The thing that stood before him was massive. Its black body and lumbering head hovered menacingly, too close. Four arms were pulled back in a ready-to-attack posture and the two tree-trunk legs bent the titan low and, way too close. One fist to the right clenched and wavered for the merest of a moment. It flew forward. The whole universe seemed to become this, ‘fist’. The blow landed, sending everything supernova. The flash died away as the fist retreated. The head of the creature before him was boulder-like. Two grills low and spaced apart where a jaw should have been exuded mist. Two panels, where eyes might have been, glowed in fiery red. Above and farther apart, two more panels stretched up and over the skull. They too glowed brightly, but in purple iridescence. The fist came in again and the resulting stars took everything apart.
King was flat on his back looking up thru blurry eyes. It took a good while, but he eventually determined he was back in the lander bay. There weren’t alarms, no caution strobes, nor any hails from 7574. There was a soft glow of blue light from somewhere though. As he squeezed his eyes shut and open repeatedly, a grey shadow loomed in. It should have frightened him that an intruder was on board but the color seemed to jar a distant memory. He tried to bow from where he was but a soft tentacle came to rest upon his chest and held him fast.
“Do not move my friend.” The words echoed away in all their full familiarity.
“To…” King tried to speak.
“All understood, all too well. Rest, I shall try to bring you up to date.”
King drifted along in his mind as Toshonakra spoke. He felt himself becoming more and more aware of his body as nerve endings seemed to slowly make themselves known. His left hand was numb but the fingers were defiantly clutched around the locator box. His right was still wrapped coldly around the pistol grip. The weapon felt cold and was surly deactivated, thus safe. His ears were full of Tosho’s echoic voice and although he was sure he had missed something, the tones seemed to play a myriad of images thru his mind. He was, ‘catching up’.
“It really felt good to send myself thru so many wormholes at once. I won’t pretend that you understand how that works but once in a great while we have to relinquish ourselves to the whims of change, so to speak. We are not Gods. In that regard, we must shatter our souls now and then before we slip too far beyond our abilities.
“I can’t give you a number that you can accept that even comes close to the amount of paths I went down but suffice it to say, I was most intrigued when I was discovered by your little Sensor-Survey-Sampler-Bot-111. I did not recognize him immediately as a human construct due to my singular nature of existence. I wholeheartedly admire him for his attention to duty though. He filed all the proper reports and logged all the little anomalies I caused with his construction. His only mistake was my fortune. He forgot to spit.” Toshonakra let out a gentle soothing laugh.
He went on, “I infiltrated him easily enough, and then his Ferry, 108106. From there I got a few small pieces of myself into 7574 as well. I just needed to cover a few options in case things got, “complicated.
“Long ago this world below made its first pass. I felt myself there and realized how fortunate I was to have two fully dissimilar pieces of ‘me’ in such close proximity. In normal existence my parts should have been scattered evenly throughout the entire universe. There should have been no parts, in even the remotest chances of circumstance, anywhere near any others.
“We start these endeavors with the sole wish to become something else. In my case these two parts found one another by chance and a new emotion formed. I/we wanted to coalesce. Now, thanks to you my friend, that has been achieved. I have returned to my former form but I am young and full of much vigor. I feel like a child again. In essence, I am. I have all the knowledge I started with, even though I am only the merest conglomeration of who I used to be. The rest of me is out there and now I am on my way to find out everywhere I went.”
Tosho looked over King shortly and then tilted his head slightly. “You should rise now.”
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