The Order of Infinity

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

"I'm sorry. 'If your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to.' You should have taken my offer. Or did you think none of this was your fault? "
"I don't murder children."
"I do. If I have to."
"Why? Do you even know why they sent you?"
"It's not my place to ask. I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin."
"So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?"
"I'm not going to live there. There's no place for me there - any more than there is for you. Malcolm - I'm a monster. What I do is evil. I have no illusions about it, but it must be done."

Mal Reynolds and 'The Operative', from Serenity

The massive, lighted ball had just completed its journey, and the hundreds of thousands of people that had jammed themselves into Times Square were celebrating – when the spiral of yellow light appeared in the middle of the crowd.

For some reason, there was no stampede or mass hysteria; the people simply stood as a wave of silence washed across them – across the world, as cameras transmitted the image of the spiral opening up into a portal of yellow, and a single man walking through.

"Your world – your reality – is forfeit,"
the man in the simple yellow cloak spoke, holding out his closed right hand. "You existence... offends us. You have no place in the reality that is to be, for you are not that which was First. Your existence is that of false deities, who seek to claim glory that rightfully belongs to only the One True Creation."

A singular gasp rose up from ten billion human beings as if from one, even from persons who were not watching, as the man opened his hand... as if they were all recoiling from the spiraling of solid light that leaped from his palm silently into the air above the man, lighting up Times Square and casting unholy shadows over the crowd as it seemed to circle and swirl about overhead. "I am of the Order of Infinity," the man spoke. "Your being has been soiled with the stain of extrapolation... with variation... with a divergence from That Which Is Real. This can no longer be allowed."

The man turned to lock his gaze upon a single figure within the crowd, barely forty feet away – and Darian Morg-Haulffer felt Jane Lane's hand grasp his tightly as the man pointed directly at him. "Long have we suffered the existence of those like you," he spoke, "for you are a corruption of what was meant to be. Our knowledge of you and yours was like bitter wine upon our tongues."

Humanity watched as the energies solidified into a large, glimmering disk of light - and Darian felt his insides become ice as a bowling ball-sized sphere of darkness oozed into existence from out of the light, flickering with an inner lumination of lightning and flame as it rotated slowly overhead. "Today," the man said, "we cleanse our palate. Today, in the name of our Lady Judith... Purification begins."

Darian and Jane (along with well over three hundred thousand men and women, all pressed against one another) shared a single death-shriek as the annihilation sphere punched downward upon Darian and into his torso, immediately converting his body – and the bodies of all who were somehow in contact with him – into a searing wave of black-tinged scarlet flame that seemed to consume everything it touched.

The Purifier felt the flush of warmth as the transport beam spiraled around him, delivering him from this reality as it began to perish in cleansing flame.

Soon, we will be able to repeat this, he thought, watching as the towers of Manhattan Island began to collapse and fall into the outgoing waves of flame. Because of the Lady Judith, we now have leave, and means, from which to strike the unclean from reality itself... and even though she has given us much, her very existence is an abomination that which we can only abide until our task is done.

Explosions rocked the area as the wave of flames headed down through the Earth, already leaving a chasm larger than the Grand Canyon beneath the Purifier – who was in transit as the Earth began to die.

Until all who exist... are as The One Who Was.