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In Pan Post 135 Highemperor reveals that he anticipated the battle between himself and the three women, Ameryl, Imeryn and Peasant Girl, which creates narrative potential he could use to power the thirteen hedrons. As he begins to power them up High Imp, Highemperor's oldest rival, arrives along with the misshapen monster that is now Galatea - the daughter created from the essence of all four of them and now possesses monstrous heads of all four. The Beast, as she has become, then engulfs the entire Multiverse within a time lock and the Stronghold of Powerplayers and Mount Tall are merged into one tall spire. Galatea is the time lock itself and Highemperor finally kills High Imp by crushing his neck. Highemperor is determined that he should fix it all himself but Imeryn forces him to see that the Writers are against him. The four of them then work together to produce a source of anti-power, which would release the rest of the Multiverse but still trap them in the repeating time-lock. The entity of The Beast was discovered by Memnoch tunnelling through Tartarus while the edge of the explosion of time touches the great wyrd and creates what would become The Shard - creating its beginning with its end. Some beings of the Multiverse would remember the events while others would not due to the fractured state of time and reality. At the Phortress of Phractal, HorseGod makes a toast to the God-Monarchs and Powerplayers lost to the time-lock, though Phractal doesn't remember them. In another room it is revealed that the WriterGod has been writing the story of Highemperor and declares The End.

Post

Highemperor's Grand Finale

Highemperor's eyes blaze pure white with indignation as his enemies surround him.

Highemp: So it takes all of you, united, to even stand a chance against me?!

Imeryn: A united front can defeat anyone, no matter how powerful. Minos taught me that. And don't think this means it's over between us, dear sister.

Ameryl's eyes are clouded with old sorrow, but she keeps her expression neutral.

Ameryl: You brought this on yourself, Highemp. Your own blithe arrogance.

Peasant Girl: Yet all of it came to nothing.

Even Ameryl has to suppress a shudder at Peasant Girl's tone. Gone is the sweet girl she once knew; in her place a terrifying zealot.

Highemp: Everyone WILL bow before me. And you all WILL love me again!

He outstretches his arms, and lightning crackles around him. Ominous epic music plays. Beneath them, the 13 hedrons crackle with the same white lightning, the usually-green glyphs upon their surfaces scrolling in brilliant gold as the hedrons themselves turn to clear iridescent crystal.

Highemp: You all played right into my hands! All that narrative potential! All that emotion and passion! The passion of those who have loved me like no other and who have affected the multiverse like none other! All MINE!

Highemp claims all the narrative energy and gathered power, and begins channeling it through himself - to fill himself with eternal, ultimate supremacy, a true Godhood which none can gainsay, to fill all Forever with unending and total happiness. All three women are shielding their eyes, and they can feel the overwhelming power surging from their onetime lover. Ameryl's voice is still soft, however.

Ameryl: You have still learned nothing. This will not end well for you - for any of us.

High Imp: I tend to agree.

Everyone's heads whip around to regard the archfiend, who has appeared among them.

Highemp: You have no place here, old friend. Your pacts are with beings lesser than my lovers here--

Imeryn: Oy! FORMER lovers!

Highemp: --and I have resurrected Alole, who is by my side in Urbis Imperia, negating the very reason for your ultimate hatred.

High Imp: I have been a demon for a very long time, and there is nothing left of love in me...only everlasting hatred.

Ameryl: Speak your purpose, demon.

High Imp: I believe we have a...mutual acquaintance.

And before them appears a terrible creature. Its limbs are thick and longer than its legs, and it hunches over, supported by hands and feet alike. Gnarled talons sprout from its emaciated fingers and toes. Spikes and ridges emerge haphazardly from its flesh.

Most terrible of all are its four heads, each snapping and biting at the others. For each of the four faces is a terrible mockery of one of the four lovers: Highemp, Imeryn, Ameryl, and Peasant Girl.

Peasant Girl: ...Galatea?

The Gul Moff's voice cracks as something touches her heart for the first time in eons.

Imeryn: What have you done to her?!

The faces of all four former lovers are united in horror as they behold what was once Galatea, the product of their mingled emotions and desires.

High Imp: Only unleashed what was already inside her. What all of YOU put inside her. She agreed to this, you know. Even paid the price willingly - which was to love me for a night. She didn't enjoy it, not at first - but by the end, she was begging me to keep going.

