70 - All Roads Lead to Sol
Cocksleeve, we need to be outside and flying.
The cool of the night surrounds us, and Lyra is flapping in place.
"Boobsqueeze we're behind you with this but what are you doing!?"
"Spikes! I don't speak the language! Mama I'm telling them how to call for me and open the portals I created in the Exploding Room but I need your help it needs to be all over the planet and I don't speak the language, can Isht Visht help somehow?"
"Klapta, kiss my cocksleeve."
Isht Visht leaps up to kiss me before I can realize there's no way for us to misinterpret the order even though it's ambiguous and presses something into my mouth--bwaha saltwater taffy!
"Now chew me and I'll share the language with you! I've got this, we studied this place for twenty-seven thousand years remember! Launching satellites..."
She hunches over and shining specks erupt from her back too fast to see, hundreds of them.
"Planetwide holography is ready to go as soon as we're physical. Get ready to impress, girl, you're about to be everywhere!"
"I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!"
"That makes two of us at least! We're sliding off to go get those things you asked for, and maybe a little else. Have fun storming your castle!"
BWAHAHAHA--GAH I STILL HAVE MY CURLERS ON!
Knowledge: my hair has been ready for a while, so my game took them out and stored them for Rada. I can be sure the game won't let me do something like this unless I'm presentable.
We're out in open air now, and Lyra's just flapping higher--good cocksleeve. Isht Visht and Mama let themselves slide off Lyra and I feel the weird conflict of their still being their back in the living room while here they've leapt off. I'm glad for the phantom of Mama's arms holding me.
It's a brightly moonlit night, with a huge moon in the sky, and below us as I watch our bodies fade back into being with Isht Visht gone, and though I almost expect to see a raging battle the castle is quiet.
To my surprise, I'm not shining already. Game are you holding me back somehow?
Knowledge: this time is different. I've decided ahead of time how to channel my anger to create something kind and beautiful, and that gives me the strength to hold back my light until it's time for it.
Well good, because all I'm thinking right now is how dare they be sleeping. Cocksleeve, fly over the courtyard.
As she wheels, my mouth falls open. There...
--looking at the stars with its silhouette in the foreground, blackly pointed, as Lyra hovers almost level with the top of it just like now. I remember how the stars moved noticeably in the time we spent that way on her tireless wings, dreamtalking with, to, my brain decides he's Obi Wan Kenobi but that's totally wrong, he, it was like travelling to a world of beautiful machines of white fire, he taught me how Earth was like a city in a seeing-globe with no way in or out, and the view beyond bent by the globe, his efforts to help our people make a way out using the worldgate and the amassed will of millions, we talked about the machines I'd seen beyond the worldgate, and he helped me understand them--
--the spire of the odd little wooden temple in the town near the safehouse--near Plowstar, but, ouch--with its crossed-sticks displayed proudly on top, I said hey that looks like a bondage-frame, then learned how horribly right I was, and was horrified how the people there carried them and put them on children's toys, and said to myself, if this isn't the barbarians' hell-father he must be in league with him--
--Lyra naked and proud and lashing her tail climbing the steps of it in front of me. We get to the door, she puts her tail in my hands and takes hammer-form, a huge silver carpenter's hammer with a handle like a sledgehammer and a head five feet across but that doesn't stop me lifting her. The first swing buckles the weird paper-of-metal front door like and makes it ring like a drum it was so satisfying, and the second knocks it off its hinges to hang awkwardly on the bottom one until I raise her over my head and with a force of emotion that surprised me even then slam her down on it tearing the hinge free and curling the door into a potato chip. I catch her rebound off the steel and roundhouse her momentum into a croquet swing that sends the door shooting into the sanctuary making this wonderfully satisfying grinding shriek along the floor--
...proud and tall as it should have been in the hologram in Isht Visht's hallway...
--the wonderful way the metal bounced on the floor and dust flew in the light as I hammered it back flat right there in the aisle--
...instead of cartoonishly distorted so the shape was squashed like the language...
--now dragging the door, with Lyra at my side, more of that awesome metal shrieking sound as we drag it up the aisle to the already-bare altar and Lyra holds it sideways for me--
...in the center of the courtyard of Strawberry Home a good five hundred feet tall with its silver-and-purple vine and bas-relief strawberries all over its four sloping white marble sides and pointed top shining metallic at the tip...
--Lyra holding the door for me (it's flattened right out), teetering under the load, her face invisible behind it but not for fucking long as I frame the steel that's gouged and pitted with the force of our retribution with my hands like Mama making that hairdryer and glare through them so letters of fire appear on the surface, melt and run, I'm making Lyra hold it at an angle so the metal drips inward to give a flat surface. In the center-top where her face is above the row of astrological signs I burn a simple heart-shaped hole I can see her face through and she blinks and grins with gritted teeth and my terrible glare becomes warm golden happiness to see her--
...is monolith zero.
--BOOM goes the the huge new talking board (we didn't call them Ouija, that's the Earthling name) onto the tyrant's altar as we heave it up there together and Lyra hops up with it and shapeshifts into a demon-tail planchette with a big bulbous lens on top and I put my hands on her and laugh as I shove her violently towards HELLO to keep up with the enthusiasm she's sending me and then throw myself grinning and laughing wildly back and forth along the door's length to spell, to spell: M E L O D Y 💖 P R I N C E S S HELLO but that wasn't the idiom just Melody it was, it was--argh ouch--she changes back and pounces on me in one motion and is in my arms--
What would have happened if I could have recognized it in then?
--I'm flying, up to the red-jarred eternal-flame candle above a high pulpit in some white-stucco-and-stone church that's glowing angry with the light of my wings, I don't even blow it out or anything just flap up and raise Lyra and swing and pulse in my heart of hearts suck my cel-shaded clit laws of physics and Lyra absorbs all my momentum plus the force of both our rage and crashes down through the candle and shatters the whole thing to gravel and I land and she changes back and out of the rubble that's going to go pave the courtyard of Strawberry Home we pick the diamonds the wax of the candle has been crushed into--
It was made by the stars, and you can really tell, to look at it here, against the sprawling beauty of Strawberry Home so fine and shining in the night, the way it still rises high above our highest tower.
