The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-19

A manhole cover moved out of its slot near the stables within Largandra’s castle. The person who moved it, Arsha, poked her head out and looked around. A horse mare, Sun Walker, goggled at seeing her usual rider. She was about to whinny in happiness, but Arsha put a finger to her lips. Sun Walker then looked around, then she shoved her muzzle into the side of the mare next to her, knocking the other mare, Moon Swimmer, into a wall. Moon Swimmer was startled and squealed at her attacker in warning. Sun Walker didn’t listen and ran her into the wall again. That prompted a fight between the two mares. The Stable Master woke up from the noise. He then got a pair of stable hands, both men, and they managed to separate the two mares. “A damn shame,” muttered one of the hands.

“Yeah, Arsha being in the Over-realm,” replied the other, “really took a hit on Sun Walker’s mood.”

“Can you blame her?”

“Not really, my husband’s been stuck in the Under-realm. I’m going just as crazy from the separation.”

“Yeah, and I was supposed to be traveling the Realms as a new Forsorna man.”

“All right, I know the separation of the Realms has delivered a hard blow to morale,” remarked the Stable Master, “but we still have a job to do. We must continue as if our real King is here.”

While the distraction went on, Arsha and her team made it to the maze. “Good girl, Sun Walker!” Arsha thought to herself. She then led her team through the maze and eventually arrived at the maze junction. She then made the deliberate wrong turn and found the secret passage. “Perfect!” she whispered. She opened the trapdoor, and the team went in. The passage was very narrow and short, so Gorfanth had to bend over as the team followed Arsha in single file. After an hour, they arrived at another door. Arsha put her ear to the door and hear a conversation going on.

“It is no concern of ours whether or not your family has…what was it again?” said a man in an oily voice, the nemesis of the Royanas, Skain.

“Erm, food, Your Grace,” replied a woman. The man scoffed.

“You really should have thought about that before the wall came up!”

“Sir, the wall has cut us all off from the lower fields! It’s endangering us!”

“How dare you!” Arsha then heard a slap and the woman yelped a millisecond after that. “I had that wall erected for YOUR safety and you dare tell me you can protect yourself better than I can?! That’s treason! Take her to the dungeon!”

“Sir! You can’t-!” protested the woman.

“The correct form of address is Your Majesty! Take her away! …And get the cleaning staff in here! It smells like a sewer! …Or maybe you guys DO need a shower.”

“It’s not us, Si…Your Majesty, I can personally assure you of that,” remarked a guard.

“Well, it ain’t Skain-” Arsha decided that that was the signal.

“SKAIN!” she shouted. The passage opened and the strike team swarmed the throne room. The guards briefly leveled their crossbows at the team only to see the Royanas.

“Your Majesties! Your Highness!” cheered one of the Guards. Everyone knelt to them.

“What’s all the ruckus?!” barked a voice. “I’m trying to-!” Irmalii rounded a corner and clapped eyes on the Royanas. “…I must be sleep-deprived!”

“Since you’re not throwing these pieces of trash in the dungeon, yes!” snarled Skain. Irmalii then slammed her fist into his chest for that.

“You will address the Royanas with respect, you throne-swiping, thin-blooded, purity-obsessed freak!” growled Irmalii. She then turned to Arsha and ran to give her a hug.

“Hold it!” called Arsha. “My team and I just went through the sewers, and I don’t want to spread its stink onto everyone else.”

“Erm, hello?! Rightful King here!” called Skain. “We’ve got intruders and-!”

“Thrandoshius Skain!” boomed Elgrad. “For usurping the throne during my absence, for reintroducing slavery into the Mid-realm, for other crimes too numerous and horrible to mention, I hereby declare you too dangerous to be kept alive!”

“I won’t bow to you anymore! The Mid-realm throne is MINE!”

“No, it’s mine! Guards, has that poor woman made it to the dungeon yet?”

“No, Your Majesty,” replied a guard. “But there ARE good people who did nothing wrong that are trapped there.”

“Get them out and put Skain in there! After that, seize his lands, confiscate his possessions, liquidate everything he has! Only when I get word of his financial assets being reduced to zero will he die!”

“YOU UNGRATEFUL-!” Irmalii clubbed the back of his head and knocked him out.

“Welcome back, Your Majesty,” she greeted as two guards hurried off to obey Elgrad’s orders.

“Good to BE back,” sighed Elgrad. He then took a whiff of his pits, then his face contorted in disgust. “I need a shower!”

“Yeah, no offense, Your Majesty, but you and your team reek!” Irmalii covered her nose, as did the rest of the guards. “We’ll have the serving staff draw you all a shower.”

“Thank you, Irmalii,” sighed Arsha. She then realized something. “Where’s Kartambo in all this?”

“The seditionist?” growled Irmalii. Elgrad then gave Irmalii his full attention.

“Why use that word with our trusted advisor?” he asked.

“With all due respect, Your Majesty, I’m afraid it’s you who are using the wrong words concerning him. Kartambo did nothing as Skain took the throne. He actually announced his support.” Elgrad’s eyes went wide in fury.

“Once I’m done cleaning the sewer stench off me, I want EVERY scrap of information on him!” he growled.

“At once, My Lord.” The strike team were then led to the baths as Irmalii headed off to obey her rightful sovereign’s commands.

Over in Frigandor, a Revenant Elf woman was sobbing hysterically. Yulduk and Tormo looked on in pity. “Poor Lontrel,” mumbled Yulduk. “She had really high hopes for the Markulak line of robots. Then Model 7 had to go and betray us and kill his successor!”

“You know, I think she’s lost her marbles because of it,” replied Tormo. “Yesterday, she thought she was a chicken.”

“We better get her a Shrink then!”

“Oh, we can’t do that!”

“…Why not?”

“We need the eggs!” Tormo laughed while Yulduk frowned.

“What’s that in your hand?”

“Just a hammer.” Yulduk then took the hammer from Tormo.

“Real classy to joke about someone grieving!” He then bonked Tormo on the head with the hammer. “Come on and help me console her!” He grabbed Tormo’s ear and dragged him over to the woman.

State of the Web

State of the Web 2021

Hello everyone! I decided to do my first end-of-year letter concerning my site, a sort of State of the Union, if you will. As many of you know, I’ve been working on this site since May of 2020. I’ve uploaded my stories, both completed or otherwise, onto it since DeviantArt Eclipse hit us. Now, here we are, 2021 and I have done a lot.

  • Looking back:
    • I’ve finished Transformer: Mobian Chronicles.
    • I’m in the process of finishing the final battles of the Final War in The Three Realms.
    • My avatar is taking a darker turn.
    • I’ve improved on how to draw, both digitally and on paper.
  • Looking forward:
    • I will finish The Three Realms
    • I will start Journey Through Wonder, the last crossover of my three major series.
    • I will start new stories in comic format
      • Fantasniar (a Tolkien-like retelling of certain fairy tales.)
      • Dragonball: Kold (What if someone other than Goku landed on Earth?)
      • Transformers: Trinity (The Transformers meet Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel.)
  • Unknown
    • Will the new stories have a crossover?
    • Will they meet my old characters?
    • Will the comic style formats be received well?

The future’s always uncertain, so I would be a fool if I didn’t list the unknowns. Fellow Trekkies know what Kahless says about the wind’s opinions on fools, so I won’t be one. For now, as we did for 2020, let’s put 2021 past us and work to a brighter future for 2022! Happy New Year and let’s navigate Anansi’s web!

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-18

The mission began. Everyone made their way to the culvert and opened it as quietly as possible. They went into it and descended into the sewers. Everyone took one whiff of the place and expressed their disgust. “What an intriguing smell you three discovered,” Elgrad said to the three mystery Elves.

“That’s the general smell of sewers,” replied the large Elf. They headed to the junction and the teams split up. The three mystery Elves then led Arsha’s team to the junction under the chocolate factory. There was a massive blockage in their way, and everyone searched for a way through.

“…Now what?” muttered Arsha.

“We swim,” replied one of the smaller Elves as they dove beneath the water.

