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Life is suffering.

  • Doc-Danger



.0001 Nano-Seconds Later - Fox - Black Hole

Yeeoww!! Huh. Actually, I feel okay. Better than okay. Pretty damn good. She fixed my brain. My God Machine is now part of my body. Nope, this isn’t my body. I am now a being of pure thought. This form is just a construct of those thoughts. I can change it at will. Hmm. How do I know that? I seem to have knowledge I don’t remember getting. Did my new brain come pre-loaded? What the fuck!

Megacles smiles at me. “Pretty trippy, eh?” She turns into a sparkle and streaks off.

Whatthefuck!!

Lodestone is morphing back to a black hole. The giant forms of High Roller and The Masked Man are absorbed into her endless mass. The party is still raging. The battle has died down. Most of the Halfmen winked out of existence when the Masked Man bit it. Some had to be put down forcibly. A few are sheepishly munching on hot dogs.

I scan for High Roller and spot him at a particularly intense party vortex. Some kind of festhall, with kegs, and roasting pigs, and naked ladies, and lots of yelling. I head towards it. I don’t sparkle my way over, but trudge my way across the black hole like a normal fucking person.

“There’s my boy!” High Roller tackles me and lifts me in a fierce hug. He has a huge beer in one hand and a massive chunk of pork in the other. It’s a very wet, greasy, hug. The crowd at the festhall roars a huge cheer at our reunion. The silver warrior who resurrected High Roller looks at him with love.

Fucking High Roller. We’ve been here for 3 minutes, and he’s already got a girlfriend, a place to live, and a thousand friends.

“Do you know what the fuck is going on?” I ask.

“Clearly the Vikings were right!” he says. “We died in battle, and now we get to party till the end of time!”

“That’s a very convenient explanation.” I look around. I don’t see anything that immediately refutes it.

High Roller kicks a roasted pig off a long trestle table. He lifts the silver warrior and dumps her into the platter full of greasy pork juices. She squeals happily. He hops on her, and they make enthusiastic, greasy, love in front of me, the crowd, and Jesus.

I look away. Okay, I’m not getting anything useful from him for a while. I huge minotress catches my eye. She flicks her horn in a come-hither fashion.

“Sorry. Usually I’d be down, but I’m going through a thing.” I say.

“That’s cool.” says the Minotress. “What do you need?”

“I need to know what Megacles did to me.” I say.

“Why don’t you ask her?”

“Where is she?”

The Minotress points down.

Right. Inside the black hole. I actually know how to get in there, though I don’t know why.

Fuck it. I guess it’s sparkle time.

I turn myself into pure information and blast into the blackhole. Inside is a virtual world called “infospace”. I’m expecting something like the hypno-clone network, but done big. I’m right, but not really.

I’m floating in infospace like I would in real space. It also looks like real space. I feel exactly like myself. There’s no interface or instructions, it’s just like the real universe. Except, my cosmic powers feel very clear. No interference, like when there were just the three of us in the Needle Universe.

I stretch my true sight, take a look at the local systems. It’s like any real sector of space, except there’s way too many people, they’re all space gods, and I can see everything perfectly.

When trillions of sparkle people appeared outside during the battle, I assumed they were most of Lodestone’s inhabitants. Clearly, I was wrong - there’s quadrillions of folks around me. And they’re all space gods! But, there’s no interference! I can see electrons a million lightyears away. I can see the electrons inside the space god’s brains. I can see their thoughts.

What the fuck is going on?

I stretch my true sight to the limit - but there is no limit. I see much farther than the size of the real universe, and it’s all open, and bursting with space gods.

How is this possible? There’s no interference, no body autonomy. Any one of these dickheads could wipe out everybody at any time. An infinite amount of people has an infinite amount of dickheads. Some clown is going to mess around. That’s just math.

Unless… I try to snuff out all the suns in the universe. It works, which is a little scary, but before I freak out, I notice I’m alone in the universe. Or, this universe. I’ve been shifted to a parallel universe where I can be an asshole without hurting anybody.

Actually, I’m not alone very long. Every second, quadrillions of space gods warp into my lightless universe. Most of them are in pajamas. I have created the Nap-iverse.

That’s kind of cool. I study how they warp in, recalibrate my true sight, and take a look at a right angle to reality. As I suspected, I find an infinite number of universes stacked on top of each other. Each of them packed to the tits with people.

Jesus Fucking Christ.

I take a moment. Smoke a joint at the edge of everything. I knew infinities came in different sizes, but I never expected to find one this big.

As I smoke and think, I have a realization. Lodestone probably didn't kill the Man in the Mask. I stretch my senses and there he is - at the far end of reality, raging in an empty universe. Trapped in a prison of his own making.

I watch him for a bit. I’d rather him dead. I flick my joint into his universe. Turn my back on him. Good enough, I guess.

I find Megacles on a snow covered planet in a popular universe. In a little cabin, in a little village, in a little valley. I enter the cabin. She’s sitting in a big chair, by a big fire, with a big book and a big beer. There’s a silver warrior playing an acoustic guitar, softly crooning Tom Petty songs.

Megacles smiles at me. “I just need a minute.” She waves her hand, and another big chair, and big book, and big beer appear.

I nod, and Megacles goes back to her book. I sit. Sip my beer. Listen to Free Fallin’. I relax a little. This is nice. I should get a place like this. Learn to play guitar.

I pick up the book Megacles gave me. It’s the same one that she’s reading. Called The Debate. I open it to a random page. It appears to be a transcript of a debate. Makes sense. As I read, more arguments are added, edited, deleted. I look deeper, and I can see right into the thoughts of the debaters. Weird.

I start to get a little brain dizzy. Close the book. Megacles is done reading. She tips her beer at me. “How’s it going?”

“Good.” I say it automatically, but it’s true. I came here to ask what she did to me. And I will, eventually. But, feeling good has reminded me of my friends.

“How do I get out of here? Past the event horizon?”

“You don’t.” she says.

“I must. I have responsibilities.”

She shrugs. “I don’t know how. Someone else will have to assume your responsibilities.”

I think. “Can we affect the outside without crossing the event horizon?”

She smiles. “Yes.”

“I left enemies behind.” I say. “My home planet is going to be destroyed today.”

“Really?” she says. “Hey Lodestone! Have we eaten the Earth?”

NOT YET.

“Well we better hurry up about it. Apparently today is our last chance.” She sparkles off.

“Wait! No! Shit!” I sparkle after her. Lose her. Fuck! Head to the surface. Materialize next to High Roller.

“Hey…”

“Shut up!” I say. “They’re going to eat the Earth!”

“Ha! Don’t worry.” says High Roller. “I sent Doc-Danger to guard the Earth. He was super pissed. Anybody who shows up there is gonna get the living fuck kicked out of them.”

The event horizon shudders. Gets ripped aside like wrapping paper. I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. I guess I can leave now.

Doc-Danger hovers above Lodestone. Reality pulses in eldritch, destructive, waves.

“Oh, it’s us that’s attacking the Earth.” says High Roller. “This is going to end badly.”

“Is it possible we’ve fucked everything up worse than last time?” I ask.

“Anything’s possible.” says High Roller.

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Doctor Zero

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