The start of something new

Everything had been taken care of. There were no more powerful beasts to worry about. The city had been rebuilt and cleaned from radiation, and the citizens of Somewhere had joined the community. many of the citizens of Fiery Creek had decided to stay in the Arc, which Joana had been fine with. Erin and John had finally married, and were now living together. Having confirmed the Council and the previous Mayor dead, Vee was elected the new Mayor of Fiery Creek. The town’s problems were being solved smoothly, thanks to the renewed attitude of the citizens and the host of powerful protectors that worked together.

Diane’s spirit and diaries had revealed the whole truth about the Author, how he had deceived humanity for millennia just to save his fantasy creation, and how Diane had manipulated the whole situation smoothly to destroy the Plan. She had used John’s tunnels to build Somewhere, and had also created a hex that made him conjure Doris into town without him knowing, which had meant that some sectors of his brain had been damaged for him to forget about what he had done. She had also had the people of Somewhere send the horoscopes to guide everyone for her. She also explained everything about Anne’s origins, and called her daughter.

This was a day of celebration, and the whole town had been decorated as such. But those who had made it possible were not in town, not yet. They were in a small oasis, enjoying their time with two spirits who had been central to the whole story.

They a went back to town, hearts warmed, and celebrated with the other citizens. There was Alex Cooney, and Eleanor West, who was talking to Frank. Daniel and Kyle, the two extraterrestrials, had deemed Earth more gay-friendly than their home systems, and had decided to stay. The Kulmala were playing around with their kids, and Jennifer played a couple of games with them too. John and Erin had escaped the celebration to have some privacy. Amanda and Joana were in a corner, speaking calmly, while Mamma, Ba’al and Laurel were louder in the centre of the celebration. Satan, who had lost the presidential elections against his opponent that same week, looked at Ba’al from a table.

Anne looked at them and smiled. Vee arrived with a drink for her.

“Is everything OK?”he asked.

“I’ve found my family and my lover, so I don’t think it could go any better” she smiled.

He sat next to her, and she pulled him towards her, kissing him in the lips.

The celbration lasted for hours.

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The end

They had all gathered in the safe flower garden. It was just a small group: Vee, Mamma Luca, Ba’al, Laurel, Amanda, Joana, Erin, John, Denna, Frank, Jennifer and the Kulmala family. The rest were in the Arc, oblivious of everything that was transcending Reality.

“We need to recover Anne somehow!” Vee insisted.

“That thing is more powerful than any of us!” Mamma said, pointing towards the sky. “Laurel and I could probably hold it for a while, but not long. The rest of you would be small fry for it. If you can save Anne in the window of time that we can give you, then let’s do it, but know fully well what we are going into”.

Vee had tears in his eyes. “Then what? Are we just going to abandon Anne”.

Mamma Luca was also crying. “No… But everyone needs to know!”

“We have no plan whatsoever, we are going to have to go all out” Laurel said.

“We could lure that thing into the Library City” Erin proposed.

“No, that thing is not going to go into the Library City” Amanda said. “It knows better than that”.

“But, if we try…” John insisted.

“No, we would have to take the Library City to It” Amanda said. “And even then, I’m not sure that Erin could destroy it”.

“I’m omnipotent there” Erin said, raising an eyebrow.

“I know, but that thing is something else. It’s transcendental. It was created directly by the Author, and granted special status for the whole Multiverse. We probably cannot beat it even with our maximum power” Amanda explained.

“We need another monster to destroy it” Joana summarized.

“Yes, thank you” Amanda thanked.

“Guys, the clock is ticking. We need to decide quickly” Vee said.

“Ve don’t have enough pover to fight zat kind of zing. Ve vould be in ze way” Liza said.

“Yes, actually, you should be in the Arc” Vee agreed. “Frank, go with them”.

“But I want to record the whole thing!” Frank complained.

“Just go, OK?” John asked.

“OK, but you wear a camera in your head to record the whole thing” Frank asked, handing John a helmet with a camera on top.

They left towards the Arc, and the conversation resumed.

