Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Insert Red Skies Twilight Here (part 3 of 6)

"God, I want to dream again. Take me where I've never been. 
I want to go there... This time I am not scared!
Now I am unbreakable, it's unmistakable. 
No one can touch me, nothing can stop me."
-'Unbreakable' by Fireflight

Kyle, Doug, Cristoph, Tyler and the other Original Character Agents stared at the door in front of them. It was like any other door in the Library. Made of wood. Golden doorknob. Paneled. Perfectly ordinary.
Yet, the innocent little door filled the Agents with hesitation and a bit of fear.

"Why do we need go to go through this?" Kyle asked eventually.

"Because, as Original Characters, we cannot pass through Adrian's door that leads to the Real World." Aster explained patiently, hovering a few feet above the Agent's head, busy reading a Gai-Rei manga. Adrian had said to get them to the door, not to make them go through it, after all. "So we have to go through this door, which will takes us all back to our original worlds."

"And why do we have to go back, Aster?" Cristoph asked the fae. "Even if we cannot go to the Real World with the others, we can at least stay here and help Lord Adrian fight off the invasion."

"Right!" Drake pounded his fist into his palm, causing his armor to produce a slight metallic ring. "Together, we can drive those Sues and Stus straight back into the hole they crawled out of!" The other Agents nodded and shouted their agreement.

"No, we can't." Aster closed her manga and flew down to hover in front of them. "Agent Smith's ability to create copies might work on us and he gains all the powers that the person he turned into a copy had. If he manages to turn us into copies, he would nearly unstoppable."

They all frowned at her as the realization hit them and several of them swore. "But there must something we can do!"

"Adrian-kun has a plan." Aster said. "And part of it is sending all OC Agents back home for the duration of Willowe's invasion."

Doug shot a glare at the fae. "What gives Adrian the right to order us like that and remove us from the fight? And why do you know so much about his plans?"

"Because I told her them, that's why." Everyone turned as a door on the far wall opened and Adrian stepped through, Emily and Lily right behind him. His blade was covered in blood and it ran down in little rivulets down one cheek and stained his clothing. "Now go through the door."

"Just one minute!" Kyle stepped forwards, narrowing his eyes at Adrian. "We're all good fighters and pretty powerful, too! We can help you! And even if you are a Leader, that doesn't mean we can't disobey orders when we think they're wrong!" The other Agents nodded and murmured agreements.

Adrian didn't back down from the glare. "You don't get it, do you? There are several thousand Agent Smiths running around in the Library. The creations Fiction Press produces aren't that powerful, so it makes dozens upon dozens of extras to compensate. And it only takes a second for Smith to overwhelm them and turn something that's a drone into a copy of him. I didn't even realize he was doing it until I ran into a room full of them."

He fixed them all with a sharp look. "And with so many to fight, it's more than certain that you could all be overwhelmed and turned into copies. And the simplest way to deal with a problem is to reduce it to a single variable. So I am. And that means removing you all from the equation."

He gestured to Lily and Emily, where the ten-year-old was hanging close to the older Sue. "And there's no guarantee that any of the Sues and Stus won't target them. Silver already tried to kill Emily once. They need protection. So you're going to take them with you when you leave."

Kyle frowned darkly, obviously not liking the fact that Adrian was right and he couldn't do anything to change it. "But you can't fight them all by yourself! And what's going to stop Smith from trying to make you a copy? Then he really will be unstoppable!"

Adrian gave a soft, deadly smirk. "Trust me... I've fought armies by myself before and I have the advantage of home turf. And I'm not an OC, I'm a Counter Guardian. I'm not even sure I'm human. I will be just fine."

A series of explosions rocked the room and Adrian turned to face the door, readying Hoshikuzu. "They're getting close... you need to go, now!"

"But..." The Agents drew their weapons as another explosion sounded and shook the room, louder and closer this time. "We can't just leave you!"

"I said, go!" Adrian waved his hand behind him at the Agents and they all slid back several inches as his power pressed into them. "Now!"

Then another series of explosions sounded and then the last one forced everyone to shield their faces as Harold emerged from the hole, powering up attacks as Smiths flooded into the room. "Kill them all!"


"I think she's waking up..."

"About time."

"I can't believe Adrian knocked her out..."

"It was the right thing to do. Having that girl there would have been distraction and any enemy could have turned that distraction into a fatal weakness." The voice cool and calm, almost cold.

"Hey, take that back! She's not a weakness!" That was Hati's voice.

"I told you before, I don't have time to babysit children playing Cowboys and Indians." There was the sound of metal chiming-like a sheathed sword being moved- and then footsteps that got fainter as time passed. "When you're ready to grow up and accept the reality that you are all potential weaknesses to someone like the Librarian, come find me." A door opened, and then slammed shut.

"What a jerk..."

Tash felt a cool hand on her forehead and stirred, blinking blearily and squinting into the light. "Val...?"

"Hey. Welcome back to the land of the living, Tash." A blurred blob of color appeared in Tash's view, and then resolved into the healer's face after a couple more blinks. "How are you feeling?"

"Okay, I think... I don't remember much after Adrian..." Tash's eyes widened and she bolted up right, scrabbling off the bed. "Adrian! He's going to fight all those enemies alone! We have to help him!"

Val gripped Tash's arm and fixed her a soft look. "Tash...we're back in the Real World. Adrian made us leave the Library. There's nothing you can do."

"What... why... no... we have to go back!" Tash shook Val off and started glancing around, not really sure what she was looking for. "We have to help him! He'll get killed otherwise! We can't let him die!"

