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Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Final Solution

The Final Solution

A Farsh-nuke Story
By
Alexander Gordon Jahans


Professor Logicity was in his library. He was sat comfortably in an Elizabethan armchair with a wooden frame, his feet crossed on a footstool from the Edwardian era made from vintage teak. He was dressed in brown leather brogues, black and green chequered trousers, a brown paisley waistcoat interwoven with question marks and septagons, a pale pink dress shirt, a brown paisley tie tied in a half windsor and brown horn rimmed spectacles attached by chains to a lined face backed with a dark brown hair going from grey to silver at the top. He was reading a red leather bound book called The Assassination Of Donald Trump by Mary Kelley when there was a knocking sound.

Professor Logicity looked up from his reading to see a haggard looking white man in his forties with light brown hair, emerald green eyes and a green three piece suit that looked a size too large for him.

“Who calls at this hour? Who dares disturb a grand wizard such as I in his own personal library?” cried out Professor Logicity irritably.

“You know damn well who, old man.” came the haggard figure’s reply. “Nice book, not sure I know it.”

“Well you wouldn’t.” said the Professor with much annoyance. He placed a bookmark on the page he was on then rose from his chair and rested the book upon his seat. “Mary Kelly was a fat Senegalese follower of a variant of the Islamic faith.” Professor Logicity glared at the haggard man. “And she was born without arms or legs.”

The haggard man nodded in appreciation. “A talented woman.”

Professor Logicity approached the haggard man, shook his right hand and a long cane topped by a jade septagon fell from his sleeve. “I should have known the great Farsh-nuke would want to pay me a visit sooner or later. I had hoped it would be later.”

The haggard man sighed. “Well I’m sorry to say I’m not the great Farsh-nuke, nor indeed anyone of significance. I’m just the one they felt could be spared.”

Professor Logicity strode past the Farsh-nuke and said. “Well I suppose you’ll be wanting a drink then.”

“That would be lovely, thanks.” said the Farsh-nuke as he walked after the old man.

Professor Logicity unlocked a drinks cabinet serving as a stand for an array of signed manuscripts including The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx, On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and The Fourth Wave by Emma Watson. He removed two glasses from the cabinet and poured out a measure of whiskey in each.

“Whiskey’s okay I hope.” said Professor Logicity as he handed the Farsh-nuke his glass. “Though my grand daughter is staying round, she recently graduated university and is having a gap year before interning so if you really needed a drink-”

The Farsh-nuke raised his hand and interrupted the Professor. “Whiskey is fine.”

The Professor smiled and took his glass and the bottle over to where two armchairs sat either side of a roaring fireplace, a coffee table between them. “You know the funny thing is she does actually want to meet you and the more I insist upon the dangers the keener she sounds.”

The Farsh-nuke chuckled and took a seat in an armchair with a view of a door. “Well maybe later then. I am surprised she doesn’t have a load of sharpened stakes ready for me.”

The Professor snorted. “Well that was her mother.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled and sipped his whiskey.

“Thank you for returning her by the way.” said the Professor. “So to what do I owe this pleasure.”

“I’m going to die.” said the Farsh-nuke simply.

The Professor froze.

“Every incarnation of me, every thing that has my soul will die.” said the Farsh-nuke.

The Professor was visibly shaken. “But Lucy-?”

The Farsh-nuke nodded sadly. “There hasn’t been time to tell everyone but by midnight tomorrow every living Farsh-nuke and every living Lucy will vanish in an instant all across the multiverse and forever more.”

The Professor was stunned. “But the Bam-Kursh? Lucy’s a key part of the range.”

The Farsh-nuke sipped his whiskey. “The Bam-Kurshes have been notified and all unsold stock is being sent the front lines for the final push tomorrow.”

The Professor nodded, was silent for a moment and he sipped his whiskey bitterly. “You know I still remember when we met the last time you were going to die.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled sadly, caressing his whiskey glass fondly. “You saved my life. Gave me a second chance.”

“I was your executioner.” said the Professor, lost in the fog of memories. “I had to offer you one last drink.”

The Professor stiffened and he looked to the Farsh-nuke coldly. “Is that why you’re here now? To beg for my mercy.”

The Farsh-nuke shook his head. “This death I’m heading for, it’s not exactly an end so much as a point of rebirth.”

The Professor stared at the Farsh-nuke. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that the final solution, my final solution, to this endless bloody war isn’t genocide, it’s exile.” said the Farsh-nuke, then he looked into the Professor’s eyes. “Killing septagonoids is easy. We’ve been doing it for nearly half the life of the multiverse. The trouble is that every time we kill them the nothingness creates more. There is one hope and that is to set up an automated system to eradicate septagonoids the instant the nothingness generates them.”

“And you’re going to be that system?” asked the Professor.

The Farsh-nuke nodded and drained the last of his whiskey. “When I absorbed the soul of the first Lucy Danse I bonded her to me, made it so that every time I incarnated she would incarnate as well.” The Farsh-nuke put his glass down and stared into space, clearly picturing what he was describing. “If I can absorb the soul of a septagonoid and cause me and the souls I am connected with to be transported to a shadow dimension where our actions won’t effect reality then every instant I incarnate septagonoids will be transported to that shadow dimension.”

The Professor was silent for a moment then he said. “You’ll be condemning every incarnation of you to a very literal hell.”

The Farsh-nuke snorted. “Well I deserve it, don’t I?”

The Professor noticed the Farsh-nuke’s empty glass and his hand brushed over the handle of his cane as a storm of emotions raged inside him. Then he felt a warm comforting hand over his own and looked up at the face of his granddaughter. His eyes welled up and he bit his lip.

His granddaughter was tall and slim with silky smooth brown hair down to her waist. She was dressed in jeans and a tshirt. She kissed her granddad on the cheek and whispered. “This is my choice, you understand. My choice.”

The Professor nodded.

The Farsh-nuke rose and extended a hand by way of greeting, a forced smile on his face.

“You are going to sit your arse right back down and wait for your drink.” said the Professor’s granddaughter as she poured out another measure of whiskey into the empty glass then topped up her father’s.

The Farsh-nuke sat down in the armchair again but protested. “Look, I’ve got a long day tomorrow and I’m going to need a clear head.”

“Who said the whiskey was for you?” said the Professor’s granddaughter as she took a seat on the Farsh-nuke’s knee, pulled what looked like a mint imperial out of her pocket, placed it in her mouth and followed it down with a sip of whiskey. She looked into the Farsh-nuke’s eyes and said. “Hi, I’m Abby and for tonight, at least, you are my master.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled awkwardly. “You don’t need to do this.”

“No, you’re right.” said Abby moments before she kissed the Farsh-nuke on the cheek. “I want to do this. My whole life I have listened to stories of the great Farsh-nuke, the McGuffin Man and the man who makes the impossible probable. Of William Dickson Wright, the Butcher of Britain and the great Unleasher. Of the champion of sylphs who became a man when he took pity on a desperate woman and absorbed her soul. Of the man who knows what women want and craves their subservience.”