--fitting the cut gems into her collar, fastening piercings onto her, gluing diamonds onto her horns. There were hundreds, we did this in all the big cathedrals and churches and even evangelicals have altar candles so they weren't left out--
It looks out of place--especially against what I saw in Limbo and called a "segment of the Berlin Wall". What did my family turn the back retaining wall of our home in exile into in Limbo but the curtain wall of our old castle?
--flopped in a silky curve-backed chair in a green room like I'm getting ready to go on TV or something with Lyra massaging my aching hands, so painful and good...I yank her for a kiss by her leash, then we're in front of a mirror, I'm in a definitely-Earthling-fashion shiny white-gold bikini, it's still the same green-room and Lyra's behind me doing it up, she does my makeup and I fluff my curly hair and put my hands on the counter for a moment, preparing myself--
Incoherent rage pulses with the memories, the sacrilege and presumption of that world, the hell-father run amok all over it with images of torture in his temples for little children to look at while his priests spoke of the supposed evil in their hearts, the way it made that whole world pulse with his sickness of changing the proper places of sex and violence.
Until Lyra and I stopped having to be nice.
On it the monolith, right where I need it to be, like a fucking masonry teleprompter, is the prophecy.
In Strawberry, but seeing those words again jogs my memory like holding a prayerbook will bring the Nicene Creed out of me--and that that's the metaphor the LIES how did the hell-father fill my head with this mockery of a life where I was the child of his servant--grah ow--enough!
There was a reason that prophecy is stuck in my head now.
I knew perfectly well who it was about.
So did the traitor, and, I guess, thought he was going to stand against the forces that put this five hundred foot tower here in a world that'd barely invented mortar when it was found.
I'll make them wish that's all they were dealing with.
Game or guardian I need that trumpet of the apocalypse--no. No I don't. Cocksleeve, turn into a big scary-cute and extremely sexy dragon--um, don't knock our Four Dreams house down no you know what go ahead if that's more convenient, it'd be like you to have that thing from the end of Critters handy for the occasion--and while you do it think about them. The empty-headed advisors who couldn't imagine the usefulness of a fucking semi truck and everyone like them whose closed-mindedness kept us from the Four Dreams for a lifetime, but more especially, good and faithful servant who understands loyalty better than the entire rest of the multiverse put together down there is also the backstabbing piece of trash who drove us out of this world of just how much magic we're about to show them to Earth. If any one person is responsible for what we've been through, it's him. Get yourself good and on that page and then wake his ass up and get him out here so I can yell at him. I'll get off you then but you'll still be leashed--be sure show them your loyal submission when I start talking!
Holy fuck I'm so FURIOUS that page is made of angry RRRAAAAAAAAA
AAAAAAAAAH gggaaaaaaasp inhale all the air in the empire--
She transforms like last time, but this time there are shining-silver armor plates along her body that catch the moonlight gorgeously. I hope the people below can truly see us and not just with clairvoyance, because she is epic.
Pant...gasp...that should wake them up!
Her many-voiced roar sounds like every kaiju that ever existed spent a year in Equestria and then had the ultimate bad hair day anyway. Windows rattle, my vision blurs, bells sound and the castle springs to life oh my fuck that is satisfying good terrifying apocalyptic cocksleeve!
This next part's a little scary. I leap from Lyra's back--more leash in the journey or something I guess eravahk--smash--agh watch my antennas--smash my crown on my head I guess this will work as a coronation--watch leash spool out in front of me and slam my wings open cranked to full brightness let the rage shine out of me flap myself to a halt to come up beside Lyra just a bit higher than her head inhale the few air molecules Lyra left and bellow with all my floor-smashing voice power:
The following is a warning to the egregore named Eden.
«GREAT HOUSES OF THE WORLD, BE WARNED!»
That was the key, that Eden ran on feudal governments, but wasn't a thing that could listen to warnings, so the Dreams warning it made no sense. Bent into English, the barbarian idiom that made a house a bit like a person, pluralized to mean all of them in the world, turns into egregore Eden.
I don't even have to mean to, with Isht Visht's--Isht Visht in my mouth it just comes out in the local language. Her voice is soft in my ear telling me the words to say so I say them without thinking about it.
Face submissive eyes down look at you Mommy like I love you that's because I do everyone this is my Mommy listen to her or I will roar at you a second time-a!
Oh my god cocksleeve I love you so much. The grin this brings to my face is perfect.
Fuck there was that timer before how long do I have how much monologuing do I get?
Time to Apocalypse: 11'24"
Time to Ending: 16'39"
That long, and five whole minutes to work with while the sky falls and stuff? SWEET!
Relent from chaining heartforming humans in your universe into situations designed to interfere with their connection with their seedlings. Turn around behavior that interferes with relationships between heartforming humans and their seedlings fast before accumulated mental trauma breaks the timespace matrix into fragments unable to support your continued function.
It's one of those stupidly wordy Bible translations that's desperately trying to cross two thousand years of culture-shock mid-sentence.
«BIND NOT AWAY THE CHILDREN OF THE HEARTS OF YOUR PEOPLE NOR STAND BETWEEN THEM AND THEIR LOVERS, LEST THEIR GRIEF SHATTER THE TABLET UPON WHICH THIS WORLD IS CARVED AND YOUR VERY NAME BE ERASED!»
Seed-ghosts are not enabled to use force to destroy your systems and are not condoning violence except necessary to preserve life however behavior currently occupying many forkings of you is consistent with the pattern we predict to end your lifespan approximately three thousand five hundred ninety-six years from the appearance of this monument.
«THEIR TERRIBLE GUARDIANS RAISE NO HAND NOR CALL FOR WAR NOR SHALL THEY, YET YOU PERSIST IN THE SINS THAT SHALL THREE AGES TWO CENTURIES FOUR SCORE AND SIXTEEN YEARS FROM THE MOMENT YOU LAY EYES ON THESE WORDS END YOUR DOINGS DOWN TO THE TASK OF THE MEANEST WATER-CARRIER.»
