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InsaneSpaceHunter

Swords in Space-Time

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Gilgamesh gyrated needlessly through the swirling vortex of the rift, legs crossed and hands clasped in some manner of ironic meditative position for a wildly gyrating sentient body adrift in the nethers of existence. The wild colors of a thousand suns consuming themselves in astronomical ecstasy flashed by in a blur that would cause a normal mind to implode upon itself in a uniquely messy manner (psychically speaking), but the legendary warrior bore them no mind. All the colors, all the gyrations, all the permutations of existence within this no-man's-land between one bit of existence and the next was nothing new. He'd seen it before.

 

Of course, those were his exact words when he popped out of the "other side" of the swirling vortex and righted himself in a spectacular yet un-witnessed (and therefore not nearly as appreciated as one would hope the miraculous exit of an armored paragon of sword skill from the nothingness between specks of our humdrum three-dimensional existence) manner--"What ho?! I've cast my eyes upon this vista before, by the Sword of Geburah!". Indeed, as stated twice previously, he'd seen this before--the exact room he'd just leapt out of following his battle with the reincarnated demon god Vaughn Tourai.

 

"Would that I had egressed in a locale where I might again test myself against those who test me... test my abilities against those... aw, never mind, that line wasn't very good." he mused, surveying the constantly-mentioned room of spikes and flame art for the umpteenth time. "Fortunately, my faux pas was witnessed by none but me and my currently void-ridden companion!" he supposed aloud, gesticulating madly off-screen at (presumably) Enkidu, or rather, whatever particular corner of existence from which a composite creature of several myths and legends might erupt, given a proper introduction.

 

"Not sure who you're talking to that could witness things through the void, but it begs for investigation." said a voice as a figure materialized from a particularly violent writhing flame design depicted on the wall.

 

"Zounds! A traveler, a vagabond, an interloper appears in our midst, eavesdropping! Who are you, you...

 

...

 

you?" demanded Gilgamesh, having spontaneously run out of synonyms for "interloper" and somehow enunciating a pause that would be written as an ellipsis in the midst of a series of carriage returns should someone be transcribing the events of the encounter.

 

"A fellow... traveler, I suppose." replied the figure known to knowledgeable spectators of this particular discussion as "Mebius," to the other participant in said discourse as "traveler, vagabond, interloper, you... you...

 

...

 

you," and to the ever-present-yet-not Enkidu still ensconced within the cocoonlike embrace of the other side of the multihued edge of existence as "that other voice going on out-slash-in there somewhere."

 

"Do you always hide along walls and listen in on private conversations?" asked the rather off-put Gilgamesh.

 

"Do you always expound upon nothing in particular every time you emerge from a void portal and yell at random points in space? countered the still-not-introduced-to-his-conversational-counterpart Mebius.

 

"Maybe. Nobody ever complained before, and I popped up in some interesting places." replied the melodramatic meat-slicing metal-headed man who was also one-quarter god, remembering previous encounters with the inside of treasure chests and at least one cupboard in which he'd mistakenly displaced a jug of malt syrup that rendered him unable to draw the Crystalis quickly until his interdimensional jaunts allowed him to end up in a solvent factory where he cleansed the stickiness from the blade. "I should teach you to respect the privacy of others, scoundrel!" postulated the sword-swinger, swinging a sword out of its sling and brandishing it in a manner unlike any word that would begin with "s" and continue the alliteration.

 

"Why is it always a fight every time I..."

 

"The time for suppository banter has passed, wretch! On your guard!" bellowed Gilgamesh, holding what he now remarked to be Excalipoor high above his head in a flashy battle pose.

 

"Suppository? Don't you mean 'exposi...'"

 

"I have the floor, you floundering fool! I mean to say that you generally suppose to speak from your ass, thus you emit suppository banter! A verbal dart I have slung your way, and your feeble imagination has unnecessarily blunted my lingual assault! How am I supposed to continue taunting you when you completely miss the points of my vocal barbs? Hah! Pointed barbs! I slay me..." rambled Gilgamesh, until a sword formed of Mebius' MutaStone pressed itself against his windpipe in a nonverbally threatening manner. "Oh, hello. You're not really one for banter, are you?"

 

"I'm not sure you're cut out for it, either." said Mebius coolly, contemplating the silence that Gilgamesh would, for once, remain shrouded in should he simply pass his blade through the loudmouth's voicebox. It's not that he'd normally particularly mind such buffoonery, but the near-constant slaying of his interdimensional counterparts in close proximity to his own somewhat clouded mind was beginning to grate on his nerves a little.

 

"Ho! Enkidu! Join me in glory!" bellowed Gilgamesh just brazenly enough to forestall the imminent throat-slashing while his trusted counterpart leapt forth from a jagged hole in space-time and plowed into Mebius. The blade morphed nigh-instantaneously into a shield that buffered Mebius against the brunt of the sidekick's assault, but the concussion of the blow still sent him careening into the wall that he'd previously been camoflaged against. Gilgamesh smiled at his longtime companion, who nodded his head and then disappeared through another nearby jagged hole in space-time. "Cur! You leave me in the lurch again? Is this any way to treat a hero?"

