A Realmgate Repair ship lay in ruins below the Under-realm Realmgate it was assigned to. The crew of the Scorpion worked fast as they began the countdown on the explosives they had placed. “All right, that’s it, everyone!” called Scorpo. “Get inside and move us back!” They wasted no time in obeying. Once they were at a safe distance, the countdown went from 10 to 0. The instant it did, the bombs exploded and tore through the Realmgate. Soon, it fell, a blackened hulk sinking beneath the waves. This was the same for every Realmgate in every realm. Scorpo called Dr. Borg. “Our target’s down,” he reported.
“As are the other targets, from what I’ve heard,” answered Dr. Borg. “That’s all of them. Our organization is the only one that can cross the Realms. Oyed will be making his address any second now.” The instant the call finished, the skies across the Realms became covered in black clouds. A hole in the clouds then opened and Oyed appeared in it.
“You have all failed to take me down!” he proclaimed to the Realms. “With the Realmgates gone, you have no choice but to pray to me for travel between Realms! And for those thinking Arsha can save you, FORGET IT!” He then displayed what he did to Arsha. “As you can see, Arsha was nothing more than a mere fox and I was the hunter that slaughtered her! To all those who dare oppose me, give it up! Your hope is dead! Your future is dead! Your hero, Arsha, is dead! I am the true master of the Realms! You only exist to amuse me! The instant you don’t, I will destroy the Realms and make a single Realm! I will fix my children’s mistakes one way or another! Bow to me! Obey me…or SUFFER!” The hole closed, but the clouds remained, as did the grief of the Realms.
Over in the Over-realm, Elgrad and Hanako were being comforted as best they could be by their friends and Arsha’s lovers. Elgrad then knelt down. “…This is it, isn’t it?” he mumbled as he drew a knife.
“Elgrad, NO!” pleaded Endram.
“ELGRAD, YES!” wailed Elgrad. “MY DAUGHTER IS DEAD! I’VE LOST MY KINGDOM! THERE’S NOTHING FOR ME NOW!”
“HOLD!” shouted a new voice. It was Falheem. She managed to wrestle the knife out of his hands. “Elgrad, it’s not your time!”
“NOT MY TIME?! MY DAUGHTER IS DEAD!”
“…Don’t give me hope! Hope is dead!”
“Arsha’s alive, so is hope!” Falheem then summoned a loom with a tapestry still being woven. Each thread was still weaving itself through the strings of the loom. On what was completed, one could see the major events of Arsha’s life.
“…Arsha’s life is still being woven?!” asked Elgrad.
“Exactly. We still don’t know how it will end.” Elgrad still stared in disbelief, then he sheathed the knife.
“Well, it WON’T be ending any time soon!” he declared. “If Oyed was that sloppy, then that’s a weapon to use against him! I’m not giving up anymore! With the Realmgates gone, I’m severed from my Realm, but I will take this chance to find her! I will scour EVERY falm of the Over-realm, right down to the precise zarruk! When I find her, I’ll look for Oyed and then KILL him!”
“If you think, for one minute, you’re doing this alone,” called Foresna, “then, Your Majesty, you’re out of your Ones-damned mind!”
“We’re joining you!” proclaimed Emfam. “You have the resources of the Over-realm at your disposal!”
“Everyone!” called a new voice. It was Denstra. “Everyone, did you see Oyed’s…?!”
“Falheem proved him wrong!” replied Elgrad. “Arsha’s alive! The tapestry of her soul’s still being woven!”
“…Need a ship to help scour the Over-realm, then?”
“Commander, I will happily accept your offer! Falheem, can we rely on the Divine Ones to help?”
“If my siblings can be found,” replied Falheem. “Somehow, they’ve passed beyond my sight. I must search the Realms and find them. I shall start in the Under-realm.”
“Good luck. Join us when you can.” Falheem bowed to Elgrad and vanished in black smoke.
“This way,” directed Denstra as she led everyone back to the Endeavor. The search was on!
