Whit's legs went out from under him. He was tired, and he was finally willing to acknowledge it. Unexpectedly, a conveniently placed sofa stopped his slight fall, but he seemed like he didn't notice. He closed his eyes. The music, echoing from the halls, filled his ears. It was slow and soothing- but it had no effect on Whit. To him, it was just sound. The meaning, the feeling to the music was lost on this man, who refused to feel anything but what he wanted to percieve. Still, the sound on its own was enough to help Whit relax.
Rendered unaware of danger, unaware of anything besides himself, he let the weight out of his body and fell asleep.
Whit did not dream. There was nothing on his mind now, nothing for his subconcious to toy with. He was entirely, absolutely certain in himself, and in the luck that would always hold him firm. There was nothing that needed to be thought about. He was going to win.
Whit knew he was going to win now, and the next time, and forever.
Then, a stray thought worked it's way through Whit's mind. A casual, diurnal thought- but one that suddenly drew in his entire conciousness. It was something that others had doubtlessly asked themselves. "Was it me..." the thought echoed. Was it certain that everything he did was his own fate, a thing he grasped for himself, or was it...
"Or was it God?"
Whit's eyes snapped open. A slight bead of sweat trickled down his cheek. Even awake, the question consumed him. Behind his eyes, he could see his own god's grinning face. His blood chilled. Was it the god who allowed him to get as far as he did? Was it the god who gave him his luck, and not himself?
Whit stood. He remembered that the two remaining gods had been playing instraments earlier, and he didn't think they would have stopped now. Whit stared into space. His god's sound was echoing in his head. He memorized it. Even in the cacophony of so many instraments being played at one, Whit could percieve that sound.
With an empty face, Whit stood and began seeking.
Music. Light, soothing, yet not unfamiliar. Even though the boy had never heard the sound before, he knew at once who would be playing. The same kind of music had been played for him during the Hoodoo. But that usic was rough, filled with anger, forcing him to go berserk. It was probably the change in instrument, or perhaps that force was in a changed mood.
Michael watched as Whit fell into his deep sleep. He chose this longer version of his name in order to accept that he was under control of his body. Mike, the madman, was gone. Eda, too, was no longer inside his mind. He had gained what little freedom he could get.
But now it was just him and Whit. If he won, he would go home. Mike's crimes would go unpunished.
That must not be allowed to happen.
He left the room to Whit and began searching for the melody that was ringing through the aqua halls. He didn't know what he would do when he saw the so called "God" But he was tired of fighting. Tired of people dying for their amusement. Zeke had too much to live for, and they had him killed. It wasn't even about the revenge, not even for himself. In a funny way, it was fate. A curse put on him that felt so long ago.
"I hope you die the most ironic death possible."
Michael gave a small chuckle as the thought of dying at the hand of the one who made him in the first place ran through his mind. He wouldn't give WHit the sattisfaction of killing him. His death needed to be more than simple.
He stared casually at the mismatched instrument strewn around the halls. Some gleemed, while other looked like they had sat untouched for hundreds of years. What was their purpose? What sound did they make? Michael's curiousity overcame him when he saw what looked like a violin, only it had electrical sockets and was plugged into an amp. The bow sat next to it, almost invitingly. He thought back to that huge stone area, that screeching sound that bore into his head. He lay his hand against the strings, feeling their thin sharpness.
He shouldered the violin and a vector picked up the bow from his hand. He didn't know what had caused the urge to do this, he simply had someinkling that the instruments were some form of new tool to be used to better the competition. Much like the art round. Somehow, it felt like the vector knew how to play. Perhaps Eda had left some things behind before she was rejected.
And the vector began to play.
It wasn't subtle. It wasn't soothing. It was the same tune from the Hoodoo. And Michael couldn't stop the vector playing soon enough.
For there sat Eda, not the ebbing darkness that had stolen his mind, but the human looking form she had before Mike had shot her.
"Just what," He sputtered, "is going on here? You should be dead, or at least undead."
"I'm not sure I understand," Said Eda methodically, her voice devoid of any emotion, "I feel like I know you. But, I also feel like... You are the reason I exist, if that makes sense. May I know your name, my master?"
Unreal. This entire situation, moreso than anything that had happened in the last few hours, made little sense. Michael stared at the violin, judging what purpose it held. He could associate the violin with Eda, but to summon her, and without a memory...
No. As he stared into her eyes, Michael knew at once what had happened. He had created a new Eda from scratch. The Eda he had experianced would never bow to him. She had had a superiority complex. To call him master was unthinkable.
He had created Eda. A complete copy, save her memory.
"My name is Michael. And you are Eda. I have a question for you, what, if anything, do you remember?"
She seemed to contemplate this for several seconds, her face screwing up in concentration. "I... Have no memory, it seems. All I feel is this deep sadness up until I saw your face. Are you disapointed?"
Michael couldn't stand the mood. He had gone from creation to creator seemingly. He wondered what it would feel like to create an entire world, and stopped once re realized it would probably make him sypothize with the bastard who had put him here and the bitch who organized the battle.
"You are now a doll." He told her, stoking up some kind of emotion in her, but he could not tell what kind. "You will fight by my side for a great purpose. Not as my vassal, but as an equal. There is someone we must kill at all costs, even if it costs my life to do so. It might not even be possible to defeat him, but I won't know until I try. All the lives I took... No, he toyed with me, and many people were killed just so he could create a monster to fight for him. I'm not letting him try again. It ends here. Do you understand?"
"Not a bit" Eda replied instantly. "But if there's a fight to be had, and with someone who apparently cannot be beated, well, I'm up for it." A wild grin began to spread across her face, and her eyes began to shine. "Man, woman, child, monster. I care not for what our opponent is, if it bleeds, it can die. If it can't, I'll just pulverize it until it can't move, and then break it into smaller pieces!"
"And that's all I can ask for." Michael thought about giving her more reason to fight. Just fighting them for fun wasn't enough. Whoever was their god needed to be destroyed without mercy.
"I wonder... I believe if we beat him, you may regain your memory. But he knows us. Our moves. Our strength. But he can't predict us. Our minds have changed to an extent that we are different people than he had originally made us to be. That's not much of an advantage, but it's all we have right now. So, shall we meet our maker?"
"I can't see myself becoming any more ready. But..." She paused for a second, "Perhaps I can be of more use to you if you gave me that violin."
Michael stared once more at the instrument. He had no use for it, and so he tossed it in an arc towards her. She cought it with practised ease, and held it like a mother with a child. She stroked the smooth wood longingly, before shouldering it. Michael passed her the bow, which she took without looking up at him, too engrossed in her new gift.
"It is beautiful, truly it is. I do not deserve such a gift, but I will treasure it as long as I live. Which may or may not be very long indeed." Even with such a depressing phrase, she smiled. "I need a moment, actually"
And with that, she began to play a melody. Not the violent, powerful strokes that the instrument had previously played, but a soothing tune that caused wisps to flow from it's strings. Michael stared behind him, noticing a large framed doorway down the corridor. An odd force seemed to eminate from it's heavy doors. He knew at once that the tune was alerting his God of Eda's existence, or perhaps it already knew. Michael didn't really care. As he turned back, he noticed Eda was wearing a full leather padded armour. He gloves were cut off at the fingers to allow her to guide the bow of the violin better, and rows of small knives were slotted in sheaves woven into the material.