Abby stared in wonder at the Farsh-nuke. “My mother wanted to kill you and fell in love but I have always known that I wanted your hands about my neck and your will overriding mine.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled sadly and ran a hand through her hair. “Don’t think I’m not grateful but you deserve a proper owner.”

Abby shook her head sadly. “I heard you talking. I know you’re going to sacrifice yourself tomorrow. Even if we only have one night, I want us to have it. Fuck the future, fuck the age gap. I’m old and wise enough to know that I want this and I assume you are too. Besides you look like you could use the drink.”

The Farsh-nuke bit his lip and removed something from his pocket. “Do you know what this is?” he asked.

Abby shrugged. “Does it have a vibrate setting?”

The Farsh-nuke snorted.

The Professor quietly topped up his glass.

Abby chuckled. “Of course I know what it is. That’s a Quantum Oscillator, Gramps designed the prototype.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled and he held it before Abby. “And do you know what I am going to do with this?”

Abby bit her lip, looked to her granddad then back to the Farsh-nuke. She sighed. “You’re going to use it to advance the speed of my localised time field so you can start drinking me.”

The Farsh-nuke grinned and kissed Abby on the lips. “You would have made such a delightful pet, you know.”

Abby blushed and buried her face in the Farsh-nuke’s chest.

The Farsh-nuke pointed the quantum oscillator at Abby and fired. “Do you have a straw on you by any chance?”

Abby handed the Farsh-nuke a straw wordlessly.

The Farsh-nuke switched off the quantum oscillator and stowed it.

Abby raised her face and looked up into the Farsh-nuke’s emerald green eyes. She whimpered. “Master...”

The Farsh-nuke gave Abby a kiss on the forehead and ran a hand through her hair. “Yes, my pretty little thing I am your master. Now be a good girl and remain silent while I drink the life out of you.”

Abby nodded wordlessly then gasped as the Farsh-nuke rammed the sharpened tip of the long straw inside her jugular vein.

The Farsh-nuke took a good long sip of Abby’s blood then stroked the young woman lovingly. “I am sorry about this, Professor.”

The Professor was silent for a moment as he stared into space then he shrugged. “She’s twenty five and she makes her own decisions. I can’t say I’m overly happy with this one but at the same time I think that were it within my power to offer you myself that I just might.”

The Farsh-nuke was surprised and glared at the Professor. “You?

Abby looked sharply at her grandfather.

The Professor looked at the Farsh-nuke and scowled. “Damnit, man! You’re going to sacrifice yourself tomorrow to a fate worse than death! I’d be tempted to offer you my first born if you hadn’t already eaten her.”

The Farsh-nuke looked to Abby and noticed her shock.

Abby looked uncertainly at the Farsh-nuke.

The Farsh-nuke stroked Abby’s cheek and whispered. “You know you can stop this at any time?”

Abby smiled warmly and gave the Farsh-nuke a peck on the lips. “Never.”

The Farsh-nuke kissed Abby back and hugged her then took another sip of her blood.

Abby whimpered.

The Farsh-nuke looked to the Professor and said. “You’re something I have never really been able to be. A good man. That’s why I came to see you.”

“You want me there tomorrow, don’t you?” asked the Professor. “You want me there for the big push to get you to the septagonoids? I mean I told Lucy no so she sends you and brings me back to that night so long ago when I decided to exile you instead of executing you.”

The Farsh-nuke shook his head. “Do you think I’d be drinking your granddaughter if I wanted you to die for me?”

The Professor stared at the Farsh-nuke.

The Farsh-nuke sighed.

Abby giggled

The Farsh-nuke glared at her.

Abby tried to stop laughing and failed spectacularly.

The Farsh-nuke took a good long drag on the straw in Abby’s neck.

Abby whimpered and fell silent.

The Farsh-nuke looked to the Professor and said. “Okay, so I’m a shit head but as we’ve established I’m going to hell tomorrow so that’s okay. I don’t want you to die for me. I want you to protect the multiverse for me.”

The Professor stared at the Farsh-nuke. “But you’re going to end the threat of the Septagonoids. What’s there to protect it from?”

“Humanity.” said the Farsh-nuke. “For the past fuck knows how long there has been relative peace because the Logicio empire has ruled the multiverse with an iron fist thanks to their knowledge and use of me. Anyone who opposed them and could potentially topple them from the critics within the empire to organizations like the Sylph Liberation Front and the United Civilisations of the Multiverse have avoided doing so on the understanding that so long as the septagonoids are around the might of the Logicios are needed.”

The Professor nodded. “So tomorrow you vanish, the teeth of the Logicios vanish with you and so do the reason for their being tolerated. Sylphs revolt, the Sylph Liberation Front attacks, critics within the empire mobilize in what they believe is a desperate attempt to reform the organization and thereby keep some vestige of it around. The United Civilisations of the Multiverse will attack as they were formed in response to the Logicios, an action only stopped because of the threat of the septagonoids who are no longer around.”

The Farsh-nuke nodded and took another sip of his drink.

Abby whimpered.

The Farsh-nuke stroked her as he explained. “The Lucy’s will vanish as well of course but they were only needed to provide coordination and maintain unity. As the Logicios are weakened from within, the United Civilisations will attack but without their usual predictability. Plus while the Logicios have been draining their territories of recruits throughout the duration of the war, with their recruits taking centuries to train, the United Civilisations have had their territories expanded by the Bam-Kurshes and their soldiers take a maximum of two decades to train, much less with memory guns and logicular replication.”

The Professor nodded. “The Logicios won’t stand a chance but equally in the long term neither will the United Civilisations. Without the threat of a bigger bad to unify them all those civilisations will drift apart from one another and turn their attentions inward. Which leaves the multiverse undefended.”

“Not quite.” said the Farsh-nuke. “I mean there’s still Gfaxxy’s Architects of Chaos, the Bam-Kurshes will want to keep their trade empire going and so they’ll act to defend it. Galla Placidia has resolved to incarnate herself across as many universes as possible and try to guard them from extra-universal terrors. Plus I’ve got a loophole in mind to let me do my bit and there’s still going to be some leftover element of Logicio strength hopefully.”

“But who gets the multiverse?” asked the Professor. “I mean you must have some idea.”

“My money’s on the SLF.” said the Farsh-nuke. “I mean the Architects of Chaos will take over patrolling the multiverse as the largest power left and because they are motivated by their own reasons, unreliant on an external power structure. The Logicios will be reforming and growing their might quietly in the background with a policy of non-interference until they can take a punch. They’ll try to recruit what new gods they can and sap off the strength of the United Civilisations as it fades. The United Civilisations and the Bam-Kursh will mostly be pre-occupied with trying to hold their trade connections together and will demobilize their military industrial complexes.”