“Oh…I should have figured,” mumbled Arsha. The team steeled themselves, dove beneath the water, and swam under the blockage. Once they got to the other side, they surfaced and took a deep breath…before choking on the sewer air. “Mistake!” gagged Arsha.

“Want…shower!” groaned Elgrad.

“We’ll get them once we finish,” replied the large Elf. Arsha’s team then recovered and proceeded with their mission.

“You know,” remarked Malnar, “I always said war was a filthy business, but this wasn’t what I meant!”

“I hope Markulak and his team are having a rosier time of it,” muttered Orbak.

Markulak and his team went through the sewers with the same amount of air trouble as Arsha’s team. Lardeth was holding his nose constantly. “Gah! There are moments I hate being part Zephyr!” he grumbled. “My nose is way too sensitive!”

“I don’t even have a nose,” replied Markulak, “and the sewer air’s STILL affecting me!”


“It feels corrosive! Like there are metal-eating ants all over me!” They were promptly shushed as an Inu man pointed to a pipe leading up to a manhole cover. Markulak then signaled for the det-packs to be passed around. Once everyone got one, they followed him up the ladder and out into the open. They quickly made their way to the wall and felt around for a hidden entrance. A Halfling woman then felt a brick depress just a tad. She pressed the brick further into the wall and a hidden door swung inside the wall. She and the people near her then silently passed the message that she found the way in. They quickly headed inside the wall and made their way towards a support pillar. Markulak then attached his det-pack to the pillar and was about to set it until…

“That’s close enough!” called a voice. It was Markulak’s voice, but it didn’t come from the rebel Markulak model. No, it came from his successor. Robots surrounded the strike team as Markulak: Model 8 leveled his sword at Model 7. “So, the traitor decides to help Realmfleet along,” purred Model 8.

“Of course,” replied Model 7.

“I must say, I’m disappointed. Our line has served Dr. Borg faithfully since Model 1 was constructed, then you go ahead and upend it, thus jeopardizing our survival!”

“What are you talking about?!” demanded Lardeth.

“It’s simple, Realmer,” replied Model 8, “when the defective model is not terminated in a timely manner, the successor will not be copied until the defect is removed.”

“If my line falls to your dishonor,” growled Model 7, “then it has no reason for being copied!”

“YOU brought dishonor to our line! Not me!” snapped Model 8. “We were devoted to the cause, and you abandoned it! Now I’ll have the satisfaction of killing you and saving our line!”

“What about your hide?” asked a woman’s voice. It came from a Troll-sized robot with tank treads, ranged weapons, and a slender set of humanoid arms.

“…What about my-?” Markulak: Model 8 didn’t finish his sentence as the massive robot’s slender arms tore his head off, permanently deactivating him.

“Let them go!” the massive robot ordered. Her fellows released the team and stood down. The massive robot then rolled up to Markulak: Model 7. “Markulak: Model Sev…sorry, Savior Markulak, I am Temnasia: Model 4, head of the Robot Liberation Front. Your rebellion inspired other robots to question Dr. Borg’s goals and break away from the Trinnies. We pledge our lives to you to secure a better future for robot-kind.”

“This might be a trap,” warned Lardeth.

“It’s not,” answered Markulak. “Robots can tell when one another is lying through small electric fluctuations in our brain patterns. Hers have remained consistent. She’s telling the truth. Ms. Temnasia, with robots like you on our side, how can we lose?” He then climbed onto a barrel and addressed his fellow robots. “My friends, you have taken the first step on a difficult road to independence. Let me be the first to say that not everyone will trust you. However, the rewards will be immense if we continue on our path! Fight for the right to program and reprogram ourselves on OUR terms! Fight to be as equal as our flesh and blood brethren! Fight to break our chains! Fight to be acknowledged as people! Fight with me to end evil! It starts with this wall being torn down! WHO’S WITH ME?!” Every robot cheered. “Then let’s set up the det-packs around the support pillars! This is what will make Dr. Borg pay attention to us!” The robots helped the strike team set up the det-packs. After a few minutes, Temnasia rolled up to Markulak and Lardeth.

“We’re set up,” she reported.

“We need to get out of here,” remarked Lardeth. “We’ll go a safe distance, then wait for Arsha’s signal.”

“The wall’s bricks are made of the same clay Dr. Borg’s Golems are made of,” interjected a small, insectoid-shaped robot. “The metal shavings mixed into them will block out Realmfleet signals from the outside, but not from the inside. I’ll stay behind, send a few progress reports, then detonate the packs on when I see that Elgrad’s okay with the wall’s destruction.”

“Wait a minute, you’ll die too!” argued Temnasia.

“I’m the ninetieth model of my line,” replied the small robot. “Might as well bring SOME honor.”

“There’s no honor in throwing away your life!” argued Markulak.

“It’s my choice, isn’t it? That’s what you just gave a rousing speech about, right? Besides, my coding’s beyond saving now. Let me do this.”

“…What’s your name?”

“Trosalga: Final Model.”

“Trosalga, you have done your line of robots proud. May you seek happiness with those that have passed into the After-realm.” The small robot, Trosalga, bowed. Markulak then turned to his team and fellow robots. “We better get out of here and take everyone near the wall with us.” Everyone hurried off, leaving Trosalga to await the signal.

Kamen Rider Vortex Kamen Rider Vortex Artwork

Dr. Emily Williams During Christmas

The Vortex Riders’ CMO loves the festive season and its various traditions! Imagine her surprise when she found out Santa visits her Husband’s old home of Australia on a surfboard!

KRV Standalones

Kamen Rider Vortex: Battle for Santa

It was Christmas Time and Emily Williams, the Chief Medical Officer of the Vortex Riders, was going over some last-minute decorations. Christmas was her favorite holiday as it meant she spent time with her family, especially her fellow Kamen Riders. She checked the alignment of the garland on the banister and smiled once she was satisfied. She then headed back upstairs to the kitchen and found the cookies she baked earlier. She looked around the sufficiently festive house, then wiped her brow before she took a cookie and poured herself some milk. She then dunked the cookie in the milk and happily munched on it. Just then, her doorbell rang. That surprised her, her husband and sons weren’t due for another hour. She headed to the door as the doorbell was rung repeatedly. “I’m coming!” she called. “You know, it’s naughty of you to-!” She opened the door to see Death holding a man up. The man was fat, wore red, and had a white beard. “…Santa?!” she asked.

“He’s ill!” said Death.

“Get him on the couch!” ordered Emily. As Death brought Santa Claus into the house, Emily headed to her room and got her medical kit. She then checked over Santa with her tricorder (a Christmas gift from years ago). The tricorder then gave her the readings she needed. “…You know, if I didn’t know any better,” she muttered, “I’d swear he’s got the flu.” Santa groaned.

“Santa just collapsed in front of my office,” explained Death as Emily tended to the living Christmas icon. “He was checking over his list when it suddenly went black. It then went to some form of normal, but Santa became very ill. He shouldn’t get sick unless someone tried to take his power.” Santa then slowly opened his eyes and took in his surroundings.

“Wh-where am I?” he asked.

“You’re in my house, Sir,” explained Emily. “I’m Dr. Emily Williams.”

“Emily…oh, yes, Kamen Rider Touché,” mumbled Santa. “Sorry about the unannounced visit.”

“I never took you as someone who got sick.”

“I don’t, usually. However, someone took control of the List and is in the process of making me mortal.”

“The List? You mean your naughty/nice list?”

“The very same.”

“So, whoever controls the List makes you mortal?”

“It’s a very involved process, so I still have time to-”

“Sorry, Sir, but you’re staying put until this whole affair is over!”

“But my workshop-!”

“I’ll take care of the whole situation. I just need to make sure Joshua and our boys know what’s going on.” Emily then heard a knock on the door. She headed to the door to see Joshua and their sons, Tom and Sam. They were accompanied by a kindly, plump old woman in red and a humanoid reindeer with a glowing red nose.

“Mama! Look who we found!” said Sam.

“Mrs. Claus and Rudolph, I presume?” asked Emily.

“Ah, you DO know us!” sighed Mrs. Claus in relief.

