Ten Million Doors
June 30, 2014
With Vile Darken’s scroll still clenched tightly within his fist, Jack leapt through the sizzling portal Vile had created in order to spread the effects of the scroll through the Multi-Verse.
The Stalwart wasn’t sure where the portal would lead, but he just hoped it would be far away from the certain death he would have faced fighting Vile Darken and his gathered army of Xemmoni.
Pain was the first thing that hit him. A scream refused to escape through his paralyzed lips as an electric charge turned his body into a rigid bolt of agony.
Maybe this will just end up killing me, his tortured brain gasped. But at least I’ll be taking this damn scroll with me.
Besides the pain, he could feel his body falling. Since his eyes were frozen open, he could see what looked like hundreds of portals just like the one he had recently leapt through. Like an infinitive checkerboard, the portals loomed in every direction. Golden passageways threw off sparks and blazing light, but he was just able to catch a glimmer of a thousand worlds that existed beyond these doorways.
His mind struggled to take in the implications.
Loskeep and even Vile have told me that an incarnation of myself exists on most of these worlds. Could there really be so many mes? And if there are, how can I even claim to be Jack Primus? What does such a thing mean if there are so many? Am I even real? Will I just disperse, barely noticed as the universe focused on the hundreds of other Jack’s out there?
Such thoughts weren’t helping and seemed to make him weaker. He wondered if he could be dispersing into nothingness in this horrible space between worlds.
He began to struggle and fight against the power that paralyzed him. The fingers of his free hand jerked open and shut. Soon his arms could move and then his legs.
Okay, I can move. What now? He still fell and part of him worried what would happen if this place had a bottom.
I guess I have no choice. I’m going to have to pick a world.
He twisted and then soared. He did everything he could think of to draw closer to the opened portals. As they flew past their sheer number again battered his mind.
It might be enough to drive a man crazy.
Then something started to happen. Like an eyelid closing, the portals began to shut. Not all at once, but a dozen here and hundred there. Once they shut, the portal just ceased existing and only the yellow crackle of energy was left behind.
Damn it, Vile must be shutting down his spell, which is causing the gates to close. I need to get into one quick or I could be trapped here forever.
Jack struggled and put every ounce of strength he possessed into swinging his body toward the quickly disappearing portals. But it was like trying to move in zero gravity. He could get no momentum, no push.
Soon, more portals were closed than open. They dwindled ever fewer as he struggled to come up with a method of movement.
Then he thought of something and quickly removed his belt. Through the buckle he thrust one of his throwing knives. Around him more and more portals closed, soon they’d be none left for him.
His arm shot out and the dagger passed through one of the few remaining portals. He held on and came around in an arc. He thought he would slam into something, but instead just hung there from his belt as portal after portal winked close.
“Shit, if that one above me closes…”
He hurried up his belt and without a thought to what might away for him on the other side, tumbled through the portal.
To be continued next Monday