A/N: This is the final chapter of All of Eternity at my Fingertips, but not the final chapter of The Chronicles of Vali Masters. Check back tomorrow for the first chapter of the next fic in this series, Unstoppable.
Unknown time, Unknown location
In a dark room, a cloaked figure stepped forward and carefully opened a coffin. Reaching in, they abruptly ripped away the chains that bound the dessicated figure within, and carefully placed a tube at the body's lips, through which a rich red liquid slowly began to move.
It took hours, but eventually the body in the coffin moved, grabbing hold of the tube at first and drinking greedily from it before pushing it away and sitting up. In a flash he was out of the coffin and pushing the cloaked figure against the nearby wall, a hand at their throat.
As Klaus bared his dual sets of fangs, his eyes turned gold-black as he stared into the eyes of the woman who'd woke him up, "Who are you?"
All he got in response was choking, as his grip had crushed her trachea, and he growled as he released her throat, letting her fall to the ground. A few moments later she stood and bowed low in deference to him, speaking in a raspy tone, "Lord Klaus, I am your humble servant."
Klaus narrows his eyes but the respect and awe in her tone placates him ever so slightly, "Are you now? Then tell me, how did you come to find me?"
The girl keeps her eyes down as she responds dutifully, "We did not find you Milord, we were given your coffin."
Klaus' eyes stay narrowed as he frowns, looking back to realize he had indeed just come out of a coffin. He turns back to the servant prostrating herself before him, "Who gave you my… coffin?"
"The Master, milord."
In an instant Klaus' hand is once again around the girl's throat as he snarls at the mention of his brother, "Vali. Where is my dear little brother?"
He has made sure to lessen his grip slightly this time, and the girl is able to choke out words despite the hand around her throat, "T-the M-master is… far from here."
He snarls and leans in, "Your usefulness is rapidly coming to an end love, if you have nothing worthwhile to say…"
In response, all she says is, "M-my l-life is yours Milord."
Klaus growls at the passive response and breaks her neck. Given how quickly she'd healed from the crushed throat he'd accidentally given her when he woke up, she'd be fine. Letting her temporarily lifeless body fall to the ground, he stepped over it to the metal door, frowning as he looked the smooth surface over. There is no handle, and when he pushes against it, it does not open.
There is a small pad next to the door though, and eventually Klaus places a hand on it, pushing it down. A moment later the door slides up into the ceiling and Klaus steps through with eyes still narrowed as he took in a strange hallway that the room he'd just been in was at the end of. A sound behind him has him turning around to find the door closing once more.
Turning back towards the curving hallway before him, he began to follow its path, eyes moving over his surroundings with wary caution. At the end of the hall was another door with another pad. Klaus wasted no time pressing this one and stepping through into a large room full of people. It looks strangely futuristic, but his eyes are immediately drawn to the front of the room, falling away from the stations people were sitting at.
At the front of the room there is a large window, outside of which all he can see is darkness and stars. He steps towards it, frowning, confusion overtaking his simmering rage. As he moves further into the room, he is noticed and someone runs to a man standing at the front of the room to whisper into his ear. Klaus hears every word of course, "Captain! The Lord is awake and on the bridge!"
The man titled as Captain spins around, eyes wide as he takes Klaus in, before promptly blurring to a stop before him and falling to a knee, "Milord, I am at your service."
Klaus growls, "More servants of my brother I assume?"
The Captain blinks and looks up from his kneeling position, "Our loyalty is to you Milord. The Master has ordered us to serve you in whatever way you desire."
Klaus finds himself growling again, but stifles his anger long enough to ask the next question, "Where are we?"
The answer he gets is not one he fully understands at first, "We're in space Milord."
Klaus furrows his brow, "What?"
The Captain clears his throat, "We are no longer on Earth Lord Klaus. What you see around you is a space ship currently orbiting another world entirely."
Klaus' eyes widen at that as he looks once more to the view of space outside before he grits his teeth and looks back to the Captain, "So this is how my brother decides to get rid of me? If your loyalty is truly to me, turn us around, take me back to Earth."
The Captain stands and spreads his arms, "Milord, we would gladly do so, but we were only given enough fuel for a one way trip. We have been traveling to our new home for almost a hundred years now. We are finally here, and will land tomorrow."
