|Road Trip PT: 1
|Page 57 of 57|
|Author:||Lifyre [ Fri Jul 02, 2004 12:33 pm ]|
-= Queen - Princes of the Universe =-
*Lifyre strides into the scene of the battle just in time to watch actor remove Rand...
Fucker. We needed him. Now what has he done?
*He sees Mad hurt and off to one side... obviously in a very VERY bad mood...
Now I know where I need to be... I just hope I can win this struggle.
*Lifyre rushes around the edge of the battle and launches himself at Mad as hard and fast as he can. Lifyre tries to catch him in the same sort of field he did before. Freeze him just long enough to heal his major wounds and then get the HELL out of the way.
I just need to touch him for a minute... Please don't let me get dragged into his mind... He has the power and we have the connection...
[ooc] How this works out is up to you Mad../[/ooc]
|Author:||madadric [ Mon Jul 05, 2004 4:30 am ]|
The blow has done you more damage than you thought. Perhaps more damage than you thought possible, and still haave you able to think. Had you the facilities to think with such objectivity right now, perhaps these things would occur to you, but, alas, all you can manage is to dance your consciousness along the pain and the malice, licking at it like a wound, or perhaps a woman's sex.
You shudder, your slowly repairing fist clenching and shattering a chunk of marble as you try to raise your mangled form to it's fours. Even you have to slump back down, your defiant will, that has defied even the laws of physics conceding a stalemate to the laws of Pain momentarily.
You can hear words through The Song, mixed into it, jarring with it, telling you something. A sharp crack, more words, then a second snap, you try to concentrate on the words, but Pain's sweet murmurs seduce you away from them, envelop you, show you The Song, written in writhing strips of twisted flesh, flesh re-knitting itself, re-creating itself. You wonder at the beauty of this horror, and hum along softly to the unheard tune, occasionally breaking off to cackle a little.
You are broken out of your tortured reverie by the approach of someone, you do not see them, but feel them. a creature all men remember from instinct, from genetic memory. Myth incarnate, recognized not at an intellectual level, no, something far more base than that. and you are nothing, if not base.
You turn your head, snarlying at the beautiful song scorching down your shattered nerves, but only a little before the freedom of movement is stolen from you - <i>TaKeN!</i> You can feel his hand reaching out, a link just at the tips of his fingers...held back? concealed?
your mouth doesn't move, but your eyes shift slightly, making the snarl into your ferocious Wolf's Grin.
As soon as his fingers brush your hard, smooth skin, you leap at him, into him, sink into him like some clawed animal, and haul him back, drag him forcefully <i>iNSiDe CoMe See, CoMeSee, CoMe LooK UPoN Me, THe BRoKeN, THe JaGGeD, THe FieRCe, THe DeFiaNT, THe MoNSTeR, <b>THe MaD!</i> </b>
He is pulled down, wrenched down, deep inside, dragged by you into your mind, past the swirling conscious, deep into the shattered and reformed center of The Self. Now a great howling wind of fire, ice, shattered glass, snarling beast, Yellow In Crimson, a continuing spiral of Yellow in Crimson. verything at once being sucked in, and defiantly, randomly, persistently howling forth from the writhing center, the Cohesive Self.
"Mad! What is this?! What have you done to yourself?!"
His cries cannot be heard as a physical voice, as the winds of fire and glass tear them from his mouth without a chance to be heard, but the sound of his mind echos out into you.
<i>"aHH, WiNG, BRoKeN WiNG, i aM MYSeLF, i aM THe SoNG! eTeRNaL FoRCe! STRuGGLe! DeFiaNCe WiTHouT NaMe! i aM Me, aND i aM WoKeN UP!"</i> You rejoice in your words, in the blasphemy of existing, You howl laughter with your love of life, you howl murder with the love of death. You are terrible, you are splendid. You are nothing.
<I>"Ha Ha Ha Haaaaa!"</I>
"Mad! It's worse than i feared! you're losing yourself in this, you're letting it burn you away! soon all that will be left is -"
You cut off his meaningless panic with a snarl, rushing towards him, or clawing him closer.
<i>"FooL WiNG! WHaT WouLD i FeaR LoSiNG? THiS iS THe CHoiCe i MaDe! i CHoSe To Be THe BaLaNCe. THe CHaoS To HiS oRDeR, THe FReeDoM To HiS CoNTRoL."
"WHaT You See HeRe iS a DiReCT ReSuLT of My DeSiRe."</i>
You watch him struggle with the concept of your decision, trying to understand why you would chose this path of Oblivion.
"Then...you chose this...for them? So they could survive?"