“OK, now what we should do…”

“No, that’s no good. Let’s go with…”

Joana interrupted the discussion. “Guys!” she pointed towards the sky.

Anne was falling at great speed. Ba’al was the first to react. “I’ll get her!” he said, as he flew like a dart towards her.

They followed him through the streets until he got Anne, and when he took to the Caliph’s Palace, they followed him there, too. They gathered inside the Palace, where they hugged Anne, relieved that she was OK. A burst of energy made them go still like rocks. They looked outside the windows, and saw it clearly: the creature had reformed into one.

“God, it’s horrible” Denna said.

“That’s the end of it” Jennifer continued.

“No, it’s not” Amanda was shaking her head. “The battle starts now”.

“What do you mean?” Vee asked.

“I think I’ve managed to understand it… It’s Zero vs ∞ now” Amanda explained.

“That would make sense” Joana said.

Another great power appeared, and jumped towarda the first one. The runes in the walls of the Palace went violet, and a protective barrier appeared around them.

“What is this?” Erin asked.

“The Palace did not have any security measures” Ba’al stated.

“This was Diane’s doing” Anne said.

Ba’al nodded.

“So we let the monsters fight?” Laurel asked.

“I guess” Mamma said, a bit disappointed.

They looked at the energy bursting in every direction, two creatures clawing and attacking each other. Suddenly John noticed something. 

“Is that… yes, it is!” he exclaimed.

“Who is it, John?” Erin asked.

“Zero! It’s Doris!”

“Doris Waters?” Anne asked.

Everyone looled at the fight carefully.

“It is her!”

“Yep, definitely Doris”.

Mamma laughed.

“What’s going on?” Vee asked.

“It all makes sense now! Doris Waters was somehow conjured into town years ago, and has terrorized the Fiery Creek ever since. She was the kind of combination of dangerous and ditzy that did not allow for incredible power” Mamma started to explain.

“Then what happened?” Denna asked.

“In the Apocalypse, she was observed by several people when she was in a state of division and could not collapse back into one. This led to several Dorises with different personalities and powers. Zero was the most dominant one, because zero was the amount of ditziness she had, and so she destroyed the other parts and absorbed all of the power”.

They looked at ythe clashing forces. The space-time continuum was getting ripped everywhere, and the battle was reaching its height. The city had been levelled, the sand of the desert pushed hundreds of kilometers away, and only the bedrock was left was left where there had been dunes.

And then it came. The moment when they destroyed each other into a fulminating ball of energy that was brighter than the sun, visible everywhere in the universe. Both creatures turned into pure energy in a blast that shook the whole Multiverse. 

As the energy dissipated, they saw the molten landscape. It was grim, but it had all ended. A violet spell activated where the Botomless Well had been, and a city emerged from the underground. The citizens of Somewhere saw the light for the first time in over a century.

The end

Anne could see the town from the air. They had sat her in a throne, up in the air, next to them. The toaster and that human-looking thing were both concentrating their magics, Anne could feel it. She was trying not to react, and had, in fact, suppressed her magic energy to a minimum. The being and the toaster did not seem pleased with Anne’s lack of collaboration – Anne did not magically know that the toaster was not pleased, it had charred a couple of pieces of toast to signal its displeasure -, and were thinking about alternatives.

“You need to stay calm” a voice said in her head.

“Diane?” she asked.

“Yes. They are trying to reunite into one, and will try to make you one with them” Diane explained.

“Why? Why me?” Anne wondered.

“Because you were born out of the monstrous being that they formed together” Diane explained, plainly.

“What?” Anne was in disbelief.

Diane explained all of the circumstances of Anne’s birth, including the parts that nobody in Fiery Creek had ever known. “That was the reason why the noise disappeared when you came to town, and the reason that you could harm the toaster. It was because you were part of it”.

“So then…” Anne was in tears, which made the other two even more nervous. “Then, if I am part of Everything… Then the Author is my father… Then I have to let myself be absorbed by them?”

