© Copyright 2012 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/mf+; other/mf; bandages; wrap; encase; captives; absorbed; majick; scroll; cons/nc; X
continues from part nine
Part 10: End of Days
Everything had come down to this.
Quinn couldn't quite understand it, but as she ran through the ruins, her boots struggling through the sand, a calm descended over her, as if she was subconsciously aware that it would lead to this. Her whole life, her experiences, everything, had led to this moment. She was fighting to stop a madman from trying to enslave not only one universe, but countless others as well. The fates of countless beings rode on her shoulders... her, a middle-aged dominatrix with a slightly bad back, and a scroll she had no idea how to use.
The calm allowed her to disregard that last fact as she finally reached the base of the pyramid and leapt on. Adrenaline flowing through her veins, she easily scrambled up, and started to climb the massive blocks before her, ignoring the rough stone that tried to cut into her hands and feet, which were protected by her boots and rubber suit.
Down below, she could no longer hear Anubis fighting the others, but she didn't dare look back. She didn't have time to look, didn't have time for anything, other then to climb towards her destiny.
The roar of bandages reminded her that she would have to climb fast.
She had managed to climb halfway up when Targonamey floated even higher off the top of the pyramid. Vikki almost stopped moving, fearing that he would spot her and use whatever spells he had on hand, but she knew there was no time to do even that. She had to keep climbing, no matter what.
But Targonamey had seen her, and though he would take no action to stop her, he had others who would.
The last of his cranes shot down towards Quinn, bandages stretched between its feet. Quinn saw it coming, but there was nowhere for her to run as the creature knocked her down, then leapt onto her back, managing to roll her over again and again as it wrapped her up, like a spider wrapping up it's prey.
Quinn lost her grip on the scroll, which fell from her hands, and bounced down the blocks.
"No!" Quinn shouted, struggling to reach out to it. But the crane had wrapped her arms too tightly, and she was helpless as it applied a final layer, then grabbed hold of Quinn's mummified form, and flew up towards Targonamey. It hovered before him, dangling Quinn like a trophy.
Quinn struggled, kicking, trying to break free of her wrappings.
"How fitting," Targonamey said, not bothering to look back at Quinn. She was beneath him now, barely worthy of notice. "It appears that the storyteller has a most sick sense of humor.. .the very first creation, and the very last creation, together at the end of all things. And even now, at the end, you still do not understand,"
This time Quinn didn't try to argue or reason with him, struggling to escape her wrappings.
"I should have expected a lesser being like yourself to not understand," Targonamey said, and for the first time since Quinn had heard his voice, he sounded... sad.
Targonamey looked up to the heavens, to all the universes before them.
"But no one can understand... no one but myself... I alone fully understand the magnitude of all this."
Quinn kept struggling, refusing to give up.
Targonamey turned, and looked at Quinn. "Do you not understand, Quinn?" he asked. There was no anger in his voice, no hate or displeasure; only sadness and grief. "You are not wanted," Targonamey said. "You are worthless. As am I; as is every single being in all of reality. Our god, our creator, has no more interest in us. We have been cast aside, discarded like garbage in the streets. None of you know this, and in a way, I envy you for it. You don't understand the crushing despair of knowing your creator has abandoned you. Look!" Tagronamey pointed to the universes stretched before them. "Look at them all! Full of life, full of beings who are only playthings, toys for some being we cannot see or even hear. And now they are about to be destroyed, and taken into nothingness, because the storyteller is tired of us, all of us! His children, who are being thrown over his shoulder without even a second glance, left in the mud and the rain. Unloved, unwanted!"
His face contorted in anger.
"I will not go quietly into the nothingness! I will rage against it, even to my dying breath! If our creator doesn't want these worlds, then I will take them, and I will do better then he ever did! I will become a god, and I will never discard my charges, or my rule!"
He leaned in very close.
"None of you understand, and none of you ever will. But I will make you understand! I will force you to learn that we are but toys! And that among us all, only the strongest, the most worthy, will rule and dominate!"
He spun, and spread his arms and staff.
"Do you hear me, great storyteller?!" Targonamey shouted to the heavens. "Do you?! I, Targonamey, your first creation, your first toy, now declare this to you! I will not exist for your sick pleasure anymore! I will no longer be yours to abuse as you will! I will take this realm as my own! And as you leave forever, know that I will dominate the others, take your place, and make them despise you forever more!"