Even as the Captain says this, Klaus watches as a large dark green world comes into view outside the window. He's forced to accept what the man says is the truth. For a long moment Klaus just stands there, hands curling into fists and then unclenching over and over again, as he contemplates what he will do next, and wonders just how many of these people he needs alive to successfully land this ship.
Before he can decide whether or not to start killing, the Captain speaks up again, "M-milord, the Master did leave a pre-recorded message for you, if you are willing to view it."
Klaus snarls at the idea, but eventually nods, "Fine. Let's see what my brother has to say about this… exile."
A few moments later a 2D holographic image of Vali appears in front of Klaus' eyes. Klaus frowns and tries to touch it, watching as his hand goes right through his brother's mouth, even as Vali begins to speak.
"Hello brother. Either you killed everyone else in the ship, and this message began on its own, or you let someone talk for long enough to press play for you. I figure there's a fifty percent chance either way. I would say I'm sorry for all of this… but I'm not. Earth was always going to be too small for both of us Niklaus, and I can't tell you how many times I considered just killing you outright."
On the screen, Vali holds up a white oak stake, smiling grimly as he taps it idly against his empty palm, "Mikael's stake was not the last, by far. I've been keeping the rest of it safe, to make sure our family is never threatened by this weakness again. Hopefully you've already asked the right questions, but here are the facts of your situation Nik. It has been eleven hundred years since I daggered you. And yes, I had a dagger that worked on you, I had one for centuries. It's not important."
Vali pauses and Klaus finds himself blowing hot air out of his nose, his fists clenched so hard that his skin was devoid of color, completely white.
"When a millennium had passed, our siblings and I got together to decide what to do with you. This was eventually decided to be the best way to let you live, while also keeping you from taking foolish revenge. The crew that you may or may not have slaughtered by now are all hybrids, sired with your blood. The planet below you is relatively close to Earth in many ways, with less oceans and more landmasses. There is a race of humanoids who are surprisingly close to humans in biology with a few minor differences, that are still in the tribal stage."
Vali smiles and if it was a solid projection, Klaus probably would have punched it in anger. Instead he manages to refrain from looking like a fool as Vali continues, "Do what you will, with your hybrids, with the planet below you. If you've killed everyone, there's a nice big red button on the Captain's chair that will crash land you on the planet below. If you haven't, you'll probably want to let the crew land the ship themselves. Either way, the ship is rigged to explode in about five days, so you and whoever's left alive are going to want to get as far away from it as possible."
"Good luck Niklaus. I wish things could have been different, but in the end there just wasn't enough room for two Original Hybrids on my world."
The message turns off and the Captain's wide eyes replace it. Klaus can't help it, a small smirk grows on his face as he cocks an eyebrow, "Didn't know about the explosives until now, did you?"
He gets a shaky 'N-no' in response and Klaus can't help it, he begins to laugh.
Vali won, Niklaus can't deny that. If he ever finds himself face to face with his younger brother again, he will do his best to hurt him and everything Vali cares about. But even with thoughts of revenge in his head, he can't help the anticipation filling his chest as he looks down at the planet below him. A world with no vervain, no white oak… a world to call his own.
He was going to enjoy conquering it.
The Other Side was unanchored and destroyed shortly after I killed Dahlia, by Kol's hands. As a gift, I gave him the rather insane awakened Amara to play with. She had none of Silas' magic, none of his telepathy. Beyond her complete immortality, the poor girl was defenseless. Kol certainly enjoyed her.
A thousand years passed in which I conquered and unified the Earth under one banner. Not that most of the world's population knew about it. It took a hundred years to fix the damage to the Earth that humans had managed to do with their pollution and harmful technology. Turns out that when compelled, even the staunchest conservative will go green.
It took another hundred years to finally dissolve the last mega-nations and place the entire world under one government. Everyone thought it was their idea, and everyone was so happy to finally achieve true peace under a single banner. I enjoyed personally designing that banner so that every time I saw it, I was reminded that the entire world rested under my control.
In this time, Katerina died as well, a well-placed stake ending her life and sending her to whatever afterlife lay beyond the now gone Other Side. I killed her murderer as a matter of course, and grieved her as I would a loyal pet, like a cat or a dog. With Amara never dying, there was a new doppleganger every five hundred years, if I truly wanted revisit past flames.
