It’s tough to be a god; tread where mortals dare not trod. On the other hand, when your girlfriend and her best friend keep bugging you constantly about wedding plans to your ex-girlfriend and her time-displaced younger version, it’s nice to be able to get away. And it’s not like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is hurting the fetus I’m carrying. I can prevent the eternal storm from hurting either of us just as easily as I stop myself from being affected by morning sickness. A weird part of me almost wishes I could. Sure, I wasn’t born with these parts, but part of me kind of liked the idea of carrying Medusa’s baby to term. The much smarter part of me is glad that I can do so with these powers so it doesn’t have to hurt so much.
Truly, I’m lucky for a trans woman. I share that luck a-plenty among non-binaries and my fellow transes. It really pisses off some folks that they want to whine about chromosomes and surgical procedures that wouldn’t matter anyway, but I just snap my fingers and fix things for those who want it fixed. Sometimes, a woman wants to pack some heat too, and some guys like taking the canoe out. It’d be a pretty crappy place if we could fix something but refused to due to people hating those who need it fixed. Like the 80s, with AIDS.
But I digress, and I do it because it keeps my mind off the upcoming nuptials. It’s all my fault agreeing to it. I should change that and make them think I refused. Make Medusa and her younger “sister” Venus forget they even wanted to. Maybe make Venus into a hot punk like Sam already is. Eh, no.
I agreed because part of me felt like I owed it to them. For Medusa, I found out she’s got her own bundle of unhealthy relationship stuff. Like some weird hate crush and rationalization that maybe dating me would get me to change, backed up by the fact that she did change me. There was some delayed rebelliousness, too. She also felt really sorry for me, and now she’s actually proud of me. Her religious belief about marriage is useful pretext for her to get back together with me, but she’d call the whole thing off if she knew I read her mind.
For the younger Venus… I mean, she’s the one I actually got the DNA from. She doesn’t know it yet. She still has some of those hang-ups Medusa had and has gotten over, combined with a more authentic belief that she needs to be married to the mother of her child. She also knows she’s bisexual after meeting her older self, but she’s also getting a chance to explore those feelings with a being that is way different than the Psycho Gecko she fought against, and someone she knows it’s safe to do so with from her future self’s past experience. The clencher was when she found out the circumstances of my break up with Medusa.
Normally, there would be a silly romantic comedy adventure to resolve all of these problems when people could have just talked. Instead, we get silly teasing from my girlfriend and her bestie with my benefits. Just to be clear, I’m not neglecting everything. In fact, my daughter had to ask me to leave her room because I was hiding from the wedding planner group of women there. Visited Dame and Blacklight. Stopped by Jupiter. And now they’re all sitting around praying.
“Please, goddess, let my girlfriend come back wearing that outfit with all the buckles so she can look at color swatches for napkins.”
“Please, goddess, let’s pick a honeymoon spot where we can make love on the beach at night.”
“Please, goddess, whatever my little sister asked for done to me instead, but give me the stamina to keep up.”
“Please goddess, can you save Max so he’ll be your best man?”
I summoned Holly Wayne to me. Sam’s best friend and the minion of Mix N’Max, my fellow villain and maybe only friend. Holly waved her arms and legs around until I stabilized her in the bubble of safe atmosphere and pressure. “Sup?”
“What am I? Where the fuck?!” Holly asked, getting her words a little mixed up.
“Welcome to Jupiter. You’re safe here,” I told her. “Now what’s this about Max?”
“Uh, I think he may be in trouble? I don’t know exactly?” she asked.
I was going to ask what happened, but then I held up a hand and read her memories. Max had found the Madstone in the dangerous wilds of Appalachia. The locals were hostile and backwards, attempting to either kill and eat him, or persuade him to marry their daughters and bring good fortune to their clan. In the end, he found the Madstone in a temple of sorts: a shrine to a local god named Tebow. The magical artifact had been defaced with some sort of writing that could have been cursive if practiced by someone writing with their feet, spelling out the name “Tim Tebow”. Max retrieved it, escaping the angry shrine guards, and fled with Holly. He cleansed it of its desecration on his return to civilization and was whisked away to a pocket dimension, leaving Holly to carefully bundle up and hide the stone.
“Huh… why didn’t you say something?” I asked.
She shrugged. “The first thing you and Sam did as soon as you saw me was feed me and fuck me. And that was fun, so I thought he wasn’t in any real danger with your powers being what they are.”
“Alright, let’s take a look.”
