I sat in my chair at my desk, ready to make another story. My fingers hovered over the keyboard…but nothing came to them. No words, no sentences, no letters, they all just blurred out, forcing me to get up and try to act out the scene. It still ended up a jumbled mess. I sighed. No ideas were coming to me tonight. I then heard a knock on the door upstairs. “Oh, for the love of…!” I groaned as I went upstairs. If it was a solicitor, I was gonna strip down to my birthday suit and scare the s*** out of them! What stopped me? The guy dressed like Vegeta of Dragonball fame. I opened the door. “Nice costume,” I remarked. “What brings you here?”
“Come on, you know already,” replied the guy, sounding EXACTLY like Vegeta.
“Look, I’m not the most social guy,” I explained, “so I don’t know where Comic Con is. I can certainly look it up for you.”
“I’m not looking for a convention,” dismissed the guy. “You reached the milestone, so ask me.”
“Ask you what?” I quizzed.
“You ARE Optimusthemobian on DeviantArt, right?” asked the guy.
“…How did you piece that together?” I demanded, a little scared.
“I’m an alien, I know things,” answered the guy. “Look, we all know your pageview count, so, go on. Ask me.”
“My…pageview count?” I asked.
“…Do you REALLY not know your pageviews?!” yelped the guy.
“What are you…?!” I replied before something hit me on the back of the head, making me black out.
When I came to, so did the guy. We were in some sort of web cocoon. Another guy in a black cape and dark-colored armor was working a machine. “All right, I didn’t consent to this cheap James Bond-esque villain trope!”
“I didn’t ask for your consent, twerp,” replied the second guy. I then realized the voice sounded like…mine! The second guy turned around and it was like I was looking in a mirror, albeit, a dark one.
“…Mirror universe?” I asked.
“Not totally,” replied my double. “Just an alternate path for YOU specifically.”
“So, what, did the Terran Empire need to research alternate universes to get a leg up on the competition?” I joked.
“You barely speak to anyone in real life,” growled my double, “and yet, you love the sound of your voice!”
“That’s what makes me lovable!” I chuckled.
“As opposed to you writing fanfic day in and day out that no one cares about?!” argued my double.
“Hey, I have people faving my stories!” I countered, feeling attacked.
“Worthless bots!” dismissed my double. “You call yourself the navigator of Anansi’s web, yet your major fanfic, one that you completed, is just a mere retelling of a video game!” That struck a little too close to home. “Oh, that touched a nerve, didn’t it? I will say this, at least you were honest about saying that on your page. Why do you still cling to your childhood treasures?! Because remembering the simplicity of the past makes you stronger! Remembering how it was so easy back then and desiring to bring that into the present day makes you more powerful! You’re just like me! The only difference is I became something worthwhile; the ruler of my world!”
“You? Conquer?” I asked.
“Manipulate all the governments into hating each other, and they will kill one another,” replied my double. “The U.S. President was the easiest to manipulate, given that orangutan’s predilection to spew hatred.” No change from my universe’s version of him. “Then came Russia, then China, then the U.K. and so on and so forth. Eventually, Earth’s population shrank from 7.7 billion to 147.8 million. More land for the people, more chance for animals to spring back, and more chance for the forests to grow to their full splendor. Each nation spent over a trillion dollars in weapons. I denied them that indulgence. The money is now used to suppress hunger, disease, poverty, all the problems that plagued us. Our ozone layer is now stronger than ever. We now use cleaner sources of energy, keeping all fossil based fuels as a last resort. The poorest person in the poorest country can pay off a very decent car and pay their house off in a reasonable time. My world is in a golden age, the likes of which has never been seen before!”
“With your flunkies controlling the masses and you controlling the flunkies!” I snapped.
“Is that really so bad in the long run?!” argued my double. “People need a clear idea of who’s in charge! The system America functions on has each area of the government blaming one another and never getting anything done! Laws can be passed or vetoed by the President and yet Congress can override that decision and, just to muddy the waters more, the Supreme Court is wrapped up in cases concerning such weakness that last for years and leave the people to fight amongst themselves! Under my rule, people know who made the laws, why they were made, and how they can best obey! True unity!”
“What about unity’s other half, freedom?!” I shouted.
“There are those starving who would rather have food than freedom,” replied my double.
“You’re talking as if they’re mutually exclusive!” I protested.