“No” Diane said, sharply. “No, how dare you. You were born because I molded you out of Everything, and even though I did it accidentally and I didn’t know what I was doing very well, you are still like my daughter. You are a beautiful human being, who is capable of love and empathy, and who has gone out of her way to help others. You are not like this monster created by a deranged mind who is incapable of anything really human. It’s just a mass of incredible power that was created as a fantasy of omnipotence of the Author. You are not like that, you are worth of love, and you deserve to live next to those who love you. You are a person that should be proud of herself, Anne, and your origin should not change that in any way”.

Anne was in tears. “Diane… Mom…”

“Anne, look up. Somewhere far into the horizon you can see a small oasis of trees. Please, go there when everything finishes. And now jump out of the chair as soon as you can. You are in danger here”.

Anne tried to compose herself and looked at the two beings, who were looking at her. The ritual was almost complete, and they were thinking about forcing her into it. She could sense it. Before they could do anything, Anne freed herself and jumped.

“I’m out of here” she pronounced, as she went down with incredible speed. She did not have a spell ready, nothing to stop her from crushing into the ground. She closed her eyes, and tried to think about something, but the emotional turmoil that had just appeared with the discovery did not let her concentrate. She noticed two arms holding her.

“Are you OK?” Ba’al had flown to her.

“Yes!” she cried and hugged him.

Surprised by the sudden show of affection, Ba’al smiled, heart warmed. “Let’s go somewhere safe” he said, flapping his wings.

“To the Caliph’s Palace” Anne said.

“OK”.

25

Three people came running towards the remains of the dead Witch. At the same time, Laurel, Mamma and Anne crossed through a portal nearby.

“What’s going on?” Anne asked.

“It’s the final battle” Amanda said, pointing towards the sky.

“Laurel and I could probably handle it” Mamma proposed.

“Who do you think you are!” one of the three people shouted.

They all turned around towards the three who had gone to examine the remains of the Witch that Joana had killed.

“How dare you kill the Black Tortoise of the North?” the woman continued, with rage. She was wearing a white uniform.

A woman with a green suit spoke. “We are envoys of the highest, and you’ve dared, not only to attack, but also to kill one of us. That is disgraceful”.

“In our defense, you can’t prove that we killed her. We just fell over her and she died, but the events may or may not be related” Joana said.

“YOU SINNERS ALL DESERVE TO DIE!” the woman in the white suit shouted.

Laurel walked up to her. “Wow, you need to calm down a bit. Who are you, anyway?”

“I am the White Tiger of the West, follower of the highest, Witch of…”

Laurel looked angry. “Wait, what did you call yourself? White Tiger? That’s my title…” she said, and, in a swift move, beheaded her with her katana. “And that’s a title that you need to earn, bitch” Laurel finished.

The head flew hundreds of metres away, and the body fell down, dead. Mamma approached them too. “Look, I don’t know what you Witches have with us, but it’s not like we are going to let you take over, or something. That highest being is, if I’m correct, the greatest abomination of all time. It is a monster created by the fantasies of a mad Author who does not know how to handle his own emotions, and we had all been manipulated into saving that being”.

“You dare say that? You dare call it monster? You, who killed the High Witch, and didn’t even get tried for it?” the woman in green spoke.

“Is that what it all is about?” Mamma asked.

“Yes”.

“And you plan to follow the highest to the very end?”

“Yes!”

“OK, then you might join the High Witch quicker than you’d expect” Mamma said, producing a blast of energy that destroyed the being. “What about you?” she then asked to the man in blue.

“I…”

He was interrupted by a shot. His head had been crossed by a bullet that nobody had seen. Everyone looked at Joana, whose hand was raised like a gun.

“What?” she asked. “It was going to happen eventually”.

“True” Anne agreed. “Also, that was the serial killer that Vee and I stopped. He probably wanted revenge, or something”.

Everyone nodded.

“It’s all in my youtube channel” Frank said. “Anyway, Joana, I’ve had a question for you for some time now. How come you weren’t featured in the Quantitators’ list if you’re so powerful?”

“You can make your results private if you want to” she explained with a smile.

“Oh” Frank realized. “So you are one of those five people…”

Something held Anne by the neck. She tried to scream, but she couldn’t. The creature started to fly away, and nothing that the rest did stopped it. Anne had been abducted.

