He had done it.
Sponby felt the power of his new form. He'd absorbed everything. Jupiter, The Power, the Monolith, the Deus Est Machinas, that fleet and the Solar System itself.
But that last part was unintentional. Sponby only now regained control of his powers.
He was now a true God.
Sponby warped back to the Sponby Base. The Dragonlordmore had fortunately made it back in time.
"Listen up everyone." Sponby announced to all of his soldiers. "We're almost ready to assault the Great Machine Force. I will spearhead the last of the ship construction myself. Good job everyone; take a break, you'll need it."
Sponby programmed the basic instructions for finishing his fleet into his main body, while he split off his consciousness in a separate body. There was still some last-minute recruitment to do before he was ready.
Sponby held up his torch, coming face to face with a green monster with a hideous face.
"GET DOWN!" Jeff and Sponby hit the dirt, and the green creature exploded, leaving a crater in the rock. Sponby blocked the explosion with a barrier, leaving both of them unharmed.
"Thanks, Sponby." Jeff said. "Didn't know you could do that."
"It's a little something I picked up." Sponby said. "Now then, let's look for some of that gold."
Jeff and Sponby spent the next few hours mining for gold. They found plenty of coal and iron, but unfortunately no gold. The iron ore would probably fetch a decent price at the blacksmith, though.
Unfortunately, on their way out of the cave, they were assaulted by an angry mob. Sponby swept them all aside, and he had also previously disabled the Giga Creeper underneath the mountain, preventing it from emerging and killing everything.
"So, what now?" Jeff asked.
"I'm going to level with you. I'm going to be fighting an epic space war pretty soon, and I'm here to recruit you as a soldier."
"Will I get paid?"
"Then I'm in." Jeff threw his stacks of coal and iron aside; his payment for this job would make that stuff look like chump change.
Sponby and Jeff headed back to the Exceliator. He had one more stop.
"Great-Lord Sponby!" The cheerful Equinox guards let him in to Fort Fevrier. He followed the red carpet to the throne room, where King Damocles was waiting.
"Hail, King Damocles!" Sponby cheered.
"Ah, Sponby! Greetings to you!" Damocles responded. Sponby bowed before him for a moment, then got up.
"I have something I need to ask you. Exodus, the being that enslaved you, was part of a greater organization called the Great Machine Force. I'm almost ready to fight them, but I need soldiers. I know it's selfish, but could I ask you for a few of your men?"
"I will do you one better!" King Damocles rapped his scepter on the ground. "All of my people are yours to command!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! My people will follow you to their death if need be. Just... try to make sure some of them survive."
"Thank you." Sponby didn't expect such a generous offer of soldiers, but he wasn't about to say no.
"Of course, Great-Lord! If you'd like, you may also contact our God for more help."
Sponby left Fort Fevrier as the entire population of Fort Fevrier, roughly 1000 Equinoxes, stepped into a portal to the Sponby Base. He'd return them to an alternate universe, a better one...
Sponby started to absorb the planet.
WHO ARE YOU?
"Huh? BURTON, you there?" Sponby asked.
I AM NOT BURTON. I AM SEASON-BRINGER, THE DRAGON OF SEASON CONTROL.
"Wait, you're the planet? And you're alive?"
YES. The planet morphed into a dragon as large as Saturn. AND YOU ARE SPONBY? I HAVE HEARD MUCH PRAISE FOR YOU FROM MY PEOPLE'S PRAYERS.
"Yeah. I'm off to fight the Great Machine Force."
I SEE. YES, THOSE WERE THE ONES WHO SEALED ME IN THE FORM OF A PLANET AND DOMINATED MY PEOPLE. I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THEM A PIECE OF MY MIND...
"I'd love to have you aboard. I can equip you with weapons and armor if you need it."
AS YOU WISH.
Sponby opened a portal back to the Sponby Base. Season-Bringer flew through it.
Sponby looked over his fleet. It was finally done.
30 Reb-class ships, each as large and as powerful as the Deus Est Machinas. They lacked regeneration, but made up for it in more weapons and shields.
Each Reb-class ship had 10 Dragon-class ships within it. The Dragons were equipped with crew quarters, but refinements in his tech meant they had more powerful weapons, engines and shields than Dragon One way back when.
And each Dragon-class ship had 20 Quickening-class ships within it, to serve as point-defense and attack drones. Again, these were far more powerful than the original Quickening, or even the Exceliator.
With the spare materials, he made another fleet of 100 Mestema-class ships, which were slightly larger than the Dragon-class, but with shield strength equal to the Reb class. Basically just mobile walls, but in a pinch, they could accelerate and punch through hulls.
And for wild cards, he had Season-Bringer, decked out in weaponry and armor; the Cathedral Terra, which was far more powerful than any of his ships; and the Sponby Base Gamma, an upgrade of the original Base which could crank out reinforcements (as well as keeping the non-essential crew safe).
Yeah, his fleet was ready.
"Put in the Heart of Machines' coordinates, BURTON." Sponby said. BURTON had retired from active duty; he was now in charge of ship deployment.
"YES SIR." The entire Fleet warped.
They ended up in intergalactic space, hovering a few million light years above a standard-looking spiral galaxy.
"Huh? Where's the Heart of Machines?" Sponby asked.
"RIGHT THERE." BURTON pointed out the galaxy. Now that Sponby looked at it, it looked a bit metallic...
"Wait... No, it can't be." Sponby had expected a fight, but... was the Heart of Machines...
"The entire galaxy. The whole thing is the Heart of Machines."
THE HEART OF MACHINES
"Okay, let's do it!" The entire crew cheered as they flew toward the Heart of Machines. But their presence was definitely noticed; a fleet of thousands of Leviahamuts engaged them. The Dragons and Rebs cut right through them without a single loss.
