69 - Over The Rainbow

I lean back, careful of Isht Visht's floppy rest in my cleavage, and stare at the ceiling, and her soothing hands start to work in front. I was surprised she didn't use magic at first, but Isht Visht didn't need to spend half an hour undoing my old make up by carefully groping my face to get me ready for her design. They wanted an excuse to touch me lots. The point of this was to be close to me. I was afraid of this because I thought it would be another try at giving a new shell to me, or replacing the parts inside of me that are ugly to them, but all they wanted was to have time to play with the person they just got out of her shell not so long ago, and catch up on hugs while doing something fun.

"Pussywet just another few rollers, and then we can do your skin-glitter. The fusing bell feels fun for Fairies, as I've heard it!"

 Mama finishes with the rollers and pushes my head back down to look at the screen--it feels so awesome when she moves me around like that--where Twilight is looking sad because the adventure is over and she has to leave the friends she's made (except of course she gets assigned to live with them and report her 'findings on friendship' to Princess Celestia, which its obvious everyone knows is a transparent excuse to command her to stay in Ponyville and spend time with her new friends, except they all love that). It's obviously setting up the format of the show as an adventure with Twilight explaining what it teaches about friendship at the end, but it's cute and reminds me of the game commanding the four of us to become a family which is was we all desperately wanted but need the game's being in control of it to dive this fast into it without freaking out. Much.

The game turns my mind back to far back the tower of life experience we've climbed since the nursery aboard Isht Visht to where Lyra was telling us the game's plans for me as messages from our seed-ghost because I didn't know what was actually happening yet.

There was something--the game would stop me every so often and make me write about my experiences and share the writing with people outside our household. There was something else, too, about missions, and the game making me follow everything step-by-step so I would--oh my fuck. There are weekly episodes and I'll write a letter to 'Celestia' after each one and the game told it all sideways and just slightly off like the early monoliths so I'd start getting used to the idea without panicking.

I wonder what terrifying wonderful message the monoliths have for Isht Visht's prophecy club they need to be warmed up to over thousands of years? I'd been thinking we were pranking them for taking everything too seriously, but now...that's mean. I think our family likes jokes, but not mean ones. Hmmm--wait:

Who's 'Celestia', game?

Knowledge: I'll get the answer through being little for Mama and giving her the home life she's wanted for a very long time. There won't be a way to miss or avoid this, so I can relax and just be pretty and fun.

The episode ends on Pinkie Pie chattering excitedly about her new friends.

I just can't seem to get myself off that porch though--I'm back in the house, we went inside, it was seventies dark wood and plaid, Colleen made me feel safe like Mama does, she could take care of me, I was a picky kid and would scream like I'd lost Lyra if my Earth-mom gave me to anyone but Colleen but I liked Colleen and looked forward to spending time with her...she made me feel good. Can I have been into her like I am Mama? She wasn't my mother though! Game heart brain cocksleeve why am I here what is this about!?

Mommy listen. Aren't you hurt that Colleen abandoned you? Yes it doesn't make sense rationally Mommy but what five year old has that much reason? How could you know she had to stay back in Maine because she lived there? To a five year old who just wants their Mommy that doesn't matter!

You're right because I'm in the car leaving Maine too but--are you saying I think Mama's going to do that to me too? I KNOW SHE WON'T NOW BUT--I mean it just takes time to build trust and we haven't even had half a day, even the Dreams and your game and you yourself altogether can't--

Bristling poised I see you need me I'm ready to do anything.

The Dreams show me a golden glass cutter cutting a biggish hole in glass and then knocking out the glass in the middle to make an opening and I can't help thinking they're cutting open a display case somehow.

Knowledge: it's all they've been doing since Rada opened the airlock to find me and Lyra standing there making out and dripping wet. Everything we've done according to guidance from the prophecy has been part of it and the rest of our time together yet we haven't been able to see far ahead because we can't steer by anything but wishing to be our family.

"The dreams just showed me a tool that looks like a musical note making circle in a glass box like the one from Snow White the dwarves made when they thought she was dead. I say that means we need more ponies, because that song is waking you up every time you sing it with us, Pussytaste!"

Mama starts the next episode--

"Rada wait just hang on a second! Mommy listen to me try to remember what did I say in your bed in your Earth house when I came to come get you? The very first thing I said before you kissed me or anything. Can you remember, Mommy? Think hard I saw you misheard me but you remember it right I could see you you just weren't ready for me to call you that so your brain didn't take it like the smell of your strawberry sugar cum."

