How I Got Here: The "Great" Plan

  Before the instant of my birth, my first memory is a faded one, of a tremendous battle, and it is here that my story truly begins.

  The battle to secure the Never had raged for an untold time, and the Obsidian King knew that he could not lead his legions into this battle, AND finish casting the gateway spell at the same time. The stone platform upon which the old king stood shook violently as light from the event horizon glistened across the walls in a myriad colors. The temple altar in the Hall of Tomorrow was a special place, or rather nexus of times and places, and it was a daring move for the King and the remnants of his once great army to attack such a sacred, and more importantly, neutral, place within the Never.

  However, desperation had begun to cloud the wizened king’s judgment, desperation spawned from the loss of hope -- the hope of returning to the real world and doing what he was meant to do. This hope, which once burned so brightly after their inital "arrival" in the Never, had, within the span of but a few millennia, faded badly, now barely flickering in the hearts and souls of even his most loyal Champions. Indeed, if he had not done this thing, the King mused, the fate of not just his people, but all people, of all worlds, hung precariously in the balance. He must return to the world of the living, and opening a small tear in their prison wall, and forcing a vessel through that tear, was the only hope the King had left.

  Unfortunately, the Obsidain King had long ago abandoned prayer So, if his plan was going to succeed, the King must make it happen.

  Glancing up from the altar, the King turned toward one of the numerous windows in the temple, and sensed an unlucky turn in the battle below the platform. The Hall of Tomorrow, though neutral ground, was not unguarded. The King briskly walked toward an open window to survey the battlefield below him and see how his troops fared. His legions still held the vital areas of the temple, but his scouts had failed to stop the temple guards from dispatching a distress call, and from the pinnacle of the temple, a single beam of light blazed into the endless sky of the Never. The only question now was who would arrive to assist the temple guard first - agents of Hell or Heaven, not that it mattered, as the result would be the same.

  Annoyed, the King focused on the ornament atop the temple altar, and it shattered into a cloud of dust. A little late for tantrums though, for soon, the true might of his enemies would be upon them. The King’s soul blade reverberated as a tinge of fear flashed across the King’s mind and chilled his soul. Touching the hilt of the blade that hung across his back, he spoke aloud, “I know, old friend, I know.” The King simply hoped that he would have time to finish this task, that perhaps, no one was near enough to intrude upon his little endeavor. Hope. The King laughed at himself, he was too old for hope, and he knew better, however, if someone or something did answer the distress signal, the King silently resolved to himself that he would do whatever was required to complete the mission. Failure was simply not an option anymore.

  At the base of the mountain upon which the Hall of Tomorrow sat, the fabric of reality waivered ever so slightly as a being of signficant power circumvented the laws of physics and appeared on the battlefield. Losing his train of thought and almost his balance, the King whirled around, attempting to locate the disturbance. And while it only felt like a small disturbance, the King turned back to the altar and hastened his spell casting; the success of the spell relied not only upon the King's timing, but it was the size of the tear that mattered, and the King required a large tear to send his most powerful warrior through it. However, with this unknown arrival, undoutedly a harbringer of graver beings, the King slowly accepted that his initial plan was obviously not going to work. With growing anxiety and a tinge of panic adding new clarity to his thoughts, the old King devised a substitute plan, and had just enough time to make it happen.

  And on cue, and just as the King surmised, his time abruptly neared an end, for Karak Demon Knight, First Spawn of the Great Deceiver, Lord of Hate, and Harbringer of the End of All Times, fully materialized onto the battlefield, and such was the gravity of his presence, that the light pouring into the Never, rippled ever so slightly, then more so as he roared an unearthly challenge to the legions of Champions encircling the Hall of Tomorrow.

  The demon's energy release further disrupted the King's control over his spell. Damn!, thought the Obsidian King, this shit just got real.

  “Nemesis!!” -- materializing from the far end of the battlefield, stood one of the King’s greatest warriors, Nemesis, known among Champions as the “Holy Death”. Again, space wavered and flickered as the Champion approached his King, such was the weight of his presence.

  Covered in gore and blood, the Champion answered the King’s call, “My liege, you summoned me? If it is concerning Karak, I am surprised he has the gall to show himself after the pasting we gave him last time!” The glimmer of wanting, no, bloodlust, was patent in Nemesis’ remaining eye.

  “No, Nemesis, such a battle, in this place, could kill us all. We cannot maintain this situation for much longer, and I have only barely opened a tear in the Never.” Nemesis squinted his eye at the barely discernable disturbance on the event horizon, and nodded.

  “Sire, none of us can fit through such a small fissure, our spiritual masses are too great.”

  “I know Nemesis, we must change our plans. I sense that Karak’s boldness is not accidental, and his rather flashy arrival is but a omen of a much greater power, one that I must face, or we will be routed, and our plan fail.” Nemesis frowned. The old king laughed, “I meant no disrespect great Champion, you are among, if not, the greatest warrior to ever grace the omniverse, but even you have your limits, especially before a being who has stood in the presence of the Creator! Indeed, I do not doubt that you could hold him, but you are simply too important to us Nemesis to ever risk your safety, whereas I am merely an old fool, and you would all move on, and undoubtedly fare better without my feeble leadership.”

  This time Nemesis laughed, and for a brief moment both Champions felt something neither had in a long time, the faintest tinge of kinship, and maybe, just maybe hope. “My liege, you are the greatest Obsidian King to arise in eons. No king before you ever wielded the Obsidian Blade, and I fear no one shall again. But sire, you did not summon me here for this idle chatter, clearly you already have a plan. What is it you wish for me to do?” The King sighed, “I need you to bring one of the little ones to me, the unusual one -- he is our best hope.”

  Nemesis snarled, “I do not agree my king – that one is a poor choice, too unpredictable, too chaotic.”

  “I choose him for his potential, not his actuality Nemesis. Recall where we are brother, all things are possible here, yet nothing is possible here, as well. He carries within him something I have not seen in sometime. Just bring him to me Nemesis, only he will do.”

  Nemesis nodded and vanished from sight.

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