Beginning 7



So. You know, this whole thing’s been a part of my life for like nine years now. Hey, I hope someone enjoyed themselves.

So, here’s what we know: Earth is the current focal point of a series of entities who gave something to the start of the multiverse and are here to reclaim it after having been shut out. I’d feel a lot more sympathy for them if that didn’t involve destroying the Earth and moving on to the rest of the universe. I’m the last person who should deny someone a chance to let out a little anger and try turning their lives around, but these things don’t want that.

We’ve managed to capture all of the ones that tried to come after us but the Perverse. The Perverse can twist people’s words to do anything, but is now quite lost, whatever that ultimately means. That leaves two more: the Persistent and the End.

Mystic Teneceroni, the liaison from an alien consortium that wouldn’t like to be destroyed because Earth fucked around, has been helping us out with all the info his people have. That includes magical rituals that allow us to capture and seal the beings. It also includes know what they are and more or less what they do. They have records of other civilizations that had run-ins and weren’t so lucky.

I had to let my former ward Leah know, along with my half brother. They’re a couple, and the portal in Canada to my home dimension. I don’t give a shit about not seeing that place again, and the feeling is mutual. Being a genocidal madperson leaves an impact, and most of them are probably pretty sure I haven’t changed, that I’m just fooling people. Sometimes I wonder if they’re right

“Hey Leah,” I called her up.

“Hey Gecko! It’s so nice to hear from you. Sorry we haven’t visited to see little Alexander. Things got hectic over here.”

They had an invasion by people pulling old enemies of the Phenomenal Fighting Justice Rangers out of time. I wonder if I’m going to suddenly pop into the middle of that fight sometime.

In turn, I explained the shit going down on Earth, which Leah took in stride. “Just another Tuesday, right?”

“Except for the apparent solution being to shut down all the trans-dimensional stuff. The Grau have a device that’ll close every portal on Earth, and we need to then not open a new one.”

“For how long?” Leah asked.

“They claim to have a way to safely open wormholes that are similar but safer, but they said it would be some time before Earth is evaluated and approved for that sort of thing. I’m getting a years vibe from these guys, but they’ve surprised me before.”

“Yeah, Ambassador Bong Hit’s speech went viral,” she responded. That would be when this Grau ambassador took a big sniff of something and tore into Earth for doing all this shit we’ve been doing here. It was way more effective than the condescending way other alien civilizations talked to us or invaded us.

After a pause, Leah said, “Well, I have to stay here.”

“Alright,” I said. “But now you know what’s coming. So, if I never see you again, just want to say…”

“Yeah. And we’ll always have Valentine’s Day,” she said.

“Ah… you knew.” Thanks to a bit of awkwardness, we didn’t keep the conversation going too much further, but I sent her photos and videos of Alexander.

While I was doing all this, others around the world were working on other considerations, like Ricca’s off-world mining operations. Then it was off to the bedroom for my most arduous preparations yet.

The Desire had a potential knockout blow for getting to me, but I think maybe it knew that would blow up in its face. My kids may not have the easiest of lives and the world is going to have some trouble, but they’re going to grow up in some fucking peace without this kind of existential terror bullshit. Qiang’s distracting herself by day and crying herself to sleep by night. Venus promised to stop by and drop off some surprised for her when she visits Alexander. He’s just born and this shit’s all he’s ever known. We’re fighting for the fate of the world and universe. I will not remain powerless in the face of extinction.

Up next, the Persistent. Supposedly brings back the dead to go after people. I already sent Spinetingler a text. As the other biggest name killer supervillain on the planet, and one I have a ceasefire with, I figure he and I make the biggest targets. Meanwhile, I headed to where I hid the godly powers I gave up: the bedroom. That’s not just some sort of brag. I implanted the powers in my pillow. It’s perfectly fluffed and always cool.

Just thinking of it made me sleep. So damn sleepy. Not natural. Don’t worry, the powers would fight it off. I reached for the pillow and went to me knees, laying my head down on the unkempt bed, arm outstretched for the pillow.

I saw the space between universes. I’ve traveled there enough to recognize it. A giant mass of universes, ever-expanding. This time, my view expanded out past it, to a vast blackness between worlds. Some of it was void, but something shifted and I could see things moving through the void. All sorts of shapes and sizes, some with unusual angles, some with only curves, and at least one that appeared as a simple line. One of these things could have maybe been called a free-floating eye, with arms hanging out the back and a pupil that took up half its surface. Part of the surface lens reached out on the end of an eye vein, forming a smaller eye that snaked through the multiversal cluster and shoved itself into one of the universes. Then the larger one turned to me.

A woman appeared in front of me. It was a dead person from my past, alright. Fortune Cookie and I had worked together to prevent someone stopping time out of grief over his dead son using a clocktower in the mountains of Transylvania. She’d been killed by a simple serial killer, I think purely to motivate me to stop that one. “So, you things know me as the Persistent. Hmm.” She seemed amused. Her voice was light and she had the beginnings of a smile at her mouth.

