Luka's Story 3-Traipsing around the Multiverse

BY : Ditmag
Category: +M through R > Monster Girl Quest
Dragon prints: 244
Disclaimer: Monster Girl Quest is owned by Tortorro. I do not profit from this work.

“Yes!” I yelled in triumph.

The battle had been won. My brilliant strategy had paid off. I’d managed my resources well and defeated the terrible enemy. At last, I had completed Starcraft.

No, it wasn’t much of a life, but it was mine, and I’m not going to lie to you or try to make you feel sorry for me. I wasn’t in a deep depression. Somehow, the knowledge that I was never going back made me decide to immediately resume my old life. In many ways, it was a better life. I was rich. If I didn’t feel like it, I would never have to work another day in my life. My second book, which you’ve presumably read, sold almost as well as the first. That one didn’t get a game, I’m sorry to say. Such is life.

That’s not to say that I was fine. In the initial days after my return to my world, I was heartbroken. In a fit of utter despair, I printed out pictures of Alice and my other loved ones and placed them all over my house. I didn’t even have real pictures. I had to use the artwork from the computer game. Now, that’s pathetic. Some were closer to real life than others. Alice had been drawn meticulously well, almost as a portrait. I decided to treat it as such and put it by my bedside. Others adorned my hallway walls, or wherever I had the urge to place a picture: Granberia. Tamamo, in both of her forms. Erubetie. Alma Elma. Sara. Eden(even though she looked grumpy). Nanabi. Cindy. The Four Spirits. There were none of Gabriella, obviously. And my children. I wondered what they looked like.

Even after my initial intense sadness dissipated, I never took down the silly pictures. They both reminded me of how much I’d lost, and yet also made me feel like I was surrounded by my loved ones. But life did go on, as it always does. I decided to make the best of it.

I mainly lived a life of solitude, watching TV and playing video games all day. I still read a lot, and I stayed in reasonable shape with my gym membership and my favorite outside the home activity, mall walking. I went to Disney World four times a year. I chose not to work. Writing books wasn’t really work. I’d written the second book in a rush, shortly after I returned, while the memories and the feelings were fresh. I feared that I might forget things. It had taken only eight days. Since then, I had not lifted a finger in a real job.

I checked my email. I still received a lot of fan mail, and I never got tired of reading it, and responding. Even the negative emails. The negative ones were mainly people dissatisfied with plot elements, as if I was just writing a work of fiction and not my life. The ending to my second book had been controversial among those who thought it was a work of fiction. I had no idea what to say to people who were upeset that my story didn’t have a happy ending.

Fans that sent me email often had used characters from the books as their handles. Chrome1234, AliceXVI, IllAss, that sort of thing. But one email in particular caught my eye. In the “From” field simply read, “Alipheese the First, the Dark God”. Not that this was terribly unusual. What was unusual was the message. It simply said this:

Meet me at our special place. The one with the cookies.

 

“Thanks for coming, kid,” Alipheese said, greeting me.

I wasn’t really a kid anymore. I was 27 years old. It had been over five years since I’d severed the link between the two worlds. How much time had passed in Alice’s world? Probably about twenty years, although I still wasn’t sure of the math, and even less sure now that the two universes no longer revolved around each other. Assuming nothing had changed timewise, somewhere between fifteen and thirty years. I felt even more sorrow for Alice than for myself. She had been without me for so long! I often wondered if she had ever found another. Probably not, given the requirements. Maybe she just had a lover. I wondered about our children, what kind of people they had grown up to be. I can never keep hate in my heart for very long. I no longer hated the woman in front of me, the Dark God who on this world was just some lady. The pain she had caused would always be deep inside, however.

“I have to admit I was intrigued,” I said. “and a bit lonely. Just to be able to talk to someone from that world seemed like it might be therapeutic, even if it’s an enemy. I’ve done it before. This is some pretty intense déjà vu.”