"Good job, guys! But this is just a taste!" Sure enough, several Deus Est Machina-sized ships, backed up by another hundred thousand Leviahamuts, came out of a giant hole in the galaxy.
An epic firefight ensued. They lost a couple of Reb-class and several Dragon-class ships, but they were faring much better than Sponby previously had against the Deus Est Machinas. Of course, having the Cathedral Terra on their side helped a lot, as it transformed into humanoid form and unleashed a barrage of piercing missiles.
Of course, the Deus Est Machinas' regeneration meant that they didn't stay down for long. The Rebs concentrated their fire on one of the massive ships, and that seemed to work; one of them was reduced to atoms. The Cathedral Lazengann took out another with a Giga Drill Breaker.
"AND AS FOR ME!" Season-Bringer turned into a Super Saiyan and started slinging Angel Arm Kamehamehas around, taking out all but a couple of the remaining Deus Est Machinas. "THAT'S FOR ENSLAVING ME, YOU B****ES!"
"Ha ha!" It was Rossum again. "Your fleet is impressive! But it'll take more than that to defeat me!"
The rest of the Super Exadian-class ships, and everything smaller than that, appeared. About a billion in total.
With such a massive concentration of ships, simply firing a weapon took out massive chunks of the fleet. The Rebs switched to Piercing ammo, borrowed from Lordgenome, and started firing; the Dragon-class ships transformed into Dragonlords and used Tera Flare ammo, which was far stronger than piercing missiles but more draining. The Dragonlords had small Super-Spiral engines though, which helped in energy regeneration.
But the sheer amount of enemy dakka took its toll; they lost another Reb and three more Dragons. They will be missed, Sponby thought.
"I'M DETECTING MULTIPLE BRANE BREACHES! THEY'RE CALLING IN REINFORCEMENTS FROM OTHER UNIVERSES!" BURTON said.
"Yes!" Rossum announced. "I have factories in hundreds of universes!"
"Shit!" Sponby cursed.
"Don't get depressed just yet." Lordgenome said. "Mewtwo's been analyzing the Heart of Machines. He thinks we should be able to disable their fleet by killing this Machine-King guy."
"I highly doubt that." Sponby said. Why would someone like the Machine-King have a single weak point? He'd probably have a distributed network across this entire galaxy to prevent that exact thing from happening.
"Even still, killing Rossum will deal a major blow to their morale, if not their coordination. I have a plan, come over here."
Sponby teleported over to the Cathedral Lazengann. It was busy Giga Drilling some more Deus Est Machinas; Sponby looked out and saw another Reb blow up.
"I have a backup ship, called the Arc-Gurren. It should get us within a few kilometres of the data center of the Heart of Machines. If we destroy that, it will at the very least let us fight a bit longer."
"Yeah, I guess we'll go with that." Sponby and Lordgenome teleported to the Arc-Gurren's bridge. It launched out of the Cathedral Lazengann's chest-face; a few Mestemas served as an escort, but none of them lasted very long.
"Come on!" The Arc-Gurren's shields took a beating, but Lordgenome and Sponby generated a perfect shield around it, getting them through. They pierced several hundred layers of flesh and metal, but even their perfect shield could only take so much; the hull of the Arc-Gurren was wrecked, and Sponby and Lordgenome teleported off of it before it exploded, taking out an impressive chunk of the Heart of Machines.
Sponby and Lordgenome were within walking distance of Rossum's Throne. The battle raged above them, and even though they couldn't hear it, they knew they weren't doing well. There wasn't any air in here, but neither of them needed to breathe, so it was all good.
"Halt!" Archetype, the four-armed woman with Sponby's powers, stood in their way. She was communicating with them via some sort of telepathic link.
"You!" Sponby tried absorbing her, but her Spiral power burned his shadow aura away.
"You've perverted that power!" Lordgenome used his own Spiral power and rushed at her, unleashing a flurry of fists that she tried to block and dodge, though unsucessfully. Sponby conjured his Fusion Sword and joined in.
"OVERLOAD!" Archetype unleashed her own Spiral power and created a crap-ton of drills, piercing both Sponby and Lordgenome multiple times; Sponby absorbed the drills, while Lordgenome just healed himself.
"How dare you use that power against me!" Lordgenome ripped her head off and punched her in the gut, sending her flying while her corpse burned with green flames.
"Ah ha!" Spoont jumped out of nowhere, skewering Sponby with a sword of light. Sponby tried absorbing him, but this particular Spoont was absorption-proof. But Sponby countered with a skewering and dicing from the Fusion Sword, which Spoont couldn't recover from; he was left as a quivering heap of body parts on the floor.
They pressed on.
"Halt!" Three more Archetypes and another Spoont appeared.
"God damnit!" Sponby shouted. "He's just doing it to piss us off!"
"Indeed! It's merely a distraction! FINAL FLASH!" Lordgenome fired a beam of brilliant green energy at their enemies, annihilating them.
They pressed on.
"Hey!" A redheaded woman dropped from a hole in the ceiling. Lordgenome was about to impale her with a Giga Drill, but Sponby stopped him.
"Wait!" Sponby shouted. He walked over to her... he couldn't believe his eyes. Was it really...
"Hey Sponby! How's it going?" Lupa asked.
"Why are you here?"
"Jesus told me you guys needed help. Oh, it's a long story." Lupa added after seeing the confused looks on their faces.
"I... see. By the way, the name's Sponby."
