12: Finite Infinities

 

Up beyond the sky, in that troublesome and oh so… fucking…fantastical realm known to most mortals as the heavens there were twelve clans of gods. They fought warred and loved and created as gods did, each clan ruling of an age. With the span of each of these twelve ages being around twelve hundred million years in length.

Constant battles wore these twelve sides down, leading to the formation of two factions, each made up of six tribes and their allies and followers from the other ends of the cosmos.

These two factions would war against each other rising and falling from supremacy in turns. With each epoch of rule lasting roughly one hundred and forty-four billion years.

Eventually a ruler, a Godking whose name is….unimportant at the present time… would arise and he would take a bride from the most powerful of these factions. A young goddess of nature, love and life.

Naturally even the gods were not immune to the kinds of royal intrigue that plagued mortal monarchies.


A second bride would have to be taken from the second faction to keep the peace. A slighter older goddess whose dominion was the arts and the sciences.

This and that would happen and like from some dime store novel or old world fairy tale, the lesser queen would be found to be a shrewish, jealous evil witch.


Eventually things would come to a head and she’d be executed the scattered pieces of her soul consigned to a place of shadows and lamentation.

The divine queen and king would rule happily for some time and the worlds they ruled over would know peace.

Until suddenly it didn’t. Until suddenly a haunting plague that turned flesh into plastic and ceramic and bones into metal started their worlds. Until sinister creatures that ticked and tocked as they looped over the ground and flapped up into the air appeared. Laying waste to the worlds below and then finding their way into the heavens.

Again the usual divine epicness would take place and the gods would find that *gasp* all this was the final vengeance of the long deposed jealous.


The gods and their other divine neighbors would wage war on the creatures but they would lose. The creatures were too finally made, the “evil” queen too thorough when she made the fiendish creatures.

Thus as sometimes occasionally happened, all the gods for that particular portion of reality would perish.

They would die, but not before, through the singing of certain general amongst this horde of clockwork demons, a tale was told. Their dreadful secret revealed.

A tale involving the plots of the ruling faction of gods, who with the tacit approval of the warrior-king would frame and arrange the downfall of, the “evil” queen.

Of course their side would deny it of course. It was all just mad nonsense from  very ill, very wicked girl.

And they would have enough political clout in their particular section of the heavens to make “their story tick.

Though not without, having a few disgruntled, less pleased members amongst their number looking into them with eyes that were slightly colder and less trusting.

Like I said, they all died. There’s no twist ending there. Or maybe there is. The big punchline to this dreadful story about the ending and reaping of many billions of divine lives and many trillions of mortal lives is that there was no secret last play for revenge. That poor goddess just died betrayed and alone. Forsaken even by her own clansmen.

If there was anything that got the perpetrators in the end it was the fact that they’d failed to understand the true nature of what they and their so called godly kin were. And in that ignorance had gone on to chose the very worst disposal method for their unfortunate victim.

As to what the gods, at least the understandable, somewhat comprehensible sorts of divinity people make statues of…are…for the most part they’re mortals. Or rather former mortals.

Super powerful kings, wisemen, wizards and sages who transcended the mortal barriers that lay between regular folk and the legends whose images were imprinted onto the stars.

When I said that this leveling system was pretty much a kiddie pool for young gods and future immortals I wasn’t joking.

Basically how it works is stunning simple at least as far describing it goes. First you get tough enough to be pretty much impossible to kill….Or fake it so people believe that’s so.

Then you get strong enough to be pretty much capable of anything. Or at least make it so people believe you are.

Then in case you really want to go for the gold you call yourself a god and have people call yourself a god.

 

Naturally, just as cinema and comic book history warns, going all “A God am I” pretty much assures that the universe will almost instantly try to kill you a thousand times dead. But eventually the true powers that be, sublime existences that lie beyond what we can perceive as reality either give in, or acquiesce. Bestowing the mixture of punishment and reward known as godhood.

Just like that you get to be a god. Congratulations you’re a god.  A core piece of your being has been infused with an aspect of a certain fragment of the universe and depending on your level, because even the gods apparently have to deal with this power ranking BS, you’ll have some of of all the powers traditionally attributed to the divine.

But here’s the kicker, in return for all that godly power you have to actually “be” a god. Otherwise you fall is both far and deep.

That’s what went wrong.

They killed a goddess, and then instead of letting her go back to the universe to either fall or be reconstituted and brought back, they stuck her into a bit of void. An empty space where the omniverse was still too young to understand what being part of the omniverse meant.

They had in fact stuck her in their with a vast amount of other murder victims and fallen political foes. Believing they’d consigned her and them to oblivion there. Never to ever, ever, ever bother anyone ever again.

This supposition was incorrect.

Souls were the only thing that was truly immortal on this comprehensible slice of all of existence. You literally can’t kill a soul. The most you can do is tear it up or dissolve it away till eventually a piece of it escapes and recovers.


In the case of immortals, that usually entails a resurrection or revival.

Unless of course the damage is too complete in which case the soul gets washed into the cycle of Samsara with the mortal souls, to be repaired and then reincarnated.

So like I said, they, the gods of this unnamed little slice of heaven had done fucked up. You know that saying beware the quiet ones?

Beaten, tortured, raped, decried, divorced and then beheaded in front an audience of all her so called friends and family.

Even a mortal soul would be scary to deal with under these conditions but this was a goddess. It was only rational to believe there’d be a reckoning.

They threw her shattered soul into the void with other resentful soul shards. And her soul was just big enough and angry enough, with just enough(pretty much all) her divine spark still present. It was like throwing a lit match into a cave of tnt.


Except instead of just blowing up. It sparked the creation of power unlike most portions of the heavens would ever see.


An angry semi-sentient power with a thirst for blood, revenge, and the creative arts.


Thus another pantheon bit the dust, eaten alive by the ghosts of all their enemies and the echoes of all their sins.

Later when things settled down the power would be drawn back towards the mortal realm. Drawn into the mortal kin of one of the Queen’s cousins or nieces. Drawn by her blood.


With most of its hate spent and very little divine energy present the dreaded power would lie inert.


The descendants of the inheritor of the  dreaded power would live on, somehow managing to survive the end of several worlds. Saved by half-forgotten covenants and a series of increasingly unlikely coincidences.

Eventually they’d settle down in an alternate earth. One of the more tech oriented ones. That world would end and yet another lucky coincidence would save a certain family with a certain bloodline, that carried a certain power.

They’d be brought to this world. A planet that absolutely chock full of divine energy. And for several thousand years the family would still live in relatively peace. Only occasionally getting terrorized by the horror that was the family curse. A dark ailment that manifest in pain, palpitation, numbness and then eventually ended in death.

And that ladies and gentlemen is what I stuck my head into. That’s what I pulled out of that girl. An accursed power that was born from endless hate of countless dead gods and one royally pissed off goddess of logic and the arts.

As to how I knew all this….The cloud of angry, glowing, gears and cogs that was chasing me was telling me this. Or at least telling my archive this.

The archive was passing this story to me as I fled for my life, running from dead city, to dead city. From continent to continent. Fruitlessly trying to escape a destructive force the doom that I’d called down on myself. A doom that I wasn’t entirely sure I’d able to come back from, if it hit me.

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