Your laugh is contemptuous.
<i>HaRDLY. i CHoSe THiS, SiMPLY BeCauSe i DeSiRe To TaSTe THe TRue BouNDaRieS oF FReeDom. i WiSH FoR STRuGGLe eTeRNaL...THe WhiRLWiND oF DeSTRuCTioN eTeRNaL!"</i>
You can feel him weakening to the Song, it begginning to sink into him, distort him. You smile, you grin. You offer.
<i>"NoW iS THe TiMe FoR CHoiCeS, WiNG. LeaVe HeRe, aND ReMaiN STaLe, oR eVoLVe YouRSeLF! i WiLL NoT HiNDeR YouR DeCiSioN."
"BuT!"</i> you warn him. <i>"MaRK, THeSe WoRDS, WiNG. WhaTeVeR You ChoSe, i aM iNTeReSTeD oNLY iN aDVeRSaRieS."</i>
OOC: Ball's in your court lify, Mad will let you out, or welcome you into the madness and chaos. Mad is based on a simple theory, that there are two things that shape reality, Chaos, represented by energy, and Order, represented by the structures that form energy into matter. If Control is an extension of Order, then Freedom is an extension of Chaos.
Also, for anyone that hasn't picked up on it, mad's speech is easy to write, all vowels are lower case. /OOC
|Author:||Ghost [ Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:13 pm ]|
=Pere Ubu - Thriller!=
Orochi’s arms tightened around MiaoMing, his teeth clenched. The catgirl struggled against Orochi’s grip, but his hands didn’t budge. Orochi pulled Miao close, his breath brushing her ear. “Listen to me,” he whispered. “We don’t have much time, so I’ll make it quick.” He squeezed Miao’s shoulders. “You’ll see Rand again before you die, I promise you. You’ll be able to say goodbye.”
“He – Actor – he shot . . .” Miao said. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
“I know,” Orochi said. His eyes narrowed. He released MiaoMing.
Miao turned to face him. Her eyes glistened, wet and shimmering. “How did we get here from there?” she said. “Why us?”
“We were available,” Orochi said. “Characters ready to be written; nothing more, nothing less. Ask God, when you see him. He’s the one responsible for all this.”
“I can’t believe there is a god after all this,’ MiaoMing said, hugging herself.
“We’re still here, aren’t we? Vandal is dead, Chris is dead, Bishou is dead, Antenor is dead . . . as long as the universe goes on, there is a force writing it down. The story will continue if it needs to.” Orochi’s eyes flashed white. “Don’t worry about what happens here. You’ll see it through.”
MiaoMing looked up at him. “What about you?”
“Me?” Orochi laughed. “I’m a loose thread still waiting to be tied up. Don’t worry about me either.” His face lost its joviality, and he touched MiaoMing on the cheek. “But promise me one thing.”
“What?” Miao said.
“Promise me you won’t forget.”
Miao pressed her lips together. “I promise.”
Orochi smiled, but he knew better. “Good.” His eyes narrowed. Then his hand came down hard against MiaoMing’s skull and she fell limp into his arms.
Orochi set the catgirl down and stared up at Adric and Fold. “FINISH IT!!!” he shouted, eyes bleeding white energy.
|Author:||actor_au [ Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:01 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Road Trip PT: 1|
OOC: If you want to change it, feel free to write another ending. It was thirteen years since the last time anyone touched this and I felt it needed to be finished.
I took a lot of liberties with characters but I felt I did as much justice as I could. This was the most fun I ever had writing, and I needed to see it through.
Imagine Dragons: Radioactive.
Orochi screamed into the void "Finish it!"
And then there was silence. The world was dead as everyone froze, that moment between then and now stretched into eternity. Rand was lost to times winds, Actor was descending the outside of the tower, Miao
Fold smiled at the scene. His foes frozen in time. His victory guaranteed.
Yet, nothing moved.
He was adrift in time.
Impossible! He thought. The Watchers would never just leave the story unfinished.
And then more.
And then more time.
The Long Trip of a Moment and The Madness of Fold.
Infinity seems like a long time, but it isn't, once you get over a certain amount of time you get used to it. But before then you have to make some... adjustments.
Fold spent the first year waiting for something to happen trying to work out what the Watchers were planning. He was patient and believed it all a trick to ensnare him.
The second year he spend looking at the spot where Rand had stood just moments before, he couldn't understand why Actor had shot him, it made no sense, Rand wasn't the target, Fold knew that the Gods very likely hated him and knew that Actor was now somehow one of them. He wasted at least two months trying to work out if Karl Marx's attitude towards religion had something to do with his assassination before dismissing it.
