Are all infinities the same? If I destroy most of everything, is there still everything left?
1 Month Later - Doc-Danger - Nowhere
I sigh as my latest test fails. I’ve put the data crystal back together, but the info is still scrambled. I’m learning I’m not good at fixing things.
I look out at the thin strip of stars that are all that’s left of reality. A needle of a universe that escaped my destruction. A sliver of forever that hid in the shadow of my family.
The Rumor is currently a small forest moon parked a fair distance from the Needle Universe. It’s always midnight here, because of our distance from the last stars. I don’t want to take us any closer.
I made a cabin for us to work in. Me on the data crystal, High Roller in Pandora’s Sandbox, and Fox studies Ibok’s Testament. I doubt Ibok has any relevant ideas. I don’t go into the sandbox anymore. There’s probably something useful on the data crystal. I know I could get it working, if wasn’t so tired. I sleep 16 or 17 hours a day, but still I’m so tired.
Maybe more sleep would help.
Fox walks over. Looks at my work. Looks at me.
“You’re done, dude. Time for a break.” He calls a beer from nothing. Hands it to me. “Go take a walk, clear your head. Come back with fresh eyes.”
I nod. Head for the door.
“Hey.” He says. “Love you, dad.”
I nod. Shamble out into the darkness.
Maybe a walk will clear my head. It used to work back home. I send the beer to nothing and trudge through the dark forest.
Why can’t I get that damn crystal to work? I’m not stupid. I figured out how to bring back the universe a couple hours after I destroyed it. It wasn’t that hard. Honestly, now that the other space gods are dead, everything’s pretty simple. My cosmic powers are unbelievably amplified. Any action is effortless at any distance. I never imagined how much interference the other space gods were causing. Fuckers were bumping my elbow.
Is this what the Man in Mask wanted? Limitless power, with no opposition? I wonder why? It’s meaningless.
Anyway, I can bring back the universe, but not without killing us. Fox, High Roller, me. Probably the survivors in the Needle Universe. I don’t care if I die, but I can’t gamble with other people’s lives. Not anymore. I’ve fucked up too many times.
There’s got to be an answer on the data crystal. But, I’m too stupid to figure it out.
God, I’m tired.
I lay down in a clearing. Stare up at a heartbreakingly small infinity.
I start to doze. The stars get blurry. They double as I zone out. Wait. I blink, shake my head. There’s still too many stars. As I watch, they double again.
I reach out to stop the return of the universe, but I’m blocked. There’s too much interference. God Damn. There’s only two people who can block me. I warp back to the cabin.
High Roller is waiting on the porch. Smoking. He looks sad. Strong. Despair and danger. Like grim death. Fox is gone.
“Fox is bringing back the universe?”
“You know that will bring back the Man in the Mask?”
“He’ll come back with his body autonomy intact. He’s going to remember everything. All the space gods will. They’re going to murder us immediately. Us, and anyone we may have talked to.”
High Roller nods.
“God damn it! Fox could be fighting them right now!”
“Fox is definitely fighting them right now. That’s why he picked right now.”
“RRRUH!” I scream. “We did all of this so he could live!!”
High Roller shakes his head. “He didn’t want to live like this.”
My head is pounding. My chest is tight. Fuck this. I know where Fox would go to fight the Masked Man. I open a portal. It fizzles out. I try again. Nothing.
I turn to High Roller. He flicks his joint into the woods. Squares on me.
“So, it’s like this?” I ask.
“I’m sorry, Doc.” he says. “Fox gave his life to bring back the universe. I gotta make sure it sticks.”
This is gonna get messy. High Roller doesn’t fuck around. Neither do I. He’s gonna come in hard. Kill me. He knows no man or god can hold me. I’ll have to come in even harder.
What if I over do it?
What if I kill everybody this time?
I hold my face. Curl up on myself. I’m so tired. Used up. Spent.
“Please let me go.” I ask. “I won’t fight. I just want to die with my son.”
“I know you do.” says High Roller. “And I know you won’t.”
I fall to my knees. Clutch my head. My heart’s being crushed by barbed wire. Can you kill a man with the truth?
“Then you go.” I say. “Don’t let Fox die alone.”
High Roller shakes his head. “I can’t. This is the day the Earth gets destroyed. I have to go there next. I promised Fox I’d save it.”
“I can do that!” I cry. “I can save the Earth. I can do that.”
High Roller pauses. “I can’t save him. You know that, right? I’ll just die with him.”
High Roller nods. “Thank you.” he says.
He wraps himself in the Rumor. He’s gone.
I float in the ever filling void. When the Milky Way reappears, I warp to Earth. Use true sight to scan for Megacles. She’ll know what to do. I can’t find her. Maybe she’s in stealth mode. Candy will know where she is. I find her on the roof of the Sugar Lab. I warp down. See Candy.
“Where’s Megacles?” I ask
“What the fuck do you mean - Where’s Megacles?” she says. “She left. Looking for you!”
I hang my head. She never found me. Oh god, she’s probably dead. I warp to orbit.
It’s peaceful up here. But, I can’t rest. I’ve got one last thing to do. Someone is coming to destroy the human race. Instead, they’re going to meet me. Poor bastards.