63 - Ingue Ferroque

Staring at purple should make a green afterimage. Are the Dreams bending my retinas? How could I possibly--

Oh my sweet fuck what's happening? Everything shakes like the end of the world has come, except I already did that twice, I thought? Third time's a charm, I suppose, but what this time?

Stop Lucy you'll bring this whole floor down!

Oh. It's me screaming much louder than last time. If the game is a ride it's the right thing for me to do here but that's really not what I'm thinking of. Two chairs high and can't reach it. How many chairs did I stand on for Freddie? Three, four, five hundred, ten thousand, who cares, the chairs are a metaphor! The afterimage is blue, just like the toy to replace whatever Lyra's surrogate was they took away from me for being too feminine! Maybe after all of this time I'd have got over that, I doubt my parents thought it mattered much, except that's been my whole life since that moment I see in my eyes when I close them to Lyra here and now.

I stomp my foot with fury, and the world explodes.

Thunder and lightning won't even begin to cover this.

Not the explosion I've caused with my foot-stomp--that was the floor collapsing after my scream weakened it. Out of the thundering rubble and dust something touches me, and I see Mama riding a life-raft made of green rubber as we hurtle down into the hole my explosion of rage made in the stairway.

Thanks Mama, but I'm not the one who needs rescuing this time.

 Whatever you're doing, I'm going with you, daughter. We're a family, isn't that right, Klapta?

YEAH! Come on Lucy what's down here phasers or knifeblades I wanna prepare for it!

MAMA I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I have no--wait. Cocksleeve, Only You Would Survive The Fall, right?

I dreamtalk it out for the family's benefit. Around me, the rubble is starting to shine like the sun rising...because of my skin's glowing. Think you can take the heat, cocksleeve?

Of course I can take the heat Mommy I'm your seedling, aren't I? Why else would I be fireproof?

Yes Mommy it's the level with the really long fall at the start of it.

Isht Visht you're going to need those metaphasic shields, but not for the lava. Um, hurry. Mama we got the elements wrong--

I THINK I CAN SEE WHY YOU SAY THAT PUSSYWILLOW! I'm backing off till we get those shields up but I'm still right behind you! You're not going this alone, you hear me? I'm your mother and I'm coming whether you like it or not!

EEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH EVERYTHING BURNING DOESN'T MATTER STAYING RIGHT HERE!

MAMA I HEAR YOU AND I LOVE YOU SO MUCH THANK YOU!

The rubble is clearing...because the heat off my flesh is vaporizing it. Light shines so bright off my flesh Lyra is hard to look at, but I can still see the fire in her eyes shining as bring as I am. My wings haven't spread, so I keep them folded--anyway, I'm pretty sure I know what's going to happen when I spread them, if it hasn't happened already, and I want the full drama of it. The entire shaft is collapsing behind us as the heat-shock of my light boils the surface when I come near and shatters it like a glass on the stovetop, but Lyra clings unrelentingly.

I bring my arms up to wrap her in a tight hug, put my legs together and point my feet to make us more aerodynamic.

EEEAAAH HOT STAYING RRRRRAHH MOMMY I LOVE YOU IT'S SO GREAT THAT YOU KNOW YOU CAN TOUCH ME NO MATTER HOW HOT YOUR RAGE MAKES YOU!

If this is that level, we need to land properly. It'll be okay, somehow, though it's looking more and more to be because I vaporize the floor before getting there--I LOVE YOU TOO, COCKSLEEVE! SQUEEZE YOU!

EEEEAAAAH RRRRAAAAH SQUEEZE!

Hey sis what do you call the fire engine that puts out the fires of Mount Doom after they throw the One Ring in?

Another Apollo capsule in an egg of sparkling shielding pulls up beside us.

WHAT SIS?

I don't know but whoever's at the bottom of this had better!

OH. MY FUCK! The list is missing an item! Zero! If I am ever the evil overlord I will make sure my Precious is fireproof against all possible heatsources! Cocksleeve you're even a ring!