The third year was frustrating, he spent it trying to work out what was happening in the Watchers space which prevented them from action. He had theories but none of them made sense, who could just abandon their creations for so long?
The fourth year was spent trying to reverse-engineer reality at a mental level. It was a fools quest but with nothing else to do he tried it, he observed for the millionth time the vista before him, Miao was sitting down in shock, Actor had left just moments ago, Orochi was turning to attack, Mad was locked into a moment with Lifyre, each trying to decide how to help the other, to join and fight, to remain themselves and fight, only the will to fight carried over into every choice. Which raised the question of free will which Fold contemplated for several weeks before realising that with the existence of the Watchers the very concept of "Free Will" was an illusion.
The fifth year was the dark year, he spent it cursing everything and everyone he could remember, from the first scientists at his unstable birth to the last whisper of a breath before time froze. Every person he'd ever met in his life, a list of hundreds of thousands, catalogued and remembered, most were extras now of course, looking halfway like corpses down in the catacombs below his tower. He worked out in exacting detail how he would raise all of them to life and kill them in the most painful and demeaning ways possible, each ones death constructed to ensure the maximum amount of suffering.
The Fifth year bled into the sixth year and he began to repent. Had the Watchers risen at this time they would have found him a willing servant, desperate for anything, sick of his own mind as company. Deprived of freedom he would have cried for salvation but none came.
The seven year marked the halfway point in his prison, but he wasn't to know that. This was the year he realised he'd won. That the Watchers, the all powerful creators of time and space couldn't match him, could beat him, couldn't challenge him so they took the only course of action left to them. They left him alone, unable to win and unable to lose they abandoned their games and he knew then that his suffering would continue forever.
In the eighth year he began to believe that he was able to move and lived again, he felt himself moving and enacted the deaths of the Expatriates, even those already dead he resurrected and defiled, slowly tearing them to shreds, eating their skin, trying to find their connection to the Watchers, he found himself ascending into the celestial realm and killing Actor, then the other gods, one by one. Then returning to the world below and killing every single person in the universe, one at a time, piece by piece. He stood upon a mountain of skulls and bones, crying with laughter at his victory before realising it was just a dream.
The ninth year he spent trying to determine if he could construct a new fictional universe within his own universe and then descend down into it, rule over it like a god and abandon the reality he was entrapped in. But every attempt failed. His imagination was drained and his soul lacked the spirit for creation, destruction was what he knew and all he could imagine.
The tenth year he did nothing, he tried to sleep but his eyes were locked open, he'd learned long ago to tune out the images in front of him, like the tip of your nose in your vision all he could see was blank space in front of him. It almost worked, for exactly four seconds he achieved absolute zen and was able to think about nothing at all, it did not calm him down, in fact it left him more enraged that the only thing he had thought of to try to distract himself as a challenge had been so underwhelming.
The eleventh year he would have wept if he could make tears. He finally accepted that his punishment from the watchers was just and righteous, he swore that would he be released he would reform, help people, rebuild the world and end the story the way that it needed to be.
The twelfth year he realised at last how the story must end. Would that he could smile his would have split the world in half. His victory was the only ending that made sense. His ascension to the higher reality, a new reality to torment, a new reality to rebuild and then upwards forever until all was nothing but Fold. The twelfth year was when he realised that he was going to kill everything.
The last year of his time frozen in a second he felt himself again, just briefly he felt as though he could move, just a fraction of a micron. He could feel reality warming up around him. He was almost free. Fold had been to the darkness, he had imagined this moment for four hundred and ten million two hundred and twenty-seven thousand two hundred seconds.
He was almost free now.
That Critical Minute.
Fold returned to reality broken and fixed and broken and fixed, his horror unknown to those around him. He had a scant moment of realisation before the room exploded into action. He stood still in the centre of things, trying to remember how to move his limbs and remembering how to use his eyes. A moment he would never get back as the remaining Expatriates moved into what would be the final confrontation.
Lyfire gave the nod to Mad as the former raised his gun and the latter began to unleash the songs of chaos, to join their powers into one. Adric the Mad flowed chaos into Lyfire the soldier. Lyfire burned like a sun exploding as his field combined with Adric and the Chaos energy alighted his weapons.
"THaNK You MY FRieND!" i CaN FeeL iT NoW!" Arcs of energy rose from around the room from Lifyre. "i CaN FiNaLLY See WHaT iT WaS!!"
Orochi rose at the same second and let loose eternal power reshaping reality as Miao and Adric scrambled back to cover.