There was no answer, no voice descending from above, no great shining figure of light to answer Targonamey. And for a moment, the man floated, and watched, and waited.
That waiting gave enough time for Quinn to act. Having been unable to free herself, she now turned to more drastic measures. Thus, she opened her mouth, and bit down on the crane's leg as hard as she could. It squawked and spun, loosing its grip, and sending Quinn flying.
She hit the stones and bounced, rolling down the pyramid, each blow knocking the wind out of her. Terrified, screaming, she kept falling, a mummy helpless to stop herself.
Then, as if a hand had come down, she gently came to rest halfway down the pyramid. Stunned, she looked around, unable to believe what had happened. At her speed, she should have gone all the way to the bottom, and possibly broken every bone in her body. Yet, she had stopped.
There was a roar.
Turning, Quinn saw that the bandages had reached the base of the pyramid. And though she couldn't see around the structure, she somehow knew that the bandages from all over the world had reached its base, leaving the pyramid as the sole island amongst an entire planet of white.
The sky roared, the sound of machinery and gears breaking down growing ever louder.
"No!" Targonamey shouted. "You will not rob me of my destiny! Not now!"
Raising his staff, he yelled out in ancient Egyptian, and even from halfway down the pyramid, Quinn could feel the power in his words, as they swept over her.
Glancing up to the sky, Quinn whispered, "I don't know if you can hear me or not, or if you're even real... but I could use your help."
With a thunderous blast, a shaft of bandages shot out from Targonamey's staff, and headed up into the sky, quickly spreading out, and invading each universe, and beginning to mummify it, as the bandages had mummified this one.
"Please," Quinn pleaded, struggling. If there was ever a time for a miracle, this was it.
Turning her head, Quinn saw Vikki climbing up the pyramid, Gromet right behind her, and Anubis behind him, enraged beyond all measure.
"Hang on, we're coming!"
She had only taken another step when bandages shot towards her like a rocket. Only at the last second did she leap aside, just missing them. But the bandages instead found another target, grabbing Gromet. Like Xesex before him, Gromet was yanked towards Targonamey, the bandages wrapping him up faster then the eye could follow. And then, like a tongue yanking a helpless fish into a waiting mouth, Gromet was absorbed into the bandages in Targonamey's robes.
"Gromet!" Quinn shouted. "No!"
The bandages came again, once more aiming for Vikki. Again she managed to dodge, and again the bandages caught unexpected prey, this time grabbing Anubis. The Egyptian god of the dead roared and fought, but even he, a god of old, who had seen so many tales, was helpless before the bandages. And as he had done to so many others, he was mummified, wrapped head to toe in an inescapable cocoon that he could never escape.
Then he too, was sucked into the bandages, and the god of the dead was absorbed.
The distraction brought Vikki only moments, but she used them well, managing to reach Quinn, where she tore and bit at the bandages, fighting to get her arms free. She was almost there when a third batch of bandages shot out, aiming to envelop her.
Vikki could have jumped aside, could have dodged it. But the bandages would have taken Quinn instead. And Vikki couldn't do that. She stayed where she was, and with a final bite, tore away the bandages holding Quinn's arms in place.
"Don't give up," Vikki said, knowing she had only seconds left. "You're our best hope for a happy ending."
Then the bandages grabbed Vikki.
"No!" Quinn screamed.
Vikki was yanked into the air, and towards Targonamey, the bandages quickly enfolding her, covering her rubber body. But like before, Vikki didn't struggle, allowing herself to be taken once more. She had done all she could, and have given Quinn a fighting chance.
And for her, that was enough.
The bandages wrapped over her face, and Vikki, now mummified, was taken into Targonamey's bandages, and absorbed, vanishing from sight.
Quinn, now the only one left, struggled with her own wrappings, tearing her legs free, and tossing the accursed bandages aside. All her allies and friends were gone... all the people on earth, in this universe, were gone.
She was the only one left.
She could have given up, and fallen to the ground in despair. But she wasn't going to. After all this, she wasn't going to let Targonamey win. Not after all this.