EEEEAAHAAHAAH MOMMY FUNNY RAAAAA

I mean maybe things would've worked out better for Gollum if he hadn't been so LUKEWARM about HIS Precious!

Suddenly out of the darkness beneath us there's a light glowing. It's hard to be sure with the speed of our falling approach but it looks like the shaft opens out into a wide lake of lava. It shines with the shape of the Marathon level, but I can't see the platform below us, though my feet might just make too much glare to percieve it yet.

The shaft disappears and we're falling through space with Mama and Isht Visht beside us, shields shining bright from the heat of me.

I'm ready, Pussywillow, but what are we facing? You already burned what's left of Eden!

I don't know, Mama, but I'm furious!

This level is where you take out the Phfor's geothermal powerplant, except we're the badguys! The Pfhor of us, get it? We're falling down here because when she was little somebody took Lucy's toy away right like her precious ring you just said that and I wasn't going to say it because that's horrible but I can't help it I make references it's part of my nature just like how sis can and I was like WHOEVER TOLD AUNT LUCY SHE SHALL NOT PASS IS IN TROUBLE NOW! So where's Gandalf and how spiked is he now that there's four of us? He should be falling beside us unless Lucy vaporized him already!

Like, didn't I already? Eden?

How far--BWAHAHA!

DUDE, THIS IS A TOTALLY DEEP HOLE!

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey! I love that one, it's so ridiculous! They face Death at the bottom of the hole they fall into, and he challenges them to games, and they beat him by playing a kid's game he'd never heard of, BATTLESHIP! Transform, Klapta!

HELL YES WAVE MOTION CANNON HERE WE COME!

Even through my incandescence (the game lets me have it probably because there's no other way to describe how I feel), I grin to learn this. Mama really does have hidden depths!

Isht Visht expands into the long narrow shape of a battleship, grows five hundred times larger (there's plenty of space for it), sprouts wings and turrets and antennae and becomes what I assume is the previously-mentioned Space Battleship Yamato. Her descent slows and stops, leaving Lyra and I falling by ourselves, but when I look up, she's facing us, training a gleaming assault rifle the size of a city block mounted to her bow along the path of our descent.

I worry about splash damage if she scores a hit near me. I don't want to get cooled off too much by the plasma.

When I look down again, I can see the platform for my dramatic landing, and our opponent.

Mama Isht Visht's shields are good for lava, right?

She doesn't seem to mind me talking to Isht Visht directly, but I want to talk to my Mama.

Yeah--heeheheehe have fun, Pussywillow!

Sweet! Go hard Lucy it's not every day you get to DO A GHOST IN THE SHELL LANDING THIS SIZE!

Okay you guys I know what we're fighting, but how did it end up here?

Cocksleeve why do I know this landing is going to work?

AAAAAA DYNAMIC ENTRY MOMMY! METAL ENOUGH ENTRANCES ALWAYS WORK IN RL'YEH SADE!

Helen launched a thousand ships, I'll launch a million album covers. Checks out.

Pussywillow break an egg!

Hehe I know that means good luck Mama thank you but why is there an egg--wait, that's the egg we broke out of when I gender-changed! What the hell? Isht Visht what are we fighting and cocksleeve is this just like taking out our emotions or is it like real somehow or game anyone?

You--no DUH OBVIOUSLY Lucy eggs became a huge transgender metaphor like before you know you're shelled in the gender your parents assign when you're born until something makes your egg crack and you realize inside that shell is the actual self you can't see until it hatches out of the eggshell growing up in heteronormativity made. That's what that egg is no question especially since you broke it on my aftercare deck right before I raped you but why and how is it here now? Are we like symbolically destroying Lucy's egg twice just because spike that Lucy is totally femme?

MOMMY HHREAAAH EGG RRR IS GRAH EVERY TRANS HAAAH EGG AAAH INCLUDING RRR YOURS!

HOW THE SCREAMING CORN TOASTIES IN A PERIOD BLENDER DID YOU PULL THAT OFF!?