"Interesting." Michael muttered. Eda gave a small smile and looked over her work, pleased.
"Shall we?" She asked, motioning towards the door.
"No time like the present" He replied, and at the side of Eda, he strolled towards the end of everything like it was nothing important.
Last edited by Drakenforge; 08-11-2010 at 02:21 PM.
Things I currently dislike: Life. Why's it got to take so much time away from my precious internetting?
The halls were glowing. Not actually, literally glowing, but they seemed like they were, due to the ridiculously vibrant atomosphere of this godly abode. Its visual splendor was noticed by Whit for about a minute before he completely forgot about it. Like usual, Whit's mind was consumed with a singular desire, only at the moment it wasn't what it usually was, "win," but "find out, without a doubt, the nature of my luck."
A short while ago, he had been entirely pleased with his ability to succeed, even in a multiuniversal deathmatch- his successes were his own, entirely. They were the result of actualizing his fate with his own ability, grasping the ladder that luck had thrown him. His luck.
What was luck, to Whit? In simple terms, it was an universal bias. If the world was a betting table, Whit believed that he had several thousand times as many chips than normal. He had neigh infinite leeway, plenty of room for error, and the ability to turn any game on its head with the right move. With his luck, Whit was barely falible.
Of course, it doesn't sound fair, but Whit didn't care. Luck, also to him, was as organic and natural as a limb. It was a part of every being- his just happened to be absurdly superior. There was nothing wrong with exerting that luck- it was no different from flexing a muscle.
Whit's luck was a part of him, and he was proud of it. It made certain that he was superior to everyone, everything, even the absurdities he had met with in this battle royale. It was his luck that allowed him the edge over all else. That luck was why he could confidently face what appeared to be certain death and easily know that he was superior. Because of his luck, Whit had no doubts about where he stood in the realm of mortality- the very, absolute, untouchable top.
But there was the slightest, most minute, doubt in his mind now. A doubt the aggrivated his very core, twisting all of his confidence. Whit had to know.
Following the music, he found his god.
A deep bass note hung in the air as the pair reached a massive doorway. Several notes were played in succession, definitely the sound of a bass guitar. The amp must have been pretty powerful to create a note that loud.
'So, behind this door is what brought me here. What created me. The god of my world' Michael thought about all the suffering he had endured, the pain he had inflicted, and most of all, the hatred he had of these so called gods.
He took a deep breath, and shouldered the door open.
That's when the music stopped suddenly, like a car that hit a concrete wall. The stillness of the air was unnerving for the few seconds that it took Michael to survey the room. That's when he spotted a cloaked figure sitting on a large amp, bass guitar resting in it's arms. Under the brown cloak's hood he could see two bright red eye's, it's face completely obscured in shadow. Michael felt the rage bubble inside him, and he charged, without a plan or even consideration of the situation. He sprinted across the smooth floor way, instincts screaming to rip the unknown figure to pieces.
He leaped several feet from the amp and brought his body around for a kick, aiming straight for the hooded person's head. It didn't connect. Michael was left tumbling through the air. He glanced back, and saw that his opponent hadn't moved at all. Michael landed on his feet and spun back around. The figure looked the bass over absentmindedly, before slapping his thumb on a string. Michael felt his heart skip a beat, and clutched his chest. His breathing became ragged, and everything in his sight started to wobble. He tried to look back to the mysterious musician, before his field of view was obstructed by the large amp, now hurtling on a course to his head. He brought the vectors in a position he thought to be in front of his face and braced himself as well as he could. The amp connected. Hard. Michael caught glimpses of the world spinning around him, before his body connected with a wall, or what he hoped was a wall. Maybe it was just the floor.
The second collision told him it had indeed been the wall. He opened his eyes again and picked himself off the floor. He wasn't that hurt, most of the impact had been absorbed by the vectors. Eda was still stood at the doorway, watching intently. Michael turned to the figure once more, and saw that it was removing the cloak. He saw spiky red hair and a black gi outfit, the kind that martial artists wore. It was definitely a guy, and he wore a smug grin across his face. Michael stood to the side as the bass guitar spun past, being launched a short second before.
"Nice dodge, for a pathetic excuse of a man"
"Nice throw, for a guy that hides behind others for a living" Michael countered.
The god let out a short laugh, and turned to Eda.
"I heard what you were saying before. That makes me sad," He said with false emotions in his words, "That you, my most beautiful design, would fight the one who gave you existence. I would have kept you by my side, creating worlds and battles. But now I have to kill you both. Screw that insane egomaniac bitch; I have to finish what I started. Look at me" He raised his fist in the air, "Be overwhelmed by my might. I am Drae. I am your Go-"
Michael cut him off by lobbing the broken bass guitar towards his face. Drae caught the debris effortlessly, but he still slid backwards on his feet due to the force. He tutted as he crushed what left of the instrument into rubble. His smirk was still clear on his face, as if combat was some fantastic joke to him.
"I don't care who or what you are. You're the bastard who put me here. You created Mike. You caused too many deaths to happen. I can't just let that go. So, you and me. We end this. One way or another, I'm going to hurt you, even If I have to die to do it"
"In your state you'd die before laying a finger on me"
Michael knew that was at least part true. The near endless combat was had began to wear him out long ago. His ribs still felt like they were stabbing him. Just that little exchange had left him sweating. He was worn out, physically and mentally.
"You understand, I see. Well, let's fix that shall we? I believe 'Romance in Andante' should do nicely."
Drae snapped his fingers, causing a light piano melody to play, seemingly from all directions at once. Michael felt his body begin to tingle, and noticed that he was revitalised. His ribs felt good as new, and his body felt like he had taken a long nap. He flexed his right hand into a fist and back several times. Michael now had an advantage he could manipulate. Music.
"Eda!" He called out. She answered his call by walking to his side of the room. Michael noticed that she had been quiet for some time, but ignored it. "Copy that tune as best you can and keep playing it. I want to be better than my best. I suddenly want to win"
She prepped the violin, and after a few seconds she began to mimic the piano tune note for note. Michael felt the power flow through his body. The vectors seemed to bulge to a larger size, and Michael felt like he could take on an army.
"So, you hyped up sunnovabitch. I'm going to pay you back five fold for every person you created just to die for the sake of creating a monster."
He surged forward, faster than he thought he could run. The distance between him and Drae quickly decreased, until he could reach out the vectors in a double palm strike. Drae caught both of them by their wrists with his bare hands and pulled, swinging them, and Michael, across the room. He rushed after them, barely giving him time to react. Michael leapt backwards to avoid a punch, which Drae followed through with into a combo. Michael blocked, and broke through Drae's defences with a vector chop. Michael had the advantage with the vectors. They could impact as well as slice, and Drae would have a hard time figuring out what he should and shouldn't block.
It was evenly matched for the moment. Simple punches, kicks and blocks. A warm up at best. Michael knew that Drae would have something hidden, he always did. Both solo's went on as the two battled. Eda's smooth violin sometimes pitched higher than the piano, and Michael had to adjust his fighting stance to compensate with the change in the level of power he was being fed.