"Sis what are you saying? I thought the crown freaked you out like Lucy. Are you saying you knew already?"

"No sis I'm saying I know what that vision means and my Mommy needs to hear what I said to her when I first saw her at the start of our trip to get home here. She needs to hear it herself don't give anymore hints please."

The Dreams show me a tornado when I try to reach for the memory. Huh? Auntie Em? Picking up my house whooshing it off to Oz?

Reaching for the memory again takes me back to Colleen's brother's house instead it was nice there Colleen was taking care of me and I felt free of of of something what cares does a five year old even have and why does trying to remember the moment I met Lyra in Stamford take me here?

She said a lot of things I missed them no she repeated herself because I was sleeping she would know which one was the first I was awake for --utie what was it I heard something like what she was saying but it wasn't the exact words come on, wake up, cutie what words sound like that that she would say to me would she call me cutie she would say would say would say COME ON, WAKE UP, USE ME--no, that isn't right RGH!

Come on, take me, beautiful.

--still doesn't feel right cocksleeve I'm trying but I can't remember I don't--

The Dreams show me a beautiful makeup case with pink satin quilted sides and a white leather edge and gold hardware, perfect for a Strawberry Princess it's beautiful I want it but WHY IS THAT HERE DREAMS I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS!

"That's a beautiful makeup display case! I think we all see the same visions, yeah? Boobsqueeze I have one like that in my cargo hold! As soon as we finish here I'm getting it for you. It's just what a Strawberry Princess needs to keep all her makeup! Klapta, get off now, it's time to do her artwork and glitter! Boobsqueeze I have a design that goes on your shoulder and arm but you'd have to let go for me to paint it. If you have to stay holding Lyra, that's okay, but I think you would like this one!"

There's an answer that fits the syllables and sounds like cutie, but--I twist my grip on Lyra tighter--

The Dreams again, now showing tight-coiled copper wire--that's the antenna to the AM radio I built from a kit when I was a kid. I spent hours listening, fascinated with how it could draw enough power from the air to be audible, it was nothing but a resonator and the sound was crunchy-mushy and tiny like the voice of my videogame eravahk so the words would sometimes...sound like other words...yes Dreams I figured that part out already--they're responding--

Twilight Sparkle and Spike in the chariot on the way to Ponyville the first time. Being sent from Canterlot to live in the small town, but I'm already from an obscure farming town and Mama's whole project is making me feel like the Princess I technically am by blood, so this can't make sense unless--

Some kind of pink crystal what does that mean I don't know anything about rocks cocksleeve?

Mommy that looks like either salt from the Himalayas or maybe rose quartz the both mean healing though, salt purifies things like how cleaning them physically sucks toxins into the salt and out of what you're cleaning and actually Amethyst looks more like that Amethyst helps you take care of people.

Why would they show that now? Cocksleeve I know what you called me but, it, that's impossible!

"Cocksleeves get ready, we're doing something very extreme now."

Lyra stands, lifting all of us, and my heart leaps at the idea of riding her even through the panic.

"Hang on tight everybody!"


She seems as if to flap or leap and everything changes and we're in some kind of whirlwind and then--what the fuck is this where are we WHY IS IT MAKING ME CRY!?

It's dark, and firelight flickers on the closed curtains of a huge bed. We're all still squeezed together on Lyra's back--

«Come on, wake up, Lucy!»

I was RIGHT what the FUCK except it's coming from the bed, not Lyra I'm riding and it's not English but I know what she said because--because--cocksleeve did you fork without--no of course not what in the FUCK what is this cocksleeve you said I can't possibly have any past lives, especially not ones with you in them what the hell is this!?

It's not past life Mommy you remembered that's why you're so scared now.

I look around wildly, taking in the pink-and-white decor in the firelit shadows, the bed against the thick outside wall with the deep window-nook to the left and the fireplace to the left of that with the door to the left of that and all--all--

The air is perfumed with something sweet and floral, familiar, I inhale it with happy familiar reflex, and the memories start.