I know.

SIS EEAAAAAH WHY BREAKFAST HAAH SWEARING?

It's too much to explain NO I CAN'T SUM UP. After this, right Captain?

Pussywillow, that's a voice I haven't heard yet. Why are you sounding scary after you came in here laughing? Yes Klapta, by the fireside.

Mama...I've lost five different surrogates for Lyra if you count an imaginary friend as a surrogate. The first got taken away from me because it was pink. I'm still in that moment, and we're using it to time travel, and she has some kind of thing using sacramental ritual to touch every moment like that everywhere that some kid got their toy taken away or whatever because it was the wrong gender--I don't understand this, though, like what will this do? It's not like there's a control room I can blast this time. Are we trying to tell them? I knew what color I wanted! I think the timeout triggered this because I got one for throwing a tantrum because the blue ring WAS NOT EITHER the same as the purple one--

That explains so much!

Pussywillow you take every prize. I'm surprised the computer you blew up managed to make a cloud you could show Lyra's face in instead of just turning straight into energy! Give it a spank from me for traumatizing my daughter, yeah?

Suddenly I know we haven't actually solved the riddle yet.

Come give it one with me, Mama! This won't be for just one of us!

It's not about cracking Lucy's trans egg you guys! Trans people need their eggs until its time for them to hatch, that's why the metaphor is like that. This egg is to take all of us to all the times egregores manipulated people toward heteronormativity so we can hit them with a punch made out of the four of our powers! Captain your wind wind plus metal which is what I am when I'm a battleship makes machinery fly and move. Lucy is fire OBVIOUSLY and Lyra is water what do you get when starfire meets water well if it's far enough you get hurricanes but what if its as close as you guys are I dunno but its as good as a wave motion cannon at LEAST probably! We're missing an element, though, because there is no WAY my horny sister made all these references and made four elements without having the fith element be LOVE like in The Fifth Element!

I know halfway what we have to do but I don't understand how to apply it here! While we were riding in the Arwing the Dreams helped us wish for a bench--it's a long story. We like mentally projected back to a moment when I was young and thought I saw Lyra in her child form and did see her but Eden told me I was crazy and just re-experienced it I guess but with me actually seeing Lyra and then hugging her and...it was weird we like time-lapse grew up standing there and then she gave me a blowjob I could physically feel even though she was only giving it in the mental projection and we had all these visions of an alternate history like to us anyway where su'khora live on Earth like openly and physically and it's just normal and it seems like maybe we changed history and Lyra's love was definitely the element that made that work yes you heard me cocksleeve and maybe we have to do something similar here but I have no idea what that means except this thing that makes me feel HORRIBLE about how fire can be nice and warm your bed hehe but it just burns everything near it if you don't contain it which is the message I've been getting about Fairies and right before I freaked out the game told me to say I'm a Fairy I can't help it to you Mama instead of sorry like you told me and I feel SO AWFUL about it I don't understand where this light is even coming from because it makes me feel so cold and dead inside to know that about myself and you're going to be nice and wise and enlightened and understand me Mama or fireproof and able to create kind mechanical gods to take care of me cocksleeve or just too much of a badass to even care Isht Visht and I love you guys too you are all SO COOL but that's not IT somehow it's not that I don't believe you can love me like this and cocksleeves in the family you guys prove it's totally possible to be a person without like ANY free will but even so that's somehow not enough for me! It's like being like this makes me feel SO EMPTY like why do I even exist who's even HERE talking now? If I can't take responsibility for anything bad I do how can I feel any pride in anything good I do how can Lyra being mine even mean anything? It's all just fire burning!

So maybe I need you guys to contain me somehow I sure seem to be proving that with this but like shoot me out of Isht Visht's cannon or something I don't think you could take the heat Isht Visht but your sister could insulate you and I don't know what we somehow fix the past or something?