24 – B

Amanda sighed as she walked through the corridors of the mothership, handcuffs in both hands and escorted by two guards. Joana and her had been caught by the extremely politically correct aliens, and they had soon been separated by the alien army to be taken to separate destinations. Amanda was taken to a door, which opened to reveal an interrogation room. She was pushed inside, and the door closed behind her. A man of scarlet skin took off her handcuffs and looked at her.

“Please, take a seat”.

“Thank you” Amanda answered, seating in the only chair that was available. Her mind had already started to race with all of the intelligence that she had gathered. She started to plan something. “Just as constructive criticism, considering that you are supposed to be a politically correct civilization, the way I was handled as a prisoner was pretty violent”.

The man raised his eyebrows. “I was pushed around, you know, treated without any dignity. I could understand that it’s a war-like situation and, thus, some rules necessarily need to be relaxed…”

“Yes” he confirmed.

“But if we take into account that in this country I’m a racial minority that gets oppressed pretty often, the way your men handled me was not… very nice” Amanda finished.

The man’s eyes opened wide, and he run out into the corridor. “You two! To the recycling chamber! Right now!” He came back inside, composing himself and making sure that his blue suit was in an impeccable state.

“Thank you for your swift action, but I need to ask. What is a recycling chamber?” Amanda asked, knowing well what it was from the data that she had gathered.

He started to explain the whole thing, almost pedagogically. “It is a chamber where the atoms of those who have not been politically correct enough get recycled. The process consists of…”

“So you apply the death penalty?” Amanda interrupted. “That’s rough!”

He was getting nervous by the moment. “Don’t call it that! It’s recycling!”

“Death penalty” Amanda repeated, crossing her arms and sitting comfortable in the chair.

“DON’T CALL IT THAT!” he shouted, punching the table between them with both hands.

“That was also quite politically incorrect” she said.

He stood back up. “What?”

“You know, the physical intimidation. I mean, I’m a woman, so it could be interpreted as a macho kind of attitude… If only I wasn’t a lonely woman and I was accompanied by a friend that could reassure me…”

He ran outside, and took a few minutes to come back. This time, he was accompanied by Joana, who was looking around in every direction. She went towards Amanda, and had soon been given a chair to sit next to her.

“Are you OK?” Amanda asked, seriously this time.

“Yeah, everything is fine. They have tried to restrain me, and they have failed miserably” Joana smiled.

“Tea?” Amanda asked, summoning a pot of boiling water and two cups.

“Sure, I’d like that one you make with flowers, the one that is super-bitter” Joana asked.

“Oh, that’s a family legacy recipe. Here” she handed in the cup to Joana, and proceeded to prepare her own cup.

“Hrm” the interrogator cleared his throat, trying to signal that he wanted to continue.

“Do you want some, too?” Amanda offered, summoning a third cup.

“No, thank you. I’d like to resume the conversation” he said.

“OK, but let me explain where we are to Joana” Amanda said, right before taking a sip of her own tea. “Ah, it’s perfect. No need of sugar for this one”.

“Is that your new mix?” Joana asked.

“Yes, it is. I perfected it the other day. This one has half as much tea as your particular recipe, and it has several spices, chiefly cinnamon. I also lemon juice to it”.

“Excuse me” the man said.

“OK, OK. So, Joana, this man here is Captain Daniel Regyn, a high level officer of the alien army. He has several hundreds of beings and non beings of all species, races and genders under his charge. His trajectory has been stellar, and his curriculum is impeccable”.

“Yes” he nodded, pleased with the introduction.

“Yet he has a dirty little secret that he has not told anyone” Amanda continued.

“What?” he got extremely nervous hearing those words.

“Oh, this starts to get interesting” Joana pronounced. “What is it?”

“Don’t say a thing!” he shouted.

“Well, apparently Captain Regyn here has a secret lover he has not told anyone about” Amanda said.

His eyes opened as much as they could. “Shut up!”

“Oh, but that’s nothing. Everyone has lovers, what’s so impressive about that?” Joana continued, understanding Amanda’s game.

