Better to Lose IV

  And so Chrysalis stood her ground with conviction, so much so, that she had evolved a new battle form to enforce her will. And I had to admit, I was getting a little uncomfortable. Chrysalis's pure manifestation was no good for me. She was clearly agitated far beyond anything that anyone had ever witnessed before. And while I had heard of her soul blade, Oscilla, I had never actually seen it, and truth be told, it was somewhat unnerving, and even more so given that we were in the real world. So, whatever was in the Ark, I had to know -- even though I knew that was precisely what Kip wanted me to do.

  But more importantly than that, Chrysalis's action was, as far as anyone knew, unprecedented. And it was only a matter of time before the Zion and the Polynesian figured out why. I had to end this quickly. So I summoned Wrath and Justice to me, and fired several chi shots in her direction, but Oscilla simply reverberated the air around Chrysalis to block each shot. Chrysalis again roared with rage.

  "Stay away from me Magnus. Get away. If you come any closer, I swear, I swear to the Creator himself that I WILL strike you down."

  I do not know if you recall the rules of power in the omniverse, but my problem here was one of will. I loved Chrysalis, and even though I was vastly more powerful, I lacked the desire, the genuine and unfettered intent to kill her. Conversely, she seemed quite comfortable killing me over whatever was in the Ark. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking, for every second that I failed to kill the Zion and the Polynesian was another chance for them to regroup, figure out what was going on, and perhaps find a way to kill me. I had to do something, but I was unsure as to what. But as always, fate intervened for me.

  "Chrysalis, you just owned Magnus. You blocked the blasts from those parasites of his without even moving a muscle. You shouldn't be able to do that. Something is wrong here. I can't believe that I am saying this, but you can win, you can do this, but only if you want to. Fuck the Zion and his machinations, do what you feel is right!"

  The Zion raised an eyebrow at the Polynesian. But after a brief pause, he chimed in, "The Polynesian is right. This feels wrong. We are all manifesting here in the real world, which I know that I cannot do. Even if we were all manifesting because we are in the sphere of the Dark Champion's influence, you should not be able to create a new form. I have sparred with you a thousand times, and I have never seen Oscilla resonate with so much power."

  Fuckkkkkkkkkk! People needed to stop talking and like now. I leapt straight up into the air, arms outstretched. "Nova", I whispered, over and over and over again. Exploding balls of stellar matter began to fly in all directions. The Zion and the Polynesian scrambled and dodged, both barely avoiding fatal injuries. However, Chrysalis stood her ground and would not move away from the Ark. And point of fact, she did not need to, as Oscilla dispelled each of my attacks.

  Damn. That accursed blade made long range attacks pointless. Oh well, that was never my forte anyway. No choice but to get all up close and personal. Moving at the speed of thought, I rushed Chrysalis. And knowing her physical weaknesses from years of sparring, I chose Tiger-Crane. I flowed into my attacks, a fury of wide arcing punches and kicks.

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  Chrysalis effortlessly dodged each blow, and never gave up an inch between me and the Ark. I stepped back in utter disbelief, and she glanced up at Oscilla.

  "For Whom the Bell Tolls", Chrysalis uttered.

  Okay, a sound attack, easy enough to counter, I think as I respond,"Shield of the Void." I laugh from inside the barrier.

  "You going to have to do better than that to keep me away from that box, my love." And do better she did. Oscilla began to vibrate. Tears began to streak down Chrysalis's face, as she finished her attack, whispering, "It Tolls for You, My Love". Chrysalis points at me, and the clock strikes midnight. And then, Oscilla began to rotate. Faster and faster, until the individual rotations were no longer visible, even to me. The subsequent sphere of sound flew toward me and struck the edge of the Shield of the Void with a ear numbing screech of sound against the void.

  And once again, the impossible happened as my Shield of the Void collapsed, hurlting me across the battlefield.

  "Holy shit, she made space itself vibrate." The Zion then glanced at the Polynesian, and slowly went to his knees. The Polynesian smiled, "Of course! We are not in the real world! Magnus tricked us. He isn't manifesting. He simply merged a dreamscape with the real world. This is YOUR dream Chrysalis, you are the master here. You are goddess supreme in this place." And the Polynesian knelt as well. Chrysalis looked down at them, bewilderment clearly clouding her thoughts. And then, she looked at me.

  Damn. I knew that I should have just killed the Polynesian. Feelings. They will get you killed every time. I picked myself off the ground and sighed. "No use denying it. It was brilliant really, and the discovery of the god particle at Hadron was the perfect cover. Everyone would think that I had learned to manifest. That I had figured it out. When in reality, all I did was pull two dimensions together, well, two small parts really -- not a small feat to be sure, but not true manifestation."

  Chrysalis looked at her hands, and then up at Oscilla. "Why? Why me?"

  "Because you love me, and I, you. Thus, you were the only person in the world who would, without hesitation, accept my ascendancy." Chrysalis suddenly looked quite defeated.

  "So the blood of millions stains my hands as well as yours?" I simply nod.

  "Good," Chrysalis snarls, "Then no one will notice a little more blood, eh?" I cautiously step back.

  "Run?! You would run?! After everything that you have done to me, you would not grant me the honor of battle?!"

  I sigh. "You are enraged, and possess the will to kill me. And while I want to end this, and claim what is rightfully mine, I am not so sure that I am willing to kill you in order to achieve it. Recall that I did not kill you last time or the time before when I clearly should have."

  Chrysalis smiled a sad little smile. "Perhaps I can change that. Make you feel what I feel." Face still bowed, the Zion interjected, "Chrysalis, do not do that. Just stop him. Do not even the playing field by enraging him. We do not know the limits of his power, even in your dream. I admit, I was wrong. Kill him. Just kill him while you still can."

  "No, Kip. I will not repay dishonor, deceit and treachery, with more dishonor, deceit and treachery. Perhaps if someone had simply trusted Magnus enough to talk to him, none of this would be happening. If I had just loved him, instead of trying to manipulate him, maybe those hundreds of millions of people who have died in this war, would still be alive. And I would not have hands stained with blood."

  She then turned and walked toward the Ark, "Your grandfather was right, Zion. I have always been the key." Kneeling down, she waved the Zion's protective barriers away, and opened the Ark, and put her hand inside.

  "It is time. Come, there is someone you should meet." And suddenly, many, many things became very, very clear as a small cloaked figure leapt from inside the Ark, and hid directly behind Chrysalis. Chrysalis turned and walked toward me.

  "Come. Do you not know stands before you?" And then I heard a little sound that I shall never forget. "I know who he is." Words failed me. I can not think. Wrath and Justice dissipate. And I returned to my normal form.

  "Forgive me, little one. I forgot that you possess your father's intelligence and perception, but perhaps, not his courage." The small figure abruptly steps from behind Chrysalis and stands directly in front of me. Pulling back his cloak, a much smaller version of myself looks up at me and says, "I am not afraid of you father."

  Utter disbelief blanketed my face, and again, all I could do was glare at Chrysalis. "Yes. This was why I ran away. This is what I have hid from you all this time." Chrysalis sighed. "Return to the Ark, little one. You will be safe there until I am finished Ö speaking Ö with your father." And in a flash, the little boy was gone, and the Ark closed.

  At first, I am angry, but then I am just gravely saddened, I understand the gravity of what I must have done to Chrysalis and my son. For lack of a better word, I simply give up. Chrysalis instantly closes the gap between us, almost embracing me. Her blood and sweat soaked hair falls across my face. I inhale deeply. She smiles and whispers, "I love you too, but I love him more." I sigh. And fall into her arms.

  Oscilla does the rest.

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