Abby looked curiously at the Farsh-nuke.

“What?” asked the Farsh-nuke.

“Well America didn’t exactly disengage its military industrial complex did it?” asked Abby.

The Farsh-nuke chuckled and stroked Abby on the cheek. “Honey, America was founded on revolution and the idea that taxes were bad. Their military industrial complex hasn’t disbanded because it is the only way to make anyone support the idea of the government paying money to keep people alive. The wars they fight are wars they win and generally speaking quickly with a comparatively tiny amount of casualties. The United Civilisations by contrast was formed in response to invasion and forced into a meat grinder war that has lasted for thousands and thousands of years, decimating whole civilisations and this after they discovered a society with the technology to rewrite reality, grow guilt free meat in a machine and has such advanced healing technology that predators often get into relationships with prey animals as the prey can be eaten day after day, gladly, to no ill effect.”

“Ah.” said Abby. “Bit of a difference. I probably shouldn’t assume I know more than a man older than my universe.”

The Farsh-nuke chuckled and hugged Abby. “It’s alright. Your adorableness more than makes up for any issues you may think you have.”

Abby blushed and buried her face in the Farsh-nuke’s chest.

The Farsh-nuke looked to the Professor and asked. “Where was I?”

“You were explaining why the smart money is on the SLF to inherit the multiverse after you’re gone.” said the Professor.

“Ah yes.” said the Farsh-nuke, smiling as he took another sip of his drink.

Abby whimpered.

The Farsh-nuke ran a hand through Abby’s long luscious hair and explained. “The SLF will gain a whole load of free sylphs from the disbanded Logicio empire and will be able to milk the fading might of the United Civilisations for disaffected Sylphs and those citizens who aren’t content with cutting themselves off from the multiverse or joining their former enemies. Accepting sylphs under law was always a burden forced on the United Civilisations as part of peace terms with the Logicios after all and the cell like structure of the SLF means it isn’t as likely to suffer institutional collapse.”

The Professor sipped at his whiskey and nodded. “Make sense I suppose. The only power to expand in strength when you and the Logicios go. You want me to stop them I take it?”

“No.” said the Farsh-nuke. “I want you to help them.”

“But they hate you so much.” said the Professor. “You are their devil. Their entire organization was formed in opposition to you.”

The Farsh-nuke nodded. “I know and they’re right to hate me. I’ve done a lot of terrible things and besides the multiverse doesn’t need white men ruling it anymore. The SLF will have the power to take the multiverse when I’m gone and I want you to help them. This one too if she’s up to it.”

Abby looked up into the eyes of the Farsh-nuke and said. “I’ll do anything for you, Master.”

“Hush...” insisted the Farsh-nuke as he stroked Abby.

Abby frowned but fell silent.

The Farsh-nuke looked to the Professor. “You give her the cure tomorrow then you give her a few weeks with her friends to remember her old life and you ask her if she wants to join you, okay?”

The Professor smiled. “Thank you, I’ll do that but it won’t change a thing.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled and kissed Abby on the forehead. “She’s a good girl. I wish I had more time with her.”

The Professor said. “Well if she’s safe I don’t see the harm in you taking her with her for what time you have left.”

The Farsh-nuke grinned at his old friend. “Thank you. I won’t forget this.”

“You’re welcome.” said Abby and she kissed the Farsh-nuke on the lips.

“So what do I do then?” asked the Professor. “When you’re gone, what am I supposed to do for the SLF?”

“You help them find a replacement for my place in the pantheon.” said the Farsh-nuke. “You know how I came to be incarnated across the multiverse. You can do it again with someone the SLF approves of. Someone with the sadism, hunger and brutality needed to conquer the multiverse but with the morals to avoid going darkside fighting monsters. Someone who can be a true champion for sylphs by respecting their right to choose how they want to live their life even if it is at the end of a leash or cooking on a spit. Someone better than me. Someone you’d be happy your granddaughter gave herself to.”

“And what about you?” asked the Professor. “You said you’d find a way around the death sentence so what are you going to do while I’m training your successor? Assuming you do survive of course.”

“Do you know why Donald Trump got elected?” asked the Farsh-nuke.

The Professor shrugged. “Neoliberalism made people hate the political establishment and only the right were mad enough to exploit that?”

“Because he’s right.” said the Farsh-nuke. “Except the immigrants aren’t Mexicans or Muslims, they’re Logicios and Charicthy and blasted Arachnoforms. We have sent the brave man and women of humanity to die while Logicios kidnap their women, alien soldiers from other civilisations have stalked the streets on shore leave and the Bam-Kursh has kept the fat cats fat to milk them for resources in the war while selling them people as playthings. This war has devastated local politics and the rise of Trump is just a reflection of how putting the multiverse first has let local dissatisfaction reach toxic levels. If any Farsh-nukes can survive what happens tomorrow then they are going to go home and wipe every last nazi from the multiverse, one planet at a time.”

“It’s a multiverse.” said the Professor. “You can’t defeat all nazis, the multiverse doesn’t work like that.”

“Maybe.” said the Farsh-nuke. “But I can sure as shit stop them having such an easy time of it.”

The Professor smiled. “Who would have thought, all those years ago, that the elder god with the sylph addiction would end up sentencing himself to hell to save the multiverse and, if he survived, to hunting nazis?”

“I don’t know.” said the Farsh-nuke sadly. “But you saw something in me all those years ago. Thank you.”

The Professor frowned and sipped his drink.

The Farsh-nuke looked fondly at Abby and pulled a collar from his pocket then secured it round her neck.

Abby smiled.

The Farsh-nuke kissed her on the lips then pulled a leash from his pocket and secured it to her collar. “Come on, walkies. I want to enjoy the rest of you before I finish you off.”

Abby giggled and dropped to the floor.

The Farsh-nuke sealed the end of the straw and looped it through Abby’s collar to stop it flailing about. He rose from his armchair.

The Professor rose from his chair and said. “T’ll look after her for you, don’t worry.”

“And the multiverse?” asked the Farsh-nuke.

“I was talking about the multiverse.” said the Professor with a smile. “Abby looks after herself.”

The Farsh-nuke smiled then he reached out to shake the Professors hand. “Thank you, for everything. It’s been a blast.”

The Professor shook the Farsh-nuke’s hand. “It really has.”

The Farsh-nuke chuckled. “Oh who am I kidding?” He pulled the Professor into a bear hug and quietly admitted. “I’m scared Professor, damn scared. The war doesn’t end tomorrow. It’s just I’ll be the only one fighting the Septagonoids.”

“All seven trillion of you.” said the Professor as he patted the Farsh-nuke on the back. “And you’ll have all those Lucys and Unleashers. Just think of all those lovely fresh toygirls who’ll be on the front lines tomorrow. They’ll be begging for someone strong to command them.”

The Farsh-nuke broke off the hug, grinning like a loon. “Yeah, I forgot about that. An eternity of Lucys, not so bad when you put it like that.”

