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The Tome with No Name

If you are sensitive about the following topics, you are encouraged to keep clear of this story.
:: Existential Futility
:: Scarily powerful magical girls
:: Big words
If all those sound fine then let us proceed!

[Image: 4vpg3x1.png]


The breeze crawls through the cafeteria, wafting the stench of poorly-prepared food through the nostrils of all unprepared diners, the growling in their bellies in unrest. The windows to outside far higher than can be gleaned through, the sightly advantages of the upper balcony made horrific by the wafting odor of the food rising to rest on the roof. Some seem unsettled, some near pass out- some lick their lips. One however is entirely not paying attention to that, or anything going on around, or even anyone around. A singular focus homes in on her own work, even though she does not wish to be a part of this picture, she shall try anyway.

She doesn’t introduce herself to you, nor to me—she has no need to, she has never needed to, we already know her by designation, by purpose. She is the Queen of Shadows, no other name dignifies her, and if one did, she has long since forgotten what it was or could be.

And while she dines and studies at what is indeed an academic institution that can cater only to the most hungry and most casual of learners, she is here not for the food nor for the academics, it could almost be said that she is not here at all. No one understands her, she sits alone at an empty table, alone like always, she’s used to it. She’s been lonely for over 314 billion years, this school is but a mere tick in her expansive timeline. She’s an unusual girl, and the students tend to leave her be, hair down to her ankles, tied up into six long wavy ponytails, black as the night sky, with grayed skin and deep purple eyes. They don’t want to judge, the few that have... have never been seen again.

Chapter 1: Unimpeded Frightful Obstacle

Some do occasionally make an attempt to talk to and engage with this lonely seeming girl with her head in her books, but it usually devolves into nothing much. She often doesn’t have incredible issues speaking to them, but they find it hard to keep up with her. Their idea of smart is so childish to her, but maybe we’ll let this play out naturally, so as to better show the large gap between the students and this girl with no name.

Charlie: Hey miss, my name’s charlie! What’s yours?
Girl: A name isn’t needed for one of my status, it’s nice to meet you charlie.
Charlie: hehe, you’re funny. Is that a book? It’s all I ever see meet your eye contact, you must be pretty smart!
Girl: Well, no I wouldn’t say I’m smart, not in the kind of aspect you relate such a meaning to... When you say “I must be smart” that comes from an understanding that smart means knowledgeable, when in reality they could not be more different. And there are many ways in which to be smart, in some I am, in others I am not.
Charlie: Woah!
Girl: I mean, I’m smart with words when I need to be, but I may as well be muttering as far as this conversation goes.
Charlie: That’s all a little too deep for me Miss whatever your name is or isn’t! I gotta go to class but keep at it!

And these are the most favourable encounters, let’s look at some less bubbly examples.

Melissa: Who even is that girl? She rarely speaks to anyone, all that time in her books yet still in primary school- does she just never learn or is something wrong with her?
Katie: I know right? Eyy, girlo, whatever you name is! Do you know there’s this thing called college?
Melissa walks a little closer to the girl with hairs standing on end, she has little tolerance for loud people.
Melissa: Are ya deaf? Can you see me?

Melissa steps back as the girl slams her book with an ungodly crack of thunder. Before glaring holes into her like she intended to set her face alight with her eyes.

Girl: If only I *was* deaf to the voices of a shrill harpy clamoring for everyone’s attention.
Melissa: Yikes! Jeez, who do you think you are? You know this is a primary school right? What kinda “queen” or whatever hangs out in a primary school? The library of a college could probably make more use of those books!
Girl: Good question, here’s another... why does such a delinquent think she’s even qualified to learn here when she chagrins others she barely knows for being too well read?
Melissa: Gerh!?
Katie: Hey hey, sorry about that! Come on, Melissa, let’s just go!
Girl: You’d be wise to listen to the more socially aware friend of yours, Melissa. Much as you may doubt my queen status, you’ll learn very quickly why I’m associated with shadows if you keep up this obnoxious gambit.
Melissa: Fine! You’re not worth my time anyway!

Melissa walks away in a huff as the Girl returns to her books. Quelling disruptions was not unusual for her, she’d become pretty good at knowing how to crackdown on certain people, and could quickly turn the tides due to the vast amount of varying places she’d visited to study.

But let’s have our relevant example to set this stage, it takes place on a day that is also the day mentioned prior. The girl pockets her books in an ethereal portal with no one paying it much mind, and goes to sample some of the less awful smelling food. While the natives on this planet often had no issue turning down the food they were used to, most of it was new to the girl- and she had no chagrin from trying a little. There was very little that would upset a stomach as ancient as hers. She returns with a variety tray, stabs her curvy barely-efficient fork into the tender chicken bites, puts one in her mouth and starts chewing... it is... my god- it IS... yeah “okay” she guesses? Could use a little less chicken salt, but beyond that she sees no issue devouring each and every one of them.