The three heroes kept walking. Lupa explained her backstory: after winning the Olympics, 'Sponby' came and led her and a bunch of TGWTG people to the center of the universe and fought a Dark thing. From there, Lupa had various adventures, leading to her fighting a giant Master Ham with Jesus armor. Yeah, it didn't make sense in context either. God said He was going to erase her memories, but apparently He reconsidered, and instead sent her here to help fight Rossum.
"So yeah, that's why I'm here." Lupa said while punching the Super Demon Gold 3 Beta form of Kekanu.
"Interesting. I might have to hunt this Jesus fellow down later." Lordgenome said.
"Whatever. We're almost there." They pressed on, coming into another atrium.
"Hello, Sponby. Long time no see."
A giant robot, piloted by a human and a tiger, stood before them.
"Sponby! You cast us aside during the battle against Exodus. But no longer! We sold our souls to Rossum the Machine-King, and gained power above the gods!" Daikaizer VX, the upgraded form of Daikaijin XX from so long ago, moved lightning-fast, squishing Sponby with its foot. He responded by absorbing the foot; Daikaizer broke it off immediately, regenerating it in no time.
Lupa jumped up and punched Daikaizer in the chest, knocking it to the ground. She then opened a portal to the Plane of Infinite Exploding Phelouses.
"I'm an exploding Phelous derp dee doo!" Phelous yelled as he attacked Daikaizer. The Phelouses exploded into little bits, which reformed as an equal-sized MegaNanoPhelous.
"Ha!" Daikaizer cut its arms off, and each arm regenerated into a full Daikaizer. Lordgenome generated Lazengann around him, while Sponby drew on some of his old powers to create a custom mecha for himself, which he dubbed 'Hot Drinks' for some reason. Lupa formed the head of the MegaNanoPhelous, taking control of it.
Epic asskicking ensued. Lazengann, MegaNanoPhelupa and Hot Drinks kicked the asses of all three Daikaizers. They all fused and became a hydra, but it got its ass kicked too.
"Give it up." Sponby said. He unleashed his shadow aura, absorbing Daikaizer at the same rate it regenerated; he accidentally absorbed a few Phelouses too.
"No! You..." Daikaizer blew itself up, but Sponby absorbed the blast. This one wasn't coming back.
They pressed on.
The way forward was oddly silent. They kept walking, until they entered a chamber covered entirely in screens broadcasting various angles of the battle outside. Sponby's forces had been diminished even further, but they were still fighting tooth and nail.
And in the middle of the room, held up by two large cables, was...
ROSSUM THE MACHINE-KING
...a large green circular thing, covered in wriggling tentacles.
"Wait, you're the Machine-King?" Sponby wondered.
"Indeed! You humans are so self-centered; did you really think all of your opponents would be humanoid?" Rossum's voice was deafening. "Now, I applaud you on making it here, but you should know that you have no hope of defeating me. I can regenerate faster than you can absorb and/or destroy me, and even if you do manage to destroy the Heart of Machines, one of the other Hearts will rebuild it."
"That's great! That means I can kill you as many times as I like!" Sponby drew his sword and cut both cables holding Rossum, then kicked him at the wall at lightspeed. His hard shell cracked, revealing his insides to be a gooey pink substance with black seeds strewn about.
"An evil watermelon." Lordgenome said, with a mix of amusement and incredulity. "The mighty Machine-King is an evil watermelon."
"Ha ha!" Lupa laughed. She picked up one half of Rossum and immolated it with holy fire, then threw the other half into the Plane of Infinite Phelouses.
"Oh yeah, thanks for the food, Lupa. It'll probably just kill me when I eat it." Phelous said.
But the cables holding up Rossum regenerated, and another Rossum quickly grew between them.
"Tell me, Sponby. Do you recall using the intrinsic life energy of a newborn planet to create your Dragon Balls?" Rossum asked.
"And the reason you did it was because you needed more power, and that even if it didn't produce any life in this universe, it inevitably would in another."
"Let me guess: you're from an AU version of that planet." Sponby said.
"Yes! And now you know one part of the reason I will never let you leave this place." All three of them were instantly encased in living metal. Sponby broke out first, and freed the other two by absorbing a large chunk of Rossum's Throne (including Rossum again).
But of course, the room instantly regenerated, good as new.
"Enough of this." Rossum said. One of the walls opened up, revealing one of the Deus Est Machina's main guns. "Your ships may be able to survive this weapon, but you will not be so lucky!"
"Bitch please." Sponby said. He turned to his two allies. "Okay guys, I can get us out of here, but only if I power up to Zetta level. The sheer power would destroy you guys along with everything else, and I can't open portals in here. So..."
"Then let our powers combine!" Lupa said. She created a protective barrier around herself and entered Sponby's shadow form; Lordgenome did the same. They all temporarily fused into one being.
"An impressive effort, but a futile one!" Rossum said as the main guns fired. The new fused being deflected them all without effort.
"I am beyond good and evil, light and dark, law and chaos." he said. "I am to God what he is to men! I am Sponby Aleph, and I have had enough of your shit!"
The simple act of powering up destroyed over half of the Heart of Machines. It started to regenerate, but Sponby Aleph extended his shadow aura, absorbing everything - friend and foe alike - into his body.
The Heart of Machines was no more. But the Great Machine Force was not yet defeated - as Rossum said, it had hundreds of other factories in other universes, and it would not be long before the Heart was rebuilt.
Sponby began to formulate a plan to take care of them, but a massive portal opened. A Deus Est Machina-sized ship emerged, but Sponby Aleph quickly realized that this was much different than the countless ships he'd just destroyed. The somewhat familiar aura of Rossum the Machine-King permeated the entire ship, and its power was almost equal to Sponby's own.