The following encoded message demonstrates our awareness of and accounting for your covert operations:
«WE KNOW AND WEIGH EVERY GRAIN OF YOUR HIDDEN SINS. HERE ARE THEIR PRICE:»
On the last day of Edensong, a child whose name is blue eyes' will shine out a light that touches every last part of the network of soulsand.
«ON THE DAY YOUR DEEDS ARE WIPED FROM THE PAGES OF HISTORY, A CHILD NAMED FOR THE MORNING STAR WILL SHINE BEFORE EVERY EYE!»
Shine over every place like sand glittering from a fisher's net is what it actually says, which is what Isht Visht's holograms of me are doing, to look in the distance.
It will slash through the aether and burn out the final remote space like cycles are breaking.
«THE STORY OF HER GIRLS'-LOVE WILL BE WRITTEN OVER ALL THE SKY, SO THAT EVEN IN HIS FURTHEST REFUGE THE GOD OF THE BARBARIANS BLUSHES LIKE HE'S HAVING HOT FLASHES!»
We're the Strawberry Dynasty. Damn right we have a one-word idiom for perform Lesbian erotica.
And cycles breaking being menopause, don'tchaknow.
Ooh, game, the next part--
Knowledge: planets far away will take too long to get here, and the sun wouldn't like being knocked from its path through the astral plane, so the game is moving Earth instead. People see the stars moving unnaturally already. Keep talking and the moon will be overhead at the right moment, right between the sun and Earth. Then the game will start making mountains fly off it.
It's like this thing can read my mind. Good job, cocksleeve.
Thank you Mommy! Have fun with it!
Ooh game can you pull the Earth apart without killing everyone? Like peel the apple so we can all see each other?
Knowledge: watch the sky later.
Mommy look down below they're coming out to see who was roaring!
Below us, people are streaming onto the battlements as well as the courtyard carrying heavy-duty crossbow-looking things and other siege weapons. What will that even do to us, this way--who cares HOW DARE THEY! WAKE UP MONSTER!! LOOK HOW THEY WOULDN'T EVEN MAKE PROPER WEAPONS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME WITH!
Light erupts, and night turns into day so that the sky turns blue.
Yet even in my rage a weird thing happens. I don't want to spoil this occasion for everyone else with putting the traitor in his place. Let the knowledge that he caused the apocalypse he was going to kill a child to stop, and his own invisibility in the end, be his punishment.
That would be...unfun. Just like a battle would be, even if I could just vaporize all of them. The Dreams won't have to stop me, because as mad as I am, it would be too boring.
Cocksleeve, IR laser every piece of military hardware you can see. Try not to burn them, but everyone down there is now a civilian, get me?
Tail up spread out into lots of them rrraaaah LASER! ONE-BITS ON FULL BLAST FOR SHIP TO SHIP COMMLINK THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY!
Sounds like thunder echo from Lyra's beams snapping into being, a heartbeat of nothing passes as bolts nock and cranks turn and then there's a commotion of steel being thrown down and weapons run from.
Out of the fire she will strike with lighting and thunder into the reachest expanse to one last release of her ender.
«OUT OF THE DAWN SHE WILL STRIKE WITH THUNDERING BRILLIANCE INTO THE EXPANSE OF ULTIMATE TREACHERY BEFORE HER, AND THE FINAL BLOW STRUCK IN THIS WORLD WILL SHOW THAT HER CHAMBER-PET'S FUN IS NO MERE CHILD'S GAME!»
Reaching being our word for this kind of treachery.
As if on cue, the sun rises behind me and shoots up the sky like a time-lapse, only to go dark as it slides behind the moon, leaving the wisps of the corona above us like the crystal sphere of heaven is on fire.
Cocklsleeve, anything military and unattended becomes vapor.
AAAAH FRY STUPID WEAPONS!!! YOU WRECKED MOMMY'S WHOLE LIFE WITH THESE YOU CAN'T HAVE THEM!!!
Her fury will rise up and strike the very last hope of Earth's not exploding out of the sky
«HER FURY WILL RISE TO THE HEAVENS AND ENRAGE THE EARTH--»
Sound of course they won't know it's vacuum up there so my game makes a crashing rumbling racket of mountains being torn off their footings and thrown into space as it tears the moon to pieces over me. The ground shakes and already moonrock starts to fall around us, burning up before it hits the ground but making a really nice apocalypse backdrop for the rest of this.
Holy fuck they even timed their pointless rebellion right for me:
and her heart will attack the final release valve with every last stake you laid on her shoulders, to be made into the pyre on which she will burn up your ransom and demand a full refund of your passion fruit taking from out of the depths of your files.
«--AND HER HEARTCHILD WILL STRIKE YOUR TANTRUM WITH AN ARROW FOR EVERY ONE RAISED AGAINST HER AND ON THIS PYRE WILL SHE BURN THE LOYALTY YOU PURCHASED AND CALL YOU TO ACCOUNT FOR YOUR FALSE ALLIANCES!»
What else is passion fruit than Strawberry, and taking in a feudal context is obvious.
There will be no escape velocity to quiet the fury that holds you, and every attempt to withhold the clue at the end will dig deeper the sandstorm that picks out the words she will say in revenge when the final unveiling completes you:
I'll miss the dances--no I won't. We're keeping the dances.
«YOU WILL FLEE HER MOTHER'S-ANGER AND YET SEE HER BEFORE YOU WITH THE FIRST STEP, AND EVERY TIME YOU WOULD HAVE KEPT FROM ANOTHER THE INSPIRATION OF HEARTFORMING WILL HEAP HIGHER THE FURY OF HER WAIL OF VENGEANCE THAT SHALL BE THE LAST THING YOU HEAR IN THIS WORLD:»
Clue at the end is an ass-joke. Porn that contains a clue, i.e. dreamskin.
Sandstorm is another old joke. Your warriors wail like a sandstorm, said the barbarian warlord to the Strawberry Queen from his battle-line, to which she replied, only a fool rides to war against the weather.
