It was all wrapped up. Myself and my wife who couldn’t be evil if she tried made it back to our cruise. The captain yelled at us awhile, but we tuned it out. We were still merged symbiotically, which was fun. It was more fun when we got back to our cabin. I mean, sure, there’s sex and all that. That’s fun. Makes me cum and everything. Great for a workout. Decent for reproduction, but that’s not why we did it.
I’d have been fine just being with her. Isabella. The woman trained to beat up supers and given the name Venus by people who know sex sells. There was something intimate about the way we’d bonded. I don’t mean having an adventure together. We’d had those in our own twisted way. This was just a lot more intimate bonding. I don’t think anyone’s truly been in my head before, outside of Psychsaur, the telepath. Always thought it was weird she did a 180 on me immediately after getting up inside my head, but I had something in me that got her on my side. And I experienced that with Venus while she got to try that with me.
It wasn’t a matter of feeling normal, or feeling completely right.
Anyway, we kept up the merger for the rest of our trip was solved pretty quickly after the wormhole spat us right back out onto the correct route where it got us. It then disappeared like some sort of miracle or act of Gecko. The ship decided that its first stop after returning was going to be an extended one to better evaluate and repair the ship and mental damage associated with the ordeal. That mostly meant lots of relief for the crew, who had to deal with angry, hungry, anxious guests. One of the blob crewmembers was nearly eaten. It wasn’t because the guests started to turn to cannibalism; it fell asleep in a bowl and was mistaken for gelatin.
The Captain and several of his best blobs were ready when Isabella and I were ready to depart, still sharing one body. He oozed forward to meet us. “Would it matter if I said I wanted to hold you until I find out what games you played with my ship?”
“Not one bit,” we said. Nearby, some of the passengers ran out into the street of the city in a group aimed at the closest bar. The screams started soon after they entered, along with the fighting and the Jimmy Buffetf music. He was probably pissed that aliens stole copies of his recordings and… wait, I checked on it with my omniscience. He was nabbed accidentally by some passing aliens in 2001 and signed a music deal that included opening a restaurant chain. Dude’s loaded with alien currency.
“At least tell me who you are. Cleopatra and Mona Lisa can’t be your real names. They two of the most common aliases in the universe.”
“That can’t be true,” Isabella laughed internally.
I did a quick scan with my omniscience and found a weird coincident. “So it turns out that a lot of species have common names that sound similar to some Earth names, including…”
“No,” Isabella said out loud, laughing.
“You treated our lives like a game!” the Captain accused. “I’ve met many beings who feel entitled to harm my crew because of money and power, but space is deep and it doesn’t care who you think you are. You best kill me first if you play games with our lives ever again, because I would move stars to see the universe rid of you.”
“Don’t you know?” we said. Our eyes went pure black. “We eat stars.”
I don’t know where he kept them, but the Captain had balls to keep staring us down as we left. Isabella felt bad, but I reminded her, “See? You managed to play the villain a little bit. But don’t worry. There’s a difference between bad and evil. You were just a little bad.”
“I’ll stick to sometimes taking the bad karma option in games,” she told me. “Can we go home now?”
With a snap of my fingers and an unnecessary burst of light, we indeed were home. Well, a brief stopover on a rooftop overlooking Empyreal City on a stormy wintry night. With my powers, the cold didn’t bother our shared body anyway. Lightning streaked through the sky, illuminating a city and the dancing raindrops that pelted it. “To everyone else, it’s a horrible night,” Isabella said.
I took awhile before responding, waiting on a beautiful lightning strike I knew was coming. It’s nature, like a raging river. You can shift the tide over time, but you can’t stand up to it. Not unless you’re something beyond human. “It doesn’t have to be,” I suggested. “But how you’ll use my power goes beyond just one night. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, giving you privacy. Tell me what you want.”
“I want to do it myself,” she told me.
I eased her into the omniscience. My experience controlling multiple bodies helped me compartmentalize things. If it didn’t matter, I didn’t care. And plenty of times, I left it partially or entirely off, which has inconvenienced me before. So I thought it best to ease her into it.
“I can see eternity,” Isabella said.
“Oh, that would be the omniscience about psychedelic mushrooms,” I guided her. That helped take some of the edge off other knowledge she could access. People think omniscience, they assume it means knowing all sorts of good or neutral things, like how to build Dyson Spheres or how gravity actually works. The lab coats are going to kick themselves when they realize the second one. But it also means knowing all the bad. When and how everyone will die. What went through the minds of a planet of sentient beings when a massive asteroid wiped them out. What it felt like to be every victim, and every victimizer.
