Everywhere Girl #4 (of 4): A Confluence of Cataclysm
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by Denny Hill 2 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright 2002 All rights reserved.
In the deep, dark recesses of your mind, picture our young heroine, Franky, as she is hunted across time and space by crimson-hued demons possessed of many appendages, a creepy old corpse with a leering look in his eye and way too many 'mad scientist' gadgets for his own good, and even her own recent allies from Planet T. She doesn't look scared, though; no, it would appear that Franky is just about tired of running from her tormentors...
(That should do for a 'cover', shouldn't it?)
Notice: for those of you that are faint of heart, the following tale isn't exactly what one would call G-rated in nature. It contains a plethora of bad language, excessive violence, sexual innuendo, and of course, things that would get this story burned, were it in a printed form, by the more fanatical elements of just about any religion on earth. In other words, if these things offend you - you've been warned.
The disturbed young woman sat with her back to the bar, and looked about.
She homed in on a particularly bizarre conversation and listened in.
"I tell you, it's not my fault I'm evil."
"'Cause I was made this way."
"But you're a FUCKING Adolph Hitler clone!!"
"And you wiped out everybody on your goddamn planet just for being different than YOU, you sick bastard!"
"But that was just an alternate earth..."
She quickly grew bored of these two, and continued to scan the bar.
There were several conversations going on in languages that she couldn't begin to comprehend, some that sounded as though they were not of this earth. Or her earth, at least. Of course, that was because Franky was hanging out in the Club Invertebrate, that bizarre little bar / dance club in an Omaha, Nebraska basement that was host to a portal to... elsewhere. To everywhere, really, if only you know where you want to go.
Not sensing any other interesting conversation that she could make any sense of, or at least seeing any naughty doings going on in the alcoves and cubby holes of this strange edifice between any of the freaks, mutants, and/or aliens to entertain her, Franky turned to face the bar proper, ordered another bowl of Grog, and decided to leave after she was finished. She looked at the strange, multiple bartender for a bit, and sank back into thought.
She was here, of course, because she needed to make up her mind about her mentor - not to mention the ethical vacuums she employs. Franky was grateful to Psychoturge for taking her in and teaching her how to use her strange, psionic potential,* but she didn't want to work for her and her homicidal goons any more. She just felt... dirty going on all these mercenary missions, stealing this, killing that, and generally thugging around the omniverse.
Franky wanted more in her life, even if she didn't know what just yet, and had resolved to leave Psychoturge's company once and for all. She couldn't just quit, really, for she knew the lady would keep trying to get her to 'pay for her upkeep' with more shady deals and underhanded jobs. So, after chugging her Grog (never really a good idea), Franky negated her own, personal gravity and leapt into the strange vortex by the Club's ceiling.
Feeling the slight tingle of booze behind her eyes, Franky extended her index finger, and placed it on Psychoturge's desk in a deliberate motion. "You heard me, Sissy." Franky knew that Psychoturge hated it when people used her real name, but her own temper was rising at this point, so she was on an antagonistic roll. "I can't work with you anymore. Not you, really, but these people - and in this way. It just don't feel right to me, y'know?"
Psychoturge scowled. "All I see is an ungrateful brat who doesn't want to pay me back for saving her ass a year ago.** Good grief, Franky, I've been training you how to use your psimotive powers for a goddamn YEAR, and this is how you pay me back?! No, I don't think you're leaving us just yet, my dear..." As Psychoturge rose to do who-knows-what, Franky jumped the gun, and used her repulsive anti gravity on the desk before her.
After pinning her mentor to the window with the office furniture, Franky walked up to her and waggled her fist in Psychoturge's face. "Fuck you! You never, ever said training me came with any sort of strings. If you had, I'd have told you where to go before we even got started - and you know it. So screw you, screw your nutjob gang, and screw this, 'cause I'm out of here." With that, Franky popped open a portal, and left Planet T proper.
As the gravitic grip on her desk faded, Psychoturge gathered her wits about her.
Under her breath, she muttered "In a pig's eye..."
Exiting her portal in a realm unknown to her, for she'd just popped it open to a random plane, Franky looked about and saw a rather hellish planescape before her. The earth was all red, with the orange hint of flames licking at the blood-red sky just beyond the mountains surrounding her, and she could swear she heard howls of torment in the acrid, sauna-like wind striking her. Nice place, she thought as she prepared to form another gate to a more comfy realm.
"Not so fast, my pretty."
