|FRAGMENTED (part V)|
Episode 5: Die Another Way
Baxter was having problems. Not serious, major problems as he was physically quite normal [loosest term used], but in his mind he was having a war.
He had spent his life running away from just about everything, and now he was in a dull, boring, plain of clouds where nothing seemed to happen. PARADISE. But he couldn't cope with the idea that nothing was trying to eat, claw, burn, stab or eliminate him in some way...
There was also the question scraping its way out.
Not THE question, but important to Baxter.
And those guys... Those four guys in robes were currently in a huddle doing the "Lets-Not-Let-Him-Know-We're-Talking-About-Him-By-Whispering-And-Looking-Back-At-Him-Grinning."
Baxter didn't trust them. They had a nasty habit of giving their personal pro-nouns capital letter when talking about each other.
I wish I wash home, thought Baxter [only a real expert can think with a lisp]. I know where all the good hiding plashesh are...
It was time for the question.
'Er, Holder?' The Holder of History, and apparent leader of the four looked up.
'Erm... I wash wondering... How did it happen?' Holder looked puzzled.
*I'm not following you...*
'Well I preshume that when the ogre took the shwing, I shlipped and knocked my head off the table or shomething becaushe I think I would remember loshing my head...'
*What on Surf are you- Oh! No, no, no... You don't understand... You're not dead, Baxter.*
'But I- I thought- ...Ishn't thish the... Other World?'
'I thought you were godsh!' exclaimed Baxter.
*Gods?! Don't insult Us Baxter, We are Deities,* came a reply with slight anger in the tone. *Gods try to control existence, We create it. We are much bigger than mere gods!! We created this enviroment to give you your idea of paradise so that you would be in a much calmer state considering your-* He tapped the Book *-History.*
*Granted We got the war-men part wrong,* came the jolly voice of Three from behind. *We're all-knowing, not omni-perfect!*
'Sho...' lisped Baxter with reluctance [and difficulty], '...why am I here?'
Holder looked over His shoulder at the other three Deities who were still grinning. *We... require your assistance with this.* He said, clutching the History.
'Got a marker quill?' came the nervous wit of the bandana wearing coward.
*It is not that simple.*
No it never was, was it? Therefore Baxter reacted in the only way he knew how...
After about five minutes, Baxter was brought back in front of the Creators.
*Stop doing that,* sighed Holder.
'Don'tmakemedoit, don'tmakemedoit, don'tmakemedoit! Pleashe!!!' Baxter wailed.
*We haven't told you what We are asking you to do yet-*
'It'sh gonna be shomething deadly and cruel and painful. When people ashk you to do a favour there'sh never anything good in it for you!' [This is universal fact. The revenue services always fail to mention that the impossible to pay back loan results in your legs being broken so you can pay in compensation.] 'And with you being god-- deitiesh, it'll be an inshane number of timesh worshe!!'
*Don't exagerate... We would simply like it if you went back... and delayed Apocalypse...*
Baxter's face went through a series of expressions. Let's just say that Celine Dion's 'music' doesn't have a patch on the outcome of this look.
After gathering himself into a sane state, it wasn't surprising that he was more than confused.
'Delay? Went back? Where am I?'
*It's more like WHEN-T...* said One.
'The future?! Now thish is getting shtupid, thish ish not the future!'
*This is A future, not THE future. The universe is infinite, We have an infinity's worth of worlds to nurture to full lifespans. Combined with the parallel theory and the inclusion of a fourth dimension, Our presence gets a little more difficult and complecated!*
*Your world came to an end prematurely and We're getting you to sort it out.*
'Sho you're shaying that I've got to shtop the world coming to an end? Why can't you do it?' The four Creators were surprised at Baxter's calmness.
*No DELAY Apocalypse. All worlds have to come to an end some day but this one finished far too early...*
*Yeah, We guess Apocalypse forgot to turn his sandtimer...* said Three.
*We couldn't do anything about,* continued One, *because when we wrote the Book, We said that We wouldn't interfere in the world's development, leaving peoples to choose the way they live: good, evil, war, peace, gods, atheists.*
'I thought you were shupposhed to be all-powerful...?'
*You don't think making existence is complete power?*
*You've only got one shot at this,* said Holder. *We had to Create a sort of... temporal loop.
*Time only flows along one line , and We had to make it so that the line is turned to connect itself to a point just before four events, call them fragments or knots, in a country you know as Prospus.
*If these knots are not taken out, everybody will be stuck in a continuous circle where you are constantly being brought from the Shattered Skull, here, and the world will end for eternity, but We will be oblivious to it because, as We embody everything, the rest of the universe will continue without you and as your world rides on the Wave of Expanse, THAT going back and expanding will cause havoc that We, quite literally, do not have the time for!!*
'I don't care.' Baxter said flatly. 'Me not dying ish a good thing!'
*Did We mention that your head will explode, and unnatural deaths mean you feel every possible way of dying within five minutes before reaching Other World??* said Three.
'Ah. B-b-but you ssaid it will repeat! That I will keep coming here!!'
*Yes, and that will happen if you fail. You die, you fail. And each time you'll it because time only flows in one direction,* explained Two, deciding that He needed a line.
*That settled? Good, We'll put you back now.* said Holder.
'What? Ish that it?! You haven't told me what to do!'
*Oh, for Our sa- Okay... We'll send a... representative.* One, Two, and Three slowly backed away. *And We'll put you somewhere... useful...*
'You're gonna put me near the Shtore of Heroesh and Adventurersh, aren't you!' snapped Baxter.
'Well can I at leasht shee theshe naked women?'
*You wouldn't like it. It's just Us, and the sight of men changing to women is enough to put you off people all together.*
*Man was he irritating.* said Three wiping some spittle out of His eye.
Baxter opened his eyes to the sight of a statue of Blasfemme, Goddess of Atheists [why risk it?]. He was back in Citadel, and would have been said to be lying in Hypokrit Street's gutter if the term wasn't used by Citadel's House of Gangsters to describe what they did to their enemies with help from King's Gorge.
Baxter was about to use an ancient cliche until he found a piece of parchment in his hand reading:
IT WASN'T A DREAM.
After seeing it, he chose a more apt phrase known throughout the cosmos.
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