Sidestepping Across The Multiverse: Part Twelve.

“I still say we end these little 개자식들 and let God sort the rest out,” the words spit from Golden Lad’s mouth like venom. He wanted revenge for decades of misery and it didn’t matter who paid the toll.

“Yeah, about that…” Nemesis paused before responding. “In case you hadn’t noticed from the paradise you’ve been living in, buddy, God’s AWOL. Has been for decades. That’s how The Dark seized control in the first place.”

“Don’t you dare speak their names, you dimension-hopping vagabond!” the high dokkaebi hissed in unison. A containment spell cast by Madame Strange held them in check. For a time, at least.

“They know your true nature, William Nemesis,” the alluring Strange observed in a tone drier than a martini. “These creatures are not to be played with. We must determine how to use them to control Cthulhu… and swiftly.”

“We’ll never tell, Strange One! He is our 개를 공격 to unleash as we see fit!” the slightly larger of the two Korean goblins gleefully bragged, as the Great Old One he referred to grew even more agitated at being referred to as an attack dog.

“All right, this is going to get confusing fast,” Nemesis noted, pointing at the slightly grander devil. “You’re going to be Appa, and your partner-in-crime there is Kimchee. 이해하다?”

The supernatural tricksters looked at one another briefly before answering, once again, in stereo. “We are familiar with the reference… and we agree.”

Tommy “Golden Lad” Preston was less than amused. “Okay, great! Now that we all have cool codenames… can we get on with it?”

“We’ll never surrender!” Kimchee boasted. “And your plans, whatever they may be, will soon be as spoiled as your souls!”

He hated to admit it, but the Lad knew the beast’s words rang true. “The little jerk’s right, reinforcements are sure to be coming through that doorway any minute.”

“No, you son of a mortal sow,” Appa corrected. “We were all that remained of this outpost’s formidable defenses… and now that we have fallen, the prize you seek, such as it is, is surely forfeit!”

“Such as it is…” as they trailed off the words reverberated in the Lad’s consciousness, but his compatriots knew exactly what the goblin meant.

Madame Strange prepared to torture the high dokkaebi into submission – but Nemesis had other plans.

“Let’s face it, the Big Guy isn’t the only pet here, guys. As you said, this world is just an outpost… and one that’s outlived its usefulness at that. You’ve got to be bored out of your horned skulls now that this world’s resistance is all dried up. How’d you like to be free to really eff 똥 up? We’ll let you go scot-free afterwards.”

The imps in question could hardly resist a chance to truly test their mettle against what they perceived as the only truly worthy opponents left: Their current “employers”. And so, they agreed to Nemesis’ terms.

A ball of anxiety formed in Tommy’s stomach, and he began to sweat at the implication behind William’s words about his home dimension – but his fear wasn’t his teammate’s responsibility.

As it turned out, they all had bigger problems to wrestle with.

Who knows what other horrors await our heroes?

An effervescent buzzing vibrated through the massive antechamber from the same hatchway that brought the goblins and Cthulhu into play. In seconds it grew deafening. Hundreds of fairies, each the diameter of a child’s hand and clad in emerald armor that covered all but their protruding teeth and glowing crimson eyes, fluttered their way into view.

(And you know they weren’t there to bestow wishes on our company, right?)

Tommy summed the group’s situation most eloquently.

“Look at these Gravel Agitators with wings! I bet they’re going to start hurling magical pineapples!”

“I barely understood that… but you’re right, Tommy, we’re screwed!” William said as he turned his attention to the goblins. “I thought you said you were the last of this joint’s defenses, fellas?”

“We said formidable defenses. These chicks are irrelevant!” Appa replied, gleefully anticipating the carnage he was certain was about to unfold.

Nemesis telekinetically gathered up whatever pieces of the shattered transport device he could find to form an ad hoc shield, because sure enough, the fairy squadron began lobbing mystical grenades in the form of explosive passion fruit.

“They don’t seem very irrelevant to me!” Tommy hollered as he ducked for cover beneath William’s improvised rampart.

“Yeah, and didn’t you date a few of them back in the day?” Kimchee inquired of his brethren, a query that intrigued Madame Strange.

“Date? How would that wor-” her statement died in her throat as a passion fruit fireball landed beside her immaculate frame, sending her flying.