After a long spar, Eda gave out. She slumped to her knee's, panting. Michael felt the sudden drop in power like he had picked up a bucket of bricks. He spun round to see what had happened to Eda when a spinning kick from Drae smacked him end over end. He righted himself, and made his way over to Eda. She was exhausted; sweat was glistening over her face and neck.
"So, our little game has to come to an end eh? I was beginning to get bored anyway. You thought you get get infinite power for free? You disappoint me brat. I've been losing energy this whole time and you still havn't left a mark on me"
Drae snapped his fingers again, and the piano stopped playing. Michael was back to his normal self, and strangely, it made him feel weak.
"You've been playing with me. Once more you excel at pissing me off. Give me a hundred percent you bastard. Show me!" He screamed, charging once more at Drae, "Show me the power of a god you dickhead!"
Last edited by Drakenforge; 08-11-2010 at 02:21 PM.
Yifan began musing at Whit immediately on entry. It meant nothing to Whit, but he waited to speak with minimal social graces.
"Hmmm... Do you think I get a wish too, if... No, sorry, when you win?" Yifan said lazily. "I kind of want one, which is strange for a god I'm sure, but there are some things even I can't do! Did you know that? Oh well, it doesn't matter. We will be parting ways soon enough. "
Yifan closed his mouth, and tried to strum his instrument a few more times before discarding it. As if talking was the next best thing to do, the god spoke again.
"Really Whit O...donnal, was it? Sorry, I'm actually forgetful, careless. But anyway, Whit- I have to say, I've grown to like you, really. I didn't expect anything, but here you are, about to win it all, right? Right. You know I can see the future? Well, I could. It made things boring, as time made no real difference."
Yifan rocked forward in his chair and grinned at Whit.
"Here though, I am literally trapped in the present, by that nutty woman's power over this dimensional hole. It's a lot of fun, not knowing what happens next! Watching you without any prior knowledge? Spectacular. Heh. I think I might wish to inhibit that foresight, since I've enjoyed not having it so much. Actually I'm almost certain that's what I'll wish for, since before coming here I couldn't see past the point I joined anyway. Thanks to you, my days will be filled with wonder... Heheheh. Well, I've said a lot haven't I? I'm sure you came to say something, so go ahead."
About time, thought Whit.Â*
"Tell me... Honestly... Have you been manipulating my luck?"Â*
Actually, he didn't say that. He was going to,Â*but stopped himself. What good would asking do? No matter what the god said, Whit knew he wouldn't believe him. The god had been nothing but an idle trickster the entire time.Â*
It had even just spun a ridiculous, lackadaisical speech just now. Entirely untrustworthy.Â*
Despicable, idiotic, petty and childish.Â*
There was no proof in just the god's words.Â*
That gods answers would only lead him further from the truth.Â*
Not even his wish could make absolutely sure of the truth- the god could have hid the truth beyond the wish granter's range, somehow. Or changed something, or bent a rule...
Paranoia swirled inside Whit's mind, kicking up his ego and his temper, twisting into a cyclone of absurd decision making. Madness stirred behind his eyes, but did not rise- it cooled and froze into solid concept.Â*
Whit stared blankly back at Yifan, who was slightly bothered by his look. What was wrong?
"No, sorry. I just came on whim. I'll go back to winning now. Sorry I disturbed you..."
Like a ghost, Whit drifted back the way he came.
"Really, what an odd man..."
Michael had thrown caution to the wind with his assault, he was betting his life in following through with his anger. He couldn't help but compare himself to Mike. No, he didn't enjoy the feeling of bloodlust, or the thought of killing. But Mike had enjoyed fighting those who were strong, because it gave him purpose. Michael understood that now. This battle had made even him want to live, just a little bit longer. He was going to use that time and defeat this monster, here and now. He ducked under a jab and kicked out at Drae's legs. He didn't move, and Michael's foot connected. It didn't faze him. He knew, better than Michael, just how weak he really was. He needed to be stronger. He cursed at how his vectors still shone. They were his one shot at winning. He slammed them into Drae's block, forcing him to be sent back a few feet. Michael stood firm, and sighed.
"Eda. Let's see what else we can do. Change reality. Cause my vectors to no longer be bound by truth. That'll be enough. Take five after that."
Eda, panting, rose up off the floor. She had been pushing herself past extreme levels. Michael couldn't pity her. She was another one of Drae's mistakes. Michael planned to finish her after this. It would be merciful. That was the best thing he could do for such a creation. Once again she shouldered the violin, and attempted to figure out how to do what he asked.
"Visualise it. Force yourself to want that to be reality. The music is just a tool for your desires to be created with." Michael didn't know how he knew this. It was just simple guesswork. The vectors had wanted what they saw as their master. They didn't much care for Michael or Drae.
Drae tried to get past Michael to stop Eda, so he stopped him. He kept swing the vectors in random patterns, forcing Drae's to return to his defensive strategy. Then the first note rung out. Michael dropped to his knees, feeling as though his heart had skipped a beat. But then he felt as though a small weight had been lifted off his mind. The vectors were gone. No, they were there. They simply couldn't be manipulated by the documents Gadget had messed with in the first round. Michael grinned. Now he could fight seriously.
Eda feinted onto the floor on the other side of the room. Or perhaps that last excercise had killed her. Either way, Michael didn't have to worry about her getting in the way. Drae could only guess where he would be hit now. He could still be outside the radius of the vectors, but Michael would be out of his.
Drae motioned with his hands to signal a half time break.
"What the hell. What are you up to?"
"Not much. Just, advancing to the next level, is all."
Drae charged forward, right into Michael's face. He reached around behind Michael's back, and swiped his gun. Michael vector punched him in the gut, and drove him back.
"You know a gun won't do much against me."
Drae laughed. "It's not for you, boy." He propped it against his own head, and pulled the trigger, spraying gore across the clean floor. Michael gawped in awe of his suicide. He stared in disbelief that this was how the fight would end. He would get to live. He tured to walk out of the room, to find Whit, when he heard what he very dearly didn't want to hear.
It was laughter. Drae's laughter.
Michael spun round as a piano smashed into his vectors. They still noticed these things faster than he did. It was annoying how they never warned him though. Drae was standing like a puppet on strings, his arms weren't spread eagled though. A thin crimson crust was enveloping him slowly, starting from the bullet hole in his head and working its way down. It reminded Michael of how a volcano looked when the magma runs down the sides. Michael could feel the power from him. It chilled him to the bone. He couldn't move, he was scared. He wanted to yell. It wasn't fair. He had to kill Drae, and if he had succeeded, this would have happened anway.
The crust was beginning to break. Drae's face was the same, but the wound was gone. He also now sprouted a pair of horns, unlike Michaels own, they seemed generic in shape. His chest was now bare, and his back had massive hollow spikes, ending in gaps instead of tips. His arms were armoured like a dragons after his elbows. Red scales and black talons. His legs were similar. He let out a deep chuckle.
"Ah, much better." He examined the state of his body, seeming pleased.
"You wanted to see the power of a god? Well, here it is. Satisfied?"