Highemp and the three women's faces have gone white.

High Imp: Now she is no longer a beauty, she is the Beast that you have made yourselves. Dear, what is it you WANT from these four omnipotent deities?

The Beast's four heads suddenly stop snapping and biting at each other to fix on the four former lovers, and all four mouths open up in a howl.

Beast: ....STAY....WITH....ME....

Her mouths grow infinitely large, and everything falls within them as space and time distend...

Everything goes black for an eternal instant, and then the world is red. In crimson skies, the universes orbit around them like planets, and they are in a mashed amalgamation of Urbis Imperia and Mega Jonestown Prime. Terror and shock ripple through the populace, as demigod supermages and powerplayers began fighting each other madly in the streets.

The Stronghold of Powerplayers now sits atop Mount Tall, and atop the tallest tower, in the throne room whose roof is now torn off and open to the scarlet sky, the four lovers and High Imp stand alone.

Ameryl: What. The. Hells!

Highemp: It's a time lock, one of staggering scale and unfathomable power. A zero hour...the entire multiverse, all of its time and space compressed into this too-small space.

Imeryn: How did you do this, fiend?!

High Imp has a cunning smirk on his face.

High Imp: I did not. Your darling Beast did. She wants the four of you to stay together forever...and now, you will. She has the powers of all four of you, four of the greatest deities in all the cosmos that ever were.

Despite her horror at this prospect, larger concerns rise to the fore of Ameryl's mind.

Ameryl: But she has trapped the entire multiverse with us!

High Imp: Apparently the proximity of all that narrative energy in those hedrons gave her a bit of a supercharge. I doubt the multiverse will survive long in such a confined space.

Peasant Girl: You don't seem too upset about this.

High Imp: I care not for my own fate any longer, save that Highemp suffers the destiny that he so richly deserves.

In two long strides, Highemp has stalked over to his onetime nemesis and lifts him up bodily with a hand on his throat. High Imp gurgles out choked mocking laughter, only malicious glee in his eyes. The powerplayer squeezes his hand with a sickening crunch, and tosses the fiend's corpse aside.

Imeryn: That's one less fool, but it doesn't help our situation any.

Peasant Girl: Why should we 'fix' this? If the multiverse dies, then it becomes Nothing. A grand elegance, I think.

Highemp: It will not be nothing. It will be a chaotic maelstrom of matter, energy, time, and space, the crunched ruins of the dissolved multiverse, with us living forever, trapped at its center.

Ameryl: Then it is up to the four of us to unite, a final time, to set things right, if it was from the four of us that the Beast took her powers and her motives.

She eyes Highemp askance.

Ameryl: Unless you still think your vaunted 'narrative potential' can do things on its own.

Highemp scowls.

Imeryn: I think *I* shall claim that narrative potential for my own, Highemp, dear! So good of you to set those hedrons up as nets to catch it!

Highemp glares at his former lover.

Peasant Girl: But where is Galatea-- the Beast now?

Ameryl: All around us. She IS the time lock.

Highemp: I will fix this. With my hedrons. I will break the lock, I will restore Galatea, I will restore all our love, I will restore Kimleigh, I will--

He breaks off, gazing with wild eyes at the others, and breathing heavily.

Highemp: I can do anything. Anything at all! I am Highemperor!

Imeryn: Not when all the Writers, your very own Writer included, have united to doom you here with us.

Peasant Girl: Whatever High Imp did to transform Galatea into that Beast--

They shudder at the memory of High Imp's words.

Peasant Girl --linked her to all our powers. As she was created from our passions, she also now taps into our powers. The more energy you bring to bear against her with the hedrons, the stronger this time lock will get.

Highemp: So we should, what, let all our powers lapse, to drain the Beast of hers and weaken the time lock?

Imeryn: Too late for that, I should think. We can't cut her off at this point.

Ameryl: Anti-power.

Peasant Girl: What's that?

Imeryn: Even if Highemp's Average Joe Squad hadn't shut down your God-Killer Machine, I don't think it would work against this Beast. How do you aim any weapon at a time lock?

Ameryl: No, you're right. But the God-Killer Machine functioned from only a spark, an atom, of anti-power. If we were to gather or create a great source of it...

Highemp: I see. We could unite our abilities to create such a source, using your ring as a catalyst and blueprint. Galatea is linked to our power, but not to any anti-power we might wield.