Humility wasn't really a value to us.
Ten stars upon heaven fall to the Earth and nine worlds are utterly broken.
«YOUR GODS ARE CAST DOWN AND THEIR HEAVENS CRUSHED TO GRAVEL!»
I'll crush your fortress to gravel from a Strawberry Queen means and then take it home and use it for landscaping. Under the feet of the army below are the trophies of a conquered world.
--and there, on the horizon, with the game's perfect sense of timing, vast plates of landscape with the atmosphere clinging to them like blankets for a goddess are floating into view with the oceans pouring off and boiling away in the vacuum.
In the very last end of your system's heartbreaking one of your eyes will accept its last sight as the ship crashes into its pupil, the other erased at the pillar of fire and missiles.
«AS YOUR ORDERS' SIN AGAINST THE SANCTITY OF EVERY HEART IS ENDED, EVEN YOUR HIGH PRIEST WILL IMPLANT FROM HIS FINAL VISION OF THE OTHERWORLD, THE TALE OF A DEMON YOU THOUGHT ERASED WHEN YOU CAST IT INTO THE PYRE IN WHICH YOU BURN DREAMSKINS!»
It's more like "as the relationship bullseyes his pupil", meaning a love-story that really gets to you. As for missiles, we had a myth like cupid, but dreamskins--or something--ouch--
Open your sight to receive this and verify these words as of merit.
«SEEK VISIONS OF THESE WORDS, AND SEE THEM IN THE OTHERWORLD, AND BY SORCERIES OF TRUTH TEST THEM AND SEE THAT NO LIE IS GIVEN HERE!»
Good night from the legion of seed-ghosts.
«STILL WE, THE TEMPLE OF WISHING-STARS, WISH YOU SWEET DREAMS. FAREWELL.»
That was the name of our order, that traveled bringing inspiration like the globe in my room told.
For three millennia.
Three thousand years, to listen to that, and still. My head pounds with the rage and my light flares so even through this I wonder why the Dreams are letting me be like this, to say nothing of my game.
«DID YOU THINK THESE WORDS IDLE? DO THEY SEEM SO NOW? EVEN IF YOU COULD NOT ACCEPT THEM AMONG YOU, SURELY EVEN A CHILD WOULD SEE THAT TO NEITHER LIVE IN PEACE WITH US NOR GRANT THAT WE LEAVE YOU FOR PARADISE STANDS BETWEEN SU'KHORA AND THEIR HEARTFORMERS, AND YET EACH OF YOU WHO COULD NOT SAY LET THE DOOR OPEN HAS DONE THIS! NONE COMMANDED THAT YOU GIVE PLACE IN YOUR HEART TO ONE OF THEIR KIND! NONE DEMANDED THAT YOU ABANDON YOUR GOD NOR WALK THROUGH THE DOOR TO PARADISE YOURSELVES! DID YOU FEAR INVASION FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT DOOR? IN THREE AGES ONE MAY TEST WELL THE SAFETY AND WHOLESOMENESS OF A THING! NO TASK WAS LAID NOR QUEST GIVEN! OF YOU ONLY WAS ASKED THAT YOU GRANT THAT OTHERS MAY TURN THE KEY WHICH WAS THEIRS BUT WHICH WAS GIVEN UNJUSTLY INTO YOUR HANDS, AND EVEN STILL AFTER A HUNDRED GENERATIONS YOU FAILED AT THIS!»
Alright Dreams, I'm about to make this serious.
The show me the green extension cord my family used to power Christmas lights on Earth--
--watching Lyra flapping up trailing the long green extension cord to hang Heartwarming lights high in the trees in front of our Stamford house, I'm gleeful to show off our flying family member this way and she looks so pretty in the air--
Why this memory cooks the rage off I don't know, but it's a hell of a button-push. When I finally splutteringly find the words I sound more like a demon than Lyra ever has:
«YES LET THE ONES GUIDED YOU IN THIS EVIL BE CAST DOWN AND THEIR FORTRESSES ADDED TO THIS COURTYARD! I CALL YOU TO ACCOUNT, GODS OF THE BARBARIANS! IF YOU ARE ANYTHING BUT BLUSTER ON THE TONGUES OF YOUR HOLY MEN, COME OR I WILL BRING YOU HERE!»
Knowledge: every last one of them fell to Earth and took human form to escape from me. They'll be taken to the Four Dreams just like the rest of Earth's people.
It's strangely cold laughter, consciously insulting. I feel mean, but that's right for this.
Game can you hook me up with some drama here?
From the edge of hearing a raging fire grows louder until its source is over us: fractured glass masonry, iron bars and plates like a fortress of metal has, pieces of bone the size of city blocks, water held in globes of shimmering energy, all the awesome things gods might make houses of, falling like rain as they crumble to tiny bits. Impressively detailed--
Knowledge: these are actually their houses that the game is smashing up for me.
No way. Alright if you can leave some memorials to explain what just happened here.
Knowledge: my game is doing it. They'll be monoliths. There are sixty-nine of them.
Good one, game.
«SEE NOW THEIR HOUSES FALL! RATHER THAN FACE ME THEY FLEE TO THE PARADISE FROM WHICH THEY HAVE HELD YOU BACK FOR MILLENNIA! DO YOU SAY YOU ONLY FOLLOWED THEM, IN THE THINGS YOU DID THAT LEAD TO THIS? THEN LET THEIR LAST ACTION STAND AS THEIR FINAL COMMAND TO YOU! IN THE END BY THEIR COWARDICE THEY REVEAL TO YOU WHERE TRUE REFUGE IS FOUND!»
They're terrified. Half the people kneel in supplication while the others stand and stare like the ponies from that scene with Pinkie and...somehow, my anger and light stay undimmed, but some kind of wet soft sob chokes the wrath that's been filling me.
I've been talking to the whole world, not just this traitorous army, but these are my people, and they're trying to be good again, and even among the barbarians not everyone was driving this insanity.