Michael shook his head, and wiped his face with the back of his hand. What had he gotten himself into now? Just challenge after challenge. But he had survived this long. To die now, would just be pointless. He even chuckled at the thought of it. What would Mike do? Charge forward. Fight. Live. He'd give anything just for the joy of fighting something strong, and revel in victory. Anything huh? He stared at his hand. His left hand. Barely responsive anymore. To think that the power had lasted this long. He thought of the bomb it carried. Yes, Michael had his arm removed as a child. They kept this one on him at all times. If he went rogue, boom. But now he could use it against Drae. In this state, Drae wouldn't remember. He had never payed attention to the fight, or to Michael's existance. He had left it all to Eda. That would be his fatal mistake.
Last edited by Drakenforge; 08-19-2010 at 11:45 AM.
As Whit wandered the halls, his spinning mind briefly touched upon the question: "Why?"
That single question branched out in his consciousness, becoming longer, more complete ideas.
Why did he turn out the way he was?
Why did he come, in the first place?
why was he so confident?
why was he so bored?
Why couldn't he trust his god?
why did he want to wish for something so empty?
Before this game had started, he hadn't even thought of most of those questions, let alone the answers. Even as he had conceptualized them for the first times, he still was unsure at best. But now, the answers were so clear- they were all rooted to a single, simple fact, that had proven itself over and over; he was infallible.
Because he was infallible, He admired no one, for no one was greater than he.
In that way, he grew into a being without influences.
Because he was infallible, he welcomed the challenge, to find out his limits.
He wanted to see, in the scope of everything, where exactly he stood.
Because he was infallible, He feared nothing this game had to offer.
The players had barely injured him, and had not even scratched his poise.
Because he was infallible, his reason to play, for the sake of challenge, had quickly dissipated.
At a certain point, he found himself just waiting to win.
Because he was so, absolutely infallible, he was suspicious that there could have been something else guiding his life.
Even if it were just a little, the very idea of alterations to his own luck made his flesh crawl.
Because he there was no way he could fail, there was nothing else worth wishing for.
Anything else, he could easily exert himself to gain.
Whit's wish was something beyond the reach of his human hands- but the very fact that he could attain the wish meant that he could easily transcend human limits.
Thoroughly answered, the questions inside his mind was annihilated, leaving a perfect mental silence.
WTH? Where is everyone?
Michael charged in, fast and low, throwing as many vector punches as he could. Drae kept a basic defence and blocked every punch, even though he couldn’t see them coming. Each punch just impacted against his arms, seemingly doing no damage whatsoever. Eventually Drae lashed out, grabbing a vector before it had a chance to withdraw. He pulled, starting a tug-of-war with Michael. He fought back by cramming two vectors into the ground and then started pulling. Drae held his ground, pulling with only his left arm. Michael could feel pressure from his skull, and guessed that vectors really did come from his head. He never really wondered about it to figure it out. Realising he was fighting a losing battle; he dropped the grounded vectors and rushed forwards, hoping to take Drae by surprise. He wasn’t even caught off guard. He stepped back and twisted, forcing Michael to lose his step. During that moment, Drae swung the vector in his arms, causing Michael to be flung off of his feet. He was spun around like a carousel in a wide arc around where Drae was spinning. A wave of dizziness assailed him before Drae let him go, tossing Michael through the air until the floor was kind enough to stop his flight. He sprang back to his feet just as Drae connected with a punch to the gut. Michael could only lash out blindly with his vectors, all of them ultimately missing. He tried stepping back but Drae just kept charging in. He changed to a guard, so Drae just hammered him with punches, each strong enough to send a vector out of his way. Michael expected that he could keep replacing them fast enough, but the speed he was getting punched at just kept increasing. Drae was rotating his entire body behind every punch, right down to his feet. The style, even though he hated to admit it, impressed him. Michael’s guard broke, and Drae took the chance to hammer in several punches to both sides of his head. Michael couldn’t comprehend half of them. He felt like he was drifting in and out of consciousness. His knees hit the floor, causing Drae’s punch to fly over his head.
That’s when the screaming started.
Michael didn’t hear it from his ears. It seemed to come from inside his own head.
“You shit face, get up!”
“You make me fucking sick to share the same body with ya!”
“You call that fighting? I bet Gadget could fight better than your sorry ass!”
Michael could feel himself sighing inside and out. He had no idea where he got all that vulgar language from. Maybe it came with the insanity package. Or maybe it was just natural Mike talk.
“You think you can do better?”
“Hah! I could whoop his ass with one hand!”
“What a coincidence, I was thinking of doing just that. I just haven’t gotten the chance yet.”
“That’s because you’re weak! You don’t understand him either! Not like me. Let me kill ‘im. You may be suicidal right now, but I can beat him and live!”
“And then? You’d just keep on killing. I don’t want that, asshole.”
“I’m not the good guy, and neither are you. We win this, I get to fight more strong people. People strong enough to kill me. And in that case, I die happy, against a really strong being. But I can’t stand dying to this prick, and neither can you.”
Michael let out a chuckle. That was some spirit Mike had. He had probably really enjoyed being in this battle, pain and shame included. He had to hand it to him, Mike was a tenacious bastard to his core. Michael really wanted Drae dead, and Mike might just be able to pull it off.
“Alright, you win. It’s your fight now.”
“Damn straight! I’ll beat him before you can say whatever the hell that Japanese bastards name was!”
The transition before Michael could even notice it had started. Now Mike was back in the game. His eyes shot open. He quickly assessed the situation. Drae was throwing a straight to his head. Mike swung his head to the left, and his body to the right, forcing himself to his feet in the process.
Mike could see his last horn shattered on the ground. He didn’t care, he was just happy that he was making Michael feel it all right now. Dumbass, as if Mike was taking the body AND the pain from losing the horn. He had managed to hide the fact he was hurting from it during his brief conversation with Michael, and it had paid off.
He threw a right hook at Drae with both his arm and two vectors. The three layers of attack meant that at least one had to hit. Drae put up his left guard, protecting his body. He blocked Mikes arm and the lower vector, but the upper one slammed into his jaw.
‘My first clean hit! How did you like that you prick?!’
Drae’s head flew back as far as his neck would allow, and Mike gleamed with delight. Seeing that head swivelled round so far meant his punch had really hurt him.
Then why… Why had it felt like there was no impact?
Drae’s head started to turn back. His eyes were full of fierceness. He hadn’t felt it. A trick? It must have been. Mike went to try another assault, but was stopped in his tracks by a punch straight into his solar plexus. Mike was forced to keel over forwards as the air was knocked out of him. He gasped and tried to breath, and Drae connected an uppercut to his chin. He connected a series of following punches, each striking with incredible force. Mike could cocoon all he wanted, Drae just always found a way through his guard. Mike could feel the swelling and bruising. His right eye was going blurry, and his brow was swelling over it, almost blinding him. His legs were shaky, his arms were heavy. He could only lash out with the vectors when Drae was creating small pauses in his attacks, and he always predicted them and guarded.
It didn’t make sense, how was he doing it? To be able to predict the invisible, destroy the unbreakable. He was tearing Mike apart, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it.
He tried to back off, and Drae kept stepping in, always punching, always hitting.