Franky rotated in that slow, deliberate style that you usually only see in Japanese cartoons, and knew to whom she was speaking even before she saw his mangled, mottled form. "Hello, Helmut." The man cackled at that, his raspy voice slipping out from both his mouth and the holes in his decaying throat. "Ah, so you remember me, my dear? I should hope so, for I am your Creator, the man you should thank for your continued existence!"
Franky looked at the disgusting, decomposing form of Helmut Sanchez, the man who raised her from the dead with his so-called Rejuvenation process. She assumed the man had been rendered gone - forever - when his flesh was partially consumed by Sir Tophat's flesh-eating-bug magic back on earth.*** Apparently, she was mistaken. The one thing about all this that surprised her was that he still retained the services of his other two Rejuvenate creations.
"So what's the deal, Helmut? It's a pretty amazing coincidence that I wound up in your particular little Hell here, wouldn't you say?" Helmut chuckled at that, and shook his head in the negative. "Not at all, girl, for I brought you here. I cast a spell that would steer you here when next you crossed the planes. I figured that after wandering through that vortex in yon Club, you'd not died, after all - and I was correct, as usual!"
Noticing that his minions were circling around her, Franky prepared for some mayhem. "I've grown since the last time we met, Helmut... and I really don't have the patience for your bullshit. So why don't you and your little boyfriends just go away, or you'll live to regret it." Looking at his decomposing, insect-riddled form, Franky amended that somewhat. "Or unlive, or whatever. You know what I mean, dick."
Seeing the look on his face at her threat, Franky knew Helmut was about to make his move, and as such she activated several of her powers. For one thing, she again rendered herself weightless, thus giving her much, much more mobility than her fellow Rejuvenates. She then waited for them to strike, which they did as soon as Helmut predictably screamed "Get her!" When the first one lurched at her, the one she remembered as Billy, she leapt into the air.
Not expecting her to bound thirty feet into the air, Billy just watched her sail upwards in a rather slack-jawed fashion, and while he did so, Franky pelted him with a focused bolt of anti gravitational force, knocking him to the ground. When she eventually floated down to the ground, Franky then struck the other Rejuvenate, the one who called himself George, with a repulsive burst of energy - one that knocked him into Helmut's rotting form.
"Whore! I'll kill you myself!"
As Helmut screamed in impotent rage, Franky bounded towards Billy, and began to pummel him mightily, alternating between her own fists and her anti gravity force blasts. She knew he could heal just as fast as she could, so she tried to render him senseless before the other two disentangled themselves. When he appeared stunned, Franky picked Billy up, hurtled him into Helmut and George, and cranked up the gravity between Billy and the surface.
This pinned the three relics of her past to the ground, unable to move. Laughing at that, Franky walked up to Helmut, and stomped on his rotting head rather mightily. The undead technomage only laughed at that, and before Franky could even say "What's so damn funny?" she was attacked from behind. This was no Rejuvenate, though - it was something possessed of many, many claws. Not dropping her concentration on her gravity, Franky turned around quickly.
As her back and shoulder bled freely, Franky gazed upon the form of her attacker, another cretin she thought she'd dealt with. "Didn't I leave your sorry ass in a hole back on Planet T?" The being behind her kicked her in rage for that, sending her sailing across the blasted plain. "Bitch! That was merely a minor convenience... something as simple as a mere impact cannot slay Nxyrolpas, one of the greater Kedae!"
Wiping the blood from her mouth, since Nxyrolpas kicked her upside the head in order to send her sailing thus, Franky looked at the demon. And his entourage, for the big bag of claws, tentacles, and other anatomically unhappy bits seemed to have brought company along. Worse, she'd lost her concentration on the goons from earth, and they'd since risen to menace her further. Worse again, it would appear that Helmut wasn't done gloating.
"Hah! Foolish wench, as a fall could not slay my ally there, nor could a mere cloud of vermin rid the world of my presence. My magic sustained my life force even as my body failed me. It kept me around long enough to meet Nxyrolpas here in the Club after you chopped him to bits, and again after he returned to our world once he'd escaped the police forces of your precious Planet T. We are united in purpose, you see, for we both want nothing but to kill you!"
As Nxyrolpas, Helmut, the two Rejuvenate goons, and the three support demons closed in on her, Franky just shrugged. "Oh, fuck you all." She then opened up a dimensional portal beneath her feet, as she had done previously on Planet T, and dropped right into it. Closing it immediately afterwards, Franky thought for a moment that she had lost them as she returned to Planet T, slowly drifting to the surface of the cityverse as she nursed her already-healing wounds.