--a shiningly iridescent scent-warmer made of of of of joustwhale horn, black blobs of smell-candy floating in their little sea of water on top of it, glow from the candle-place under the top dish--

What the hell what the fuck HOW--with an iron grip on her horns I turn Lyra the other way, to face face face to face all my toys--from the bed, other-Lyra's sweet voice rings out the beginning of playtime, but her voice sounds, sounds, it--

--the wobbly nervous feeling of Becoming a Woman Soon, Lyra's patient smiley encouragement being the only practice-dummy either of us would allow as Verana her name blurts out of my soul but this was title-time though as the the the high priestess taught me how to use--

...the little birch paddle with its pretty twisted joustwhale-horn handle that's hanging up beside the white-gold-and-strawberry throne in the middle of the far wall behind my princessly-huge collection of toys and toys.

--a simple wooden box filled with something shimmering-dark that fell from the stars and then Lyra is jumping out of it at me all silvery taily fun--

The box is there, in pride of place, full of the weird outer-space stuff Lyra could possess and make a body from without seeming to make the box any less full, but somehow it's a gift from my family, not random space debris--wait that stuff is heartstone--behind it is--

--candy, the smell of gingerbread so strong in the memory my mouth waters, the long the the Heartwarming was what we called the winter holiday the long table of the Heartwarming feast with houses of candy-bread with the exotic spice and all kind of other fun, Lyra getting a heaping plate of good things for me--

Which is where my mind goes for some reason when I see the pedestal with the little shrine to the what was it Sugarfeast Fairy patron of our spring holiday with its statue of her all glowing with magic and her hair and wings all--

--a weird memory of just being at Disneyworld, the bricks of a plaza in the Magic Kingdom someplace and wonder was pounding through me but not for the castle or rides--

And there, impossibly, at the feet of the Sugarfeast Fairy, is my Mickey Mouse cup, from--but how could--the Sugarfeast Fairy brought fun happy things from other worlds, like the heartstone, and they were sacred to her, anything hard to imagine in the world you came from was so that's what her shrine got.

--the bonfires on either side of the path glaring on my veil and glowing on Lyra's horns and mane as we ride up. She looks back flirtily, then the scene changes and I'm turning around with my dark veil still making everything hard to see. Someone touches my head, soothing cold metal running down from my (heh) crown over my forehead and past my face but I'm motionless because it's a knife spiltting my veil in half, then the knife's user skillfully but terrifyingly hooks it on the top of my bodice and slices down between by breasts and on to the floor and the sun is rising outside the doors of the temple but the whole memory is bent with the way Lyra kneeling to my right pulled me to look at her--

A sob chokes in my throat as the emotions of this day boil up and fight with the bitterness of the coming of age I remember from what less and less seems like the real world. The knife is mounted on the wall behind the Sugarfeast Fairy's head, because, it, that was, was my first--

--the stone-scented prickle of the morning air in the temple on my newly-bare skin as Verana turns the knife's handle to me with a wicked smile and when I take it steps aside and I command Lyra into her place, and hook the hook at the tip of oh my GOD the literal bodice ripper into the gather at the top of her black demon's veil--

Hanging above the Sugarfeast shrine is the tapestry made in honor of our Unveiling, shaped like a storybook, with me and Lyra naked before the crowd, seen from behind with the rising sun in the background outside the doors, hands held and raised, on one page, and on the other words that say, that say--

--that is very bright, said Star--

--and I realize I've been so distracted ogling Lyra's embroidered curves I didn't see the scene is dark except our gold-and-silver-thread flesh. Even the sun with its rays shining in is just yellow velvet.

--the space and rush of being naked on stage, it's dark, the crowd is quiet but looms to my right, Lyra's to my left standing naked and silvery, the supplicant with her mousish manner kneels in front of Lyra, there's light but where is it coming from--

A huge globe stands beside the Sugarfeast Fairy's idol, stuck all over with little pins shaped like crowns to show places we traveled doing that--the ritual--no, service--in the darkness I can't make out the continents and my brain pastes a map of Earth into the parchment-and-ink void.

--darkness again, that same weird light in it making only Lyra glow as she crawls to me with in her mouth some toy or pair of cuffs that was so much less important than the smile around it as she kneels up to present it proudly, and I can feel the crowd to my right again, I liked to perform with them on my right--

WAIT HOW THE SCREAMING STRAWBERRY FUCK IS MOBILE ARMATRON HERE Lyra's mouth was empty she was just happily getting off on being tail-controllered and I was demonstrating RC mode without her tail connecting it but how is the inspiration for that that should be blown to atoms with the rest of Stamford or rescued by my game for me instead sitting here taking up most of the stage-right side of the Sugarfeast Fairy's pedestal!?

