First Dance

A fic in the Worldburner shared-world series, by Brother Grimace

"Oh, you're back - again. "

Judith didn't even bother to disguise the contempt in her voice as Archangel appeared in the cloudy sky directly in front of her. "Come to talk some more?"

"No, not really."

Archangel tossed the small cloth bag in his hand at the young woman, who flinched as it struck her in the chest, just below the spot where her locket was embedded in her flesh.

"Really, Archangel? You think that some witch's potion is going to - Oh, God! What is that smell-?"

The young woman held up her right hand to blast him; on the ground, a path of destruction the length of Illinois blossomed into being as Archangel used his telekinesis to simply move her hand in another direction.

Before you try that again," the Ringbearer said, "you might want to listen. That's not a potion - it's a wonderful little marking suspension of several very... pungent... secretions from some of the most odoriferous creatures in several universes."

"A stink-bomb?" Judith actually rolled her eyes. "What are you, twelve? This is what they taught you in those Special Warfare classes - annoy people with bad scents?"

"Rock music and rap, too - at very loud volumes," Archangel shot back. "Oh, and don't bother to try and wash it off, extract the nanites, or counteract them... the nanites inside are specifically designed to consume and reproduce like rabbits on Quaaludes in the presence of bio- and supernatural energies. Your bio- and supernatural energies, to be precise."

Archangel winced as the scent from Judith became even stronger. "It's not as if we haven't recently had ample chances to study those energies, either," he continued. "The stronger the energy source the nanites are exposed to, the faster they reproduce..."

"What the hell did you do to me?" she hissed, the smell leaking from her every pore becoming even more intense, more concentrated as a tendril of energy flared to life around her hand. "You bastard!"

"You seem to like using nanites - well, you'll love the way these are used," he informed her. "Besides that scent - and yes, the more energy you use, the stronger the smell becomes - they're also putting off a very specific energy signature that can be tracked across dimensional and temporal barriers. Because of the immense power you're giving off - enough power to destroy universes at will - for the next forty-eight to seventy-two hours, you're a walking, talking version of Beacon Terra One."

An edge of anger filtered through as he spoke. "You remember that, don't you... the twin towers on Nova Valdris, where you had someone drop one of your night-lights from Hell..."

A strange sound filled the air. "The word's out on you, Judith," Archangel spoke. "Because of the Prophecy, I can't fight you the way I'd like... but there's lots of people, beings and things out there that don't believe in or care about that. They're very anxious to meet you - so instead of waiting for you to come a'calling, they've now got a way to find the cotillion on their own... and make damn certain your dance card is filled."

The Master Ringbearer looked her directly in the eye. "Consider this payback for Sissy," he growled, as he turned to fly away.

"I'll kill you, you FUCK-!" Judith screamed, actually ignoring the hideous geyser of foulness exploding from her every pore as she pointed claw-like hands at the departing Archangel -

- when the cloud cover behind her suddenly dissipated, and Judith's eyes went wide as she turned about to hear a single, unified sound that seemed to fill the entire sky before her...





5 January 2011