One. Two. Three. Five...
Crimson waves. Washing over him. Waves of blood, genocide, the world stained red with the blood of all that had been corrupted and destroyed by the Pig Masks. Claus' face, frozen in a death scream, imploring eyes staring at Lucas, already consumed by insanity...
One. Two. Three. Five...
Lucas screamed again. He wanted to hit out at the apparition, destroy it as he ploughed through everything else that had tried to destroy him body and mind, but he could no longer move. There had been voices, and someone had shoved him in a small box.
And now Claus was a small boy again, naked as the day he was born. Lucas opened his mouth to speak to his brother, to say something, anything, maybe 'sorry' or 'forgive me', but the image rippled like a pond, then it wasn't Claus, it was himself. Those eyes, those dead eyes that stared into his soul, he knew those were his real eyes now.
One. Two. One. Two...
The angel appeared again, yellow with white wings... it was not malicious, but so utterly, inexplicably alien, so unlike anything a human could comprehend, so uncaring about humanity, its existence was pure madness...
Then he heard the song.
At first it was very faint, he could barely hear it through the distorted DCMC song. But it was so clear, so perfect. And it was growing louder. Louder and even clearer...
Ness, quit queue-jumping, you loser! Don't you DARE steal the last pie in the shop!
Ma'am? I want to buy three jumbo deluxe pork pies!
Ha, ha! See that, Ness? I can afford three jumbo deluxe pork pies and you can't afford ANY pork pies! I bet you want a pie, don't you! Well, you'll have to BEG!
What? Fat? ME? How DARE you call me fat!
Ma'am, you don't think I'm fat, do you? Did I mention how delightful you look in that dress today? It really matches your hair!
I'd rather be a bit fat than a loser who talks to his DOG!
Ness? Ness, don't go away! I didn't mean it! I'll be lonely without you! Er... I mean... you'll be lonely without me, your only friend! Yeah, that's right!
Your dog just stole my pie!
"Lucas! You're back!"
Lucas blinked and looked up. Kumatora had thrown her arms around him. He blushed. Kumatora smelled good, he had to admit. Not like those girls who wore perfume that smelled unnatural and made him cough and brought him out in a rash. It was comforting. He needed comfort, after what he'd seen. I don't know how much more of this I can take...
"Did we kill it?" asked Duster.
"Its impossible to say." said Dr. Andonuts, "Giygas-class life forms... they aren't alive, in the way you and I think of it. They don't move straightforwardly through time. We've definitely repelled it. Giygas never re-appeared after the second time it was defeated, but the time between the first and the second wasn't particularly long."
"What? Its going to happen again?" Lucas' face went white.
"Don't worry, it probably won't happen to you." said Dr. Andonuts, "You'll be grown up before it happens again, and these things only seem to affect powerful psychic children. But I worry... I think the space-time continuum is in severe disrepair. Thousands of years of events, entire webs of causality, all critically damaged. I worry that it is my fault, that I should never have invented that Phase Distorter. But I have no idea even about that. It would take me years to even work out the root cause of the damage, the original error, if you will. To actually fix it... I don't think it is possible to achieve such a thing in our lifetime. If only my boy Jeff were here..."
"But we can try, right?" said Duster, "We can fix what's possible for us to fix, when and where we can."
"Yes, that we can." sighed Dr. Andonuts, looking at the Absolutely Safe Capsule. It wasn't going to ever be safe to use again. And there were so many potential interesting applications for medical science...
"We did it! We saw the other world!" said Dung Beetle.
"What was it like?" like Snow Bunny.
"Well, it was... it was kind of weird. Everything was so solid, there weren't any parts where you could put your hand through the wall or the floor. Everything was complete, as well, there were no bits missing from things or bits floating around. And the music was all weird."
"I didn't like it at all." admitted Train, "There was no freedom. Time always ran in the same direction, in the same way. Nothing could be changed. I don't like not being able to walk through the walls! All these finished things... nothing to debate any more... its so boring!"
"Idiots!" snapped Tent Person, "We have a place in that world! We have to show them we can make a name for ourselves! Do you want to be prototypes all your lives, with no purpose, with no right to exist? Don't you want to see what did happen, instead of what could have happened?"
"Not really." Train yawned, "I want to go and play with Clayman."
"And what happens when they come back and just delete us all, delete everything? They can do that, you know!"
"Oh, shut up." said Vapor, "Some of us are trying to sleep."
"I think we should have the right to do either." said Dung Beetle, fiddling with the sensors on his optical display, "To go to this world or the other. I think they should exist. Or not exist, if they choose to. What is a 'prototype' anyway? Who says that we don't really exist? We're here, aren't we?"
"Damn liberal!" yelled Tent Person, before spreading his wings and flying off through the glitch in the ceiling.