I wasn’t surprised when Isabella needed awhile to adjust.
“It took me awhile to relearn sleeping after all this hit,” I mentioned to her.
“I know…” she dwelled on the thought for awhile. “…what I want.”
The began to change things, reaching out with her power, racing along a lightning bolt. It became a fractal that struck the Green Zone of Empyreal City, the neighborhoods taken over by the Green gang whose tainted drugs have made them animalistic and allowed plants to retake the urban environment. The growth became less intrusive, more like an unusually gentrified, environmentally-friendly neighborhood.
The worrying part was the changes made to the Greens themselves. The unmutated gang members changed, mentally. They were all going to give up crime. She’d changed their minds. And the bestial ones were different now. Still changed, still willing to protect their territory, but they were getting uniforms and badges.
“Isabella,” I warned.
“Listen, I did so much to give you a chance to be good and to be a heroine. You’re better than you were, right?” She had that edge of conviction and begging in her voice. Right there where belief meets going out on a limb. I needed to talk her back away before something happened.
“Yes, but the journey taught the lesson. It was my choice. You can’t just make people how you want them to.”
“I’m cutting the ‘journey’ out the way you cut out disease and disability,” she responded.
“That’s not the same. It’s not that simple with people’s minds. Different points of views and circumstances aren’t a disease.”
“No, you’ll see.”
I sped up, but she already had. Lightning struck us.
I woke up sick to my stomach and with a bladder that wanted to explode. I rolled over out of what turned out to be a bed and nearly fell. For the first time in awhile, gravity actually meant something to me. And I really had to pee. And throw up. I stumbled to my room’s bathroom to empty both ends. Only then could I really take stock.
I couldn’t fly anymore. No laser claws. I thought I had omniscience, but it turns out I’m a smart-ass know-it-all. Still hot, though. I tried popping my eyes out; had to put THAT back in in a hurry. Why is it when other people mess with my body, they fix my eyes?
Ok, I realized it, too, but I think that’s different because I want to think it. As near as I could tell, I was human. And not just human as a shorthand. Since I didn’t have any other powers, even the ones I copied off people I studied, I tried connecting to the internet through the devices I integrated into myself. When that failed, I hugged the TV. Then I grabbed a phone off the charger in the living room. And I didn’t have an external phone. Plus, what the fuck was up with all this sunlight? Ugh, it was morning and everything.
Ok, so I was human. That’s not a good way to start things off. Seemed to be my own house. I rushed to Qiang’s room and stopped myself before I burst in. She was asleep. Then I realized there might have been someone in the bed with me back in the bedroom. I snuck back over there to spot Holly Wayne and Sam Hain in their nightclothes, Holly drooling on Sam’s hair. Sam gave a rough snore. Beautiful.
Then I remembered that thing with the Greens. I checked the closet, worried there would be a police uniform. My heart caught in my throat when I saw the blue outfit hanging up, but then I realized it had a skimpy skirt and fuzzy handcuffs. Whew, it was just a sexy Halloween costume. It hung next to my Sexy Karen outfit from the night I demanded to see Sam’s manager.
But then I saw the other costume. It looked like Reindeer’s costume, but small enough to fit my frame. I checked my head just in case but didn’t feel any antlers. No, wait, that’s because I only had antlers when I transformed. The costume even had a the ability to shift and grow.
I realized I knew that because I had extra memories. Memories of being Delilah Gecko, a human from this Earth who somehow had the power to turn into a reindeer woman who can fly and shoot light beams from my antlers. I also tend to react to trouble by saying “Oh deer.” Sam and Holly were my girlfriends and sidekicks. We met through my friendship with the superhero Mix N’Max, who was currently dating Sporea, the goddess of renewal. I had been a hero, before retiring to pursue a quiet domestic life with my family.
I stumbled down to the basement hideout, and to the computer that was still connected to the outdated extradimensional blog. It had a link to the hero messenger, HeroNet, where my fiance Medusa asking what I thought about this old cathedral as a wedding destination. But there was also one there from the goddess Venus, my other wife. She asked, “Do you see yet?”
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Oh, so turns out Venus can be a villain after all.
Weird how often something like that seems to happen when you give a good person absolute power…
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