Containing fire isn't always the right thing to do with it, Boobsqueeze. If you keep it all up in a bottle it goes out because it doesn't have any oxygen, and it sounds like that's how you're feeling right now! Klapta light that cannon up let's give my kid some room to breathe in here! Take down all the walls and let's see where we actually are!

Isht Visht's cannon whirs audibly over the roar of my descent and light gathers in the barrel as she turns to face the boundaries of the chamber, and starts rotating in place, faster and faster, the the cannon charges. Suddenly an entire side of the cavern becomes nearly as bright as I'm glowing and is just...annihilated, not even vaporized, gone. The destruction follows Isht Visht rotating and I see the beam of particles like a thick pillar of lightning erupting from the canon. In a single revolution, the walls of the cavern are gone completely and thunder crashes all around, coming in from every direction as sound finally reaches us across the enormous cavern. Through the gap the cannon has created, eggshell like the egg below us is visible, and the cannon hasn't even scratched it--not for lack of trying. Isht Visht is whirring, and I look up to see her pointing at the largest open area of eggshell, steady instead of rotating, and I have to--

Impossible colors flare from her cannon-tip and the wall in front of it burns the color of a supernova as crackling static buildup makes my skin prickle over hundreds of miles of space and my million-degree temperature, but the eggshell just shines with phosphorescence. Eventually the cannon-flare decreases and then vanishes, and everything is quiet but the roar of my descent as I turn the air around me to incandescent plasma.

How did it stand up to that? I know an epic cannon when I see one! It's going to be some kind of symbolic thing, but how, and what is this even doing?

Down around the circumference of the egg below us, a ring of fire glows like the egg has some kind of light inside and--HOW. It must be, the shape is obvious, but how the fuck did we get in here in the first place? Call me a stupid bimbo all you want but this is just impossible--unless if you're in Marathon! Its portal based 3D system can theoretically create recursive spaces like this one! You just have to make the system able to translate, scale, and rotate the view through each portal is the engine renders the space through every window, hallway-section, and door one space at a time following each opening to figure out what part of the level to render--

OMIGOD. You have to go through a transformation as you come out of your TRANS EGG! Good one, cocksleeve!

RRRHAAHAH GLAD YOU LIKE MOMMYYYY

Except these transformations just lead back to the same...egg...

My wings it should be my wings I should spread my wings I know what will happen to them at this temperature and why it's so right why isn't that the answer.

Omifuck I really am such a stupid Fairy bimbo! We need to change the transformations! This isn't GOING to the right place! Okay Isht Visht Mama how technical are you do either of you know how Marathon's 3D system works?

--wait cocksleeve do you know what's going on here? I should have asked you ages ago!

GERAAH MOMMY HHAAH REMEMBER ONLY AAAH FUNNY LITTLE BITS GGRRR SURVIVE THE FALL STUFF LIKE THAT!!

Okay, just checking.

Lucy I understand it enough to know how 5D space works this is 5D space right?

Yeah, but as you cross each portal--each polygon edge in Marathon--there's change that happens in size and position, to make the egg be inside itself. We need to change the transformation but I don't know what that might mean like at first I thought it must be the stuff I'm planning to change about myself now but I don't think so I wouldn't need to go back in time and change it as I came out of my egg the first time I'll just change it now like I've watched you do like twice now Isht Visht (I know you're shifting all over the place but I got the impression kiteship to Galaxy Class and back was more like an identity thing) so I don't think that's it. I still think it has something to do with that other time travel thing but this isn't clear like that was like--

Thanks it wasn't that big deal but it makes me feel seen that you noticed that Lucy! Transformation like through space and time, right? What happens if we go back with you like with with the imaginary friend? Could our being there make what happened right somehow?

