Saturday, September 17, 2011


The general prompt:
Power you get is your super power. Hit random page. Next power that shows up is the power of your arch nemesis.

My Power: Magic (bit of a Superpower Lottery win, there)
My Nemesis's Power: Self-Spawn

Added for fun (I chose which was which before I clicked random, though):
My Sidekick: Stinger Protrusion
Nemesis's Sidekick: Destruction

"I think you should be running the show here."

There wasn't a head, exactly, but the hole in the universe was person-shaped. The head-analogue tipped to one side. "Oh?"

"Yeah." There was a stalemate, between the--um.

"What should I call you?"


I shrugged. "I don't have a good short description of you. If you don't give one, I'm going to end up with something like 'Black Hole', and that seems rather melodramatic for your personality."

The being stared and blinked--I think. Vaguely shaded: eyes are tiny. "Absence is a common choice. Those who prefer to humanize generally call me Abby."

"Right. Thank you." There was a stalemate going on, between Abby and me. Technically speaking, she--alright, yes, gender-neutrality, but I was calling her Abby--is the most powerful force in the universe. She is entropy. The slow decay of weathering wood, rusting iron, fire snatching up square meters of forest every second. She's not rot, precisely; rot is life's domain, but she is that moment of conversion inside every organism, taking organized energy and disorganizing it.

I was magic. Not a mage, not a magician, not a witch or a wizard. Simply magic. Components of spells, whether they call by word or symbol or thought, called on me. I was the miracles of the land. Like organization increasing in a closed system.

But, by definition, I was inconsistent. If I happened repeatably, I'd be science, and you'd know me in your world.

And, by definition, entropy is quite consistent.

"You were saying?" Abby inquired coolly.

"Ah, yes. Why do you follow him?"

She shrugged--well, actually, she did an eternally graceful movement best described as a shrug. But I really needed to stop or kiss her, and I was not entirely sure if one survived kissing entropy. "I am destruction. If I am to create something, I require a base."

"So you could make lovely driftwood sculptures."

Absence smiled.

The world outside would go chilly from that. So direct an expression on Absence herself meant no thing would smile for that moment. Here, in front of her, it warmed my soul. "Something like that."

"And that's what my Nina is for: someone to affect the fully material plane. But she doesn't run the show." I spread my hands and joked, "What, does your entropy spread to plans?"


"Ow..." I muttered under my breath, rubbing my ears. Smiles warm the soul; direct statements turn you near-deaf. "Unnecessary roughness."

"Nina is losing."

"What--" I started up. "She's fighting?"

"Injury is also my realm, if by a stretch."

One does not say, 'It can't be so,' to that tone. "...I can't feel her."

Abby nodded calmly. "It appears she does not call upon you, Mistress Margaret."

"Maggie," I said automatically. "It's Maggie. Do you know why not?"

"Divination is your realm, I believe." On anyone else that tone would have been infuriatingly calm, but on Abby is simply was. It would be no more reasonable to be angry at that tone than to be angry at a picture of a black hole.

I cast not-water upon the naught-floor and pulled the truth from it.

"As if she ever thought you near her," the man--Sam?--sneered. He actually sneered, my goodness.

"I am her helper. Of course she did not." A blow, then, to the solar plexus, driving the air hard out of him. The words were confident, but the tone was desperate, and only became moreso. "But I can fight without her. Can you say the same?"

He laughed. "Childish. Your mistress aids me in this fight." Another of him came from behind and landed a blow somewhere low along Nina's back. She went down.

They said, together, "And you can do nothing without her."

I realized I had clenched my jaw when the muscles hurt. "Bastard." He only called upon me in truth to make himself anew, none for sustaining, but this was me; this was my domain, and I could right it.

I touched the surface of the water Abby pressed at me, but that wasn't important and pulled.

Both Sams fell. One was female now, the other still male but the wrong height and build. All of his would soon fall such. He ran the bodies hard, sapping what energy the magic infused in them would throw them into comas. And that was wrong, because some of them would doubtless be in some danger Abby pressed tight on all sides, but I only needed one more minute.

Not even a pull, just a shift. From him to them. He had not spread himself so thin, only to one other who was neither present nor the man himself. "One moment Abby," I breathed, "please."

Sam died, and I sliced off a piece of myself to give to little Nina. She'd keep her spikes, when she wanted them, and heal completely from any injuries she'd gotten under my care.

I shut my eyes. I was done.


"Hush, bright one."

Then the back of my mind went click.

"Dark," I mumbled back, already lost in her. Not evil, not wrong, but dark to my light; perfect, only missing me as I missed her.

Abby smiled against my ear. "Yes." And it was perfect, and it was beautiful, and it was worth it because she made it so.

One does not survive kissing entropy.

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