The Professor grinned. “Maybe I’ll have a word with the Bam-Kursh, see if we can’t print off a few more every now and again just to keep up the supply of fresh naive submissive Lucys.”

The Farsh-nuke laughed but there were tears in his eyes. “Yeah it’s going to be brilliant. I’ll have a harem.”

“Exactly. That’s the spirit.” said the Professor. “Now you go enjoy my granddaughter. You’ve got one night so I want you to make the most of her. If she can still walk right tomorrow morning...”

The Farsh-nuke cackled and strode out with Abby following behind him on her hands and knees.

When he was gone the Professor poured himself another drink and went to look out the window the magnificent verdant splendor of the Great Green Nothingness. He raised his glass sadly, tears in his eyes. “To the bravest, most talented man I ever knew and the best decision I ever made.” He downed his whisky and scowled from the kick. He set his glass upon the windowsill, his voice suddenly hoarse. “Have a great night Farsh-nuke. All of you, wherever you are, whatever you’ve done. Have a really fantastic night.” He turned from the window and started to cry. “Nobody deserves an eternity of war.”

*

Abby was naked save for her collar and the straw in her neck. She lay on the double bed of the spaceship as it cruised towards the rallying point for the final push. The Farsh-nuke’s head was buried between her thighs.

Abby shrieked elatedly.

The Farsh-nuke raised his head, panting. He licked his lips and grinned.

“So how would you like to enjoy me next?” asked Abby.

“Well first I think I want a drink.” said the Farsh-nuke.

Abby giggled and handed him the free end of the straw still in her neck.

The Farsh-nuke took several long drags at the straw as he tried to regain his strength and watched with a guilty glee Abby losing hers.

Abby whimpered with a muted glee at the sensation.

The Farsh-nuke stopped drinking and lay down on the bed, still clothed in his shirt and waistcoat, beside Abby. He stroked her and marvelled at how beautiful the young woman was. “Are you alright?” He asked.

Abby nodded. “I think so. I can certainly feel myself losing it a little, mind. Coordination and... Words and stuff... But this is what you like and I like that you like it so, bleghhh...”

The Farsh-nuke snorted. “Blegh?”

Abby grinned and looked across lovingly at the middle aged man lying beside her. “Yeah, blegh.”

The Farsh-nuke reached out to stroke her face and said. “I could stop. Would you like me to? I mean we could just hug? Just not being alone would be a help.”

Abby smiled sadly and stroked the face of her master. “No. No, I don’t want you to stop. I want you to finish me. To drink me dry then eat what parts of me as you can and want to without my dying.”

The Farsh-nuke chuckled. “I’m not a vampire.”

“No, you’re sadistic misogynist who loves the taste of sylph meat.” said Abby gleefully. “Well here I am, bon appetite.”

The Farsh-nuke kissed Abby on the lips lovingly and laughed “I’m going to hell.” Then he frowned and lay back, staring at the ceiling.

“What’s your name?” asked Abby.

“I’m the Farsh-nuke, the Butcher of Britain and all that other bollocks.” said the Farsh-nuke. “You know that.”

Abby smiled sadly. “I know and I love him but I also think I love you, the host, and when the Farsh-nuke is gone tomorrow I think I should like to find the man this Farsh-nuke inhabits and give myself to him. So who are you?”

“Robert Gordon Banks.” said the haggard man laying beside her. “Before I discovered I was an incarnation of the Farsh-nuke I was an autistic nerd with Kallman’s Syndrome and Growth Hormone Deficiency. I was a wreck, a complete and utter wreck with no hope of a good life because who the fuck would take me. So I watched Doctor Who and dreamed of better days, of women who could save the universe and men who could keep going despite how much they despised themselves. The truth is I have always been in hell.”

“Well I’ll find you.” said Abby. “I’ll find you and I will fix you. The Farsh-nuke may die tomorrow but I will always belong to Robert Gordon Banks.”

The Farsh-nuke chuckled. “Well find me me when I was younger, yeah? Before I became so bitter and cynical.”

“I promise.” said Abby then she pressed her straw into his hand. “Now do the job that’s in front of you and finish me, for tomorrow night you dine in hell.”

The Farsh-nuke looked at Abby and smiled sadly. “I don’t deserve you.”

“In my opinion you don’t deserve half the shit life has thrown at you.” said Abby. “But I’m glad you get to at least enjoy me.”

The Farsh-nuke burst out laughing. “You have some wit for a girl so close to the cooking pot.”

Abby giggled. “They say a common or garden sylph can survive complete loss of blood, the loss of all her limbs. her liver, stomach, bladder, intestinal tract, ribs and most of the skin around her body.”

“You have a very strange way of talking dirty.” said the Farsh-nuke.

“I’m talking to a very strange man.” said Abby with a grin. “Now what’s say we start with my feet and work our way up to my ribs? Just keep my hair intact, took me ages to grow that.”

The Farsh-nuke chuckled. “You know these ships are designed to accommodate Contravoxai, I’m certain there’s a pot big enough to boil you in.”

“Fantastic.” said Abby. “You go get it set up and I will wait here for you harvest me.”

The Farsh-nuke left the bed laughing as he went off searching for a contravoxain cooking set.

Abby rolled over to the edge of the bed and found a notepad.

*

The next morning the Farsh-nuke left what remained of Abby to recover in his ship and went to the rallying point for his platoon. There were something like two hundred men and women of various different species. There were great sharks in rebreathers with cybernetic limbs, car sized spiders in combat fatigues, cat people with assault rifles, great green lizards with plasma blasters, great feathery bird things who trilled in understanding of their orders and dragons, huge dragons with great leathery wings. All soldiers. All here to fight for the safety of the multiverse. Then she arrived.

The Lucys were the coordinators. Each one a hatching or clone of the same Lucy Danse, Paragon of Virtue, who had walked the hundred million universes the United Civilisations started from. She was the defacto empress of the multiverse, dictating where resources and troops were deployed, every military unit was commanded by one. She was tall, blonde, slim and utterly gorgeous, like the original, but wore the combat fatigues of a soldier.

As she arrived she turned and seemed to look right at the Farsh-nuke, despite everyone between them. Then she approached an impromptu stage and gave out the orders. The Farsh-nuke tried to listen but he couldn’t keep focus on what she was saying. Everybody around him was going to die today.

“Except me and you.” said Lucy, suddenly before him. Her emerald green eyes, ruby lipgloss, lightly tanned skin and golden locks seeming to radiate and dazzle him like an Andy Warhol Painting created in flashing neon.

“Huh?” asked the Farsh-nuke.

“The talk ended fifteen minutes ago but you’ve been lost since it begun because you know that me and you alone will survive this.” said Lucy. “Now tell me, what’s your name soldier.”