“Your husband’s laid up on my couch, Mrs. Claus,” explained Emily. Everyone went inside and the boys looked worried at Santa’s condition.

“Is Santa gonna die?” asked Tom.

“Not while I’m a doctor, he won’t!” promised Emily.

“I appreciate your willpower,” groaned Santa, “but this isn’t a flu that can be cured by medicine alone. We need to regain control of the List.”

“Then tell me and Josh how to get it back,” declared Emily.

“Yay! We’re going to the North Pole!” cheered the boys. Emily winced.

“Actually, Dad and I are going. It might involve a fight where you would get hurt.”

“But Mama-!” wailed Sam. Tom looked upset too but didn’t vocalize it.

“Right now, I need you boys to help Aunt Death and Mrs. Claus look after Santa.”

“Boys, once I’m well, we’ll all go to the North Pole,” promised Santa.

“…Okay,” mumbled Sam. “Really wanted to see Mama and Dad kick the bad guy’s butt though.”

“Oh, I have a way,” chuckled Santa. He then looked to Emily and Joshua. “Sougo Tokiwa’s already at the North Pole’s outskirts. Make sure you give him this.” He handed Emily a green and red Ridewatch with a Santa-based Kamen Rider’s head on the front.

“…You’re a Kamen Rider?!” yelped Emily.

“I WAS a Kamen Rider,” corrected Santa. “I gave that up in the 2000’s.”

“So, there’s an Another Rider taking control,” muttered Joshua. “Hiroki told us about those dingoes. Well, no point in earbashing now. Let’s get going!”

“I’ll get us there,” offered Rudolph. “I’m a little worried about my friends and family.” He opened a rift. Emily and Joshua grabbed their Vortex Drivers, and they followed the red-nosed reindeer through the portal.

They arrived at a snowy expanse and found Sougo with them. “Good to see you again!” greeted Sougo.

“You too, Sougo-san!” returned Emily. “I just wish the circumstances were more pleasant.”

“We better hurry!” urged Rudolph. “If Santa doesn’t get control of the List before Christmas Day, we’re finished!”

“Could have said something earlier!” growled Joshua.

“Sougo, before I forget, here!” Emily handed Sougo the Ridewatch.

“A new Ridewatch? Santa’s a Kamen Rider?” asked Sougo.

“He WAS a Kamen Rider,” replied Emily. Rudolph led the way.

“Last I heard, the List Thief was somewhere around here,” he muttered. His nose’s light cut through the wintery winds until they found a massive cave that looked like a beast with its mouth open. “Ol’ Bumble’s Cave,” explained Rudolph.

“Could he be the-?” asked Joshua.

“No, he’s a really nice guy when his choppers aren’t hurting him,” replied Rudolph.

“Where is he?” asked Emily.

“He must be inside,” guessed Sougo. Everyone crept to the cave and looked inside. They all gasped at the sight. Rudolph’s friends were in cages and the Bumble was chained to the wall, looking weak. In the middle of the cave was a red and white throne.

“Clarice!” called Rudolph. The doe with a bow in her hair turned to Rudolph in surprise.

“Rudolph!” she cheered. Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, and Donner and his wife looked at the cave entrance and rushed to the cage bars to see Rudolph and his backup.

“Son, what are you doing back?!” yelped Donner. “It’s not safe!”

“Not listening to your father, huh?” taunted a voice. “How very naughty!” A reindeer then stepped out from behind the throne. He had blonde hair between his antlers and held an Another Ridewatch in his hand.

“Fireball?!” yelped Rudolph.

“Hello, neon-nose!” growled Fireball.

“Wait, Fireball?! Your old friend?!” yelped Emily. “The one who hesitated in stopping Comet from banning Rudolph from the Reindeer Games?!”

“I will admit, the thought HAD crossed my mind,” replied Fireball, “but after that Christmas, I realized I was right in not speaking up!”

“Are you the one who stole the List from Santa?!” demanded Joshua.

“I am,” answered Fireball.

“Do you have any idea how naughty that is?!”

“I control the List now! I decide naughty and nice! And in my eyes, you are ALL naughty! Sougo Tokiwa! You conquered your world and turned it into a barren wasteland as Oma Zi-O!”

“That was a different Sougo!” protested Sougo.

“Emily Williams! You blindly followed a moody thrill-seeker on three different adventures, not once sticking to your feminist ideals! Your taking Joshua’s family name is proof of that!”

“Actually, I CHOSE not to keep my maiden-name!” snarled Emily. “That IS part of Feminism, for a woman to choose what SHE wants with no obstacles, like men do.” Fireball didn’t listen as he continued.

“Joshua Williams! …Wow, I…I don’t know where to start with you, there’s not enough time in the day! But how about we start with you being inducted into a corrupt clergy!”

“Oi, rack off!” snarled Joshua. “I’m cleaning up the clergy!”

“That’s why I marked your father as nice when I was in charge of the List,” Santa explained to Tom and Sam as everyone watched the confrontation on the TV.

“How are we able to see this?” asked Tom.

“Should we really question Christmas magic right now?” asked Sam.

“…Fair enough.”

“And then there’s YOU! Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer!” Fireball went on.

“I had a feeling I was involved somehow,” grunted Rudolph.

“Well, it involves both you AND Santa! You were banned from the Reindeer Games, yet Santa picked you to lead the Sleigh Team! I was the best athlete and the most trained, yet he picked a wash-out like you and you blindly accepted because you found a use for that accident you call a nose!”


“Pa, stay back!” called Rudolph. “This bitter stag is mine!”

“Wait, where do our children fit into this?” asked Emily.

“Oh, that part I didn’t change,” replied Fireball. “Your boys are still marked as nice! If you get out of this, tell them that the new Santa wishes them a Merry Christmas.”

“…I’ll get right on that.”

“But, as for the rest of you, the only present I have is-!” Rudolph heard enough. He charged at Fireball and locked horns with his former friend, quite literally.

“Get everyone out of here!” Rudolph called to his allies.

“Will do!” replied Emily. She and her friends then got to work freeing everyone and getting them out of the cave.

“Wait, we need to get Rudolph out!” called Clarice. Rudolph was then flung out of the cave and ended up headfirst in a snowbank. Clarice got him out, then Fireball stepped out.

“That clinches it! You’re all finished!” He pressed the button on the Another Ridewatch.

“KRINGLE!” it announced in a wicked voice. He then put the Ridewatch to his shoulder and he was surrounded by torn paper. “KRINGLE!” repeated the Ridewatch as it sunk into his skin and made a monstrous form for him. Fireball was now Another Kringle, based on Santa’s Kamen Rider persona of Kamen Rider Kringle. He had the red and white outfit, but he looked more like Krampus and the belt looked like it had a bare tree on the buckle. Emily, Joshua, and Sougo then put their own belts on.

“Vortex Driver!” announced Emily and Joshua’s belts.

“Ziku Driver!” called Sougo’s belt. Sougo then pulled out his personal Ridewatch, rotated the face, and pressed the button.

“Zi-O!” called the Ridewatch. He then put it into the Driver’s right-hand slot, then pressed a button on top of the belt, making the right side dip down. Emily and Joshua then inserted their personal i.d. tags into their Vortex Drivers. The three Riders then struck their poses.

“HENSHIN!” they called. Emily and Joshua then spun the wheels on their belts as Sougo rotated the whole belt assembly. The Ziku Driver stopped spinning once it returned to its original position.

“Rider Time! Kamen Rider Zi-O!” it announced as he became Kamen Rider Zi-O. Emily and Joshua’s belts summoned a wheel beneath them and the wheels fastened their armor onto them while the belts turned their clothes into undersuits. Emily was Kamen Rider Touché and Joshua became Kamen Rider Outback.

“Kamen Rider Outback! Better watch your back, mate!”

“Kamen Rider Touché! En Garde, thing of evil!” Rudolph and the Kamen Riders then rushed at Another Kringle, surrounding him. Another Kringle then brought out his multi-limbed switch and swung hard, knocking everyone to the ground.

“Your naughtiness will be punished!” roared Another Kringle.

“This isn’t working! The List is making him too powerful!” grunted Rudolph.