--Lyra, at the end of her leash, kneeling in snow, showing me a tiny purple-and yellow flower between her knees. The strange black road with yellow paint for miles and miles as if the cart-wheels wouldn't just rub it away instantly sings it stinky-good song in my nose from behind us--

Johnny jump-ups--but we lived on Plowstar--AAAH OUCH MY HEAD--I twist away from the impossible shrine to escape the pain--

--something like a hall of mirrors all around us it was beautiful but I could see Lyra and myself from all different angles we used it for lots of things but it was made to give us a way to see what the high priestess was describing of where my technique for enjoying Lyra could improve--

There it is, three huge mirrors like a changing room, along the same was as the bed, to my throne's right, just like I expect it to be. Next to it is the silky soft sex-table not the right word altar it was a sacred thing it looks like a foot-rest from a giant-sized easy-chair all strawberry embroidered silk and Lyra shoved it in front of the mirrors for me to have sex after morning time...

--bondage lessons. Always check there's space for two fingers inside the cuff, and if your pet can slip out of that, too bad, find another game. Keep the freeing-knife as sharp and ready as a handmaiden's stiletto. For steel, have spare keys everywhere. I hated rope for being so beautiful yet hard to work with, knots confounded me until I practiced and practiced them, and I'd rather just stick Lyra to a pentagram--

Which is standing right there next to the mirror-set, made out of glass with silver-gold tracks inlaid to make the star and words from. It looks obsidian now, but when the sun rises my realm will shine through the window it's over, and I can feel powerful toying with Lyra in front of the world that will be mine one day. In our medieval world, that huge sheet of glass cost as much as this castle did, no it didn't, wait--

--the heat and smoke of the royal glass-blower's workshop, the the three of us in some big basement or something and her mixing the powders for us and pouring the huge amounts of it needed into sparkling purple fields Lyra made, the volume changes as the powder melts into glass so I'm below the glass-blower on her ladder blasting it with light (how can I control it like that the castle should be slag if I'm mad enough to glow at all) to melt it all as the glass-blower keeps adding it, it's brutally hot but we all kind of like that on this cold winter night, the fields looked so swirly and beautiful where I touched and my light went through them and I was proud of how they would do the impossible here and make the glass clear and strong like hardened steel, Tempered glass, said the textbook on the table behind us, English-ly--

Shaking, I look around more, feeling like I'll break from longing--

«Princess Lucy, chamber-toy!»

It's coming from the bed again, again not English but I know what I said because I remember, haughty and playful with childish entitlement--literally, gah--I wheel us to face it, unbelieving, as other-Lyra replies the sound of being fucked very heartily as Mama would put it--

Snapped from the memories, I jump a mile and almost send Lyra flapping into the ceiling as someone with a very nice round ass in something like a belly-dancer outfit with a long and flowing narrow tail of gauzy stuff and fun arm-bangles but definitely no top of any kind rushes past and stops for a moment in front of the bed, bounces to jingle all of her outfit's jingly-things but in a weirdly perfunctory way not like the Princess' morning entertainment is announcing itself--

«Good morning!»

Lyra-in-the-bed's voice is sweet and high and cheerful and not at all phased that someone's come to say hi while we're fucking.

The--holy fuck this is one of my or my mom's handmaidens I thought the books were just that way for porniness but apparently fucking not because she was ninja-silent despite all the bells and stuff until she jingled herself--handmaiden reaches out and throws the curtain open and there we are mid-fuck and the other Lyra looks up and smiles cutely and waves and there peeking out from behind Lyra's upraised wings exactly so the scene stays PG like has to get on TV is me glowing softly with delight--

«Betrayal. Come quickly.»

Um, I don't think that's what she meant, past self--in the bed, other-Lyra thanks my younger self for the orgasm and my light pulses bright and shines with an angry overtone--oh god dammit the cum/come pun doesn't exist in this language she said what other-me obviously heard--

I--oh--r A g -._-.,,_  .  .   .