Out of the corner of her eye she sees one of the senior students, a male they make fun of for his name, but is otherwise pretty respected due to being tall and pretty charismatic, but he’s also transparent as glass. The girl can see there’s much he will get defensive about, and his name isn’t one such thing. But he’s insecure, despite having so much, he thinks he has so little- she can hear faint mumbles from the boys, pretty clearly they’re encouraging him to go ask her for food so he doesn’t take theirs. Fair enough, she did get a pretty decent platter, but she’s a queen, she’s kind of entitled to it, and the thought of showing this guy he can’t have absolutely everything he wants would be worth it for the selfish act she may not personally be so typically fond of, as this thought finishes processing, she hears the clamor of cutlery as he gets up. She can tell he’s got a tall and intimidating presence, it won’t scare her of course, but she can see how he got so far as he did.

Breston: So, is that a feast for a queen or do you mind if I grab some?
Girl: The feast of royalty does not invite a peasantly rube, now shoo before I put this greasy fork through your heart.
His friends burst into laughter, coughing on their own meals, they probably set him up knowing how this would go for him. She’d be proud of them if they had chosen to involve anyone but her in this unsportly script. Breston’s face shrivels up like a prune on a warm day, and goes red like a traffic light when everybodies gotta get their stop on and slam the brakes. Okay it’s not that red but it’s still pretty visibly red.
Breston: Excuse me?

He can barely get out these last two words of politeness. The erosion of the word between his teeth was like tinfoil being caressed against a cheese grater.

Girl: Did I stutter or something?

The girl grabs another chicken bite from the platter and puts it in her right cheek, and chews a little before continuing.

Girl: Is this your first time hearing a rejection? Truly, the tragic life is yours, woe is you, and so on.

Breston’s face is creasing up in a bizarre arrangement of embarrassment, shock and anger, it’s a sight to behold. He manages to uncrease a little and exhales.

Breston: Alright, keep it then, selfish hag.

Breston walks off in dejection but also some anger, anger that he, the great Breston, just got that told “No, no you can’t have the food of someone else!”, yeah, that’s some wicked shit she just did to him. And he’s not soon to forget it. However before he can calm down fully he hears her speak and his ears prick up. He wants a reason, and she better darn deliver.

Girl: Selfish is the man who demands the food of comfort from the lonely for himself when there is plenty otherwise available. But if that’s the comfort you need to get you through your shallow victory of a life...

The girl smirks for the first time anyone has seen, Breston’s friend’s eyes almost pop out of their skull upon seeing her being so unusually playful.

Girl: Then a “no” it remains... bye~

She turns back around, she darn-well delivered. And she is expecting a reprisal, victory was hers already, of course- but she found messing with people fun in small doses. Breston feels his face crack, he turns back around to her, you can hear the creaking fury as his neck allows his head to look back at her calm uncaring demeanor. He is enraged, no one makes a mockery of Breston!

Breston: You got some more clever lines you wanna share, you spoiled sow!?

Breston fumingly walks up around her and then infront of her, his shoulders raised and his tall body on display. His friends watch in a mix of shock and worry, worry not for her, no... for him.

Breston: Just who in the hell do you think you are!?

He tilts his head down while he leans in to glare at her, he might have scared her if she wasn’t already running laps around the buffoon.

Girl: It’d be unwise to force me to compare the two of us. Though I would ask you to get out of my light, and your breath isn’t the most pleasant thing to endure, either.

She pulls out a napkin to wipe the few small specks of grease and crumbs on her face off, elegant as a jewel while being threatened by an imposing tower of meat and bone baring its teeth.

Girl: I would also recommend you step away from me this instant, or your ego being crushed like a clumsy ant will be only the second worst thing that happens to you today.

His friends shoot up out of their chairs and pull his clenched fists behind his back, tugging him from the unwinnable conflict, he’s a mighty breed of man but still only a man and his friends manage to pin him down on the ground. They tell him it’s not worth it, they are doing this for his own good, and other such things to stop him from doing something stupid. She notes their perception of how one-sided a duel between them would be, she might even be impressed if they weren’t the ones initially responsible for plunging this predicament into play. She smiles with a mild sense of amusement, and sits back down to her books, as if nothing had ever bothered her. A Teacher ends up on the scene and sees the struggling mess of students writhing about on the floor like a dog asking to be given god damn belly rubs.

Miss Gahree: Break it up! Breston, Principal’s office now. You boys, return to your seats!

It’s as if she knew that Breston was the one who made all this explode, and that his friends were just looking out for him. Perhaps she did know. Only she could say, and it’s unlikely she’d tell you or that she’d get the chance to, because enough about that teacher, it’s time to be a he now, instead.

You are Breston Cantrope, you’re in the principal’s office for getting fucking owned by an unusual girl with a penchant for shoving her royal blood in your face. You hate her guts, you hate your friends just a little for not letting you teach her humility, but it’s fine! Everything is fine! This principal is a *Guy*, he’s blunt, but he GETS you, and you like to think you get him. Oh shoot, here he comes! Heck, this can’t be too bad, you didn’t even land a punch!

Principal Briefs: Well Breston it looks like just once you manage to get in my office without landing a punch. I’d say good job but that would be too folksy a way to start this off. So, before I go making any bold assumptions, tell me your side of the story.

