Chapter 5: Endgame
How long had it been? Days? Months? Years? Eons? Had he survived the end of the universe in this wretched place?
It was impossible to tell. Sponby had long since learned how to control the physical aspects of the Terrain of Testament, such as the time of day or the weather, his internal clocks had long since lost track or completely shut down.
Sponby stood perfectly still. He had passed though his 'vengeful god' phase and was now in his 'melancholic living statue' stage. It would take a while, but he would eventuallly go into his 'hopefully escaping' phase, and from there, 'playing God'... at which point he would repeat the cycle all over again. How many forms of life had he created? Even he couldn't remember anymore.
Oh, he'd tried to escape. He still had the ability to create portals, spaceships and the like. But no matter how far or how fast he flew, or the power of his portals, he always ended up right back here, in this blasted place.
But, like Warrior before him, Sponby had eventually become 'attuned' to the Terrain of Testament. He had refined and enhanced his multitude of powers to extreme levels, and with the power of the Terrain flowing through him, he was more powerful than he could have ever dreamed - but what was the point of it when he was stuck here?
Suddenly, being an immortal shadow-god wasn't so nice after all.
Sponby gathered all of his energy into a single point in his body, then released it. The explosion reduced his body to bits of quantum strings, strewn across the Terrain. But, even in this state, his consciousness survived. Each miniscule bit of energy contained an equally miniscule part of his consciousness. And, no matter how far they were scattered, they were always connected, each small bit adding up to the being that called itself Sponby.
Was this a function of his Akasha? He had thought for a long time about that word. He had no idea what it meant, but he knew that the Witchez called it 'subspace'; of course, the Witchez (and Dredge) might have been lying, so he had no idea if that was accurate or not. But it would certainly explain how he could call up giant robots or weapons almost instantly. His body was just a conduit to hammerspace, and the act of 'absorption' was him putting things in there for future use.
His body started pulling itself together. It wasn't a conscious act; at this point, Sponby could care less if he had a physical body or not. But perhaps it was another function of his Akasha.
But it could just as easily be a law of the Terrain itself. Sponby couldn't absorb the Terrain, and it couldn't be damaged or destroyed, only manipulated, so it was likely very different from his own universe. So perhaps the laws of physics were different too: maybe there was some sort of law that imposed absolute order.
Whatever. It didn't matter.
In an eternity and an instant, Sponby returned to his normal human form. He stood perfectly still once again. Soon, he would try to make another escape. But for now, he just stood there. Alone.
Sponby shifted into his shadow form. He reached into his own body, rearranging the matter and energy within it into a weapon. Specifically, a sword. He added various properties to it: time-space bending from ES Mines, parts of The Quickening's FTL engine, the portal device, and various other methods of manipulating MST.
He drew the sword, which he dubbed the Dimensioncleaver. The blade resonated with the energy of its components.
- The Dimensioncleaver is another weapon that stems from my high fantasy days. This isn't the right place to rant about things, but it always kinda bugged me that, in a lot of high fantasy works, there's all these weapons and items just lying around that contain reality-controlling magics and the like. Who created them in the first place?
Sponby swung the blade, and the Dimensioncleaver lived up to its name: with a single stroke, the very fabric of space-time parted in front of Sponby. The gap widened, and Sponby saw empty darkness - it was a void, yes, but it was the first he'd seen of it since entering this hell.
He stepped through the gap, into the void. He was free... after so long, he had escaped.
But where was he? Sponby tried reaching out, but he couldn't feel anything. No, he could feel something... it was...
Himself. He could feel himself all around him.
Sponby flew forward, as fast as he could. The void around him shrank as he kept going, eventually shrinking to the width of a single atom; he forced himself through it, and he ended up emerging from his own body, back on the Terrain of Testament.
It was an odd feeling. Not necessarily painful, but odd. He fully reintegrated himself. Back at square one.
In rage, Sponby turned the Dimensioncleaver on himself. He would cut the Akasha from himself and die. He cleaved himself in half... creating two Sponbys.
"Hello, Sponby." Sponby said.
"Well, I've finally snapped." Sponby said.
"Oh no, you snapped long ago. This is old hat for you." Sponby said.
"Right, whatever." Sponby still held the Dimensioncleaver. He cut Sponby in half again, creating two more Sponbys.
"Hey, stop that!" Sponby said. "I'm getting really dizzy!"
"At least this is staving off ennui." Sponby said. He transformed into his magic demonwolf form and grabbed Sponby, eating him. Sponby jumped on Sponby, and all three were re-absorbed into the same being.
"God damnit." Sponby said. He threw the Dimensioncleaver to the side. It landed point-down in the Terrain, cleaving through it. What's the point? It'll just lead back to inside myself, Sponby thought.
But something strange happened. The dimensional gap widened, and kept growing. The edge pushed Sponby away, and an invisible field of some sort prevented him from jumping into it. The rift grew until it covered nearly the entire Terrain.
And then, a giant face came through.
More accurately, a giant face that appeared to be attached to the bow of a battleship. The ship kept coming through, and Sponby was amazed by the utter size: his innate senses told him that this ship was bigger than one of his Dragon starships.
Once it was all the way through, the ship righted itself, and the rift closed. Sponby sensed that there were comparatively few organic life-forms upon the ship.
Sponby leapt up onto the ship's deck, which took him about 20 seconds despite moving pretty darn fast. Waiting for him on the deck was a tall, bald man with an awesome beard, wearing white pants and with chest hair shaped like a galaxy.
"What? Who're you?" Sponby asked.
"I am Lordgenome, the greatest Spiral warrior ever. And you?"
- Lordgenome here is a character from Gurren Lagann, but this particular version of the character is from my previous fic of the same name. The only major difference is that Lordgenome is even more of a jerk Sue than his canon counterpart, and he has a harem of identical clones of Yoko. And a Mewtwo for some reason.
"Sponby." He looked pretty threatening, but Sponby could take him.
"Oh, you think you could take me?" Lordgenome taunted. "Very well then. Let's see how you fare!" The top of his head burst into flame. He rushed at Sponby and delivered a powerful punch, knocking Sponby to the ground before he could even react.
"Ha, not bad!" Sponby said. For the first time in a very long time, he actually felt excited about something. He powered up to his 'Tzar' form, and fired a bunch of shadow tendrils. Lordgenome created a powerful green aura around himself, burning the tendrils away.
"Ha! That trick won't work against me!" The aura around Lordgenome flared, forming into dozens of small drills. He fired them all at Sponby; Sponby tried absorbing them, but the drills exploded upon impact, taking large chunks out of him.
"Drills?" Sponby questioned.
"Drills! They are the preferred weapon of a Spiral warrior."
"Do they symbolize your penis or something?"
"Yes!" Lordgenome created an even bigger drill on his arm and rushed Sponby again. Sponby increased the size and number of his arms, grabbing the drill mid-flight, but Lordgenome spun right through them and through Sponby. He threw the drill to the size and let loose with finger, mouth and eye beams, adding smaller holes to the big one in Sponby's chest.
- "Do they symbolize your penis? Yes!" is one of my favorite exchanges in this story.
Naturally, Sponby regenerated in an instant.
"Not shabby! But you're just a Lord. I'm a Great-Lord!" Sponby boasted.
"Lordgenome is my name. My title is 'Spiral King'!" Lordgenome shot back.
"Let me guess: it's a self-appointed title."
- The rule of three is in full effect here. Both Damocles and Oskar said that their titles were self-proclaimed, and while Lordgenome says it isn't self-appointed, it pretty much is.
"No. In fact, I was given it for saving the universe: a feat which my psychic contact tells me you have yet to accomplish!" Lordgenome generated drills on both of his arms, and rushed Sponby again. Sponby blocked him with a Protect Shade, then blasted him across the length of the deck with a Shinku Hadoken.
"Bitch please! I would've been saving universes left and right if I hadn't been stuck here for an ungodly amount of time."
"Yes, of course you would." Lordgenome reappeared right behind Sponby. Sponby grabbed an axe and started swinging, but Lordgenome deflected each blow with the drills on his arms; they fought with melee weapons for a while, until Sponby surprised him with a slash to the gut.
Lordgenome healed himself with his own energy, then went back on to attacking. Sponby flew out of range, only for Lordgenome to follow; they fought in the air for a while, but this time at range. Sponby had a collection of ranged weapons which he used liberally, while Lordgenome seemed happy with more drills for both offense and defense.
"Seriously man, I get it. You don't have to shove the metaphor down my throat." Sponby said.
"As you wish!" Lordgenome grinned as he concentrated green energy between his hands; he let it loose as a powerful energy beam, which Sponby just barely dodged. He fired a bunch of missiles back, most of which actually hit Lordgenome and knocked him to the ground. Sponby landed back on the deck.
"So let's just get this over with: we'll both put all of our power into one last attack and see who loses." Sponby said.
"Fine by me." Lordgenome flew back a fair distance.
"IRON FIST TECHNIQUE LEVEL 5: BIG BANG PUNCH!" Sponby created a massive shadow fist in front of him, which he threw at Lordgenome.
"GIGA! DRILL! BREAKER!" Lordgenome created a massive drill and flew at Sponby.
Both fist and drill collided in midair. Sponby flew after the fist, pushing it harder and putting more of his power into it; both were stalemated for about 5 minutes (complete with Lordgenome's bridge crew cheering him on), until both attacks exploded impressively for another 5 minutes.
Both combatants fell onto the deck. But neither was out of energy; Sponby gathered more from the Terrain, while Lordgenome simply created more for himself.
"You're a worthy opponent, Sponby." Lordgenome said. "Tell me, how did you come to be here in the first place?"
"I thought you had a psychic friend or something?"
"Yes, but I would prefer to hear it from you."
Sponby explained his origin and how he got stuck on the Terrain.
"And then you came along. How'd you end up here?" Sponby asked.
"My ship, the Cathedral Terra, fell into a dimensional rift caused by your sword."
"So you're stuck here too?"
"I don't think so. My particular brand of FTL travel works differently than yours, so we should be able to escape. And since you've shown great battle prowess, I offer you the chance to come along." Lordgenome extended his hand, which Sponby took in gratitude.
They both flew up to the bridge of the Cathedral Terra. Lordgenome's crew was staffed by 17 identical-looking red-haired girls in skimpy bikinis, and Mewtwo.
"That was a pretty impressive battle!" Yoko 9 said.
"Yeah, I thought you might lose for a second there!" Yoko 13 said.
"I am loathe to say it, but Sponby here outstrips me in raw power as long as we stay in this place." Lordgenome said. "Which is why we will leave it immediately. Is the Perception Teleportation ready?"
"Not yet." Mewtwo, evidently the first mate, said. "This place is interfering with my abilities. I cannot lock on to anything physical."
"I see." Lordgenome turned to Sponby. "I assume you have things you'd like to do once we get back to the normal universe?"
"Yeah. I wanna check up on my fleet." Sponby said.
"Very well. Then focus on your fleet... picture your ships and their crew in as much detail as you can." Lordgenome took his place at the captain's chair. Sponby thought hard about the Dragons, BURTON, Asimov and Susan, and the planet that had once stood there. He looked up at the screen, which showed a crystal-clear picture of one of his Dragons.
"Target acquired... and locked on! Coordinates confirmed! Ready to warp, Captain!" Yoko 2 said.
"Make it so!" Lordgenome pointed dramatically, and the Super-Spiral engines of the battleship Cathedral Terra roared to life.