“Yes, but what if that lover was a man?” Amanda asked.

“Gay marriage is completely legal here” Joana said, dismissing the fact as too mundane.

“Don’t say anymore!” Daniel shouted, his face blushing – which was quite difficult to appreciate in a skin that was completely scarlet, but still, it happened.

Amanda nodded. “That’s true, but it’s not accepted where he comes from, and they just use a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ kind of policy”.

“Oh, that’s too bad. How could a nation so advanced that they have interstellar travel not have accepted gay rights?” Joana asked.

“I know! It did not make any sense to me either!” Amanda agreed.

“I don’t know where you are getting that information from, but please, shut up!” he begged more than ordered now.

“But you haven’t heard the juiciest part yet, Joana” Amanda continued.

“Oh, my! There’s even more!” Joana sounded excited.

“Yes! His lover is one of his subordinates! A relationship that is forbidden in the army!” Amanda concluded.

“NO! DON’T YOU DARE!” Daniel shouted.

Amanda was frozen, and she looked up. “Fuck”.

Joana snapped back to seriousness. “What’s going on?”

“We need to get the fuck out of here!” she shouted.

She barged the door open, and Daniel tried to hold her. “What are you…?”

“If you want to live, get Kyle and run away! Now!” she told him.

Amanda and Joana started to run through the spaceship, trying to find an exit. Eventually, Joana just started to destroy walls in her way out, until they reached the outside layer of the mothership. Amanda looked up and saw it: a toaster on a throne, flying above the spaceship menacingly, getting ready for an attack. Meanwhile, Joana was looking down, and she pointed towards a silhouette in the ground.

“Amanda, quick, is that a witch or a nun?”

“Mmm… Witch” Amanda answered.

“OK, just hold on to me. The landing is going to be rough!”

Amanda held onto Joana’s back, who started to run towards the opening, and just jumped out of the spaceship, in a fall of hundreds of metres. Joana joined her two hands and concentrated. Amanda just prayed. When they were about to fall above the witch, Joana hit her with a powerful hit from her joined hands. The witch’s, who had not seen them coming, broke into several pieces, splattering blood everywhere, and the shockwave threw them flying once more, but at a slower speed this time.

“Man, that was brutal” Frank said, as he recorded the whole thing.

“Thank you” Joana answered.

There was a noise of metal bending, and they all turned towards the mothership, up in the air. It was getting crunched into itself, and it was soon destroyed beyond recognition, killing most of the aliens in the process. Only a throne with a toaster was left in the air.

“It’s a pity that Daniel didn’t make it. Kyle and him made a cute couple” Amanda commented.

A voice came from behind. “Hey, don’t think us dead”.

Daniel had managed to escape in a small ship, and he had a male companion with him. Amanda knew in that instant that it was Kyle. The blue skinned alien greeted them.

“So, what now?” Kyle asked.

Amanda paused a little before answering. “Now it’s the final battle. For the Multiverse”.

24 – A

You had followed Laura García out of the wreck. There had been no survivors – technically there had been you, and also that woman who had been murdered by the Mayor, but well… -, and nobody had gone to the region to check on the wreck, which seemed quite weird to you. Usually, when there was an accident of such epic proportions, there would be an emergency alert, and authorities and volunteers alike would all try to help the victims out of the ship.

“That’s because there is nobody left in this damned island, the Mayor killed all of them” a familiar voice said in your head.

“What?” you asked the voice. “Who is this?”

“This is Diane Vines. I am going to assist you in going back to where you belong, which happens to be your home town, Fiery Creek” the woman answered.

You walked next to some large dump. It smelled like decomposition, and the pile of what might have been tons of meat looked and smelled disgusting. You concentrated on answering to Diane while you covered your nose with a hand.

“Diane, you were the oracle of Fiery Creek, right? So you must know. You must know everything” you managed to think.

“I do. But explaining all of it would need another whole section in a blog, and this is not the time. Laura García is dangerous, and this is a crucial moment” Diane explained.

“What do you mean?”