See? Pretty fair guy, honestly you’d like to be a better kid just for his sake, but then you wouldn’t see him as often, and that wouldn’t do! Unfortunately, this may put your friends under the bus, since they were the ones who prompted you to do this in the first place... but then, this
Principal knows you well, so screw it.

Breston: My friends told me if I was still hungry I should go ask the bewitching grey girl for some of her royal platter. I was like “I dunno dudes she seems kinda happy to keep ‘em to herself” and then they’re like “is big Breston scared of the witch”? and obviously I couldn’t just say “No, I don’t wanna” then, I’d be a wimp! She’s just a grey girl with a creepy infatuation for books, so she can’t be much more unpleasant than a librarian... boy was I wrong. I asked her pretty politely for some food?? But she kinda seemed like she was having a day with my attempt, and one thing lead to another. She got me angry, I tried to punch her, but my friends pulled me down before I could.
Principal Briefs: Ah, well I see you’ve learned dishonesty isn’t worth the effort.

He begins writing down stuff in a notebook he never shows anyone.

Principal Briefs: So basically, you asked for more than your fair share, got told “No” and went a bit off the deep end?
Breston: Well I mean, maybe! But she was very rude! She even threatened me with a fork in the heart!
Principal Briefs: And once a threat is made, what do you do?

Breston rolls his eyes, he had to admit he’d goofed now, there was no sailing wind of a moral high ground or being the bigger man carrying him through this one.

Breston: “Tell the teachers or principal.”

Briefs almost seems to chuckle hearing Breston’s once smooth demeanor slow to a depressive stop. But he reforms his composure.

Principal Briefs: It’s a good thing your friends stopped you, you know? She may look about as intimidating as a librarian, but there’s a reason your friends were worried about your attempt to land an attack on her.
Breston: Wuh? I mean she’s just a... student, isn’t she...?

Briefs stands up and looks out his window, folding his arms and his hands meet at his back. He has a view over the cafeteria where it went down.

Principal Briefs: She’s no doubt an unusual student, even we don’t begin to comprehend her. She showed up one day, no enrolment, and said she wished to study at the school- when we made it clear she was too old for the curriculum, she just left the office and sat in the cafeteria, and has not much moved from that spot, she never goes home, she never sleeps, she’s here to say goodbye to the cleaners after they leave.

Breston: Isn’t that illegal?

Briefs sighs

Principal Briefs: We tried many times to send her home, they all ended in ...

The view of the cafeteria flickers through a hefty amount of gruesome scenes with the only visible details being an unharmed girl and puddles of blood around her before Brief’s vision returns to the present.

Principal Briefs: Failure.

Breston’s demeanor shifts into a more rigid kind of look. He’d been shook by the Principal’s foggy recount of events.

Principal Briefs: Listen Breston... if you really must continue this trend of using intimidation to steam roll through your life, don't use it on people that radiate that presence that she does... she isn't so calm and unfazed for a reason.
Breston: What? What is she even here for... are you saying that-
Principal Briefs: The school cannot control beings of her magnitude. She'll show up some days, and then disappear for lengths of time, then be back again, with no enrollment or evidence she was ever a student enrolled at all, but what we did learn early on is that trying to force her to exit the school went disastrously, and now we’re too underfunded to attempt it ever again. She doesn’t cause harm unless it’s brought to her, so we decided it would be safer for everyone else to let her be.

Breston is stunned aback, he can’t believe what he is hearing, but it explains many things, and why she is ALWAYS there, and besides, why would Principal Briefs lie to him?

Principal Briefs: If there are any people you aren't inclined to mess with, mark her on your list. If she followed through with her threat- as she’s had little trouble doing if the past is anything to go by-- there's nothing we at the school could do.

The School bell rings, the day is done. Breston walks home, not entirely as shattered as he thought he’d be, but now he’s a little scared, for what he thinks is the first time he’s been scared. Who is this girl? What did Dr Briefs mean by all the ominous babble about her? He decides to press it to the back of his mind and get some sleep, after some choice video games of course, no way to cure the feeling of getting fucking owned than by fucking owning someone in a game.

You are the girl again, yes, that one in particular without a name, or more, you’re watching her, and we’re telling you it’s her.
She’s in the same spot, a cafeteria, only now it's night time, the lights are all off, but she has candle light, she’d rather it than the artificial lights of this over-modernized planet anyway.

She is reading through a tome on Sociocratic Death Magicks, not the kind of book you’d find in a primary school library, or unlikely anywhere on this Earth, she’s scrawling slight adjustments to some of the instructions, clearly having found ways to better perform the rituals. The night breeze rolls though the windows and sets her face in a moonlight sheen, her gorgeous purple eyes are cast in the shadow of a thick outer rim, while her white sclera make the transition harsh and very unusual. Her six red bows tieing her hair flap lightly in the spring breeze. This world had many charms, but very few of them were those of the inhabitants making. Her smooth greyed fingers flipped through the pages, her dull expression of being mostly bored or invocative sometimes shifting to a look of query or introspection. She made every second of silence count.