Then a hand was placed on her shoulder and Tash stopped rambling, as a calm voice interjected. "Miss... I know you are concerned greatly about your love, but you must remember, Adrian is a Counter Guardian. It is exactly this kind of situation Counter Guardians take care of. And if he sent you from the Library, then he must have had a good reason for it."

The British girl turned to see a man of average height standing next to her. He was dressed entire in black, with black slacks and a button-up sweater and a thin pair of glasses perched on his nose. "Who are you?"

The man smiled at her and Tash was reminded of those wise, old teachers that are everyone's favorite. "My name is Aramayis. I'm one of Adrian's fellow Counter Guardians."

"There's about five or six of them here with us. "Hati said and Tash only just noticed that her friend was leaning against the wall, arms folded in a huff. "When we came out in some kind of glen or field or whatever and they were waiting for us. Told to us to come with them. Now we're in a hotel in England. And that Saito guy is a real jerk." The Society's founder fired a glare at the door to the room and stuck her tongue out at it.

Aramayis removed his hand from Tash's shoulder and smiled a bit. "Do not mind Saito overmuch. He is very much a 'no-nonsense'-type of man and is always like that."

Tash grasped Aramayis' collar. "You Counter Guardians can travel dimensions! Please! You have to go help Adrian! Please..."

"That's impossible." The door to the room opened and a man walked in, his white hair spiked backwards and he wore pants and a ribbed shirt, a dark blue trenchcoat with red interior flapping as he walked in. "Even if we could go help the Librarian, the way to the Library is shut for now. We cannot get in."

"What?" Val frowned sharply, fixing the new man with a sharp look. "Aramayis said that Willowe was exactly the kind of threat a Counter Guardian is supposed to deal with! And now you're telling us that you can't?"

The man didn't seem bothered by the healer's fury, his voice calm and very cool. "The Counter Guardians exist to protect the integrity of the Multiverse. We are reactionary. And Willowe has not done anything that warrants the intervention of a Counter Guardian."

"What do you call Adrian!" Hati snapped at him while Tash looked ready to throttle him.

Aramayis stepped between them all. "Enough. Despite the harshness of what he says, Vergil speaks the truth. Willowe has simply not done anything that makes her threat enough for a Counter Guardian to deal with. Adrian is not acting in his authority as a Counter Guardian when he fights Sues and Stus, but as a member of the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society."

"Then why are you here?" Valerie asked, folding her arms. "If Willowe is not a big enough of problem for the Counter Guardians, why are you so many of you here on Earth?"

"We don't know..." This time, the newcomer was a tall, buxom woman in what looked like an elegant Chinese dress, a pair of fluffy kitty ears atop her brown head of hair. A pair of metallic looking fans were tied to her hips, clinking as she walked. "He never told us, only that we should be here when he asked us to be and be ready to help you guys."

"Counter Guardians, due to the nature of our jobs, tend to arrive exactly when we need to help a world or take care of something." Aramayis picked up the explanation. "However, in this instance, Adrian told us ahead of time where to be, like Kuroneko says. Oddly enough, the Powers That Be seemed to agree and backed him on his decision to send us here. Whatever will happen here on Earth, I am sure it will happen soon and it will be vitality important to the Multiverse as a whole."

"So what?" Tash demanded. "What about my universe! Adrian is stuck in the Library, taking on an army by himself and we're all sitting around here chatting like its afternoon tea! We HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!" She slammed her fist on the wall in frustration and then paused as she heard something fall to the floor.

Bending down, she picked up the thin black book that Aster had given her before disappearing into the Library. "This is the Codex of Index..."

Aramayis gained a small smile. "Due to the nature of the Library, you cannot take a book away from its walls. So Adrian developed the Codex of Index. You write a question in it and it gives you a list of related books and titles. You can pick one and it will become that book, letting you read it without having to go back to the Library."

"So Adrian gave it to Tash..." Valerie's brow furrowed as she thought hard for a moment. "But why? Does he think she'll know what question to ask to get information from a book that will helps us? But what question do we ask? We don't really know anything about this situation when it comes down to it..."

Kuroneko smirked and put a hand on her hip. "He gave it to Tash for a reason, so he must know what question she will ask to get the information that we want."

Tash studied the small book in her palm for a long moment, and then pulled the quill that was stored in the book's spine out, flipped it open and quickly scrawled her question onto the blank page:

How can I save Adrian?

As soon as she finished writing the question mark, the words faded into the page and were immediately replaced with a fresh set of words that Tash recognized as Adrian's slanted handwriting, even as more words filled the rest of the page.

To Save Your Love
By: Adrian the Librarian

Dearest Tash,

Before I can fully explain things, know that I am so sorry that it had to be like this and that I love you with all my heart and soul and so desperately wish I could be with you in this dark hour.

But I learned long ago that none of us really ever get what we want and since I know exactly when you will read this, time is of the essence, please read this aloud to the Counter Guardians and the other Agents If you cannot find the strength to, I understand. However, this needs to be read aloud to everyone and is of vital importance.

Tash stopped reading, her knuckles white as she was gripping the Codex so hard. "I... I... he... wants me... to read... this... the others..." Then she fell silent, her shoulders trembling.

Val hugged Tash comfortingly and gently guided her towards the door. "It's okay... I know what he wants." As the room's other occupants filed out, Tash bit her lower lip, struggling to not cry and not breakdown. She had to be strong. Adrian needed her help. She had to be strong for him.

Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly and lifted her head, seeing all the Agents gathered in the large room, looking at her, their Leader. Worry, fear, concern, fright, determination, pain, confusion...it seemed like the whole gamut of human emotion was represented among them, her family, her friends.

Tash opened the book again and looked down at her love's neat handwriting before beginning to read.

My friends... my comrades... my family...