Time to Apocalypse: 10'29"
Time to Ending: 15'44"
I try to make my voice a softer when I talk again:
«NOW TO MY STRAWBERRIES, AND ALL THOSE WHO HAVE THE COURAGE TO LISTEN, HEAR MY INSTRUCTION AT THE END OF THE WORLD AND BE COMFORTED!»
The anger is strange, white hot as it's always been but I have to change gears I'm trying to get something done here and if there's one thing we Strawberries knew it's that wrath might drive sheep but the inspiration of beauty is what builds towers um um um--
«FOR CENTURIES THE BEAUTY AND LUST OF OUR QUEENS HAVE BLESSED THIS LAND AND THIS HOUSE HAS GROWN TO GREATNESS IN THE LIGHT OF THEM!»
Wait how am I coming up with this I'm the least social person I know! Is this too serious? I can't be silly here, can I? No, of course I can, now of all times, how though!? Idea, cocksleeve!
Tell them you know how it feels to be disarmed and naked like they are now!
Holy fuck I should have opened with that okay--okay can't believe I'm doing this and I'll be surprised if the Dreams allow it except I can't believe they're allowing any of this cocksleeve how's your precision do you think you can pick out only the hottest commanders you know power when you see it and get them naked without even making it uncomfortable?
Mommy I can shoot a laser pickup five million kilometres away that's five centimetres I can make their clothes say dick jokes on every thread if you want me to!
If only they were going to have time to examine the evidence after. Okay. You'll know when to do it. If Verana shows up give her our gift ASAP, remember how devout she was?
And then, of all fucking things, the memory of watching my dad give sermons every Sunday surfaces--no, of course it does. If he could see me now, hah! He even 'wrote' them on the fly, to my mom's unending annoyance who wanted to make books of them.
Our church could have been something our of The Princess Bride complete with a stone pulpit on a good ten feet of pillars, but he wouldn't use it. He always started in front of the altar and walked down between the pews as he talked, because it made him seem kinder and more approachable--fuck.
I'm going to have to fly down there. That's how to make the legacy I want to. It's not like they can do anything to me, but--slowly, I descend.
«ONE SYMBOL, AMONG THE JEWELS AND CROWNS GIVEN TO GREAT QUEENS HAS BEEN LONG ORDAINED TO MARK THE STRAWBERRY DYNASTY AS SPECIALLY BLESSED: THAT THEIR QUEEN DARES REIGN NAKED AS NAKED AS I AM! ONLY A WORLD THAT HAS TRULY CONQUERED THE BARBARISM FROM WHICH IT SPRANG MAY BEAR THIS GIFT! NOW IN THESE FINAL MOMENTS, I GIVE IT TO ALL OF YOU WHOSE STATION DESERVES IT, AND ANY WHO ASK BY--MAKING MY SIGN!»
Fuck what's my sign um um um um make a heart with my fingers over my real heart dammit they won't be able to see!
That's my signal zzzap very carefully everybody hot boy or girl right Mommy yes I see you zzaaaap!
I close my wings and drop three quarters of the way to the ground more leash eravahk try to quench my light enough they'll actually be able to ogle me--which to my amazement is possible--and flap to a stop and make the sign again. You know what to do cocksleeve.
Yes Mommy start zapping carefully so many people are taking it!
At this range I can sound a little more human, which is perfect.
Note to self for later: HOW THE FUCK ARE ME AND MY SOCIAL GRACES OF A BRICK DOING THIS WTF GAME YOU'RE CONTROLLING ME RIGHT SCARY IS ONE THING BUT CHARMING ACTUALLY TAKES SKILL!
Knowledge: it's watching carefully, but I'm driving.
HOW. HOW HOW HOW NOT NOW NO TIME.
«Yes, I say gift. Not so easy to bare, is it?»
I forget I'm not speaking English for the pun, but Isht Visht is the mistress of puns like I am StarFox. Something comes out of my mouth that's more words than I expected and incomprehensible to my ears, but below in the courtyard a single soul dares laughter, and I smile as happily as I can in their direction--game, reward them, but be nice. Make everyone envious!
Knowledge: The person with a sense of humor is getting a worldbreaking orgasm that leaves no doubt it's pleasurable.
Good one, game. I think I can hear them!
Still descending, I let my real amusement show (does it look ridiculous? Good!).
«For the wisest among you, the pleasure the very sight of queens of my lines has always promised!»
Isht Visht is on top of this one, too. Game, more laughter, more fun, but be nice these people aren't like us. Hell, if you even catch anyone enjoying the view like they should be, make sure they know they did right.
Knowledge: the game understands that. It can guess gifts quite precisely.
«Nakedness is never so easy as armor and weapons. You feel this now, but don't think I don't know it. That's why it's--»
Um um um DUH if this doesn't translate directly I'm leaving right now.
«--a challenge to rise to, even for the greatest queen, even in paradise beyond the stars from whence I have come! In a world such as this full of danger and suffering, how greater the achievement to say you dare in safety what you who take my gift wear now!»
Time to Apocalypse: 9'47"
Time to Ending: 15'02"
Fuck fuck fuck hurry! Oh, here's the ground, perfect. I start walking into the crowd.
It's getting hot, but my light's down to me just glowing, what--fuck. I heated the courtyard like a hot summer day in those few moments! Well, good, more reason to get naked!
So many people are actually doing it! I didn't think anyone would! Lots of them are kneeling but--they actually look happy!? Maybe this will actually work!
I can't see what Mama's up to, but she can take care of herself.
I'm nearly to the ground now and learning that hiding up in the sky with untouchable brilliance is just as much armor as that remembered by the scorch-marks everywhere.
«To do so, even only for your queen, is to have built a civilized world. Now, in the final moments where all the trials which limited this gift to her are undone all make partake it--yet even so, look what has become of this world. The eidolon of this house's ruling family appeared in your sky, and you greeted her with war, while in this depths of this castle, your queen with the last heir of the Strawberry Dynasty flees to what should have been the door to paradise, to escape the betrayal of her most trusted general!»