“I know, I read your book,” she said. “The second one, too. I assume the Granberia parts are just speculation?”

“Yeah, I’m afraid so,” I admitted. “A lot of it came from her, but obviously the deeper in you get, the more it’s me just guessing. The very end was pure speculation, probably me trying to give myself therapy by imagining how everyone must have reacted when they learned what had happened to me.”

“You did good,” she said. “I assume you’re at least not hurting for cash.”

“No, I can’t say that’s among my problems,” I said. “I never imagined I’d be so wealthy. They’re right that it doesn’t by happiness. At least it buys me whatever else I want.”

“That’s good,” she said. “Let me get to the point. I need you. There’s a… problem that has unique significance to both of us. I was pretty sure you’d be interested in helping me out once you heard what I had to say.”

That was interesting. What kind of problem could involve two people from a world that basically no longer existed for both of us?

“Go on,” I said.

“I need to rescue my children,” she said. “They are being held prisoner.”

“I’m so sorry to hear that!” I exclaimed. “You settled down and had kids? Why would someone want to take them?”

“Wow, you’re a moron,” she said, shaking her head. “When I say my children, I mean monsters. Distant descendants, to be sure, but still my children. I don’t have a family, at least not the kind you were talking about.”

“Monsters?” I asked in disbelief. “Here? How? Did some sneak in or something using their own means while it was possible to do so?”

“No, nothing like that,” the former Dark God said. “Remember how Yamatai Village just appeared in my world while I was sealed and no one understood why?”

“Yeah, I always wondered about that,” I said. “It was the first time anyone was aware of the existence of my world. It seemed to violate the rules, though, since none of the humans were bound to anyone. Their presence should have been unstable and they should have been returned here at some point.”

“Well, I can’t tell you the why, but I can tell you the what. What happened was a one-for-one exchange of matter, so that the laws of physics in neither realm were violated. Yamatai came to my world, a small patch of forest came to yours. In that forest, were the local population of animal life, most of which were similar to animal life here and did just fine. But there were also some monster girls in that forest when whatever happened, happened.”

“And so the people of Yamatai ended up stuck on your world, and a bunch of roaming monster girls got stuck in Japan! How did you find out about this?”

“Let me ask you something, kid,” she said. “Haven’t you tried everything you’ve known over the last few years to get back? Isn’t that portal still in your apartment? Don’t you try nearly every day to make it work?”

“At first, yes,” I said. “I can still feel my power. Unfortunately, it can’t do much here. I never could open that portal from this side. Even if I could, there’s no place to go. I’m not sure it would take me anywhere.”

“It wouldn’t,” she confirmed. “And you probably know that. But I bet you kept trying.”
I sure had. Every day, several times a day at first, Recently, perhaps once a month, in my most depressive moments. I simply nodded glumly.

“Well, I’ve tried everything as well,” she said. “I have a little more resourcefulness than you do, so I’ve gotten a little further. Not too far, don’t get excited. I spent a lot of the last five years in Japan, at the Yamatai site, trying to learn what I could learn. I got nowhere in figuring out how to duplicate what had happened there, but I did learn a lot about the phenomenon and what the Japanese knew about it. It took a lot of… favors to get the information I wanted, and I had to give a lot of those favors to some extremely old men. Anything for my children, of course. Somewhere along the way, I learned that there’s a facility holding a few monsters.”

“Oh no!” I said. “Are they doing experiments on them?”

“At one time they did,” she said. “If you remember that phenomenon happened during that big war you had here. Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the Imperial Japanese government was doing really weird experiments that led to Yamatai Village going poof. From what I gathered, they noticed the phemenon right away and started gathering up any living things in the area they could find for study. Some of those living things were monsters. They all got shipped off to a facility where horrible experiments were done on them. The Japanese authorities saw how strong they were and wanted to see if they could breed super soldiers with them. Of course, the war didn’t last that long, but in that part of your world they think long term. They got bupkus. Not a single successful conception. Most of them died, some from the experiments, some from old age.But the longer lived ones are still there. I want them freed.”