For a thousand years I enjoyed ruling from the shadows, letting people do as they pleased with only the direction that was needed. When that thousand years had passed, my siblings and I got together for a little reunion and I asked Finn what he would have me do with Klaus now that his sentence was at its end.
It was Finn who came up with the idea of sending Klaus away. Technology had advanced and in a thousand years humanity had expanded in every direction out of our solar system. Terraforming had made it possible for us to populate the solid planets in our own solar system, but as the population grew, so did the number of colonies that slowly spread outside of our solar system and into the closest ones to us.
So I pulled the dagger from Klaus' chest and had a witch dessicate him much like Abbie Bennett would have done to Mikael in the Original Timeline. Then we sent him off on his finale voyage with a hybrid crew to keep him company, compelled to not wake him up until they reached their destination. It was possible that one day Niklaus would return, but not likely given the technology level he'd have to reach to get back to us.
I truly hoped he'd be happy with a world all his own to control.
Over the next thousand years my other siblings left the Earth behind, and those of my children who found their own routes to immortality did as well. The only ones who stayed by my side were Miranda and Freya, their immortality magic apparently tied to the Earth much as my fear of space tied me down. I had new children of course, and over time those left as well.
I played my games, had my fun at the expense of mortal and immortals alike, but mostly the years between the 31st and 40th century were marked by my siblings leaving one by one. Elijah and Tatia went first, he still deeply in love with her, and her being the first to realize that if she fled into space, I would not follow.
Soon after, Finn and Sage left as well, Sage ever the restless soul who needed to see more of what was out there. Sage and I had reconciled centuries previous though, and she'd managed to corrupt Finn enough that I did eventually get that threesome I'd contemplated so long before. When they finally went, I was happy to watch them go, content to release my hold on them.
Rebekah and Marcel went next, one city no longer being enough for Marcel, and him being the second to realize that if he left Earth behind, he would be able to rule a planet without me constantly over his shoulder. I was sad to lose my little sister, but I was not Niklaus and I would not dagger her to keep her with me when I hadn't done so to Elijah or Finn.
Kol stayed the longest, afraid to lose access to magic if he left the Earth behind. But eventually enterprising witches made the leap across the black void of space and settled on new worlds, and reports trickled back that there was still magic on those worlds, even if it was different, changed. Kol still held off, perhaps almost as afraid of the unknown as I was, but eventually his curiosity got the best of him and he left just like the others. I wished him the best and watched him go.
My family gone, I was probably the most powerful creature left on the Earth besides my daughter. Miranda's magic grew with every year, every decade, every century. There came a time when she decided to depose me by herself without Freya's or anyone else's knowledge. Proclaiming that her magic placed her above me, she attacked and I was forced to beat her down.
Her magic did not place her above me unfortunately. Though I could never cast magic myself, my body was so infused with it now, enchantments suffused throughout my organs, runes tattooed across my limbs. I had taken the power of three millennia of witches and kept boosting my own strength, my own agility, my own stamina.
I forgave Miranda of course, jovially telling her, that like every beautiful woman who attempted my life, she got one freebie, and that was it. She paid in spades for her treachery, but she would always be my daughter, and I forgave her easily. Truth be told, I'd been getting bored, and her attempt at deposing me had actually been the most fun I'd had in the 40th century.
That fun led me to begin forming unrest against myself, revealing my evil to groups of vampires and witches, exposing fake weaknesses over the next several centuries, creating my own enemies. At times I even went out and led rebellious groups against myself while under illusions and using kemiya to simulate magic.
These war games that nobody knew about but me were more than a little amusing, to the point that at one time Miranda even fell in love with one of my alter egos, after I defeated her soundly while appearing as someone else. I won't sugar coat things, I ended up in bed with my own daughter for several months before once again the rebellion failed and my poor baby girl was forced to watch as her lover was revealed to be me.
She sulked for a time of course, but eventually it led to us openly sharing a bed, as it would seem that I left quite the impression on her during our intimate time together. This, it turned out, was another trap, as Miranda tried to lull me into a false sense of security to put into action her newest plan, one she'd begun working on with Freya after her first defeat at my hands, nine centuries previous.
And that was what led us to now, with my Palace under attack by a combination of the witches, werewolves, and vampires who I'd all been separately playing against me for centuries now. I couldn't help but grin as I sat on my throne and watched the doors break open and the mob enter, Miranda at the fore front with Freya close behind.