I care! I really wish my parents could have seen me oh my god. Guys, my parents were totally like...I could do no wrong in their eyes. I think their being worried about my gender stuff would have lasted exactly as long as it took them to realize I was trans for real and then I would have been their special snowflake they took care of like in everything else I was even slightly weird with. I bet oh my god cocksleeve this is what we SAW I bet we could go back home and explain everything right as we are right now and they'd be like Okay son we mean daughter would your three lesbian girlfriends like to come to supper? Their being bigoted is never the problem with them, it's that they couldn't SEE I always said they couldn't see me you remember cocksleeve I was always like they think I'm this vunderkind I'm not well I don't know about that but that sure sounds like me not knowing how to explain how there was a whole side of me my parents just couldn't see past the body I had and how I felt let they saw somebody who wasn't there YEAH FUCKING RIGHT THERE WAS, I'M TRANS! NOW LOOK AT ME! You think one pixel of this person was ever visible around my parents house?

As long as they couldn't see I had no way to show them and you're totally right Mama they were worried to hell about that kind of thing and like not in the way people usually are just that like every SPECK of anything girly about me would just be like ignored out of existence because as long as it was tiny deniable stuff like me crying for the different colored teething ring I bet my mom I mean my other mom Mama had no idea it made any difference either way!

If she could have seen one tiny glimmer through my shell Mama you'd be proud how fast she would have found me that pink toy again. This isn't FOR the world you guys it's for me maybe there'll be some kind of cool splash damage like with the other thing but I think we're just trying to fix my past again or SOMETHING I still don't understand it I'm sorry to be all self-centered but--

Pussywillow I don't know why you think you're down here for but I already said I'm down here for you. We all are, last I heard! Whatever it is you're here to do squeezepillow I call tell you now it's not going to happen by not being down here to have your family help you take care of whatever it is here that needs dealing with. I think I'm in here to fan the flames! Air is my element in this, isn't it? What're you shining about, Lucy filled with light? You said you can't understand where all that light is coming from because you feel so dead inside, but it's obvious to me you're crying for that toy you lost! I know she's right there in your arms now, you said yourself though a part of you is still back in the moment it was taken from you and your other mom couldn't understand what you were crying about. Of course you felt invisible! It's not about whether you got her back now, it's about your mom seeing what you needed in the first place! I bet that happened over and over again, didn't it, I bet you have a hundred purple teething rings all through the time they took care of you. Freddie in the dooryard was one moment that was very powerful so that was easier to go back and see. Yes I know the whole of that. Let's get through this and I'll tell you all about it. Lucy filled with light aren't you angry they couldn't see you? Don't you hate what they saw instead? Not because it's bad or wrong, but it took your place! Maybe you can't see yourself Pussywillow but I can see you perfectly and I can see how angry you are! That was YOUR house and YOUR mom and YOUR dad that ghost they were raising took away! Pussywillow BURN, show them who you really are! You lived through one conflation jump, it's time to make another one! What'd you say to Lyra? Only you would survive the fall? I believe you can do it, Lucy filled with light and rage! I'll be waiting here to catch you, boobsquish, don't you worry! I can't--my game just told me it'll keep me together the way yours kept you together, so I'm coming, boobsquish, even if all I can do is hold your hand. Ready when you are!

My feelings can't function, it's too much, she...

Light streams out from me visible even in the aether that fills the egg, shining off specks of dust from the explosion of the walls so bright even tiny motes hurt to see, the earthquake Isht Visht's canon caused seems like a firework to the way the egg shakes as the stone encrusting the interior bursts to plasma and evaporates. The egg beneath my feet simultaneously starts shining like a star, and everything is brilliantly illuminated. Isht Visht's metaphasic shielding is holding, but barely. That worries me.

The last jump was really rough. Cocksleeve, you said you got 'jumbled' or something, it sounded like you might have been knocked out like I was? Would that take your shields out, Isht Visht? I don't know if I'll cool down right away or honestly if I ever will.

GRRRAAH MOMMY EEAAHA GAME HHAAH HAD TO HHAAAH NOT BE AAAAH AA CONTROLLING AAAA YET! OKAY NOW!

DUH! Just give it permission to protect everyone!

Game make sure Lyra has a nice comfy ride through this plus or minus my being hot and keep her with me and okay. Same with the rest of the family.