“The Japanese government isn’t what it was,” I noted. “Would they still really be doing experiments on sentient, intelligent creatures?”

“I don’t know for sure, but my source doesn’t think so,” she said. “after the war, they gave up on experimenting on them but still didn’t want to cut them loose. So they’ve been kept on ice, in decent conditions as far as I know, since then. At a secret facility, the Japanese version of Area 51. For whatever reason, they don’t want those girls getting loose. Who knows, maybe if you and your lady love had been more public, to the point where your existence was common knowledge, they might have decided to let them go. I really don’t know.”

Indeed, Alice and I had been here a few times without her even bothering to hide who she was, and she hadn’t been the only one. Eden had revealed her wings(along with everything else) in a restaurant, and Granberia had gotten into more than one bar fight and nearly created an interdimensional incident. Yet the larger world seemed to barely notice. In fact, while the fanbase had initially believed that everything I had written about my experiences was real, in recent years most had come to conclude that it had been the best hoax ever pulled, since I could no longer prove that any of it had happened. Many now just assumed it was a brilliant marketing campaign. Still, the income stream remained significant. Money was not among my problems. My reputation had taken a small hit, however. I’d long stopped going to conventions because of the divided reaction I got from fans, some saying they still believed and others calling me a liar. Still loved the game though, they pointed out.

“I agree with you that this interests me a great deal,” I said. “But I’m just a guy. You’re just a… beautiful, if a little creepy looking, lady. How are we going to break into a heavily guarded facility and do a prison break?”
“Now you know I’m not a fool, honey,” she said. “I wouldn’t suggest trying this if it couldn’t be done.”

“Oh, did you hire some people?” I asked.

“Nah, you’re Mr. Moneybags, I got nuthin’,” she said. “Nuthin’ but the magic of compound interest, anyway. I’m going to live a long time, even here. In a couple hundred years, which is like tomorrow to someone who used to be eternal like me, I’ll be richer than even you could imagine. And no, I don’t want you to hire anyone, either. This is just a two person operation. You and me, kid.”

“So the question remains, how?” I asked.

“We’ve got power here,” she said. “It’s not much, but it’s not always about how much you got, it’s how you use it. Bet that’s what your wife told you anyway, huh? Okay, bad joke. Anyway, I’ll show you creative ways to use what little you’ve got. Between that and what I’ve got, we can do this. I can open any lock with a thought. It’s embarrassing to be reduced to that, but it’s a pretty useful little skill, aint it? Comes in handy when you’re doing a prison break.”

“That still leaves the matter of the heavily guarded facility?”

“Japan ain’t what it was,” she replied. “they are hiding the monster girls only because they probably don’t want to relitigate the atrocities of their past again. News of a new bad thing they did would just bring all that trauma back and Japan wants to move on so bad they don’t even want to teach about what they did in their schools. That doesn’t mean it’s national security level stuff anymore. It’s not some secret weapon that an enemy could use against them. It’s just a PR problem they want to cover up. I could be wrong, and if I am, we’ll hustle outta there as soon as the going gets too tough. But I think it’ll be a cakewalk if we do it right.”

“I really want to help you, but that’s not all there is to this,” I said. “Can they pass for human? Because we still have to sneak them out of Japan and go… somewhere. Where could they hide? Do we just go public with them? I’d imagine we’d have a pretty good chance if we did.”

“Maybe,” she said. “I’ve only been here five years, you know your people better than I do. But I had a different plan, and this is where your little ears are really gonna perk up. We’re gonna take ‘em off world.”

“I’m assuming not to your actual homeworld,” I said. “I saw in subspace that there are a huge number out there. Are you planning on taking them to a different one? How do you know they’ll fare better on another alien dimension?”