“The greatest fight between the forces of the Multiverse is happening right now. Alba Luca and Laurel Lewis have destroyed the Author, which means that Everything is going to run free. This ‘accident’ had all been orchestrated by the Author himself to destroy you, because you have been a key factor in destroying his Plan. We can win the fight against It without you, but I’d rather you survived”.

“Why?”

“Because you are the nearest thing I’ve ever had to a daughter” she said.

You were so startled by the revelation that you did not see the rock lying in the path ahead of you, and almost fell to the ground. “What?” you murmured.

The Mayor turned around. “Did you say anything, Farn Black?”

“The fight is coming. You need to focus” Diane said.

“You need to explain everything. Including why the fuck nobody can seem to learn my name properly, it’s not like it’s difficult”.

“I know. She was so close, yet she ruined the whole thing by saying your name” Diane commented.

“Are you talking to someone?” the Mayor asked.

You concentrated on her. “Oh, no sorry. It’s just that this pile looked…” you were out of words.

“It’s great, isn’t it? It’s the corpse of the Kraken King. I killed it myself, and it gave me everything” the Mayor explained, her eyes wide open, like those of a deranged person, or a person with Graves’ disease. “Everything I need“.

You looked at the giant pile and wondered. It looked oddly familiar. “Isn’t this… yes, it must be! It’s the Eldritch abomination!”

“What did you call it?” the Mayor did not seem to like the comment. “No, it’s the Kraken King! It’s my Kraken King, and don’t you dare call it something else!” she sounded bewildered. Her eyes went white.

“What now?” you asked, getting ready for a fight.

Diane was the one to answer. “That was indeed the Eldritch abomination that Alba Luca kicked out of Fiery Creek. It was taken all the way to the Caribbean, where it took hold of the Eldritch abominations and giant squids of the seas, starting the army that the Council faced in their ‘holidays’ in Barbados. Laura tried to destroy this Eldritch abomination, but she absorbed its nucleus instead, obtaining its powers and going completely mad”.

“That’s helpful, but then that means that I have to face the enormous power of an Eldritch abomination all by myself?” you asked.

“Pretty much. Though I’ll be here to support you”.

The Mayor growled as her power started to show violently around her. You summoned your machete, and got a time field spell ready, just in case. Suddenly, the Mayor disappeared from sight. You released the spell, just to find out that she had almost got you. Her hand, which had grown incredible claws, was placed over your chest, almost touching it.

“She is too fast!”

“But you can counter that with the time spells that Ba’al taught you” Diane said.

“But then I would need to have that spell ready at any time!” you complained.

“You can do it, Anne. Concentrate on your enemy”.

You prepared another time spell with one hand, while, with the other, you sent the Mayor flying out of the first time field. She caught an incredible speed, going over Mach speed with a bang. She hit the trees and rocks, and left a huge trail as she blasted against a nearby hill. Laura García woke up, annoyed, but pretty much unharmed.

“Fuck”.

She disappeared from sight again, and you released the time spell. This time, she was still a metre in front of you in the middle of a jump with the intention of crushing you with her powerful fist. You realized that just throwing her around would not do much, so you concentrated on your best asset: using the Mayor’s own explosive power against herself. You prepared yet another time spell, and pierced the Mayor’s arm with the explosive power that she had put in her attack.

As the time field banished and Laura García fell against an opponent that had moved out of the way, her arm shattered in every direction, the bones turning brittle and breaking into millions of molecules. The Mayor screamed, and blood spilled out of her open injury, which she soon forced closed.

She moved quickly, and you stopped time once more. This time, you were surprised to have her in your back, her claws already into the superficial layers of your skin. You moved out of the way, surprised, and blasted her hand with a violent movement of your arm, manipulating her energy outwards. You then pushed her outside of the time field, without even bothering to create a new time spell. She went flying once more, and crushed into an enormous crater this time.

Her forearm bleeding, blood coming out of her mouth and nose, she stood up once more to face you. She was much quicker than you were, and tried to use that to her advantage. But you had already manipulated her energy twice, and knew what she was doing now. You hit her head-on, using her energy and your energy. Your forehead crushed against her nose, and, as it did, her head exploded in a bloody fashion. Her dead body fell to the ground.