"SPONBY!" The regal voice of Rossum echoed throughout Sponby's mind. "I can never be truly defeated! If my body is destroyed, I will rise more powerful than ever! Make your peace now, before I make your body as nothing!"
"Big talk from the evil watermelon!" Sponby taunted. "Come on, show me what you've got!"
"Force Beam energized! Maximum charge! NOW! Fire the BREAKER!"
The Deus Est Machina changed shape, taking the form of a massive gun. It immediately fired a colossal energy beam, made up of thousands of slightly less colossal energy beams of various different types. Sponby tried absorbing them, but it was too much for even him to absorb; his body was torn to shreds, but he reformed once the assault was done.
"Really? You think you can defeat me with that wimpy weapon?" Sponby said. "Here's a real energy beam! YAMATO TECHNIQUE LEVEL ALEPH: INFINITY BIG BANG STORM!"
Sponby's human-sized body quickly expanded to four times the size of the Rossum Ex Machina. Hundreds of weapon ports appeared on Sponby's body; internally, for each weapon port, two galaxies were created using Spiral power and mashed together, creating huge amouts of raw energy for him to use.
Each weapon port fired a beam, each roughly the same strength as the Rossum Ex Machina's Breaker Beam. To counter this onslaught, Rossum summoned thousands of AU Spoonts and drained them of all their power, creating a nearly-invincible light-powered barrier to counter Sponby's naturally dark-based weaponry.
"Give up, Sponby!" Rossum shouted. "You can't move me!"
Sponby sensed that Rossum's Breaker Beam was charged up again. It had nothing on his Infinity Big Bang Storm, but he couldn't fire it through his light shield. Even if it was a small opening, he'd have to open it slightly. Sponby made sure to make his weak point rather obvious, so that Rossum would be sure enough to aim at it.
Sure enough, Rossum took the bait. A small opening in the light shield opened, and Sponby redirected several of his Infinity beams into it. Sponby's weapons easily overwhelmed the Rossum Ex Machina's, shredding it into little pieces once the light shield fell.
But of course, as is tradition with the Great Machine Force's weapons, the Rossum Ex Machina regenerated.
"I am invincible!" Rossum said.
"Really? Because I know one really good way how to deal with you." Sponby said. He morphed into a super-sized version of himself, dwarfing even the large Rossum Ex Machina. He extended his shadow aura outward, capturing the small ship in its grasp, pulling it into his body.
Rossum futilely tried firing more weapons, but Sponby absorbed them all.
"SPONBY!" Rossum screamed in desperation. "THIS IS NOT OVER! I WILL RISE FROM THE ASHES!"
"Sure you will." Sponby said as Rossum's consciousness faded from his mind.
But it still wasn't over. Those other factories still existed, but with Rossum's knowledge added to his own, he knew exactly where each of those were. He opened hundreds of portals, each leading to a different brane, in position to annihilate each of the factories' cores.
And then, he gathered energy.
"SPONBY TECHNIQUE LEVEL ALEPH: BREAK YOU." Sponby unleashed billions of energy beams, directing them through the portals. Each and every factory controlled by this incarnation of Rossum was completely and utterly destroyed.
Of course, the nature of the multiverse meant that there was more than one Great Machine Force, and definitely more than one Rossum. But it didn't matter. He would fight them as they came.
But for now, he would return to his original goal. There was still a man who had forced him to become this, and he wanted to pay that man back.
Sponby walked into a bar. He wasn't sure what this planet was called, but his universal translator would pick up the slack. He'd long since lost the ability to differentiate between languages - to him, any spoken language automatically sounded like English - but it didn't really bother him anymore.
Sponby had put the bulk of his power into finding the specific version of Doctor Insano that had transformed him into an Archetype. But the universe was pretty big, and there were a lot of universes; it would take a lot of time to find him. Until then, Sponby could just relax.
Immediately upon entering the bar, something made the hair on his neck stand on end. Sponby took a quick look around the bar, quickly identifying the source of his unease: a silver-haired man, sitting in the back of the bar, with an absolutely massive magical sword propped up against the side of the table.
But to his surprise, it wasn't Sephiroth.
"Who are you?" Sponby sat down, opposite the man. He looked human, but he had an almost bestial air to him.
"The real question is, who are you?" the man replied. "You seem familiar, but I've never seen you."
"I'm Sponby. You?"
"Vashblade Dragonfang. Call me Blade for short."
"What a stupid name."
"Better than 'Sponby'."
"Touche." A waitress came up, and Sponby ordered a beer; a few moments later, she came back with a cold one.
While he thoughtfully sipped the brew, he sized up Blade. Though he was far from unassuming, Sponby could tell that he was supressing all but a fraction of his true power. He couldn't exactly tell how much, but it was... a lot. Who the hell was this guy?
"So what're you doing here?" Sponby asked.
"Mercenary work." Blade said. "How about you? You're no normal scrawny human."
"I'm just killing time. Mind if I join you for a bit? I don't care about payment."
"Ha. We'll see if you can keep up." Blade pounded back the last of his beer. "Come on, let's go."
But before they could leave, an intimidating-looking bandit stepped into the bar. He took one look at Blade and Sponby, and drew his sword.
"BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" the bandit screamed as he ran at them. Blade grabbed his magical sword and easily parried the bandit's attack. With his other hand, Blade grabbed the bandit by the throat.
"I recognize that battle-cry." Blade growled. "Who do you work for?"
"KHORNE CARES NOT FROM WHERE THE BLOOD FLOWS!" The bandit ripped his chest open, spewing blood and bile all over Blade. He expired shortly after.
"Chaos." Blade said. He slammed his fist against a table, breaking it into little bits. He ran out of the bar.