Now that this being read, I have already passed from this life or am about to and ... for you, and nearly all of creation, time is very short. So I will be doing my best to give you all the vital information and be as brief as possible...

I first became aware of Willowe's plan shortly after our first encounter with Runoa in Fate/stay Night. I made it my mission to track down Runoa and the Holy Grail copy she had stolen after my defeat at her hands, partly out of duty and partly out of pride. And in my research and efforts, I made a very startling and disturbing discovery, one that would put our battle with Sues and Stus on a whole new level. No longer was it fun and games or cops-and-robbers.

It would become an all out war for survival.


Adrian dashed down the hallway, Emily tucked under one arm as Bella clung to his back with a death grip, his flash-step propelling rapidly down the expanse of the Library's hallways and room. "Dammit... I didn't think Harold would be smart enough to blast the portal...at least everyone else got through and Aster's impromptu ice shield held long enough..."

Lily whimpered a bit as Adrian barreled through a doorway and leapt over the table, flying through the open door across the way and landing on the wall, before flash-stepping down the hallway. "We need to stop and tend to your wounds. And can we not go so fast? I think I'm getting sick..."

Adrian glanced down at the arm that was not holding nearly eighty pounds of pizza-devouring Sue. The sleeve of his coat was long since history and the arm was nearly covered in blood from shoulder to fingertips and a trail of droplets and splatters marked his path as he flash-stepped. "I'm sorry, but we can't stop or slow down. There's no telling where the Sues or Smiths are and right now, it's too crowded to fight them. You or Emily could get hurt or worse. Since you both betrayed the others, there's no telling what they might do to you..."

He smiled reassuringly as he leapt over a hole in the floor. "And don't worry- wounds like this are nothing to me. Trust me, I've been through a lot worse."

Then an explosion of gold light lanced through a nearby door and Adrian skidded hard to avoid it, but was unable to stop completely and was bowled over by the blast, all three of them bouncing across the floor hard.

Harold flew through the hole, flinging blast after blast from his hands at the trio. "I found you, Librarian!"

Adrian snarled and Hoshikuzu appeared in his grasp with a flash of light and his sword arm nearly blurred as he parried and batted the spheres of energy away. "Damn...what did you do, just start blasting holes through the floors instead of using the doors like a normal person!"

"Yep!" Harold cupped his hand together. "Take this! Galick Gun!" Then he thrust them forwards and a meters-wide blast of crackling golden energy leapt from his hands, devouring the space between it and Adrian in seconds.

"Rrrgg...!" The Librarian kicked Emily away as he grabbed Lily's collar and leapt clear, grimacing as the blast tore off a section of his trenchcoat and burned a fresh set of wounds on his leg. The blast plowed into and up the wall and the ceiling cracked and crumbled, caving in as the weight of the bookshelves and other items in the room above became too much.

"Emily!" Adrian yelled out frantically as the crushing pile of debris hid the little girl from view, forming an impassable wall between them. "EMILY!"

"I'm alright!" Her reply was muffled and faint and if it hadn't been for Adrian's kitty ears, he doubted he would have even heard it. "I'm not hurt! I'm just trapped on the other side!"

"Just a second, I'll come to you-" Adrian whirled and slashed a disk of serrated energy apart before it could reach him, following up by thrusting Hoshikuzu into the ground. "Librarian Art 9: Pillars of Knowledge!"

Even as the six pillars rose around Harold and slammed together, Adrian turned back to the pile. "Emily! I can't make it to you, or I'll lead Harold right to you! Get to a safe room and use your communicator to call Phoenixia! You understand? Call Phoenixia and have her take you to safety!"

"Okay!" Adrian heard footfalls dash away and turned to back to Harold as he flexed his muscles and the pillars shattered apart while Bella picked up a broken length of metal and twirled it, making it an impromptu staff.

"Let's go!" Adrian disappeared from view, flash-stepping right front of the Stu and was not surprised when Harold managed to catch the swing he threw at the Stu's neck. "Real bright..." Then his sword flared as discharged a blast of energy and Harold howled, releasing the weapon and staggering back.

Then Lily ran up and vaulted off of Adrian's shoulder, slamming her staff down on his head. "Take this!"

The staff collided with the Stu's overly-spiky, golden hair... and broke in two.

"Feh. You're not worth the effort." Harold casually back-handed the surprised Bella and she flew away from him like a gun from a bullet, smashing through a wall and collapsing with a moan amidst the debris, half-buried. "Attacks like that might have worked on me before, but I'm a freaking Saiyan! Even when I'm Prohibited! You guys wailed on me after our first go round and I survived it, meaning I just came back stronger!"

Adrian's fist caught Harold in the gut and as the Stu started to bend around his fist, slammed his kneecap into Harold's chin, lifting the Saiyan off the ground. "Librarian Art 2: A Thousand Words An Instant!" Then Adrian was out of sight, sword strikes raining down his target from sides.

"Useless!" Harold's arms blurred as he blocked the strikes bare-handed. "You can't win against a Super Saiyan!"

"Shut up, you freakin' masochist porcupine of nightlight! Even a Stu can't make all that muscle look pretty, even if you are compensating for something!" Adrian reappeared right in front of Harold as his Librarian Art end, sword slashing down in front. "Librarian Art 1: Cutting Remark!"

Harold was flung backwards as he crossed his arms, barely fast enough to block the crescent of energy even as drove him backwards and then he was sent hurtling down the hall, smashing through the floor as the second step of the attack hit him. "Rrrg...!"

"Librarian Secret Art: Boot to the Head!" Adrian appeared right above the Stu's falling form, foot already swinging down. SCHOOWSH-FWUMP!