A massive portal opened up in front of the Cathdedral Terra.
"Captain! We're getting all sorts of dimensional interference!" Yoko 2 shouted.
"Keep going! The shields will hold." Lordgenome said.
They kept going forward, Sponby could feel the ship shaking underneath him, but he wasn't worried about being destroyed - no, he was worried that they wouldn't be able to escape. This was the first time in a long time that he was truly hopeful... but he didn't know what he'd do with himself if they were still stuck in the Terrain of Testament. At least he'd have company this time.
"The interference is too strong! We won't make it!"
"I see." Lordgenome disappeared. The main screen turn on, showing a comm link between Lordgenome's current position (wherever that was) and the bridge.
"What's your status, Captain?" Yoko 5 asked.
"I am assuming direct control of Dekabetsu."
"Huh? Don't you mean Teppelin?"
- In the Lordgenome fic, I referred to the mecha form of Teppelin Tower as "Teppelin", even though it's apparently called "Dekabetsu". The only reason I learned that was from looking it up on a Gurren Lagann wiki.
"Quiet!" The entire crew was violently thrown to the ground by the sudden burst of speed. Sponby looked outside, and he saw the portal flickering in and out of existence; fortunately, the Cathdedral Terra made it through just in time.
It had finally happened. Sponby had finally escaped the Terrain of Testament.
The Cathedral Terra reappeared in normal space.
"Targets off the port side!" one of the Yokos shouted. The radar was showing hundreds of small targets, as well as 3 bigger targets.
"Target them all with Piercing Missiles!" Lordgenome said as he reappeared. The Cathedral Terra fired thousands of missiles, each of which was equipped with probability-alteration technology that always hit their target, regardless of shields or anything else.
"Wait!" Sponby said. He could feel something familiar. "BURTON! Can you hear me?"
"SPONBY?" BURTON's mechanical voice responded, though it was staticy. "WE ARE UNDER ATTACK BY THE GREAT MACHINE FORCE! AND THEY HAVE DEPLOYED ANOTHER SUPER EXADIAN-CLASS SHIP."
"No, that's me!" Sponby said. "Hey, change your missiles' targets to the enemies! The big ones are part of my fleet!"
"Done." Lordgenome waved his hand. Some of the blue streaks changed their course mid-flight, taking out most of the smaller ships.
"I assume you will want to go back to your own ship." Lordgenome threw a small gold drill on a necklace at Sponby. "You can use this to keep in touch with me. Just plug it in to your communications system." Sponby was teleported to the bridge of Dragon Two.
"Sponby!" Asimov said. "Where'd you go?"
"It's a long story. How long have I been gone?"
"TWO DAYS." BURTON said. "THIS FLEET ONLY ATTACKED US AROUND AN HOUR AGO. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN FOR YOU?"
"...Long." Sponby said. "Okay, so what's our status?"
"DRAGON ONE, THREE AND FOUR ARE ALL DESTROYED. DRAGON FIVE IS HEAVILY DAMAGED, BUT STILL HOLDING OUT. AND DRAGON TWO IS DAMAGED, BUT IT'S THE ONLY ONE WITH ACTIVE WEAPONS."
"I see." Sponby took the drill necklace and jammed it into one of the consoles. A green gauge appeared on it and started filling up.
"I'M RECEIVING A LARGE INFLUX OF UNKNOWN ENERGY!" BURTON said. "REPAIRS COMPLETE! READY FOR TRANSFORMATION!"
"Alright, let's do it!" Sponby merged with Dragon Two, and they transformed into the Dragonlord.
- There's no real reason why the Dragon should be able to transform, except because it's awesome. The Cathedral Terra at least has an excuse.
"Transformation?" Asimov said. "This ship can transform? That's amazing!"
"So, his ship can transform as well." Lordgenome noted, watching the Dragonlord unload with a Wave-Motion Buster. "Very well then! Prepare the Cathedral Terra for transformation as well!"
"Yes sir!" Yoko 8 said. "The Tep- I mean, Dekabetsu has more than enough energy!"
"Securing vital areas... Done! Ready to transform!" The Cathdedral Terra shifted around, gaining a lot of mass; it became the Cathedral Lazengann, a massive black figure with giant drills on its shoulders.
- Incidentally, if you read the Olympics commentary, the Cathedral Lazengann here is the same mecha as the Chouginga Gurren Lagann I mentioned back in Chapter 1, just with a slightly different name.
"CAPTAIN! THAT OTHER SHIP HAS SHIFTED INTO HUMANOID FORM AS WELL! AND ITS POWER DWARFS OUR OWN!" BURTON announced.
"Well, we can't let him show us up!" Sponby said. "DRAGONLORD TECHNIQUE LEVEL 6: 135% SUPERLASER!" The chest of the Dragonlord opened up, revealing a giant gun barrel; with some prep time, it fired exactly 65536 lasers of various strengths, clearing out the rest of the fleet.
"So you have destroyed my fleet. It does not matter. My flagship has more than enough power to crush both of you." a familiar voice said. The last remaining ship, a Super Exadian-class, started firing on the Dragonlord.
"Wait, that voice. It's..."
"KHAAAAAAAAAN!" Lordgenome shouted. "I thought I had eliminated you!"
"No, I was the one that eliminated you." Khan said. "But it seems that we have another chance to settle our rivalry." The Super Exadian switched its target to the Cathedral Lazengann, though its weapons were similarly ineffective.
Lordgenome responded with another barrage of piercing missiles, but the Super Exadian's actual armor was thick enough to absorb and regenerate the damage.
"My ship was upgraded to deal with you, Sponby. It is in the same class as the other Super Exadians, but it is three times more powerful." Khan explained.
"You're losing your touch, Khan!" Lordgenome said. "You never would have explained your powers to the enemy during the height of our battles!"
But Khan's exposition had another purpose. The Ultra-Super Exadian fired a turbolaser at the Cathedral Lazengann, piercing its shields and armor and leaving a huge hole in it.
"Damn!" Lordgenome cursed. "Sponby! Let's deal with this bastard!"
"You got it! Come on, BURTON!"
"GIGA! DRILL! BREAKER!" The Cathedral Terra attached the giant drills on its shoulders to one another, then flew at the Ultra-Super Exadian while creating a massive whirlwind in space.
"SPIRAL TECHNIQUE LEVEL 2: MAELSTROM CANNON!" A spiral galaxy formed in front of the Dragonlord. Sponby punched the middle of the galaxy, firing a double-helix beam at the Ultra-Super Exadian. Both attacks hit it at the same time, completely overwhelming its shields, armor and regeneration, destroying it completely.
"From hell's heart, I... stab at thee." Khan's last transmission echoed throughout the void.
With Khan good and dead, both the Dragonlord and Cathedral Lazengann transformed back into their ship modes.
"I'M NOT DETECTING ANY MORE SHIPS ON THIS BRANE." BURTON said.
"Yes, it is done... for now." Lordgenome said. "What will you do next, Sponby?"
"Well, I'm still not strong enough to assault the Heart of Machines." Sponby said, returning to his normal form. "I'm going to build up my fleet some more."
"I see. Since you're not ready yet, I believe I will travel around this universe for a while. If you need me, use that Core Drill. You'll know what to do when the time is right." The Cathedral Terra created another portal and warped off.
Sponby spent the next few days repairing and recreating his other four Dragons. He also told his 'crew' about his time on the Terrain of Testament and his rescue by Lordgenome.
"I WAS UNABLE TO LOCK ON TO THE COORDINATES OF THE WARRIOR'S SPACE BRIDGE. FROM MY ANALYSIS, IT DOES NOT RESEMBLE ANY KNOWN TYPE OF SPACE TRAVEL." BURTON said.
"Then where the hell did it come from?" Sponby wondered. "Whatever, at least we know how to escape if we end up there again. But for now, we're going to raise an army."
Sponby's time on the Terrain of Testament had given him a lot of time to reflect on his life. Among other things, he'd come to a realization:
He was basically a Mary Sue.
- Here I bring up the concept of "Sue-ness" again. Like I said in Olympics, the general concept stems from Action Sue and was repurposed for these fics, but it doesn't really get developed here. I do plan on going more in depth with it later, though.
From a relatively normal life, he'd been tortured and experimented on, and then turned into a shadow being. And from there, he traveled the multiverse, absorbing powers from various fictional universes and basically becoming a god.
Was his some sort of cruel joke? Was he a puppet in some sort of cosmic play dictated by the powers that be? Or was it chance, a quirk in the multiverse that let a normal man gain unimaginable powers?
But Sponby had come to another realization: It didn't matter. Sure, his entire life to this point might be staged, but if he couldn't see the fourth wall, why should he worry about it?
Also, he realized that, if he was a Mary Sue, who better to serve as his soldiers than other Mary Sues? If the multiverse contained every possible permutation of events, he'd eventually find universes where Laura or Jenna existed.
And this is why he was standing in front of Hogwarts. That would be enough, but this particular version was host to a very specific person. Yes, the most infamous of Mary Sues in his home universe:
Enoby Raven Dark'ness Dementia Tara Way.
He could almost feel the eyes of wizards and witches upon him as he walked through the massive doors. He was hiding his power as best as he can, but since he wasn't that familiar with Harry Potter in general (much less My Immortal), he wasn't sure if they could probably detect his true power or not.
"Oh my god, who are you?" Sponby looked to his left, and saw an impractically-dressed girl looking back at him. Yep, her natural Sue-ness was drawing her right to him.
She was wearing a tight black tube top, a leather micromini, leather fishnets, black hooker boots, crimson lipstick and nail polish, and her hair was dark with purple streaks.
"Hello. Are you Ebony?" Sponby asked.
"Yeah I am? You're just some fucking dumb prep fag aren't you!" Enoby asked.
"No, actually." Sponby shifted into his shadow form; he felt a bit of resistance, but his sheer power overwhelmed any magical barriers this school had. He manipulated his appearance to add more defined features and red streaks, as well as long flowing hair and an open jacket exposing his thin bishie chest.
"Wow! You're totally goffic man! Come on, you're my friend now!" Ebony said. She grabbed his hand and tried pulling him toward the Slytherin dorm, but Sponby resisted.
"Ebony, I have a special task for you. How would you like to save the multiverse?" Sponby spoke in a calm but authoritative voice: he was applying various Charisma-boosting and Charm effects to himself, though he wasn't sure if that would help at all.
"Yeah but saving the universe is hard? I gotta go get more clothes from Vampire Hot Topic!" she protested.
"Tell you what, Enoby." Sponby split some of his body off, concentrated it in his palm, and handed it to Ebony. "Take this, and you'll have all of the clothing you'll need. And you'll never have to change out of it if you don't want."
"Huh?" Ebnoy touched the shadows with her other hand, and it attached itself to her body. She changed her clothing to an impractical fancy princess outfit (all in black and dark red of course).
"Wow that's super goffic! Okay come on, you can give this to the rest of my friends too!"
"I don't think you understood me, Ebony." Sponby amplified the effects of his compelling voice. "You can bring your friends as well, but you're coming with me."
"Okay." Enony psychically called her friends: Draco, Vampire, B'loddy Mary, Willow and Britney (who had seen the error of her ways and converted to Stanism).
But suddenly, a powerful beam of light pierced the door! Sponby blocked it, only to see his old nemesis...
"Sponby! I've heard of your feats, and I'm here to stop you!" Spoont yelled. "This place will be your grave!"