 

"It's just you and me now!" taunted Mebius, springing into action with a flourish of his morphing MutaStone.

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"Hmph, very well, as I would have it-" Gilgamesh stopped, having done so in order to duck under the whipping strike Mebius sent his way, the MutaStone scraping harshly against the wall and returning to Mebius as he twirled it about for the next attack. "How dare you!? Stand and listen when I'm speaking!"

 

"We covered this already," Mebius said, then lashed out a second time, Gilgamesh flipping into the air and planting his feet on the ceiling as he avoided a second lashing, quickly springing off and past Mebius with a dimension-splitting swing from the Excalipoor. At least, it would have been dimension-splitting if the sword was not better suited for tee-ball practice and stirring soup. "Ow?"

 

"Rotten fates, of all the swords I could have drawn!" Gilgamesh cursed, glaring at the weapon he had drawn. He was still kneeling from where he landed after attacking Mebius, not yet turning around to watch his opponent's next move. The MutaStone quivered, Mebius rushing forward to his opponent's back as the God's matter weapon shifted into a curved blade and was swung at Gilgamesh. The sword collector's eyes glinted, and in a flash the otherwise useless weapon deflected the blow as he held it downward over his shoulder, covering his back. It couldn't cut butter, but it could at least block attacks. "Have at you, dishonorable whelp!"

 

Gilgamesh pivoted towards his enemy and swung the Excalipoor about with an intriguing degree of finesse, Mebius countering this with his high evasion, weaving about as the fool's blade whipped about over his head and at his sides again and again, his steps taking him about the room's perimeter as Gilgamesh continued with admirable tenacity.

 

"Parry again and again, you may, but by the game of luck, I will eventually prevail!" Gilgamesh laughed, a grimace forming on Mebius' face as he grew tired of the exchange.

 

"Not if I end this before you can-" Mebius choked, his depth-perception having received a blow. "Ow, my eye!"

 

"Haha, poke!" Gilgamesh said with tremendous glee as he pulled back Excalipoor, then immediately went into a flurry of jabs identical to the last. "Poke poke! Poke poke poke poke poke!"

 

Mebius emitted an irate snort as the Excalipoor prodded at his face and stomach several times until he was able to reclaim his evasiveness, backing away as he tilted to-and-fro to avoid Gilgamesh's new tactic.

 

"I have better things to do than dance around your stupidity," Mebius said amongst his dodging, his form starting to fade away in ripples as his JETSPA kicked in, Gilgamesh letting out a confused grunt as he lost sight of his opponent.

 

"What devilry is this, now?" Gilgamesh said, his head swiveling about the collar as he went on the defensive. "Show yourself, coward! You would flee and try to make a fool of the great Gilgamesh!?"

 

You don't need my help for that, Mebius thought, having already made his way out of the room and towards the next, passing by the thorn patches and flames that marked the arena of Gilgamesh's previous bout. He couldn't help but shake his head as he heard Gilgamesh howl in frustration, Excalipoor whipping through the air as it was swung at nothing.

 

---

 

The JETSPA disengaged, Mebius becoming visible amongst a network of piping several rooms away from where he fought Gilgamesh. He pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed, focusing on nothing so as to lessen the storm that was constantly raging in his head. A calm settled in, and he was able to gaze upon some of the thought-streams without being overwhelmed by the countless images. More had dried up since he last checked, some withering away right in front of his eyes, but there were still tens, hundreds, and thousands more in the distance, intertwining and clashing about.

 

"Guess you have your work cut out for you," Mebius thought aloud, managing a small grin. Two more streams faded away as he said this. "What a mess..."

 

There was a pause, nothing particularly outstanding catching his attention as he focused. Then, one stream, relatively close, showed an image of the near future. So near, in fact, and so clear as it caught Mebius that he shuddered, reacting with a snarl towards an event in the works that he was too late to prevent.

 

"Poke!" Gilgamesh exclaimed, Mebius giving an involuntary hop forward as Excalipoor stung him in the tailbone. "No escape!"

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Prepare yourself, puppet! Gilgamesh bellowed, prodding Mebeus with the useless fencing foil of a sword known as Excalipoor. Your cowardice renders you a countenance more in sorrow than in anger! It plagues me to have known the likes of you, you hollow-boned hookster! Gilgamesh proclaimed in increasingly Elizabethan prose.

 

 

I’m getting really tired of this… said Mebius in a slightly elevated version of his normally calm, monotone voice while channeling his thoughts onto the Mutastone.

 

The God’s matter multi-tool morphed into a thin shield that blocked the next unbearably annoying “poke†from the void-hopping buffoon at his flank.

 

Gilgamesh attempted to withdraw the Pariser only to find that the strange dark substance that had previously composed the rather disheartening roadblock to his endless taunting of the witless vagabond had wrapped itself around the blade of Excalipoor and while he was still postulating on its unwelcomed nature, had wrapped around his hand as well.