Will I see them again? How will that feel? Even if we're behind some kind of metaphorical eggshelll the whole time I can't help thinking about the visions--oh my god. Is no detail idle or coincidental?

Mama and my dad obviously found each other delightful.

Alright next up you guys are doing more than holding my hand if this is my scene which you all seem to be telling me because Mama, Isht Visht, I need you. The visions I saw fixing Freddie were of you being friends with my dad, Mama. He loves boats! Especially wood sailboats! Isht Visht can you be something small and wooden, maybe like that boat from the intro sequence? That was you, right? I bet that's why that was in there! There's something like, to see who I am, they have to see all of you cool people, too, oh Mama it's not complicated is it they need to see I grow up to be okay, and if my dad thinks you're cool he'll think I grew up to be okay. That's what we're showing them. That's why it takes all of us. I don't know how we exactly do that especially with me doing my Rodimus Prime thing, but that's what we need to do!

Boobsquish are you having fun with me? The sailboat from the intro scene I ran down a beach in? That's the one you mean, right?

Yeah! He's even a leeboards fan because it doesn't make a big hole in the hull.

Klapta I guess we're going back to the beginning again. You aren't going to believe my implantation story when you hear it, Pussywillow! I think you're making this too complicated about how to show our family to them. You're candling an egg, aren't you? It's going to show silhouettes, that's everything. Let's just get so you cast our shadows at the shell!

Do you think that will work cocksleeve? I'm the least qualified to know how to do this.

HHAAAH YES NNGGGHR WORKS AAAH

Cocksleeve, you're the navigator, right? Do you know what you're doing and how?

YES AAH MOMMY RRR CONFLATION BOUINCE AAAH INTO EVERY MOMENT RRR GHOST TOOK YOUR FAMILY AAAH BACK HERE RRR STAYING HERE PHYSICALLY PROJECT MINDS ONLY!

Okay, everybody ready. Cocksleeve, go when I open my wings.

I can feel the fire inside me, filling me up. They'll shine so bright behind me my silhouette is unmistakable, Lyra clinging to it or not.

RRRRAAAAAAH RRREADY EVERYONE? LISTEN AAARGHR FFOR MMEEEE SHOWING DIRECTIONS!

Sis wait up I thought of something! What if you and I have a bigger role to play than just set dressing? I know you're navigating and everything but what if Lucy's parents need to see us somehow? You're the toy Lucy's crying for duh but why are we both seeds of Eve? Lucy your family are Christians, right?

Yeah, my dad's an Episcopal priest. Lyra being a demon's probably going to be weird but I'm not hiding that any more than I'm hiding my boobs, not this time! Why do you ask?

Well I was just thinking they might be able to take a big step out of their Christian worldview if you and me show up protecting the kid they love. Why don't we try setting up so we're hugging you? Could they let up just a little bit on their no-demons thing if we do that do you think?

Isht Visht that's sweet but they--but I--they had this whole thing, I used to lie in bed thinking to myself 'WeeJee isn't your friend' by which I mean Ouija--

Something snaps. This isn't it all this TALKING and SOLVING and giving them the benefit of the DOUBT that egg down there that egg with no outside THAT is the problem the crazy trapped scream it makes me feel cocksleeve turn yourself into a big terrifying--no a big CUTE dragon because fuck this tedious edgelord BULLSHIT get THAT ready!

EEEARRRRRRAAAAAAG

RRRRAAAAAAA YEAH RAAAAA I SEE YOU MOMMY ALLL AAAAAH PLACES HHAAAAA MISSING GRAAAA COCKSLEEVE!

Lyra elongates into something like a snake with arms and legs, fattens in the middle to gain her curves back, grows a long draconic neck and opens wings as big as Isht Visht's battleship form. I swing myself around her to sit on her neck on top, grip her with my knees, put my hands on her still-soft skin, show her the one tender thought in me right now: I love you so much.

AAAAAH LOVE YOU MOMMY GRRAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!

