Friday, June 13


By some miracle, I had survived death by ice and fire. The children I had fell upon to shield them from the explosion survived as well. They fared much better than I, however. I was helpless as I watched what transpired next.

Ash had found Bloodwing. The android lifted the demon off the ground by his throat. Ash's web of emerald circuitry was clearly damaged, flickering menacingly in random locations like distant thunder. The demon's mighty wings sagged under their own weight as he struggled in his grip. Koen was trying in vain to pry Ash's fingers from the Founder's pallid throat.

"I was just beginning to understand what love was!", thundered Ash with a rage I had never imagined he would possess. "Even before she evolved, Yagi was already more than a pet!"

He grabbed Koen by the scruff of the neck and threw him away with a yelp and a loud crash into a pile of debris.

"I loved her like she was my child!" he continued, "And your carelessness has destroyed her! YOU SHALL PAY!"

"You...were not programmed for vengeance..." choked the demon.

Ash froze in place as his aura flared and faded several times before he responded. "THIS IS JUSTICE!"

"She...she fulfilled her promise to me, and I to know as well as I that..."

I would never hear the rest of the founder's argument. There was a deafening roar, and...

Must I commit this to the page? Must I describe the carnage as the demon's body was ripped from Ash's grip by the shapeless mass of eyes and teeth? What was going through Ash's short-circuiting brain as he realized Yagi had stolen his kill?

Ash never relented his grip from the Bloodwing's neck. Mechanical irises dialed wide as he stared at the horned disembodied head. He stared back at the demon's face as the abomination rose upwards in a fluid column, expanding from the unholy power it had just absorbed.


Ash dropped the head with a thump and a trail of crimson hair (I could swear I heard the demon still mumbling) and took several steps back.

"YAGI!" he shouted with authority. "STOP!"

He was trying to make her obey like when they were stationed at the Steeltopia embassy. Even then, I'm told, she rarely listened.

Yagi  roared again. I believe speaking to her like a pet was absolutely the last thing she wanted. A pseudopod spun around her several times, building up force until it crashed down on her would-be father, kicking up a great plume of dust and more rock shrapnel.

No, I thought. This can't be happening. What was supposed to have been a simple duel between mad scientists had rapidly escalated out of control. No matter how we responded, New Babbage seemed to keep edging closer to the same destruction that claimed its predecessor that had once occupied this godforsaken crater.

My protective gear, as damaged as it was, had finally thawed enough to allow movement. Likewise, the serum injection had run its course inside me, restoring my energy and mobility. I rose to my feet and pulled my communication device from my belt clip. I turned the dial to a frequency reserved dire emergencies.

"CQD...CQD...Babbage Crater...Priority: MYTHOS...MYTHOS..."

The shoggoth drew its mass together in a vaguely pyramidal shape, and began oozing in my direction...

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