You can imagine her dismay as the fabric of space was rent asunder moments later.
Cursing at first as she saw the twin portals form behind her, Franky then chuckled as the two Rejuvenates, lacking the power to fly, quickly sailed past her; they apparently didn't expect her to travel to a point so... vertically inclined. Of course, she wasn't so lucky with Helmut, much less the various Kedae, as they quickly halted their own falls, and then began to fly towards her at reckless speeds, gibbering in rage all the while.
Sensing the need for speed, Franky dropped her weightlessness in favor of one of her trademark gravity wells, and then rocketed towards the surface. Figuring that her trick to get rid of Nxyrolpas wouldn't work like it did last time, Franky sped towards one of the many lanes of flying traffic that wind their way around the gleaming towers of Planet T, and poured on all the speed she could muster. Naturally, her foes followed even faster.
Assuming that these boobs wouldn't quite understand Planet T's three dimensional traffic, she dove into a lane of such much to the dismay of those on the path with her, and when she could practically feel the hot, fetid breath of those Kedae behind her, Franky quickly dove into another lane, one that was traveling in the opposite direction. Manifesting all of her video game skills from the past, Franky swerved around the vehicles as best as she could.
Almost immediately, she could hear a wet 'splack' sound as the trio of demonic minions were struck by a very, very large cargo vessel; imagine something about three times the size of a Mack truck flying at 200 miles per hour, and you're almost there. She then dove down with traffic heading towards the surface, and while her enemies were blinded with the entrails of their minions, leapt into another dimensional portal.
She knew they would follow, so Franky quickly scanned the area around her for something she could use against them. This time, it appeared that her dimension hop was truly random, for instead of landing in a hellish realm of Helmut and Nxyrolpas' choosing, she was in a landscape she'd never even imagined. It looked as though it were made up of floating mountains, on the bottoms of which were small villages, farmlands, or even medieval fortresses.
Gravity was all screwy here, too; it seemed to be more of a localized phenomenon, one that wasn't based on normal physical laws so much as whatever surface happened to be closest to a body. As such, Franky zipped towards the nearest mass she could find, and hid behind it, hoping to take her enemies by surprise when they eventually manifested in this plane. Soon enough, they showed up where she herself entered this odd universe.
As they paused in mid-air in an attempt to track her, Franky figured now was as good a time as any to attempt another of the psionic tricks that she learned from Psychoturge, that being a sort of psimotive invisibility. She knew how to erase most of her presence from the multiverse altogether, though it was a tricky affair, and she couldn't yet erase all of said presence; it would either defeat their tracking abilities or it wouldn't.
Activating this power, Franky faded from sight, as well as every other sensory apparatus. Her two foes quickly made their way to her location, but did indeed seem perplexed by her sudden disappearance. Before they could determine what had happened, though, they were beset by natives. A small band of men on horseback journeyed forth from the fortress on this particular floating mountain to investigate their presence.
Seeing the undead wizard and the demon stalking the area, they attacked without question. As the mounted men fought the demon and the mage, Franky slipped into yet another dimensional gateway, this time landing in a darkened realm of clockwork - immense clockwork! Everything around her consisted of impossibly huge gears, pulleys, levers, and looked to her eye to be the very machinery that made reality go - if in a sort of story-book fashion.
Knowing that the goons who were after her wouldn't be beaten by mere swordsmen, she decided to set up an ambush for them. As was the case in the last universe she visited, this realm was wonky on the gravity front, and it seemed to be geared (heh heh) towards whatever side of whatever gear one was closest to. Soon enough, Helmut appeared at her entry point, though Franky could still hear the sound of battle issuing forth from the other side of that portal.
Apparently, Nxyrolpas wasn't done with those poor bastards just yet. Using some sort of mystic doo-dad to pinpoint her position, Helmut began to sail through the air towards her, but Franky was ready. Right as he came around the side of the gear she was hiding behind, Franky whipped out her spike-knuckled trench knife, and stabbed the undead mage in the heart. Though he was dead, she hoped it would at least faze him enough for her to shove him into the gears.