IT DOESN'T NEED FIXING I DON'T NEED YOU GUYS TO BE SET PIECES I DON'T NEED THEM TO SEE NOW I NEED YOU TO BE MY FAMILY HOLD ME THIS IS GOING TO SUCK FOR ME IT DOESN'T NEED FIXING IT NEEDS TO BURN COCKSLEEVE YOU SEE ME YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO HERE

YAH!!

The dreamtalk turns into a wail, something I didn't know I could do, and I kick Lyra hard with my heels because I know she could take it even in her demon-girl form, and open my wings.

SEND JOURNEY "PRRRAAAAAAAH!!"

 Fire erupts from my back like the angel's wings in Limbo, I feel the part of my wings that was only there for the sake of this moment incinerate, and Lyra's mind is carrying us into the aether. Wailing fills the void, and quieter sobbing, and deadly silences. We're everywhere, nowhere, it can't be seen, touched, felt, heard, tasted, but it can be STABBED.

The game is breaking the fourth wall to tell the reader that it silently suppresses Lucy's thoughts about the ramifications of the abilities she displays in the next part until she can deal with them with all the information in hand.

Lasers lances cutting beams phasers every tool of violent penetration all at once, I conjure them into my hands out of supernova of light I'm giving off and form a blade whose edge is the story of Adam and Eve leaving the Garden of Eden and point is the light gleaming from fresh fruit on a tree that speaks of other worlds and on whose opposite edge teeth made from the smell of freedom will ensure the doors it will open can never be closed or repaired, and draw it out between my hands to manifest it. When the blade is created I thunder into it the rage of undoing of all moments the shape of the one in which she was first needlessly, pointlessly taken from me and the sword is electrified, arcing with thunderous energy the purple color of the light she brings to my heart and my...head.

The pain of the sobbing is my guide, the silence my targeting crosshair, the wailing the bead I draw to destroy this monster once and for all and get it out of my life and my life out it for eternity.

With a terrible scream, I raise my hands, point the sword downwards, take the grip in both hands, make sure Lyra's not in the path of it, and bring it down into the boundaries of Earth where the sobbing desiring missing is loudest, most painful, most urgent most. The point makes a rend in fabric of spacetime in millions of places and I drive the blade down, but I'm not here to neatly cut a nice doorway. I twist the knife, face terrible, and rip it back out again, sending fragments of Earth spinning into the aether, disintegrating so it can never be rewoven. Before these have even started to dissipate I plunge the sword again into my target, twist, tear, over and over, shredding it into smaller and smaller fragments until nothing is left for me to strike at but pieces too small to find by the weeping. Doors like the one Lyra and I went through to come here will be everywhere. Ours will BE one of them. This isn't enough I need MORE what else can I do to this thing? Future to past I've cut it to the tiniest fragments, only one is left that can be considered any kind of significant target. I can't hear the wailing from this one, so it escaped from my blade the first time. There must be a way I can target this!

Suddenly an idea occurs to me. What if I ask it to call me? Just like that I can hear voices calling my name, Lucy, and I know where to target. This isn't so strange, I'm in a million places at once, and a million times too, it probably means that the one where I ask isn't here yet or maybe it won't be, as long as I made it inevitable--yes that doesn't make sense, it doesn't have to. In Dreamwork the rules are what you choose that makes sense to you, and these make sense to me, so I use them. Following the sound of the people calling my name, I carve open doors like the rest of Earth got, as many as the people who call me.

When nothing is left but ribbons and shards, I turn in place in the vision of millions of places, look for anything that needs to be shattered. For a long time nothing seems to be left, but I won't put this down until I'm totally sure that it's finished completely. There in the background, almost inaudible, crying of one final voice comes to me. Where are you I'm coming just cry for me! AAAAAH comes the wordless expression of agony, and as I turn the blade toward it my heart skips a beat as I recognize my own cry of despair in the moment of doom in which everything seemed to have caved in on me. I raise up the sword, cry out a terrible roar, strike a furious blow at the point, twist, and draw up again. This one's for me, you piece of shit bastard! This one's for all the times I thought I'd lost Lyra! This one's for Lyra having to sit there and watch while wailed in despair at my belief that I'd lost her and this one is for Lyra when I had to sit in school and ignore her and this one is for Lyra just because you were such a fucking asshole to her and THIS one is for EVERYTHING AAAAAH!!!!! On this final attack I spread out the sword by some furious instinct so it opens so many doors nothing can possibly stand in my way as I get out of there especially not with Lyra to guide me.