There was a sharp sound like a cannon being fired and then Harold was a blur as he smashed through floor after floor like a bullet through paper, finally plowing across a tile floor and crashing to a halt against a wall. "Err..."

Adrian landed easily on the floor, raising an eyebrow as he realized where they were. "I forgot this place even existed..."

It was a 'room', though only in the vaguest sense. It seemed taller than a skyscraper, the ceiling lost way up in the vast darkness, if there was one. The room was ringed along all four walls with layered balconies that had seemed to have an endless number of doors on their walls.

Harold picked himself up, shaking his head as bits of tile and debris fell out of his and he rubbed at the boot print on his face, though it did not come off. "What the hell you are talking about?"

"This is the Pillar of Knowledge, the exact center of the Library Arcanium and the only room that does not shift..." Adrian kept his eyes on Harold. " It basically leads to nearly any other room in the Library... if you can figure out which level the door is on and if it's the one you want..."

"Interesting... well, we'll have plenty of time to explore them later." Mary-Ann Twilight emerged from one of the doors on the level that Adrian and Harold were on, a group of Smiths and Sues filing out behind her. "After you're dead, of course."

Adrian glanced around as more of the doors opened and more Smiths poured out, filling up one level of balconies after another and Harold flexed his muscles his Super Saiyan aura erupting around him again and evaporating a section of tiles like they were water, while Mary-Ann took aim with her rocket launcher and Ailianna Flamewing and other Sues readied their blades, Spirit and Phantom flitting above their heads like ghostly vultures. "Sure are a lot of you..."

"But it doesn't matter..." He tightened his grip on his sword, his violet eyes shimmering with power as a violet aura flared to light around him, energy twisting down the length of Hoshikuzu, which hummed and crackled, like it was eager to do battle."Because I'm going to send every last one of you screaming to your graves!"


Emily stumbled as she felt the Library floor shake again and she glanced behind her. Even as young as she was, she could feel the waves of clashing spiritual pressure pulsing and washing over her. She knew one of them was at least Adrian's and so that must mean the others were the escaped Sues and Stus. She offered a silent prayer for his safety as she ducked inside a nearby room after first making sure it wasn't occupied by anyone who wanted to kill her.

She lifted up her wrist communicator. Unlike the other Agents, Emily had managed to rework hers into something similar to a wristwatch. She had been working doing it for all the others, but sadly hadn't been able to find any straps that would fit anything bigger than her ten-year-old wrist. She pressed a button in it. "Phoenixia?"

"Emily!" Phoenixia's face appeared on her screen almost instantly, looking both relieved and worried. "Are you okay? Where are you?"

"I'm fine and I'm in the Wicca Room, I think." Emily said quickly. "Harold destroyed the portal out and Adrian is busy fighting him. I don't know what happened to Lily."

"I've got her. She was bruised up pretty bad and will have some sore ribs, but she'll be fine." Phoenixia replied. "Emily, there isn't a holoprojector in that room. You need to get a room that does or I can't get to you."

"Well, which rooms do have one? It's not like Adrian left a map or anything!"

"Calm down. The High Fantasy room isn't that far from where you are. Exit through the north door, take a right down the hall and make a left at the first intersection. It's the first door on the right, past the vase of violets. Hurry up and get your butt down there. I'll be waiting."

"Okay." Emily ended the call and trotted across the room and through the far door. (Good thing that the doors are marked with which direction they're facing or I think everyone would get lost...)

She slipped into the hall and started to make her way down it, only to freeze and go wide-eyed as a pair of figures stepped out around the corner. "Oh no..."

"Well, look here. Looks like we-" Ashley smirked and tossed her hair over her shoulder.

"-get to have some fun with our dear sister after all." Aspen grinned darkly and took a step toward Emily, who whimpered and jumped back, causing the older Sue to laugh. "Awww, she's scared of us! Isn't that-"

"-the cutest thing?" Ashley's grin matched her twin's and they both started to advance on their younger sibling, who began to back away in terror. "C'mon, Palm Tree...let's play some games, like we used to. Don't you love to-"

"-play your big sisters' games? They're a lot-"

"-of fun. And you know what? The first game we're going to play is called-"

"-'Twister.' And we're going to see how well you twist-"

"-little sister." Both twins cackled in eerie unison. "I'm sure you remember how-"

"rough we play sometimes. But don't worry-"

"-you'll pass out long before we start twisting your little head...we might even-"

"-twist it right off!"

Then they lunged and Emily screamed.


I do not know how or when, but perhaps even during their first meeting, Willowe and Runoa have planned an invasion of the Real World. For to control the Real World is to control a massive portion of reality, as all writings and stories and tales and myths tem from the Real World. A Sue in control of the Real World could easily rewrite anything they wished to suit their desires and whims.

But it is not easy to cross into the Real World, especially for fictional beings. Reality naturally rejects fiction and so just crossing over would be pointless, as a Sue or Stu would instantly be destroyed. In fact, reality's rejection of fiction is so great, that fictional creatures cannot even cross over without outside help.

That is where their plan comes in. The Library Arcanium is one of the few places in existence where it's possible to cross from one dimension to another. Runoa, being an ex-Librarian and having been Librarian for far longer than I, must have known how to circumvent the barrier s around the Library and let Willowe, as was proven when she broke in to free the Elementals to distract us while she searched for the Holy Grail...

The seven items they stole- Excalibur, The Tabula Rasa, Fountain of Youth water, Necrominicon, Spear of Destiny, the Rosseta Stone and the Holy Grail- are unique among the world because they all actually exist in the Real World, but are shrouded in mythology and stories in modern times. Thus, all fictional representations have a strong connection to the originals, just like Author Avatars do with their Authors.