Tommy, of course, had even more commentary to add. “Great, there goes our powerhouse… she’s gonna get clobbered out there!! The Heart’s still not responding to me… so you’re all we’ve got, man!”

“Not quite,” was all Nemesis had to offer as he glared at Appa and Kimchee.

But the goblins were as rigid as a Kardashian competing on the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

“Come on, you 악마,” William shouted as he hurled anything and everything his mind could snatch at the fairy attack squadron. “Are you MexiCANS or MexiCAN’TS?”

“”That makes no sense, boyo!” the Lad responded as he continued to seek out a port in this paranormal storm.

“I know!” was William’s comeback, though his words were slurred by shrapnel slicing across his face and already tattered costume. “But it’s from one of my favorite films! And Strange’ll be fine, trust me!”

But his new allies (?) remained as stock-still as their stone counterparts in Korean gardens, so Nemesis launched his counter-offensive as best he could.

WHAM-ETH! A piece of plexiglass sliced a fairy’s wings right off, sending it on a collision course with five of its compatriots, their miniature bombs exploding upon impact.

Z-Z-Z-Z-WAP! Thirty fairies were taken out by a twitching, still highly live power line Nemesis telekinetically lifted into their path.  download

CRUNCH-ETH! Fifty pixies found themselves transformed into otherworldly pancakes beneath a sizable chunk of metal.

AIIEEE! One truly unlucky flying soldier found itself drawn and quartered while inadvertently soaring directly into William’s broad TK wave.

Even though she had been knocked into the lands of Morpheus, Madame Strange was protected by a dual-pronged precast spell: A Reflection Hex creates a shield around a certain line (in this case the madame’s unresponsive form), but instead of just preventing unwanted influences from entering, they’re also proactive, reflecting the harmful energy back to where it came from.

TOUCHÉ! Two dozen stubborn fairies paid the price for attempting to bomb their slumbering prey, as their miniscule shells were instantly directed right back at them.

The other half of Strange’s abracadabra, a Combat Protective Charm functions just as the name suggests, exerting reactionary responses which allow the target to transfigure negative energy and use it to fuel various forms of magic.

The murderous sprites’ ranks had been thinned by Nemesis and the snoozing sorceress, but not enough to ensure the band’s survival.

Appa and Kimchee finally sprang to life – sadly, it was only to merrily sing “Da-na-na-na-na-na-na-na… Deadmen! Deadmen! Deadmen! And Dead Witch!”

Until Kimchee found his courage and sense of honor

(as much honor as a goblin is capable of, at least)

at last. “Hey, don’t you think we should listen to the angular one in the leather jacket and jump in here?” he asked his arcane partner-in-magical-mischief.

“Why?” Appa threw the question right back. “Aren’t we having fun watching this show?”

“Sure… but the mojo the curvy one cast has worn off and They’ll assume we’ve turned on Them already since we haven’t helped the Warfairies!”

Appa grumbled like my Uncle Butch’s stomach after my Aunt Marlene’s Nuclear Chili, and he slooowly nodded in agreement with his hobgoblin colleague. Seconds later they jointly cast their scaly arms towards the fracas and summoned bolt after bolt of red lightning that scattered and spread across the chamber.

ZZZZZWAP! The remaining savage airborne fairyfolk were instantaneously exterminated, their enchanted armor tumbled to the marble floor like a mystical hailstorm.

“Took you 작은 바보들 long enough,” Tommy exclaimed, kicking bits of diminutive armor out of his path to Madame Strange. “We were almost blown to bits!”

“Better late than never, Tommy,” Nemesis said, beckoning Appa and Kimchee forward. “One last thing, guys, and you’re free to go… though the real fun’s barely started, so you may want to stick around.”

“What is it now, you 의상을 입은 바보?” Appa inquired, to which Wiliam merely pointed at Cthulhu, still furiously bucking at his mystical restraints.

“Oh yeah… that guy,” the high dokkaebi replied in pitch-perfect stereo.


About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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2 Responses to Sidestepping Across The Multiverse: Part Twelve.

  1. Doug in Sugar Pine says:

    It doesn’t seem like forgetting about Cthulhu could be a very healthy strategy…

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