“I’m-” the Farsh-nuke stopped himself, noticing Lucy’s expression. “Robert Gordon Banks, Maam”

Lucy smiled, it was a smile you could get lost in. “Look, Robert, we’re all lost today because there’s only a few of us that actually have any power over how this goes down but the rest of us will be affected. That makes us weak and when we’re weak we can’t do our jobs. The fate of the multiverse is at stake and I need you with me, Robert.”

“I know, Maam, and I’m sorry.” said Robert. “It’s just that I can’t help thinking about what happens when this is over.”

Lucy nodded then she grabbed Robert by the lapels and looked deep into his eyes. “When this is over I will find you and I will fuck you and you will drink and eat me, do you understand?”

“But maam-” insisted Robert.

“Don’t Maam me, Robert.” said Lucy. “Once this day is over the Great Farsh-nuke will be back in charge, not the Paragon of Virtue. Us Lucys have fought long and hard for the good of the multiverse but this time tomorrow the Farsh-nukes will be back in charge because they have slept long and hard while we Lucys are dog tired from being strong for so long. I am superior until this day is over but once it ends you own me you understand. If you want to fuck me I am all for fucking, if you want to eat me I’ll climb in the cooking pot and if you’re gay I’ll be your gal pal and find you a young buck of a Farsh-nuke to fuck. Whatever you want to do you don’t do it alone because I will be by your side helping, obeying you and loving you.”

Robert saluted. “Yes Maam”

Lucy grinned and kissed Robert on the lips. Then she licked her lips and smiled. “You aren’t gay are you, Robert?”

“Not as such, no.” said Robert.

“You ate Professor Logicity’s grand daughter last night didn’t you, Robert?” asked Lucy wryly.

Robert grinned.

Lucy chuckled. “You lucky sod. Well that settles it. Tomorrow night I will be yours and you will tell me all about darling Abby over dinner.”

Robert nodded. “It would be pleasure, Maam.”

“Good.” said Lucy. “Now, we are a distraction force. That means our job will be to raid a primary Septagonoid production facility. It makes the most sense therefore to spread our resources thin and impact the most septagonoids possible, at least to begin with. I want you to lead the forward unit. With a Farsh-nuke in the unit they should be more likely to hold out. I’ll be in the rear ready to crush those you bring my way.”

Robert nodded. “I’ll do my best, Maam.”

“Thank you.” said Lucy and she turned to go, then she caught herself and looked back to Robert. “Oh and we better both start adapting to the fact that come tomorrow I will be calling you Master and you will be calling me whatever cutesy pet name you can think of. After all there’ll be tons of Lucys and we don’t have the benefit of host names to fall back on like you Farsh-nukes.”

Robert smiled. “Alright, how about Lamb, since you’re so eager to be slaughtered?”

Lucy grinned then let out a small bleat. She left Robert laughing as she went to see how the rest of her platoon were doing.

*

The actual battle wasn’t much to talk about, at least from Robert’s perspective. The plan was that troops would be deployed in waves from a carrier. First Robert’s crew then a unit immediately after would follow them up followed by a middle unit whose job was to hold the opening while a fourth unit and fifth unit landed behind them. Lucy would be backing up this hammer and would surge forward to clear up what was left of the room. Well that was the plan anyway.

Robert used what powers he had to hand to stay alive as long as he could and keep his troops alive but the septagonoids knew how to fight Farsh-nukes and soon Robert was powerless as his unit was picked apart. The thing about a Septagonoid production facility after all was that it kept making reinforcements. Alright, the reinforcements were sometimes just computer controlled casings and towards the end were being rushed out and poorly made but when a septagonoid’s casing is heavily armored, can turn on a sixpence and has great metal tentacles at every vertice, even a rushed out poorly made ai controlled septagonoid is a danger.

Robert could see his line disintegrating and that the better made Septagonoids with actual occupants controlling them were approaching the breach in the facility and Lucy so he ordered what was left of his unit to disperse and try to flank the more dangerous Septagonoids.

Robert actually managed to find a rushed out septagonoid unit with a side blasted off so he climbed inside, deactivated the ai and drove it into the back of a fully functional septagonoid that was attacking the breach. He kept it distracted long enough that the hammer blow of the combined third, fourth and fifth units were able to destroy it but the explosion set fire to his own septagonoid’s casing. As Robert rushed out the side a passing septagonoid lifted him up in the air and tore him in two.

*

Robert woke up in a field. He got to his feet and stared at his surroundings. It looked like the Cotswolds. What the fuck was he doing in the Cotswolds? He was still in the clothes he was wearing in the battle but hadn’t that Septagonoid-? He slapped himself and started walking. After all if this was a field then at some point there would be a fence and if there was a fence at some point there’d be a gate and a road and a sign post.

He must have walked for hours but eventually he came to a farm house. He knocked on the door and a Lucy dressed in a check shirt, jeans and wellies answered the door. “Honey, we got another one!” she called back excitedly.

“Well invite him in then!” came a hoarse voice.

“Of course sweetie!” called the Lucy back then she looked at Robert sadly and said. “Lets get you some tea.”

Robert followed the Lucy inside the farmhouse to a kitchen where she made a mug of tea by heating an iron kettle of water on a coal fired Aga.

As the kettle boiled Robert pulled up a stool and sat down. He watched the young blonde woman fetch milk from a fridge and a teabag from a box in one of the cupboards.

“Sugar?” asked the Lucy.

“Yes, please.” said Robert. “Four scoops if you would, it’s been that kind of day.”

The Lucy chuckled and cheerily dumped 4 scoops of sugar into the mug with the tea bag. A moment later the kettle started whistling and the Lucy grabbed a cloth with which to safely grab the handle and pour water into the mug. She topped up the tea with milk and stirred it. She presented the mug to Robert then put the milk and sugar back. She topped up the kettle with cold water then placed it back on the hob.

She sat down opposite Robert and smiled.

Robert smirked then bit his lip.

“What?” asked the gorgeous woman before him.

“It’s just- ah... Forget it.” said Robert. “Thanks for the tea by the way.”

“Enjoy it.” said the Lucy brightly.

“I really am having the most weird day.” said Robert after a moment.

“It’s about to get weirder.” said the Lucy with a smirk.

Robert stared at her.

“I think you better come meet my husband.” said the Lucy as she rose from the stool opposite him.

Robert nodded, taking his tea with him as he followed the strange Lucy.

She led him into a living room with a fireplace and at least three sofas and four armchairs. There was a tall fat man, with a large bushy greasy beard, smoking a pipe as he played chess with a dark skinned young man. There was a Lucy reclining on the sofa beside the young man. She was wearing a pink bikini and a collar.

Robert smiled and looked back to the Lucy that had greeted him at the door. “This is hell isn’t it and your husband is a Farsh-nuke?”

“The afterlife, not hell.” said the old man with the pipe. “Take a seat ,young lad, and I’ll explain.”

“Okay...” said Robert taking a seat beside the old man.