 

Unhand me, you paunchy weather-bitten bugbear! Gilgamesh screamed, not quite sure if he was speaking to the suspected master of the unnatural object, or the amorphous semi-metallic blob itself.

 

Are you really sure that’s what you want? said Mebius, causing the Mutastone to tighten around his captive’s hand to the point of agony for the 3/4 man whose constant gaming had perhaps unnecessarily gotten him into aforementioned pickle.

 

I fear not your petty bluffs as the probability that your stunted mind could muster the mettle to crush but an indiscreet thought seems as low as your vocabulary is limited! the self-proclaimed wordsmith said, himself bluffing as he imagined the troublesome weapon crushing his sword hand, rendering his beloved collection as unusable trophies of a lamenting has-been hero.

 

Very well, said Mebius in but a third bluff as he flexed the Mutastone with his polluted thoughts, forming it into a perfect fist-sized sphere that crushed Excalipoor into a ball of twisted pot-metal but leaving the bothersome rift-diver’s hand unscathed.

 

A brief, high-pitched scream echoed throughout the pipe-filled chamber before the man who the author of this post has run out of clever alternate descriptions for realized that his beloved sword-slinger was still in-tact.

 

The scream, which Mebius at first wasn’t sure was actually emitted from the large, most-likely-hairy, man in front of him quickly turned into a rage-filled growl as the Mutastone retracted releasing the crumpled, likened-to-a-waffle-ball-bat sword, allowing it to clamor to the ground in front of its horror-stricken master.

 

Nave! Urchin!! Beslubbering ill-breeding fustilarian!!! How dare you crease my rather useless and poorly crafted replica of the great Excalibur! I will have your genitals for a hammock! cried Gilgamesh, who had not been referred to by his real name in at least five paragraphs.

 

Before the partial god could extract yet another comical costume-store weapon from his inter-dimensional arsenal, Mebius expanded the Mutastone knocking Gilgamesh against some wall that had not been previously described due to the fact that it was easier just to write a bunch of random dialogue.

 

The stone continued to expand, filling the entire room, pressing the now quarter-panicked quarter god tightly against said wall.

 

Mumph, fum, fump, muff!! said Gilgamesh becoming the first being to ever taste dark matter. The dimensional drifter could swear it carried a hint of endive and perhaps a mild dash of freshly aged liverwurst.

 

Mebius chuckled to himself as he had finally silenced the slick-tongued, man-deity hybrid.

 

A few moments of glorious, liberating silence passed before a metallic hiss could be heard as Gilgamesh had somehow managed to fumble through his arsenal, drawing Zantetsuken as the laws of chaos bowed in his favor.

 

The prize of Odin sliced through the god’s matter like that healthier canola oil-butter mixture now available in supermarkets, flares of exotic particles spiraling away from the razor edge of the mystical sword as it ripped through the Mutastone.

 

Mebius quickly retracted the Mutastone, not knowing what devastation might be released by a piece being completely severed, as this was the first time he had encountered anything capable of cutting it.

 

Face me you dull and muddy-mettled rascal! Gilgamesh commanded Mebeus who had never actually turned around since his pernicious pursuer had caught up to him.

 

The man-god (mostly man, it seemed) raced towards him, swinging a seven-foot long, ornately cut piece of godsteel above his head so dangerously close to the overhead pipes as to surely violate some provision of OSHA regulations.

 

Mebius, back still to Gilgamesh, simply waited for what he had already seen a million times before in that twisted, confused mind of an Oroboro.

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"You dare mock Gilgamesh, you sun-deprived peon, you surly mime!?" Gilgamesh yelled, ignorant to the increasing rattling overhead as he charged. "Lament not your condition, as you will have ample time to work on your tan in the fiery depths of the underworld!"

 

Mebius whispered a countdown to himself, still facing away as before. Just as Gilgamesh was within range of beheading him there came a great tremor from above, followed by a shower of metal and some form of sticky, brown ooze. Gilgamesh managed a few distraught curses before being buried under the first wave of airborne debris, the additional two waves that followed combining with the added weight to send the pile, along with Gilgamesh, through the floor and down to whatever there was in the darkness below.

 

"Get some rest down there," Mebius said, finally glancing back. "A nice, long rest. For everyone's sake."

 

He turned, looking at the hole as the brown slime flooded in gouts from above and down into previously mentioned breach in the ground. In the absence of foul stench, Mebius' curiosity was probed by the ooze, prompting him to take a fingertip to it and test the residue that gathered. His lips smacked a little as he immediately recognized what it was.

 

Chocolate, he thought, then quickly stood up and made his leave of the area at a noticeably faster pace than usual. Great, he'll probably get hopped up on that. I better get out of here before that rolls around.

 

---

 

Covered in chocolate (and piping), half-conscious in the darkness he had fallen into, Gilgamesh silently reached out a hand, grasping the twisted bar that was once Excalipoor. He gave a sorrowful mutter as he sent it back to his cache, his last thoughts before drifting back into dreamland regarding what he would use now to unclog his toilet.

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