“They ARE,” answered my double. “Vegeta can attest to that.” He pointed to the guy I thought was a cosplayer.
“You mean, you’re…” I gulped, realizing who it was.
“…Did you think I was a mere fanboy?!” snarled Vegeta.
“A dense idiot,” remarked my double. “I have an empire under my command while you sit in your grandparents’ basement writing worthless drivel.”
“We’ll see if it’s worthless!” I challenged. “Why tell me all this?”
“Because I need to make sure there’s only ONE of us in this universe,” explained my double. “Back home, my conquest of the planet was swift! Quick! Easy! …I gained little satisfaction.”
“So you’re here to do it again, but a little slower?” I scoffed.
“Yes,” confirmed my double.
“…I’m getting some Atop the Fourth Wall vibes here,” I remarked.
“There’s never enough time before you shut up, is there, you annoying retard?!” snarled my double.
“Oh, A**hole,” I hissed, “that’s the wrong thing to call me!” I then burst out of the cocoon and leapt onto my double. He yelped and shoved me off. “Besides, if you’re my double, don’t YOU have autism too?!”
“Unimportant to me!” argued my double. Unlike me, this guy could hit hard. Vegeta managed to break out of his cocoon by going Super Saiyan and swung a punch at the guy who effortlessly caught it. “Did you seriously learn nothing?” he muttered as he tossed the Saiyan Prince aside. “There you are, Prince of all THREE Saiyans and their hybrid children, and he’s nothing more than a ragdoll against me.”
“Well, ain’t YOU a Mary-Sued up villain?” I snarked. He grabbed my neck and flung me aside.
“I take what power I need,” he scoffed. “Look at you. You never conquered, never fought, never took the initiative, you drifted throughout your life. My life is in focus. You claim to be a disciple of Anansi when, in all truth, that spider is under my command. Anansi, kill him. …Anansi? …Anansi, your master…” Big mistake! He doubled over in pain as he clutched his foot. Angry fang marks were evident on his ankle. The offending creature that delivered the bite was a mechanical spider, roughly the size of a belt buckle. “ANANSI, YOU JUDAS!” shouted my double. The mechanical spider turned to face him.
“You can’t keep me under your heel forever, Enslaver!” it hissed in a thick Ghana accent. “You tried to take the Stories from me, a poor error in judgement! They’re called Anansesem (spider stories) for a reason!” The spider, the African Story Keeper, Anansi then leapt onto my waist and moved his legs to the side, causing a belt strap to form. Some handle-like device then appeared on the right side of my waist. It had two buttons on top and two triggers on the grip. “You ARE a Kamen Rider fan, right?” asked Anansi. I then saw where this was going.
“Hey! Mirror-me!” I called. My double then got up, frothing with rage. “Get a load of this!” I held the device to my mouth.
“What’s the word?!” called Anansi.
“Henshin!” I announced. I then pressed the buttons on top, making the device split in half. I then plugged the halves underneath Anansi’s legs with the triggers facing down. Anansi temporarily jumped off the belt and wove a cocoon around me while I made a spider with my hands, my thumbs near my face. The suit formed and I threw my fists to the side, breaking the cocoon as Anansi returned to the belt. A HUD showed what I looked like on the outside. My two eyes were split into four to evoke a spider’s eyes. I had a pair of legs going above my head and a pair of legs reaching my actual legs. Coattails resembled spinnerets and my mouthplate evoked a spider’s mouth. “Oh, I very much LIKE!” I chuckled.
“Fancy armor won’t save you!” dismissed my double.
“I think it will, in this case!” I argued. “You face Kamen Rider Weaver, the author of your defeat!” I tried to make a cool pose.
“…I think the Ginyu Force auditions are that way!” laughed Vegeta as he pointed behind my house.
“OH SHUT UP!” I protested.
“And that catchphrase, UGH!” groaned Anansi.
“You zip it too!” I snapped.
“Uh, HELLO?! FIGHT?!” shouted my double. Vegeta joined me as we took a defensive stance. My double took out a device similar to the one that I used to change. He then spoke into it. “Belua!” (Beast!) he announced. He then split the device into two and jabbed them into his pectorals. They sunk into him and he turned into a monstrous, humanoid spider! He then charged at us while we rolled out of the way and delivered a kick to his backside. He swung wildly with his arms, hoping to hit us. “WHERE?!” he bellowed when he missed us. “WHERE ARE YOU?!”