The old man explained. “We are all Farsh-nukes and Lucys here and we are all in our afterlife, it is true but we weren’t killed in the war. Not us four. And there’s more than just us who weren’t. We are the advance guard sent over to tame the wilderness and bring over supplies. An awful lot of Farsh-nukes and Lucys are going to show up in the days and weeks to come and they’re going to need feeding, housing and something to do. Plus some of us Farsh-nukes are right shit heads so we’re going to need police to keep the peace. And then there’s the looming threat of the Septagonoids. Technically speaking we only have to fear new septagonoids and those who weren’t dead the moment of the great sacrifice but that’s still a spectre we’ll need an army to take on at some point.”

“So you’re homesteaders?” asked Robert.

The young guy nodded and smiled. “We’ve got enough supplies in storage to get several large horse, cow, sheep, pig and chicken farms going. Plus all kinds of crops to feed them and us including wheat, corn, tea, mint and cocoa. We have supplies and we’ve got a certain amount of infrastructure but we are waiting for the man power. I mean we might be able to get a certain amount of industry going to build replacement machinery in time but we shouldn’t count on that.”

Robert nodded. “And what about the about the obvious?”

The Lucy lying on the couch chuckled. “I told you, Ben. You want to do it, I want you to do it and now he’s wandering why you aren’t doing it.”

The young lad frowned and glared at the Lucy on the couch.

The old man took a long puff on his pipe then said. “We are not barbarians, we are not going to start slaughtering the women when we don’t need to.”

“Unless they ask enthusiastically first.” called the Lucy from the doorway cheerfully.

The Lucy on the couch looked pointedly at her man.

The young man sighed then looked to the old man.

The old man looked to Robert and asked. “What’s your name, lad?”

Robert opened his mouth to speak.

The old man added. “And don’t say the Farsh-nuke, we’re all the Farsh-nuke here. What’s the name you went by before that?”

“Robert Gordon Banks.” said Robert.

“Cliff Barksdale.” said the old man. “The delightful little minx at the door is my wife Linda.”

“Linda?” asked Robert. “I mean I know that half the population is going to be Lucy Danse but Linda?”

The old man shrugged. “She makes lovely sausages.”

“Okay...” said Robert.

“I’m Benjamin.” said the young man. “Don’t bother with my last name, I mean you struggle with Linda. Anyway my Lucy is called Victoria. Have a guess why.”

“You dirty fucker.” said Robert with a grin.

“Actually, it’s because I am always victorious.” said the Lucy on the couch ruefully.

“I’m sure...” said Robert with a nod and a smirk.

The old man took a puff on his pipe then said. “Robert, you aren’t as young and impressionable as the others here. What do you think to the idea of harvesting Lucys?”

The Lucy on the couch looked lustfully at him and pouted.

“Well I think that the agency of a Lucy should always be respected.” said Robert, meeting her gaze. “So if she wants to be cut then we should not stand in the way of her desires.”

The Lucy on the couch mouthed thank you then kissed her man.

The old man nodded. “Alright. I shall for the time being be operating under the understanding that if a Lucy wants to be seen to and can see to it that she is seen to then it is not the place of the authoritative bodies to intervene, especially not if the Lucys being seen to should see to it that the fruits of their having been seen to make their way to communal stores.”

Robert pat the old man on the back. “Quite right too.”

The Lucy on the couch and her man shared a look then he said. “I think we might go see on the horses.”

“Alright, so.” said the old man.

Robert smiled as he watched the young couple get up and leave the room, particularly when he noticed the young man pick up a knife as they left through the kitchen.

“Do you know how to play chess, lad?” asked the old man.

“Can’t say I do, no.” said Robert.

“Care to learn?” asked the old man, gesturing to the board.

“Alright.” said Robert, taking a seat opposite the old man. “I think I died a while before my Lucy anyway so I have time to kill.”

*

An hour later the young man re-entered the room with a box filled with flesh and bone. He winked at Robert as he passed then started depositing the meat in the fridge.

He passed by Robert again and hissed “Psst...”

Robert excused himself then met up with Benjamin out of ear shot of the old man. “So you had a fruitful time I take it.”

Benjamin grinned. “It was glorious. The bitch came as I cut her.”

Robert smiled. “That’s awesome. I’m really happy for you both. You must let me stop by when she’s... better.”

“Oh you can count on it.” said Benjamin. “We both owe you so much. She wanted you to have this.”

Benjamin held up a fist sized sample of bloody beating flesh.

“Er... thanks but I’m not hungry.” said Robert, wrinkling his nose in disgust.

Benjamin rolled his eyes then said. “It’s her heart. Specifically her wolf one. She wanted you to have her, I quote as a ‘good little bitch’ hence the wolf heart. Just leave it in a cool dark place for 8 hours and you will have your very own Lucy, or Victoria I suppose.”

Robert smiled nervously. “Right... Only I’ve got my own Lucy.”

“She told me she doesn’t care and she’ll gladly fuck you and your Lucy if that’s what you want. That she will be a good girl and obey you if you just want her as a pet.” said Benjamin. “And besides I had the Bam-Kursh program an off switch into her a while ago. I’ll teach you the signal once I’ve put her bones and skin in to soak.”

“Okay, you’ve convinced me.” said Robert. “But do I really have to touch that thing?”

Benjamin laughed. “Nah, it’s okay. I’ll put it in your room.”

“I have a room?” asked Robert.

“Of course you do.” said Benjamin. “It’s the one with a wereshark heart in the bathtub.”

Robert chuckled. “Alright, thank you. I’ll get back to my game of chess.”

“I might join you later.” said Benjamin. “Might loan you my spare guitar. Teach you how to alter reality the ghetto way.”

Robert smiled. “I look forward to it.”

*

11 hours later Robert and Benjamin were playing music on acoustic guitars as Cliff and Linda lay back on the couch and listened. There was a knock at the door.

Linda rose to answer.

Cliff shook his head and said. “You sit your arse back down. I’m getting this one.”

Linda grinned and sat down.

Cliff rose and answered the door. After a moment, he said. “Rob, there’s a Lamb here for you.”

Benjamin looked to Robert.

Robert muttered incredulously “Lamb? What lamb?”

Then he heard her bleating, set down his guitar and ran to where his commanding officer stood in battle fatigues with a picnic hamper.

The Lucy smiled. “Hi honey, I’m home.” She held up the hamper then said. “I promised you dinner.”

Robert grinned. “Oh yes. Cliff, Ben, Linda, this is my Lamb.”

She bleated cheerily and entered the farmhouse.

“Do you have a room?” asked the Lamb of Robert.

Robert looked to Ben.

“Third door on your left.” said Ben.

Robert and his Lamb strode in the indicated direction.

Ben checked his watch then dashed after him.

Robert opened the door and cringed when he saw that lying naked on the bed was a Lucy.

“Hello honey...” crooned the Lucy on the bed.