"Yeah, no." Sponby used Auto-Fucking-Shotguns! It's super-effective! Spoont took a ton of damage, though he managed to regenerate it in no time. But this particular AU Spoont lacked Sponby's training on the Terrain, so he was far outclassed.
Not only that, but Enoby and her friends attacked him and drained his light energy with their vampire teeth. Suitably empowered, they blasted him to smithereens with Maximized Avada Kedavras. Sponby absorbed the remains, getting a minor power boost (pretty much a drop in the ocean, but every drop counted).
"Wow, we did it!" Enoby and her friends cheered. For good measure, Sponby absorbed the entirety of Hogwarts, gaining the magical power of the school and all of its inhabitants (save for the ones Enoby wanted spared, which included Dumbeldore for some reason.)
"What the hell did you do that for?" Dumbledore asked of Sponby.
"Why not? I need all of the power I can get, and your school happens to have several enchantments that might be useful." Sponby said. "Besides, I'll return you to the same place, just in a slightly different universe."
"Hey!" Enoby used her Sueness to detect a giant meteor headed toward them. The meteor was on fire, but it was a weird fire that none of them had ever encountered...
"Ah, that's my second prospect." Sponby grinned.
Enoby and her friends deflected the meteor wreathed in fuckfire, blowing up Mars instead. A very angry Harry Potter, dressed in unholy space armor, descended upon the world followed by the screams of a thousand demons.
"Who is the one that prevented me killing the fuck out of Hogwarts? I will doom the one who did so to an eternal sentence of agonizing torment!" Harry screamed in the tongues of eldritch magical gods that lived beyond the veil.
"Harry, right?" Sponby floated up to greet him. "How would you like to direct your destructive tendencies toward a common enemy?"
"Fool! My actions are controlled by me alone, and no queer ichor will change my path!"
"I see. Would you change your mind if I defeated you in battle?"
"I am the strongest!" Harry opened a portal to the Plane of Infinite Jesters with Groinsaws where those killed by said inhabitants were cut up with cheese graters for an eternity while what's left of their minds is thrown to the rape apes.
Sponby started absorbing the infinite jesters while Enoby and friends fired all sorts of spells at Harry. The battle was stalemated for a while, until Harry's last friend descended as well.
"Harry!" Grumbledump shouted. "Go with them! They hold the secret of infinite destruction!"
"Who the hell are you, you motherfucker!" Regular Dumbledore asked.
"I am Rumblecop!" 30H-Dumbledore replied. "Now, let us take out my protege and then make sweet monkey love!"
"Yes!" Dumbledore and Tremblegorp blasted Harry with W. Meteor, then fused together into an unholy abomination of flesh and steel and consumed half the planet to power a beam that finally defeated Harry.
"Fine! I will direct my considerable power toward your cause! But in return, I demand a tribute!"
"You got it." Sponby closed the portal to the Plane of Infinte Jesters, then pulled out a chainsaw guitar that contained the essence of the Pirate King from his body and gave it to Harry.
"And we are off!" Fusion Dumbledore opened a portal to the Dragon, and they all stepped into it. Sponby finished absorbing the other half of the planet, and followed them up.
The Dragon flew back to their base of operations. The other Dragons had managed to construct a rudimentary space station for the crew, and several incomplete ships floated around it. Of course, he would need more than a few ships to assault the Heart of Machines: his plan was to use the Dragons as fighters for larger, Deus Est Machina-sized ships, though that was just a dream for now.
But Sponby was well on his way to reaching that dream. He had the entirety of the multiverse to gather resources from, and BURTON had modified their shields so that the Great Machine Force would have extreme difficulty locating them.
But for now, Sponby needed more soldiers. He had someone else specifically in mind... He took the Exceliator, a ship roughly as large as the Quickening but much faster, to locate this person.
He met with some resistance around the alternate Earth: the Combine had installed planetary shields. He could easily go through them, but that would alert their forces, and the Exceliator was light on armaments - but for his fleet, 'light' on armanents would probably be enough to reduce this entire planet to cinders, so he figured he'd be okay.
Sponby broke through the shields, and flew over Eastern Europe. The black tower dominating what they called City 17 was glowing; based on the local MST readings, they were preparing to beam in more targets.
Sponby leapt from the Excleiator onto the top of the tower. A squad of Combine soldiers immediately fired at him, but do you think Sponby was hurt? If you thought 'yes', you obviously haven't read a fanfic before.
Sponby took out the soldiers with ease, then heard an explosion a few floors under him. Sponby cut through the intervening floors with a laser chainsaw, and nearly landed on top of his potential recruit - John Freeman, brother of Gordon Freeman.
John Freeman grabed a rocket launcher and fired it at the Combines fighting him and they all blew up. The explosion caused some of the surrounding architecture to crumble, weakening the citadel further; it wasn't going to last for much longer.
"Are you with the Combines because if you are I will crush you because I am John Freeman!" John Freeman declared.
"No, I'm not with the Combines. In fact, I'm here for you, John Freeman." Sponby said.
"I have no time for this I must press the botton and stop the Combine tower from exploding!" John Freeman said as he ran past Sponby.
"Don't worry, it's done." Sponby stretched his arm up the holes he created in the tower and pressed a button, stopping the tower's self-destruct sequence. More Combines teleportaled in, but John Freeman made quick work of them.
"They won't stop coming!" John Freeman said, despairing. He'd taken an absurd amount of punishment, and the only thing keeping his body moving was adrenaline: but even so, he wouldn't last much longer.
Sponby noted this, and surrounded John Freeman with his shadows. They quickly absorbed him, but before his consciousness faded, Sponby split off a piece of himself and placed John Freeman's consciousness within it. The blob of shadows shaped itself into John Freeman's appearance.
"What did you do to me Sponby?" John Freeman asked.
"I healed you. Now, listen to me. I'm going to destroy all of the Combine citadels on this planet, but even with that, the Combine won't stop. The only way to stop them is by fighting their masters - the Great Machine Force."
"I see." John Freeman said. "I will fight. As long as Henry Freeman and the other humens can live in peace I will fight forever if I have to!"
"No John Freeman! We fight too!" Henry Freeman and the other humens charged up the Combine tower. "We heard everything Sponby said, and we will fight and save the universe!"
"Very well then! We will all fight for great justice!" The humens cheered, and Sponby led them into a portal, which led directly to the Sponby Base.
Sponby had a few more stops before his army was ready.
Four robots stood before a widening gap into a dimension of pure chaos and evil. Inside those robots were the souls of four children who had fought all across the world to prepare for this threat - but even in these steely bodies, all four of them were afraid.
"See ya later, suckers!" Pokey shouted as his spider mech time-shifted. They were alone, but not helpless. Three of the kids possessed powerful psychic abilities stolen from aliens, while the other was a Genius-class scientist and mechanic.
The dimension before them briefly solidified, and they saw the face of their enemy - a horrible red maw that would swallow up everything they fought for. They couldn't stop here. They had to defeat Giygas once and for all.
They unleashed their powers upon Giygas; pure psychic energy, manifesting as bolts of lightning, meteorites and geometric shapes. But they couldn't hope to affect a being of this scale; their attacks were but a drop in the ocean of power.
"NESS! NESS NESS NESS NESS NESS NESS NESS NESS" Tortured screaming filled their brains as they were assaulted on all sides by warped energy. Only their layers of shields protected them from utter madness.
"Please..." one of the robots, formerly named Paula, cried out. "Please! If anyone's there, please... we need help..." Her psychic-powered plea reached out through the void, back to their home; the many friends they had made throughout their journey felt the plea of those four kids who had helped them, and they all fervently prayed for them.
Prayers were anathema to this new being, and the dimension of pain known once as Giygas reeled. Its cries became more powerful, its attacks became more erratic, and it was all they could do to stand, much less fight back.
But Paula's prayer touched more than the people on their home planet. Two beings appeared before them - one was a humanoid figure seemingly made of shadows, while the other was a pale-skinned young woman.
"Isabella Swan." the shadowed man announced to all present. "You have been found guilty of being bland, sociopathic, and the worst charge of all - being a bad role model." The shadowed man, known as Sponby, presented the woman to Giygas. "There will be no redemption. There is no life or death for you. No, the only suitable sentence for you is... rebirth."
- To be honest, I don't particularly hate Twilight. I dislike it, sure, and it's definitely very flawed in execution, but obviously it has a fanbase, so someone likes it. At the same time, I know the real Spoony absolutely loathes Bella, and I don't doubt that he would throw her into Giygas if given half a chance.
Sponby threw Bella into the chaos. An anguished cry escaped, but it was quickly silenced by the static-like sounds of the dimension folding in upon itself. Sponby pushed the four robots back as Giygas collapsed, leaving Bella seemingly unharmed.
"What... what is this?" Bella looked at her body, seemingly in amazement of her hands. "Who am I? Where..."
- Before I wrote Sponby, I was originally working on another fic where Bella was possessed by the spirit of Ganondorf and transformed into basically his puppet. The fic wasn't very good, so I didn't post it, but I decided to reuse the concept with a change of villains.
"You were formerly known as Giygas." Sponby explained. "In an attempt to gain ultimate power, you sacrificed your sanity... but I have returned it. Your new body is but a shell, but it retains two useful features: it has powerful psychic shields that restrain your full power, and it is a personality-less puppet that will not resist your will."
"But... but who are you?" the being, who named itself Geeg, asked.
"A man who seeks your aid. There is a force that seeks my destruction, and I cannot fight it alone: if you aid me in this fight, the body is yours."
Sponby had thought long about who would serve as Giygas' vessel. He would need someone whose natural Sueness was already quite high, but not high enough that it would override Giygas' own personality; and he would need a way to restrain his power so that he would not drive himself to insanity again. Of course, looking at it in hindsight, there was only one logical choice for the position.
"I see. Then I suppose I have no choice but to aid you. But I have business with these children." Geeg reached out to the robots; they felt their psychic power not just drained, but removed utterly from their bodies.
"But you can't do this!" one of the robots, named Poo, said. He drew his sword and pointed it at Sponby and Geeg. "Giygas is a being of pure evil! It cannot be controlled!"
"Fool!" Geeg created a portal, warping all four of them back to their homes. He then proceeded to absorb the rest of the planet's stolen PSI. "Very well. My mission is complete. Let us go."
"Of course." Sponby created a portal, but before they could step into it, BURTON chimed in with an alert.
"I AM DETECTING A MASSIVE BRANE BREACH NEAR THIS UNIVERSE'S JUPITER." BURTON announced. "I AM ALSO DETECTING GREAT MACHINE FORCE VESSELS NEAR IT."
"Alright then! Let's go see what this is about! Er, you don't have to come with me." Sponby created another portal to the Sponby Base, but Geeg declined.
"I wish to see the capabilities of this new body. And if I am to be a soldier, I would rather test them out in a skirmish, rather than all-out war."
"Of course." Sponby and Geeg went to the Exceliator, and they flew off to Jupiter.
"I AM DETECTING A NUMBER OF UNUSUAL ENERGY SOURCES." BURTON said after doing a quick sweep of Jupiter. "BASED ON THE MASSIVE MST FOOTPRINT, ONE OF THE SOURCES SEEMS TO BE A MONOLITH. ANOTHER APPEARS TO BE 'THE POWER'."
"'The Power'? What kind of name is that?" Sponby asked.