The crane swooped down again, new strands of wrappings in its feet, ready to wrap her up once more. But this time, Quinn leapt, and hit the thing in midair. They fell, and Quinn made sure the crane hit first, with her weight coming down. It squawked in surprise as Quinn grabbed a rock and slammed it into the crane's head, knocking it out.
"Stupid bird!" she shouted, grabbing the crane and hurling it off the pyramid, where it bounced all the way to the ground, and was quickly absorbed by the bandages.
As Quinn turned to head back up, she happened to glance down and notice the scroll, which had, amazingly, landed almost next to where she had been stopped from rolling all the way down the pyramid. She took it, and a desperate hope surged through her.
It couldn't have been a coincidence that she had been stopped right where the scroll had come to rest.
The scroll clenched tightly in her fist, Quinn, the last person on earth, climbed up the pyramid for the final time.
The skies were turning white as bandages covered the universes, claiming them one by one, ensnaring countless beings into the mass that Targonamey had created, a web that he would suck into himself, bringing all beings into his own body, where he would keep them, until all the universes had been rearranged according to his will. Only then would all be set free, but as his eternal servants and slaves, save Xesex, Gromet, and Vikki... they would spend the rest of eternity wrapped up and trapped within him, never to escape.
The pyramid shuddered as a jolt of energy shot through it. Stones long still rumbled, then fell, causing part of the pyramid to come crashing down, an avalanche of multi-ton stones raining down to the bandages below. Targonamey paid it no heed. Quinn however, frantically shot to the side as the stones she climbed began to collapse. Only a quick leap allowed her to grab onto stable ground, and continue climbing.
Wheezing, her muscles now pushed to the point of exhaustion, she refused to stop, refused to slow down as she climbed one stone after another, clutching the scroll in her hands, refusing to let go.
Targonamey never saw her coming, too focused on the universe above him, which would shortly become his own universe, forever.
Amidst the roar, amongst the howling of the universe as it started to fracture... Targonamey smiled.
Surprised, Targonamey turned, and saw Quinn's fist coming straight for him, scroll in hand. Her punch knocked him from the air, and he collapsed onto the stones, yelling as he fell down, just barely managing to stop his fall.
"Hurt enough for ya?" Quinn yelled, holding the scroll high.
Enraged, Targonamey shot bandages towards the damn woman, trying to put her down once and for all. She held up the scroll, and even as the bandages wrapped around her body, their power was stopped, and the stream was burned away, leaving Quinn's body wrapped, but still allowing her to move. Then she thrust the scroll towards Targonamey, and the effect was reflected back towards him.
Targonamey saw the bandages coming, and was caught completely off guard as the wrappings shot around him, and quickly turned him into a mummy as quickly and easily as he had mummified countless others.
"No!" he shouted, struggling. "NO!" But he was now like any other man wrapped up - helpless, unable to free himself, left to struggle and squirm from bandages that would not release him.
Quinn relished the sight. Seeing the tyrant become a prisoner was one of the most gratifying things she had ever seen.
Raising the scroll up high, Quinn gripped it tightly, ready to unfurl it. "Your plan ends here," she said, "right now."
"Wait!" Targonamey yelled. "Wait, don't!"
Quinn hesitated, surprised to hear the fear in Targonamey's voice. It was not a fake fear, something Targonamey would conjure up to fool Quinn, for as she held the scroll up high, he recognized it, and he felt terror as he had never felt before. Even being buried alive was a comfort, compared to the power within the scroll.
"If you use that scroll, you'll destroy us all!"
Quinn brought the scroll down, looked at it. "This?"
"That... that is the most powerful of spells," Targonamey said, his voice quivering. "The spell of unmaking. Once unleashed, it will take back all that has been created, and unmake all of reality.. .if you unleash it, you will destroy our universe, and all the universes before you!"
Quinn looked up to the universes before her, and the countless bandages streaming into them... and she looked at the scroll.
"No!" Targonamey shouted, trying to lurch forward, unable to go more then a foot before the bandages stopped him, which amused Quinn, who was glad to see him panicking for once. It meant that, for all his power, he was not invincible.
"What's the matter Targonamey?" she mocked. "You a scardey cat?"
"Please, just put the scroll down," Targonamey said, trying to bargain with her. "If you use that, everything you know, everyone you love, and everything around us all will be destroyed."