"NOW YOU DIE FOLD! NOW WE FINISH THIS!"
Fold briefly stumbled at the attack, slipped backwards and then opened himself to the rage of the two of them. Their combined power slipping within him effortlessly. He'd changed in that brief moment, all that time to think about his story and the inconsistencies that plagued it. He didn't dive away, he didn't run, he just stood there and waited for them to finish their attacks.
When the dust settled he was standing there unmoved.
"You had no idea. Did you? No idea at all that this was where we were always heading? Every action, every step, leading to now and my creation!"
Lifyre ducked behind cover reloading. He could feel the song within him, screaming discordantly as if in harmony with nothing and everything at once, but it was fading, returning to Madness.
"My abilities weren't born all that time ago in some lab in Hyperspace, they weren't created by a Watcher looking down upon us with gleeful spite filling me with all his rage and repressed angst. My abilities and power were created here and now. This moment, so long separated from our humble beginnings, is the preface."
Mad looked at Lifyre and Miao. The song was fading somehow within him.
"I broke reality, I broke time and space, nothing happening in the right order anymore, why not see it happening again? I'm taking what you have, your Chaos Adric, your Reality Bending Orochi, your Rage Actor, your willpower and determination Lifyre, your many lives Miao, your stories and powers all folded together to create me. HERE AND NOW!"
Orochi stood again readying an attack as Mad rose with his guitar ready as well.
"Your chaos magic does nothing little man! Don't you realise it!? I used it against you, I sent it back through time, I used it to send Kaze-chan into an elevator with Actor to let him die, I bet you had some grand plan with him, maybe he was going to save the day, maybe he was me all along? Who knows he's long dead now. I sent Bishou and Jen down far below my tower, thinking they had a plan, they're gone now, I just wrote them out of my story. I made Kitsune attack Rand and nearly kill him over nothing that nearly killed your little alliance didn't it? I made Samurai of the Night kill himself because it was funny, he was the only one who had a chance at killing me you have no idea how powerful he actually was. I put roadblock after roadblock in your way and it was you who powered it all along." Fold raised a hand. "Every little plan you ever made I threw out the window, your chaos was my tool all along. Did you never wonder? Did you never think?"
Mad couldn't move, his powers were gone as Fold began to glow.
"And you Orochi or Kitsune or Ghost as you don't know you're called. I took your reality bending, all this time I've been using your power. All this time I've been trying to get free and using you. That's why you tried to kill yourself that time, some part of you realised that I needed you here and now and all these fools tried to save you when it would have taken so little to just end me then and there. I took the toxic parts of all of you, the bits that you hate the most, the angst, the rage, the impotence against the universe and made them into flesh."
Miao screamed out. "That's impossible!"
"We're figments of a story in a universe created long ago and forgotten by our creators. All those things they hated about themselves they projected into me, all those things they wanted they projected into you. And now I'm here at the end, ready for my revenge."
The Expatriates tried to rush forwards as one.
Fold simply looked at them. "No." he whispered.
They were frozen.
"No." he said
They were dying as the floor below them began to drag them under like quicksand.
"NO!" he shouted at their frozen bodies.
They were almost gone.
"NOOOOO!!!!!" he screamed in ecstasy as his final victory began.
He stopped himself from doing what he wanted, from killing them. "I've been wondering for so long, just how I did all the things I did and how none of you could stop me. And now I know. I had to survive to this point in order to make it to this place and time. I took your abilities, I stripped you of your identities and I made it all work for me! I found a body back at the start of this, right now and I'm giving it what I've taken, so I can rise up, the cloning vats of Hyperspace, I can see you all back then...
"Don't you fools see? This tower I've built on the ruins of reality, it's not a castle, it's a machine, a meta-ship, created to launch me above this world and into the next! A simply built machine that will take your connection to the Watchers and project me into their reality, you're the link to them. Fueled by the bodies below of their tediously constructed NPCs and the bloated remains of the stricken universe. And once I'm there I will kill them all. Every one of them for making this hell of a universe and then leaving us here to die."
Those frozen few remaining Expatriates began to sink into the floor, unable to even struggle as fresh bodies began to slide down from within the walls of the room.
"I also went out and collected some friends for you, just for this moment."
Bodies of the fallen expatriates, too many to count. Wolf, War, Icy Monkey, Antenor, Blue Soul, Bishou, Ollie, KC, Vis, Vandal, k_d, Mae, Jim, Chris, Hawk, Samurai of the night, SHO, YiA, Neoko, Loki, Pyro and Amarza.
All those friends and comrades lost along the way.