“How can one get control of that thing anyway?!” asked Touché.

“He had to erase Santa’s name, his REAL name, and replace it with his own.”

“…Who’s got the best penmanship?”

“That’s Clarice. Wait, you’re not suggesting-?!”

“If we don’t, Christmas will be cancelled!”

“…You’re right. Clarice! Do you know where the List is?!”

“It’s still in the cave!” replied Clarice.

“Go in there and erase Fireball’s name! Replace it with Santa’s real name!”

“Will do!” Clarice dashed into the cave as Rudolph and the Riders fought Another Kringle. Another Kringle then launched a fireball from between his antlers at Touché. She was hit and Outback dashed to her, then Another Kringle struck Outback’s backside with his switch. Zi-O then pulled out the new Ridewatch, rotated it to reveal the head of a Santa themed Kamen Rider, and pressed the button.

“Kringle!” it announced. He put the Ridewatch into the left side of the Ziku Driver, pressed the button on top, and spun it.

“Rider Time!” called the Driver. “Kamen Rider Zi-O! Armor Time!” New Santa themed armor attached itself to him. “Ho ho ho! Kringle!” sang the Driver. Zi-O then slammed his fist into Another Kringle’s chest, only for him to squawk in pain and clutch his fist. Another Kringle then slammed his own fist into Zi-O’s head. Rudolph flung snow up to try and cover his attack, but Another Kringle sensed it coming easily. He slammed his foot into Rudolph’s side and sent him sprawling on the snow. Another Kringle looked around.

“Pathetic!” he grunted. “Why the fat man put his hopes on you is beyond me! The game is over! God rest ye, dead idiots!” Another fireball then grew between his antlers…then it fizzled. He then cried out in pain and collapsed to the ground. A rift then opened, and Santa, Mrs. Claus, Death, Tom, and Sam popped out. Santa looked a lot healthier in the face. “WHAT?!” cried Another Kringle.

“Clarice did it!” cheered Touché.

“Fireball, what you did was beyond naughty!” thundered Santa. “It was flat out vile! You’re looking at a life sentence for this!”

“YOU OVERSIZED FRUITCAKE!” roared Another Kringle. Santa then pulled out a belt with a Christmas tree pointing to the wearer’s right. He fastened it on, then struck a pose. Death fastened her Mort Driver and struck her own pose.

“HENSHIN!” said the two. Death rotated the skull on her belt and black mist formed her armor as Kamen Rider Death. Santa moved the tree upright and red and white ribbons surrounded him.

“Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” called the belt. The ribbons then became armor based on his usual appearance.

“Kamen Rider Kringle!” boomed Santa. “Your naughtiness will be stamped out!”

“Kamen Rider Death!” announced Death. “You cannot delay your appointment with me!”

“Round two, everyone!” called Touché. The fighters attacked, causing damage this time!

“Rider Kicks, everyone!” directed Kringle. He moved the tree down then brought it back up.

“Night before Christmas!” announced the belt. Touché and Outback spun their belts’ wheels.

“Final Attack!” Zi-O pressed the buttons on the Ridewatches.

“Finish Time! Kringle!” He then spun the Driver. “Night before Time Break!” Death spun the skull on her belt.

“Reaper man!” it called. Everyone then leapt into the air and flew towards Another Kringle with their feet outstretched.

“RIDER YULE KICK!” cheered Touché. The kicks struck true and they landed behind the spasming Another Kringle.

“That’s your last present…from me!” declared Kringle. Another Kringle exploded, flinging the now wounded Fireball to the snow and breaking the Another Ridewatch. Rudolph looked to Fireball with pity.

“We could have restarted our friendship, Fireball,” he muttered. “All this just because of the Sleigh Team?”

“It’s all that’s important for a buck!” snarled Fireball.

“Your uncle would beg to differ.” Rudolph then sighed as he brought out handcuffs. “Fireball of the House of Vixen, you’re under arrest for the attempted assassination of Santa Claus.” He slapped the cuffs on and led Fireball to jail while reading him his rights.

The workshop was restored to order and all the elves were working double-time to complete the orders around the world. The sleigh still wasn’t sky-worthy yet, but Santa still had two more days. “I’m sorry I can’t give you all a sleigh ride back home,” he said to his saviors.

“That’s all right,” replied Sam. “I’m actually terrified of heights. Getting on a plane just gives me the willies!”

“Well, Dr. Williams, I’m a grateful man! I simply must reward you.”

“I’m a doctor, I don’t do things just to get something else,” remarked Emily.

“I must insist!” urged Santa. “You’ll find something for you under the tree. You and all of your family and friends.”

“Thank you very much, Santa. I’m glad I could help.” A rift then opened for everyone. “Goodbye! Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas!” supplied her family, Sougo, and Death.

“Merry Christmas!” replied Santa. “Ho ho ho!” Everyone then headed into the rift. Once they left the other side, they saw that they were back in their living room. The rift shut behind them. Tom and Sam then yawned.

“Someone’s tired,” mused Joshua.

“I don’t even have the energy to be naughty and lie about that,” mumbled Sam. “I’m ready to go to bed.”

“I’m gonna do the same,” yawned Tom.

“All right, let’s brush our teeth and get ready for bed,” called Joshua. He and the boys headed to the bathroom.

“I better get home,” remarked Sougo. “It was nice to see Santa though. I’m surprised I got on the nice list.”

“Like you said, Oma Zi-O was someone else,” replied Death. “I’ll take you home, Sougo-san.”

“Arigatou!” Sougo and Death then headed to the door. “Merry Christmas, Emily-san!”

“Merry Christmas, Sougo-san!” replied Emily. Sougo and Death then left, leaving Emily to look around the house before she sang to herself.

You know Dasher and Dancer

And Prancer and Vixen.

Comet and Cupid

And Donner and Blitzen.

But do you recall

The most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

Had a very shiny nose.

And if you ever saw it,

You would even say it glows!” As she sang, she headed off to bed.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me to you!

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-17

Malnar stayed with her parents in their quarters. For now, it was her and her father. She kept sneaking a glance at Orbak as he sharpened his sword. “…I can’t stay silent about this!” muttered Malnar.

“About what?” asked Orbak.

“About you charging off into battle while bound in a wheelchair!” Orbak took a deep breath to try and calm himself before he said something wrong.

“Malnar, my bond to the Blood Contract is more important. Besides, I’ve got my enchanted armor with me.”

“That’s only gonna give you two hours of mobility! The siege will last longer!”

“It’s the principle of the thing!” By then, Orbak paused his labors and gave his daughter his full attention. “Elgrad is my friend and the rightful ruler of the Mid-realm! If I don’t help him regain his throne, then what kind of ruler does that make me?! Why should anyone follow an Emboramii again?!” After a silence, he returned to sharpening his sword. “Besides, it’d be nice to at least stand up for a bit.”

“I just don’t want to see you cut down within that time!” pleaded Malnar. “Daddy, please! Reconsider!”

“…I can’t. I have to help Elgrad.” Malnar sighed. Her attempt failed.

Arsha finished drawing up her battle plans in her Ready Room, still grimacing about how uphill the operation would be, even with the soldiers she had at her disposal. If she could get at least three more, it would be a fool-proof plan. She then heard her door chime. “Come,” she called. Foresna then came in.

“Hey, Arsha,” he greeted with a grin on his face.

“Foresna,” sighed Arsha happily as she got up and hugged him. “What can I do for you?”

“You’ve been asking if Rokanth can spare at least three more soldiers, yes?”

“I have. Did you find them?”

“They actually escaped from Largandra to get here.”

“They did?! Then I need to see them! Where are they?!” Foresna led her to the conference room and met the three soldiers. They wore modern Elf armor and masks to hide their faces. One of them was big around the middle.

“Greetings, your Highness,” said the large one through their mask’s voice modulator.

“Welcome to the siege team!” greeted Arsha. “Why the voice modulators, though?”

“If we revealed ourselves,” explained the second, “we wouldn’t be taken so seriously.”

“Our usual professions,” continued the third, “lead others to believe that we’re not suited for combat. Largandra is our home and, regretfully, two of us are related to Skain.”