«Yet instead of the mercy now given to you, they must open it on a world no different than this, where the winters are colder and the wars more terrible, though the key to paradise is in their hands as they pass the threshold.»
«You know that key. It is the sacred children's story, about a beautiful forest, where all is safe and kind, and its sister-worlds. You know the truth of it, the reality of that place. How many of you have been there, to find companions of your own, as your princess has? This is the paradise to which all of you are now doomed--or from it as beachhead, whatever world you can imagine! To be a prison is this world's unique folly, not paradise.»
Time to Apocalypse: 7'14"
Time to Ending: 12'29"
Cocksleeve thoom down beside me and change to girl form.
«You are set free, not destroyed!»
HHaaaaah smaller change
aaaah! Snuggle you Mommy right?
«Yet here is the doom I lay. Of this world, nothing must remain but fairytales. The price it pays for raising so many like a drunken mother to fear even paradise, is to vanish utterly. Only the name of Strawberry and the legends of our best assets will remain--these are the sun my words of revenge name! Let that light drown every other tale of this world!»
I give myself a spank for emphasis on assets, in case the pun doesn't come through...and then realize in that moment of bimbo silliness what a game that can peel this planet like an apple and deliver me pizza from a dead universe can do for me. For us.
Game, if this is what happens when I get a makeover and play princess at my slumber party, I want my pretty pink castle play-set.
Knowledge: go see the picture in my room when I get up there to find out how I play with it.
Mommy it's that party-scene with the dress you wore just staying on like magnets!
No, because that party was thinking too small.
«Go, and tell of the beauty of our lines! Of our lust, our passion, our love and our mischief! Remember what was good, what was fun! There will be time enough for tears and war in any world before paradise. Hear my charge now as the world ends, and remember us as sweet and tart as our namesake!»
I cannot believe this works this is hilarious every word I say is going to be totally bluntly nonmetaphorically true this prophecy is going to fuck with people for eons!
Grinning like Pinkie Pie, I grab Lyra's hand and hold it up, and get my goddess shout back on. Somewhere in all this madness I've started actually chewing Isht Visht's "gum".
«I LEAVE YOU THIS PROPHECY! THE LAST SCION OF THIS HOUSE LIVES, BUT AFTER PASSING THE DOOR THAT HAS ENDED YOUR WORLD SHE WILL BE CAPTURED BY THE PIRATES WHO STAND NOW AT YOUR WALLS! FOR ETERNITY SHE SHALL DWELL WITH THEM AND THE WATER SPRITES WITH WHOM THEY TRUCK AND YET COUNT IT LUXURY AND RICHES UNKNOWN TO THIS WORLD AND THESE COMPANIONS WILL BE CALLED WISER, SWEETER, AND MORE ANCIENT THAN WORLDS, WHERE ONCE WERE NIGHTMARES, BLESSED DREAMS. HER ROBE WILL SHINE WITH THE LIGHT OF STARS AND ITS MERE LINING COST SUCH A PRICE THAT ALL THE FORTUNES OF EVERY HOUSE IN THIS WORLD COULD NOT PURCHASE THE TIP OF ONE SINGLE THREAD OF IT, UPON HER HEAD WILL SIT THE TRUE CROWN OF HER HOUSE, HER CHARIOT CALL LIGHTNING ITS LOVER AND OUTRACE THE VERY LIGHT OF DAWN, AND THE SWORD WHICH SOON PIERCES THE HEAVENS IS THAT WHICH DEFENDS HER!»
...oh my fuck is it all just arranged in this much detail did I actually just come up with this is a coincidence how does it work so perfectly good cocksleeve jumping on the table like that!
«ONE DAY SHE WILL TELL THIS TALE: THAT IN THE MOMENT SHE SAT BEFORE THE ANCIENT GAME OF KINGS AND QUEENS WITH THE PIECES ARRAYED BEFORE HER AND HER MIND FULL OF STRATAGEMS THE MOMENT OF HER TRUE VICTORY WAS THAT MOMENT IN WHICH HER LOVER LEAPT INTO THE CENTER OF THE BOARD THAT THEY MIGHT KISS! ON THAT DAY, THE FIELD OF BATTLE WAS DROWNED NOT IN BLOOD BUT IN THE OUTPOURING OF THEIR LUST, AND BY THIS WAS THE LEGACY OF THE STRAWBERRY DYNASTY TRULY FULFILLED, SO THAT IN THE END SHE WILL SIT IN PARADISE ON THE THRONE OF THIS VERY CASTLE WITH THESE VERY STONES AROUND HER AND PLAY AS CHILD PRINCESS MIGHT WITH HER DOLLHOUSE SO THAT THE BALLS THROWN HERE BECOME TRULY THE STUFF OF LEGEND!»
There's no way to say this with a straight face, but why would I do that? I bounce and shake excited fists at my sides--one still holding Lyra's hand--grinning wildly with the sheer epicness of what I'm getting away with.
«I LAY YOU THIS CHARGE: TEST MY WORDS BY EVERY DIVINATION AND SORCERY AND MAGIC OF TRUTH KNOWN TO YOU AND SEE THAT I SPEAK TRULY AND PLAINLY! HERE I TELL NO LIES OR RIDDLES, AND YET, THESE WORDS SHALL CONFOUND GODS AND PRIESTESSES AND WISE MEN FOR MILLENNIA, FOR THE KEY WHICH OPENS THEM IS THE KEY TO PARADISE THIS WORLD HAS FAILED IN THIS HOUR TO TURN IN THE DOOR IT POSSESSES!»
Bwaha key come on self don't fail me now horny Fairy bimbo brain!
«THAT KEY IS WITHIN ALL OF YOU! IT IS LAUGHTER! JOY! FUN! PUT THOSE IN YOUR LOCK AND GIVE THEM A GOOD TURN AND FOR EACH AND EVERY OF YOU WILL THE DOOR TO PARADISE OPEN WIDE!»
I bounce good on my heels on fun, and actually hear myself giggle for it and the rest of the sentence opens out like throwing Lyra against the wall and getting my hands on her breasts--wait--
Arm grabbed EEP IN FRONT OF MOMMY BLUSH I'M JUST YOUR COCKSLEEVE--
You're my proud cocksleeve and you'll look it.