Her victorian-style violet-velvet dress with evening straps connecting the two piece ensemble was hard to find anywhere else. She was truly alone in everything she did, and unlike most, she was complacent for it to stay like that. She needs only some glimpses into societies she would outlive to keep her from going down a dangerous mental spiral, the interactions with those who were forced to tolerate her were what separated her from the dreary haze of falling into nothing. Though she welcomed the lonely nights eager to get into studies, the days she would eagerly wait to see if students would approach her, and observe their varying ways of reaction. Breston’s breed was a bit too common for her liking, she prefers the youthful naïve optimism of some of the others, who were excited by what she was, but didn’t have a hope in joining her. The minutes turn into hours, time goes fast for someone who has lived so long, the sound of the nearby birds pin that its morning as does the first sliver of lighter blue cascading through the sky.

She places the book at the bottom of the stack, and begins reading through a more humane looking article in wait for the encounters of the day.
The school bell rings it’s obnoxious tone and the kids rush in for an early breakfast. One of the girls rushes over immediately to our girl.

Aisha: Hey… did Breston try to have a go at you yesterday?

Aisha sounds concerned, our girl smiles and closes her eyes relaxed to put her worry at ease…

Girl: He made an “attempt.” But I don’t think he will again, and if he does, don’t go sticking up for me. I may look like a very pensive librarian, but there’s a reason I’m not scared of anyone.

Aisha: Awww!!!

The girl's blissful sense of joy completely nulls out her sense of dread, it’s like you can see love hearts and lightning bolts just pop out of her, she’s loud but a kind of loud you can stand, even enjoy in small doses.

Aisha: The other kids may not think much of you but far as I see it you’re the right berries! Keep doing the good work, Miss… whoever it was~

The girl with no name has to hold back a laugh, it’s unusual for the naïve joy and cluelessness of kids to tickle her this much, but that was a little too god damned wholesome, you need Breston in here to keep the crazy spiralling hayfever of emotion in check.


And like that was his cue, the well-slept imbecile makes his daft entrance, stretching out his long as fuck arms as he stretches and yawns like a cat on a good day, and with the clear intent of making this everybodies god damned problem- and so order is restored. His friends go to greet him, and apologize for telling him to do that, they didn’t think it’d rile him up so much. He’s all like “It’s cool, he’s had worse. Ha ha.”

Chapter 2: A Barbarian Learns Manners

After all the greeting noise disperses, Breston makes a timid bee-line and asks if he can sit nearby the girl he now appears to see in a whole new light.

Girl: That’s fine.

Breston sits opposite her, his originally calm and macho demeanor has become a little less vivid, there’s something new engulfing him now... it’s either terror or something he ate. She won’t punish him any longer, the piggy learned it’s manners and is now wetting the bed in front of her, as in, he’s sweating so much it's looking like he could wet his bed. Not an uncommon thing for “victims” of her mild wrath, but it is particularly unsettling seeing the shift so jarringly from one day to the next.

Girl: By that look all over you, it seems you no longer see me like the rest of the rabble. You know now something of what I am.

She puts her hand pensively to her chin, as if observing him in all his bed-fresh glory, only her eyes are half closed, so she just looks very very unimpressed, which is a much more apt reaction.

Girl: You’re a lucky kid, Breston. You have friends that will keep you out of danger's warpath.
Girl: Had they not pulled that punch of yours for you…

An uncanny breeze sweeps through the place, clearing the stench of leftovers from the day before, virtually no one is unsettled, that of course, does not include Breston. He is quite very unsettled…

Girl: You’d be the guest of honor at your own funeral.

Breston can almost hear a clash as the final word leaves her lips. As she goes back to sipping her tea that she appropriated for herself without anyone’s permission whatsoever, Breston feels fear he never knew he had. The world around him goes silent, eventually he’s woken up by a light slap on the face.

Girl: Wake up.

Breston: Uh… sorry you uh, you kinda scared the shit outta me.

Girl: Don’t let your fears overtake you, so long as I remain unharmed, so will everyone else. I only give back what people put in.

Brestons demeanor calms a bit, and hearing her words has put him at ease. He believes them even if he may not believe her. His mind is now interested in knowing more about her.

Breston: So… what exactly are you? After what I heard from the principal yesterday, I’m ready to believe anything.
Girl: Ah~ I see curiosity has replaced fear, that’s good. Very well, I am the Queen of Shadows, and I hail from elsewhere in the universe.
Breston: You’re an alien?
Girl: In the eyes of yours, yes. For one as old as I am, you learn alienation is but a symptom of secluded societies- it’s only fair you be reliant on such simplistic perceptions.
Breston: uh… and how, old are you? Like, 30, 28?
Girl: Kehehehehehe~

That’s her limit, the unintentional flattery of one who did not understand or believe in immortality was too charming to bear, she starts laughing in a sweet giggly tone.