"Chaos? As in, Warhammer 40K Chaos?" Sponby asked. "Seriously?"
"Yes." Blade said. "They corrupted me in my youth... and I haven't been the same. I've spent my entire life fighting against them. I've killed them down to the last demon. But no matter how thorough I am, they just keep coming back."
"Sirs!" The bar owner ran outside, catching up with Blade and Sponby. "I overheard that you were looking for work. If you have no other jobs there is a bandit keep near here. They keep us subjugated... if you could destroy them, we would all be eternally grateful!"
"Alright." Blade agreed. "Can you handle Chaos, Sponby?"
"Damn right!" Sponby drew his Fusion Sword. "I'm always up for killing indiscriminately, especially when they're Warp daemons!"
Sponby and Blade walked down the street. This city was oddly empty; it was mostly peddlers and homeless folks on the streets at this time of day, even though it was still daylight.
"Hey, you two!" A shabby-looking man behind a cart called out to them. "Want some exclusive Daxen souvenirs?"
Blade walked up to the cart, looking at the collection of various plush figures and tools. All of them had hexagonal patterns all over them, like they were going out of style; Blade took a couple of kitchen knives and studied them for a few moments.
"Shoddy work. The steel's low-quality, and the blade would fall off if I cut through bread. Why would you sell such terrible knives?" Blade asked.
"Huh? It's a souvenir! You don't use it to actually cut through stuff, you just hang it on the walls!"
"Eh?" Blade looked genuinely confused. "But it's a knife. It's made to cut things."
"Weirdo." The man tried taking the knives back, but Blade defensively stuck the knives through his eyes. He then took more knives and stabbed the man repeatedly; sure enough, the blades snapped pretty much on contact, and those that didn't were kind of dull.
"What the hell, man?" Sponby said. He grabbed Blade's arm, snapping him out of his homicidal rage.
"Huh? Oh, sorry. I get angry sometimes." Blade said sheepishly. Somehow, no one seemed to notice the brutal murder of a merchant in broad daylight; Sponby got the feeling that Blade was unintentionally responsible for that. But it didn't really matter; if he went batshit on his ass, Sponby could take him. Probably.
Another couple of bandits stopped them as they made their way to the eastern gates.
"We ain't seen you here before." one of the bandits said. "If you wanna get outta here unscathed, you gotta make a peace offerin to our great King Crowley."
"Offer THIS!" Sponby swung his sword a single time, but the air pressure cut both bandits in half at the waist. "Fucking organized bandits."
But to his surprise, both halves of the bandits grew all sorts of tentacles. They started moving around, and one of them jumped on Sponby's face.
"Fuck!" Sponby shifted into his shadow form and absorbed the tentacled torso, reversing the power of grabby tentacles upon the thing. Blade, meanwhile, cast a Warp-scrubbing spell upon his sword and took out the other three monstrosities with a single slash each, banishing them.
"Ugly fuckers." Blade cursed. As they went through the gate, they noticed a keep in the plains to the east.
But this castle wasn't made of stone or metal. The walls looked like they were made of flesh; upon closer inspection, the walls were literally made of people. They pulsed in an erratic rhythm.
As Sponby and Blade approached the keep, a horrific screaming assaulted their ears. Fortunately for them, they were both mostly immune to eldritch languages that drove lesser men mad. The walls themselves spat black bile at them, but Blade conjured a shield that destroyed it on contact.
The entire keep shifted, getting up on thousands of small legs. A huge, distorted face manifested atop the keep's highest tower, looking directly at the two.
"This one's mine." Sponby shifted into his shadow form. He'd put almost all of his raw power into finding Insano, but he still had each and every single one of the abilities he'd absorbed from his enemies... and this time, he figured he'd try out one he hadn't used yet.
"BREAKER BEAM!" Sponby's variation of the Breaker fired hundreds of beams, each patterned after Blade's anti-Chaos shield. The beams ripped right through the evil keep, silencing the screaming and putting those poor souls to rest.
In the place of the keep was a portal to the Warp. Blade walked toward it, but before he could enter, two figures stepped out of it: a color-inverted doppelganger of Blade himself, and a doppelganger of Sponby with white hair and clothes.
"Chaos Blade." regular Blade cursed.
"So you're the famous Christian Humber." Spoont said. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
"My name is Blade. Or Vash. Or Bladevash." Blade said. He drew Tetsume, but to his surprise, Spoont shifted into his light form and grabbed Tetsume with light tendrils, absorbing it into himself.
"Hey Sponby, I heard you killed Rossum. Not bad!" Spoont taunted. He reached into his Akasha and drew Tetsume; Blade's extensive knowledge of magical swords told him that Tetsume had accepted its new master, and that it was basking in Spoont's radiance and growing ever stronger.
"Yeah, and I thought Rossum killed about ten thousand of your AU counterparts." Sponby said. "I'm surprised that he didn't completely wipe you out."
"The multiverse is a funny place." Spoooont said. "Who would've thought that I'd end up allied with Chaos against you? See, my good friend Chaos Blade here has quite a beef with your friend Humber, and I still plan to stop you..."
"It's Blade!" Blade shouted angrily. He was beginning to succumb to his rage...
"Yeah yeah. Unless you've killed me in at least six other alternate universes, you don't stand a chance."
"As a matter of fact..." Spoooooooooont drew the Fusion Sword in his other hand, and used his leet Archetype powers to fuse the Fusion Sword and Tetsume together. He then altered his light form a bit, gaining blue markings all over his body. "I've found that some of your powers are quite handy, as you no doubt have with my own. But the difference between you and me... is that I'm better."
