Eternal Lies: The Masks of the Liar

Episode XVI: Ashes to Ashes (Part 12)

And suddenly they were all together, floating in space, in the glare of hateful stars. They slowly drifted in a ring, the constellations wheeling around them, the awful void threatening to swallow them.

They didn’t need to breathe. When you make it this far, those things don’t bother you.

In the center of their orbits they could see Millicent and the young Edgar Job, standing on nothing like it was something. Jimmy thought he could see some kind of pillar stretching away to infinity beneath them.

“Geronimo,” barked Jimmy. “Help throw me at her.”

The Spaniard somehow kicked his way over to Jimmy and pushed him into the center. Jimmy tumbled through the emptiness. Jimmy swiped at what he thought was the pillar and braked himself to a halt.

“Doc!” he shouted. “We need to close the Singularity. How do we do that?”

“I’m working on it!” said Dr. Orange.

[They still had a pool of Ritual points, but everyone had to pay a point of Stability to use it, so it was a huge drain—and that was fine. That said, the ritual was pretty weak here and I should have designed this entire session backwards, starting from the ending and working to the beginning…]

Neither Job nor Millicent noticed the arrival of the others. “You have to do this,” said Job. “Don’t you understand, if you don’t, we’ll continue this hellish existence?”

“I like it!”

“You are who you ARE!” he shouted. Millicent felt every fiber of her being agreeing with him. She bent her will to resist.

“Well, Millicent, if you won’t help, then I’ll just do it for you.”

[Two more Hard Drivers.]

Jimmy felt the tatters of the Gol-Goroth connection light up, but without the guidance of that alien intelligence the images he received were harsh, jumbled, a melange of light and sound. He thought he could hear some kind of crystalline overtone, the sound of pure order, and he concentrated on it. That must be the doc, he thought.

Suddenly everything faded and he heard words with his mind’s ear. “Old friend. I hope you can hear this. Whatever else happens, Millicent Lowell must die. It is the only way.”

The ibis-headed dagger in his coat pocket weighed heavily against his heart.

“No!” said Millicent. “NO!” She lashed out with her mind, with the facilities she never even knew she had, powers of unknitting, of cancelling, erasing, ending, the eschaton, the apocalypse. She felt the forces connecting Job to the Singularity with the senses she didn’t even know she had and tried to sever them. Tears streamed down her face. She knew she would never see Vanessa again.

[So, Millicent used Cthulhu Mythos to drain points from Job’s Resistance pool. This cost her Stability as well, and took her Stability to -6. At this point the poor girl was down to 1 Sanity. Still, she Challenged her Vanessa value to refresh a point of Stability for the attack, which drained 4 from Job’s Resistance.]

“Since you won’t help me voluntarily,” snarled Job. “I’ll just have to make you.” He wrapped his hands around her throat and began choking her. She grabbed him by the throat as well and they both fell down, rolling on the void while the stars glared down. Then they suddenly flared brightly, so brightly that everyone had to close their eyes, so brightly that they could feel their skin burning.

“The Singularity is collapsing!” said Dr. Orange. He rolled toward Job, grabbing Ruby and Geronimo on the way.

“No!” shouted Job. “This isn’t right! This isn’t how it happens—”

Dr. Orange kicked him in the face, knocking him backwards and tumbling through emptiness. He unknit spacetime around them and they vanished…

Millicent watched Job flying backwards into space with a rapt awe, an awful sinking feeling gathering in her stomach. So she never saw Jimmy coming.

He had managed to pull himself up onto the pillar that wasn’t really there and somehow launched into a flying tackle, knocking the girl to the ground with him on top of her. He pinned her shoulder to the void with one hand while fumbling in his jacket with the other.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“Take care of Vanessa and my sister,” said Millicent.

“I will.”

He pulled the ibis-headed Dagger of Thoth from out of his jacket and stabbed it down into her chest. She sighed, and then began to dissolve away beneath him, fading into sparkling dust against the burning stars all around them.

Jimmy stood up and turned around. That’s when he saw me. I was standing, hovering you might say, on the void, silhouetted against the actinic brilliance of the collapsing Singularity. I was wearing a frowsy black dress and a human form.

I like to keep things consistent, you see. Helps the poor sods along.

“Well, love,” I said to him. “So this is where I get me revenge on you?”

Jimmy stared back at me, uncomprehending. I’m used to that.

“I have so many lovely things to show you,” I said, and took a step forward.

Without a word, he spun the dagger in his hand and plunged it directly into his own heart as the Singularity winked out of existence.



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