"I DO NOT KNOW. ITS PROPERTIES ARE VAGUE, BUT IT APPEARS TO BE ABLE TO GREATLY EMPOWER THOSE WHO ABSORB IT, AS LONG AS THEY HAVE A STRONG DESIRE. THAT IS LIKELY WHY THE GREAT MACHINE FORCE IS ATTEMPTING TO DRAW IT OUT."
"Well, we'll stop that." A number of portals opened, and about a dozen Dragons came out of them. Sponby docked with the lead ship, as they flew around Jupiter and saw a relatively sizable fleet of mostly smaller ships.
As an experiment, BURTON had one of the Dragons fly into Jupiter's atmosphere and absorb some of 'The Power'. A few seconds later, it re-emerged with a healthy orange glow, and its secondary cannons were powered-up to the point that it obliterated the fleet with one shot.
"Holy shit!" Sponby exclaimed.
"I'M DETECTING MORE PORTALS. BASED ON THE SIZES..." BURTON fell silent.
"I can feel them too." Geeg said. "Biotechnomagical monstrosities bigger than a planet. Their very existence is an affront to the universe."
"The Deus Est Machina?" Sponby asked.
"YES. THREE OF THEM."
- Duh duh duhhh!
"Shit! Well, absorb as much of that Power as you can! We can't let it fall into their hands!" Sponby said. The entire fleet dipped into the atmosphere of Jupiter, but even the mighty Dragons had a limit on the power they could absorb. Even still, subtracting the power they absorbed from Jupiter still left over 99.8% of the total reserve of The Power.
The first Deus Est Machina emerged.
"FIRE!" Sponby ordered. All of the ships fired their main guns, dealing massive damage to the Deus Est Machina... which it regenerated immediately.
"Sponby!" The cold, mechanical voice of Rossum the Machine-King echoed in the bridge. "Thank you for demonstrating the usefulness of The Power to me! I do believe I shall help myself to some of it."
The Deus Est Machina fired off its main guns: about twenty thousand beams of energy, all of which added up to more energy than 3 Milky Way galaxies. Naturally, eight of the Dragons were eliminated in one shot, with the other five badly damaged simply by the proximity.
"THAT ATTACK..." BURTON was scared. "IT DID NOT USE THE POWER FOR THAT ATTACK."
"...I see." Sponby said.
"I have an idea." Geeg tapped into The Power, and used his greatly-enhanced psychic abilities to physically crush the Deus Est Machina. It struggled against the psychic barrier crushing it, but Geeg held on valiantly for as long as he could until he collapsed from fatigue.
"Sorry, bud." Sponby said. "Okay, we have five ships left, right? Initiate Protocol 38-Di. Initiate Final Fusion."
The remaining Dragons all fused together, creating a giant humanoid figure that Sponby dubbed the Dragonlordmore.
- And once again, a bunch of identical beings link up into a "Mega" version of themselves. At least it can be sorta justified with Sponby's powers in this case.
"And now let's see what this thing can do. SUMMON TECHNIQUE LEVEL 8: DRAGON AVATAR! EXA FLARE!" The Dragonlordmore drew from The Power and transformed into a dragon, firing a beam of energy more than double the power of the Deus Est Machina's main guns. The Deus Est Machina was reduced to scrap metal.
But two more appeared in its place.
"Okay Sponby, now you're pissing me off." Rossum said. BOth Deus Est Machinas prepared their main guns.
- Technically, I think it should be Dei Est Machina, not Deus Est Machinae or Machinas or whatever.
"I WOULD SUGGEST A TACTICAL RETREAT." BURTON said.
"...no." Sponby said. "We still have a chance. Flee into the core of Jupiter."
"THE DRAGONLORDMORE CANNOT HANDLE ABSORBING THE ENTIRETY OF THE POWER."
"I know. But... maybe I can."
As they dove into Jupiter's atmosphere, Sponby leapt from the Dragonlordmore and descended into the core. The gravity compressed his body, but he was more than powerful enough to withstand the pressure, but... but could he really do this?
"I don't really have a choice." Sponby said. If they warped back to the Sponby Base now, they would find out its location - and if he warped anywhere else, well... he'd have to go back eventually. Or die.
But Sponby had no plans to die. He wasn't even sure if he could truly die anymore. But if he couldn't, what would happen if he absorbed too much? Would he simply be destroyed by his Akasha bursting? Or would he survive that too?
Sponby extended his shadow tendrils out, absorbing vast quantities of The Power into himself. His Akasha was quickly filled up, but he just kept going.
Finally, he hit the core of Jupiter. He started to absorb it, but rather than tendrils, he created a spherical shadow aura that engulfed everything. He was beyond the breaking point, but still he kept going...
The Dragonlordmore was in danger. Sponby warped it away somewhere. He wasn't sure where, but the Deus Est Machinas could probably track it, but they wouldn't bother right now. No, they'd focus on him for now.
Beams of energy struck his shadow aura, but they too were absorbed. He didn't even care anymore. His body had been inflated to several times its normal size, like a balloon.
And like all ballons, he burst.
BEYOND THE INFINITE
Jupiter, The Power and the Deus Est Machinas were all absorbed into the black hole created by the rupture of Sponby's Akasha.
But it wasn't a celestial black hole. No, it was a literal hole in space. Where did it lead? Rossum the Machine-King, controlling the Deus Est Machinas from his cozy room in the middle of the Heart of Machines, didn't know. He lost his connection as soon as they passed the event horizon.
"Damn it!" No normal black hole would stop one of his ships. Rossum sent in a fleet of Leviahamuts, the newest model of Super Exadian-class ships, but they too were absorbed. His monitors showed the entire solar system being absorbed into the hole.
He received a transmission from one of his Captains.
"Sir, we're detecting... something in Brane 3839409182923999301297728291!"
"Yes, I know. It's off-limits for now."
But then Rossum realized something even more horrifying.
The hole was moving. Right toward him.
- Remember how I mentioned at the end of Part 4 to pay attention? Well, here's the payoff. See, in the original commentary I did for this, I just kinda handwaved Sponby's bursting and eventual reformation away. But as I was re-reading this, it occurs to me: Sponby still had that extra life from Warrior. Blowing himself up wasn't fatal, but consuming that much energy was... except that he had that extra life that allowed him to reform! Fridge brilliance indeed.
Chapter 6: The Source
- In the commentary for Olympics, I said that I usually don't go back and edit or re-read my fics. Well, I did with Part 6 of Sponby. The original version that I posted was really unsatifying to me personally, so I went back and added and changed a few things. I'll be noting those as they come.
He had done it.
Sponby felt the power of his new form. He'd absorbed everything. Jupiter, The Power, the Monolith, the Deus Est Machinas, that fleet and the Solar System itself.
But that last part was unintentional. Sponby only now regained control of his powers.
He was now a true God.
Sponby warped back to the Sponby Base. The Dragonlordmore had fortunately made it back in time.
"Listen up everyone." Sponby announced to all of his soldiers. "We're almost ready to assault the Great Machine Force. I will spearhead the last of the ship construction myself. Good job everyone; take a break, you'll need it."
Sponby programmed the basic instructions for finishing his fleet into his main body, while he split off his consciousness in a separate body. There was still some last-minute recruitment to do before he was ready.
- Sponby randomly gains the ability to "program" his body here. I'm not sure why, but he just does. Later on in Eternity, we see Fey do something similar, so at least it's consistent.
Sponby held up his torch, coming face to face with a green monster with a hideous face.
"GET DOWN!" Jeff and Sponby hit the dirt, and the green creature exploded, leaving a crater in the rock. Sponby blocked the explosion with a barrier, leaving both of them unharmed.
"Thanks, Sponby." Jeff said. "Didn't know you could do that."
"It's a little something I picked up." Sponby said. "Now then, let's look for some of that gold."
Jeff and Sponby spent the next few hours mining for gold. They found plenty of coal and iron, but unfortunately no gold. The iron ore would probably fetch a decent price at the blacksmith, though.
Unfortunately, on their way out of the cave, they were assaulted by an angry mob. Sponby swept them all aside, and he had also previously disabled the Giga Creeper underneath the mountain, preventing it from emerging and killing everything.
"So, what now?" Jeff asked.
"I'm going to level with you. I'm going to be fighting an epic space war pretty soon, and I'm here to recruit you as a soldier."
"Will I get paid?"
"Then I'm in." Jeff threw his stacks of coal and iron aside; his payment for this job would make that stuff look like chump change.
Sponby and Jeff headed back to the Exceliator. He had one more stop.
- Yeah, I wanted to see Cowboy Jeff Bridges again, hence why Sponby here goes to another AU and saves him. Not that he makes a difference in the final battle, but he's there.
- It seems that I alternate between calling the dwelling of the Equinoxes "Fort Fevrier" and "Castle Fevrier". That's another hint that they're taking place in an AU each time.
"Great-Lord Sponby!" The cheerful Equinox guards let him in to Fort Fevrier. He followed the red carpet to the throne room, where King Damocles was waiting.
"Hail, King Damocles!" Sponby cheered.
"Ah, Sponby! Greetings to you!" Damocles responded. Sponby bowed before him for a moment, then got up.
"I have something I need to ask you. Exodus, the being that enslaved you, was part of a greater organization called the Great Machine Force. I'm almost ready to fight them, but I need soldiers. I know it's selfish, but could I ask you for a few of your men?"
"I will do you one better!" King Damocles rapped his scepter on the ground. "All of my people are yours to command!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! My people will follow you to their death if need be. Just... try to make sure some of them survive."
"Thank you." Sponby didn't expect such a generous offer of soldiers, but he wasn't about to say no.
"Of course, Great-Lord! If you'd like, you may also contact our God for more help."
Sponby left Fort Fevrier as the entire population of Fort Fevrier, roughly 1000 Equinoxes, stepped into a portal to the Sponby Base. He'd return them to an alternate universe, a better one...
Sponby started to absorb the planet.
WHO ARE YOU?
"Huh? BURTON, you there?" Sponby asked.
I AM NOT BURTON. I AM SEASON-BRINGER, THE DRAGON OF SEASON CONTROL.
"Wait, you're the planet? And you're alive?"
YES. The planet morphed into a dragon as large as Saturn. AND YOU ARE SPONBY? I HAVE HEARD MUCH PRAISE FOR YOU FROM MY PEOPLE'S PRAYERS.
"Yeah. I'm off to fight the Great Machine Force."
I SEE. YES, THOSE WERE THE ONES WHO SEALED ME IN THE FORM OF A PLANET AND DOMINATED MY PEOPLE. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THEM A PIECE OF MY MIND...
"I'd love to have you aboard. I can equip you with weapons and armor if you need it."
AS YOU WISH.
Sponby opened a portal back to the Sponby Base. Season-Bringer flew through it.
Sponby looked over his fleet. It was finally done.
30 Reb-class ships, each as large and as powerful as the Deus Est Machinas. They lacked regeneration, but made up for it in more weapons and shields.
Each Reb-class ship had 10 Dragon-class ships within it. The Dragons were equipped with crew quarters, but refinements in his tech meant they had more powerful weapons, engines and shields than Dragon One way back when.
And each Dragon-class ship had 20 Quickening-class ships within it, to serve as point-defense and attack drones. Again, these were far more powerful than the original Quickening, or even the Exceliator.
With the spare materials, he made another fleet of 100 Mestema-class ships, which were slightly larger than the Dragon-class, but with shield strength equal to the Reb class. Basically just mobile walls, but in a pinch, they could accelerate and punch through hulls.