It is these seven items, which are the seven greatest myths and legends of the modern age, that would allow anyone to create a bridge between the Library Arcanium and the Real World and let fictional characters cross over.

But it was not until a recent incident that I finally figured all this out.


-Blood spatters across Adrian's face as Hoshikuzu slices clean through the Agent Smith copy's torso and the two halves had barely started to separate as the Librarian flipps away, a hail of bullets and energy blasts tearing through the space he had just been-

-Books leap from the shelves as if alive, forming a wall that blocks bullets and sword and more, each tome exploding into scraps of paper that ignite and swirl together into a tornado of flames that scorch and sear and burn at Smiths and Sues even as Adrian leaps among them, blade flashing and gouts of blood fill the air, accompanied by limbs-

-The Librarian hurls his blade and it whirls away, arcing like a boomerang as it ignites with his power, sending all its in path diving for cover, while those too slow are sliced in twain and shredded by the energy while Adrian himself kicks a pistol into his hand, yanks another from a Smith's grasp and drops him with a swift kick as he levels both weapons and they roar to life, not even having to aim, so densely packed are his targets. Even as they click empty, he flips them around and wings them towards a pair of charging Smiths, dropping them both just as Hoshikuzu returns to its master's hand-

-Bullets tear through his leg and Adrian stumbles, drops one knee while parrying a overhead strike with a twirl of his weapon, his free hand grabbing a nearby tie and yank it and its owner down to his level, smashing their face with the hilt of his sword and usually the falling man as a step to launch himself into the air-

-Hoshikuzu is driven into the floor and an explosion of violet power erupts from impact point, knocking dozens of those surrounding him into the air as the sword, tethered to his hand by a stand of energy, is whipped around and around above his head, slicing Smiths and Sues and gouging a jagged line of destruction through the wall and the nearest balcony, causing to crumble apart, sending rubble and Smiths flailing and helpless, crashing to the floor-

On such moments is built the death of Adrian.

Adrian himself is a never-ending whirl of motion, every swing of his sword drawing blood or lopping off limbs or unleashing a destructive burst of energy that annihilates an Agent Smith copy or two or one of the weaker level Sues and Stus almost instantly. Others fall to powerful kicks, punches to their joints or finger-jabs to their throats, strikes to the temples. Still more are lost to his Librarian Arts that bury them under flaming piles of encyclopedias or crush them between pillars of stone.

He is a dancer who moves to the song of battle and wraps it around himself as one would a cloak, breathes it in like one would air, embraces it like one would a lover, drawing it from his very essence even as slash wounds open across his torso and arms, coating him in dripping blood while energy blasts vaporize his trenchcoat and sear and scorch his skin, as bullets bite into skin and muscle and flesh, odd notes and missteps that try cause the song to stumble and halt, but are lost to the music instead.

Adrian's feet nimbly move him about the battlefield, evading the corpses of the slain, the rubble of the battle, the pools of blood that spread across the floor as his blade dances back and forth, an endless blur from one strike to the next as energy dances around his free hand, lashing out like a snarling beast that rends and destroys those it lands on. A group of Agent Smiths running to flank him smash into an invisible wall that had not been there a moment before, rebounding hard and crashing soundlessly to the floor. Puffs of smoke shield the Librarian from view as his enemies surround him, only for him to reappear amidst another group of Sues and Stus, his blade already going to work on them. Books leap from the shelves as if alive and bombard the sues and Stus even as they glow and heroic figures of reality and fiction leap out to stand by the Librarian's side, swarming over groups of Stus and Sues and Agent Smiths, slaying two, four, five of the Smiths down even as they themselves are overwhelmed and turned into one.

He fights and they die and even as he hurtles towards death himself, the dead mount ceaselessly beneath him. By the time the Smiths on the second story balcony leap down to do combat, they land on the piles of their fellows, struggling not to slip and stagger and tumble down the blood-soaked corpses. Higher and higher the dead rise.

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Adrian builds the stairs to Heaven with the bodies of the dead.


Emily screamed as her sisters lunge towards and she cowered, shielding her face and wish for Tash or Hati or Phoenixia or Adrian or anyone to come save her.

A golden blast of wave of energy tore through the wall and slammed into the twins, slamming them together and smashing them into a bookcase, which splintered under their weight and buried them under books. "Wha..."

The little girl raises her head and glances towards then newly-created hole, her eyes widening again as she sees a figure emerge through the smoke and bits of debris in the air. "W-w-w-willowe..."

The Eldest Foxblade sister, Excalibur glowing faintly stepped through the hole and over the rubble, seemingly ignoring Emily. "Ashley... Aspen... it's been a long time, hasn't it? Looks like without me to keep you in line, you've gotten worse than usual..."

Ashley stood up, books sliding off her form as she glared at Willowe, Aspen doing the same. "Hello, sister. You always have to spoil our fun, don't you?"

Willowe narrowed her eyes. "The one rule I could never get into your heads was that we do not harm family!"

'Because we're all in this together and we can't find a world to live in if we aren't united.' Ashley finished, repeating something she had heard a thousand times before. "And if you want to talk about harming family, why don't you start with yourself?"

"Yes, because you're the one who left us. Who never showed up to help us when we needed? You-

"-are the one who started this all! You drew the Society's attention to all the Foxblades! And that-"

"-means you ruined our fun! Just like you're ruining it now!"

"Shut. Up." Willowe's glare was ice cold and the twins flinched in unison. "You abandoned your family to play your little games... you disobeyed my instructions to keep a low profile...and you abused Palm Tree!" Again the twins flinched. "You think I didn't know? While I was on the run, I had the others keep tabs on you." Her glare hardened. "For once, I'm glad the Society exists, because they at least did the right thing and put you two away!"