"I found their bodies and tried to use them but they weren't enough. I needed avatars who were still alive, still connected to the Watchers, I needed you to come here freely, I needed you to come here and have them want you to be here, so they couldn't make you leave. Even Actor is still inside the building, being sucked into the foundations."
A distant Australian scream could be heard "Fuck you Fold!"
"He dies first. His watchers quest for power turned him into a god, the sheer arrogance of it." There was a very Australian scream in the distance. "Gone now. Your assassin friend is no more. He has ceased to be."
The room began to shake as the bodies of the dead fused with the building.
"When I'm out there, out in the real world, I will find the watchers and kill them for making me do this. I can feel them now, Vets, Mechanics, Librarians, Programmers, Drivers, oh they've grown so much since I last felt them. I'm every part of themselves that they hate, so I'll free them from their misery."
The squeeze of the floor began to engulf them as the bodies of their fallen friends sank into the foundation. Cold still faces looking upwards to the heavens, free from the world but still fuel for the monster they had helped birth.
"I've taken everything from all of you and will now do with it what I please. I've put everything you ever were and everything I am into this engine. I'm your master and you're all just nothing."
And as those few gathered left had almost finished falling into the floor no-one noticed that exactly a minute had passed from when Actor shot Rand with his time travelling bullet.
The Class Struggle.
It was quick in the way that things are when they take a long time to happen.
Rand appeared out of thin air, having travelled from a minute in the past, he saw Fold with his back to him, oblivious to Rand.
Rand heard the words, that Fold was their master, that Fold saw himself above the rest of them and not as a part of a collectivist whole working together to achieve greatness. He saw his opportunity, the inevitable wave of history rose behind him and crashed down in that moment.
Rand grabbed his spare sickle and in one fluid movement he cut off Folds head.
To say that Fold was surprised would be overstating things. All his power was in his world machine, all his energy was put to his task, he had no defences save the Watchers stepping in.
His body slumped to the floor as Rand grabbed his hair to stop the head falling, gristle and gore began to fall to the floor as Fold's last conscious thoughts tried to understand how he'd been so close, suffered so much and that he'd been killed by a Time Travelling Communist.
And then Rand dropped the head, grabbed his hammer and bought it down on the skull. Again and again and again.
"FOR ALL THE FALLEN FOLD!" Rand screamed. "For my comrades gone forever. Lost and eternal!"
The expatriates slowly recovered from the last attack. Watching as Rand painted himself red with the blood of the second greatest monster in the world after Capitalism.
Meanwhile At The Gates Of Hell.
Fold found himself in the presence of a familiar foe.
"Hello Fold." Actor said. "Welcome to the afterlife."
"I was so close." Fold said.
"Yes." Actor showed him the gate. "Beyond this gate is Hell, nice place, I'm probably due there sooner or later, you know you killed me back there, off-screen as well, I'm a little bit pissed about that."
"I was so close."
"You were indeed, but close isn't enough when it comes to these things. There was a plan to all this and sadly for you you weren't a part of it."
"I was so close."
"I know Fold. You survived long enough to create yourself, you survived long enough to nearly kill everyone else, you tricked us into coming to your tower. You tricked Mad into killing Vandal, that was cruel but necessary for you wasn't it, you'd already started to realise that you had none of his abilities so you had to stop him before he got to you. Couldn't have that precious time-loop breaking."
"I was so close."
"I had an inkling back at the start when I couldn't see through my birds eyes, that someone had done something with everyone's abilities but no-one else seemed affected by it. When you unmade the world I realised that I shouldn't think in linear terms anymore."
"I was so close."
"I went to the edge of the universe and killed a god just so I could have a chance against you Fold. I suppose I worked it out almost too late that leaving would deny you my powers, which meant my Godkiller bullet wouldn't affect you. So I shot Rand instead."
"I was so close."
"I hope he forgives me one day. I stole a minute from his life. He was the only one you never took anything from, that's why you let Kitsune almost kill him back at the military base. You felt he wasn't meant to be at the end."
"I was so close."
"I'll leave you here now Fold. The gods are all going away, their story is completed and all this will in time fade. I understand that you've been through this kind of thing before. Eternity in a moment."
"I was so close."
"Enjoy yourself then. I think I can feel my body back in reality, it's waking up in a coffin."
"I was so close."
"If I could give you one piece of advice, always have a back-up plan. I got that priest to carry my corpse across the world so I'd have somewhere to go if this didn't work. Looks like I'm on my way back now."
"I was so close."
With that Actor began to fade, leaving Fold's soul just short of the gates of hell, eternally stuck in Limbo.