That must be it, mustn't it? It does seem to be, but one final Marathon reference occurs to me. Aye Mak Sicur, middle English for I Make Sure, the Kirkpatrick Family Motto. There mustn't be one single bit left of this. Earth has to empty out utterly. How can I make sure of that, even with the power inside of me? Then I suddenly realize, I've already done it! Clear the way, I said, take the shortest route between any door into Limbo and the edge where the shore is and make sure it's neatly arranged to make an easy path to the Four Dreams. All that remains is to make sure there are doors everywhere. Game, take the sword, make doors anywhere it sounds like someone might need it, eternally--oh and just in case the angel doesn't, make sure they can definitely get there--you can do that, right? Social engagements are part of your purview!

Knowledge: the game does my chores for me whenever it isn't more fun to make someone else do them. This chore is boring and infinite, so it definitely qualifies. 

The game takes the sword, fans it out into trillions of copies, and goes off to make sure Earth is done for good. I would regret not asking at the beginning of this, but I needed to get that catharsis, and the blade was created by my rage at the things that happened to me and Lyra, so it's not like I would have got out of anything but the satisfying part.

I put down my hands, empty now, and set them on Lyra. Cocksleeve, let's go home now.

AAAH THAT WAS SO SATISFYING!

I love you so much.

Lucy did you just make Earth explode. I mean yes obviously what else would that be but sweet merciful brown butter pancakes upsides down in my asshole what just happened how did we get from fixing your past to you stabbing that crazy sword you made into like what even was that how do you deal with abstractions that far above concrete things? Isn't it impossible to touch them?

I had a very dedicated teacher and I started young.

--um, yeah, I just went anywhere anyone needed to get OUT with their seedling like Lyra and me. It was a lot of places and then I kind of got into it. I guess I realized after fixing Freddie that like, even if it didn't weirdly feel like stuff didn't really change for me even though I definitely healed something through that, I was through trying to fix the past. No amount of surgically fixing stuff was ever going to make it the right planet for us. Some things just can't be fixed.

My skin has stopped glowing, and I'm cooling down emotionally, too. The egg is still around us, but there's a window at the top looking out onto something like the landscape our house is part of and the lava has drained or been vaporized.

Pussywillow. You get up here and tell me what's happening this minute! You're cool enough, I want you in my boat with me.

Mama please can we fly outside first? I want to fly out of the final boss room on my totally hot dragon but then yes Mama I'll be there.

You'd better have some interesting explanations once you get up here! Hurry now, that hot milk drink is calling me!

You heard her cocksleeve. Yah!

Flap for the hole wheee!

We pass through the window--it's empty of glass or any obstruction--and out into the wind and rain still raging around the house. Isht Visht is right behind us, back in her sailboat shape and flying on wet streaks of rain collected by some kind of magic, and when I look back to see them I can't see the egg anywhere. If its purpose is finished, why didn't it blow up?

Mommy you never know when you might need to explode. That's the exploding room. Just be mad and it'll be there for you.

Oh my god I've never felt so seen and loved oh cocksleeve. I throw myself down against her huge neck, and hug tight.

Time to get back to Mama's ship. Let's fly right up to them and then you can get small at the last second and startle Isht Visht.

Bwahaha here I come sis!

Lyra wheels and dives for Isht Visht, and in no time we're lining up to drop into a totally unfazed Isht Visht.

Back into demon cocksleeve femme, right Mommy?

Yes. Hang onto me after you change, I'm landing us.

AAahhhhhhaa

aaaah! Spin grab Mommy falling! Whew saved!