A god has been abducting people from our world and sending them to his own to participate in absurd quests. Unbeknownst to him he has accidentally abducted an older and more powerful god masquerading as a human. Now he is very confused and frustrated why nothing is going his way.
Abram stood at the edge of the great dam and looked down at the devastation that the breach had brought. A might river unleashed upon the town. His servants prowled through the wreckage, over turning stone and gravel and dirt.
The occasional animal left dead, water bloat taking away from them their particular features, but not a single human among the wreckage.
Abram towered over the world and paced on the uneven surface. Even to a god like him, this was unusual.
His newest champion has neither rallied against the quest given to him, or said a single word. There was no call to him, no push, no pull. Nothing that would garner his attention. No attachment. No great and mighty stirring of the world in his name.
And yet the plans he had set asunder, the great chaoses he had sought to wreak upon the fools who built tidy ordered lives, who had truly believed that enslaving themselves to the weak would bring anything other than contented misery, they weren’t dying by the score while the cast of heroes he had handpicked ran about trying to fix it.
Where were they now, if not here at the great disaster that had devoured this city?
And where were the people?
He dropped off the side of the damn. A hundred feet in an instant, gravity spinning him like a missile, and stood on top of the water at the base; the pressure and force from the burst damn had carved a lake out of the land. He walked forward and past his servants, ignoring the call of the hybrid troops. They didn’t matter to him, now that he knew there were no dead to bury, no corpses to convert into his men of the wild.
What more to show the evidence that the world of civilization was a mess, than to poke it until it bled. Til cuts in the wound grew infected, and tattered city dwellers just trying to stay afloat were torn about by mortal paranoia, at last unshackled, a feverish reaction to the death of order? What more to…
but there was no such here.
From the granaries, the food had been moved. The market long evacuated. This would not do.
The burning forest roared in delight from the windstorm crashing against it. Crown fires split open the heavens with the rising flames and smoke, ash twirled about like confetti and shredded paper. Abram swept through it, searching the beautiful bound forest of the green-men. His servants were far off, a thousand thousand miles away, patrolling to make sure none of the brewing diseases he had in storage would be disturbed.
The palace was empty; the great tree burned and all artifacts had been moved. Anything worth saving had been saved. How had they know where he’d strike? How had they managed this feat?
It was on the eternal fields, where metal raised like razors and the wind played cutting songs across their edges that he found the answer. A man stood staring at him.
He remembered this one. Tired, squallid, crying out for purpose and freedom from the ennui. Head flashing full of images of perversion, a brief cessation in the unending torment of petty civilization.
In another world, he might’ve been a follower of Abram. But now Abram knew hostility when he saw it.
“You need to stop,” the man said, once a boy.
“It’s my purpose,” Abram said. “Look upon this world. Do you want it to be the way your world was?”
“It won’t be like that,” the man said. His hair was blonde, flicking in the wind. “It doesn’t have to be like that.”
“And you only grew a spine when you were freed from such a place,” Abram noted, as the man drew his sword. “Do you not see the point of my gambit?”
The man stared at Abram for a long moment.
“I see the point in your gambit, Abram,” the man said, coolly. “And I reject the lesson. Civilization does not need to lead to such an end as my world.”
“How,” Abram said, idly looking at the sword. No such mortal weapon could hurt him, forged in the heart of organization. No blows would pierce his hide. “Did you know where I would strike?”
“Six months hence, I chanced across a man from my world,” The man said. “He was clever, but ancient, old. Gave up on adjusting the course of humanity. His hands clutched around his heart to see another world, afraid it would fall astray. And he told me your plans, but he was too tired to do the job.”
Abram slowly nodded. Why did this sound familiar?
“And he said to me that I would be the savior he needed,” The man said. “Because we can do better. We can do better. We can always do better. And if we remember that, and we force the world to remember that, that we can do better, we can make the world a better place.”
Abram squinted at the man, cocking his head to the side. “You eschew the simplicity and burden of the wild for the comforts of civilization? Do you not see the shackles cast by that decision?”
“There is nothing moral about the slaughter of thousands for the liberation of the few,” The man said. “This is not a world for the strong. This is a world for all of us. No chain of civilization binds us, keeps us in place.” The man smiled. “Or at least, that’s not the world we will make.”
“What happened to that god?” Abram asked, staring at the man who had lead armies. Perhaps there were others as well. He had thrown so many, hoping to provoke their reactions, hoping to see them falter and die under the blade of his enemies, and his allies.
“He died,” The man said. “And he bade me to stop you, because he knew that the world he had controlled was long gone, and lost under the burden that man had stopped believing in itself.”
“And now you are here to stop me,” Abram said.
“I am,” The man said.
“You won’t beat me,” Abram said.
“I don’t care,” The man said.
“This is a stupid fight,” Abram said.
“I don’t mind,” The man said.
“Why?” Abram asked, cocking his head to the side.
“The world will be better for fighting you,” The man said. “And thus we’ll fight against you. We’ll rally against the end, we’ll rally against corruption, and we’ll do better.”
“And what god was it that told you to stop me? That told you to fight? That told you the world need not be shackles and chains, if civilized?” Abram asked. The wind whistled through the wireglass, musical, discordant.
“His name was Abram. I counted him as a dear friend of mine. Flee this plane, and we’ll save it in your name.”
Abram flicked down to the weapon, then up at the man’s face.
There was thinking to be done.