16. She used yellow chalkA Chapter by Magic Toast
Ace and Alex visit the devil himself in order to save Otto, but they find out a dark secret about life, the universe, and everything.
“Come on, come on….pick up…” Ace mumbled into the phone. She paced back and forth around the living room. Alex was curled up on the couch. While she was wide awake, she didn’t move. She had a gaze plastered to her face that could pierce iron walls, staring ahead and lifeless. Her face was still puffy from crying, but Ace almost missed it at this point- at least the crying meant she wasn’t dead.
“Waste management.” A woman on the other end of Ace’s phone call said in a monotone voice.
“Finally! Look, I know you guys aren’t waste management, Abigail Smith gave me this number to call if I ever needed help.”
“So what is the purpose of the call?”
“I need help! My name’s Ace, check your books or whatever!”
“Hm…I’m not seeing anyone named Ace in here.”
“What? Well, it’s a nickname…”
“Then can I have your real name?”
Ace looked back at Alex, worried she might overhear. “My…my real name? It’s kinda embarrassing…”
“If you want me to see if someone named Abigail Smith works here, I’ll need a name and reason.”
Ace sighed and whispered into the phone. She heard the woman snicker a little.
“Hey don’t laugh!”
“Right, right…I’ll see
if Abigail is available."
Ace waited on hold for about five minutes before Abigail picked up on the other line.
“Ace, this is not a good time,” He started, sounding rushed, “We have a huge invasion to handle right now, along with hundreds, if not thousands, of our clients being sucked up and taken away.”
“That’s what I wanted to call about! My friend’s boyfriend got abducted!”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Ace, but we’re doing everything we can right now. Nothing we’re throwing at them works- it’s like they know everything we’re capable of. We’re going to try one last thing- a nuclear missile straight at the mothership. That might disrupt-”
“No, you can’t! Alex’s boyfriend is on the mothership! If it blows up so will he!” Ace yelled. Alex overheard and snapped out of her trance. She stared at Ace intently, listening to what she could.
“Ace, these aliens are capturing deitans. Our research has shown that deitans are more than capable of handling any explosion sent their way due to the nature of the gods. Just be thankful the governments of the world don’t know this. Before you mentioned this there were no signatures or traces of deitans on the mothership, so the best bet is to take it down. I’m sorry, but we can’t stop our last chance at saving the world for one person.” Abigail said drearily, then hung up.
“But Otto isn’t a deitan!” Ace yelled, but it was too late. She only stared at her phone with a look of panic.
“Did he…say what I thought he said?” Alex whispered in horror and anger. Ace shook her head.
“I’m not ending it this way. We’re getting that short fused nutjob of yours back. I’ve got another plan. We visit a friend.”
About half a day later Hades was enjoying a quiet afternoon in the center of the Venus when a loud racket could be heard down the hallway, followed by voices arguing. Hades walked out of his office to see Ace arguing with the succubus before turning and pointing to him.
“You! We need to talk! Now!” Ace shouted down the hallway. Alex was trailing behind, but looked so zoned out Ace was pulling her by the hand. The three rushed into Hades’ office before slamming the door and taking a seat in the stone chairs that once again rose from the ground in flames.
“Uh, how did you get back here?” Hades asked, sincerely surprised.
“There was a service elevator near where we landed the last time we were here. We took that.” Ace responded.
“The…the hellevator? But that’s one way to Earth!”
“Yeah, and the music’s dull too.”
“But it’s instantaneous! There’s no music! And it only goes to Earth, not the other way around!”
“Hades, we’re here on important matters, we don’t have time to talk about how I made it all the way here, or who I had to possibly threaten to get inside.”
“Maybe, but it’s still a significant point!”
Ace leaned over the table and pointed to Alex, who continued to look at the floor.
“You see Alex? Someone named Xenu snatched up her boyfriend and is going to blow up the planet. What’s worse, the agency in charge of deitans is going to nuke Xenu’s ship not realizing Otto isn’t a deitan. We’re getting Otto back, we’re stopping Xenu before any of that happens, and you’re going to explain to me what the hell is going on and how the hell to one-up this jackass!”
The moment Ace said Xenus, Hades tensed up. He fell to his seat and clasped his hands together, leaning his face on it while he thought.
“How much do you know?” He asked.
“I was a little out of it, but what I gathered was all aliens are gods, Your queen’s named Aramanth, and there’s a big war that depends on this planet being blown up. Also, Xenu loves talking. A lot.”
Hades sighed and leaned back in his chair.
“Alright. I was hoping I didn’t have to tell you any of
this, but I have no choice.” He said.
The once light-hearted voice of optimism was replaced with dread and
despair. It actually lowered his voice three tones.
“First off, all life in the universe other than this planet can be classified by what humans define as gods. We have no real name for ourselves- we only called ourselves the People. There are lesser beings, whom we called demies, that are much weaker than us but still much stronger than humans could ever be. For all intensive purposes they’re People too, so it’s semantics. We have existed since the beginning of time, which was so long ago no number exists to possibly describe it, and if by some crazy chance you invented it the number would still be too low. To be blunt, the age you think the universe is isn’t even close.”
“But who is Xenu? Why does someone named Aramanth want this planet destroyed? What does God have to do with any of this, and what about you?”
“Xenu is one of the queen’s greatest generals. He rose through the ranks faster than any other Person and soon controlled an entire fleet of warships. He’s immensely powerful- even I don’t stand a chance against him. As for why the queen wants Huma-, sorry, Earth gone, I don’t know.”
“That’s another thing. Planet Huma? What does Xenu mean?”