I summoned the Madstone to me from Holly’s luggage. It was a round stone with spiraling carvings and let it float. “There’s a pocket dimension in there. I think you better come with me.” I held my hand out and brought her close enough to take my hand. She swung it and interlaced her fingers with mine. I kissed her cheek, then zipped into the Madstone with her.
We ended up in what looked like an idyllic green meadow with a forest on one end and a field of corn and sunflowers on the other. It stank to me, though. It was wrong. The grass was too green in places, and some of it had dark spots. Some was turning brown already. Zombie ants, infested with a fungal parasite, climbed to the top in the hopes of being swallowed. Sunflowers drooped, dying, and diseased caterpillars ate their way through corn kernels.
“Oh!” Holly exclaimed while looking around. Then she stopped upon seeing a dog with missing fur and a foamy mouth off by the distant forest trees, which upon closer inspection were being choked out by parasitic vines that were themselves discolored with rot. “Oh. There’s something wrong with this place.”
“The Madstone was mainly said to be a cure for rabies,” I informed her. I reinforced the protective bubble around her to keep out any nasty spores, bacteria, and viruses. “There, that ought to keep you safe from the nasty things around here.”
The dog turned suddenly from a crashing noise and tried to run. An elephant, hide covered with scrapes and scars and rash, pushed through the brush, knocking a tree over onto the canine. Its trunk dangled, bloody, and it kicked the dog around before it saw us and decided to charge. I raised a hand in anticipation. I didn’t need to for my powers to work, and they appeared to be in perfect working order, if currently constrained to the pocket dimension. A little bit of effort would get us back out.
Oh, right, diseased elephant. Before I could kill it, something else dissolved it into an orange-red goo, first eating its skin off, then making the innards collapse and dissolve. Behind the dead beast stood Mix N’Max, his velvet jacket and poofy shirt in tatters. He’d wore a cougar skin on top of them for added protection from the sun for his too-pale skin, but probably more for shits and giggles since he can make perfect sunblock.
Next to him, arm looped with Max’s, stood a woman who cheered on the dissolution of the elephant. She had a wiry, athletic build and held a bow, with arrows on her back. Her hair was dirty, perhaps blonde streaked brown with dirt, with leaves clinging to it. Her clothes were animal skin as well, with a few ribbons of fabric tying things in place or just tied onto her wrist and arm.
“Hey Max!” I called out, waving to him.
“Gecko! Marvelous! From what Holly said, you can get us all out of here,” he bounded toward me along with his friend, the pair bounding through the much left behind by the dead elephant. Holly backed away seeing their legs coated with blood and gore.
I hugged him. It took the powers of a god to keep clean. “You’re filthy.”
“I missed you, too,” he said.
I glanced over to the woman sizing me up. She didn’t seem to happy to see me, so I asked, “And who are you?”
“This is Clara!” Max proclaimed, easing off the hug to wrap his arm around her and add her to it. I might have enjoyed it, but she was too warm.
“How do you do?” she asked.
“Are you ok?” I asked her. “This place is pretty diseased, and you don’t feel right.”
“I’m fine. I’ve reached an equilibrium with the diseases,” she told me cryptically. That was a red flag. It was too indirect, and I don’t like my bush beaten around without my consent. Funny thing that, she resisted my omniscience.
I narrowed my eyes, “And what are you?”
Clara’s expression brightened up with a wide smile. “Oh my, you’re a goddess!” She turned to Max. “You cheeky boy. Well this is wonderful, now we can get out.”
“You couldn’t before?” I gestured around with my hands. “This place doesn’t have that much of a barrier to push back on.”
“Oh?” Clara cooed, fluttering her eyelashes at me. “Perhaps I should try.”
I didn’t like or trust this woman. I felt her summon power and went into superspeed. She already had, making me immediately cuss myself out for not keeping omniscience going all the time. In my defense, I don’t need to know what the bowels of everyone around me are doing at all hours. Plus, it ruins movie twists.
Clara disappeared with Max. I felt a huge weight fall over me and the easily-pierced barrier of the Madstone’s pocket dimension closed up tighter than a prostitute turning around and finding out the guy fondling them had been their own dad.
The diseases all came for me as well, but that part was easy enough to wipe out. I had all of my powers in the pocket dimension. It was anything involving leaving it that was a problem. Worse, it felt like the barrier was using my own power, siphoned from me. Maybe that’s why Clara didn’t stand out anymore to me even without a check.
“Where’d they go?” Holly asked when I came out of superspeed.
“Clara was a goddess of some pestilence,” I explained. “She was trapped here, until another goddess could take her place. This thing feeds on us.”
“How do we get out?” Holly asked.
I threw the omniscience on for sure, then. “I don’t know… yet.”
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