This was indeed the case, and before Helmut could react, Franky had pushed the animate corpse's legs into two of the solar-system sized gears as they came together. "Aarrgh! You filthy bitch... I MADE you, and this is how you treat me?! I'll get you for this... mark my words!" Helmut continued to scream as more of his decrepit form was pulled into the ridiculously sized machinery. Standing on one of the gears, if perpendicular to him, Franky laughed.
"Sure thing, Helmut. But I think I'll be dead long before you come out the other side of this thing. And I don't think you'll be casting any spells while you're in a gelatinous state..." Helmut clawed at Franky's legs as he was pulled in, but at this point his strength was quickly failing him, and Franky merely watched as more and more of Helmut disappeared into the gears. When the last of him finally faded from view, Franky smiled.
Startled, Franky wheeled around to spy none other than Shotgun Sammy. "What the Hell are you doing here, Sammy?" Suddenly very unhappy, Franky spied the area all around her, to no avail; she didn't see any of her former teammates skulking about. "Don't worry, baby, it's just me. I see you've been busy?" Franky scowled at that. "Duh, dumbass... I'm only being stalked by one of your stupid demon enemies, who decided I'd make a better target lately."
"You know, Nxyrolpas."
Shotgun Sammy himself scowled at the name of this Kedae, the fellow that formerly stood between himself and freedom. "Well, come back to the pad with me, baby, I'm sure we can take care of him for you. I bet good ol' Sissy'll even take you back... we can just say it was the booze talking, y'know?" Drifting off the massive gear that so recently just consumed her ersatz creator, Franky leered at Sammy. "Not on your life...!"
Sammy then pumped his namesake. "Sorry babe, but it's either this or she's gonna throw the rest of the Departure at you, and I can't have that. I mean, I like you and shit, y'know? I don't want her bringing you home in a bag or something..." This, of course, just caused Franky to lose it. "Christ! I can't believe you'd attack me after all the time we've spent together. I can't believe I fucked you!"
Before Sammy could fire off one of his special rounds, Franky slipped into yet another interdimensional portal, this time emerging in a world that seemed to be nothing but rain forest. She was surrounded on all sides by immense trees, trees that possessed multiple canopies which themselves appeared to be supporting more plant life, ad nauseum. While she waited for Sammy, Nxyrolpas, and everybody else to catch up to her, Franky made up her mind.
"Fuck this. I'm done playing with you assholes. Come get some."
Franky then dropped the gravity well to resume her weightlessness, brandished her blade at the world around her, and waited for the first poor bastard to walk through a portal after her. Sure enough, Sammy followed first, and before the Kedae expatriate could even blink, Franky brought the handle of her Thaumatech blade down on his head, knocking even him out cold before he knew what hit him. "Huh," said Franky. "Must be some sort of magic metal."
She then grinned, remembering what Nxyrolpas said about just what could kill him. Her malicious mirth evaporated soon enough, however, for the rest of Sammy's allies appeared, out of separate portals, all around her. There they were, all the thieves, killers, and sociopaths she'd been slumming around with over the last year, give or take. And they'd already forgotten that, by the look of them, for they had murder in their eyes.
She wondered just what Psychoturge had told them.
The thought went uncompleted, though, for the extraplanar mercenaries jumped her immediately. The Gun Toting Psycho opened up with one of his ubiquitous big guns. Bar-B-Q blasted her with her mutant pyrokinesis. This alone was enough to bring Franky to her knees, but that was before Codger smacked her with some sort of magical construct, which he then used to wrap her up like a Christmas present. Finally, the Organ Donor walked up to her and punched her.
In the jaw.
On the verge of unconsciousness, Franky looked through singed eyelids as her eyes tried to roll up into the back of her head, and saw Psychoturge standing amidst her minions. "Stupid girl, I told you we weren't done with you yet. You at least owe us for a year worth of rent, training, and blah blah blah." Franky wasn't listening to the laundry list of debts Psychoturge was rattling off, but wasn't about to interrupt her, for she was healing.
As her wits slowly returned to her, Franky saw something sneaking up behind the Organ Donor. Though she was pissed at the lot of them, Franky didn't want them to die - only to leave her alone. "Be... be." Talking was still something of a strain for her, since her throat had been punctured with bullets. She resorted to looking really scared in the general vicinity of behind the Donor. Psychoturge wasn't going for it, though. "That old trick, eh?"
Suddenly, Nxyrolpas exploded into action. While the monster may hate Franky, he apparently hated the Departure even more, and was more than happy to mince up his chief physical opposition before dealing with her. Bar-B-Q, Codger, and the Gun Toting Psycho didn't hesitate to fire upon Nxyrolpas, which of course caused the Organ Donor a similar amount of hurting. When the Kedae was done playing with him, though, he turned on his attackers.