Breston: Did I… say something funny?
Girl: Aha~ No no, it’s just that’s such an obviously unintentional bit of flattery. I’m older than your current universe, one of your life spans is not even a three-point-fourteenth of mine.
Breston: Ehh? Can you just say a number instead of being coy?
Girl: I’m at least 314 Billion years old, to put it one way.
Breston: Waaat??? I mean I believe you but, that’s nuts! Say why are you hanging around schoolkids if you’re like, some eternal geyser.
Girl: Because the barbarian’s manners have a way of being charming when they don’t make me wish to cut the barbarian's throat.
Breston: EEE! I’m sorry I’m sorry!
Girl: To put it in terms you’ll understand, my life has been running so long, seeing lives so young and unfulfilled as yours, full of excitement, worry and regret and all those emotions, it helps me keep myself oriented. As you may guess these books aren’t ones you’ll find in any primary school’s library.
Girl: I have visited others, until they’ve tried to… evict me. The schools go out of their way to remove the mysterious elven girl to keep their cafeteria safe, by sending in men with guns and remote detonators into a school full of children and teachers. And everytime, I protect them and remove the assailants. The reason I’m here more often is because they realized their error to remove me before they ended up in bankruptcy, and were more subtle in their attacks, attempting them at night when no one was watching.
Breston: Why don’t you move, like, just get outta the way?
Girl: Because that enables a society of "Breston"s.

The sound of a hammer hitting a nail plays out in Breston’s head as he realizes that he was a creature she absolutely abhorred. His very shell being split like a plank under the pressure of a hammered invader.

Breston: Do you… hate me?
Girl: No. You’re too meaningless to put energy into hating, I don’t approve of what you were yesterday, but wouldn’t you say there’s been a bit of a change, lately?
Breston: Yeah, you’re not wrong, the principal told me not to... get on your bad side I guess? Among a few other things... I tried to push it back, and I was able to sleep well, but seeing you in here today- I had to ask you myself.
Girl: A good choice, rather than trying to shove it off and stave that despair, which one day would surely explode in your face, you were courageous enough to face it. If there is a man in you, it’s there, in that ability to be brave. Although you were initially brave yesterday, your aura reeked of a pig living in a prince’s skin, it was only natural a simple rejection would spur you on. I wanted you to justify whatever hell you’d bring upon yourself.

She looks over to the table where his friends are sitting, talking about opulent japanese comics and whatever other modern chicanery they could get away with in earshot of the teachers.

Girl: But, you do have friends. And they respect you as a brave Man, not as a pig or a prince. I think you understand what I’m getting at.
Breston: Yeah... and here I was thinking I’d teach you humility! Ha...
Girl: You don’t know me well enough to teach me anything. That was your error, but it is not your fault... there is no way you could have known what you do now. Even had you been told, I’m sure you can imagine how you’d translate the information.
Breston: Ehe... probabl-

A crunch is heard as one of the teachers is suddenly looming over both of them. One of her pens has just been snapped by the anger presenting itself firmly in her wrapped fist.

Breston looks up to see a mole of a woman, about 4 foot with glasses the size of spinnerets, and silky hair as nightmarish to match, is looming down at him.

Girl: Excuse me, Miss Bhavaria. Your dispute with the barbarian can wait.

Miss Bhavaria looks to scold the out of line student giving her orders, but her face melts into a sweet humble smile upon seeing who it is.
Miss Bhavaria: Ohohoho~ I’m most sorry, dear. You finish talking to the lad, I’ll go get some crumpets.

Before departing, she presses her nose into the so-called barbarian’s upper clavicle, and wrinkles up her face like a bulldog fresh out of the creasing factory.

Miss Bhavaria: This isn’t over, Cantrope!

She in one swift motion, returns to her sweet elderly frame and skittles off like her feet are tapping gently adrift a xylophone.

Girl: You were saying?
Breston: Yeah, probably... I’d be all like “Waha, yeah sure, and I’m the prince of new denver.” And shove it all off as superstition.
Girl: There’s only so much a human mind can see before it starts refuting, the ethical choice to rely on the purchase of superstition is a way to distance ourselves from our fears.
Girl: To put that in Breston terms, yes- that’s likely how you’d have gone about it.
Breston: Eh- Still with the condescending tone, I see?
Girl: Why not, are you telling me you don’t enjoy the challenge of an intellectual battle? You seem to enjoy physical challenges enough.
Breston: Maybe, but I’m not very good with words or numbers, mostly I can put together what you say, but some of it is probably gonna get all... translated, y’know?
Girl: That’s perfectly fine, I’ve put you through enough. Your Earth is in no danger from me, I’m merely using it as a means of recreation, and while it’s true I could break it into countless eons of splinters before the thought had occurred in your head to try and stop me, you needn’t fear anything. My power has next to no use in this world. None of you pose a threat to me, and I will only remove those who try to bring harm to me.
Breston: Yeah... I think I kinda already knew, just wanted it from the source, thanks, you didn’t have to put my mind at ease like this.
Girl: I didn’t, but I wanted to. You are to be rewarded for your courage. Have a nice day, Breston.

She goes back to sipping her tea which is still steaming hot. Breston’s fear has faded, and he now kinda respects and appreciates what and who she is, just someone lonely who needs a little social now and then. Imagine, being so insanely powerful that the only thing you have to deal with is loneliness? Crazy... maybe in another life, he’d have been stricken by love for such an outrageously in control woman, perhaps pleaded to go back with her to her own planet, but right now, he’s Breston Cantrope, he’s got friends, a reputation and now a new better look on life.