And for wild cards, he had Season-Bringer, decked out in weaponry and armor; the Cathedral Terra, which was far more powerful than any of his ships; and the Sponby Base Gamma, an upgrade of the original Base which could crank out reinforcements (as well as keeping the non-essential crew safe).
Yeah, his fleet was ready.
- Sponby's fleet is frankly ridiculous. Again, each Reb is equal in power to the Deus Est Machinas, which is itself more powerful than entire fleets from other series. I think that his ships even have the offensive edge against the GMF, though the latter has regenerative effects across its entire fleet.
"Put in the Heart of Machines' coordinates, BURTON." Sponby said. BURTON had retired from active duty; he was now in charge of ship deployment.
"YES SIR." The entire Fleet warped.
They ended up in intergalactic space, hovering a few million light years above a standard-looking spiral galaxy.
"Huh? Where's the Heart of Machines?" Sponby asked.
"RIGHT THERE." BURTON pointed out the galaxy. Now that Sponby looked at it, it looked a bit metallic...
"Wait... No, it can't be." Sponby had expected a fight, but... was the Heart of Machines...
"The entire galaxy. The whole thing is the Heart of Machines."
- Yep, this was the plan from the very start. An evil galaxy? That's pretty much the only thing that could threaten Sponby at this point.
THE HEART OF MACHINES
"Okay, let's do it!" The entire crew cheered as they flew toward the Heart of Machines. But their presence was definitely noticed; a fleet of thousands of Leviahamuts engaged them. The Dragons and Rebs cut right through them without a single loss.
"Good job, guys! But this is just a taste!" Sure enough, several Deus Est Machina-sized ships, backed up by another hundred thousand Leviahamuts, came out of a giant hole in the galaxy.
An epic firefight ensued. They lost a couple of Reb-class and several Dragon-class ships, but they were faring much better than Sponby previously had against the Deus Est Machinas. Of course, having the Cathedral Terra on their side helped a lot, as it transformed into humanoid form and unleashed a barrage of piercing missiles.
Of course, the Deus Est Machinas' regeneration meant that they didn't stay down for long. The Rebs concentrated their fire on one of the massive ships, and that seemed to work; one of them was reduced to atoms. The Cathedral Lazengann took out another with a Giga Drill Breaker.
"AND AS FOR ME!" Season-Bringer turned into a Super Saiyan and started slinging Angel Arm Kamehamehas around, taking out all but a couple of the remaining Deus Est Machinas. "THAT'S FOR ENSLAVING ME, YOU B****ES!"
"Ha ha!" It was Rossum again. "Your fleet is impressive! But it'll take more than that to defeat me!"
The rest of the Super Exadian-class ships, and everything smaller than that, appeared. About a billion in total.
With such a massive concentration of ships, simply firing a weapon took out massive chunks of the fleet. The Rebs switched to Piercing ammo, borrowed from Lordgenome, and started firing; the Dragon-class ships transformed into Dragonlords and used Tera Flare ammo, which was far stronger than piercing missiles but more draining. The Dragonlords had small Super-Spiral engines though, which helped in energy regeneration.
But the sheer amount of enemy dakka took its toll; they lost another Reb and three more Dragons. They will be missed, Sponby thought.
"I'M DETECTING MULTIPLE BRANE BREACHES! THEY'RE CALLING IN REINFORCEMENTS FROM OTHER UNIVERSES!" BURTON said.
"Yes!" Rossum announced. "I have factories in hundreds of universes!"
"Shit!" Sponby cursed.
"Don't get depressed just yet." Lordgenome said. "Mewtwo's been analyzing the Heart of Machines. He thinks we should be able to disable their fleet by killing this Machine-King guy."
- And of course, it all boils down to Sponby going to confront Rossum directly. That's typical of pretty much any series, really.
"I highly doubt that." Sponby said. Why would someone like the Machine-King have a single weak point? He'd probably have a distributed network across this entire galaxy to prevent that exact thing from happening.
"Even still, killing Rossum will deal a major blow to their morale, if not their coordination. I have a plan, come over here."
Sponby teleported over to the Cathedral Lazengann. It was busy Giga Drilling some more Deus Est Machinas; Sponby looked out and saw another Reb blow up.
"I have a backup ship, called the Arc-Gurren. It should get us within a few kilometres of the data center of the Heart of Machines. If we destroy that, it will at the very least let us fight a bit longer."
"Yeah, I guess we'll go with that." Sponby and Lordgenome teleported to the Arc-Gurren's bridge. It launched out of the Cathedral Lazengann's chest-face; a few Mestemas served as an escort, but none of them lasted very long.
"Come on!" The Arc-Gurren's shields took a beating, but Lordgenome and Sponby generated a perfect shield around it, getting them through. They pierced several hundred layers of flesh and metal, but even their perfect shield could only take so much; the hull of the Arc-Gurren was wrecked, and Sponby and Lordgenome teleported off of it before it exploded, taking out an impressive chunk of the Heart of Machines.
Sponby and Lordgenome were within walking distance of Rossum's Throne. The battle raged above them, and even though they couldn't hear it, they knew they weren't doing well. There wasn't any air in here, but neither of them needed to breathe, so it was all good.
"Halt!" Archetype, the four-armed woman with Sponby's powers, stood in their way. She was communicating with them via some sort of telepathic link.
"You!" Sponby tried absorbing her, but her Spiral power burned his shadow aura away.
"You've perverted that power!" Lordgenome used his own Spiral power and rushed at her, unleashing a flurry of fists that she tried to block and dodge, though unsucessfully. Sponby conjured his Fusion Sword and joined in.
"OVERLOAD!" Archetype unleashed her own Spiral power and created a crap-ton of drills, piercing both Sponby and Lordgenome multiple times; Sponby absorbed the drills, while Lordgenome just healed himself.
"How dare you use that power against me!" Lordgenome ripped her head off and punched her in the gut, sending her flying while her corpse burned with green flames.
"Ah ha!" Spoont jumped out of nowhere, skewering Sponby with a sword of light. Sponby tried absorbing him, but this particular Spoont was absorption-proof. But Sponby countered with a skewering and dicing from the Fusion Sword, which Spoont couldn't recover from; he was left as a quivering heap of body parts on the floor.
They pressed on.
"Halt!" Three more Archetypes and another Spoont appeared.
"God damnit!" Sponby shouted. "He's just doing it to piss us off!"
"Indeed! It's merely a distraction! FINAL FLASH!" Lordgenome fired a beam of brilliant green energy at their enemies, annihilating them.
They pressed on.
"Hey!" A redheaded woman dropped from a hole in the ceiling. Lordgenome was about to impale her with a Giga Drill, but Sponby stopped him.
"Wait!" Sponby shouted. He walked over to her... he couldn't believe his eyes. Was it really...
- Since Sponby got his start in Love Stroy and Olympics, I figured I'd have Lupa pop in as a cameo. Chronologically, Lupa's part here takes place after Chapter 9 but before Chapter 11, and the entirety of Sagacious takes place in the time skip between the fight with the GMF and the section with Vashblade.
"Hey Sponby! How's it going?" Lupa asked.
"Why are you here?"
"Jesus told me you guys needed help. Oh, it's a long story." Lupa added after seeing the confused looks on their faces.
"I... see. By the way, the name's Sponby."
The three heroes kept walking. Lupa explained her backstory: after winning the Olympics, 'Sponby' came and led her and a bunch of TGWTG people to the center of the universe and fought a Dark thing. From there, Lupa had various adventures, leading to her fighting a giant Master Ham with Jesus armor. Yeah, it didn't make sense in context either. God said He was going to erase her memories, but apparently He reconsidered, and instead sent her here to help fight Rossum.
"So yeah, that's why I'm here." Lupa said while punching the Super Demon Gold 3 Beta form of Kekanu.
"Interesting. I might have to hunt this Jesus fellow down later." Lordgenome said.
"Whatever. We're almost there." They pressed on, coming into another atrium.
"Hello, Sponby. Long time no see."
A giant robot, piloted by a human and a tiger, stood before them.
- I wanted there to be a point of having the Giant Robot Fight section, so I had Son and Dad show up here as the final defenders of Rossum's Throne. Again, this was before I decided to write Eternity.
"Sponby! You cast us aside during the battle against Exodus. But no longer! We sold our souls to Rossum the Machine-King, and gained power above the gods!" Daikaizer VX, the upgraded form of Daikaijin XX from so long ago, moved lightning-fast, squishing Sponby with its foot. He responded by absorbing the foot; Daikaizer broke it off immediately, regenerating it in no time.
Lupa jumped up and punched Daikaizer in the chest, knocking it to the ground. She then opened a portal to the Plane of Infinite Exploding Phelouses.
"I'm an exploding Phelous derp dee doo!" Phelous yelled as he attacked Daikaizer. The Phelouses exploded into little bits, which reformed as an equal-sized MegaNanoPhelous.
"Ha!" Daikaizer cut its arms off, and each arm regenerated into a full Daikaizer. Lordgenome generated Lazengann around him, while Sponby drew on some of his old powers to create a custom mecha for himself, which he dubbed 'Hot Drinks' for some reason. Lupa formed the head of the MegaNanoPhelous, taking control of it.
Epic asskicking ensued. Lazengann, MegaNanoPhelupa and Hot Drinks kicked the asses of all three Daikaizers. They all fused and became a hydra, but it got its ass kicked too.
"Give it up." Sponby said. He unleashed his shadow aura, absorbing Daikaizer at the same rate it regenerated; he accidentally absorbed a few Phelouses too.
"No! You..." Daikaizer blew itself up, but Sponby absorbed the blast. This one wasn't coming back.
They pressed on.
The way forward was oddly silent. They kept walking, until they entered a chamber covered entirely in screens broadcasting various angles of the battle outside. Sponby's forces had been diminished even further, but they were still fighting tooth and nail.
And in the middle of the room, held up by two large cables, was...
ROSSUM THE MACHINE-KING
...a large green circular thing, covered in wriggling tentacles.
- I knew from the very beginning that I wanted Rossum to be entirely unthreatening, so I decided to make him an evil sapient watermelon. Of course, by this point, his physical body is almost entirely pointless, since his consciousness is distributed across the entire Heart of Machines. I guess he's just nostalgic for his fleshy days.
"Wait, you're the Machine-King?" Sponby wondered.
"Indeed! You humans are so self-centered; did you really think all of your opponents would be humanoid?" Rossum's voice was deafening. "Now, I applaud you on making it here, but you should know that you have no hope of defeating me. I can regenerate faster than you can absorb and/or destroy me, and even if you do manage to destroy the Heart of Machines, one of the other Hearts will rebuild it."
"That's great! That means I can kill you as many times as I like!" Sponby drew his sword and cut both cables holding Rossum, then kicked him at the wall at lightspeed. His hard shell cracked, revealing his insides to be a gooey pink substance with black seeds strewn about.
"An evil watermelon." Lordgenome said, with a mix of amusement and incredulity. "The mighty Machine-King is an evil watermelon."
"Ha ha!" Lupa laughed. She picked up one half of Rossum and immolated it with holy fire, then threw the other half into the Plane of Infinite Phelouses.
"Oh yeah, thanks for the food, Lupa. It'll probably just kill me when I eat it." Phelous said.
But the cables holding up Rossum regenerated, and another Rossum quickly grew between them.
"Tell me, Sponby. Do you recall using the intrinsic life energy of a newborn planet to create your Dragon Balls?" Rossum asked.
"And the reason you did it was because you needed more power, and that even if it didn't produce any life in this universe, it inevitably would in another."