--a thin man with long slicked-back black hair and a shiny mustache, I'm laying on my side looking at him, my mom's voice is coming from out of my view and she sounds indignant, he opens his mouth to talk back and a pair of handmaidens seem to just pop in from nowhere they move so fast and Take Him Away--

Hey, Lucy, you alright? sis?


--looking up the strange tower of metal sticks and wires with its magic lantern on top flashing away, watching the gate close on our home forever--


My blood seems to turn to liquid starfire as it all fits together and I remember. To heartform in our world was a holy calling, your seedling a gift from paradise, to interfere with it sacrilege that would invite unspeakable retribution, and it made not just the heartformer blessed, but would save the whole world, one day, from a prophecy of doom of what would happen if enough of the population of this weird prison universe made by an insane god can't bring to bear their magic to open the locked-from-the-inside worldgate that right now reaches only the strange poured-stone-and-metal jungle America, to paradise. Our religion worked on this tirelessly. We traveled the globe, making dreamskins in person for the world that hadn't invented VCRs yet, not just to bring the gift of heartforming far and wide, but to show enough of that paradise that people would stop being afraid to pray for it.

--soothing darkness. Someone is touching me, arranging me so I sit right, but not for properness. I have to be comfortable. Then a voice starts, telling the story that will take me there, to look for my special friend--

She implanted from a sacred text about beautiful forest where everything was safe, but even if Genesis is a pretty great Dreamskin it's not her Dreamskin, and it wasn't a trick to sneak past Christianity.

Our relationship was about as secret, and as heretical, as our sex just now obviously was--our younger selves and the handmaiden are gone already, I suddenly realize.

"I was so proud of you," I whisper.


My teeth rattle, but not from fear this time.

"Me too."

--pulling the silken wrapping back from a present to reveal the beauty of a black mirror made from a single slice of polished obsidian with the edges wrapped in pink silk and ribbons. Lyra's smiling demon-child's face appears in it, then letters, and an image of her tail with a lens slides up from the bottom, and my own toddler's voice squeals thank you mommy--

Lyra was a precious gift my family loved proudly at court from the very first moment, and I was a hero for implanting at such a young age. Somehow that's as real as WeeJee isn't your friend.

Is more real.

As for paradise, we had its coordinates for the worldgate, just as precise as you please. They started Outside time, Dreamer and Dreamer and Dreamer...

--Verana drawing a strange occult sign and holding it for us to focus on as we step onto the black stone star-circle with its silver five-pointed star opens like an eye as we quickly step back to the rim to show the pointed top of the other world's strange metal tower that we're supposed to climb down--

And all of that now is about to come crashing down for one stupid pathetic traitor--AAAAAH! My head pounds with rage inexpressible as I remember it, the trap, walking us into a prison because they they they AAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

--the pain of seeing it sit there idle on the pedestal, the Lego Launch & Load Seaport, exactly like the one I remember sitting built and unplayed-with on my dresser in Stamford reminding me of something that saddened me I thought was my passing childhood but understand isn't now, I never played with this one either but that wasn't why I wanted it--

--another set, the Whirl & Wheel Supertruck with its tractor-trailer carrying a chopper, the same thing happened, I thought this for sure would, would, ow GRAAAAH--

We brought things from the other world, through that gate, I Lucy the Strawberry Princess went to Disneyworld and brought back souvenirs, and, and, they couldn't see. Those things could have changed our world, but they just piled them up in a Library for "study", the rigid unimaginative grey-hearted advisors to my mom who wielded more influence than they should have and who were perfectly fine with how the Empire worked medievally.

I brought those Lego sets specifically to get them to imagine what was possible. Surely, even to people so hidebound as to not understand why electric light was cool, the idea of cargo ships big enough to just load four of our greatest merchant ships on their deck with plenty of room in the hold still for the barrels of necromantic goo that powered it all or ingots of the cursed metal that could be made into fireworks that'd level a city and poison the land for generations would make it worth understanding them enough build our own, and show our enemies what real power was. Those things terrified me, but I thought they would spark the cold fireplaces of the advisors' minds. 

Little did I know there was nothing to spark.

I tried again later with the Supertruck, something less dark, maybe they weren't as cold-hearted as I was thinking the first time. What would the power be of the Queen appearing anywhere in our empire in mere hours--or minutes if it was close enough to just fly? Wasn't her beauty like something from the stars?

Still they ignored what was possible. 