The moment he retreats from his chair, a shriek echoes from across the mummy’s lair.


Oh shit it’s the bulldog woman, you guess you’ve left her in the lurch long enough.

Breston: On my way, Miss Bhavaria!

Breston takes one final look at her, once more pensively skimming through her books, a smile wears his face, and the smile and the barbarian go to meet their hobgoblin hierophant.

Chapter 3: Of Erosion and Finality

Later that night, when all was peaceful and the Shadow Queen was reminiscing about memories past, she is lost in thought.

Upon the many worlds she had visited, around all the people she'd met... Something was always missing in her existence. A piece of her ever feeling unfound but never firstly lost.

She was alone... and it was eating her inside. Over 314 billions years, even boulders that can withstand whirlpools will erode in time- and even she as a Sorceress without equal, who had lived longer than a Universe's age. To her, erosion was her only true nemesis.

As like a rock is chipped away and eventually ground up into a powder- indistinguishable as it once was. The same is true of the mind. There is no larger fear for one so brillant as her to be lead astray by the years of self-imposed isolation and solitude.

But even this fear paled in comparison to another. Death.

Even knowing such is but a gateway to shining bliss beyond the gates of the afterlives... for an eternal who has lived so long- the idea of having a pained death is truly nightmarish. Ever since her fluffy pink cocoon hatched after being delivered on solar winds from the Pink Sun to her homeworld. She had known only life... until- she ventured outward.

Across the cosmos, death and suffering were commonplace, even on a sacred site of life like the planet of Haven, death was inescapable, cruel and ugly. Learning she was eternal unlike mortals whose bodies would erode with time, she wondered if she too would eventually be fated to fade away?

This is when she discovered the cyclic destruction of a Universe every three hundred and fourteen billion years. Out with the old, in with the new. it was a cosmic counter to universal erosion. To survive such a grand-scale catastrophe, she would need to learn how the Universe and its laws would function before she could conjure a means to escape such a fate.

Given time and much research, she found such a way. While almost everything is destroyed by the wave of annihilation the Gatekeeper of Universes past and future unleashes, black holes are an exception.

So the goal became simply to temporarily situated oneself inside a blackhole until the havoc is over... this however, would be an enormous challenge bordering the impossible.

She made what most would presume impossible, possible.

She and several of her people would escape oblivion at cycle's end.

Awaiting to greet them, a demon with triangle eyes- impressed with their feat, she pronounced one in particular the Queen of Shadows, and her people the Shadow Pixies. Ever since, the current iteration of the Universe has been their new vista.

Now the cycle is but a mere century or so before its close... She would need to soon return to her people so they may repeat the process and preseve themselves once more.

She claps her book shut and decides thats enough reminiscing.

Girl: Some rats approach...

Chapter 4: Imperishable Fatality

We’re back in the night time cafeteria. It seems she has become tense, aware of her surroundings.

Girl: So... You think you can spy on me?

Our girl glares holes into us, it’s like she knows we’re observing her. Perhaps she does, but for whatever reason, she- oh snap! It’s not us she’s seeing.

A Red dot appears on her face, and then more appear all over her, and in a mere flinch, a large array of gunshots are heard... but she is unfazed, she raises her hand, and the bullets stop mere inches from her person, and fall to the ground.

Girl: Spying is one thing, attempts at assassination is another…

She levitates an occult tome to her hand and the pages flip through to a dangerous looking spell. As she begins chanting the entire cafeteria begins to rumble from the sheer volume of power.

Girl: You can either flee or try to withstand magic older than this very universe... take your pick.

Hundreds of troops scuttle in to try and stop her, wearing mere SWAT uniforms, they find she has a barrier they cannot breach. One deploys a grenade and tells his other to fall back 50 feet, the grenade goes off, only to blacken the table near her with scorch marks.

Girl: It seems you think you can withstand magic older than your very universe...

Her eyes glow purple as her incantation is complete

Girl: So sealed is now your fate.

A large number of snakelike purple serpents, made of arcane energy, writhe around the room piercing the bodies of all the law enforcers, only one remains... as she had planned.

Girl: I gave them, you- the chance and choice to flee, a chance to weigh their and your options, yet when they and you cast the die, they died, and only you remain.
Girl: And you will not stop to remain, go now and tell your superiors what transpired here.

Lost for words, the man leaves in a most hurried of hurries. The girl returns to her usual demeanor of reading books before her ears pick up a subtle step slinking about...

Girl: Up a bit early... Are you not, Breston?

Breston sheepishly walks into view, shocked and awed at what he had just seen.