Ashley rolled her eyes. "Whatever you say, big sister. It doesn't matter, because-"

"-we aren't going to listen to you anymore. We're all grown-up, adopted and besides-"

"-it might be fun to play a game with you, too!" Aspen grinned wickedly and both twins seemed to blur out of sight.

Willowe shook her head as the twins reappeared and thrust Excalibur behind her head and raised her free hand, easily blocking their kicks as they reappeared in front and back of her. "You two never learn... you attack in unison and that may throw off the average fighter, but you two are just one-trick horses."

Growling, the twins flipped away and Ashley vaulted off the wall, flipping over Willowe to land near her sister. "If you think that-

"-then you're going to be surprised by this." The twin clasped their hands together and started to glow. "We can double our power! Double trouble, double the fun!"

Then their eyes widened as they realized Willowe was suddenly right in front of them. (But... but she was... across the hall... how did she...?)

"Did you really think that I'm going to give you the time to fuse?" Willowe slashed Excalibur through the air in front of her casually and for a second, nothing happened. Then a wave of golden light appeared and washed over the twins in an instant, not even giving them time to scream and when it faded, they were nowhere to be seen.

Emily stared at the sight before her, unable to stop her hands and knees from trembling. "Ah... ah... ah..."

Willowe turned to face her and Emily's face paled several shades, but she found herself frozen, unable to move or even cry out as the eldest Foxblade walked over to the young girl.

Excalibur clanked against the floor as Willowe used that hand to brace herself as she knelt so that the two were eye-level and Emily whimpered, unable to help herself. "Ah... ah... I... uh..."

Then she blinked as Willowe hugged her tightly and after a long moment, Emily hugged her back just as tightly. They stayed like that for several second and she whispered out. "Why?"

Willowe pulled away from the hug and just smiled sadly at Emily, pulling an envelope and handing it to her. She leaned forwards and gave Emily a quick kiss on the forehead before standing up and ruffling her hair gently.

Emily lifted her head and looked into her sister's eyes and for a second, she thought Willowe was going to cry. Then she blinked and heard the familiar 'wsssshhh' of a flash-step and Willowe was gone.

It was only then that Emily realized that her legs had given out and she felt tears running down her face and she wasn't sure if they were from grief or fear or relief.

"Big sis..."


It was during our Halloween party and the problems of that night that I realized that the Fourth Wall could be used as the 'door' to the Real World using the Items. The Fourth Wall exists as a separation between fiction and reality- to keep those in plays and stories from interacting with those who are observing it. Obviously, the wall can be 'broken', though in our case it is only a figure of speech.

But this realization gave me no comfort, as I now understood that Willowe's plan was quite doable. Still, I could not tell the Society- it would have been impossible to convince some of you to wait and fight defensively and we did not have the time or the resources to spare to track down Willowe specifically... And I did not when or even if that was the true plan- With Runoa on their side, I could not afford to take any chances. So I did my best to prepare for it.

I warned my Counter Guardian allies of what might happen and did my best to teach and train everyone who needed it to be able to fight. Phoenixia and I spent countless hours trying to figure out what they're next move would be, but because you are reading this, it was obviously to no avail.

To gain access to the Fourth Wall, which is behind the Sealed Door in my office, Willowe will need one of two things: My permission or my death. As she will never obviously get the first, so the latter is her only option. However she got into the Library, I know she will come in force and Runoa will likely provide her ways around any moves or stratagems I employ. Sending you all away from the Library is the only way I knew how to protect you all. And I cannot just leave the Library or trap Willowe's forces in it- there are too many secrets and magics within its walls that would her make extremely dangerous force.

My only option is to try and stop her myself. And if I cannot do that, then I will at least weaken her forces or even delay her plans if I can. But in my heart, I know I cannot succeed against this. Still, I will try anyway.

But my death may actually be the key to defeating Willowe and her plan.


Adrian bounced and skidded across the floor, leaving a smeared trail of blood in his wake before cratering a wall with his form.

He jerked and pried himself free, coughing and hacking and blood splattering from his mouth. (So much blood... I must have damaged an internal organ... or most of them...)

Grasping the tattered remains of his shirt, he ripped them off and tossed them away. His upper body was completely bare, covered in burns and slash wounds and muscles were coated slick with blood. Every heaving breath of his chest ached and his arms felt like they... well, it felt like he didn't have arms. His hair was matted and clotted with blood and sweat and was plastered to his scalp.

Instinct sent him dashing forwards, ducking as bullets hissed overhead and he lashed out with Hoshikuzu and was rewarded when he felt it bite through several somethings and felt hot droplets of blood fall across his form and the Smiths in front of him dropped, dead before they hit the floor.

The Librarian was still moving, grabbing the nearest enemy and yanking them around as a human shield and felt their body jerk and twitch as bullets and energy blasts thudded into them. He hurled the body and flung it into a pile of enemies even as he waved his free hand and a wave of books and paper scraps fell over them and ignited, incinerating them instantly.

Most of the enemies on the ground floor had been killed or had retreated behind the massive piles of bodies to lick their wounds, but Adrian lifted his head and watched as what looked like a wave of black-suited men poured off the upper balconies towards the ground floor. There were hundreds of them... thousands...

He tightened his grip on the battered Hoshikuzu. Its tip was missing, the blade was chipped all along itself and the hilt was bent and twisted and the guards were missing entirely. (I can't kill them all... not like this...)

But he did have one trick left.

Adrian sprinted forwards and up a pile of bodies onto the first-story balcony and leapt up across the gap, alighting briefly on the second-story balcony before repeating the process. "My heart is my shield..."