Meeting The Conclusion.
The Expatriates found themselves in the tower alone, with the death of Fold they found they could move again, Orochi unmade the floors so that they could escape. Rand looked on in surprise.
"My friends! You're alive!" Rand bellowed rushing over to Miao and hugging her before going to Mad, Lifyre and Orochi and hugging them all. They were all exhausted, their fight was over.
"Orochi began to glow as the feedback loop from his powers being returned to him from both his past and from Fold created a cascade loop." The Conclusion said. "He had not realised that his powers were only as stable as they were because Fold was exploiting half of them. How interesting he thought."
The four surviving Expatriates all looked over at the Conclusion.
"Who are you?" Miao asked.
"I'm a little bit early, I might need to go back a bit and get into position." The Conclusion said. "I'm the Conclusion."
Orochi began to glow as the feedback loop from his powers being returned to him from both his past and from Fold created a cascade loop. He had not realised that his powers were only as stable as they were because Fold was exploiting half of them.
How interesting, he thought, I'm going to die because we killed the only person who could kill me.
"The other Expatriates looked in shock at the interloper. Orochi began to realise what he needed to do. He could undo most of the damage to reality but it would come at a grave price." The Conclusion continued. "He could return the world to itself but he would die."
The other Expatriates looked in shock at the interloper. Orochi began to realise what he needed to do. He could undo most of the damage to reality but it would come at a grave price.
"What if I refuse?" Orochi said. "We've come so far, I refuse to die now just because you said so."
"Mad and Lifyre positioned themselves carefully, readying for a battle that would never come. The body of Fold twitched slightly on the ground as the other corpses of their fallen friends began to sink into the foundation of the building." The Conclusion continued.
"You can't just do this to us!" Miao shouted.
"I won't let you." Mad felt the chaos rising, a whisp compared to the hurricane he'd just experience. Lifyre raised his weapons.
Mad and Lifyre positioned themselves carefully, readying for a battle that would never come. The body of Fold twitched slightly on the ground as the other corpses of their fallen friends began to sink into the foundation of the building.
"The building was a meta-ship, designed to use the connection to the Watchers as a way to control reality. Orochi saw what had to be done and did it. He turned to Miao and said goodbye, I love you, we'll see each other soon enough." The Conclusion wasn't smiling, he was crying.
"I love you too." She said.
The building was a meta-ship, designed to use the connection to the Watchers as a way to control reality. Orochi saw what had to be done and did it.
He turned to Miao and said "Goodbye, I love you, we'll see each other soon enough."
Orochi walked to the centre of the room where Fold had stood, he turned and waved goodbye as he shook hands with the Conclusion, his power coursing through the ship, casting everyone present across the world.
Aftermath. The journey from now to then and here to there.
The world was broken and then it wasn't.
And life moved on, cities rebuilt, children were born, forests bloomed in the wastelands left by the fight to end reality. Governments put up statues to the heroes of the day and tore them down again as the public grew angry. Smart people invested in statue construction firms, foolish people believed it was over.
Maps were redrawn as ancient islands appeared as if awakening from a long forgotten slumber, the human race began to explore its world again for the first time in so very long. Some wanted to just see what was there, some wanted to find a new place to hide and others got drunk and woke up and found themselves on random islands. Humans are strange like that.
The nature of man had changed forever, those who'd been buried in the catacombs of Folds tower could only remember the powerlessness of their fates, some people painted their faces red, to try and hide behind their fears.
And everyone waited for the next incident. The next monster, the next Fold.
But nothing came.
It was as though the world had used up a millennia of magic and power in one terrifying moment and now all that was left was the mundane reality of life.
The world rebuilt itself and over time the stories of that day became legends became fiction became myth. As the watchers had set out to to from the start.
And somewhere in the deepest corners of the world, a Doctor and his patients began reconstruction of Project Hyperspace.
It was in his own body that Actor found himself one day, the coffin was burried deep in the earth.
"That bastard" Actor said aloud to no-one in particular.
He lay down in his now very human body and began to wait. Outside the world would move and change and he was owed a lot of money by the government for his part in killing Fold.
"That was one of the more interesting contracts I guess." he said to himself. "Probably in the top five. Maybe."
He begun to hum as he waited for someone to dig him up.
Rand and the Workers Paradise.
They were awake and alone, those who'd lost so much in the chaos. And in time they found each other and in time they found a man who would give them purpose.
The main island was curved into the shape of a sickle with a second smaller island shaped like a hammer. The school was small and the community was growing. Farms covered the sickle, fishermen daily went to sea to feed their comrades, grain was harvested by those remaining. No one went hungry in Randland.
