8th Official Tournament: Round 3!
The blaring siren pierced my skull with its obnoxious whining and made every single muscle within my body tense up in opposition. All around me people dressed in uniforms that were more or less identical to mine frantically scampered around from Point A to Point B and back again with no real purpose or meaning for doing so. As much as I would have liked to stick around and chuckle at their misfortune, I knew all too well that the sounds of sirens reverberating their way throughout the entirety of the base signified that there was an imminent catastrophe on the horizon. There wasn’t any time to waste. I needed to hurry. I needed to get to the Control Room. I needed to bring the universe back to the way that it was, the way that only I seemed to be able to recall.
As far as everybody else in this crazy place was concerned, the universe had always been exceedingly unstable. The elements of time and space were in a continual state of nonsensical flux, one that would engender drastic changes in both the landscape and the timescape. Sometimes we would witness the instantaneous birth and/or death of billions of people, a bustling city appearing where there had once been a unfathomably deep lake the night before, or a tree suddenly sprouting the completed version of an augmentation that the pseudoscience team had been tirelessly slaving over for years. The world that existed before you closed your eyelids in order to blink would be nothing more than a faint relic of the past by the time your eyes greeted the world once again a split second later. Everybody else simply accepted that this universal inconstancy was the natural course of things; after all, their way of life was all that they had ever known. I, however, was different. I could remember when things actually made sense, and I was determined to regain that peacefulness no matter the cost.
Division One: Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The fleshy door dissolved into a yellowish mush as I approached it, thus giving way to the dimly lit Control Room. The sirens still sung their atrocious symphony off in the distance as I promptly made my way over towards an ashen-faced B-Mah.
“Plopadop!” he immediately cried out. In addition to being the director of the Pseudoscience Department, B-Mah was also the closest thing that I could call a friend in this universe.
“What’s with all the noise?” I questioned him with purposefully flippant casualness.
“Everything’s gone wrong,” he scornfully muttered to himself as he keyed in a few strings of numbers into the computer terminal in front of him, a gesture that resulted in the image of a small brown and white colored dog being brought up onto the screen. “See this dog? We’ve called it the Pembroke Welsh Corgi for right now. Don’t ask why, it’s not important. What is important, however, is that this…this beast is causing untold havoc upon our base! You know the lounge on B15, the nice one with the automatic bassoon player? He peed in it. He peed all over the nice furniture! Now, normally the folks in Division One would deal with the cleanup and the destruction of the dog, but since the Tournament is going on there’s nothing that we can do!”
Division Two: ice valley “beyond the searoad”
“And that’s why there’s an emergency?” I confusedly asked.
“Part of it, yes. You’ll see in a minute. For now, look at this,” he instructed me while motioning towards a new image. From what I could tell from the biocam’s grainy resolution, there appeared to be a narrow stretch of ice that extended far off into the purple horizon. “That’s where was ParagonX9 island used to be. We were successful in enacting the Blue Marine routine, but the results of doing so weren’t exactly within our calculations. A significant portion of those that were working on the routine or were utilizing the Walk on Water function at the time have become encapsulated beneath the ice a little further away.”
“There, just beyond the searoad. We aren’t entirely sure as to why just yet, but everybody in Division Two suddenly stopped their fighting and grouped together to head in that general direction. It’s like they’re all on the same team now. Our scanners haven’t detected a triple or a jumpstream or even a single jack in over twenty-four hours!”
“Maybe they’re just trying to rescue their superiors?” I politely suggested.
Division Three: Jazzman – Super Mario Bros
B-Mah apathetically shook his head. “We thought of that already. It would make sense if it was just Division Two that was acting like that, but look at Division Three! They’re doing almost the same thing! Working together, I mean. Those that managed to escape from the ice only did so because they found a pipe along the seabed that lead to another pseudoreality, one inhabited by Jazzman.”
I had heard of the Jazzman before. Pipes would suddenly pop up out of the ground and unsuspecting people would crawl into them in order to investigate. However, not many have lived to tell the tale of what they encountered down there. From what we did know, the Jazzman was a massive theoretical entity, his height encroaching upon tens of thousands of meters at any given time, but at the same time he was nevertheless a subterranean being. Blue overalls, a red shirt, and a moustache that had long-since rumored to be the source of his power all gave him a humanoid appearance that lulled people into believing that he could be reasoned with. Those poor souls were sadly mistaken.
“Hopefully with all of the talent in Division Three they’ll be able take him down for once,” I said.
Division Four: Slam the Door (Rogue Remix)
“Yeah, hopefully. Losing all of D3 would be…bad,” B-Mah trailed off. “However, I really hate to say this, but we have bigger fish to fry at the moment. There’s trouble on the horizon for Division Four. One of them, we aren’t entirely sure as to who yet, slammed The Door. Y’know, that big hairy thing thing that’s just off to the side of the public washrooms in Zedd’s Shed that has the DO NOT SLAM THIS DOOR sign next to it? Yeah, that one. It may be an act of sabotage or some sort of newfangled strategy by one of the rogue players, but we don’t know for sure yet.”
“Sounds like there’s a lot of things that you guys don’t know for sure yet,” I forced myself to laugh.
“Yeah,” he sighed. “I hate to admit it, but yeah, you’re absolutely right.”
Division Five: Undiscovered Colors
By this point in time, the sirens behind me had yet to subside and I was growing increasingly weary of B-Mah’s ramblings. Of course I could see that Division Two ganging together irrespective of their allegiance and that somebody slamming The Door were issues of great concern, but they weren’t that grievous enough to warrant the entire base being scrambled.
As if to read my mind, B-Mah smiled. “Well, let’s get into the meat of the situation then, shall we? Approximately two days from now archeologists working in the Flashbulb Islands will have discovered a particular tablet that outlines exactly what we’re facing right now. At first they’ll call it a prediction, but they’ll soon come to realize that it’s more of a prescription…a checklist of conditions, if you will. The only prerequisite out of the five that hadn’t been met until now was the appearance of several undiscovered colors, namely sige and tyon, but…well…Division Five found some a few minutes ago. That’s why the sirens are going. All of the conditions have now been met.”
Division Six and Seven: Weapon
I swallowed the excess buildup of saliva that had congealed within my mouth down into the pit of my stomach. “What does that mean?”
“It’s appeared. The Weapon.”
“What?!” I loudly cried out as I grabbed B-Mah by the collar of his shirt. “Why the hell didn’t you say so earlier?!”
“Because we needed time to do this,” a familiar voice, one not belonging to the man that I was presently clutching onto, hoarsely chuckled.
A cold chill accompanied by an immense amount of pain suddenly shot down the length of my spine as I felt something parse my skin and invade the interior of my body. My strength almost immediately fleeted. A desperate struggle to resist the inevitable raged within my consciousness, but in the end my efforts proved to be all for naught. Even with oppressive darkness swarming my already hazy vision, I somehow managed to catch a brief glimpse of Professor Halogen’s stoic facial expression hovering above me before I fell face-first into the warm, writhing floor and lost consciousness.
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