“Quit it, asshole!” Mike yelled while lashing out for the hundredth time. He aimed a swinging vector to Drae’s knees, intent on severing them. Drae stepped back to dodge, and Mike pushed forwards, throwing punches from all directions. He managed to land another punch to the jaw, and again his head twisted back. Mike didn’t wait to see if it had hurt, he’d already noticed the lack of impact on the vector. He landed a second blow to the gut, and felt it connect. When Drae’s head came back, Mike lashed out with an uppercut, and Drae reeled back, yet showing signs no of hurting.
“Yes, yes this is good. You’re improving. Yeah, this is boxing. Whit used to do it, so it’d be a funny thing to beat him at, don’t you agree?”
“You’re training me now? Bullshit, I’m going to kill you if you hadn’t noticed.”
“Ha, if you can, then feel free to. I can last in this body for the better part of a year without food, water or sleep. And you? You’ll collapse in less than a day at this pace.”
Mike hated to admit it to himself, but Drae was probably telling the truth. In endurance he would most likely be able to keep going long after Mike was exhausted. Mike needed an edge, something he could use against a god.
The music. Mike didn’t know the first thing about music, but this entire place was an amplifier for that kind of thing. Mike only needed to start something, or rather, Michael did.
‘Oi, you still conscious?’
‘Barely. The pain only hurts like all hell right now. You hit him, good job.’
‘Whatever, listen. I-‘
‘I’m you, I can hear your thoughts. I’ll get right on making a tune for you. Slow down time right? Just him or the whole world?’
‘The world, and I need to be able to be healed over and over, exhaustion, wounds, all of it.’
‘Yeah, I have no idea how to do this, so don’t get your- God that hurts -hopes up.’
Mike concentrated on Drae again, noticing that his posture had changed. His fists were raised over his mouth, and his legs were stepping around, his body dancing. Mike guessed this was a boxing pose, and copied him. He tried to get the rhythm down, and seemed to easy enough. Drae lunged forward, his leg slamming down, his hips twisting, and his arm extended towards Mike. Mike cheated and blocked it with the vector, but the blow still knocked him back pretty far. Mike guessed that was what happens when a punch has the entire body’s weight behind it. He had just been throwing his arms and vectors around. It was strange that he felt interested in this kind of fight, learning what to do. He wanted to best Whit at something he’d never expect Mike to be able to do. But he was probably seasoned, and Mike was just a kid in comparison. He needed more strength, techniques, and stamina. That was where the music came in. If he could keep revitalizing himself with time slowed down immensely, he could get years of training in. Without rest, that would be impossible, but if he kept getting rejuvenated he wouldn’t have to stop at any point, so his muscles would get incredibly toned by the time he was done. And he expected to last a while. A better part of a year huh? Sounds long enough to get stronger than Whit.
The vectors moved into position behind him. One at a time, they began to slap the floor till a steady beat started to sound.
“Eat it, prick. I’m gonna beat you at this game. I’ll take your year, and then when you’ve stopped being able to fight, I’ll kill ya.”
The air around Mike seemed to get thicker. It was harder to move and even harder to breath. He guessed Michael was sorting out all the molecules or something smart like that. He saw that Drae was slow too, so he charged. Each step seemed to take forever, and Mike wondered if Michael would ever fix the speed. He heard the beat change, and his foot hit the ground. He kicked off; reaching Drae’s chest at a speed that surprised even him. He used his forward foot as a pivot and connected a powerful hook to the body. He could tell that it had hurt Drae, even in his current state his chest and midsection were, unlike his fists and feet, un-armoured. Mike knew that taking hits from Drae hurt like hell since they were un-gloved and covered in scales.
Mike couldn’t complain. If he got used to getting hit by them, then how could Whit’s fists ever compare? It was a painful way to better himself, but he couldn’t change those fists even if he wanted to.
He tried connecting his rhythm into a barrage of punches, but Drae recovered instantly and countered with a right. It smashed into the side of Mike’s head, and he saw stars. He felt like he had lost consciousness for a split second when Michael’s voice pitched in.
‘I’ve stabilized it, somehow. You two are in your own little bubble of suppressed time, or something. If you saw Whit now, he’d probably not even notice you, while you’d see him take a month to move three steps. Maybe, who knows how slow this is going.’
After that remark, Mike kept fighting. He kept thinking to a minimum, if he started to wonder how long he had been fighting for, he’d never stop. Punching, blocking, charging, retreating. Mike steadily built his understanding of how to fight. Countless times his bones broke, his mind shattered as he hit the floor, only to get back up at a hundred percent a second later. He remembered one important fact Michael gave him at some point in the fight.
‘Your bones are more resilient now than when we started. I’ve heard that bones grow back stronger when they break, but with the song playing it seems that not only to they grow back instantly, they keep getting slightly tougher than when they broke. Take your ribs for example. I’ve counted 79 broken ribs since this game began, but lately you’ve managed to withstand the punches that broke them. Don’t ask how I know about the ribs, I’ve had nothing else to do but count your injuries and make sure the beat is working. I may go a little crazy due to boredom soon, just to let you know.’
Hooks, jabs, counters and uppercuts. Dodges, weaves, back steps and blocks. Mike invested hours, days, he guessed even weeks worth of energy into perfecting these. His mind was completely blank, focused solely on the fight. Drae always had the upper hand, and his bones never broke. He kept fighting back no matter what Mike threw at him. But he didn’t care, Drae would falter eventually. Mike just had to keep the pressure on him until he could kill him. Mike was taken completely by surprise when Drae sprinted away, slamming the doors out of his path as he sped down the corridor. Mike gave chase, his mind coming back to him. He wondered what the hell Drae was doing, was he running away? He had nowhere to go, and no reason to flee. Perhaps it was boredom. Perhaps it was madness. Mike just chased at full speed, the vectors continuing to keep the melody going during his run.
Whit strolled seemingly aimlessly through the network of adjoining corridors and rooms, each littered with assortments of alien instruments. A few human designed items popped up, but none of it interested Whit. He searched for Mike, to put an end to this charade once and for all. An end to Mike’s life and Whit would be free of this battle. It would be an easy fight. No matter what move Mike made, Whit would see it coming before it had even been thought of. Untouchable, that was Whit.
The rows after rows of instruments, not a spec of dust on them, still looked unused, perhaps even abandoned. For the home of someone who loves music, it seemed like a dull place.
Whit was getting frustrated. Mike couldn’t have gone far from where they had both started. Sooner or later he’d end up going in circles.
He was thinking of taking a door on the left when something caught his eye. It was chance. Chance was telling him to shoot. Whit’s eyes saw nothing, but he couldn’t resist. It was complete compulsion, so Whit fired his god-gun straight down the corridor.
Mike saw Drae take a right, and thundered around the corner. In front of his face was Whit’s air bubble, totally immobile. His instincts kicked in and he threw his head to the side as if dodging a punch. He managed to avoid it, and could see Whit down the hall. Drae had already passed him without even turning his head. Mike wanted to kill Whit where he was, but that wouldn’t satisfy him. He had to kill Drae first, to prove he was stronger. Then he’d have so much strength that he’d beat Whit down with sheer power. His “chance” of winning will be beaten down to zero in an instant. Mike didn’t care how impossible that would sound. He’d do it anyway. There wouldn’t be an impossible when he killed Drae. And everything will end, and Mike will be free. Free to kill and murder and destroy and mutilate and do all those kinds of things he loved doing.