Although bubblegum was surprisingly hard to come by.
The hammer island held the industry, tool shops building tools for the workers, boatyards to make boats for the fishermen, carriages for the farmers and at the tip of the island was the Factory.
Rand stared at the factory every morning as he awoke and walked with his fellow workers through its doors. Above the entrance enshrined forever was his precious sickle, still stained with the blood of Fold. Beneath it the words "Workers of the World Unite!" emblazoned in bronze, the only luxury the islands knew.
Inside the Factory the great project had begun in earnest. Rand stood upon a platform, elevating himself briefly above his fellow workers.
"Comrades" He shouted. "The first man in space was a comrade to us all. The workers of the communist party built a rocket and rose up unto the heavens themselves. With honest labour and strength from unity they soared so high."
He began to tear up a bit.
"I have soared in my time, with comrades I loved and called family, I have fought against the evils of the capitalist world and won."
There were cheers from the crowd.
"And now we begin the hardest job any worker has ever undertaken, to rebuild a world, better, fairer, stronger and safer for all of us." He geustured to the Factory floor. "We're going to make something here comrades, something that will echo throughout history! Our ship will carry thousands across the sky itself, full of food from the bountiful farms and seas of our beloved homelands. Our coloney ship will take us to a new world, a new challenge. We will land on Mars and make the the red planet RED!"
He picked up his hammer. "Now my comrades we must begin our work!"
The workers from the world grabbed tools and machines and began another day, Comrade Rand at the frontline, smile on his face, doing what he could to help.
Through the will of the people The Commiemobile 2.0 would soon be ready to launch.
Miao and the Zoo.
She woke up and it was another day. Many had passed since the battle of the Tower. She packed herself a small lunch and ran to work.
She still got stares every now and then, curious people saw the cat girl running through town and did double-takes. But for the most part the locals had accepted her, she ran because it was freeing and because it took her attention away from anything but the road in front of her.
After the tower fell she'd been rounded up and experimented on, the government had wanted to know what she was and how she was made. They took about a week of blood samples and cat-scans and full body images before they let her go and lined her up with a job.
She and Kitsune had been so afraid of the government capturing them that the never thought the arrangement could be anything but hostile. But she was a hero and they did the right thing for once.
She got to the gates of the city zoo five minutes early and jumped over them. The animals all perked up at her presence. She ran to the break room to drop her lunch in the fridge before running back out to check on the animals.
She had to give a blood sample once a week, have x-rays once a month and a full body scan every six months. That was the deal she made. In exchange the government would let her be free as long as she stayed out of trouble.
The elephant was happy as she jumped on his back and looked over the park, the tiger was looking a little sad today, she made a mental note to go visit him for a little bit, see if she could cheer him up. The other zoo-keepers, her friends, waved hello as they walked past.
"Another school group coming in today Miao." one said. "Better get ready."
The kids always loved her, every school group that came through would eventually be the grown ups that wouldn't stare at her like a freak, she'd just be the friendly Zoo-keeper who happened to be a cat-girl.
When the zoo opened she greeted the kids at the gate, big smiles on everyone's faces.
"Okay kids, welcome to the Zoo! Lets go and have a great trip around the world of animals!"
Orochi and the land beyond sunset.
Orochi was back. He'd found himself awakening in a city that had no name, full of people who spoke no language he'd ever heard before. His powers were gone and he was alone.
He got up and began to walk and in time he found a diner to stop in. Sherm was behind the counter.
"What'll it be Kitsune?"
"Just the usual Sherm."
He ate his food and drank his drink and couldn't for the life of him think about what he was going to do next. He went to pay.
"Your money is no good here Kit. Not after what you did."
"Thanks Sherm. See you tomorrow."
"Tomorrow it is."
Orochi walked outside and drank in the air of the city. He'd gone so far, risen so high and seen so much darkness. He'd nearly died so many times and killed so many people. He'd hurt people, saved people.
He began walking again, down the road through the endless city, waiting to see what would happen next.
Mad and the Sanity Reclamation Project.
The mines below the cities were dangerous places, the death of Fold had returned much of reality to itself but fragments of the chaos remained. Mad led a crew deep under the city looking for the fragments. It was profitable work, no-one knew what you'd find and no-one knew how to use the fragments but they were rare enough that someone somewhere was going to want them if only to brag about it.
He'd become something different when the magic left the world. He didn't want to say that he was sane because that wasn't like him but it was now and he didn't like it.