He vaulted from level to level, landing on the fourth one and his sword blurred, slicing the barrels off the guns aimed at him before was among them, sword slicing and hacking as he lashed out with kicks and punches. "My sword guides my way..."

Having cleared enough space, he leapt to the next level and the next and next, higher and higher. "Angels weep at my coming..."

Adrian became aware of a glow behind and realized that Harold was flying after him, even as the Librarian continued his leaping, slashing and raining energy blasts down upon his targets and twisting and turning to dodge retaliating blasts. "Death follows in my footsteps..."

Harold grins as he chases the Library and cups his hands, a sphere of blue and white forming between his fingers. "Kame... ha... me..."

Then his eyes widened as Adrian flipped around in mid-air, kicking off the bottom of one of the balconies and hurtling back towards. (What the hell! Does he want to die!) "Kamehameha!" The Saiyan thrust his hands out and fired the Kamehameha Wave. "I've got you now!"

Adrian corkscrewed his body as he fell, shifting slightly and the attack roared past him, searing his left arm. Ignoring the pain, he slammed into Harold at max velocity and grabbed the Stu's wrist, his fall yanking the Saiyan around and the Kamehameha Wave gouged its way down the wall and the balconies, carving a massing gash and sending waves of debris crashing to the floor and incinerating dozens of Smiths that were unlucky to get caught in its path.

Then the Librarian felt his hand slip and braced himself as the blast him, sending him screaming, tumbling end over end, trailing blood and smoke and bits of flesh before he collided with the floor.

He moaned and lurched to his feet, pure fight instinct causing him to throw Hoshikuzu into an overhead block and he felt the weapon, blade and hilt, shatter into dozens of fragments in his hand. But it was enough, as Willowe's skull-crushing strike with Excalibur was deflected enough that it only bit deeply into his shoulder.

Adrian jerked and gripped the sword's blade, lifting his head. Two sets of violet eyes met and for a long moment, time slowed down, the pieces of Hoshikuzu falling down around them like crystal rain and he could feel every drop of blood on his skin slowly run down every centimeter of his flesh and he could count the number of hairs in Willowe's bangs.

Then time snapped back and he ripped Excalibur free from his shoulder, slamming a punch into Willowe's face that sent her skidding backwards, her feet digging up twin furrows in the ruin floor. "Forever denied heaven..."

He charged at her, flipping over the wave of golden light she sent hurling his way with a swing of her sword and ripped a discarded one free a corpse and their weapons collide and grind against one another before the Sue overpowered him and shoved him away and pressed her attack, slashing away at him incredible ferocity.

Sparks flew, joined by droplets of blood as Adrian desperately tried to parry or deflect Willowe's strikes, his vision filled with the gleaming, gold-tinged metal of her weapon "Forever exiled from hell..."

A crack sounds as his borrowed weapon is sliced in half by Excalibur and he spins away as wave after wave of golden energy sears through the space where his body at just been. "The justified sinner, who seeks rest, shall forever put others to sleep..."

He dashed up a pile of corpses, along a length of rubble and vaults off, aiming a kick for her head, but Willowe lifted her palm and a blast of golden energy leapt from it and Adrian screams as it hurtles him across the room and through the remains of the first-story balcony and then the wall.

Adrian caught himself and leapt back through the hole, landing on a pile of rubble. "So now you shall all bear witness..."

Willowe's eyes widened as she realized what he was doing and she leapt for him, using a blast of Excalibur to propel her like a rocket and Adrian felt a shadow fall over him as Harold hurtles down at him.

"For this is my Sovereign Testament!"

Then the world was lost in a blaze of white light...


My death and Willowe's subsequent taking of the Library means she is now a threat worthy of Counter Guardian's attentions. Not only slaying one of them, but taking control of the Multiverse storehouse gives her access to incredible amounts of dangerous knowledge and the ability to traverse dimensions. This is something the Counter Guardians cannot ignore.

But the taking of the Library is only part of her real purpose and she'll ignore it in favor of going after the Real World. That is why I asked my fellow Counter Guardians to go there. Using the Library as a bridge and using the Items to make the bridge through the Fourth Wall, Willowe and her fellow Sues and Stus will be able to come into the Real World with every last bit of their powers intact. There is no way any normal human army would be able to fight against such a power and many of the Sues and Stus, including Willowe herself are insanely powerful, hence why this situation requires multiple Counter Guardians.

The Society knows Willowe and her cohorts better than anyone else and many of our enemies come for your own creations. Use that knowledge to help the Counter Guardians anyway you can.

That is my plan in its entirety. It is not the best one, but is the one that gives us the greatest chance of victory and with billions upon billions of innocent lives at stake, as well as the future of the Multiverse, I cannot afford to do anything less.

Again, I am so sorry that things had to turn out this way. I'm sorry I could not tell you the truth. But for the safety of so many and those yet unborn, my life is a small price to pay.

I... suppose I owe some of you some last words or something...


The light faded and Willowe lowered her arm and looked around, gasping in surprise.

She and the remaining Sues and Stus as well many, many of the Smiths are standing an endless plain, the sky above them in perpetual twilight with the faint twinkling of stars overhead.

The Sue glanced down and took a step back in surprise...the ground is made up of entirely of various shaped gravestones, all fitted together this way and that way. All of it, from horizon to horizon...

Something hissed and cracked like a whip and a group of Agent Smiths howled as they were destroyed. Willowe's gaze snapped up.