Blade's sword Tetsume served as a restraining bolt of sorts; as long as he had it on his person, his crippling anger problems were mostly held in check. (If that sounds familiar, you've watched InuYasha.) But unfortunately for him, Spoont had absorbed and dominated the sword, and though Blade was valiantly struggling to hold on to his sanity, he was slipping further and further into madness.
Blade let out a wolf-like howl, and he conjured up two other weapons: a Chaos Keyblade and a gun with about twenty barrels. He fired away at Chaos Blade, who drew his Inverted Tetsume and easily blocked each shot. Blade threw the gun to the side and savagely attacked Chaos Blade with his keyblade, but his unfocused rage couldn't pierce Chaos Blade's sadistic coolness.
Meanwhile, Sponby powered up to challenge Spoont. Rather than matching swords, he took a page from the Dr. Jones School of Swordsmanship.
"SWAT TECHNIQUE LEVEL 2: AUTO-FUCKING-SHOTGUNS!" Sponby conjured 500 autoshotguns, each loaded with pure darkness as ammo. He let them rip on Spoont, who tried shielding himself, but he was quickly torn apart. Before Spoont could regenerate, Sponby fired as many shadow tendrils as he could, consuming each piece of light.
But Sponby fell for Spoont's trap. The pieces of Spoont, rather than subsuming into Sponby, instead started growing within his darkness. Spoont started taking over Sponby's body, but Sponby fought back.
Meanwhile, Blade had broken through Chaos Blade's Inverted Tetsume. One of the fragments of the evil sword was stuck in Blade's shoulder, but since it was inverted, it amplified Blade's rage even further. Blade transformed into a giant werewolf and devoured Chaos Blade whole.
"Bitch please!" Sponby expelled as much of Spoont as he could from his body, and invoked his rarely-used Zonder purification powers to supress the rest of Spoont's personality. The rest of Spoont's body quickly reformed, and opened another Warp portal, summoning three more copies of Chaos Blade.
"You can't stop me, Sponby. I'm invincible!" Spoont said. He absorbed all three copies of Chaos Blade, and summoned both Tetsume and Inverted Tetsume.
Blade stomped on Spoont, crushing his amorphous body. But Spoont took the chance to stab Blade with both swords; Blade's stomp embedded them firmly within his foot, amplifying his rage even more but giving him just enough coherence to focus it on complete and total destruction.
Blade reverted to his standard human form, but with some key differenceS: his generic anime clothing was pure white, and his hair stood on end and gained streaks of blue and white. He wielded both Tetsumes at once, dominating the inverted counterpart with his sheer power. He called this form "Chaos Hunter", and it represented the absolute peak of his abilities.
To his credit, Blade at his peak was far stronger than Sponby expected. He was almost at the same level as Sponby himself. But Sponby still held the upper hand in both power and longevity; under all of that power, Blade was still a mortal man, while Sponby was an immortal shadow-god.
Blade jumped into the Warp portal. Sponby decided to follow, but Spoont stopped him.
"I don't care about Chaos!" Spoont yelled. "I don't care if Humber kills every last one of them! I'm only concerned about you, Sponby!"
"Right right." Sponby snapped his fingers, and he recalled the bulk of his power stored in the Insano probe. An aura of complete darkness flared behind Sponby, instantly annihilating half of the planet as collateral damage.
"Fool!" Spoont gathered as much light magic as he could, firing it at Sponby, but his darkness easily absorbed the blast. Spoont backed away in abject horror at the pure incarnation of the spatial void stood before him.
"Die." Sponby's shadow aura absorbed Spoont and the rest of the planet. Spoont still had the data for Tetsume within him; Sponby recreated it, then traced its signature to Blade's current position. Since he really had nothing better to do, he decided to go help Blade destroy the Warp.
As Sponby crossed the veil, he was floored by the raw psychic power permeating the Warp. It took him some time to to get adjusted to the background interference, but as soon as he did, he felt the trail of devastation left by Blade - or rather, the lack of background energy, as it had been completely annihilated by him.
Sponby followed the path until he caught up with Blade, who was standing over the corpses of hundreds of thousands of dead Chaos Marines.
"Traitors!" Blade screamed. He poured energy into his two swords, causing a chain reaction that annihilated another section of Chaos space.
"Having fun?" Sponby asked.
"Fun? This is a life-or-death battle against Chaos!" Blade continued on, and Sponby followed. More Chaos Marines attacked, but before Blade could destroy them, Sponby decided to absorb a few just for the hell of it; he'd already absorbed eldritch horrors, so these were nothing.
But it wasn't long before the two of them came across what appeared to be a gigantic castle made entirely of bones. The gates opened, and they stepped within it.
"YOU TREAD WITHIN THE HALLS OF WAR!" A booming voice nearly shook the castle apart. Paying no heed to the voice, they continued onward through the halls of the castle, until they came across the throne room - dominated by an impossibly-large throne made entirely of skulls. Atop it was a similarly-impossibly-large man who looked like a knight, but with the head of a wolf.
"Khorne, the Blood God!" Blade said. He pointed both swords at the Chaos God. "Your warmongering ways end here!"
"HA!" Khorne laughed. "I AM IMPRESSED THAT YOU CAN STARE UPON ME WITHOUT YOUR EYES BURSTING INTO FLAME, BUT DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DEFEAT ME WITH THOSE WEAPONS?"
"Die, ugly!" Blade used his speed to instantly get to Khorne's head, and he drove both swords through the Chaos God's eye sockets. He then used his anti-Chaos magic, completely erasing the Skull Throne from existence.
But Khorne remained, no worse for wear.
"AS LONG AS ONE MAN WHO BELIEVES IN POWER REMAINS, I WILL SURVIVE!" Khorne summoned a literally-impossible number of weapons and used them all on Blade.