I brought the Lego sets purposefully. I could have brought realistic models, but we had modelmakers as good as anything Earth had. What we didn't have, were machines that could make the consistency Legos have. It broke my mind the first time I saw it, that Auto Chassis in the safehouse. How could they be made like that? I showed our best stonecarver, the one who did fine statues for the royal family like the Sugarfeast Fairy here, two simple blocks, and asked her to duplicate them. It took her half a day to make them fit the Lego bricks as well as they fit each other. She could make things beautifully and skillfully with straight lines and perfect curves, but the Lego bricks were precise beyond human sight--I made Lyra measure them with her demon-powers and gaped at the way she had to write the numbers like the court philosopher to be able to say them at all. And these were children's toys. The power to make that would make us invincible, and transform the lives of our subjects, I said.

Deaf ears.

That's not a capital crime, shortsighted as it was, but it's not what I'm angry at. All this is just an explanation a human might comprehend, the gravel at the foot of the space elevator of their thoughtlessness, the blind royal advisors a face to give the monster that trapped us on Earth for the lifetime I refuse to remember.

We've landed as ghosts like Mama described can happen with time-travel, but I can feel it coming, the sense of time going soft so we can affect this place.

Cocksleeve is it in time. Does the crack open soon enough. You can tell this stuff--


Lucy you guys scary and if you're this pissed off I want in on taking a piece out of whatever's biting you! Phasers or knifeblades, what're we fighting this time?

Have you ever heard the phrase 'too stupid to live'?

Yeah and I think we're to find out who is today!

Traitor-guy thought Lyra made me too emotional to control my light properly, and had just tried to assassinate me, and we knew he'd just be the first of many so we left.

My mom ran in fear from it, but I promised I'd be back, and see justice.


Sis she's okay, right? I feel her anger so loud it's blowing out everything.


My blood is fusion plasma pounding through an absolute-zero heart of Bose-Einstein condensate.

I can feel it, the nub of a path I'd follow through what I want to accomplish here like the path through the skies of Venom. Just take the first step and keep blasting:

That thing with Dreamer's rock in the Five Pointed Star is literally true, right? Once the time-crack opens you can get stuff out like that pizza shop my game promised?

Mommy yes they'll be able to it's under the stationery on the writing desk I remember the last time using it perfectly and the tag you want is in the back of the case of it just be sure to also take the silky part and you'll have everything! Sis this black mirror you're seeing this right?

[VIsion: Princess' black mirror with silk around the edges]

Pirate commission accepted you guys!

Boobsqueeze I'm not stopping there! I can use her cargo-holds just as easily in this world! Just tell me the important things!

The box the paddle the--everything--there's a library. Cocksleeve show your sister the way and where the good stuff is if you can remember.

Sis check this out rrraaah!

Got it--you're kidding me. How the fuck--

I don't know either just that my Prin--Mommy needs stuff and this is where to get it and I can't go because I'm helping with other stuff!

My storybook Mommy it will take lots of time should I still ask them to?

Yes. Especially that.

--the inside of a temple to the Sugarfeast Fairy at the altar end, we're facing the wall--

--looking out over the crowd at some-kind of rainbow-themed festival, it's dark and everyone is dressed in black-and-neon rainbow-colorful clothes but it looks more like an Earthling rave which, because, wait is that the overhead four-screens thing of a like an indoor stadium and me and Lyra on it waving which is what we're doing where I'm standing--

Somehow this draws my eyes to a little Lego tour bus at the foot of the Sugarfeast Fairy--

Mommy I'm jumping you listen please that was you and me on Earth after this it wasn't just a bad thing that we left! Earth had a life for us that was wonderful! Can't you see how happy we are on that screen up there? Look how many people there are! That's a bigger empire than this one! Keep remembering, there's so much more to this!


The barbarians here mainly worshiped a sky-god who was brutish and narcissistic and a raging misogynist. Watch him exist and be the same guy, I just know it.

"Boobsqeeze what's hurting you I can feel you hurting just being close to you!"

Mama's physical voice by my ear warms me but it just seems to fan the flames inside me. My whole face shakes, and I can't move. Rage pounds through me but I can't find where or how to turn it.