Adrian is standing before them, with what looks like an endless ribbon of white power circling around and above him. "This is my Reality Marble, my soul made manifest. Sovereign Testament. In this place, I am the 'Sovereign'' over this silent, hellish landscape, the very ground I walk on being the Testament of those I've killed... and in here, my power is made real, tangible..." He smirks and thrusts out his hand, the strand of energy reacting and whipping out, destroyed Aliannia Flamewing and a group of Smiths. "Well... what are you waiting for!"


To start with, I'll go with Michael, my on-again, off-again rival. Truly a remarkable man, if a bit pessimistic. I've never met anyone who can make me fight so hard in a duel and I've met even fewer creative minds like his. I'm glad to call him my friend. I'm sorry that I will miss your wedding, Michael. But I'm very happy for you and Claire, even if she is evil with those pinecones. You treat her right or Phoenixia will come after you. I'm serious. And you will learn new meanings of the world 'Fear'. And don't name your kids after me or anything... it just makes me feel old... Instead, just name them after your Children of Horus cards, Michael. I'm sure they'll love you forever for that...

To Aster, you have to be the oddest person I have ever met, and considering I am several, several centuries older than you all, that is saying something... You have amazing potential and I know from experience that you will need more than one lifespan to develop it all. Don't let it get to you when you finally realize what being immortal means. Nothing in life permanent, not even immortality. Treasure everything and everyone who have. And Aster, please watch over Tash for me. And I'm sorry I couldn't get you your soul back... I know you're indifferent either way, but... you deserve it. No one should have something like that taken away from them. Please talk to Phoenixia and Aramayis when this is all over. I'm sure they will be able to help you reclaim what is yours.


The ribbon of energy breaks apart into hundreds of dozens of motes of light and each mote of light grows and lengths, forming into a sword.

Adrian grabbed one from the air and charged as the swords rained from the sky and burst upwards from the ground, impaling his enemies, skewering them and even exploding, covering the ground with clouds of dust as he charges into a group of Smiths, sword arm a blur he slashed them all down and white and gold light flares as he and Willowe collide, weapons sparking and hissing as they grind against one another


To Valerie, a mind like yours only comes along once a century and I am very blessed and happy to have met this century's. Even I, for all that I've seen and done and learned, find myself feeling very small and humbled when faced with your keen insight and sharp mind. You are wise beyond your years, though you are a tad naïve, but I find it refreshing as it keeps me from going cynical. And you are one of the greatest healers I have ever known. You have a true gift for it. And you also have one of the dirtiest mouths I have ever heard on a healer, too. I find it rather amusing.

You are the thread and needle that helps bind the fabric of the Society and after this all over, I know that you will be needed more than ever. Stay strong, my dear, and remember: In the deepest darkest, the smallest light shines the brightest.


Willowe watches as all the energy gathered into Adrian's hand, forming a massive, blazing sword of white light and she realized that he's compressed every single bit of power into that blade. It is his absolute maximum.
The blade roars and crackles like a living being, nearly as long as Adrian is tall and the hilt is in some ornate design, but the light prevents anyone from really seeing what it is. Adrian gripped it tightly and readies himself as Willowe does the same.

Then they lunged towards one another and in a blinding flare of white and gold, their weapons collide, clashing again and again and everything time they swing, the swords release great arcs of energy and power that carve up the landscape like a hot knife through better even as the ground around them both cracks and shatters, bits and pieces being dragged into the whirling, clashing energies.


To Tash...

My dear, sweet Tashy...

I cannot apologize enough or tell you how sorry I am that it had to end this way...but this is my road and I've been walking it for a very, very long time. And no matter how much I want it to be so, you cannot follow me on it. This is something I must do-alone.

But I want you to know I love you. More than word can describe or act can show. You reawakened a part of me that I had long though had died. For the first time in my very long life, I was loved for nothing more than the person I was. Not because I had all this power or ability or anything else- just because I was me. You have no idea how happy that made me. You are the piece that completes me and...and I'm not afraid to love anymore. To me, nothing would make me feel safer than being loved by you.

I am appointing you Librarian in my stead...because it is not a true contract with the Powers That Be, you will not be immortal like I am. You may continue to be Librarian as long as you wish and you may pick the next one, if you find a suitable candidate. Also, you are getting everything that I own, little thought it really is. I can really only claim to own my Zord and Phoenixia, but I know she'll stay with you anyway. Do not push her or anyone else away in the coming times. You will need them all.

I love you, Tash Marquand. Do not ever, ever forget that.

To all my friends, my comrades...thank you. Mere words cannot express how much you've all changed my life for the better.

Eternally yours,



With an earsplitting resound, a great crack formed across the sky, like some great beast was trying to pry it apart so it could climb through.

Willowe watched as Adrian's Reality Marble cracked and fell apart around them, massive chunks breaking free of the sky and crashing the ground, slowly dissolving away into the ether.

The Librarian glanced down at his sword and cracks spread like a spider web up its length and bits and pieces began to fall away before it simply shattered like glass, raining to the ground.

He lifted his head as his Reality Marble, his very soul, began to crack and break apart more rapidly, more and more of it dissolving away into the ether. "Heh… didn't think my soul was so fragile…"

Then Excalibur pierced through his chest, blood spraying out the exit wound and he jerked, collapsing onto the blade as his strength left him.

Willowe drove the blade deeper and it began to hum with energy, gold swirls gathering around the length of the weapon. "You fought well, Librarian… and I'm sorry this had to be… but you need to die for my dream."

Then her eyes widened as Adrian grabbed the blade of Excalibur and lifted his head, a smirk on his face as he actually pulled himself farther up the sword, one hand leaving it to grab her dress, pulling them together until they were just inches apart. "It's alright, Willowe…" And he smiled softly at her. "I forgive you."

Then he threw back his hand and howled and his form glowed and everything was lost to white light…

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