Finale

While Borland’s yellow cannon and the Consortium’s Aunanaki held the Entity’s attention, Amon and Ariadne helped the UnMen, along with Vincente, Serket, the Keepers and the Tzitzimitl, penetrate the shell. While their allies held off the “antibodies” flooding out of the Entity, the UnMen were to destroy the tendons working the creature’s massive jaws, allowing them to establish a beachhead in the mouth without risk of being expelled into space, should the Entity’s attention turn to them.

After a series of intense battles, the UnMen destroyed the tendons while their allies secured their position. They were then informed that it was believed that the Entity possessed a Master Helix, which powered it’s massive regenerative abilities. If the UnMen could find and destroy it, they might be able to finally pose a realistic threat to the nebula-sized monstrosity.

So the UnMen traveled through the creature’s lungs, inhaling the spores therein. When they finally reached the Master Helix, the Entity spoke to them. It told them that they were already infected by the spores and would soon be taken over. Moreover, the Entity intended to hurl itself into Earth in an effort to destroy them. Either way, they didn’t have much time.

Attacking the chamber that held the Helix, the Entity’s very body changed and began to attack them. Though a difficult fight, the UnMen outmaneuvered the Entity and destroyed the Master Helix.

Climbing into the next chamber, they beheld a crystalline tesseract and another Helix. This was most likely the Entity’s means of locomotion. They were pondering whether to enter the tesseract or destroy it when they were contacted by Scent of Sound. She informed them that it appeared as though something was trying to separate itself from the Entity. A moment later, something started breaking through the outer shell. Knowing they had but moments to spare, Chink, Six and Shard opened fire on the tesseract, destroying it.

As the tesseract shattered, time froze for a moment, and Vincente destroyed the Helix as Serket moved to attack the creature that was breaking through the shell. Then the creature broke through and everyone was pulled through the opening by the vacuum of space. Fortunately, the Seal of Amon shielded them all from the pressures of space and the Entity’s own massive gravity pulled them back down to its shell. There was a thin atmosphere here, but the UnMen quickly realized they had maybe two minutes of breathable air. There was no time to delay.

The Entity’s consciousness had come to confront them in a heavily carapaced, fish-like form. It had four glowing eyes, as well as fifth that was a bit like an angler fish’s light that crackled with lightning, two mortar-like protuberances on its back, a pair of lashing tendrils, and a giant mouth full of razor sharp teeth.

It congratulated the UnMen on coming so far. Then a brutal battle began. Just in time, the UnMen succeeded in shattering its shell, and energy came flooding out. Time completely froze in the universe for all but the UnMen and the Entity, as the Entity revealed its true form.

It was a titan formed of fiery plasma. It towered over the UnMen and once more congratulated them, saying that the last one who had given it such a good fight was Ptah, the First-of-the-First from the Entity’s original universe. The UnMen braced themselves for the final battle, and it began in earnest.

Though the Entity showed them no mercy, in the end the UnMen’s strength and powers of Determination prevailed. The Entity collapsed, crying out, “My ambition has reached it’s limit!”, and time began to flow again, the color already draining from the unfathomably large creature’s carapace.

The UnMen climbed back inside the shell and were greeted with the cheers of their allies. They had won the day!

There was much celebration! Ariadne teleported the UnMen to the End of Time, where the gods gave them a fond welcome as well. Zeus invited the UnMen to join the ranks of the Olympians, and while Six and Shard graciously declined, Chink agreed. He would henceforth stand to champion those who stood against overreaching ambition.

They then received a call. It was none other than the good Professor Caskarian! He congratulated them on their success. Even though they had taken a different path than his own, their means had effectively reached his ends. The endless war would be over and humanity could ascend to the stars. Shard told the Professor that he ought to go see Doctor Borland before it was too late.

And with that, the UnMen asked Ariadne to take them to see the Doctor. The Manor in the Maze was in a dilapidated state. The dining room was gone, but the Ouroboros chamber was still intact. Borland was inside, but his skin was mottled and he had aged greatly. He told them that he had disconnected himself from the Ouroboros Drive and set the machine to self-destruct after setting his grand experiment in motion, including creating the First-of-the-First, Ptah. He would use a form of greater erasure upon himself, though he wasn’t certain whether he would be sent to the Forbidden Zone or be returned to the Yellow. No one would be able to possess such power again, which would be for the best.