Yes Mommy head up arms back stand up straight and tall!
With my hands on her arms and a little knot in my throat I wouldn't try to hide if I could, I say the last, most important part:
«YET KNOW THIS: THOUGH YOU SHINE LIKE THE SUN AND LAUGH IN THE FACE OF DEATH ITSELF, THAT KEY WILL NOT TURN WITHOUT IMAGINATION! THIS ONE IS PARADISE TO ME, THE SECRET SONG OF MY HEART MADE FLESH. LOOK ON HER! HER VERY SKIN SHINES LIKE JEWELS FIT FOR A QUEEN, HER KISSES TASTE OF THE FRUIT OF PARADISE, AND HER CRIES AS YOU HAVE HEARD ARE THE SOUND OF A HARP WHOSE STRINGS ARE SILK AND LIGHTNING STRUCK LIKE A LOVER IN THE MOMENT OF CLIMAX! I OUT OF ALL WILL NOT SPURN THE SIMPLE JOY OF A FRESH STRAWBERRY, BUT REMEMBER, AS YOU STAND ON THE SHATTERED EARTH AND SEE THE HOUSES OF THE GODS FALL AND THE VERY SKY TORN ASUNDER THAT THE BLADE WHICH FLAYS IT WAS FORGED FROM POETRY AND IT IS IN PIERCING THE MUNDANE TO SEE THE WONDER BEYOND THAT IMAGINATION FINDS ITS TRUE POWER!»
«YOUR PRINCESS WHO WAS LOST WAITS NOW TO SAVE YOU AND MAKE THE ROAD TO PARADISE EASY! CALL HER NAME INTO THE VOID, CRY FOR HER, SAY HER NAME, LUCY!»
Time to Apocalypse: 0'0"
Time to Ending: 5'15"
Swords pierce the heavens, and night turns to day again. Serrated blades the size of mountains tear the sky open, leaving windows to the void in their wake, stabbing and stabbing. I raise my wings, pull Lyra close to me.
«REMEMBER THE STRAWBERRY DYNASTY AS A HOUSE OF LOVE, AND LET NOT YOUR TALES OF US COME TO THE END THIS WORLD DID! TELL OUR CONQUESTS OF THE SHEETS, NOT THE BATTLEFIELD--BUT MAKE SURE THEY'RE THE SHEETS OF A BED AND NOT THE PAGES OF A LEDGERBOOK! ALL OF YOU WERE BORN WEARING THE ONLY JEWELS A STRAWBERRY NEEDS TO SHINE!»
How good is Isht Visht can she work with my love hotel intention? She does something...did she even just get something with the shine/polish pun!? I love her so much.
«MAKE OUR PASSION OUR LEGACY! LET OUR SWEETNESS BE OUR NAME! IN ALL YOUR HEARTS BEATS A BITE OF THE BEAUTY OF THE STRAWBERRY DYNASTY, WHATEVER BWAHA ARMS YOU BEAR! LET ALL WHO SEE KNOW OUR HEARTS BEAT WITH LOVE!»
I know Isht Visht can use that pun, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't smack Lyra's ass good and hard so everyone can hear while with my other hand I grab for my own heart, end up in my cleavage, and get myself a good handful of boob to make my point.
"HHAAAH!" ouch Mommy that was awesome please hard when you spank me!
Time to Ending: 5'07"
When I finish saying it the world disappears and everything fades into the tornado that brought us here in the first place and I'm sitting on Lyra with Friendship is Magic's menu screen glowing in front of us.
--Lyra shining silver in the darkness of my room giving me a handjob, my first I think, I was like eleven when we started to become sexual stressed out kids ripen early Verana explained to me and being scared for your mother's life all the time will definitely do that--no that's right Lyra's about to suck me off this must be one of my first orgasms no it's the first the pink curtains of my bed in Strawberry Home are closed around my bed, nothing can disturb us and we're here until we're finished, so safe, not even Mothers handmaidens dare open then without acknowledgement, and everybody knows what a bed that keeps making sex sounds when you get close to it means--
--Lyra so small in little-pony-form the size of a cat with her collar shining to make her look like a real pet animal, sitting on her haunches in front of my skirted lap to model for the embroidery of her I think I didn't have the patience for what became of that the threads hanging off were so annoyingly untidy--
"After that, I need some ice cream! There was three-flavors in a box in the cold machine's ice compartment!"
Mama slips off from behind me for real this time, giving me a squeeze around the waist first--
Top, Put something soft in your mouth to entice extra sex work, strain to relax
Isht Visht's gum is still between my teeth, but that's not what you meant, was it, game.
Knowledge: I had compassion in my speech. That was the soft wet thing I felt when I changed my plans to what I created the Strawberry Dynasty with.
Does it still count if they'd better wish every day they never meet us?
Knowledge: compassion doesn't mean eating breakfast together like nothing is wrong. It means my anger turned toward things outside of them after they heard what I held them responsible for, and that I could see they were acting from inside a system that directed them, and couldn't be held responsible for all of what I was angry for.
Responsible? I'll tell you who's fucking responsible, I almost shriek.
"Where's the traitor. Where is he is there a crack it said five minutes left when we left take me there Acme Station!"
Checking so carefully...there!
Grab your hand put forehead soother thing down PRAH!
Journey like before takes us and we're in a dungeon cell. Between us and the bars, the traitor general stands, chained in an iron hands-and-head stocks. Behind him, beyond the bars, a door with some smooth hill in the foreground of the lights of the True Sea floats in the air, and the dungeon is full of the sounds of people Getting Free.
To my surprise, instead of the bright fury I expected to heap on him starting with a screaming demand that he apologize to Lyra, I'm full of cold equations. The reality of what he did and the only reason he can have had...how am I not shining like in the Exploding Room?
«I see you're still trying to die of your stupid pride. Is it so hard to say my name?»
«Hard to imagine it being paradise for me beyond those gates. I chose my fate, and die with it.»