He hangs his head, his chin resting on his chest for a moment. Then he looks up.

Highemp: And I thought I had finally appeased my Writer for all eternity...

Peasant Girl: Eternity is beyond any Writer.

Highemp looks at her sharply, sensing the undercurrent in her words.

Highemp: What do you mean?

Peasant Girl: Oh, I mean nothing by it.

Highemp groans.

Highemp: I swear, ever since you joined Nahda's cult, your puns have been as bad as Geb's.

Peasant Girl: Who?

Highemp: An old friend.... it doesn't matter now. I suppose Galatea succeeded.

Imeryn: What do you mean?

Ameryl, though, understands his meaning.

Ameryl: She has succeeded in uniting us again, one last time.

Highemp: Then let us be done with this already.

Peasant Girl: No patience for drama when it is not in your favor?

Highemp: Not anymore.

Without standing on ceremony, and without doing anything as obvious or cliche as holding hands, the four once-lovers unite their strengths. The hedrons glow and crackle brightly, then disintegrate, as they expend every last ounce of their gathered strength. A churning cauldron of pure power builds, and then, with a deft twist of phenomenal deific will, the four invert it.

A cosmic explosion of pure anti-power blossoms out from them...

Everything goes black for an eternal instant, and then the world is red. In crimson skies, the universes orbit around them like planets, and they are in a mashed amalgamation of Urbis Imperia and Mega Jonestown Prime. Terror and shock ripple through the populace, as demigod supermages and powerplayers began fighting each other madly in the streets.

The Stronghold of Powerplayers now sits atop Mount Tall, and atop the tallest tower, in the throne room whose roof is now torn off and open to the scarlet sky, the four lovers and High Imp stand alone.

Ameryl: What. The. Hells!

Highemp: It's a time lock, one of staggering scale and unfathomable power...

***

It is an explosion akin to a Big Bang[Ext 1], as the ignited anti-power creates a void, a pit of less-than-nothing as large as a universe. The time lock's integrity weakens from the anti-onslaught, and it crunches into a far smaller space to maintain cohesion, thus freeing most of the multiverse from its grip. What remains falls into the infinite void abyss, beyond and before and below time, where one day it will be discovered by Memnoch tunneling down through Tartarus.

Incidentally, the fringe of the vast explosion of anti-power touches a great wyrd - a hyper-astral entity many times larger than a universe - shriveling it to a withered husk. Thus the Shard's end is also its beginning.

Due to the last union of the four once-lovers, the multiverse is saved...mostly. Highemperor, Imeryn, Ameryl, and Peasant Girl themselves are forever trapped still. So are Urbis Imperia and Mega Jonestown Prime, Ameryl and Peasant Girl's fleets too, along with the vast majority of the High Empire.

Time is broken and sheared in some places, jagged edges where parts of the multiverse were ripped out, parts which are still trapped in the time lock forever. Therefore some people remember that which was lost, and others don't.

HorseGod: Well, damn. I'll miss them.

Phractal: Who?

HorseGod: All of them.

HorseGod is slumming it aboard Phractal's Phortress as is his wont. He has spent enough time around high muckity-mucks to be aware when something in the multiverse...changes.

Phractal: I don't know what you're talking about.

HorseGod: Minos, and the other God-Monarchs. Even all the powerplayers, hell. They could party like no one's business. Except Ameryl maybe, she was a wet blanket, but she was a looker.

Phractal: I am present everywhere, and while I am not always aware of everything where I am at, I would have known if such influential entities as you describe existed.

HorseGod: Which CLEARLY means they don't exist anymore...right?

Phractal: No, it means they NEVER existed. Daft horse.

HorseGod shrugs and takes another swig of liquor.

HorseGod: Here's to them all. They had a good run, who could ask for more?

In one of the many palatial chambers of the Phortress, the WriterGod sits before a desk, writing in a book with an ink quill. When Eternius decided to lead the other narrative deities here to mooch off Phractal, this suite was assigned to WriterGod as his. He is not often here, but at the moment he is.

He hears HorseGod's toast, and smiles to himself, on his face that can never be clearly seen. He ends the last words in the book with a flourish: The End, before setting down his quill, blowing on the ink to dry it, and closing the book, revealing an image of Highemperor on the cover.

WriterGod: I always did like a good ending.

References

External References

  1. Big Bang article, Wikipedia.
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