Volume 81: Peaks and Valleys
Peaks and Valleys
We talk about having reached the peak of the Panic, and we may expect that things are automatically going to start to get better. Unfortunately, that is not how things work in real life. What we really mean by saying we have reached the peak is that things have gotten as bad as they are going to get. This may sound a bit disheartening when put this way but really it should give us hope. It means we have finally reached a point where we are no longer losing ground.
The fact is though that for a while we have reached a time of peaks and valleys and plateaus. The biggest place where this can be seen is in the multiverse’s fight against the Dark Dwarves and their allies. There was a time when any engagement with the Dark Dwarves meant certain death. But now the combined forces of the allied races were winning as many battles as they lost. Most of the credit for this keeps coming back to the survival of Elysium 12. It may be hard to see how one single event could have such broad consequences, but really it’s pretty easy to see why.
The original Elysium was an idea. It sprung up not only as an answer to the Dark Dwarf scourge but also as a counter to the Oblivion, an alternative to The Council, and a beacon of hope for the ever-growing deluge of refugees from the countless universes being lost. But for all that it was, the original Elysium was really an experiment. In the history of the multiverse there had never been such a gathering of races from all of reality. Elves, Trementians, Swafts, Naga, Dwarves, Sliders, and literally countless other races attempting to band together for the greater good.
But truthfully it was chaos. The hearts of the people were in the right places but the logistics of making it a success was something that tried even the mighty combined organizational ability of the Graze and the Technorganic Conglomerate. Some argue its eventual fall was inevitable. If the Dark Dwarves hadn’t destroyed it many think it would have imploded upon itself in time. From its ashes The Council thrived and it in many ways provided the soil for what would later grow into The Panic.
But despite all of this it was something else too. Something more. The IDEA of the Elysium was a seed planted in the mind of all the races of the multiverse. And despite the chaos of it, as things got worse, the people began to long for it again. And so, as things got worse people began to plant that seed, over and over again, this time hoping to grow something better. But as we know this was not to be. Attempt after attempt to rebuild the Elysium was thwarted. Maleficent forces in both The Council and The Dark Dwarves and their allies crushed every attempt to unite the people. But there is one thing they could never crush. And that was hope.
9, 10, 11, times the allied races tried to rebuild the Elysium. As the Panic escalated people from every race began to see more and more how important it was that they unite. Each time they were defeated was disheartening but when one race was ready to give up another race would step up and offer support and inspiration. As one people found themselves lying on the ground in defeat another people would reach out, lift them up, and hold them close as they tried again and again. By time the 6th iteration of the Elysium was being built they began to have a mantra they would say to each other. “Stronger Together”. Alone any race would have long given up and folded to either the Oblivion or the Dark Dwarves, but they began to strengthen each other with these words. Stronger Together. By the 7th iteration the words became main stays on the very Elysium itself. Above the main port in massive letter outside of every Elysium these words were shown proudly. Stronger Together. Even now on Elysium 12 they exist. Big as they can be, so as each ship docks they see them. To show that despite whatever differences we may have at our core we are all really the same, looking for the same things.
These reasons and more are why the construction of, and survival of Elysium 12 has had such a profound effect on the Multiverse and its people. Beyond being a place where everyone can meet and feel safe regardless of race or influence, it was a symbol. A symbol that shows that together the allied forces can overcome any obstacle. Whereas once the Elysium was only an idea of unity, Elysium 12 has become the realization of that idea. The truth is without the support of the many races of the multiverse Elysium 12 would have fallen many times. But each time it is attacked, the people remember those words, Stronger Together, and they rally to its defense, in defiance of not only the Dark Dwarves and their allies but the Oblivion itself. It is also this unity that has allowed us to have these plateaus. No race any longer needs to feel like they are going it alone. On planet after planet, galaxy after galaxy, universe after universe, the races are working and living together, sharing their technology, magics, and psionics, for the betterment of all. Things are still very bad, but together the load is much lighter.
