Disclaimer: Ace Lightning isn't mine.


She had certainly ended lives before. Human, and otherwise. But she did, Lady Illusion could say, make a point of imprisoning foes and others in a crystal ball when possible. Waste was senseless. (And, just perhaps, she truly didn't wish to see defenseless children hurt; not that she would say it other than to deceive certain superheroes.) Lord Fear only occasionally thought it was excessive. The Carnival was harsh, and aimed to encompass the dimensions--but they wanted followers to do so, willing minions who might have useless powers or none, for all Lord Fear cared.

Humans killed humans quite a lot, she was beginning to realize. For profit, sometimes, which was at least understandable as motive. For spiritual belief--now that was insane. Or just because they didn't like the look of other humans...

They were like Knights gone wild, she thought. Or worse, because Hybrids like Pigface and Anvil and Googler tended to be mindlessly violent; Undead like Rotgut tended to be mentally lacking, decaying. Freaks more humanoid--such as her and Lord Fear--did have powers, and did rather tend to be ambitious with them.

But they had never wanted to do anything like this. Thousands, millions to death-camps and mass graves--the Carnival didn't even have millions to start with. And there was no difference to humans. She'd morphed, observed different human phenotypes herself--the variation was the same as that between Knights and humans in the home dimension, meaningless. (Black and white don't mean much when you have talking pigs.)

Gas. Automatic rifle. Machine-gun. Atomic bomb. (Fallout from that last probably wouldn't affect creatures like them, but whether they were invulnerable to bullets she had little intention of finding out.) Humans were rather expert on killing humans. And attempting to take over the world.

Perhaps she should have shown Lord Fear the mortal literature--then again, it might have inspired him.

The Carnival said they were evil, but that was because the rest of the world called them so. Or at least she'd believed that was part of the reason (she'd never been that naive). They--Lord Fear--represented a sanctuary for the freaks, and whether or not it was as good (bad) as it could have been it was the best (most profitable) option there was--spying on the Knights, she found herself disagreeing with so many things, and missing the wildness of the Carnival. (She cared about Ace. It didn't mean she had to agree with him; for them to stop exchanging disagreements would be the end.) She'd made a decision for the Carnival, in spite of either side's atrocities and ambitions, at least until she had understood Lord Fear more clearly.

And then there was Kilobyte. Neither Knight nor evil, but strange...

She carefully replaced the tattered history-book under debris in Duff's caravan. It wouldn't do if more of them saw it, really.