that fist began to glow as it absorbed and repurposed the electrical energy. I yanked him toward me, then punched right through his chest, pulping a good chunk of the man’s torso.
Another ran up with a bulky metal sleeve over his arm. I tossed the body of his friend on him and turned back to the man I came for in the first place while the others pulled a variety of firearms. The President had managed to slide out of the woman he had, who couldn’t quite extricate herself from the handcuffs keeping her trapped on the bed. He ran… well, no, he didn’t run. He hobbled toward the window where another Secret Service agent waited with a jetpack.
I swiped with one arm, extending the energy whip hidden on the underside of that arm. The razor-thin flexible blade wrapped around her arm. I pulled and jumped toward her. The whip couldn’t pull me to her because of how easily it cut through the limb, spurting blood all over the place. Lightning stroked my armor from behind, so I swung the whip around in a wide arc. The agents behind me took cover.
The President latched onto the wounded agent. I pulled him off and handed her the body of a rubber chicken. Tearing the head off, I kicked her out the window, holding the President over the edge enough so he could see the explosion far below us.
“Don’t kill me. I can make you famous and rich!” he pleaded.
“I don’t care,” I told him.
“This is political, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter,” he whined. “They did everything I wanted without me. You can’t stop it by killing me.”
“Let him go and we promise leniency!” called the agents behind me.
I shrugged. “I’ll let you go, but only if you spill your guts.”
“Whatever you want,” the President assured me.
I withdrew the whip back underneath one arm. Then I popped the blade out from under my lower right and eased sliced the man’s belly. The blade snapped back into place under my forearm before I reached in and grabbed hold of intestine. I held tight to it while kicking him out of the window, too. I had plenty of time to tie it down to the leg of a cushy padded chair. I stepped back as it reached the end and the chair was pulled against the window. Gravity wasn’t for the weak, though, and the flesh of that man was weaker than the chair it was tied to. He didn’t make a pretty sight when he was all unrolled, but I wasn’t there for that.
I disappeared in a flash of light and stepped back out into the Telechamber. I was immediately approached by Dr. Creeper. He didn’t look happy. “Mein Empress, I have distressing news about what we believe to be the cause of the multiple dimensional infractions occurring worldwide.”
“And you came yourself?” I asked. Looking around, I saw the whole place was less active than normal. It looked like nothing but arrivals, with no outgoing ports in the circular room with multiple offshoot chambers.
“The doctors believed you would be angry. They believe the cause is this place, the Telechamber. Ve are destroying the barriers between our universe and the space between, attracting any number of lost things and beings. Ve don’t know vhat vill happen to the vorld itself if we continue.”
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