Note: Bad language is bad. And yes, I am using a Wacko Jacko popcorn meme for this.
The Alpha Ginger
Rani’s pride would be his downfall, yet again. The fool still didn’t understand what he was up against. The Alpha Ginger wasn’t a mere rival for Rani; he was a part of him. The Alpha Ginger was the worst aspects of Rani made incarnate. They were point and counterpoint, two sides of the same coin, inverse reflections of each other. It was Rani’s own self-loathing that drove Alpha to destroy him. Even Ameldi didn’t understand the implications of that, or she would know the fruitlessness of her betrayal. Rani defeating him would not restore the balance; it would detonate the time bomb created when Rani lost to his contradiction. They had created a paradox when Alpha defeated Rani in a timeline prior to his creation. A null had been created, and that was his insurance that his nihilistic dreams would come true.
Even if Rani bested him, against all odds, it would all be for nothing and all would return to nothing. Survival was never the goal, and that was the point. No one would survive the end of existence, and his death being the catalyst for the universal extinction was still a victory. The Ginger Apocalypse was just a way to sweeten the deal and go out with a bang.
“Bravo.” It was time to burst Rani’s bubble and end the suffering of the miserable universe. “You have me and my army right where we want to be.”
Rani lost a one on one battle; it would take more than the four traitors to help him overcome an army of soulless killing machines. It would be amusing to watch them try, though, especially once he awakened the army and they started to form the vortex due to so many of them being in such a close proximity.
“So what happens now?”
“Now we end this.” The confidence was a façade, an utter bluff. The desperate truth was that Rani was terrified. The last and only time the he encountered the ginger devil, it had not ended well for Rani. The villain had dispatched Rani with ease: the fight was almost over before it started. He couldn’t let history repeat itself. “Captain, Trix, I’ll take it from here.”
It was cheap; it was dirty. It was anti-climactic. Rani did it anyway.
Rani started the bout with a move designed to finish it, drawing white hot energy to his open hand and releasing the power into a concentrated beam of light aimed directly at his opponent’s head. The anime inspired assault would have removed any trace of its target had it landed, completely obliterating the threat. Unfortunately for Rani, but fortunately for his enemy and the story, his rival evaded the lethal light with a swift side step.
Alpha retaliated with an upper cut to Rani’s jaw, stumbling the hero and causing his head to roll back to create the desired opening. Alpha lashed out with his cane, grasping it from the bottom and swinging it toward Rani’s exposed throat as a scythe blade emerged from the other end. Rani caught Alpha in the chest with an open palm, canceling the harbinger’s momentum and causing him to lose his grip on the cane as he struggled to regain his balance. Rani failed to capitalize on the opportunity, distracted by Alpha’s revealed features as the top hat fell to the ground. Without the unnatural shadow of the hat’s glamour to obscure his features, Rani recognized his nemesis. Alpha looked just like him.
“What the missionary fuck?!”
Shemo, Aethon, and Donut
“Who is offering missi…holy priest balls, there are two of you?” Donut materialized at the center of a large glyph spreading across the weathered stone floor. “This is not the twin action I wished for when I blew out the candles.”
“What kind of boy band name is Out the Candles?” Shemo added, appearing beside him. “Sorry we’re a bit late; Aethon made us wait until we could be the punchline.” A disembodied chuckle rode the sand laced breeze, the echoes bombarding everyone as they increased in volume until the cumulated in Aethon appearing next to Shemo and Donut.
“Either everyone is a martyr, or no one is.” The techno-path shrugged without remorse. Aethon allowing the others to pass through, and following them from his access point at the server cache, decompiled Rani’s foolishly built self-terminating sequence. They were freelancing the code now, all at the mercy of variables defining in real time.
In other, smaller and more Donut appropriate, words: shit was fucking real now.
The lull in the action caused by the revelation of the Alpha Ginger’s true nature and the arrival of Rani’s remaining allies dissolved into chaos as steam bursts filled the room. The chambers scattered across the improvised lab blasted the white hot mist in all directions as they released their pressure sealed contents into the world. Dozens of pale skinned clones stumbled forth from the steam, hair sprouting from albino scalps in repulsive red ringlets. The melanin and soul deprived hosts converged on the three new arrivals, multiplying by the second as the machines turned out an angry horde of blossoming scarlet fever. The trio quickly vanished among the storm of sea and flesh in the ranga rampage. Donut’s exclamation about “too much white wang” was swallowed by the chaotic commotion of the cascade of clones.
The Alpha Ginger
“After all this, you’re still being alliterative? You really can’t help yourself, can you? No wonder you had enough bullshit insecurity and vice to create your own supervillain. It’s pathetic that you have to write yourself into a story as the hero and the villain to get the pencil moving. Even you can’t be so oblivious that you don’t see the ironic symbolism that me killing you was you figuratively falling on your sword. What kind of masturbatory bullshit is this? You can’t beat me because I’m the best part of you. I’m your fucking Tyler Durden. Even if you win this eye-of-the-tiger bullshit rematch, you still lose. This was always my game to win.” The ginger’s face darkened to match his hair, the flush of anger spreading as he spewed his hateful rant. He punctuated the spiel with a rage fueled punch, catching Rani in the side of the head mid evasion.
“Save your psycho-babble monologue for your death speech.” Rani paused to throw a jab at his foe’s sternum, earning a moment of hostile silence as the blow landed swiftly. “Or, even better, never.”
The ginger overlord barked out a pained cough, but wasted no more breath on antagonizing his quarry. He had said his piece, his pettiness satisfied. He would let Rani have his fleeting victory in getting the last word. It would be a hollow prize, and come at a cataclysmic cost. His speech had already served its purpose, anyway, it kept the fool focused on him instead of the vortex forming in the midst of his army, the void that would grow and consume everything until nothing remained.
And Rani’s sad little friends would be the first to pay the price of his failure.