Girl: School was over six hours ago, you shouldn’t be here at this kind of time.
Breston: I just wanted to see your power firsthand.
Girl: I know why you are here, that doesn’t change the fact that you shouldn’t be here.
Breston: I don’t get it though, I thought Briefs... this school had given up on evicting you?
Girl: It appears circumstances have changed.
Breston: Is uh... this your fault, then?
Girl: Partially, it’s also the fault of your earthen agencies for not realizing when someone is above them. I’ve noticed a severe dysfunction in humans that when one won’t submit to their ideologies, they treat it like a dangerous foreign power, even going to unreasonable lengths to exterminate it. Yours is a very insecure species, to say the least.
Breston: Ahaha... yeah we are kinda dumb like that! But I mean- I get why, we’ve been through a lot as humans, and we’ve always been able to fend off whatever dangers befall us, so we’ve gotten into a habit of thinking we can do anything, that we’re sorta strong?
Girl: That comforting lie is exactly how societies fall into calamitous extremes. I pose little danger to your kind through sheer lack of care, but I am far from the only foreign power among your kind. Camoflauged in human skin, demons and angels both operate under veil of that very ideology to use humanity for their ends.
Breston: For real!? Is there any way we could find out who...?
Girl: They are? Probably not, and it's for the best you don't. They are rarely powerful as ZI am, but unlike me who considers you little more than flies who only the obnoxious ones who fly in my face I will swat, the Demons actively prey on humans. While they may be weaker than me, humans are little more then an upset housecat in the face of what they are. If they cannot attain their prize through subterfuge, they'll simply be direct.
Breston: That's scary!
Girl: It is. The fear is precisely why humans hide behinds curtails of lies and comfortning nothings. In the grand scheme of the cosmos, you may as well be cannon fodder.
Breston: So... demons and angels live in guise among us, what is your uh... stance on them. Are they friends of yours or...?
Girl: I do not interact with them, there's a good chance they have no clue I exist. I personally have neither animosity nor admiration for them. I am neutral in their affairs.
Breston: Should, you be telling me this?
Girl: Even though you believe, you are one human. There's not much you could do to prove what you've learned today, and if you did- I can guarantee it would likely make you a target.
Girl: I wouldn't be too concerned about them, it's in their interests that humanity survives, otherwise their food supply goes astray. You yourselves are more liable to bring about your own extinction than any outside agency.
Breston: Hey... question. You ever think about doing something big to help this world out? You seem to enjoy it enough. With your power you could accomplish a bunch!
Girl: The biggest threat facing your Earth is the climate overheating, and to circumvent that would require a miracle beyond Gods or a complete deconstruction of the social order... Neither of these things are advisable, and I am not capable of miracles. Nor do I owe you or your "Earth" anything. I visit, I leave. I have no desire to get involved in the future of your world.
Girl: And really? is that your first go to? To ask a greater power for help, yet only minutes ago you were boasting humanity's strength? If you can't help yourselves, then I do not seek to make it my policy to cover up your own failures- especially when climate change is a byproduct of your kind's greed, avarice and overgrowth to begin with.
Girl: Furthermore, humanity has a habit of making their existence everyone else's problem. It is probably better for cosmic stability you entomb yourselves in the Earth you ruined, it'd be due courtesy for you to not bring your destructive urges beyond the boundaries of your solar system.
Breston: We won't grow if we aren't given the time...
Girl: That's not my problem.
Breston: I know... sorry.
Girl: I will not tell you how long you have so as to not cause you undue stress. But if you want to save the world, you might want to start sooner than later.
Breston: Eh... honestly. I don't have that kind of courage. I've been a coward using intimidation most of my life, but it didn't work on you. After a lecture from Principal Briefs it was made fairly clear I couldn't rely on that.
Girl: And he is correct. It may work on people as scared as you are, but try it on anyone unusual and I can guarantee you- it won't end well.
Breston: So uh... you wanna go hang out?
Girl: ...I've never thought of doing that. What did you have in mind?
Breston: Eh!? No flowery overdramatic denial?
Girl: Don't get the wrong impression. It would be purely for sake of recreation on my end, I could not have less romantic interest in you if you were actually a pig.
Breston: Haha, naw I got that! I just mean it might be fun to I dunno, go break dumb stuff?
Girl: You wanna see more magic? I thought you'd be rather frightened to see more than you have already...
Breston: Well, I guess curiosity has replaced my fear or something.
Girl: My my, look at you. Using my own words against me. Truly, it appears I have taught you terrible things indeed. Whatever is your mother going to think?

She chuckles to herself while Breston just shrugs loosely

Breston: Say, I know it won't be a long-term solution, but how about some coal power plants. I know you said you have no intention of saving those who can't save emselves or whateve,r but they'd probably be a good target!

Girl: Hmmm. Well, it won't be little more than a temporary stall, so i can't imagine it'll hurt. Not anything who matters, anyway.

The girl starts to stand up, she puts her closed hand pensively to her smiling mouth. It’s clear she’s fond of this destructive idea.

Girl: Well then, it appears your idea has merit.
Breston: Would I be able to come with?
Girl: It was your idea, besides... The whole point of this is that you want to see a magic show, correct? I believe that was quite implied.

The girl teleports herself and Breston to a very ugly, very large and unappealing coal power plant. She spends a little time thinking of how she may execute this one’s destruction, before placing her hand on the tome she brought with her.

Girl: Stand back a little, and get ready to cover your eyes...

The Queen of Shadows walks forward, before her tome levitates in front of her, she also levitates and begins drawing a large davids star with her hands.