He’d even take care of Michael. Perhaps sever the part of his brain that he was kept in.
He sprinted past the still body of Whit without much more thought. He’d get his soon enough. Well, soon for him, Mike knew he still had a while to go yet.
He forced himself into autopilot and kept running after Drae, his eyes focused on the back of the god he needed to kill. He managed to figure out why he was running. It was stamina. Mike’s lungs, legs and muscles burned with agony quickly as he ran. Even with the song keeping him fresh, he was running out of fuel quickly every time. He was building up Mike’s stamina. Why? Mike wanted to know why Drae was doing all this. Every time he punched he could kill Mike, in fact, Mike knew Drae probably had other powers that could kill him instantly. But why was he building up Mike’s strength just in case he survived the fight with Drae. It didn’t make sense. Not a bit. But Mike was used to that by now. Sense just never seemed to exist when Mike was around.
It was peaceful for a time in the halls of the conservatory. No punches were thrown, no bullets were shot. Just a lot of running happened. Mike was sure Michael had lost every shred of sanity he had by now. He couldn’t remember the last time he spoke. Mike himself felt crazier than usual. He was definitely more restless. He kept murmuring death threats about Drae to himself. Every now and then he regained his mind long enough to recognise how long it was taking for his body to get tired. His legs and body had bulked up. Mike could also see the difference in his real arm. Mike hoped that Drae never noticed the difference and made the connection about his left. It was his trump card. Sure, he had no idea how he was going to use it effectively, but he would wait until the opportunity arose to use it. He was really sick of waiting.
Drae took a right into a large room, and Mike followed the same as he had done for so long. It took him a few second to realise that Drae was gone. He stopped, and his mind flooded back into a recognisable state. He scanned to room and saw that Drae had just hid behind the wall next to the door. The room was the same one they had started in, and Eda was still collapsed against a wall. Mike stared Drae in the eyes. He couldn’t bring himself to speak. He just wanted to use his fists to kill him.
So he started fighting again. Countless times he battered into Drae. He threw hundreds, even thousands of punches. Drae’s guard couldn’t stop him anymore. His reversals still hurt like hell, but they couldn’t stop him anymore.
It happened suddenly. Drae’s knees buckled and hit the floor, causing Mike’s punch to hit the air above his head. Mike saw the scales on Drae’s arms start to shake and fall off. It made him realize that time must have ran out for him. It was time to kill him. He took one more fix from the music before letting time flow normally again.
“This is the part where you die right? I don’t have to wait anymore, right?!”
“Actually, this is the part where I test your skill for survival. I was only wasting time with this form. If I kill you, I’ll get myself killed by that Composer. She hates this kind of thing. On the other hand, you’ll kill me if I give you the chance. So I’m betting my life on this little thing.”
Drae held his hand upwards, and a small, brightly lit red orb appeared on his palm. It seemed to buzz with energy, and Mike could feel warmth emanating from it. Was that it? One small orb was the end of the fight? Mike smirked, but Drae’s expression didn’t change. He held the orb above his head, his arm stretched to the limit. Mike has a sudden bad feeling about it was.
His feeling proved true when the orb grew explosively, larger than any person would ever be, it was at least six feet across. Drae had an expression of pure glee, and Mike knew why. Any normal person would deem it impossible to be able to take on something as destructive as that orb and survive. But Mike wasn’t normal, he was barely even sane. He took several steps back, and braced his legs. He wasn’t taking it on alone. He’d need the vectors. Not only that, but he had a plan for once.
Drae began to laugh, before launching the ball of death towards Mike. It flew an inch off the floor, completely destroying a path in its wake. Mike braced the vectors for the impact, not all in the same place as he usually did, but placing three vectors at different points to take the impact. It slammed into the hands that were placed in front of it, and Mike felt the hairs on his skin burn from the heat. The stinging sensation hurt like hell, and already Mike was sweating profusely. He could barely keep the ball at bay; he was slowly being pushed back, even with his toned legs. He needed to act fast. One vector was up top while the two others were at positions creating a triangle. Then they twisted, forming a whirl in the centre. As the twisting continued and caused tension to build up, the fourth vector plunged into the whirl and grabbed the energy in its palm and ripped out a small palm sized orb. Satisfied, Mike put on another burst of tension, before tipping his body backwards. The ball shunted forwards, but Mike pushed away with the vectors and let all the tension go. The resounding release bounced the ball upwards towards the ceiling. It totally obliterated it, yet it seemed to hit a force beyond the ceiling itself. It slowed, and seemed to compress till it was totally oval shaped. Suddenly, it burst through, leaving a black hole in the ceiling. Mike focused on Drae, whose eyes were drawn to the hole. He wasn’t concentrating on anything else. He had the look of awe on his face. Mike guessed that there was something really strange about what was beyond the ceiling. In fact, since this place belonged to the bitch that organised the battle, there was most definitely something up there mortal eyes shouldn’t see.
It was all the chance Mike needed. He closed the gap between himself and Drae before he recovered. Mike was within breathing distance when Drae’s eyes finally managed to lower. Without a moment’s hesitation, Mike plunged the red orb into Drae’s right section of ribs. The skin just bubbled away, but when the orb hit the bones it exploded. The heat singed Mike’s face and forced him to cover his eyes. The vectors managed to deflect the rest of the blast away. When Mike could finally reopen his eyes, he was actually shocked at how much damage he had inflicted. Drae’s right arm and half of his chest had been blown away. Organs spewed blood and bile from the mess of flesh that remained. That was the chance Mike needed. He could even see Drae’s heart beating inside his chest. This one chance was too much for Mike to pass up. He used the vectors to grab Drae’s limbs, and the fourth to grab his head.
”Y-ou ba-bastard…won’t… k-kill me tha- that easily”
“I wasn’t planning on it. I’ve been waiting, you know. You made me wait an entire fucking year for this, so it ain’t going to be some lame ass attack you messed up that kills you. Oh no, I’m going to kill you with my own hand,” Mike raised his left arm in front of Drae, “This hand, to be precise.”
He plunged it into Drae’s chest and grabbed hold of his beating heart. He felt each pulse it gave out, knowing they would be Drae’s last.
“Tell me, do you remember my life in that facility? I was a quiet boy, even with the torture I received. That was back when that other personality existed. Back before insanity gave way to me. Do you remember when I was ten? A certain accident happened when you introduced me to him. Oh yes, I see you remember now.”
Drae’s eyes seem to fill with dread. He looked down at Mike’s arm. Mike’s left arm, so much smaller compared to how his right had grown in the last year. The artificial arm that replaced the one that had been ripped off years ago. The arm that the scientists had put a bomb into, in case they needed him dead.
"Oh... R-right. Your... arm g-got ripped off... by your Tw... Twin bro. Yes, I forgot... about that." He was huh-human, yet had… the st-strength of…of y-your vect…ors. And…. evil too, y-yeah. His eyes eve-… even cr-creeped me… out. Sh-shit. T-that thing is r-rigged to… to blow. Aw…man th-this… sucks.”
It was true. Just sat in a room with some guy he was told was his twin. Tried to get acquainted with someone who was in the same situation he was in. And then he saw those eyes. The eyes of a hawk. Next thing he knew his left arm was halfway across the room and he was losing blood.