The Lucy beside Robert glared at him. “Soldier?”

“Yeah, um, Maam, I can explain...” said Robert floundering.

Ben arrived, saw the open door and grimaced. “Yeah so I don’t know what’s the deal with you two but that - that is a cutting of my girlfriend given as a gift to Robert, sorry.”

“Oh awesome.” said the Lamb cheerily.

“And her name’s Victoria.” added Ben.

“The second, logically.” added the Lamb then she turned to Ben and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you for seeing that my master was well taken care of. I will have to repay you for letting him have a cutting of your girlfriend but for now there are things I must talk to him about in private.”

“Alright.” said Ben. “My Vicky should be ready now anyway.”

Ben strode off as Robert and the Lamb entered his quarters.

“Let me handle this, soldier.” hissed the Lamb as she set down the hamper then approached the naked woman on the bed.

“Hello honey, I’ve been waiting.” said the Lucy on the bed eagerly.

“And aren’t you a delightfully charming thing?” said the Lamb cheerfully.

The Lucy on the bed hurriedly pulled covers over herself and said. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know he had company.”

“It’s okay.” said the Lamb. “We accept your generous gift and we will look after you and love you.”

The Lucy on the bed smiled. “Well, thank you.”

“No. Thank you.” said the Lamb. “You are a delightful individual I am sure and we will love to get to know you but there are some things that need to cleared up first. Number one, I am the Lamb of Robert. Number two. You are Victoria the second. Number three. You are our pet. That means you call us Master and Mistress, speak when spoken to and trust us to feed you and keep you safe.”

The Lucy on the bed grinned. “Yes, Mistress.”

“Now, I want you on all fours beside the bed.” said the Lamb with a wicked grin.

The Lucy on the bed obediently rolled off it and got her hands and knees. Swiggled her hips seductively

“Smile.” said the Lamb as she pulled her quantum oscillator out of a pocket in her fatigues. She froze the naked girl as she smiled then fetched the hamper and rested it on the naked girl’s back like it was a table.

“That was cold.” said Robert, leaning with his arms crossed against the door.

“I just watched hundred of good people die.” said the Lamb. “I am cold. That’s why I need you.”

The Lamb took a seat on the bed and Robert joined her.

“You took your time.” said Robert with some undisguised irritation.

“Well I lived through the battle.” said the Lamb. “I was one of very few survivors once we’d successfully destroyed the facility. I told the rest of the survivors to go home, buried your body and messaged my family. There was enough time to call a reclamation crew to give the fallen proper funerals. Also time enough for me to get ready for the big event.”

“Well I’m glad you survived.” said Robert. “And I’m glad I got to be a part in why you did.”

The Lamb smiled and pulled out a collar and an emerald green bikini.

Robert snorted then chuckled when she handed him the collar to examine. It had the following engraved in a tag the shape of a lamb.

Lamb
As in the lamb of...
Hatchling of Lucy Danse Paragon of Virtue
H8NF5VX
Property of Robert Gordon Banks

The Lamb pulled out a bottle of Prosecco. “I got us some bubbly...” She pulled out a multipack of 200 sylph straws, an albino sylph squirrel, a contravoxain cooking set, a recipe book that boasted 500 ways to cook sylph, a large dildo, a butt plug, what sold itself enthusiastically as a year’s supply of lube, a sturdy leather whip and a large sharp knife. “And I got us a good night for a good few nights to come.”

Robert stared at the lube, butt plug, dildo and whip nervously. “This is is all for you, yeah?”

“To be used on me, yes.” said the Lamb as she pulled out a set of knitting needles and a ball of yarn. “Though, by all means, use whatever takes your fancy. After all if I’m your property, my property is your property.”

Robert breathed a sign of relief then started chuckling.

“What?” asked the Lamb as she pulled out a barrel of whiskey.

“Well this isn’t feeling so much like hell as I thought it would.” said Robert.

The Lamb grinned. “You should know by now that the Farsh-nuke would only let himself get sent to hell if he could be sure he’d experience heaven there.”

The Lamb pulled out a barrel of diet coke then said. “I think we’ll get started on this lot first so fuck or fork? Which one are you wanting from me most urgently?”

“Hey, hey, hey...” said Robert. “I’m not the Farsh-nuke anymore, I’m Robert. That means I do not decide what a woman does with her body.”

“Okay then.” said the Lamb as she wrapped her arms about Robert. “Lets start with kissing and see where things go. If it gets to biting we’ll bung me in the pot and you can always ask Ben to revive your Vicky for you, if the need takes you.”

“Yes, Maam” said Robert, saluting.

The End


Epilogue
Three weeks after the end of the Great Septagonoid War, Abby and the Professor went to visit the site of Robert’s final battle, at the ruins of the septagonoid production facility. The Valkyrie had carried off the wounded and seen that the fallen were sent home to be given the send off the family of each wanted. All that remained now was a barren blast landscape, crumbling walls and a single solitary septagon standing like a gravestone in the ruins of the factory.

Abby was dressed in black. She crouched down to read what was etched in the septagon:

Here lies:
Robert Gordon Banks
Alias The Farsh-nuke
And his Lamb
Alias Lucy Danse Hatchling H8NF5VX

“What’s this code?” asked Abby as she rose.

“It’s the designation of his superior officer.” said the Professor, dressed in his usual suit but with a thick black coat. “She was in charge of the platoon that led this raid. Can’t have been hatched more than 3 months before this mission and she was relatively experienced.” He paused and looked down at the grave. “I spoke to the Valkyrie before we arrived. Apparently she won the battle, sent the survivors home, called in the Valkyrie to see to the dead, printed a load of stuff from the replicator in her ship and when they found her she was lying in this grave, holding hands with the deceased Farsh-nuke, cyanide capsule crushed between her teeth and a hamper filled with supplies for the underworld.”

Abby sniffed and covered her mouth then looked away from the grave. She took several deep breaths then said. “At least they got to be together, at the end.”

The Professor nodded. “Most likely.”

Abby took a few deep breaths then asked. “Did they have any idea what was in the hamper?”

“Yeah...” said the Professor and he walked away from the grave a few pieces. “They found a note attached to it. It explained that the hatchling only needed the hamper to be on her possession as she died, that it was be given to someone she regarded as her successor.”

The Professor pulled the picnic hamper out of his pocket and placed it before Abby.

Abby started bawling her eyes out and her nostrils went into overdrive.

The Professor wordlessly handed Abby a box of tissues.

“She thought of me.” said Abby between her heaves. “Why did she think of me? Why would she even know me?”

The Professor shrugged. “Because she was the Paragon and the man she had decided to spend eternity with had just been with a woman who would still live.”

Abby cried for another minute then she dried her eyes, wiped her nose and took a couple of deep breaths to calm down. She fixed her eyes on the Professor then said. “We are finding him, you understand? We are finding Robert and we are making him into the new god. I don’t if we have to find him when he’s young or gay or black or... Look, I just don’t care what we have to do. We are finding him and I am going to be his again.”