"Let me guess: you're from an AU version of that planet." Sponby said.
"Yes! And now you know one part of the reason I will never let you leave this place." All three of them were instantly encased in living metal. Sponby broke out first, and freed the other two by absorbing a large chunk of Rossum's Throne (including Rossum again).
But of course, the room instantly regenerated, good as new.
"Enough of this." Rossum said. One of the walls opened up, revealing one of the Deus Est Machina's main guns. "Your ships may be able to survive this weapon, but you will not be so lucky!"
"Bitch please." Sponby said. He turned to his two allies. "Okay guys, I can get us out of here, but only if I power up to Zetta level. The sheer power would destroy you guys along with everything else, and I can't open portals in here. So..."
"Then let our powers combine!" Lupa said. She created a protective barrier around herself and entered Sponby's shadow form; Lordgenome did the same. They all temporarily fused into one being.
"An impressive effort, but a futile one!" Rossum said as the main guns fired. The new fused being deflected them all without effort.
"I am beyond good and evil, light and dark, law and chaos." he said. "I am to God what he is to men! I am Sponby Aleph, and I have had enough of your shit!"
The simple act of powering up destroyed over half of the Heart of Machines. It started to regenerate, but Sponby Aleph extended his shadow aura, absorbing everything - friend and foe alike - into his body.
- Like I said in Olympics, it's all about perspective. After powering up to Aleph level, Sponby absorbs literally everything around the Heart of Machines, even his own crew. Had his been done by anyone else besides the viewpoint character, it would be a major turning point and a sign that they've become irreedemably evil; but since Sponby is the protagonist, he doesn't even dwell on it.
Even still, this marks the point where Sponby stops being an even slightly heroic figure and transitions into a full-fledged cosmic horror, albeit one that still has a human mind. And Rossum knows this. If you stop to think about it, Rossum's pretty much in the right here; he knows that Sponby probably won't stop until he's absorbed the entire multiverse, and the GMF's pretty much the last thing in his way. Even the sacrifice of thousands of Spoonts (or using a paradox bomb to wipe out hundreds of universes) could be justified to stop a threat of such proportion.
Speaking of which, this is the first major change I did to Part 6. In the original, Sponby absorbed the Heart of Machines and immediately destroyed the rest of the GMF's factories, but even though the anticlimactic end mirrors most of Vashblade's fights in CHR, I decided to let Rossum have one last chance. Hence the Rossum Ex Machina fight.
The Heart of Machines was no more. But the Great Machine Force was not yet defeated - as Rossum said, it had hundreds of other factories in other universes, and it would not be long before the Heart was rebuilt.
Sponby began to formulate a plan to take care of them, but a massive portal opened. A Deus Est Machina-sized ship emerged, but Sponby Aleph quickly realized that this was much different than the countless ships he'd just destroyed. The somewhat familiar aura of Rossum the Machine-King permeated the entire ship, and its power was almost equal to Sponby's own.
"SPONBY!" The regal voice of Rossum echoed throughout Sponby's mind. "I can never be truly defeated! If my body is destroyed, I will rise more powerful than ever! Make your peace now, before I make your body as nothing!"
"Big talk from the evil watermelon!" Sponby taunted. "Come on, show me what you've got!"
"Force Beam energized! Maximum charge! NOW! Fire the BREAKER!"
The Deus Est Machina changed shape, taking the form of a massive gun. It immediately fired a colossal energy beam, made up of thousands of slightly less colossal energy beams of various different types. Sponby tried absorbing them, but it was too much for even him to absorb; his body was torn to shreds, but he reformed once the assault was done.
"Really? You think you can defeat me with that wimpy weapon?" Sponby said. "Here's a real energy beam! YAMATO TECHNIQUE LEVEL ALEPH: INFINITY BIG BANG STORM!"
Sponby's human-sized body quickly expanded to four times the size of the Rossum Ex Machina. Hundreds of weapon ports appeared on Sponby's body; internally, for each weapon port, two galaxies were created using Spiral power and mashed together, creating huge amouts of raw energy for him to use.
Each weapon port fired a beam, each roughly the same strength as the Rossum Ex Machina's Breaker Beam. To counter this onslaught, Rossum summoned thousands of AU Spoonts and drained them of all their power, creating a nearly-invincible light-powered barrier to counter Sponby's naturally dark-based weaponry.
"Give up, Sponby!" Rossum shouted. "You can't move me!"
Sponby sensed that Rossum's Breaker Beam was charged up again. It had nothing on his Infinity Big Bang Storm, but he couldn't fire it through his light shield. Even if it was a small opening, he'd have to open it slightly. Sponby made sure to make his weak point rather obvious, so that Rossum would be sure enough to aim at it.
Sure enough, Rossum took the bait. A small opening in the light shield opened, and Sponby redirected several of his Infinity beams into it. Sponby's weapons easily overwhelmed the Rossum Ex Machina's, shredding it into little pieces once the light shield fell.
But of course, as is tradition with the Great Machine Force's weapons, the Rossum Ex Machina regenerated.
"I am invincible!" Rossum said.
"Really? Because I know one really good way how to deal with you." Sponby said. He morphed into a super-sized version of himself, dwarfing even the large Rossum Ex Machina. He extended his shadow aura outward, capturing the small ship in its grasp, pulling it into his body.
Rossum futilely tried firing more weapons, but Sponby absorbed them all.
"SPONBY!" Rossum screamed in desperation. "THIS IS NOT OVER! I WILL RISE FROM THE ASHES!"
"Sure you will." Sponby said as Rossum's consciousness faded from his mind.
But it still wasn't over. Those other factories still existed, but with Rossum's knowledge added to his own, he knew exactly where each of those were. He opened hundreds of portals, each leading to a different brane, in position to annihilate each of the factories' cores.
And then, he gathered energy.
"SPONBY TECHNIQUE LEVEL ALEPH: BREAK YOU." Sponby unleashed billions of energy beams, directing them through the portals. Each and every factory controlled by this incarnation of Rossum was completely and utterly destroyed.
Of course, the nature of the multiverse meant that there was more than one Great Machine Force, and definitely more than one Rossum. But it didn't matter. He would fight them as they came.
- There's another good point about stories with AUs. In most versions of the multiverse, pretty much every possible variation of events has occurred. Even if we discount universes that lead to paradoxes and such, but what about beings like the Time Devourer from Chrono Cross? It has to exist somewhere, so why hasn't it destroyed the entire multiverse already? And for that matter, why hasn't the multiverse been consumed by an AU Sponby already? A lot of people just sorta ignore this since it doesn't make a good story, but it's a topic I might pursue in the future.
But for now, he would return to his original goal. There was still a man who had forced him to become this, and he wanted to pay that man back.
- The second major alteration is adding this section with Vashblade, which wasn't present at all in the original. I thought about it, and I figured that it would take Sponby time to finally locate Insano, so I put this in to keep him occupied, as it were. There's meant to be a pretty sizable time skip between the two sections, though it's probably not very clear.
Sponby walked into a bar. He wasn't sure what this planet was called, but his universal translator would pick up the slack. He'd long since lost the ability to differentiate between languages - to him, any spoken language automatically sounded like English - but it didn't really bother him anymore.
Sponby had put the bulk of his power into finding the specific version of Doctor Insano that had transformed him into an Archetype. But the universe was pretty big, and there were a lot of universes; it would take a lot of time to find him. Until then, Sponby could just relax.
Immediately upon entering the bar, something made the hair on his neck stand on end. Sponby took a quick look around the bar, quickly identifying the source of his unease: a silver-haired man, sitting in the back of the bar, with an absolutely massive magical sword propped up against the side of the table.
But to his surprise, it wasn't Sephiroth.
"Who are you?" Sponby sat down, opposite the man. He looked human, but he had an almost bestial air to him.
"The real question is, who are you?" the man replied. "You seem familiar, but I've never seen you."
"I'm Sponby. You?"
"Vashblade Dragonfang. Call me Blade for short."
"What a stupid name."
"Better than 'Sponby'."
"Touche." A waitress came up, and Sponby ordered a beer; a few moments later, she came back with a cold one.
While he thoughtfully sipped the brew, he sized up Blade. Though he was far from unassuming, Sponby could tell that he was supressing all but a fraction of his true power. He couldn't exactly tell how much, but it was... a lot. Who the hell was this guy?
"So what're you doing here?" Sponby asked.
"Mercenary work." Blade said. "How about you? You're no normal scrawny human."
"I'm just killing time. Mind if I join you for a bit? I don't care about payment."
"Ha. We'll see if you can keep up." Blade pounded back the last of his beer. "Come on, let's go."
But before they could leave, an intimidating-looking bandit stepped into the bar. He took one look at Blade and Sponby, and drew his sword.
"BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" the bandit screamed as he ran at them. Blade grabbed his magical sword and easily parried the bandit's attack. With his other hand, Blade grabbed the bandit by the throat.
- I don't know much about Warhammer 40K besides the memetic stuff like "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD". I did a little bit of research to figure out what Khorne was and stuff, but you'll have to excuse me for how much I ruined his portrayal.
"I recognize that battle-cry." Blade growled. "Who do you work for?"
"KHORNE CARES NOT FROM WHERE THE BLOOD FLOWS!" The bandit ripped his chest open, spewing blood and bile all over Blade. He expired shortly after.
"Chaos." Blade said. He slammed his fist against a table, breaking it into little bits. He ran out of the bar.
"Chaos? As in, Warhammer 40K Chaos?" Sponby asked. "Seriously?"
"Yes." Blade said. "They corrupted me in my youth... and I haven't been the same. I've spent my entire life fighting against them. I've killed them down to the last demon. But no matter how thorough I am, they just keep coming back."
"Sirs!" The bar owner ran outside, catching up with Blade and Sponby. "I overheard that you were looking for work. If you have no other jobs there is a bandit keep near here. They keep us subjugated... if you could destroy them, we would all be eternally grateful!"
"Alright." Blade agreed. "Can you handle Chaos, Sponby?"
"Damn right!" Sponby drew his Fusion Sword. "I'm always up for killing indiscriminately, especially when they're Warp daemons!"
Sponby and Blade walked down the street. This city was oddly empty; it was mostly peddlers and homeless folks on the streets at this time of day, even though it was still daylight.
"Hey, you two!" A shabby-looking man behind a cart called out to them. "Want some exclusive Daxen souvenirs?"
Blade walked up to the cart, looking at the collection of various plush figures and tools. All of them had hexagonal patterns all over them, like they were going out of style; Blade took a couple of kitchen knives and studied them for a few moments.
"Shoddy work. The steel's low-quality, and the blade would fall off if I cut through bread. Why would you sell such terrible knives?" Blade asked.
"Huh? It's a souvenir! You don't use it to actually cut through stuff, you just hang it on the walls!"
"Eh?" Blade looked genuinely confused. "But it's a knife. It's made to cut things."
- I've seen it argued that Vashblade is actually a deconstruction of the battle-hardened warrior character type; he's really good at fighting, but his morality is completely focused around fighting, and he has no tact or social graces. He's basically a big stick that can swing itself, and by the end of CHR, he's so ridiculously powerful that literally nothing can stop him (they even say so in the story itself!)
That's kinda why I included the scene with the knife. Vashblade shows his extensive knowledge of bladed weapons since he's used so many, but he just can't grasp the idea of a knife that you just hang on the wall without using it.