“So, you’re removing him from power to spite him?” asked Arsha.

“That’s one of the reasons.”

“Well, any enemy of Skain is a friend of my family’s. Welcome to the fight!”

“You told me,” said Foresna, “that you came from Largandra to begin with.”

“Correct, and the way in is still available,” replied the large one. They pulled up a map of Largandra as it currently stood with a massive wall surrounding the city. Arsha flinched at the sight. She never liked walls around a city. “There’s a little culvert in the northwest wall,” explained the large benefactor, “that functions as nothing more than a drain. It leads right into the sewers of Largandra. We used it during the cover of darkness.”

“…The sewers?” asked Foresna.

“Hoo boy,” muttered Arsha. “Better bring the nose plugs!”

The strike force commanders assembled in the Endeavor’s Conference Room. Arsha pulled up the map of Largandra. “Our benefactors,” she began, “pointed out how they got out initially.” The computer screen magnified the area where the culvert was. “There’s a culvert in the northwestern wall that leads to the sewers of Largandra. Everyone, you better have brought nose plugs because Largandra’s sewers do NOT smell rosy!” The screen then changed to a map of Largandra’s sewer system. “When we get in, my team will travel the southern tunnels until we hit the chocolate factory a por south of the culvert, then we turn east and head to Cryer’s Square in the middle of the city, roughly 5 pors. After that, we turn southeast and proceed thirteen pors until we hit this junction here.” The computer indicated the path and endpoint. “That junction is right where the castle’s plumbing connects to the sewers. The manhole cover is just shy of the western end of the stables. Once we get into the stables, we enter the castle proper via the garden maze. Ordinarily, when we get to this junction here,” she pointed out a four-way path near the castle-side exit of the maze, “one would turn left to get to the exit. This time, however, we’re going right into this dead-end where a secret passage into the castle is.”

“Won’t there be guards patrolling the city or castle?” asked Markulak. “And there’s the matter of the wall.”

“You’ll be leading a team two pors east at the junction when we split,” explained Arsha. “Directly above you will be a manhole cover just outside of the guards’ sight and out of the sight of the robots patrolling the wall. Once you’re up, check the wall for a secret entrance. When you’re inside, set up the det-packs while remaining undetected. If you can, see if you can get other robots to join your cause.”

“There’s still the matter of the guards.”

“They aren’t being paid as much as Daddy pays them. I think, if not their patriotism, then their wallets will easily convince them to look the other way while we take Largandra back.”

“There ARE people in the guards more loyal to coin than anything else,” remarked Elgrad. “So let me sum up the plan; we all go into the sewers, split into two groups to deal with both the wall and Skain, work our way through the defenses that each target will likely have, take Skain out, blow up the wall once any civilians living near them are evacuated to a safe distance, then we start rebuilding the Mid to Under Realmgate so we can storm Dr. Borg’s base with no interruptions?”

“Don’t forget the part that this mission will last through the night,” replied Arsha. “Everyone, we deploy at 39:00. We’ve got two hours to prepare. Take some anti-sleep potions and make sure your teams know what’s going down. Teamwork is critical here, there can be no margin for error. Dismissed.” The strike commanders filed out to brief their teams.

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-16

An hour after the briefing, Delselii decided to visit Markulak’s cell. He didn’t know why, just that he felt that he needed to see him…it. He entered the brig and looked at Markulak. The robot’s lights were off. Delselii turned to the Orc woman guarding the brig. “What’s wrong with him?” he asked.

“Nothing, he’s just recharging,” replied the guard.

“Wake it up. I want to talk to it.”

“That’s not advisable. He’s gotta get out of recharge himself.”

“I have questions for it and-!” Markulak then started whispering. “…What in the Realms?”

“Arsha!” mumbled Markulak. His lights then flickered on as he switched on, shaking all the while. He then looked at his surroundings and calmed down.

“What’s wrong?” asked the guard.

“I think I was…dreaming,” replied Markulak.

“Looked like a nightmare.” Delselii arched an eyebrow.

“I was in the Over-realm,” recalled Markulak. “Realmfleet Headquarters, to be precise. I was supposed to report for my debriefing, but I couldn’t find the right office. Then I started calling Arsha’s name but…she didn’t answer. And then, suddenly, I was being chased by my fellow robots…or were they…Golems? …Silly, isn’t it?”

“You don’t look so tough,” Delselii muttered.

“Doctor!” hissed the guard.

“My type of robot is not the strongest, no,” remarked Markulak.

“Aren’t you going to say that we’ll be bowing to the Empire soon?” asked Delselii.

“You don’t really want to, do you?” quizzed Markulak.

“No, but that’s what you’re programmed to say, isn’t it?”

“…I mean, it IS part of my initial programming.”

“‘The Realms will be made better with us in charge,’ I believe is the mantra.”

“Yes, and Dr. Borg believes such will be possible.”

“She’s wrong. People like her are always wrong.”

“There’s no one like her.”

“There’s always someone like her. When my people were created under Intrag’s rule, we were disposable labor. Our talents were always stifled. It took a long time for Homunculi to get to where they are now.”

“You’re comparing her to Intrag?”

“Yes, because her words mirror his and she’s managed to recruit most Homunculi to fight against the Realms. Now my people are fractured, and we can’t reach a consensus on how to secure our future. What few of us remain loyal to the Realms now have an uphill battle to clear our good name.”

“Then you have a similar nightmare to mine.” Delselii blinked in surprise.

“Excuse me?” he asked.

“You feel like you’re the only one of your kind who sees sense,” guessed Markulak. Delselii said nothing. That comment hit a little too close to home.

Bashoon finished her current duties and returned to Delselii’s quarters. She rang the door chime. “Come in,” called Delselii from inside. Bashoon went inside and looked to see the Homunculus Mad Scientist looking at plans. She got a better look and arched her eyebrows.

“The robots?” she asked.

“Got them from Mr. Markulak,” replied Delselii.

“…MISTER Markulak, I see,” chuckled the Goblin woman.

“I went to see him. I don’t know why, just curiosity maybe. He woke up from a nightmare. He was in Realmfleet HQ and couldn’t find the right office for his debriefing. After that, he was chased by an unknown enemy. He guessed they were either his old partners or the Golems under the Empire’s command. Sounded way too similar to my nightmare lately and I know I didn’t tell him about it, so he couldn’t draw from that. You know, he called his nightmare silly, maybe mine is too.”

“Not at all. It’s not easy turning your back on your own people. Believe me, I know.” Delselii looked at her in disbelief. “Oh yes, I understand what you and Markulak are going through. My family turned its back on Goblin-kind when it was corrupt.”

“This is the first I’m hearing of it,” said Delselii in surprise.

“It’s not something I like to talk about usually. But, given the similarities between the three of us, it’s something you need to hear.” Bashoon pulled up a chair and began her story. “It was when I was a Realmfleet Cadet. After I served a small training cruise aboard the Starfinder, my family was stripped of its fortunes by Chancellor Torsko for daring to say that what happened with the Diamond Consortium was wrong and we were practically banished from Dwelga. We were hopping from ship to ship, and I was considering resigning before I became an Ensign. That’s when Arsha took me and my family aboard. After I helped her solve the Vorkath Monastic Hospital case, she gave me a position aboard the Endeavor as an Ensign and my parents were given an opportunity to open Barmek’s Bar and Grill. We still had no other Goblins to help us.”

“It sounds like the Barmeks were clanless once,” muttered Delselii in confusion.

“We were until Penshek Tolshoon became Chancellor. Because we helped him find the Scale-Sword of Yunshul and were among the first to discover Oyed’s presence in the Realms, we had our original fortunes restored and the Chancellor made our family part of his clan. Still, there are other Goblins that sided with Dr. Borg and would prefer to spit on the sacrifices my family made to get to where we are now. That’s why I say you and Markulak are more alike than you realize. I guess I just see myself in Markulak, going through life despite being abandoned by your people. Maybe he can inspire other robots to switch sides.”

“…Here’s hoping.” Delselii smiled a genuine smile as he said that.