"God of War? Hah! Kratos could kick your ass any day of the week!" Sponby powered up again, and his dark aura began absorbing the background psychic energy. Khorne directed some of his weapons toward Sponby, but his body easily absorbed even the most powerful of them.
"WHO ARE YOU?" Khorne asked.
"I am the terror that scares the entire multiverse! I am the immortal Great-Lord! I have conquered the Great Machine Force singlehandedly! I am Sponby!"
Sponby's dark aura surrounded Khorne, rapidly siphoning his power away. He mimicked Blade's anti-Chaos magic while simultaneously invoking some of the anti-Archetype tech employed by the Great Machine Force; the combination of both was enough to reduce the Blood God to little more than a speck.
But just as he claimed, the Chaos Gods could never be truly destroyed as long as there was still life in the multiverse. Sponby had to make do with supressing as much of his personality as he could, and siphoning off every last bit of energy directed to him. Of course, he funneled most of the psychic energy directed to the Blood God into the measures containing him, and still made off with a general power boost.
"You..." Blade looked at Sponby. "You destroyed Khorne?"
"Not really, I just sealed him." Sponby said. "I could probably do the same to the other three Chaos Gods too, but I think I'll just make do with using the latent psychic power of the Warp to find my true adversary."
"Chaos is unrepentently evil! Even thinking about using it will corrupt you!" Blade said. "Which means that... I'll have to destroy you."
"Really? You think you can defeat me? Sure, you're pretty strong, but even if you somehow became 100 times more powerful right now, you still wouldn't be able to kill me. I'm absolutely invincible!"
"That may be so, but I'll never give up!" Blade opened up a portal, taking them back to realspace. But the sheer power emanating from Sponby messed up the portal's destination... instead, they ended up back in the Terrain of Testament.
"Ah ha... Ha ha ha... HA HA HA!" Sponby laughed. "This place again! Of all the places, we end up here..."
Sponby instantly re-attuned to the Terrain, gaining another massive power boost.
In here, Blade was no match. He tried employing his anti-Chaos magic, but Sponby was unaffected. His biological distinctiveness was added to Sponby's own.
Escaping from the Terrain of Testament once was difficult.
Escaping twice was inevitable.
Sponby shaped the entire Terrain into a tiny ball, leaving him in an empty void. Then, he focused hard upon the last remaining relic of his life. He felt himself slip through the barrier, moving beyond time and space, until he appeared at the ruins of his old house.
It seemed like it had only been a short time since he was trapped within the depths of Insano's lab, being tortured and experimented upon by the good doctor.
Of course, there wasn't any actual house left. He'd absorbed it all when he came back for Burton. But it still felt... nostalgic to him.
"Sponby." BURTON had been repurposed as the communicator for his probe. "I've found the exact permutation of Insano that transformed you. Transmitting location now."
Sponby knew exactly where he was. Before leaving, he recreated his old house - he wasn't really sure why, but he just felt like it. In his wanderings throughout the multiverse, he'd never found his brother - but perhaps, once this was all done, he'd go out and find him.
Sponby created a portal to the coordinates provided by BURTON.
It was time.
Sponby arrived on a cold, desolate planet in intergalactic space. He'd reabsorbed the probe, bringing him back to his full power and more: he still held the Terrain of Testament within him, boosting his power even further.
The only feature on this planetoid was a small hut. This planet was host to two beings: one of them had arrived, and the other had been hiding here from both his creation and the Great Machine Force.
"Hello, Insano." Sponby opened the door, and saw a bespectacled doctor tinkering with a small machine.
"Oh, uh, Spoony!" Insano flinched as Sponby walked toward him. "Please, I can explain!"
"The only reason you're still alive is because I want to hear you beg for your life." Sponby said.
"Oh really? Would you kill... your brother?" Insano took off his goggles, and Sponby recognized the face of his brother, Miles.
"What? Damnit, BURTON got the coordinates wrong!"
"A long time ago, a woman came to our house. She called herself Dr. Madeness, and she was badly injured; I did what I could to tend her wounds, but it was too late. She explained that she was from a different universe, and that her planet had been overrun by the Great Machine Force and their Archetypes, beings who could absorb anything and integrate it into their bodies. Her last act was to implant all of her knowledge into my head, so that I could carry on her work of creating an Archetype to counter them.
"Her knowledge manifested as an alternate personality. It named itself 'Doctor Insano', after one of the characters on your webshow. I built my lab and tools in secret, but I had to use liberal mindwipes to keep it all under wraps. I sold some of my tech for funding, but I never forgot my goal.
"Originally, I designed the procedure for myself, but I realized that the process needed to transform into an Archetype was far too complex to be automated. So... I used you. My original plan was to use you as Neutro's power source, until you inevitably absorbed it and learned of your powers: from there, I would guide you throughout the multiverse, until you became as powerful as the entire Great Machine Force.
"But then that damned Linkara interfered. I adjusted my plans. Instead of directly guiding you, I indirectly showed you the way to more power. But Rossum was aware of my plans, and he countered accordingly; he sent an Archetype when you created the Dragon Balls, and he sent a Deus Est Machina before you were capable of dealing with it. I had to interfere with the portal to the Heart of Machines, and I had to corrupt Dredge to become susceptible to your power.
"Warrior? I sent him. The Power and that monolith? My doing too. All of your actions have been according to my plan." Insano stood there, a look of mad glee on his face.
"Okay. Well, the Great Machine Force is destroyed, so thanks for manipulating me into doing that." Sponby said sarcastically.
"Indeed. But I just realized that I have a perfectly good unstoppable weapon at my disposal. I do believe... I will take over the multiverse!" Insano pointed a remote at Sponby, who fell to the ground in pain.