"Weirdo." The man tried taking the knives back, but Blade defensively stuck the knives through his eyes. He then took more knives and stabbed the man repeatedly; sure enough, the blades snapped pretty much on contact, and those that didn't were kind of dull.
"What the hell, man?" Sponby said. He grabbed Blade's arm, snapping him out of his homicidal rage.
"Huh? Oh, sorry. I get angry sometimes." Blade said sheepishly. Somehow, no one seemed to notice the brutal murder of a merchant in broad daylight; Sponby got the feeling that Blade was unintentionally responsible for that. But it didn't really matter; if he went batshit on his ass, Sponby could take him. Probably.
- And since Vashblade's Sue-ness is so high, he can literally get away with murder. He sees himself as the "hero", and though he does a lot of unheroic things in cHR (he skins people alive. Yeah, not kidding. And that's not the worst of the things he's done.) he still views himself as the hero, and every act he does is perfectly justified unless it isn't.
Another couple of bandits stopped them as they made their way to the eastern gates.
"We ain't seen you here before." one of the bandits said. "If you wanna get outta here unscathed, you gotta make a peace offerin to our great King Crowley."
"Offer THIS!" Sponby swung his sword a single time, but the air pressure cut both bandits in half at the waist. "Fucking organized bandits."
But to his surprise, both halves of the bandits grew all sorts of tentacles. They started moving around, and one of them jumped on Sponby's face.
"Fuck!" Sponby shifted into his shadow form and absorbed the tentacled torso, reversing the power of grabby tentacles upon the thing. Blade, meanwhile, cast a Warp-scrubbing spell upon his sword and took out the other three monstrosities with a single slash each, banishing them.
"Ugly fuckers." Blade cursed. As they went through the gate, they noticed a keep in the plains to the east.
But this castle wasn't made of stone or metal. The walls looked like they were made of flesh; upon closer inspection, the walls were literally made of people. They pulsed in an erratic rhythm.
As Sponby and Blade approached the keep, a horrific screaming assaulted their ears. Fortunately for them, they were both mostly immune to eldritch languages that drove lesser men mad. The walls themselves spat black bile at them, but Blade conjured a shield that destroyed it on contact.
The entire keep shifted, getting up on thousands of small legs. A huge, distorted face manifested atop the keep's highest tower, looking directly at the two.
"This one's mine." Sponby shifted into his shadow form. He'd put almost all of his raw power into finding Insano, but he still had each and every single one of the abilities he'd absorbed from his enemies... and this time, he figured he'd try out one he hadn't used yet.
"BREAKER BEAM!" Sponby's variation of the Breaker fired hundreds of beams, each patterned after Blade's anti-Chaos shield. The beams ripped right through the evil keep, silencing the screaming and putting those poor souls to rest.
In the place of the keep was a portal to the Warp. Blade walked toward it, but before he could enter, two figures stepped out of it: a color-inverted doppelganger of Blade himself, and a doppelganger of Sponby with white hair and clothes.
"Chaos Blade." regular Blade cursed.
"So you're the famous Christian Humber." Spoont said. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
"My name is Blade. Or Vash. Or Bladevash." Blade said. He drew Tetsume, but to his surprise, Spoont shifted into his light form and grabbed Tetsume with light tendrils, absorbing it into himself.
"Hey Sponby, I heard you killed Rossum. Not bad!" Spoont taunted. He reached into his Akasha and drew Tetsume; Blade's extensive knowledge of magical swords told him that Tetsume had accepted its new master, and that it was basking in Spoont's radiance and growing ever stronger.
"Yeah, and I thought Rossum killed about ten thousand of your AU counterparts." Sponby said. "I'm surprised that he didn't completely wipe you out."
"The multiverse is a funny place." Spoooont said. "Who would've thought that I'd end up allied with Chaos against you? See, my good friend Chaos Blade here has quite a beef with your friend Humber, and I still plan to stop you..."
"It's Blade!" Blade shouted angrily. He was beginning to succumb to his rage...
"Yeah yeah. Unless you've killed me in at least six other alternate universes, you don't stand a chance."
"As a matter of fact..." Spoooooooooont drew the Fusion Sword in his other hand, and used his leet Archetype powers to fuse the Fusion Sword and Tetsume together. He then altered his light form a bit, gaining blue markings all over his body. "I've found that some of your powers are quite handy, as you no doubt have with my own. But the difference between you and me... is that I'm better."
Blade's sword Tetsume served as a restraining bolt of sorts; as long as he had it on his person, his crippling anger problems were mostly held in check. (If that sounds familiar, you've watched InuYasha.) But unfortunately for him, Spoont had absorbed and dominated the sword, and though Blade was valiantly struggling to hold on to his sanity, he was slipping further and further into madness.
- Yeah, Tetsume's origin is so blatant that I had to lampshade it in-story. InuYasha was actually one of the things that got me into anime (along with Dragonball Z and Yu-Gi-Oh), though looking back on it now, it's probably not something I'd watch these days.
Blade let out a wolf-like howl, and he conjured up two other weapons: a Chaos Keyblade and a gun with about twenty barrels. He fired away at Chaos Blade, who drew his Inverted Tetsume and easily blocked each shot. Blade threw the gun to the side and savagely attacked Chaos Blade with his keyblade, but his unfocused rage couldn't pierce Chaos Blade's sadistic coolness.
Meanwhile, Sponby powered up to challenge Spoont. Rather than matching swords, he took a page from the Dr. Jones School of Swordsmanship.
"SWAT TECHNIQUE LEVEL 2: AUTO-FUCKING-SHOTGUNS!" Sponby conjured 500 autoshotguns, each loaded with pure darkness as ammo. He let them rip on Spoont, who tried shielding himself, but he was quickly torn apart. Before Spoont could regenerate, Sponby fired as many shadow tendrils as he could, consuming each piece of light.
But Sponby fell for Spoont's trap. The pieces of Spoont, rather than subsuming into Sponby, instead started growing within his darkness. Spoont started taking over Sponby's body, but Sponby fought back.
Meanwhile, Blade had broken through Chaos Blade's Inverted Tetsume. One of the fragments of the evil sword was stuck in Blade's shoulder, but since it was inverted, it amplified Blade's rage even further. Blade transformed into a giant werewolf and devoured Chaos Blade whole.
"Bitch please!" Sponby expelled as much of Spoont as he could from his body, and invoked his rarely-used Zonder purification powers to supress the rest of Spoont's personality. The rest of Spoont's body quickly reformed, and opened another Warp portal, summoning three more copies of Chaos Blade.
"You can't stop me, Sponby. I'm invincible!" Spoont said. He absorbed all three copies of Chaos Blade, and summoned both Tetsume and Inverted Tetsume.
Blade stomped on Spoont, crushing his amorphous body. But Spoont took the chance to stab Blade with both swords; Blade's stomp embedded them firmly within his foot, amplifying his rage even more but giving him just enough coherence to focus it on complete and total destruction.
Blade reverted to his standard human form, but with some key differenceS: his generic anime clothing was pure white, and his hair stood on end and gained streaks of blue and white. He wielded both Tetsumes at once, dominating the inverted counterpart with his sheer power. He called this form "Chaos Hunter", and it represented the absolute peak of his abilities.
To his credit, Blade at his peak was far stronger than Sponby expected. He was almost at the same level as Sponby himself. But Sponby still held the upper hand in both power and longevity; under all of that power, Blade was still a mortal man, while Sponby was an immortal shadow-god.
Blade jumped into the Warp portal. Sponby decided to follow, but Spoont stopped him.
"I don't care about Chaos!" Spoont yelled. "I don't care if Humber kills every last one of them! I'm only concerned about you, Sponby!"
"Right right." Sponby snapped his fingers, and he recalled the bulk of his power stored in the Insano probe. An aura of complete darkness flared behind Sponby, instantly annihilating half of the planet as collateral damage.
"Fool!" Spoont gathered as much light magic as he could, firing it at Sponby, but his darkness easily absorbed the blast. Spoont backed away in abject horror at the pure incarnation of the spatial void stood before him.
"Die." Sponby's shadow aura absorbed Spoont and the rest of the planet. Spoont still had the data for Tetsume within him; Sponby recreated it, then traced its signature to Blade's current position. Since he really had nothing better to do, he decided to go help Blade destroy the Warp.
As Sponby crossed the veil, he was floored by the raw psychic power permeating the Warp. It took him some time to to get adjusted to the background interference, but as soon as he did, he felt the trail of devastation left by Blade - or rather, the lack of background energy, as it had been completely annihilated by him.
Sponby followed the path until he caught up with Blade, who was standing over the corpses of hundreds of thousands of dead Chaos Marines.
"Traitors!" Blade screamed. He poured energy into his two swords, causing a chain reaction that annihilated another section of Chaos space.
"Having fun?" Sponby asked.
"Fun? This is a life-or-death battle against Chaos!" Blade continued on, and Sponby followed. More Chaos Marines attacked, but before Blade could destroy them, Sponby decided to absorb a few just for the hell of it; he'd already absorbed eldritch horrors, so these were nothing.
But it wasn't long before the two of them came across what appeared to be a gigantic castle made entirely of bones. The gates opened, and they stepped within it.
"YOU TREAD WITHIN THE HALLS OF WAR!" A booming voice nearly shook the castle apart. Paying no heed to the voice, they continued onward through the halls of the castle, until they came across the throne room - dominated by an impossibly-large throne made entirely of skulls. Atop it was a similarly-impossibly-large man who looked like a knight, but with the head of a wolf.
"Khorne, the Blood God!" Blade said. He pointed both swords at the Chaos God. "Your warmongering ways end here!"
"HA!" Khorne laughed. "I AM IMPRESSED THAT YOU CAN STARE UPON ME WITHOUT YOUR EYES BURSTING INTO FLAME, BUT DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DEFEAT ME WITH THOSE WEAPONS?"
"Die, ugly!" Blade used his speed to instantly get to Khorne's head, and he drove both swords through the Chaos God's eye sockets. He then used his anti-Chaos magic, completely erasing the Skull Throne from existence.
- I don't know if Khorne actually has a physical body to kill. My extremely limited knowledge of the Chaos Gods didn't tell me either way, so I just said "to hell with it" and had Sponby and Vashblade beat on the dude.
But Khorne remained, no worse for wear.
"AS LONG AS ONE MAN WHO BELIEVES IN POWER REMAINS, I WILL SURVIVE!" Khorne summoned a literally-impossible number of weapons and used them all on Blade.
"God of War? Hah! Kratos could kick your ass any day of the week!" Sponby powered up again, and his dark aura began absorbing the background psychic energy. Khorne directed some of his weapons toward Sponby, but his body easily absorbed even the most powerful of them.
"WHO ARE YOU?" Khorne asked.
"I am the terror that scares the entire multiverse! I am the immortal Great-Lord! I have conquered the Great Machine Force singlehandedly! I am Sponby!"
Sponby's dark aura surrounded Khorne, rapidly siphoning his power away. He mimicked Blade's anti-Chaos magic while simultaneously invoking some of the anti-Archetype tech employed by the Great Machine Force; the combination of both was enough to reduce the Blood God to little more than a speck.
But just as he claimed, the Chaos Gods could never be truly destroyed as long as there was still life in the multiverse. Sponby had to make do with supressing as much of his personality as he could, and siphoning off every last bit of energy directed to him. Of course, he funneled most of the psychic energy directed to the Blood God into the measures containing him, and still made off with a general power boost.
"You..." Blade looked at Sponby. "You destroyed Khorne?"