His mind back to the present, Mike pulled on his arm until something clicked, setting off the auto self-destruct sequence that was put in place in case he did such a thing. He guessed the scientists had thought that Mike would believe his vectors would be enough to save him and upped the explosives, so he was sure this was going to hurt him just a bit.
He collapsed his knees, causing his body to tip backwards as the arm detonated with Drae’s heart still in its grasp. Hot shrapnel sprayed into Mike’s face, and he felt the force of the blast in his gut. He felt his back hit solid flooring as bits of Drae splattered around in wide radius. Mike gingerly touched his face with his hand. There wasn’t much blood, so Mike guessed there hadn’t been that much shrapnel to hit him. Just the odd ounce of metal. He glanced at Drae’s corpse. The head and neck were still connected to the left arm, and the waist and legs had fell over a small distance away. As Mike picked himself up, cheered up by a job he decided was more than well done, he heard Drae speak.
”Don’t suppose you’d like to wish for a new arm? Supposed to have given you one but I forgot, and I thought I’d at least make a suggestion now that I have remembered.”
Mike was too tired mentally to question what he had just been asked, or how Drae was even speaking. He wanted to celebrate for a bit and go kill Whit, go home, loot some food and drink, murder a city of people, and take it easy for a month or two.
He silently nodded, and felt something snap into the place of his left shoulder. An arm identical to his right was there. He turned to see Drae’s remains turning into… something small and kinda glowing.
”Oh, one last thing. You won’t exist for more than, say five minutes. Have fun!”
Mike knew it would be impossible for him to hate Drae or anything he had said or done. It seemed like pissing him off was just something that had to be done at every turn. But now he was dead. Dead. Damn dead! Mike felt pretty pumped.
He knew he had to win now, with how great he was feeling. He tested out his new arm, which was easier than he would have thought. Everything connected, and while different with the arm he had been using for seven years, he wouldn’t have forgotten how to use a flesh and blood one. And it was stronger than his false one too. He could actually get a good punch out of it! Oh, how Mike couldn’t wait to see Whit.
He stepped out of the door and headed to where Whit had been last. He turned the corner and stood face to face with the man he was looking for.
His first instincts pushed away the gun that was instantly pushed into him, the vectors ripped into Whit’s clothes and took all the guns they could find. Before Whit could pull the trigger of his God-gun, it was torn off of his wrist and flung away with all the other guns.
“So Whit time to die huh.”
Mike could see Whit was taken completely off guard, which was really unnatural for him. Regardless, Mike put up his guard and started throwing jabs. Whit had good instinct, even if he was surprised, and managed to get out of Mike’s punching range.
Mike charged in, and connected a punch to Whit’s liver. His face contorted with pain, and Mike was actually taken off guard with how it had worked. Whit was hit. And even better, Whit was hurt. Mike had no idea what the hell was up with his luck all of a sudden, but he was glad that Whit was getting a beating long overdue. He hammered away at his body and face, not letting Whit have time to rest. A counter smashed into Mike’s face, but it wasn’t enough to stop him. He punched and punched and knew he couldn’t stop even if we wanted to. He wasn’t even using his vectors because of how much enjoyment he was getting from it. He was getting punch-drunk from the excitement. He saw Whit’s head loll about, and knew he could KO him with just one more punch. He slammed his heel down, swung his hips and stopped suddenly. His foot… His foot hadn’t slammed at all. He looked down, and there was nothing. There was no foot connected to his leg. In fact, his leg was starting to disappear.
“Oh fuck no. Not now! I was winning! NO! FUCK YOU!”
Mike struggled to move his body. Just one punch more and he’d win! But he could see Whit had regained his composure. A busted lip and a swollen eye were visible on his face, but he could see that he was conscious from his eye. He managed to sway his body and start walking towards his guns. Mike breathed a remorseful sigh. So that’s how it is, huh. Kill the guy that created you and you cease to exist. Fucking hell, that was just the kind of thing that would happen to him.
“Don’t bother. I’m screwed as it is. Shoot me an’ I’ll just block it anyway.”
Whit looked back at Mike as if he didn’t care, and picked up his guns off the floor.
“So I guess I don’t exist anymore. I killed the guy that created me. Guess that means luck didn’t recognise me? Heh. It serves you right, that beating. Stop trusting that shit man.”
Mike couldn’t feel his pulse anymore. His heart was gone. His arms didn’t respond. Hell they didn’t exist anymore. Mike was going to end. Just like that it was going to be over. The thought would have made him shudder if he could. But one fact popped into his mind, and he grinned as his neck phased away.
“Oh and Whit, I’m not dying by your hand. In fact, no contestant did. You didn’t kill them, nor did luck. You didn’t survive due to luck, I killed three, Cobra got offed in an accident, Zeke killed Itzal and I’m sure as hell you didn’t manage to kill Zeke. Whit, fuck you and fuck your luck straight to hell. I’ll see you the-“
The Composer had watched the losing contestant leave the room. She wasn’t happy with how this side of the battle had gone and was just glad to see the end of it. Having to embarrassingly skip that little time stunt Mike had pulled, she wasn’t in a great mood. But she knew there was just one small detail that needed to be taken care of. One last continuity that had been ignored, yet still managed to piss her off. Eda stirred, finally waking. As she tried to stand, The Composer grabbed her head and slammed it violently against the wall with a sickening crack. As Eda’s skull split open and the blood spilled onto the wall, the creator of the battle smirked as a weight was lifted from her mind. No more creators making a mockery, no more annoying contestant, just the victor to congratulate.
The blood on the Composer's fingers dissolved into mist, a lone crystal tone piercing the final silence of the Conservatory.
Now it was just the champion, a god, and a Grandmaster. She loomed over the other two, a light, soulful breeze playing around them.
"Congratulations, to you and Yifan." Whit stared impassively up at the Composer, wondering how much of this anarchy she'd orchestrated beforehand, and how much fell even outside her control. "You do understand what comes next, yes?"
Whit was silent. The Composer seemed to be deliberating for a moment whether he did understand, then thought it best to fill him in anyway.
"Across the multiverse are seven other battles like this one, each of their victors sworn into one final struggle. As the winner of the Battle Royale, you will join the ranks of these champions."
She'd hinted at this earlier, and to Whit it barely registered. His dealings with gods made him resigned to the fact that arguing would be pointless, anyway.
"I can ensure it will be a convenient enough time. However, I warn you: Prepare yourself. Your foes in All-Stars will be formidable, and I expect no less than victory from my Champion."
The man nodded, at this point more interested in a way out of wherever here was. The Composer smirked a little. "Yifan, escort our champion to his home."
"Congratulations, Whit! Your continuous success is a surprise to me. Do let it continue."
Yifan smirked as he spoke, turning his back to lead Whit away.
Whit gulped at the words, and bit his tongue. He was afraid, obviously, of beings of a greater plane of existence- their mere presence offended his mortality- but this was a chance. The perfect chance was dangling in front of him, and all he had to do was grasp it.
"Wait. Don't I get a reward, a wish or something of the sort?"
The Composer smiled thinly, as if she knew what came next.