"Did I forget to mention that I added some mind control tech to your Archetype enhancements?" Insano cackled. He walked over to Sponby. "Now then. For my first declaration of rule, why don't you go and absorb Oa? Those Guardian bastards don't deserve to live in the Insanoverse!"
"No." Sponby resisted Insano's control. He got to his feet.
"Oh, not bad. But I've anticipated that too! I figured out how to automate the Archetype process..." Insano shifted into his Archetype form; but instead of tangible light or darkness, Insano was a void, an all-consuming tear in reality. Seeing it would drive lesser men to madness, but Sponby was no lesser man.
Insano absorbed everything he could into his void, including Sponby. Sponby escaped, but the damage had already been done; Insano had gained a significant portion of Sponby's power.
FIGHT IT OUT
Sponby absorbed the planet they were on. Insano fled to another universe. Sponby extended his shadow aura and absorbed the nearest few galaxies, directing all of their energy into a Big Bang pointed at Insano's universe.
Insano absorbed all of that energy, and threw it right back. Sponby absorbed that, but rather than throwing it back, he kept it, using it to extend his aura.
"Ha ha!" Insano said. "Fool!"
"I'll fucking kill you!" Sponby said. His aura kept growing; stars, galaxies, quasars, clusters, black holes... and eventually, the universe itself was absorbed into his body.. Sponby condensed all of that energy within himself, using it to capture Insano.
But Insano had absorbed a universe too, and he escaped. They started flinging abhorrently powerful beams of energy at each other, wrecking everything in their path. Hundreds of thousands of Spoonts, Archetypes and even several hundred Great Machine Forces all teamed up to try and stop them, but they were as ants against these two gods; all of them were destroyed in the crossfire.
Sponby conjured an existensword, made from the power of multiple universes, and cut up Insano into trillions of pieces. But each piece contained the power of Insano, and quickly absorbed the universes they landed in before coming together.
Sponby had to speed up his absorption to keep up with Insano. They kept throwing more energy beams at each other, though at this point, neither combatant had the sheer power needed to completely eradicate the other...
...but Sponby had a plan. He fired a huge tendril at Insano, draining his power. Insano, hitting himself for not thinking of that before, did the same. But they were still absorbing universes like a kid eating chips.
"Enough of this!" Insano said. He gathered all of the energy and fired it at Sponby; Sponby absorbed the blow, but the energy ripped space and time, opening a portal to the nether realms where elder things lie sleeping but alive. The elder things rushed from the rip in their world into the multiverse, but even they were scared by the two beings doing battle with the fabric of reality.
Sponby absorbed all of the elder things, turning them into a giant sandwich made of evil and death. But not even that could kill Insano. Insano dragged Sponby to the backyard and impaled him with a lawn dart, but Sponby countered by hitting him with nunchucks, which Insano countered by running him over with a bike, which Sponby countered by running him over with a car, which Insano countered by grabbing a knife and stabbing him, which Sponby countered by eating spinach and going all Popeye on his ass, which Insano countered with sciency finger lightning, which Sponby countered with a gunblade, which Insano countered with an asteroid, which Sponby countered by dodging, which Insano countered by destroying Earth, which Sponby countered by expending a Force point to recreate Earth, which Insano countered by building a death ray on the moon and firing it at Sponby, which Sponby countered by focusing sunlight into a giant death beam that blew up the moon, which Insano countered by creating a fake moon and turning into a giant monkey, which Sponby countered by cutting off his tail, which Insano countered with a Destructo Disk that chopped Sponby in half, which Sponby countered by regenerating, which Insano countered with Warmech, which Sponby countered with Shinryu, which Insano countered with Ruby Weapon, which Sponby countered with Yiazmat, which Insano countered with Pandemonium Warden, which Sponby countered with Abyssion, which Insano countered with every Persona boss, which Sponby countered with every single Pokemon at level 100 and at max IVs, which Insano countered by flipping the table, which Sponby countered by cutting up Chaos Orb and sprinkling it all over Insano's cards, which Insano countered by playing Polymerization and fusing Alakazam and Angry Mob and creating Sheogorath, which Sponby countered with Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, which Insano countered with Chtulhu Tech, which Sponby countered with Shinji and Warhammer40K, which Insano countered with Locoroco, which Sponby countered with a Giga Shining Chain Rocket Goldion Gekigan Progressive Tachikoma Blazing Sexy Falcon Infinity Gem Buster Prism Hadokamehame PAAAAAAAAWNCH, which Sponby countered by absorbing it, which Insano countered with a man without a body, which Sponby countered with a Chuggaconroy, which Insano countered with twenty Gundams welded together, which Sponby countered with Sponby, which Insano countered with Insano, which Spoont countered by exploding, which Insano countered by distracting Sponby with Zombie Oreo, which Sponby countered by saying "Fuck, this is getting annoying!" Insano agreed.
By this point, Sponby and Insano had absorbed every last bit of energy in the multiverse. All that was left were the two beings, who each contained half of the total energy in the multiverse. Both were madly trying to gain an edge on one another by absorbing energy from one another, or flinging around universe-busting energy beams, or trying to flirt with one another.
But it was pointless. They were the only things left, and their fight would be eternal.
"Wait!" Insano said. He looked up. "I... do you feel that?"
"Yeah, I do." Sponby had become aware of it a long time ago. Was it the fourth wall? Barriers between... multiverses? Or was it something else?
A door of light opened up between them. Insano entered first, but as soon as he passed through, he was completely annihilated. Sponby absorbed the surge of energy coming from it.
He was finally complete.
Sponby ascended beyond the world of fanfiction.