“That’s what I’ve been told,” I commented. I was still me, and on my knees actually. I gripped my right hand around where the pillow had been in real life, right under my hand, and pulled it close. There was nothing there in this vision, but I needed to try.

“Sending the dead after people creates satisfying fear. I should do it,” the Fake Fortune Cookie said. She shifted at times into other forms. Miss Tycism, Forcelight, and an older version of Venus. All versions of people I killed, except Fortune Cookie. “You know why you little ones fight so hard? It’s the fear. This wouldn’t have to be so difficult on you if you would stop being afraid. I can take that from you.”

“I’m not taking any deals from you,” I told it.

Fortune Cookie shook her head. “I’m not offering. I will take it from you. I want you to know what’s going to happen now.”

She zoomed in. I saw an aged Gorilla Awesome perk up, looking around at an army of zombies. He dropped his shopping bag to start attacking, but the zombies were only in his head. In reality, they were just people. Elsewhere, I saw Ouroboros pull out his knives suddenly while walking the floor of his casino and gut one of his pit bosses, seeing the face of a dead assassin instead. Elsewhere, I saw a buff man at college, Bulletproof Brian, who looked up from his studies to see bullies who once tormented him coming at him with baseball bats. He was a little kid again in his mind, and fighting the people who once broke his arm. In real life, he smashed another student into a library bookshelf.

Then, in my house, Venus walked through the door, carrying an old book in her hand. She headed into the hallway and I lunged out of the bathroom to pin her to the wall, holding a pillow over her face.

“Well, that’s cheating,” I said.

“We’re not playing a game,” Fortune Cookie said. “But I will enlighten you before you die. I’m not the Persistent. I’m the Perception. All that will happen has happened. Others defied their end. The others you trapped will be freed. But first, I will feel your pain and suffering.

I rolled my eyes. “Clearly, you’re not aware that Venus is one of the few people capable of kicking my ass even when I have powers.”

I got worried when it took awhile. That would have been a great line to go back to my body to. As it was, I got to watch as the Perception showed me more of the world being forced to attack people because of past fear and trauma. And I couldn’t do anything except let her feed on my own emotions, at least I figure that’s what was going on.

Then, I blinked. This was the real world again, in my living room. Things had feeling and it wasn’t a giant void surrounding a multiverse. Nearby, Venus stood with a book cradled in her arms. I recognized that book now. I’d fought others who used that corrupt tome that holds trapped monsters in its pages. She looked at me. “Why’d you stop? Did it work?” In front of her sat my body, gnashing teeth at her while safely chained up.

“Did what work?” I asked. I looked down, then felt myself. “Wait, I’m Morgan.” Axinomancer claimed to have a ritual that could allow the non-binary ax-based mage to channel me. Looks like she decided to use it.

I looked up when Venus opened that book. Arms made of paper reached out toward my body and snatched it and the chair right into it. The pages slammed shut. And I was really surprised to not be stuck in whatever that book did to people. “You in there?” I thought to myself.

I felt the warm acknowledgment from Morgan in my subconscious, and realized I could remember the past few minutes from their point of view instead of my own.

“Well, I know you’d be able to beat that thing in me. Just didn’t figure it’d be this way,” I said.

Venus hugged me. “I didn’t think the book would stop at whatever that was,” she said. “I figured as long as Axinomancer got you out, we could figure things out from there.” She stepped back and held up my wedding ring, slipping it onto my finger.

“Looks like Morgan got what she wanted after all. The old Morgan, at least. Guess there’s a new one now.” I held her for a couple of seconds, letting all this get awkward. “We need to make sure we got all of her that’s here.”

“Morgan?” Venus asked.

“The Perception. It’s not the Persistent. Get someone to check on Gorilla Awesome. I need to get a hold of Ouroboros. If we’re going to have to get everyone she’s affected, this is going to be busy”

Venus and I went to work. It was tougher with me, as it’s not like I can just hack into cameras and cell phones now. I had to go through some channels on VillaiNet to get hold of Ouroboros. And when I confirmed he was fine, I had to inform him about the Perception. Luckily, he wasn’t the only one who’d had an episode like that. The Perception had targeted people with powers and people with power. Probably the only reason we hadn’t had a nuclear exchange was because everyone was walking on eggshells after the Desire nearly caused Fallout to happen.

Then it was back to the basement. Venus had to get the rest of the magic squad to deal with that book in a way that didn’t unleash every forgotten monster in the history of mankind, and I used the excuse of customizing my new body. I’m not non-binary.

The End is coming. And when it gets here, it’ll face me at my full might.




2 thoughts on “Beginning 7

  1. Pingback: Beginning 6 | World Domination in Retrospect

  2. Pingback: Beginning 8 | World Domination in Retrospect

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