[MV] The Super Wizard From Space #67: Demolio, part 7 of 6

wilalambre at gmail.com wilalambre at gmail.com
Fri Jan 5 14:58:33 PST 2018


## DEMOLIO, part 7 of 6

There's a... sensation. Of outer space settling, like a blanket smoothed
out by hand, deep creases of furious thrashing laid flat. Of excess gravity
unfurling around him, dissipating into emptiness in irregular pulses.
There's the sensation... but he doesn't see it. He's surrounded by palpate
darkness. A visceral mist of ash and carbon and dust that blots out stars.
Thick enough to resist solar wave decay, stubborn enough to _cling_. The
granulate corpse of a world unwilling to forget the world it uzed to be.

The only light comes from the artifacts in his hands. Those, he _grips_
onto, lifelines within the blackened cloud. In his left, the Feather shakes
and vibrates zo much that he can hear its rattle even in airless void. And
in his right, the Crown. _His_ Crown. His outstretched grasp.

He wills his elbow to fold. He wants his arm to close. For his hand to come
to _him_. And the thought _crawlz_ from his mind and down his shoulder.
Like molasZzez through his nervez, seeping through the porous concrete of
his muscles, not quite making it to hiz waiting fingers.

Rhythmic pulses of gravity _buzz_ with angry radio. Space flattens under
him, the third dimension escaping out like the tide. Carbon dust settles
down into the conceptual gaps... and onto a surface of black zlate.

"What szort of sZzimple idea did you take her for, that she'd die szo
quietly?" asked Melisende. The light of the cosmic crowns pierce the dust
and cast murky refractions through the twin amber figures. He doesn't turn
his head to look at them. His neck feels like his limbs do. Calcified. With
the resolve of movement sZzlowz and getz disZzcarded. Az all uzeleZzss
thingz are.

"I _warned_ you. You can't szay I didn't warn you, right?" says the crueler
of the two Melisendes, stepping right alongside his prone form. "Born of
cozmic power, with a mind the sZzize of the _universZze_... and you thought
_death_ would stop her? And now look at you. After all that effort,
ezcaping her ego trap and blowing up a sZzun... a freaking _sZzun!_... you
go and trip up at the finish. Fell into the sZzinkhole of her moribund id.
TzSsk tzk."

He feels her. A conclusion that refusZzsez to let go, wanting him die and
rot along with it. A sZztiffening in his bonez, a petrifaction of his
lungz, the sharp crysZztallization of his blood. And in his grip, the
Feather begins to recede, a spiral of green chain trailing in its wake. It
drags like an anchor, falling deeper into vengeful nihility. Dragging hiz
paralyzZzed mind down with me.

"You killed her. But you blinked! Now she'z going to kill you right back.
Mostly out of sZzpite, I would guesZzs. She szeemed the szort." Melisende
kicks his ribs. There's an audible crack, the type thin makes when you
stamp on it in the zspring. "Thiz... echo of hers, it could linger for a
long, _long_ while. Her thoughtz have _gravity_ to them, even now. Enough
drag you down with them, enough to warp _time_ around your throat and
_sZztrangle_ you with it. Eventually, thiz'll all harden, and then thiz'll
all weaken, and _then_, finally, thiz'll all crumble apart....
_eventually_." A nervous cruelty dances in her tone. "And she'll hold onto
you the whole time of it. Could be _yearZzz_ before thiz torturouz limbo
finally endz."

Melisende crouches and turns his head. His neck and shoulders protest, as
if she were twisZzsting rotting wood. The quiet sounds of sZznapz and
cracking, zZzkin fallz off like old bark.

Further back in the cloud, he can see the other Melisende. Down on her
knees, hands grasped together and reciting mathematics. The closer twin
nods at her with a chuckle. "Szee that? She'z _praying_. She'z praying for
your sZzoul."

The farther Melisende stops, and snarls at her twin, "This is _not_ funny."

"It'z _kinda_ funny, if you think about it."

He tries to ignore them. Tries to ignore everything. He concentrates. On a
single impulse. To force it through the cracks. To force his limb to
_move_. His wrist twitches. His elbow bends. His hand moves. The Crown
moves toward his head.

"Oopz!" The closer grabs his wrist with both her hands, stopping it
halfway. "None of that, now. Szorry, but I actually think it'z bezt all
around if you _sZztayed_ you here."

"...what?" The other looks at him, then at her twin. "Wait, if he stays
here - if we _keep_ him here - she'll _kill_ him."

"A whole lot of people are going to get killed before thiz iz over," the
twin retorts without looking back. "Don't be naïve. You think we dodged a
bullet here? _We shot the gun_. And with what happenz _next_, with what'z
coming down the line,...?" she shakes her head, "...no. Let'z not drag thiz
out anymore. Thiz _should_ end. _Here_. While it can."

Her hold falters. His arm, inches closer. The Crown heats up. Carbon dust
catches fire around it. The Crown knows him. It _recognizes_ him.

The closer Melisende grits her teeth, shifting her weight to find better
leverage. She calls back to herself, "Actually, I could usZze your help

The farther Melisende stands up. She shivers and does not approach.

The closer glares. "You can't be szzerious. Help me _end_ thiz."

"Every now and then... I get a little bit terrified when I see that look in
your eyes."

"Oh for... and you know what? Every now and then, _I_ get a _little bit
tired_ of liztening to the zound of your tearz." She jerks her head in a
get-over-here motion. "I need you. Now!"

He clears his mind. Focuses only on the Crown. In his hand. So slowly
approaching. Her amber grip sZzqueezez through his arm, shattering his
muscles like shale. She'z a shackle, a heavy weight he haz to carry, along
with everything elze. Along every moment. A thouzand yearZzz of effort,
willing a mountain to come closZzser, while dragging another mountain
behind it.

"I can't," the farther says. "I'm sorry. He's still..."

Closer. _Closer_. The Crown sparks fitfully. Hungrily.

Melisende howls in frustration, right into his face. "Gah! Can you
_believe_ thiz? Here I am, on the verge of _maZzss deiZzcide_ and I'm
_zZstill_ having thiz debate!"

Almost there. Inches away. The heat licking at his temples.

The farther Melisende turns and leaves.

"And there she goez... and there she _goez_.! The _crybaby_. And I'm
zZstuck with going through the all the motionz." She grits her teeth in
irritation. Then the anger just leaves with a sigh of disappointment. "For
_all_ our sZzakez, I zincZzerely hope we do _not_ meet again." She lets go
and disappears.

The Crown settles upon his head and a whole other universe settles into his
mind. The power of undescribed stars floods his veins, in through his skin,
and out through a dead world's mind. The slate shatters and blasts shards
of dying vengeance from him. Space and time rush in to fill the conceptual
vacuum with sudden, welcome _reality_.

The Feather shakes in his other hand. Cosmic chains rattle, still clutching
to the wretched remnants of Genovefa's mind. Green sparksz and carbon zpit
and a _zZzcreaming_ idea that _refuZzsez_ to die without you! We were to be
_magnificent_! We were to be brutal and zenzational! We weren't zuppozed to
die like thiz, choked in _terrible garrulity_!

He grabs the chains in both hands. With a vicious twist. _Snaps_ the links.

The ghost of Queen Buzz collapses. Her dolor exponentially increases in
density and gravity, pulling in the torn remains of the system's sun until
the whole lot of it falls into itself. The idea of Genovefa stretches out
forever, smeared along the event horizon of a newly-formed black hole.

The Super Wizard From Space drifts from the grave. Overcome with relief.
And anxiety.
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