Breston: Cool...

Girl: What an ugly thing it is...

She raises her two hands skyward, and as if following her command, the seedy power plant is torn from its foundations and flung into the sky, into space- before exploding into violet and red fireworks. Breston watches in fascination, after moving his hands down from previously raising them to shield his eyes from the onslaught of dirt and dust sent outward from the violent separation of machine and mountain. Even the Queen of Shadows can’t help but offer a satisfied toothy smirk.

Girl: Yet when ground into a lightshow to give the world time, even the most repulsive catterpillar blooms into a beautiful butterfly.
Breston: That was so sick!!! Wanna do another one?
Girl: We could hardly cut the demonstration after only one display, could we?

Yet again she teleports them, to a repulsive “monument” in Australia, a claw dredging coal from the Great barrier reef to fund a nation’s unjust power demands.

Girl: This is such a big metal monstrosity you can actually see it from space. So as to honor its celestial esteem, I’ll give it to a star that can be seen from earth.
Breston: Will I need to stand back?
Girl: Not this time, if I ripped this one from the ground it would do too much damage to the reef, thankfully I can simply teleport it to the brightest star in the sky.

She walks forward, yet again her tome readies itself at her beck and call, a large davids star rotates around the base of the oversized metal eyesore, and in a flash- it is visible no more. Gone in the flash, as if stolen by lightning, it now lived in a star, that burned ever brightly.

Girl: A star to pull back the clock. I do hope you realize I am entrusting you a mission of your own, Breston.
Breston: That being?
Girl: Well, if you would seek the salvation of your people, these small delays may give you the edge you need. The future of your people is grim indeed, it may be that the day for you to rise up comes sooner than you imagine.
Breston: Well, it is hard not to have courage seeing what you can do.
Girl: One more...

She teleports herself and Breston once again, not to a power plant, but to a building.

Breston: Wait... what is?
Queen of Shadows: The federal reserve. While it is doubtless humanity will find a new means of minting their avarice in paper to show proof of their idolence, destroying this will be a large step and the final one I shall help make towards helping you help your people.
Breston: I thought you said you weren't going to help humanity?
Girl: I am not, if destroying a few buildings helps humanity, then terrorists would be heroes. I am helping no one but you.
Girl: You said you lacked for courage, so the next one is your choice. Shall I, or shan't I-- send it to hell?

You are now Breston Cantrope, you are kinda having a moral upheaval about now! Sure, money makes people into monsters, but money doesn't do evil, people do! But you think she knows that, more likely- this is a step of the journey to bravery. Sure, you wanna save the world, and yes- it's gonna take a lot of immorality, but then maybe you'd rather just enjoy your life as it is, or was... before she entered it?

Girl: I realize this is a difficult choice, so do not feel like you must rush. Should you have me send it to hell, nothing will ever be the same.
Girl: The fight ahead will be yours to contend with, I could not, and would not take your place. Before long, I will depart this Earth to return to my own world. you cannot rely on my intervention after this final act. From then on, the fate of the world is in your hands.
Girl: Know that, either choice is not shameful. It is comforting to be cowardly, and it is easy to live a life of comfort, than walk a road of tragic salvation. Do you think you owe humanity the salvation of their world?
Breston: ...Just one question, before I answer. How long do I have?
Girl: If I destroy this monument, thirty years. if I do not... then in a mere ten, humanity's reign will come to an end..
Breston: ...

This is so fucked! You don't want to believe her, but you know she probably does know. perhaps she also already knows the choice you will make. Perhaps the choices are neither right nor wrong, but the outcome of it is inevitable. You think on this for several minutes, and decide on your answer.

Breston: I can't be that brave... I'm sorry.

Girl: There is no need to be sorry. Your answer was always going to be this. Frankly, I see it next to impossible humanity survives the coming catastrophe without immense losses.
Girl: There is one thing I should reveal to you, Breston.
Girl: I too, am afraid of death. More so than you can probably imagine. Yet Humanity cheats it for what they believe in on a daily basis. Your kind is strong, just not in the way it thinks.
Breston: Thank you... I think i understand. I... I'd like to go home now.

One final teleport, and Breston is at his house's front patio.

Girl: And with this, my time here is done.
Breston: You're... leaving?
Girl: Yes. I feel I have interfered enough with this world's fate.
Breston: ...I'm, I'm really gonna miss you. My friends are cool, but you taught me something even they didn't try to. I just wish, we could have gotten to hang out more.
Girl: Do not let my absence be what brings you to despair. You have a heart in there, Breston. one that cares about people, the world and humanity as a whole. I do not. I would not be a good friend for you. So if you would do something to honor our meeting, make it that you don't live your life alone...

A tear falls down her eye.

Girl: Make it yours. Meet people and befriend them. You may not have the power to save the world, but you have the power to make it a hapier place. I believe that.

The Queen of Shadows turns around and walks away, and a purple shell encases her.

Girl: Goodbye~

In the next second, in a vertical flash of light that in a second pierces the clouds above, she is gone.

Breston: Goodbye... Shadowqueen.

More to come later~
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