The cosmos rumbled, tearing itself apart.
"Doesn't look like we'll be here much longer anyway," Quinn said.
"But I can undo it!" Targonamey said, frantic. "I alone can stop it! Allow me to do so, and everything will be saved! We can all get another chance! A new beginning to our lives, a chance to start anew! I...I...I will even kneel at your feet. Think of it... you, a god, a ruler of everything! Will you really throw that chance away?"
The offer alone was tempting... Quinn, now the one individual in all the universes, had the power to choose life or death, not only for herself, but for everyone. She could allow everything to remain... or unmake it all.
But she remembered everything the others had told her... even Targonamey: their universe, and all the others, was coming to an end. It was doing so even without her making a choice; it was only a matter of time. Xesex had given her the scroll, and told them to use it. He had been right about everything so far, and surely must have known what he was doing. Perhaps Targonamey could hold the destruction at bay, for a little while... perhaps he could save it, and everyone else.
Then again, everything he had done so far showed that he would wait until her back was turned, and then absorb her, and ensure that he alone was ruler of everything.
She couldn't risk that. No mater what she did, the chance remained that Targonamey would enslave everyone to his will. Even if she were to die, she couldn't bear knowing that she had allowed a tyrant to survive.
And deep in her heart... she knew it hadn't been a coincidence that she had been led to the scroll.
Quinn grabbed the scroll once more.
"No," Targonamey said, sweating.
With a quick yank, Quinn opened it.
"NO!" Targonamey screamed, trying with all his might to leap towards Quinn, even though it was useless.
From within the scroll, a brilliant blue light emerged, and shot into the night sky like a torch, turning night into day. It spread, enveloping the sky, spreading into the universes, and into the earth below the pyramid. A great roar was heard, the sound of the cosmos tearing itself apart, as the universes themselves began to fade out.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!" Targonamey screamed.
"Easy," Quinn said. "I've stopped you."
"But I could have saved us all!"
"No," Quinn said, shaking her head. "You never could." There was no fear in her, no uncertainty, no dread at making a terrible mistake. She just knew, somehow, that there was nothing Targonamey could have done, save perhaps delay the end by a little, and leading to the misery of countless beings.
But she had stopped him.
Above them, the sky began to swirl downwards, as the scroll rose above the pyramid, its blue light outshining them all.
Quinn turned to Targonamey, and saw him sobbing. And despite all that he had done, despite the evil he had committed - Quinn felt pity for him.
"It's over," she said calmly.
Below the pyramid, the bandages began to rise.
"You, more then anyone, Targonamey, must understand.. .everything that has a beginning, must come to an end."
The pyramid broke free of its foundations, and rose, as the bandages Targonamey had spread across the planet shot upwards, getting sucked into the scroll, even as the universes above shot down, and into the scroll, faster then Quinn could follow.
The bandages were shooting into the scroll from both directions, and not only the bandages, but the earth as well, bit by bit, piece by piece. And among it all, Quinn floated near the scroll, watching as everything, and everyone, was sucked inside. Beside her, Targonamey was yelling in despair, watching as his entire world came crashing down around him.
But Quinn... she watched in amazement, in awe as everything was sucked into the light. And curiosity overcame her... where did it all go?
And then she too, was being drawn towards the scroll, like a leaf drifting upon a gentle current. She and Targonamey were pulled towards the scroll, as the last universe was sucked in, leaving only their world, which was now being sucked in as well, leaving them as the only living beings left.
Targonamey went first, pulled into the light, yelling in rage and despair, refusing to give in, even at the bitter end. Then his head was sucked in, and he was gone.
The light shone brighter, and Quinn was pulled faster, as if the scroll wanted her before everything else was unmade. But there was no fear, no fear at all. Only curiosity, and a desire to see what was coming next.
Quinn closed her eyes, and with a final pull, she was sucked into the light.
The pyramid came next, and then the rest of the bandages, and the light grew and grew, expanding, holding back the darkness one last time...
And then, with an explosion of energy, the scroll of unmaking was folded in among itself, and both darkness and light ceased to exist.
All sound came to an end, until there was only silence. And then that too, faded away. There was nothing left, nothing at all. No sounds, no light, no darkness, or mass of land or sea.
Everything was gone.
Everything had vanished.
Everything... was over.