But there are still sorrows to come. We have reached a peak yes, but we still have many battles left to fight. The dragons and unicorns are being hunted with a ferocity they have never seen in all of history. Their ability to keep people from Traxting has made them the most desirable targets in all the multiverse. The Dark Dwarves newest allies, the Nightmares, have added a new and terrifying arrow to their quiver. And the Oblivion seem to gain speed every single day, consuming universes with a staggering and horrifying alacrity.
To answer some of these concerns the Elysium 12 sent out a call via Psion Orb to all universes, calling for a meeting of all the races. It was time they all gathered together at once and started coming up with solutions for some of the many problems they still faced. An excitement rose throughout the multiverse as the date for this grand meeting began to grow near. The PsiNews Corp gathered in massive numbers, interviewing representatives from each universe, and setting up cameras to broadcast the big event. Many were hopeful that there would be real solutions created at this meeting.
And soon the date came. To say the Elysium 12 was packed was an understatement. One could hardly move from space to space inside without being pressed up against strangers of every kind. For the occasion two smaller “moons” or “mini-Elysiums” were constructed to hold the overflow. These two mini-Elysiums were named “Puissance” and “Unity”, each armed with their own defenses, and placed in slow orbit around Elysium 12.
Besides these two new “moons” the Elysium was surrounded by ships of every kind to the point of absurdity. The Animus, Grinders, and ECC were stretched to their limit just handling traffic. Luckily despite the chaos there was only a few “fender benders” and only a few injuries. As the time grew close for the meeting to begin it seemed the number of ships was growing exponentially.
Finally, it was almost time. In the main senate chamber there was a cacophony of noise. But as the countdown time to start the meeting came to its last few minutes a reverent silence began to descend. Not just on the main chamber but on every ship that surrounded Elysium 12 and indeed throughout the multiverse as people tuned in on Psion Orbs everywhere. At about 60 seconds it was silent, but then suddenly a hologram of an Animus Captain appeared on the main floor.
“Senators”, he began, “I thought you should know there is a massive ship entering our space.”
The main Naga representative spoke back to him, “That’s hardly news captain. We are thick with ships in every direction.” A smile passed between the delegates.
“Yes sir…”the captain returned dryly looking unamused. “But you see this ship is unlike any we have seen before and its emitting a huge amount of magic. And it’s quite massive…”
“Well there are sure to be many ships we haven’t seen before yes? I mean people from all over the multiverse have come for this! I personally have met people from 4 races today that I have never even heard of!” a Trementian offered.
“Their hails have been quite insistent senators.” The captain continued.
“Well we’ve been receiving hails for nearly 2 days now from nearly every ship in orbit. Kindly tell them they will have to wait like everyone else.” The Merfolk senator said.
The entire chamber was watching this exchange quite intently as was everyone watching via Psion Orb. The countdown clock was down to mere seconds to the start time.
“Well you see senators their communication signals are quite powerful. It seems like they are using some sort of magic to boost their signal. I think they…” the captain’s hologram suddenly began to stutter and then it faded. Just as it did the timer hit zero and a pleasant bell sounded. All around the room Psi Cams whirred up to full power and focused on the senators filling the center of the room. They showed a group looking at each other in confusion. Just as one was about to speak there was a blip and 3 new holograms appeared where the captain once stood. Before everyone stood 3 dark looking figures. It looked to be 3 humans, all dressed in dark clothes and leather. They stood at attention and waited a moment as if seeing what reaction their appearance would have.
“Who are you?!” the Swaft senator said standing up.
The tallest of the humans stepped forward slightly and smiled. A friendly and genuine smile. He spoke. “I beg your forgiveness. Not just yours senators but everyone across the multiverse. It was imperative we speak to you immediately.”
A murmur rose up from those watching around the room. “This is hardly the time…” a merman began but he was cut off by the stranger.
“You see we are being hunted and we have nowhere else to turn.” The stranger said looking directly into one of the cameras. “We are Vampire Nation. And you are our last hope for survival.”
About the Illustrations: Here we have a cyborg messing with some magic, a quick Trementian sketch, and a group of different monsters
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