“Alright.” said the Professor. “But if we are going to do this we’re going to need help.”

Abby smiled and picked up her hamper. “Then lets go get it.”

*

Abby followed the Professor backstage at an awards show where several avant-garde and bohemian types were dressed outlandishly in animal masks, bizarre make up and the kind of fashion that you could swear was culturally insensitive to somebody but was redressed in such neon blues and grays that you can’t be quite sure.

The Professor cleared his throat loudly and deliberately.

A group in front of them that had been chatting away merrily fell silent.

The Professor said loudly. “Viorum Kaztif-tan, if I may be so bold.”

And that’s when the person wearing heels that looked like human penises, pinstriped trousers, a tight gold trimmed corset, bowtie and top hat turned around. Abby saw that the individual in question had considerable cleavage, a large adams apple mildly obscured by a neckbeard and sideburns, a squat little nose and thick black rimmed spectacles.

“Well don’t you two just look the epitome of heteronormativity?” said the unusual individual. “Let me guess, you are a scifi writer and this is your young bride who is totally not in it for the money.” The individual laughed as if they’d just told an anecdote about a man wearing sandals with socks and the group they were with laughed similarly.

Abby blushed.

The Professor smiled. He smiled coldly and insincerely. It was the smile of an English man told he would have to queue. “Oh, I am the oldest of old white men, I am the last surviving member of the seven great empires, I exiled the Farsh-nuke all those years ago and if you don’t take back what you said to my granddaughter I will do what you would have liked me to do to him and kill an elder god.”

Abby groaned and pulled at the Professor’s arm. “Gramps!”

The individual froze.

The room seemed to chill in sympathy.

The Professor’s smile turned into a grin. It was the grin of an English man when confronted by a right wing American. It was the kind of grin that said “I can and will end you any moment I like, in a heartbeat, but I’m going to take my time so come at me, I dare you.”

The unusual individual cracked a smile. “Nah, you tried that once already.” They broke out laughing with good humour, their friends following likewise. The unusual individual embraced the Professor in a hug and slapped him on the back. “Good to see you’re still kicking old man. I do apologise to you and your lovely granddaughter, I didn’t recognise you without the axe.”

“Oh I don’t need an axe, never have. That was just a mercy on my part.” said the Professor genially.

“Then let me return the favor.” said the unusual individual and they turned to their friends. “People of awesomeness, may I introduce the man who chopped my head off when I was still a boisterous deity and his positively delectable granddaughter.”

The Professor chuckled with good humour.

Abby blushed. “You really think I’m delectable?”

The strange individual gave a deep booming laugh. “Of course, I could just see you spread over crackers.” Their friends laughed like they’d just heard a very naughty joke.

Abby looked to the Professor, confused.

“That wasn’t a compliment.” said the Professor. “He’s still antsy over my threatening to kill him and heteronormativity is offensive to him. You made the Farsh-nuke happy so you’re heteronormative enough to be a walking slur.”

“Oh...” said Abby wrinkling her nose then she noticed that the room was silent again.

“Was I not supposed to tell her?” asked the Professor, perplexed.

The strange individual turned to the Professor and said. “They. Not he or him. They and them.”

“It was he when we last spoke.” said the Professor.

“You cut my head off when we last spoke.” said the strange individual. “Times change.”

“Then I apologise.” said the Professor, deciding that was probably a fair point.

“What are you doing here anyway?” asked the strange individual.

The Professor opened his mouth to speak. Abby put her hand over his mouth and said. “Gramps, I think I better have a try.”

The Professor sighed.

Abby explained. “Well as you might be aware since you are, well, a god. The Farsh-nuke sacrificed himself to end the Great Septagonoid War and we wanted to talk to you about filling in the role he played in the multiverse.”

The unusual individual chuckled and shook their head. “My dear girl, I am Viorum Kaztif-tan, I maintain balance in the pantheon. I am not the champion of sylphs nor the ruler of the multiverse and I have no desire to be either.”

“Good.” said Abby sternly. “Because I am Abigail Lucille Logicity, I have a BA in the history and treatment of sylphs throughout the multiverse and a Masters in applied illogicity. That means if I wanted I could turn you inside out, cut you into strips and leave you to shrivel up in the desert as the moisture in your cells boil you alive. And I could be sure of your complicity, consent and enjoyment. I was with the Farsh-nuke the night before he died and I made a promise to him so no I’m not here to ask you to fill the Farsh-nuke’s place. I’m here to ask you whether you want to have any say in the development of his replacement because I will see that the Farsh-nuke’s place in the pantheon is filled and I will serve that individual regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race or culture.”

Viorum smiled. “My apologies, young one, the Farsh-nuke picks his prey well but you are mighty, I see that now. I do however have two questions for you. Did the Farsh-nuke give you any advice about picking a successor? And what would you do if every attempt to follow that advice was shot down?”

“He asked us to find someone the SLF would approve of, someone they could work with. Someone who wouldn’t be quite such a sadistic misogynist but would still be able to call themselves the champion of sylphs and still be able to rule the multiverse.” said Abby. “And you’re an elder god, you don’t need me to tell you what the woman who spent her last night at the end of his leash would do if left to pick his replacement.”

“Do you have a name?” asked Viorum.

Abby nodded. “Robert Gordon Banks.”

“Very well.” said Viorum. “I’ll help you but you must listen to my guidance and advice. I’m no good to you if you refuse to listen to me.”

The Professor spoke up again. “Viorum, we came to you because we’re stuck. The Farsh-nuke entrusted me with the task of seeing the multiverse was protected and guided towards a better tomorrow. Abby’s along for her own reasons. We’re lost. We have the power, we don’t know how we should use it but you? You know better than anybody else in the pantheon what it means to have power and use it for the betterment of others. Hell I’m probably too old and thick to even know exactly what good you actually do but one thing I do know is that while the rest are off conquering universes or building power bases you are out among the people, helping them with your knowledge of logic. Teach the new god that rationale.”

Viorum looked to the old white man and nodded. “Alright. Alright, lets do this but first, Professor, you have simply got to try the wine.”

The Professor smiled and saluted as a glass was bought over.

Viorum looked to Abby and said. “Abby, there are some people I’d like you to meet. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, though I think you might enjoy yourself considerably. The Farsh-nuke is a sadist who uses the idea of consent to make those he uses feel more comfortable with his actions. I think that if you are going to be with his successor that you at least should understand intimately just how safe, sane and truly consensual BDSM actually works.”

Abby smiled and nodded. “Alright but I’m not taking any pills.”

Viorum pat Abby on the back and said. “You have a lot to learn, my dear.”

Abby giggled.

*

*

*

Robert Gordon Banks will return in:
The Girl Who Chose


The first in a series following The New God arc coming soon...