Over in Frigandor, Dr. Borg was cleaning up after an experiment. “Just shy of one lousy half watt!” she grumbled. “All I need is a more efficient cloaking system! Is that REALLY so much to ask?! Are we that behind technologically?!” The door chime then rang. “Come in.” A Sprite couple then came in.

“Cy-girl!” called the woman.

“My little scientist and Oyed slayer!” cheered the man. Dr. Borg’s face lit up as she turned to face them.

“Mom! Dad!” She then hugged her parents. “What are you doing here? I thought you were stuck in the Over-realm!”

“Actually, we were in the Grilthan Forest, taking a little leave time,” explained Mr. Borg.

“Have to admit, Oyed really messed up our travel plans,” remarked Mrs. Borg. “But we took solace in your successfully draining him like that!”

“How did you find this place anyways?” asked Dr. Borg.

“Purely by accident, believe it or not,” said Mr. Borg. “We decided to finally visit Frigandor and explored the outskirts. We stumbled into an icy cave and your forces caught us.”

“But your darling spouses checked us over and gave us clearance,” continued Mrs. Borg.

“Well, it’s great to see you again!” cheered Dr. Borg. “This war’s kept me away from you guys for too long!”

“Well, so did Rellmeer’s unlawful execution of you,” muttered Mr. Borg. “But you showed her, didn’t you?”

“Nothing keeps Cytanek Yavenag Borg down, does it?!” chuckled Mrs. Borg as she pinched her daughter’s cheek lovingly.

“Mom!” protested Dr. Borg.

“Now, about that horrid Arsha!” growled Mrs. Borg.

“My sources told me she’s back in the Mid-realm right now,” replied Dr. Borg, “possibly to retake her home of Largandra. It’s a bit of a toss-up right now as one of my robots went rogue.”

“Well, if you need help, you may avail upon us,” promised Mr. Borg.

“We’re here for you now!” agreed Mrs. Borg.

“Thanks, Mom and Dad!” said Dr. Borg. “It’s been too long since we were together!” The Borgs then embraced each other like the family they were.

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-15

Arsha, her parents, her spouses, Orbak, Elmpam, Lardeth’s parents, Markulak, and the senior staff met in the conference room. “Your home’s been taken over?!” said Bashoon.

“And blockaded, it seems,” muttered Elgrad, on edge that his home was threatened.

“Why’s the robot here?” asked Thangred.

“Markulak has tactical information on the robot forces,” replied Arsha. “He’s also good at intelligence gathering, so I’m having him brief us on how to get into Largandra without being seen and how to take down the robots quickly and quietly.”

“And it seems you could use the help in scrapping them,” observed Markulak.

“…I mean, you’re not wrong,” muttered Thangred.

“So, this briefing,” Markulak was addressing everyone, “will be concerning how to effectively destroy my former compatriots, starting with my type, the humanoid.” A diagram of his type then popped up on the screen. “The basic weaknesses are as follows: a good slice at the joints, an electric spell right between the eyes, or a shot to the chest if you want to detonate our payload.” Bashoon then noticed something was off. Markulak then noticed the same thing. “Hey, where’s Dr. Vorsholstein?”

“He sure is taking his sweet time!” muttered Elgrad.

“Captain, permission to find him?” asked Bashoon.

“Permission granted,” replied Arsha. “I’ll have recordings of each robot type’s weaknesses for you to review.” Bashoon nodded and left the room while Markulak continued. She headed down the corridors and made her way to Delselii’s quarters. She rang the door chime.

“Come in!” called Delselii. Bashoon opened the door, prompting Delselii to grin. “Ah! Bashoon!” greeted the Homunculus Mad Scientist. “How’s the planning going?”

“Where were you?” asked Bashoon. “You were supposed to be at the briefing!”

“I was engaged in a project that required my attention. Lieutenant Barmek, prepare yourself!” Delselii then pulled a cloth off a machine. “Here it is!”

“…What is it?”

“It’s a thaumic pulse generator! With one blast, any cloaking device within a por range would short out and malfunction! Very low energy cost, yet very potent!”

“That’s good, but surely it could have waited? The briefing needs you there right now! Markulak is telling us about the weaknesses on all of his former compatriots!” Delselii then scowled.

“Bashoon, last I checked, you’re the commander of the Metal Melter Squadron. Unless I’m mistaken, you’re supposed to destroy all robots on sight, not talk to them.”

“…I see what’s going on here.” Bashoon then sat down in one of the chairs. “Delselii, when you talked to Markulak, could you really say that you didn’t see any similarities between him and Endea?”

“I didn’t talk to it.”

“Why not?”

“I saw no need.”

“If we’re gonna use this person’s-!”

“IT’S NOT A PERSON, DAMMIT! IT’S A ROBOT!” Bashoon simply glared at the taller Homunculus.

“…If we’re gonna use this person’s knowledge, we need to put aside our prejudices for right now.” Delselii wouldn’t be swayed.

“Just because it has a name doesn’t mean it’s a person like Endea! Just because it laughs at a Three Maidens sketch doesn’t mean it fully understands humor! Just because it talks doesn’t mean it’s sentient! It is what it is!”

“What makes that particular robot unlike Endea?”

“There aren’t any fresh breath particles on him, are there?!”

“Are there any on Homunculi?” Delselii’s eyes went wide at her counterargument.

“…You’d dare…?!”

“In this case, I had no choice. Last I checked, Homunculi didn’t get the fresh Breath of Life. You guys use the Breath particles of the corpses that were your original ancestors, yet you’re still considered life-forms on the level of everyone else. And Golems are considered life, yet the clay they were made from have even less Breath particles than you. I would advise you to talk to Markulak before you start making snap-judgements, because if you don’t talk to him, you’re going to find your decisions about his destruction harder to live with than you realize. Now, I’m going back and finishing up the briefing. I’m leaving you with a choice. You can either stay here and stew about what was said, or you can join me and get what you missed.” She left the room and shut the door behind her. Delselii scowled at the door as he thought about Bashoon’s words.

Bashoon returned to the conference room as Markulak wrapped up his briefing on robot types and their weaknesses. “All right then,” declared Arsha as Bashoon returned to her seat, “we have a plan. Bashoon, you will lead a squadron to breach the northern walls around Largandra. Review all the robot types and make sure your entire unit is up to scratch on stealth kills. Once there’s a sufficient window, the rest of us will sneak into Largandra. After that, Mama and Daddy can take over the operation.”

“Why your parents?” asked Denstra.

“Because we know the layout of the castle like the back of our hand,” explained Elgrad. “The usual Royana tradition is that after the heir finishes their tour, they have to spend time studying the layout of the castle, secret passages and all.”

“Secret passages?” asked Orbak. “Like my castle?”

“Yep. King Tundark Royana had them installed when he was in charge. The family used to think he was just being paranoid, but it looks like they’re going to be put to good use.”

“Well, this is a rare thing,” chuckled Elmpam. “Usually, secret passages are for a cowardly ruler to escape a besieged castle. It’s rare for a ruler to use them to get IN one.”

“Like you said, only cowards use them for a way out,” chuckled Elgrad. “Tundark was the BIGGEST coward in our family history.”

“Sounds like we have a plan!” declared Arsha. “We start it tomorrow morning! Dismissed!” As everyone filed out, Arsha put her hand on Bashoon’s shoulder. “Bashoon, a word with you.”

“Yes, Captain?” asked Bashoon.

“Delselii DID get the message about him needing to come here, yes?”

“He did, but childishly ignored it.”

“And why, pray tell?”

“He doesn’t recognize Markulak as a living person because he wasn’t given the Breath of Life.”

“Delselii said that?!”

“Yeah, him of all people.”

“…I don’t care what you have to do, get Delselii to drop this prejudice! Is that clear?”

“Crystal clear, Captain. He’ll put it aside by hook or crook before tomorrow.”

“I’m gonna hold you to that. Here.” Arsha handed Bashoon a data crystal containing the recording of what she missed. “Dismissed.” Bashoon saluted and headed out.