“Wow, I didn’t expect anything as bloody as that, and I’m an oracle” Diane said.

You were calming down. “It’s done now” you fell to the ground, tired from the fight.

Mamma Luca and Laurel Lewis appeared through a portal. “That was insane” Laurel said. “Frank would’ve loved to put that in his youtube channel” she said.

“I actually did record it” Mamma said, putting a camera in her pocket.

“What?” if you have seen the whole thing, then why haven’t you helped me?” you asked, outraged and offended.

“We are all spent after having killed the Author” Mamma explained.

“In fact, we can’t even go back to Fiery Creek right now. We’ll have to restore our energies first” Laurel said.

“Well, I guess the people in Fiery Creek can handle whatever is going without us” you said.

23 – C

Mamma Luca and Aren walked to the remains of the Academy, where they had studied over two thousand years ago. Aren sighed.

“Good memories?” Mamma asked.

“Yes” he smiled.

“Memories of the times when we were young” she continued.

He looked at her with tender eyes. “Of course”.

Mamma nodded, and walked around the remains, appearing and disappearing from Aren’s sight, exploring the whole place. “What if I told you that this place was full of lies?”

“You have already told me that, and given me some proof, Alba” he said.

“I know, I know. Now comes the rest. But first, we need to talk about some… stuff. How I came to piece everything together”.

He looked interested. “Is this from your trip after the Ritual?”

“Definitely” she answered, with a serious tone in her voice. “But there were other trips, too”.

He was surprised. “I’d like to hear about those”.

Mamma nodded once more. “Everything has to go in order, though”.

She paused as she got in front of him and looked into his eyes for a second. She then started to circle around him, in circles of a regular radius.

“My beloved Stefano was used as a blood sacrifice, which intended to bring the three sisters for a witch Ritual. By this, Erin’s Library dimension and this dimension would collapse into one for a short period of time, in which she would be omnipotent in this universe, and she would adjust the flow of events to the Plan”.

“That’s all correct” he said.

“Thanks for the confirmation. Now, when I went around the world, trying to find peace, by chance, I happened to meet Aristokles, our master in this same Academy. He had been hiding across time and space, holding onto one of the philosopher’s stones” Mamma retold. “It seemed strange to me that, after they had told us that they would destroy the stones and die with their knowledge of the Plan to protect it, he kept living for centuries”.

“It is strange, true” he conceded.

“Or is it?” Mamma asked, as she stopped in front of Aren.

Aren gave her a weirded look. “What do you mean?”

Mamma resumed her circling. “Well, it is not very difficult to understand. At no point did any of the teachers state that them dying was part of the Plan. That was just something they told us so that we did not look for them and ask for the truth” she explained.

He was taken aback. “But… how? Why?”

“They can tell you themselves” she pronounced, as she cracked her fingers.

Together with the sound, the daylight disappeared and fires illuminated the whole area, a circle with Aren in the centre. Around it there were several old men and women, held by chains in the spot. They all looked up as if Aren and Alba had just appeared there.

“All of you… you were alive all of this time!” Aren cried.

None of them said a word. Mamma spoke from behind Aren. “That’s some pretty bad acting. So cut the crap” she cracked her fingers once more, and they appeared back in the Academy. 

He seemed offended, or angry. “What was that supposed to mean?”

“Laurel found them in her trips through space and time, when she became so powerful in such a short time. She told me about them, and together we understood. They lived because that was their payment, to live eternally in exchange of their services, for setting into motion a Plan designed to protect the creation and the creator. The whole Plan was a lie from the very beginning, a lie which, you, as the Author, created so that you horrific creation was never destroyed!”

His face was pure anger. “So what if it was? The Plan is being corrected right now. Anne Black is going to die in the Caribbean, and you are out here alone, no match against my power!”

“That’s why I’ve brought reinforcements”.

Laurel came out of Mamma’s bag, carrying a katana and turning back to normal size. She slashed through Aren’s body with all of her power, and before he could react, Mamma and her were performing a joint attack. Aren got destroyed.