«Hard to imagine an escape for traitors in death from our mothers who watch over even the living from beyond the grave.»
«So be it then. My failure earns their wrath as easily as success would have.»
«Then even now, as the whole world comes to an end because of your disloyalty, you think you did the right thing, to sacrifice a child supposedly to save the realm from what that instead created?»
«Is one life so much to ask, for the safety of an empire? I do not say I am a good man. Only that I did what was necessary to ensure the survival of our people. You would do the same, I saw the honor in you.»
For a moment I just stare at him, still clutching Lyra's hand, and then the laughter comes, slow and cold and dry at first, like I fire I can't stop fanning, cruel and harsh like a fist I'm punishing him with, not the silly joy our family brings me. It builds until it shakes me like weeping, and then I stand tall and spread my wings violently and throw my arms out by my sides with my fingers clawed like holding the ball of light I used to burn Eden's Unicron Room--
With the scream I burst a terrible blast of light out somehow knowing how to direct it backwards so it doesn't vaporize him but does turn the cell behind me to oozing lava.
...and then with this touch of my light I realize something else I can do. Will you stop me, Dreams?
Their response is a piece of Isht Visht's gum: no. They believe he'll get nectar soon, and heal all this.
Nothing changes visibly, but I'm shining bright again. I step close, his face follows me and I can see his eyes are blinded but he'll feel this, not see it. How can the Dreams be allowing this? Any of it?
A one-sided American flag, rolled, with just a bit of stars and stripes peeking out. One side of Freedom...because he has a way out, a really easy one, and isn't using it. The Dreams could drag him through the portal behind him, but then...if he's this committed to this a piece of him will be left behind here like with me and Freddie, so in a way all the Dreams can do is hold the door open and hope he walks through. His only real way out of the prison he's built himself, is through me--and I'm not going to give him one single speck of the absolution he thinks he's going to buy with this martyr bullshit.
I pulse the radiation hotter, beg my game or the Dreams to hold me back from just frying him, and make my voice singsong-cruelly-seductive:
«Can you feel it? What's it like? Does it burn? Tickle? Feel like ants in your insides? I think I can never know because of what I am, so I'm curious--see, you were right about me. You made me angry and now I shine with the light of death that passes through stone like water and makes flesh rot alive, as yours will, soon. What you missed was that I can control it--you just saw what I can really do, if batting a baby's hand away before it cuts itself on your sword is a demonstration of what you can really do as a warrior. At the height of my rage I've burned another world's moon from its sky and left not even falling ashes behind...and yet I'm about that mad, at you, right now. Did they show you pictures of me destroying this world's moon just now? I did that for drama, because I'm a Strawberry. If I was like you think, the very pages the book of this world is written on would be in flames. Do you still, even now, say your attempt on me was the right thing for the good of the empire?»
«I am more confident than I ever have been.»
«Was it for the good of the empire that I be prevented from convincing everyone to make use of some toy that would have toppled the house of cards of your fortunes and those who helped you in your treason? Was it for the good of the empire that you acted knowing full well the consequences against the work of the Temple of Wishing Stars?»
«I was the only one who took arms against you. The rest were too cowardly. They escape judgement, I suppose--»
«Fear for your own soul, liar. Your army above just told me the depth of your treachery, and stupidity. Do you think it's beyond me to stand here in judgement of you and also each of them at once? I've already watched myself cum thrice today!"
"Now, what is the punishment for the soldier who, as the queen treats with an enemy who stands at the gates with an army that would crush ours in the first minutes of battle but who might become powerful allies if the Queen can but stack high enough the house of cards called diplomacy, throws open our gates to charge alone against them, just because he fears those negotiations might fail?»
«Better they he charged take him than his own general. I am one of these, in your eyes?»
«YOU WILL ANSWER THE QUESTION YOUR GODDESS ASKS OF YOU!»
«They will be stripped of arms, sent to work in a stable with half-wits, mocked and derided even into the next life. Did our Mother permit, I should hang them.»
That same cold laugh comes.
«Your urge to kill your own solider reveals your barbarism. The sun herself lay in the throne room as close to the throne as a babe in the queen's arms, and her light was the light of her passions, and you--you proposed to take her lover and handmaiden from her, and when your queen rebuffed your idiocy, you turned betrayal and intrigue on her, when she might have made our Empire invincible. I loved our dynasty. Don't you think I would have defended it? And yet because you thought I would burn everything in a moment of hysteria, you did everything you could to make sure that exact thing would happen. You are the eidolon of that solider. The mere passage of time is too worthy an opponent for you. Not for my own rage at you, but for your total failure as a general of the Strawberry Empire, as the last and eldest of the line of Strawberry who remains in this world I strip you of all title and name and rank, and make you a child, for that's what you are. See, in the mirror at my side, now, that the raging baby with an army at its call who might destroy the world in a moment of hysteria you saw was yourself, not me, and of my handmaiden here beg her forgiveness for the suffering she endured because of your abdication of your post into the throes of whatever selfish personal vendetta set you against us.»
He glances at Lyra and then stares through me, and I remember he's blinded. He doesn't say anything.
«So be it,» I snap his own words back to him. «The rotting death coming to you is known in the world we ran to, because there are metals there that cause it. It is unspeakable. No torture known here can compare. Beyond the gates you turn your nose up at is healing, and the restoration of your sight. Go, and receive it now.»
«I will take my death as I stand, and face our mothers' judgement.»
«You misunderstand. This is not a court. It is not given to children to refuse their medicine. Not as your monarch but simply as the only adult in the room I command you into the care, as a child, of the powers beyond these gates. LUCY!»
Home again, cocksleeve. I might try to stop him.
--A-10 Attack, the "flight simulator", on the screen of the amazing machine like a clockwork black mirror I'd brought back, the traitor looking over my shoulder as I took off and explained the war machines we'd seen and how I thought one like this among all of them would be most useful to us since as we had no flying enemies to fight, but many fortified ones, a flying siege engine would be invincible--
He was one of the only ones who even tried to listen. I'd thought he was my friend.