When I finally find the words, my voice is the frozen void between galaxies:

"They wouldn't see. I showed them so kindly and gently and tried to inspire them and they wouldn't see and they had generations before me of people better at it than we were. They just kept shivering in the dark because something new came to town and it was ever so slightly different than what they'd seen before they had generations to get used to the idea and the blessings of the priestesses and they wouldn't SEE they didn't need to do anything I wasn't saying everyone had to heartform or leave or anything all they had to do was yes let the door open and they couldn't even do that they sat there on the threshold with their thumbs up their asses because they'd rather have this hell than literally heaven! I see I get it we've been trying to teach me the value of nostalgia and familiarity and how much people need that stability so I'll feel for them well FUCK THAT all I've learned is how blind they are to think the Four Dreams can't give them the same comfort they gave me! NO MORE I'M DONE SELLING IT THE PROPHECY'S CALLING ASSHOLES DID YOU THINK IT WAS JUST A TABLOID HOROSCOPE TO SPILL COFFEE ON!?"

"Lucy what--oooh waffle-fried sunday bacon Captain I know why she's saying that."

Yes, people heartformed, and loved to see their Princess play with her seedling when we came to town...but despite that and our sweetness and my silly clowning to make it all seem less scary, despite the things I did like those Lego sets just try to spark people's imaginations at all let alone to the easy heights of the Four Dreams, barbarians and so many of our own people turned away in fear or the disdain the allegedly strong wrap around their cowering.

Enough that the gate would never open.

Which is why there was a prophecy of doom to give those whose only emotion could ever be fear something worse to cower from than a door to a new world you didn't even have to walk through.

I've read it already once, and it seemed like silly gibberish, because it was given in the ploddingly literal English translation of the idiom of its original language, the tongue of the Strawberry Empire.

Trust the Dreams to build into that the map to its fulfillment, and then hide what they were doing from everyone but my rec.arts.startrek.tech-reading ass by passing the text of each monolith through successive software revisions from the pre-TOS era to whatever came after First Contact of the Federation's clinical-sounding, sci-fi-tinted, and idiom-incompetent Universal Translator to get it from Strawberry to English.

Lucy, her eyes open. Lyra, bwaha her legs wide--

"Where's the storybook, cocksleeve."

I think I can remember but I want to be wrong.

"Mommy in Colleen's hand where she fell when she got stabbed by the assassin."

Time to apocalypse: 12'14"

Time to ending: 17'29"

"Crepes! How is the world ending suddenly!?"

"Mommy's ending it. SO AM I MOMMY LET'S BURN THIS PLACE!"

"Because until this moment there was a tiny slight chance I might have had some mercy. Cocksleeve, tell them where. I want my storybook. Mama, I don't know if the Dreams will let you and I don't know if you'll let you and I don't know you should let you and don't waste your time searching but if you should find any assassins you're going to need that gun from the episode where the creepy merchant guy kidnaps Data."

Rraah here you go sis!

"Boobsqueeze I get you and I'll handle this. I have a very interesting way of showing them how upset you are, don't think I'll be nice to them!"

"Give 'em hell as literally as you can, Mama."

I sure wish I could give--Mama.

What's the most poetic revenge I can wreak on this world? How can a whole planet of people regret their wish for an unending feudalist museum piece that never changes no matter what new technology or wonder from beyond the stars touches it?


By giving it to them.

But only the parts they'd be least interested in.

Which is to say, everything that was good about this world.

"All my life on Earth I've dealt with people making the world a hole because they can't imagine the simplest things, live in fear of change, have technology that could remake the world if only they could see past their own stupid noses, brutalize people for not having sex the way their monkey ancestors did if that even happened the way they think. I thought that was one of Earth's biggest problems, but I'd forgotten just how bad it can be."

"A worldgate is a technology that comes with responsibilities, like any new tech. If you make fission reactors, you have to deal with the waste. If you make a worldgate, and have the address of paradise, and you've been there in journey as children, for generations, you as a culture no longer have the luxury of being afraid or needing time to adjust to what that means for you. The people suffering for the lack of the things that world has for them do not have time for your discomfort. The accumulated blood of every wound down to the smallest stubbed toe but MOST OF ALL as far as I'm concerned me and Lyra being trapped on Earth in that world so bad I blacked it out of my own skull is on the hands of every person on this planet since that combination existed who failed to say yes let that door open NOW and I'm calling them to account for it."

"Mama, don't worry, I'm not erasing the Strawberry Dynasty you grew up with."

"I'm creating it."