Eun was punching through different worlds, different times, different levels of the Tower itself. Horror and wonder flitted by, too fast for her to make sense of. All she knew was that an unimaginable (literally) variety of beings were trying to destroy her. Eun was working the Bite Mobile’s cannons at maximal capacity, blasting out nonstop streams of weaponized theory. Somewhere in between Gehenna and Imajica, the craft had sprouted radiant bayonets from its mechanized gun-arms. She’d needed them in Hyperspace Valhalla, where she’d been assaulted by a bunch of sword-wielding mind-forms. For a light-speed eon, she’d been engaged in a savage bout of hand-to-hand combat.
As her sensors began flashing with warnings, as the hypnagogic environment began filling with Dissona, she felt Peter reach out to her and Kora. She couldn’t make out the exact words, but she got the gist of it: he was saying goodbye.
Oh well. She allowed herself a faint smile. We had a damn good run.
And then she heard it: a timeless melody that cut through the dark.
Kora and her warrior charged the mob of science-twisted horrors assembled outside ANOS, urging each other on with raucous war cries. Thaumaturgic brilliance—battle-magics cast by Kora, Wodec, and a handful of barbarians who were highly skilled in combat arcana—zipped through the air, smashing apart demonic entities left and right.
If the Lord of the Rings franchise got fucked in the ass by Faces of Death and the Evil Dead, the resulting love child might hold a candle to what was unfolding on ANOS’s parking lot. The barbarians were mowing through fiendish atrocities that wore their organs on the outside, that spoke in nerve-shredding tongues borne from the exact opposite of human sanity, that wielded whips and chains made of screaming faces and pain-twisted expressions. It didn’t matter to the bloodthirsty Indashi; they were having the time of their lives as they parried and cut, trampled and smashed.
“KEEP GOING!” Kora dispatched a quartet of reptilian tentacle-beings with two slashes. The first one gutted them, and the second took their heads off. “ENJOY THIS DAY, BROTHERS—YOU ARE FIGHTING NOT JUST FOR ELITHIA, BUT FOR THE ENTIRE—”
“Hark!” Wodec cried. He pointed overhead, drawing his comrades’ gazes to the sky, now filling with miasmic black fog. “Our end draws nigh! If this is the end make such an end, warriors, that will echo throughout all of eternity!”
The barbarians responded with a bone-quaking cry, slicing apart hellspawn with renewed passion. Heads flew from necks and limbs plopped from torsos.
Kora allowed herself a grim smile. They’d done their best to thwart Dissona, but it hadn’t been enough. Maybe they’d all find each other after existence rebooted. Maybe they’d—
Wodec’s voice cut through her thoughts. “There may still be hope! Look to the stars!”
Monsters and barbarians both looked up.
On an unusually balmy Bay Area night, a ray of light cut through the fog-shrouded heavens. Kora’s eyes shone with reflected brilliance and her smile went from grim to joyous.
Give her hell, Peter.