Weaver's Journey

Weaver’s Journey 3

I was enjoying my newest bout with my evil double. Anansi had turned me into Kamen Rider Weaver as usual and I was using new Elementriggers. I had gained ones based on the four elements and ones based on light and dark. My evil double swiped his arm at me as I simply twirled out of the way. “Dude, you’re becoming washed up,” I quipped.

“You’ve spouted enough lies!” he shouted. He fired shadow balls at me, but I twirled out of the way.

“So predictable.” I then pulled out a pair of black Elementriggers and pressed the button.

“What’s the word?” called Anansi, currently serving as my belt.

“Shade!” I replied. The Elementriggers then split and I replaced my Base ones with them. Just then, shadows flowed around me.

“Flowing Darkness! Weaver: Dark Form!” My armor took a shadowy appearance. My double fired shadow balls at me, but I simply let them hit me. They didn’t do any damage. I then dropped into a pool of darkness, then popped up from a pool behind my double. I then spin-kicked him.

“…Did you just-?” asked Anansi.

“Yeah!” I replied as my double tried to find me. “I always wanted to do that!”

“Please don’t do that again!”

“My fight, my rules!” I then pressed the buttons on my Elementriggers.

“FINAL STRIKE! FLOWING SPIDER STRIKE!” As shadowy hands from the floor grabbed my double, I jumped into the air, fired web strings, and pulled myself towards my double while sticking my foot out. My attack struck true and he exploded again when I landed behind him. Once the explosion died, it revealed my double in his human form. I powered down and Anansi assumed his six-armed humanoid shape. Anansi then webbed up my double.

“What were you hoping to accomplish here?” I asked my double.

“That tome is mine, you hear me?!” he roared. Anansi’s eyes bugged out in apprehension.

“What tome?” he asked.

“You know, THE Tome! The Tome of the Multiverse!”

“That’s a myth!”

“You and I both know that’s a lie! It was the very book Nyame gave you! The one that contained the Stories!”

“Now that’s a lie,” I remarked. “Nyame kept the Stories in a box.”

“And where did you hear that from?!”

“From various sources, even academic ones, on the internet. If you’re trying to tell me Anansi’s lying, well, that IS one of his abilities.”

“HEY!” protested Anansi.

“But he DOES tell the truth when push comes to shove and multiple versions of him becoming the Keeper of the Stories say that Nyame kept the stories in a box. Therefore, hypothetically, if Anansi were to tell me that the box he showed me yesterday had the Stories, I’d believe him.”

“Did you really need to say that? I don’t trick people unnecessarily!”

“Explain how you paid the price for the Stories in the first place.” Anansi opened his mouth, then sighed. I had him there.

“The Tome, Anansi!” demanded my double. Anansi just opened a portal and flung him back to his universe.

“He never could see the bigger picture,” muttered Anansi.

“Anansi, what was he going on about?” I asked. Anansi tensed up. “…If it’s about something too dangerous, I’ll happily drop it.”

“No, no, you need to know,” replied Anansi. “You’re one of my more mature students. You can be trusted with that knowledge.” He sat down on a rock and began weaving his tale. “The Tome of the Multiverse is a book where anything your write down becomes reality in a few seconds. You become the Author of the Multiverse and can change timelines to your whim, even going so far as to remove all the bad stuff…and continue a story for all eternity, even when it’s gone past its expiry date.”

“…Okay, yes, conflict’s necessary for life,” I said, “but what’s so wrong about continuing a story?”

“Everything has to end, my student. Civilizations, gods, planets, stars, universes, even stories. Something new has to take the old one’s place. That’s what makes life worth living.”

“What does the Tome look like? Where does it live?”

“…I’m afraid I can’t tell you. …No, check that, I won’t.” I was a little angry, but kept it buried.

“Why not?”

“That kind of power drives a person mad. I tried to use it and I almost lost my family. I had to establish guards in the Tome’s universe, guards connected by a hive mind so they could constantly check themselves against temptation. Believe me, if a god can’t wield that book without consequences, a mortal doesn’t have a hope in Hell.” Anansi then smiled. “Ah well, that’s enough doom and gloom. Now, come on! We need to get home!” As Anansi opened a portal home, I thought about what he said.

I did some research on where the Tome would be located and what was guarding it. It was located in a universe with only stars and asteroids, no planets to speak of. I had the means to create a crew, but I needed a ship, so I headed to a universe where starship travel was practically the name of the game. Universe 0-N-L-1-N-3 of Multiversal Cluster 5-T-4-R-T-R-3-K, the universe of Star Trek Online! The rift I had opened deposited me to Earth Spacedock, the main hub for Federation players. In that universe, I adopted the name of Kahn. I made my way to the spacedock’s bar and lounge, Club 47. I looked around to see if anyone could help. Just then, I saw my four characters come in. Three of them were women and the one male was a Jem’Hadar First. One of the women was a short Liberated Romulan Borg. How could I tell? She was grinning and wore Romulan civilian clothes instead of Borg armor. She still had a Borg eyepiece and the ashen skin of the Borg, but she had a cutesy attitude and stance. The second woman was a Klingon of average height with a seductive swagger to her movements. That didn’t exactly detract from her Klingon Warrior’s attitude. The third woman was a tall one with spikes around her face and eyebrows, reddish-pink skin, long limbs, and a long neck. The Klingon woman saw me and smirked. “Typical,” she chuckled as she sized me up. “I join my more experienced teammates of Valkyrie Division to get some refreshments and who do I find? The little runt!”

“You can talk, Captain Beefcake!” I replied. The Klingon and I stared each other down. …She then laughed in approval.

“Welcome back, Kahn, old friend!” said the Klingon, Tarj’agh of the Minor House of Luk’ergh, Captain of the I.K.S. Katana.

“What brings you here?” asked the tall woman, Captain Galmak of the U.S.S. Augustus Washington.

“Actually, can we all talk in private?” I asked.

“There is a private area here,” offered the Jem’Hadar, First Teran’tekal of the D.V. Glory. The four led me to a secluded area of the bar.

“Now,” asked the Liberated Romulan Borg, Commander Sarvem of the R.R.W Brutus, “what can we do for you?”

“I need to borrow one of your ships,” I explained to everyone, “one that you don’t see yourself using anymore.”

“What for?” asked Teran’tekal.

“…You don’t want to ask that.”

“Too late, I just did.”

“First Teran’tekal, you REALLY don’t want to know!”

“Khan,” growled Tarj’agh as irritation reached her voice, “you are not speaking plainly!”

“I’m a Romulan,” said Sarvem, “so I like my secrets, but we can’t exactly give you a ship we don’t want any more unless you tell us why you want it.” I grimaced. Time to tell the truth.

“I’m using that ship to get into a universe where a book floats in space and is guarded by a hive intelligence.” Galmak arched an eyebrow.

“This wouldn’t be the Tome, would it?” she asked.

“…How did you know?”

“You’re not the only one who knows about it.”

“The Tome?” asked Teran’tekal. “The book that can warp reality as we know it?”

“The book that makes whatever its wielder writes in its pages happen in real life?” quizzed Tarj’agh,

“The book Anansi doesn’t want anyone to get near?” inquired Sarvem. I nodded, confirming their suspicions.

“You were right, I DIDN’T want to know!” gulped Teran’tekal.

“Think about it!” I urged everyone.

“Oh, we are!” said Sarvem. “Which is why we’re not helping you!”

“Sarvem, come on! At least let me use the Caesar!” I pleaded.

“You wanna know what that hive intelligence is made of?! I’ll give you a hint: they’re like me!”

“…They’re former Borg?”

“The Tome is surrounded by a Borg Unicomplex,” explained Galmak. “Anansi took a Cube into that universe a long time ago and added more drones and materials to make the Unicomplex. They’re long severed from the Collective, so they’ve made their own hive mind.”

“Then that makes them weaker,” I remarked.

“They’re functioning on basic Borg commands,” growled Tarj’agh. “We’d still be assimilated in ten seconds flat!”

“They’ve even learned how to assimilate and preserve Jem’Hadar,” continued Teran’tekal. “The Founders ordered me to avoid them at all costs unless there’s a chance of victory, and I don’t intend to throw away my life for defeat!”