"Really, did I say that? In words? Or was it something you just decided, all on your own?"
Whit flinched, wracking his memories, thinking back to the beginning, the beginning of this nonsense- but he stopped himself before his mind drifted away too far. Whether or not it was true in the past did not matter- everything leaned on the Composer's current whim. But whim can not be controlled, nor manipulated by any outside force. It is entirely free of any binds.
In other words, this too was just luck.
"Hmmm... alright, I suppose the small asking of a man would be of no dire consequence." The Composer smile grew a little wider. "Tell me then, what are you so set upon?"
Whit shuddered in anticipation. This was it-! Slowly, he pointed his finger at the being he accepted as his god, and spoke the absurd notion his mind had cultured.
"Wait, what? That's... what? Why? what kind of purpose, what kind of meaning, really- Hurk!"
The Composer acted immediately, as if she were waiting to do something like this. With a turn of her finger, a strange chord spun through space, physically twisting Yifan's center. Desperately, he grasped the twisting space, attempting to bend it back, but only managing to slow the process.
"Sorry, Yifan. Even though you won this little game, fate appears to be against you! You won't be able stop this, not while you're in my domain. Won't you die with a little more grace?"
Grimacing, Yifan forced himself to smile.
"Well, I wonder what kind of afterlife-"
"You will not be getting one of those, I'm afraid. Your player's wish was very precisely worded, you know."
"Oh, that's... just... too... GRAHHH! Tell me, you little, infinitesmal...Whit O'donal! You get any wish, and what is it? Destroying something that hardly affects you! What's so direly wrong with you!?"
Yifan was spitting words now, ejecting pure energy with every word.
Whit held his calm, and began laying out his mindset before the dying god.
"Frankly, I've been feeling as if something was off the entire game. From the start, luck has been on my side- it always has, it always will be, because it's my luck. In this game, I should have, and was always challenged! I've bled everywhere, I've struggled like a worm, and I survived each encounter! and I WON IT ALL! I think I earned that much! I earned the right to my victory, right? I've earned it all, ME!"
He was spewing words now, breathlessly, saying more words than he thought. Accelerating now, he raised his hands above his head.
"Xeno, Grimm, Kobra, Gadget, Itzal, Zeke, Mike! I remember all of the names of the players at this table, and I confirmed that I was better than all of them! Even thought Mike struggled wildly, impossibly, incomprehensibly, I saw exactly where he could go no further, where his limit lay! My effort, my desire, my fate simply outweighed his! And, above that limit, I still, still cannot see my own! It isn't there! I was so certain that I had to find the limitation to my existence, a boundary I couldn't surpass, and yet I found that it didn't exist! I can't fail! No matter how bloody my face was, no matter how much it hurt, it didn't matter! As long as I desperately reached out, I knew it would turn out in my favor! And it always did! I-"
"Shut up, for the love of... well, me. I don't get it. I'm your god, and I don't get it. Something must be broken in there."
Yifan interrupted weakly, but with more composure. he still gripped the twist, but his face hardly twitched.
"...Yes, you wouldn't get it, the same way I can't understand your existence. But, I'll try to say anyway. Winning, stepping over the limits of those below me- it's the definition of my existence. I need it to be mine, always. That's why, that's WHY, my luck has to be my own! It supplements my effort, enhances my certainty! Nothing that occurs can be of something greater's design! I won't accept that my existence, the fact that I won here, is nothing but a way to pass the time for something on another plane. "
Whit toyed with the godgun in his off hand, the subject, the trigger to his obsession.
"This thing... it's yours. I owe it a lot- I can't imagine how things would have gone without it- but it's your toy. And my eyes. I thought I earned that power, but it isn't something I took- it was something given, by you. And I won't accept you."
Whit let his hand drop down from above his head, and slowly pointed at Yifan.
"...That's nonsense. Are you saying you're killing me, just because you want to be a stringless puppet? That I need to die for you to confirm your existence? That's ridiculous. Because I gave you a couple of toys, to make things "fair"... Oh, is it your luck again? I had nothing to do with that, but oh! Technically, if I just pretend to understand where you are coming from- I still made you, AND your "luck-" nothing can change that fact."
Yifan let go of the twist, accepting his fate or just deciding that he didn't need to listen to this drivel.
"...That's true. However, I'm ending you here. That means, this is where your limit is- this is as far as your existence can stretch. And, it's me who did it. The means don't matter- in the end, it was I who crushed you. That means I stand above your existence, that I take precedence over everything you are and have done!
Whit's voice rose to it's limit- he was practically screaming now, as if being louder would make what he was saying more correct.
"To create me, something superior to you, was the only reason for your existence! Everything you've done, everything in your world was made for ME!"
Silence. There wasn't anything to be said to refute Whit's logic, which bent in every direction until it formed a paragon, an untouchable loop of logic.
Still, Yifan was dying, and he wasn't going out without the last word.
"I will not change my mind- you are delusional and insane. You throw the word luck around like a crutch, to alter your undeserved success into something you've earned. Alright, have it your way. You've earned whatever it is you seek through your twisted "hard work." I'll accept it, and I'll be taking my leave. This is where we part, O superior being. Where ever you go, whatever you do, in the future I wish you... Luck."
'Luck' seemed to ring when he said it, seemed to hold an odd power, a certain...certainty to it as Yifan existence twisted into nothing.
Before Whit could try to understood what it meant, or celebrate his victory, he too was removed from the world. The last thing he saw was a woman, holding back her giggling.
An instant later, he was on a familiar street. Crowds bustling back and forth. A blue sky above. Whit forgot his worries and smiled, not because the world was pleasant, but because the world was his. He looked down on himself. It had been a while since he had really looked, but his clothes were tattered and pathetic looking, contrasting with his happy mood. It didn't matter, he'd just make some money quickly... It would be simple. He could do anything, really. With that, a new inclination struck him- he'd rule this world, every little piece of it! He'd grasp every chance that dangled by, and his effort would be rewarded, thousandfold. Everything in this world was just waiting for him to reach out-
A small scrap of paper landed on his cheek. Whit shook his head, but it held fast. Peeling it off, he examined it- it was a lottery ticket. Puzzled, he looked around, to see where it came from, only to have another paper fly towards him. This time, he caught it- part of a news paper, with the words "LOTTERY NUMBERS ANNOUNCED" boldly stretched over the top. A chill went up Whit's back. He already knew he had won. A bubbling feeling rose from his chest.
"HAHAHAHA! That's perfect, just perfect! This is how it should be, as the existence that ate it's god! Wish me luck? I will take it, I'll take everything! It's mine after all! I don't even need to try, everything will fall in my favor, right at my feet!"
He laughed harder now, laughing at the sky. That luck Yifan wished him was incredibly apparent- nothing subtle like he had already had. Through his eyes, Whit could see chance everywhere-It wasn't in pieces like before, it was an entire layer over his sight.
"This is great, this is wonderful..."
Whit gaze dropped down, down to the papers he held. Although he barely held them, they seemed stuck to him, as if they knew he owned them. That was how it was going to be- every little whim of his would be immediately answered. The world was a servant, waiting for his bidding. He didn't even need to lift a pinky. Effort, for him, was obselete.
He stopped smiling.
"...This is going to be very boring."