"Not really, I just sealed him." Sponby said. "I could probably do the same to the other three Chaos Gods too, but I think I'll just make do with using the latent psychic power of the Warp to find my true adversary."
"Chaos is unrepentently evil! Even thinking about using it will corrupt you!" Blade said. "Which means that... I'll have to destroy you."
"Really? You think you can defeat me? Sure, you're pretty strong, but even if you somehow became 100 times more powerful right now, you still wouldn't be able to kill me. I'm absolutely invincible!"
"That may be so, but I'll never give up!" Blade opened up a portal, taking them back to realspace. But the sheer power emanating from Sponby messed up the portal's destination... instead, they ended up back in the Terrain of Testament.
"Ah ha... Ha ha ha... HA HA HA!" Sponby laughed. "This place again! Of all the places, we end up here..."
Sponby instantly re-attuned to the Terrain, gaining another massive power boost.
In here, Blade was no match. He tried employing his anti-Chaos magic, but Sponby was unaffected. His biological distinctiveness was added to Sponby's own.
- A lot of the fights in CHR are pretty anticlimactic, with Vashblade just destroying them without even much of a fight scene. I figured I'd do the same for his death in Sponby.
Escaping from the Terrain of Testament once was difficult.
Escaping twice was inevitable.
Sponby shaped the entire Terrain into a tiny ball, leaving him in an empty void. Then, he focused hard upon the last remaining relic of his life. He felt himself slip through the barrier, moving beyond time and space, until he appeared at the ruins of his old house.
It seemed like it had only been a short time since he was trapped within the depths of Insano's lab, being tortured and experimented upon by the good doctor.
Of course, there wasn't any actual house left. He'd absorbed it all when he came back for Burton. But it still felt... nostalgic to him.
"Sponby." BURTON had been repurposed as the communicator for his probe. "I've found the exact permutation of Insano that transformed you. Transmitting location now."
Sponby knew exactly where he was. Before leaving, he recreated his old house - he wasn't really sure why, but he just felt like it. In his wanderings throughout the multiverse, he'd never found his brother - but perhaps, once this was all done, he'd go out and find him.
Sponby created a portal to the coordinates provided by BURTON.
It was time.
Sponby arrived on a cold, desolate planet in intergalactic space. He'd reabsorbed the probe, bringing him back to his full power and more: he still held the Terrain of Testament within him, boosting his power even further.
The only feature on this planetoid was a small hut. This planet was host to two beings: one of them had arrived, and the other had been hiding here from both his creation and the Great Machine Force.
"Hello, Insano." Sponby opened the door, and saw a bespectacled doctor tinkering with a small machine.
"Oh, uh, Spoony!" Insano flinched as Sponby walked toward him. "Please, I can explain!"
"The only reason you're still alive is because I want to hear you beg for your life." Sponby said.
"Oh really? Would you kill... your brother?" Insano took off his goggles, and Sponby recognized the face of his brother, Miles.
"What? Damnit, BURTON got the coordinates wrong!"
"A long time ago, a woman came to our house. She called herself Dr. Madeness, and she was badly injured; I did what I could to tend her wounds, but it was too late. She explained that she was from a different universe, and that her planet had been overrun by the Great Machine Force and their Archetypes, beings who could absorb anything and integrate it into their bodies. Her last act was to implant all of her knowledge into my head, so that I could carry on her work of creating an Archetype to counter them.
"Her knowledge manifested as an alternate personality. It named itself 'Doctor Insano', after one of the characters on your webshow. I built my lab and tools in secret, but I had to use liberal mindwipes to keep it all under wraps. I sold some of my tech for funding, but I never forgot my goal.
"Originally, I designed the procedure for myself, but I realized that the process needed to transform into an Archetype was far too complex to be automated. So... I used you. My original plan was to use you as Neutro's power source, until you inevitably absorbed it and learned of your powers: from there, I would guide you throughout the multiverse, until you became as powerful as the entire Great Machine Force.
"But then that damned Linkara interfered. I adjusted my plans. Instead of directly guiding you, I indirectly showed you the way to more power. But Rossum was aware of my plans, and he countered accordingly; he sent an Archetype when you created the Dragon Balls, and he sent a Deus Est Machina before you were capable of dealing with it. I had to interfere with the portal to the Heart of Machines, and I had to corrupt Dredge to become susceptible to your power.
"Warrior? I sent him. The Power and that monolith? My doing too. All of your actions have been according to my plan." Insano stood there, a look of mad glee on his face.
- I knew that I would eventually make Insano the ultimate manipulator of Sponby Reloaded, so I intentionally added in a bunch of random events and deus ex machinas just to pin on him later.
It's also meant as the last reference to CHR, where the final enemy of that story is the President of the United States, who makes no appearance beforehand but still claims to have manipulated every facet of Vashblade's life for some reason or other. In this case, Insano is pretty much mentioned only at the beginning and end, and the Great Machine Force (just like Chaos) is the main enemy for the bulk of the fic.
"Okay. Well, the Great Machine Force is destroyed, so thanks for manipulating me into doing that." Sponby said sarcastically.
"Indeed. But I just realized that I have a perfectly good unstoppable weapon at my disposal. I do believe... I will take over the multiverse!" Insano pointed a remote at Sponby, who fell to the ground in pain.
"Did I forget to mention that I added some mind control tech to your Archetype enhancements?" Insano cackled. He walked over to Sponby. "Now then. For my first declaration of rule, why don't you go and absorb Oa? Those Guardian bastards don't deserve to live in the Insanoverse!"
"No." Sponby resisted Insano's control. He got to his feet.
"Oh, not bad. But I've anticipated that too! I figured out how to automate the Archetype process..." Insano shifted into his Archetype form; but instead of tangible light or darkness, Insano was a void, an all-consuming tear in reality. Seeing it would drive lesser men to madness, but Sponby was no lesser man.
Insano absorbed everything he could into his void, including Sponby. Sponby escaped, but the damage had already been done; Insano had gained a significant portion of Sponby's power.
FIGHT IT OUT
Sponby absorbed the planet they were on. Insano fled to another universe. Sponby extended his shadow aura and absorbed the nearest few galaxies, directing all of their energy into a Big Bang pointed at Insano's universe.
Insano absorbed all of that energy, and threw it right back. Sponby absorbed that, but rather than throwing it back, he kept it, using it to extend his aura.
"Ha ha!" Insano said. "Fool!"
"I'll fucking kill you!" Sponby said. His aura kept growing; stars, galaxies, quasars, clusters, black holes... and eventually, the universe itself was absorbed into his body.. Sponby condensed all of that energy within himself, using it to capture Insano.
- By this point, I knew that Sponby was so powerful that absorbing entire universes wasn't much of a step up. Insano has the same level of power only because someone needs to be the end boss.
But Insano had absorbed a universe too, and he escaped. They started flinging abhorrently powerful beams of energy at each other, wrecking everything in their path. Hundreds of thousands of Spoonts, Archetypes and even several hundred Great Machine Forces all teamed up to try and stop them, but they were as ants against these two gods; all of them were destroyed in the crossfire.
Sponby conjured an existensword, made from the power of multiple universes, and cut up Insano into trillions of pieces. But each piece contained the power of Insano, and quickly absorbed the universes they landed in before coming together.
Sponby had to speed up his absorption to keep up with Insano. They kept throwing more energy beams at each other, though at this point, neither combatant had the sheer power needed to completely eradicate the other...
...but Sponby had a plan. He fired a huge tendril at Insano, draining his power. Insano, hitting himself for not thinking of that before, did the same. But they were still absorbing universes like a kid eating chips.
"Enough of this!" Insano said. He gathered all of the energy and fired it at Sponby; Sponby absorbed the blow, but the energy ripped space and time, opening a portal to the nether realms where elder things lie sleeping but alive. The elder things rushed from the rip in their world into the multiverse, but even they were scared by the two beings doing battle with the fabric of reality.
Sponby absorbed all of the elder things, turning them into a giant sandwich made of evil and death. But not even that could kill Insano. Insano dragged Sponby to the backyard and impaled him with a lawn dart, but Sponby countered by hitting him with nunchucks, which Insano countered by running him over with a bike, which Sponby countered by running him over with a car, which Insano countered by grabbing a knife and stabbing him, which Sponby countered by eating spinach and going all Popeye on his ass, which Insano countered with sciency finger lightning, which Sponby countered with a gunblade, which Insano countered with an asteroid, which Sponby countered by dodging, which Insano countered by destroying Earth, which Sponby countered by expending a Force point to recreate Earth, which Insano countered by building a death ray on the moon and firing it at Sponby, which Sponby countered by focusing sunlight into a giant death beam that blew up the moon, which Insano countered by creating a fake moon and turning into a giant monkey, which Sponby countered by cutting off his tail, which Insano countered with a Destructo Disk that chopped Sponby in half, which Sponby countered by regenerating, which Insano countered with Warmech, which Sponby countered with Shinryu, which Insano countered with Ruby Weapon, which Sponby countered with Yiazmat, which Insano countered with Pandemonium Warden, which Sponby countered with Abyssion, which Insano countered with every Persona boss, which Sponby countered with every single Pokemon at level 100 and at max IVs, which Insano countered by flipping the table, which Sponby countered by cutting up Chaos Orb and sprinkling it all over Insano's cards, which Insano countered by playing Polymerization and fusing Alakazam and Angry Mob and creating Sheogorath, which Sponby countered with Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, which Insano countered with Chtulhu Tech, which Sponby countered with Shinji and Warhammer40K, which Insano countered with Locoroco, which Sponby countered with a Giga Shining Chain Rocket Goldion Gekigan Progressive Tachikoma Blazing Sexy Falcon Infinity Gem Buster Prism Hadokamehame PAAAAAAAAWNCH, which Sponby countered by absorbing it, which Insano countered with a man without a body, which Sponby countered with a Chuggaconroy, which Insano countered with twenty Gundams welded together, which Sponby countered with Sponby, which Insano countered with Insano, which Spoont countered by exploding, which Insano countered by distracting Sponby with Zombie Oreo, which Sponby countered by saying "Fuck, this is getting annoying!" Insano agreed.
- The ending was the last thing I changed when I went back to edit this. Originally, I had posted three different endings:
-Sponby enters Sue Valhalla
-Sponby and Insano are captured by even more powerful beings and eaten
-Sponby and Insano discover that there's even more multiverses.
But when I started to write Eternity and plan it out, I decided to rewrite this ending to better facilitate the ending. I never really liked any of the endings anyways.
By this point, Sponby and Insano had absorbed every last bit of energy in the multiverse. All that was left were the two beings, who each contained half of the total energy in the multiverse. Both were madly trying to gain an edge on one another by absorbing energy from one another, or flinging around universe-busting energy beams, or trying to flirt with one another.
But it was pointless. They were the only things left, and their fight would be eternal.
"Wait!" Insano said. He looked up. "I... do you feel that?"
"Yeah, I do." Sponby had become aware of it a long time ago. Was it the fourth wall? Barriers between... multiverses? Or was it something else?
A door of light opened up between them. Insano entered first, but as soon as he passed through, he was completely annihilated. Sponby absorbed the surge of energy coming from it.
He was finally complete.
Sponby ascended beyond the world of fanfiction.
- And so ends the epic saga of Sponby Reloaded. At some point in between this ending and Eternity, the universe is recreated in its third iteration, but for more information on that, check out Eternity as it develops! Next time, we'll look at The Sagacious Saga.