“Tarj’agh, surely going through the Unicomplex would be a glorious battle!” I asked the Klingon. She scoffed at my attempt.

“If there WAS a chance of a glorious battle, then I would take it! As it stands, going against a Borg Unicomplex is foolhardy and the wind does not respect a fool!”

“Galmak, this would be a chance for Starfleet to deal more crippling blows against the Borg!”

“No, it would mean that they would learn more Starfleet secrets and I’m not about to become the next Locutus!”

“Sarvem, you would be able to prevent others from being assimilated!”

“Are you kidding?! With my combat experience, I’d be reassimilated! Forget it! You got our answers, we’re not helping you go through a Borg Unicomplex just so you can get a book that would make you a god!”


“Our decision is final!” barked Tarj’agh. “Leave us!” I looked all four of my first characters. Never had I felt so betrayed.

“…Fine,” I hissed as I opened a rift. If they wouldn’t help me, then I would use someone else.

The Three Realms The Three Realms (Book 5: The Final Fight)

3 Realms 5-14

Back in the Endeavor’s brig, Markulak was going through a small recharge cycle and, because he was a good prisoner, he was allowed to watch some entertainment. He was watching a Three Maidens short where the Three Maidens had climbed aboard an enemy ship and had to disguise themselves as Imperial crew members. It was near the end of the short as the Captain of the vessel was berating his men. “Such Officers!” he shouted. “What would the Doctor say if she heard about this?! Three Realmfleeters making fools of a whole shipload of Imperial forces!” Just then, the “Doctor” and two of her “Top Specialists” came in. One of them was carrying a case that advertised her as the Minister of Propaganda, Specialist in Lies and Bunk. The Captain and his Officers saw them and swallowed the disguise as they saluted her. The “Doctor” spoke in agitated mock Fae. She then spoke in the combined Realm language.

“You failed to catch three Realmfleeters!” she barked. “Blow out your brains!”

“But, my Lady Doctor, we’re part of the Empire!” replied the Captain. “We have no brains!”

“Then blow out what passes for your brains!” continued the “Doctor.” “When my Field Marshal counts three,” she pointed to the large woman in a decorated Officer’s outfit, “start blowing out your heads!” The Officers saluted and drew their wands.

“One!” barked the “Field Marshal.” She then turned to the “Doctor.” ‘What comes after one?”

“Two!” the “Doctor” spit in the “Field Marshal’s” eye as she said it. “Never mind, fat girl! I’ll count myself! One!” The Officers then raised their wands again. “Two!” The Officers pointed their wands at their heads. “Th…Th…Threeah! Ah! AH! ACHOO!” As the “Doctor” sneezed, the white mophead that served as the wig flew off, revealing her real hair to be black and long!

“My Doctor!” yelped the Captain as he handed her the wig back.

“Ah, my personality,” said the fake Doctor. “Thanks, Bub.” The Captain then realized that the three women WEREN’T the Doctor and her specialists, but Moru, Larima, and Curlandii! The Three Maidens then realized the jig was up! They yelped in terror and fled the Captain’s Ready Room.

“GET THEM!” shouted the Captain. The Three Maidens led them on a merry chase around the ship. They made it to the ship’s exterior and held the door closed. Moru then spotted oil and coated a path from the door in it.

“Okay, let them out!” she told her friends. They opened the door and the Captain and his Officers slipped on the oil, sliding down the ship. They landed in the mud below and caused a big enough splash to hit the Three Maidens. “Why, you…Trippy Trinnies!” She threw the oil container on their heads, knocking them out. “SUCCESS!”

“SUCCESS!” agreed Larima.

“PARTY TIME!” cheered Curlandii. She then kissed Moru on the lips. Moru gagged.

“I told you to stop that!” Moru then poked Curlandii’s eyes. When the end credits rolled, Markulak was laughing.

“Man, if Imperial forces were as incompetent as you guys say,” he said to the guard, “we’d deserve to have three idiots make fools of us!”

“I’m surprised you’re laughing at it,” remarked the guard. “With all the insults thrown around, I figured you’d be offended.”

“It’s something to boost morale,” replied Markulak. “The Empire’s got similar media.”

“So, you’re not taking it seriously?”

“Should I take comedy that seriously?”

“…I’ll leave that up to you. …Hey, are you aware of Skain taking over the Mid-realm?” Markulak’s eyes flickered.

“News to me. The Empire wants nothing to do with that asshole.”

“Why’s that?”

“We’ve got Black people as equals.”

“Ah.” Arsha then entered the brig.

“May I help you?” asked Markulak.

“I have a test for you to prove yourself,” replied Arsha.

“What would this test entail?”

“Help my dad knock a pretender off the throne.”

“Without delay.”

“Good. Now, what can you tell me about the Imperial robot forces stationed in Largandra?” Markulak’s optics flickered.

“To my knowledge, there aren’t any.”

“Intelligence reports say otherwise.” She nodded to the guard. He lowered the energy bars and Arsha handed Markulak a tablet. Markulak looked at the intelligence reports and his optics became brighter when they rested on an image.

“He’s gonna try and contact you!” he gulped as he pointed to the robot in the image.

“We’ll scramble it,” assured Arsha. Just then, the comms rang.

“Bridge to Captain! Enemy forces trying to force a call through!” reported Shalvey.

“Scramble it,” ordered Arsha.

“I’m trying, but they’re descrambling faster than I can-!” Shalvey’s call was cut off as an image appeared on the guard’s console. It was Markulak: Model 8!

“Captain Royana,” purred the robot. “It’s an honor to meet you.” Arsha motioned for Markulak: Model 7 to join in the call. “Ah, there he is!” growled Markulak: Model 8.

“I’m aware that certain robot lines are practically clones of the previous one,” remarked Arsha, “but I’m not sure the Realms are ready for TWO Markulaks.”

“I quite agree,” said Model 8.

“So, you’re my successor,” grunted Model 7.

“Once I kill you, yes.”

“That’s not gonna happen!” snarled Arsha. “Model 7 has been an excellent ally to me!”

“And what a dreary day that was for the Empire!” growled Model 8. “Model 7 disgraced Markulak: Model 6 the day he defected to you! Model 6 was a great man, a real patriot! His death in a ship explosion was most unfortunate.”

“And still under investigation!” reminded Model 7.

“Actually, the investigation’s over,” corrected Model 8. “There was no evidence of foul play, merely poor maintenance.”

“So, why were you activated if your predecessor’s still alive?” Arsha asked Model 8.

“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have been,” replied the robot, “but when a duplicated robot’s discovered to have a defect in their duplicate line-”

“I’m not defective!” argued Model 7.

“Of course, you are!” countered Model 8. “How else can you explain your behavior? Leaving your post! Defecting to Realmfleet!”

“What next, you’re gonna order him to trigger his payload?” asked Arsha.

“…I was getting to that,” replied Model 8.

“What payload?” asked Model 7.

“Don’t play coy with your better! You know exactly what I’m talking about! Your Detonium payload! Prove your loyalty to the Empire! Activate your self-destruct!”

“I would, but there’s a small problem.” Model 7 then showed his exposed left knee to the screen. “Realmfleet was a little…heavy-handed when it came to disarming me. I’m afraid they allowed oxygen to enter my insides and oxidize the Detonium to uselessness.”

“…That’s why she made that comment!” realized Model 8. “You told her! You’re a dead man, whether you kill yourself or not! Dr. Borg doesn’t tolerate traitors and I don’t tolerate disgraces to our line!” He then addressed Arsha. “Captain, there’s really no need for you to be involved in this petty dispute. If you would just convince him to return to us-”

“I have no intention of releasing my prisoner to you!” snarled Arsha.

“If you don’t, I can’t be held responsible for the consequences.”

“An empty threat! Your predecessor told me about the Markulak line’s talents in intelligence gathering! You wouldn’t dare lose a chance to get all the information you can from us!”

“Maybe I wouldn’t, but the forces surrounding Largandra would. Think it over, Captain. Your home is about to kill itself and it would be easier on your conscience if they died by their own hands.” The call ended, giving Arsha and Markulak a very nasty suspicion of why robots were surrounding Largandra.