“That’s what we called Earth when it was still being made. Huma. We called the eventual race of sentient primates that evolved Humans, and they eventually named it after Gaia’s sister, Earth.”
“Who made Earth? Why are there so many gods here and not in the war?”
“Ace, you’re asking too many questions, it’s hard to keep track.” Hades pleaded. Suddenly Alex, who up to this point remained motionless, slammed her fist down on the table so hard it cracked. Pieces began to crumble away.
“Answer.” She growled. She stared straight at Hades with a glare that could kill a man dead, then possibly make the ghost of said man feel a little uneasy for all eternity. Hades gulped and continued.
“The war between the People has gone on longer than any Person can remember. The original purpose of the war started between a group of friends when they were children- what government is best for the universe? Aramanth and her sister, Zephyrmanth, were among the group. The group thought of the governments they felt were best. Aramanth believed a monarchy was best; Zephyrmanth believed a democracy was the way to go. Another thought of Aristocracy, Oligarchy, even a form of communism was proposed. Eventually the discussion became an argument that tore the friends apart. For their entire lives they yelled over who was right, forgetting the close bonds they had as children and became mortal enemies. Soon people began to side with them over what they believed was right. Then more people joined. Eventually the entire universe had taken sides to determine the ultimate government amongst the People.
For eons they fought, with the friends as the overall rulers representing their respective governments. After some time, each government fell or dissolved, eventually being taken up by another government. Soon only two remained- Aramanth’s monarchy, and Zephyrmanth’s democracy. The war became known as the Quarrel of the Twin Giants, for you see the two sisters are enormous, even for People. Standing over ten feet tall and weighing thousands of pounds, they are undefeated titans that ruled us with an iron but gentle fist. If People were to ever have their own gods like humans do, it would be the Twin Giants. We valiantly fought for our queen, believing that she would lead us to a Utopian reality where all People were at peace.”
“You actually let her brainwash you into such bullshit?” Ace scoffed. Hades shook his head.
“We went willingly. Aramanth and Zephyrmanth are among the oldest People in the universe; the newer ones like me only knew of war. We wanted it to end so badly we would fight night and day to make her dream a reality.”
“How does God play into all this?”
“Jehovah was a…unique Person. You see, while Xenu rose through the ranks and had an entire heritage spanning trillions of your earth years, Jehovah appeared from seemingly nowhere. No one knew who he was, or his name, or his history. He just appeared. During one of the more important battles, the queen was losing. Badly. Zephyrmanth had recruited and trained an extremely powerful Person named Isis. Her strength was unmatched and eventually the battle turned in favor of president Zephyrmanth. Before going into another battle, Jehovah came before the queen and her council. She demanded he tell her what he wanted, but he didn’t. She demanded he give her a name, but Jehovah simply shrugged and said ‘friends call me Jev.’”
“What, was he trying to go for the badass approach or something?”
“It was no approach. Aramanth ordered Jehovah be taken captive for interrupting an important meeting to discuss strategy, but before the guards could even make it to the center of the floor Jev took Aramanth’s aura and knocked them out using their own queen's strength against them. Jev was untouched. After showing the queen what he could do, he became a general in her army. See, Jehovah’s a special type of Person. Jehovah is an auramancer.”
“He can control
people’s auras?” Ace queried, thinking to her past experiences.
“That’s a stupid name.” Ace chuckled.
“Stupid, maybe, but effective? Damn straight it was! Imagine fighting someone who was literally as strong, as fast, and as skillful as you- our mirror self. Now imagine they had an upperhand- they knew everything you can do, and everything you can’t. You would be fighting someone who was your equal, plus someone else. Your mirror image plus one more of equal strength. That was Jev. Jehovah would be ordered to go into a battle and take out the strongest soldier on the enemy’s side by using their own power against them. Then to take out the second strongest, then the third. Jehovah would go right down the list of biggest threats and systematically knock them all out, giving Aramanth a true- forgive the term- ace up her sleeve. As long as Jehovah was there, the queen won. He was that good.”
“Tick tock…” Alex snarled to Ace. Ace nodded in fear.
“I’m sorry, I enjoy exposition and all, but we need to hurry this up. We have to save Otto.”
“Yes, of course, I’ll help however I can. Destroying the planet wouldn’t be very good for me, now would it?” Hades said with a forced chuckle. The other two were silent. He cleared his throat and continued. “I think I know Xenu’s ship well enough to get you inside. I can help stall whoever’s about to attack them, giving you enough time to get in there and save Otto. It won’t be easy. We just need you to get in and take Otto and get out, understand? Don’t fight Xenu. You won’t win.”
“Psh, the hell I won’t! I gave you a run for your money after all.” Ace said flexing her pathetically thin arms.
“I was holding back, I’m afraid. At the time I didn’t want to hurt you. Xenu is a Rank One general in Queen Aramanth Aegis’ First Strike army. If you were one of us right now, you would…I’m afraid to say this so crudely, you would s**t your pants in fear at that sentence and beg me to kill you faster so you wouldn't have to endure what Xenu was going to do. There is no one stronger than Xenu other than Jehovah and Queen Aramanth herself. Ranks are determined by strength, and I was the equivalent of a waterboy to a football team. And the football team was the waterboy to general Xenu.”
Ace shuddered at the notion of Xenu being that powerful and looked over at Alex. Her depressed and vacant stare made Ace’s heart sink. Whatever it took, she was going to make her friend happy once more.
“Hades, I have an idea- one I think Alex will enjoy.” Ace said with a sinister smile. Alex looked up.
“I’m listening..” Hades said, intrigued.
© 2011 Magic Toast
Added on December 21, 2011
Last Updated on December 21, 2011