This caused the mystic bindings holding Franky to slacken enough that she fell to the ground in a big ball of pain. As the sweet smell of grass in her face woke her a little more, Psychoturge ran up to her. "Good grief! I didn't think that thing was still alive! We need your help, Franky, or it's going to tear us apart!" Psychoturge then began casting her magic at the monster, hoping to delay the massacre of her mercenary outfit.
Pulling herself together, Franky then manifested yet another dimensional rift, this one immediately beneath Nxyrolpas. A massive gout of solar flame issued forth from the hole as the demon fell into the sun itself. As the Departure tried to collect itself, Franky stood up. "It's going to come back, you know. And I'm not going to help you unless you fuck off after this - call it even and I'll help you kill this thing once and for all. Deal, Sissy?"
Sissy frowned. She didn't want to be doing this at all anyway, it's just that she didn't want to lose Franky after all the time she'd invested in the little human. Of course, at the same time, she didn't want to be dismembered, either. "Fine. You win." Hoping to heal a bit more before Nxyrolpas made his way back, Franky also concocted a quickie plan. "Okay. First, wake up Sammy and the Donor. Then, when it comes back, I need you guys to stall it."
"This knife seems to be magic... or else I probably wouldn't have knocked that horny little bastard out so easy-like." Psychoturge turned her mystical senses upon the blade in order to see if this was the case, and was pleasantly surprised. "Holy Hell! You bought a rainbow steel knife? That must've cost you months worth of paychecks!" Franky smiled, satisfied that she'd apparently spent the right amount of her livelihood on the silly thing.
"I take it that's a good thing?"
This then caused Psychoturge to grin. "Yeah, because -"
She was interrupted, of course, by the return of the incredibly singed Nxyrolpas. "Filthy vermin! Now you all die!" Nxyrolpas charged at Franky, who slipped into the lines of space itself as he passed, and then right back out as the monster head-butted a tree as a result of her dodge. Before the demon could turn, the Gun Toting Psycho and Shotgun Sammy teamed up to blast off as many of Nxyrolpas' clawed limbs as possible.
With the dismembered appendages flailing about, Bar-B-Q cranked up her own heat. "Sure, you just took a dip in a star, but don't you think it's a bit cold out here?" She then doused the thing in her own, mutant flames. He eventually stood up despite the triumvirate of pain being delivered unto his withering frame, but then both Psychoturge and Codger made with the mystic restraints, and pinned him to the tree.
Once Bar-B-Q's flames died down, Franky charged at Nxyrolpas, and stabbed him in the heart with her knife. She then slowly carved him in two, from his 'chest' to his 'groin', and when that was done, she chopped his head off. Stepping back, she watched as the two mages' restraints faded away, and noted with more than a little bit of satisfaction that the monster wasn't twitching, wasn't pulling itself back together - it was finally dead.
Franky then allowed herself to pass out.
About a month later, Franky was inspecting her new apartment in the cityverse, happy to have a residence to call her own on Planet T. Sure, she could live just about anywhere, but felt an odd sort of affinity with the place. After all, she didn't feel that she had a home to call her own, and since this was an artificial universe, nobody else was really a native either. She'd visit the earth now and then, of course, but liked this better.
She could easily get lost in the massive press of aliens. Not to mention the fact that she wouldn't really stand out in her new role as a self-employed troubleshooter; since she had no plans to take any jobs stealing things, killing things, or otherwise doing bad things, she would avoid a certain clientele - and thus a certain amount of notoriety. And really, Franky felt that this was a very, very good for her right now...
* Where've you been these last couple of issues?
** This occurred, of course, back in issue 1; as you can see, some time has passed between our last issue and this one.
*** This occurred in Tales from Variant Earth 13 issue 5.
Well, it may be about a month late, but there's the end of Franky's very first tale of multi-planar adventure - I hope you enjoyed it! We won't be hearing from this mobile young psi for awhile, though... unless people insist, mind you. Instead, I'll most likely be introducing an all-new hero in yet another four issue limited series starting next month, one which I have partially planned out already. Stay tuned to see what that's all about...!
Everywhere Girl #4 (of 4): A Confluence of Cataclysm
by Denny Hill 2 (email@example.com)
Copyright 2002 All rights reserved.