“Because back when I was the Dark God, I took a peek at those other worlds,” she said. “I never quite had the interest or the risk taking nature to actually go to any of them. The way some worlds are, you can’t go back once you’re there, or you’d die as soon as you arrived. Dimensional travel is for stupid adventurers, not gods. We created our own worlds precisely so we wouldn’t have to go traipsing around others, although my old foe wasn’t above coming to this one when she needed a tool. No offense.”

“I’m glad your plan is that thorough,” I said. “I’m sure there’s even more detail than you’ve told me, which would befit someone of your nature. But why did you think that would make my ears perk up? I want to go back to the world Alice is on. If I can’t, I like my own world just fine, thank you very much.”

“You moved on yet, kid?” she said.

“No,” I said. “My heart wants to look you in the eye and say ‘never’, but I’m mature enough to know that you can never know. Maybe I’ll meet someone. But I’m not ready. It feels worse than a death in the family, knowing that she’s enduring the same pain I am. Only longer. It’s been decades in her world.”

“I know this doesn’t mean much, but I’m sorry,” she said. “I should have listened to you. Being around humans here, I’ve seen the best and worst, but I’ve come to appreciate them. If I had it all to do over again, I’d have done it your way. I paid the price for that. I’m just sorry you had to as well. You know you’re a true hero, kid. What you sacrificed to beat me…. Never would have thought a human capable of it. But since I know my apologies aren’t enough, let me explain why those other worlds would interest you. If you’ve read enough science fiction, and I know you have, there aren’t just other worlds that are totally different from yours. There are parallel worlds that are mostly the same, except things went a little differently. A world where JFK hadn’t been shot, or a world dinosaurs never died out, or where Hitler got cuddled more as a kid. Likewise, there are parallel worlds to mine. Worlds where a version of your Alice exists. You can meet her, fall in love again. You can do it all over again. Wouldn’t that be great?”

“Being able to relive your life is a dream a lot of people have,” I admitted. “I’ve thought about it a lot myself, even before I got pulled into that other world. But it wouldn’t be my Alice. It would be some parallel Alice. My Alice would still be where she is, missing me. I do hope she moved on. I hope she’s happy.”

“Well, I’m not going to say this is a good idea….” She started. “It’s a really insane idea, in fact. Only the direct connection between your world and mine was severed. Now, don’t get too excited, I can see you’re about to jump out of your damn chair. Settle down and eat your fries. Take a drink and calm the fuck down.”

I had gotten a bit overwrought just then, so I did as she instructed. I calmed myself and after a few minutes she continued.

“The multiverse is ridiculously huge,” she said. “millions upon millions of parallel worlds that are all the same except for one small detail that changed everything. If we’re talking about the worlds that are totally different, like yours from mine, we’re talking trillions. Fortunately, you only want worlds like mine, so that narrows it down. But not much. What you could do, if you’re an absolute fucking idiot, and I know you are, is jump from world to world, keep on going to the closest parallel universe connected to the last one you were in. If you’re really damn lucky, and I mean, win the lottery lucky, you could eventually find your way back to the one you want. Not sure you’ll like what you find when you get there, kid. It’s been a bit. Not long by my standards, but by yours… it could break your heart all over again. Me, I’m going to just settle on any world that looks good, where I have power, preferably one where that version of me is sealed. And I’ll keep her that way. Don’t worry, I’m not going to do what I did before. I’m going to be a hands off, benevolent goddess from now on. Maybe I can even find a world with a kind Ilias. She had some good in her. It’s possible there’s a world where she wasn’t such a bitch. I’ll settle for that. You, you do whatever. I don’t care, once you’ve helped break my children out. So, you in?”

As before when I’d been transported to a strange, twisted, fantasy world, it wasn’t fair to say that I didn’t have a life. If anything I had more of a life now than I had before. I was rich, mildly famous, and had every luxury one could imagine. But my life had no meaning. I craved that meaning. There was really nothing else to say.

“I’m in.”



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