He was proud of the UnMen, saying they were no longer UnMen but rather free men. The UnMen thanked him for all he had done and then departed. They passed Caskarian, who said he thought it was fitting that he should be the last one to see the Doctor.

Returning to the End of Time, Shard asked Serket to make certain there was no danger of the Entity claiming their bodies, since they had been infected with its spores. Examining them, she determined that they were in no danger, as the cells had gone dormant, but that their Anum had changed, no longer limited. Ironically, they could no longer cause friction. Moreover, they were now effectively ageless, and Six determined that their powers of Determination had grown greatly.

Six willed himself to Dagon’s temple in the Ocean of Noah and rang Dagon’s bell. Dagon appeared with his bride and congratulated Six, saying that he now had a taste of what it was like to be a conqueror without limits. Six asked if Dagon would be interested in taking on an apprentice in exchange for the location of the sky god’s daughter, a means for Dagon to finally win his unending battle. Dagon gladly accepted, and so Six began learning the ways of the conqueror, his ultimate goal being the downfall of Dagon himself.

Vincente and Serket asked Shard whether he would accept them as companions on his quest, and he gladly accepted. With the help of two such mighty allies, he couldn’t possibly fail. And so it was that after 75 years of wandering the Maze, with many journeys and adventures behind them, a Buddah-like Shard approached a door with his companions.

Only he could pass through this door. Inside was a man with a tesseract in his chest asleep beneath a tree. He opened his eyes and greeted Shard. He knew why Shard had come, and said that he had attained the wisdom to use this gift. With Shard’s approval, he opened a hole in Shard’s chest and a tesseract appeared there, and the DemiUrge named Shard a First-of-the-First. He told Shard to go forth and create a new universe for his people, but to remember the mistakes of the previous universe. The only rule was that nothing should come back from there, for doing so was dangerous, as Shard was well aware of. Finally, he surprised Shard by asking him for something that Shard had been about to ask the DemiUrge. He asked that Shard take his loyal, lost servant. Shard was shocked, for he had always hoped that his tesseract might be a means to save Clyde.

Bidding farewell to the DemiUrge, Shard returned to the Maze to find Clyde standing with Vincente and Serket. Clyde knelt and asked whether he could come to Shard’s world. Shard told him to rise for Clyde should not kneel to him; Clyde had saved them all with his warning. Clyde was more than welcome.

And so Shard created the Sanctuary, a universe for those without a place in this one. A place for second chances. Vincente, Serket, and Clyde came to dwell there, and with Ariadne’s help, so did those lost Quarlangians who wished to go. Before they departed, Shard asked one final request of Ariadne. He asked that she bring all of the Gigamuth, even the one from the Forbidden Zone, to Sanctuary. There, they would be reborn as a new race of Quarlangians, smaller in stature but freed of the hunger of the Cronites.

It had been done, and when Shard arrived, the new Gigamuth stared at their new bodies in surprise, and fearfully asked Shard what he wanted with them. Shard told them that a great wrong had been done to them, and asked only one thing of them – to live their new lives. Hopefully, they would find happiness here.

Matthias goes on to marry Lady Genevieve, and they work together to restore Fallen Star Glen.

After a time, the ghost of Thane is released from his service to Ma So Yan’s manor. Though Lapis runs the underworld efficiently as the Goddess of ghosts, he is allowed to wander between there and the living world, out of respect for him as one of the UnMen.

The The Hellfire Club meets with Amon. It’s members consisted of Good Old Jake, Hoss, Minath, and several others. Jake is pleased that his bets won out in the long run. The rest also seem reasonably pleased with the outcome. Amon tells them that his Goetians will eventually master war, and prevent the universe from falling into the stagnation of eternal peace. He suggests that they try Heizenroux‘s tesseract (the Sandbox). After all, things here will be fairly predictable, but he’s never been a child before.

Then Asmodeus arrives. He tells them of momentous events unfolding.

Eventually, Amon goes to the Sandbox and is reborn as a red-haired child. Wormwood, who was reborn as a green-haired child, greets him and the two run off to throw rocks.

Finale

UnMen Ironeyes Ironeyes