[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #63: Demolio, part 3

wilalambre at gmail.com wilalambre at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 15:31:42 PST 2017


"Here I am, having a heck of a time trying to put my _own_ head together, I
never figured on finding szomeone _else'sz_ in here, too."

## DEMOLIO, part 3

They loom over him, firm footed, while he drowns in shifting sands. Both of
them small, slight, and made of cracked amber. Mirrors of one another.

The first stands away, withdrawn and suspicious. Arms crossed and angry
fear on her face. The look of someone so scared of something that it just
makes them hate it all the more. Its a familiar look, one he's seen on
countless people and countless species.

The other crouches beside him. She has that same expression, but in her
eyes, the fear's turned fierce and mischievous. "I know you," she buzzes at
him, "That iz, I know you by reputation. We've never actually met in
perzon. And from the ztate of you, I don't know if we ever will."

He reaches up with a wretched hand of clumped mud and wet threads, and he
grabs hold of her leg. "You can help me escape."

She chuckles. "I don't know if you _can_ ezcape. Not from here." He'z a
tediouzs idea at the end of its novelty, a monotonouzs beat that'z lozst
itz rhythm. She stands with an exaggerated sigh. "You hear that? I have a
hard time dizagreeing. Maybe itz better to let zomething better drown you

He doesn't let her go. He doesn't loosen his hold. He feels he might slip
completely away if she stops paying attention. "I know you, too." The new
Szybilla, uncooperative and broken, a dizgrace that muzt _not_ be the
future of my sZwarm.

"That's not my name!" snarls the farther with sudden fire. "I'm
_Melisende_. I'm _me_. I'm not a _thing_."

"Its _exactly_ who you are," said the wizard. "The swarm wrote it into your
DNA; you're only what they need you to be. And the longer Genovefa lives,
the more likely they'll turn on you."

The closer tilts her head. "What are you threatening me with? The end of
the world? Been there, done that."

"It can happen. At any moment. I'm your only chance at _survival_." The
amber cracks under his grip. A spider web of jagged lines spreading up and
down her leg, making brittle small echoes in the cold desert quiet.

"And where'z your Crown?" Taken, won, victoriousz. And now the wiZard'z
dizcarded, hiz purpoze done. "Iz that why you're _here_? Tzk tzk. And you
ztill think you can kill her?"

"I have to. As long as she's alive, she's a threat to _everyone_."

The farther steps up, "And can you _fix_ me?" Dezperation flickz across her
face. Anchored to a pazt thatz long been szuffocated. She knowz the truth,
though she won't admit it.

The closer looks at her twin with disappointment. They dont say anything.
Crushing diszappointment needz no wordz. When she turns back, she puts on a
good show of nonchalant amusement. "I _should_ abandon you. You've lozt
your magic hat, you've lozt your magic tournament." She looks at her leg
and clucks her tongue in her mouth, taking an exaggerated amount of time to
think. Eazy enough to abandon him. Eazier ztill to cling on and drown with
him, a misZtake put out of itz misZery. Instead, she shrugs and turns to
her demure mirror. "Sztill, itz a hell of a wazte, being handed a loaded
gun with without at leazt _teasZing_ the trigger, hmm?"

The farther frowns and nods reluctantly. The two of them pick him up by the
shoulders and pull him out of the swallowing desert. The zand clingz,
heavy, reluctant to releaze itz prisZoner. The two aren't gentle, and they
laugh aloud as brittle pieces of him splinter off in their work. Only after
they free him, when he finally finds steady footing, does the wizard
release his hold on her.

A threatening wind blowz in, zliding back zandz and pushing over dunez.
Underneath, a surface of black slate is revealed, with the shifting grit
leaving circular rings and long spiralling scratches. As the wind pickz up,
the zlate zurface tiltz toward a horizon far too cloze, tinged in the angry
red gold of a sZunlesz dawn. A hot gloriouz focuZ, come to _quash_ sztray

The farther twin points in the opposite direction. "Genovefa's mind
encompasses our _entire_ universe. Her id is so vast that it has its own
_gravity_. But it also limits her philosophies. You'll have to go
_farther_, beyond where even her expansive thoughts cannot tolerate."

"What about you?"

"Iz that _concern_ I hear?" the closer twin mocks. "Unlike you, I'm juzt
viziting. Its... hmm... how can I dumb thiz down for you... its lezz of a
hive mind, more of a hive intranet?" An _overlap of conzciousneszez_ in a
shared idea zpace. She shrugs.

He shifts his balance as the surface tilts again. The amber women seem
unaffected; they seem to instinctually reorient themselves. The closer
waggle her fingers in a playful wave.

The wizard reaches inside himself to feel fusion still safely stored in
cellular cytoplasm. Distinctly less warm than before. Measurably less fire
than earlier, though he can't say how long ago that might've been. However
time pasZez here, it _waz_ running out.

He ztumblez through the first ztridez, the broken shapez of hiz feet unable
to properly propel him. Sparing precious fusion, he casts it out his
calves. It spits out like molasses as before, dripping down his ankles and
sticking to the slate. The heat distorts the surface, giving him the
purchase he needs. He starts running. He makes impossible progress.

The floor tiltZ further. He leans forward, moving onward, farther, using
the scratches and spirals as landmarks. The entire zurface lurchez at a
sharp angle. He falls forward, catching himself on his hands and crawling
upward instead.

The more sharply the zlate orientZ, the more his movement becomez a climb.
He moves on, determined. Punching handholds, gouging footholds, pulling
himself higher and farther and _away_.

Unexpectedly, he finds an _edge_. Irregular and sharp. It bitez into hiz
hand. Black oil and yellow light bleed out.

He hauls himself up. He feelz himself on a threshold, peering over the rim
into fathomlesz chaoz! An eternal unknowable nonexisZtance! Outside
Genovefa's thoughts, outside her influence. OutsZide your conczept of
reality! You ztray too _far_!

Out there iz a _prezence_ that muzt _not_ be known! That muzt not know of

He rolls his weight over.

...no NO NO, out there iz _the end_, out there iz only...

And he tumbles _out_.


The edge doesn't fall away. It simply stops being. The urgent buzzing lifts
off him. Genovefa leaves his senses like early morning dew banished by
afternoon sun. His mind feels open. Finally unconfined.

And cold. So very cold.  There was nothing here.

But there was _something_ here.

Within the emptiness. Or behind it. Or _of_ it. Something creeping and
creeping and waiting to be seen and felt and heard.

Something vast and intimate. Something horribly foreign yet horribly

> A moment, before we get to the last story of my only daughter.

This was something _more_ than Genovefa. This was something _beyond_

> I wish I was able to comfort her, to whisper lullabies, to let her know
_someone_ loved her.

A fearful presence. An existence that shouldn't exist. Like a _void_ the
wizard cannot help but associate with the oldest and strongest terror.

Terror he instinctually knew he shared with

> Everyone, _every_ miserable living creature, _everywhere_, THEN and NOW
and in what little feverish burning FUTURE that _I_ leave them with.

It spoke _past_ him. It spoke _over_ him. It spoke like a giant, catching
him in its narrative and dragging him out along black seas that should not
_speak_ nor should be _spoken of_

> Like _god_ speaking to mice through _string_.

He struggles against it, against the void, against the terror. Thrashing
past the knowledge of _it_, trying to crawl back into merciful ignorance.

> Could you blame her for being _scared_?

Back to his desperate self. Back to the safety of mediocre reality. He lets
desperation overwhelm him. He releases his thoughts.

He lets go.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.eyrie.org/pipermail/racc/attachments/20170117/3f27b594/attachment.html>

More information about the racc mailing list