Falheem arrived in Frigandor and immediately felt the presence of her fellow Divine Ones. “…Here? All in one place? …So low?!” She followed the presence to a cave in a glacier and went inside. After an hour, she found a room with her fellows hanging like meat in a butcher’s storage room! They were all emaciated and ashen-skinned with a tendril embedded into their spines! “WHAT IN ALL THE REALMS?!” she yelped. “My siblings! What happened to…?!” A metal tendril then buried itself into her spine and shocked her. As she screamed, the tendril drained black liquid from her body. She soon became emaciated like her fellows, then the tendril made her join them. She lost consciousness as the people behind this stepped into the room. One of them was a robot with more human-like features and a black visor with two red lights functioning as eyes, the second was Dr. Borg.
“I bet no little girl alive could boast of having such a massive doll collection,” joked the robot in Jansha’s voice.
“Indeed,” replied Dr. Borg as she patted the robot’s head like a parent would with their child. “Speaking of which, how’s the new body working out, Jansha?”
“Better than ever!” answered the robot, the new Jansha. “So much more efficient than Dr. Ganshar’s construction!”
“Good to hear. It should help process the Divine Mana as efficiently as an organic’s body.”
“We still need Oyed’s.”
“That will come in time. For now, we must still keep this hidden until Oyed’s sufficiently distracted enough.”
“All right, Mom. In the meantime, we need to ensure that no one can fight in Arsha’s memory.”
The Realm Trinity Imperial Council met again. Oyed was grinning from ear to ear. “You should have seen the look on Elgrad and Hanako’s faces as I made it clear that they were gonna bury their daughter!” he laughed. “I have NEVER seen anyone fall into despair so quickly!”
“My Lord, this has secured victory for us!” praised Dr. Borg. “The soldiers are dancing in the streets right now!”
“As they should! Oh, I have NEVER felt such joy! The Final War’s going OUR way now! No need for Drows or Shadow Dragons! They can keep the Manticores and Sphinxes! The Gryphons and Gorgons can join Realmfleet! IT WON’T MATTER! WE WILL ALWAYS WIN!” The ale was passed around as Weltam came back in. After Reb stabbed her, she was returned as a Revenant. “Ah! Weltam Forsorna! Come! We’re just celebrating our recent victory!”
“With Arsha dead as a door nail,” giggled Remsu, “we’re all riding on a victory!”
“Yeah, she can’t get any deader than that,” mumbled Weltam as her face faded to a pained smile, she then muttered under her breath “unless we kill her again.”
“…Kill her again?” asked Oyed. Weltam then decided to change the subject.
“Hey, Remsu! You said you wanted to try out a Felansi Dancer’s dress?!” She pulled out a design-book ladened with all sorts of dresses for Felansi dancing.
“Weltam,” called Oyed.
“I was thinking this design has enough frills at the hem for a little exciting flash as you swish them.”
“Although, I must admit, that design looks a little more flattering on someone who’s a little more, erm, how do I put this politely…larger in the waist.” Oyed then snatched the book out of Weltam’s hands as everyone glared at her.
“I DID kill Arsha, right?” asked Oyed. “Tell us Arsha’s dead. We all need to hear these words.”
“…Did…did you have to hear all those…words…exactly?” Dr. Borg’s metal hand then grabbed Weltam’s shirt and yanked her towards her face.
“She’s still alive?!” snarled the Cyborg Sprite through gritted teeth. By now, everyone was very, VERY angry!
“One of our operatives,” sighed Weltam as she told the truth, “saw Falheem whip out Arsha’s soul loom in front of her parents, lovers, and potential in-laws. It’s still weaving itself.”
“Oyed!” Dr. Borg turned her gaze to the Titan as she shoved Weltam back.
“I mean, with the amount of wounds I gave her, not even a Champion’s Aura should have saved her!” protested Oyed. “Gravity can still kill someone at that height! Weltam, of all the times to deliver this news…!”
“Hey, don’t kill the messenger!” gulped Weltam. “I just though we should prepare for her return!”
“She CAN’T return!” growled Tormo.
“I guess it WOULD be a setback, after Oyed’s address to the Realms.”
“YOU THINK?!” roared Oyed. He then turned to his minions. “You and I are all gonna search every zarruk of the Over-realm! If she breathes, we’re THROUGH! Now! Let’s! MOVE!”