“What’s his deal?” asked Vegeta. “He’s got quadruple the eyes a human does.”
“He’s based off of a tarantula,” I observed. “Their eyesight is very poor. They hunt via vibration. Considered by scientists to be one of the least evolved spiders on Earth. My suit, on the other hand, is based off of more advanced spiders. Excellent eyesight, web-weaving, impressive speed and jumping power, it’s all here!”
“You won’t be boasting about it for long!” shouted my monstrous double. “You win, and you’d have nothing! No one even remembers your DA page!”
“I’m connected to it now!” I argued. “My pageview count begs to differ. I know why Vegeta came here! So, let’s get that meme out of the way! Vegeta, what does the scouter say about my pageview count?” Vegeta checked his scouter, then held it in his hand.
“IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAAAND!” he shouted as he crushed the scouter.
“Way over that, if I’m reading this correctly!” I supplied, stunning my double. “19,276 at last count, with 677 deviations, 42 journals, and 30 people watching me!”
“THAT’S NOT TRUE!” argued my double. “YOU DID NOTHING SPECTACULAR! HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY HAVE ANY FANS?!”
“That’s the thing,” I replied, “being a conqueror tends to turn people away from you in the long run. An artist, on the other hand, one who creates, they tend to be more popular!” My double screamed in rage, unable to accept that I did anything worthwhile in my life. “True,” I continued, “my anatomy needs work and I could use the occasional brush-up on grammar, but I still enjoy what I do! Assholes like you are NOTHING to me!” That set him off as he charged at us.
“Kid, out of the way!” shouted Vegeta as he shoved me aside. “GALICK GUN, FIRE!” He fired off his Galick Gun and hit my double square in the chest. I rotated a dial on Anansi’s rear to an image of a hornet’s nest.
“MMOBORO BLASTER!” he called. A gun evoking a hornet’s nest appeared in my hand as I fired. The shots went into my double’s exoskeleton and he started writhing in pain.
“GET THE FIRE DEPARTMENT!” he squealed. “I’M ON FIRE!” Not true, but the Mmoboro hornets had stings that acted like red-hot needles. I then turned the dial to a python’s image.
“ONINI SABER!” called Anansi. A sword shaped like a python replaced the gun. I pressed a button on the sword’s hilt and it became a thick whip. I swung it and it wrapped around my double, squeezing him. His exoskeleton cracked and fell, as did his real shape. He then pressed a button on his arm and surrounded himself in a nasty purple aura before slamming his fists into me and Vegeta. I turned the dial to the image of a leopard. “OSEBO CLAWS!” announced Anansi as my sword was replaced with clawed gloves in a leopard pattern. I pressed a button on the dial, indicating that I wanted my current weapon to stay while I used another. I then turned the dial to a small fairy in traditional Ghana dress. “MMOATIA CLOAK!” called Anansi. I turned invisible to my double.
“Right behind you!” I replied in a French accent as my claws raked across his back. I pressed the dial’s button again, cancelling my invisibility and claws while I pressed the triggers on the handles of my belt.
“FINAL STRIKE!” shouted Anansi. I leapt into the air, then fired a rope of silk from my palms, making sure they were on either side of my double. I went higher, making the ropes go taut. “SPIDER BREAK!” called Anansi as I pulled, making me fall at an incredible rate. My foot impacted with my double and I landed behind him. The armor he wore exploded. I decided to follow the ‘Cool Guys Never Look at Explosions’ rule. He fell to the ground, breathing heavily and in pain.
“I’ll take him back,” remarked Vegeta.
“Really?” I asked. “How do you intend to accomplish that?”
“‘A portal then opened behind me, surprising both of us,’” answered Anansi.
“…What?” I quizzed. Vegeta was just as confused. A portal then opened behind me, surprising both of us.
“That’s the thing about all stories belonging to me,” chuckled Anansi, “I tend to see where a story goes.”
“Dude, spoilers!” I protested. Vegeta picked up my double and went through the portal.
“You know,” mused Anansi, “I may stick around for a while.”
“…No tricks then, okay?” I asked, knowing Anansi.
“No promises,” replied Anansi.
“I wouldn’t believe you if you said no tricks,” I answered. “Let’s do this, then!” With that, I reaffirmed my own faith in Anansi’s job and my duty as a writer.