He was the best at his job, his connection to the chaos meant he could instinctively find the smallest fragments for market. His team were all guys he trusted and they dug every day with a song in their hearts.
"Hi Ho, Hi Ho." he hummed.
"Boss." His second in charge rushed up to him. "Telephone from the surface. Luci wants to talk to you."
He rushed back to the elevator where they kept the phone. "Luci?" He said.
"Hey, just wanted to give you the news as soon as I heard."
"It's a boy."
And with that Mad Adric the Chaos Bard began to sing the happiest song in the universe as his team began to dig ever deeper. The great adventure continued.
Lifyre and the Price of Fame.
The desert is the birthplace of poetry and war.
Lifyre felt the blast from the enemy and pondered if they were poets on the days they weren't trying to kill him and his squad.
After the Battle of the Tower he'd woken up in an army barracks with Mad's guitar. He could still feel him every now and then, echoes of echoes. He'd never reached out and sometimes regretted it.
"Commander Lifyre, we're pinned down. Any ideas?"
"I have one idea, but it's going to probably fail." He prepped a grenade.
Suddenly the shooting stopped.
"Okay it worked?" Lifyre was more than ready to take credit for whatever happend.
"Is that Lifyre? Hero of the Battle of the Tower?" One of the other side yelled.
"Yes!" He responded.
"Oh, sorry, we had no idea. Thanks for saving the world. We're going to retreat now. Please don't kill us." There was some scuffling on the other side. "Sam wants an autograph, don't know if you can organise that."
"No. Maybe later, but not today. No."
A loud whisper from the other side echoed across the battlefield "I told you."
"Okay, just let us get ourselves out of here, the city is all yours. Sorry about anyone we might have killed."
"Yeah, it's okay guys. Just don't leave any traps or I'll never get a chance to give you an autograph."
There were cheers from the losing side at that.
This wasn't the first time and it wouldn't be the last time this happened. Lifyre told his squad to wait, let the enemy retreat a bit and then take the location.
They pressed forwards ever onwards, the war eternal.
Bishou and the Real Hero of the Tower.
He'd missed it. He'd missed his chance to help and had been killed for it.
Nothing could fix that, nothing could cure that, Jen tried to make him feel better but nothing would work.
He woke up as he did every morning, feeling incomplete, like an impostor wearing another man's skin. Looking in the mirror as he brushed his teeth he saw Fold.
"Hey buddy." He said. "Another day of this I guess."
He got dressed in a suit and tie, somehow he ended up being a counsellor, Jen lined up the job for him, they were part of something now. She was helping to rebuild the world and he was helping to rebuild the people.
He tied his shoes tightly and remembered again his regret, running to the basement of the tower, seeing not the world engine he'd expected but the reality extraction core at the heart of Folds final plan. Jen standing beside him. Neither of them knowing what to do as the ground beneath them suddenly started to suck them in. The plan was to reset the machine to turn reality into a weapon and create a universe inside of Fold where he'd be destroyed by the entropy of the infinite. That was what Jen's plans were, resetting it all to turn it against Fold. They all would have died but he would have been beaten.
He didn't even realise he was already dead when it was happening, Fold just killed him with a thought and left him enough consciousness to understand how utterly defeated they were. He was halfway through a plan to stop Fold when suddenly he was alive again, suddenly Jen was breathing, they'd held each other in that moment as the tower began to shake and reality began to reset itself.
Bishou looked out at the street outside, so many people were just gone, his friends and allies were spread across the world, Miao occasionally called him to talk, Mad sent him an invitation to his wedding and Rand was on TV occasionally. Actor was still missing, Lifyre was waging war in the fragmented lands, Kitsune and everyone else he could feel sometimes, some whisper of them through the universe, gone but not forgotten.
Jen was his rock throughout it all, she'd kept them together during those first few days when society was deciding on rebuilding or regressing, she'd spearheaded reconstruction projects, rebuilt power stations and roads, she was a real hero.
He put his watch on and grabbed the keys to his car. There were a lot of hurt people out there and he was going to do everything he could to help. Fold was dead and the world moved on without him. He just wished again as he did every day that it had of been him.
"I was so close." He whispered to himself as he left for work.
The Ride Eternal.
After Fall of Fold, the tower collapsed, the ruins spread across reality and the world reset itself.
Out of the rubble and the ash a body emerged, crawling towards the sun and then towards the road.
Kaze-Chan was alive, gifted a reprieve from the place he'd fallen to. There was a mini-van nearby as he struggled to get to it. Every step was agony and pain. Every step was misery and happiness.
He got into the van, turned the key and began to drive, looking for someone to come along.
End Part 1.
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