I was not surprised when Miranda gestured sharply, and my Royal Guard, all that remained of my most loyal Disciples turned and pointed their weapons at me. Miranda had figured out how to remove compulsion centuries ago, and had turned my first children against me decades before. I'd let it happen without even showing a hint that I knew what was going on. I was the bad guy now, the evil Emperor.
I was slightly surprised though, to find Ravia standing with her back to me, her own weapon pointed at the massive army before her even as her comrades turned against me. Standing, I stepped up behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder, "Darling Ravia, I know Miranda removed the compulsion from you as well. Yet still you stand with me?"
Her eyes don't move to me, staying locked on those arrayed before us, but she does speak softly, "Always Master."
I sigh and lean down to whisper in her ear, "I will never forget your sacrifice Ravia."
Then before she has a chance to react, in a flash of speed that is beyond what most of the people in the throne room can even track, I pull her heart from her chest. She dies instantly, falling into my arms as I gently lay her down, her skin turning grey. While her loyalty is something I will always cherish, she cannot follow where I plan to go, and these people will not treat her kindly once I'm gone.
Smiling wickedly, my eyes gold and black and my rows of sharp fangs in display, I spread my arms wide, still holding Ravia's bloody heart as I look down at the faces of those arrayed against me, before focusing on my daughter. Miranda's eyes are wide, as she knows exactly how long I'd had Ravia at my side, how much I cared for her. Casually dropping the heart to the ground, I flick the blood off my hands and step over my last loyal Disciple's corpse.
"My firstborn daughter, come to deal with her evil tyrant of a father. I told you before Miranda, you only get one freebie. Is this what you've assembled to kill me? Do you truly think I cannot cut through this army of yours in a snap of my fingers?"
Miranda swallows convulsively, her fear of me etched across her face even as she shakes her head, "No father. We aren't here to kill you."
I smile at that, "Good. It's only taken you a thousand years, but it seems you're finally learning. You may begin the spell Miranda."
Miranda's eyes widen, "You… you know?"
I chuckle and clasp my hands behind my back, "I'm shocked that you thought I didn't Miranda. Did you not notice that I stopped my own war games over fifty years ago just so you could plan in peace, so that you would have the most resources at your disposal? You've been working on this for a long time my dear. I've been interested to see what you've cooked up."
She regains some of her confidence as she incorrectly assumes I don't know the full plan. She smirks cockily even as she lifts her hands up into the air, and visible magic begins to go to work, "You've grown foolish than old man, not to find out exactly what I've been planning!"
She begins to chant and her army tenses up, clearly ready to protect her if I make a move as is their true purpose. I don't though, smile still on my face as she continues her spell to completion. She finishes by thrusting her hands in my direction, and behind me forms a large portal, large enough for multiple people to step through.
Miranda is breathing heavily, as are Freya and many of the witches around her. It's clear that Miranda was channeling all of them to form this portal even as she raises a finger and points at me, before calling to her army of werewolves, vampires, and hybrids, "All we have to do now is push him through the portal! No matter how many of us it takes, when he goes through, he's never coming back!"
Her army roars its approval and I can't help a smile of fatherly pride that comes across my face. My daughter really has grown up. As they rush forward though, I throw my head back and laugh. It's a testament to my reputation that this causes the front line to falter dramatically, and the entire army freezes up in fear.
I laugh for several long moments, Miranda growing angrier and angrier as her forces look to be about ready to turn and run. I hold up a hand as I get control of myself, "Sorry, sorry. It's just… I must thank you daughter. For this gift. My own people have never managed what you have done. A transdimensional portal."
I turn away from the army to look at it, awe on my face as I smile, "Your power truly is unrivaled."
Throwing one more look over my shoulder, I wink at Miranda, "Have fun with my world darling."
And then I step through into the unknown.
"Even after four thousand years you continue to embody the title of idiot savant."
As soon as I step through the portal I'm in a very familiar white void, hearing a very familiar voice insulting me. I growl slightly, "This again. Is this really necessary?"
"It's very necessary. Did you even think before you stepped through that portal? You have a slightly ridiculous, slightly understandable fear of space, and yet you didn't even think of what you'd find on the other side of a transdimensional portal to the unknown? You're incredibly lucky that I pulled you here the instant you stepped through."
I frown at that, "And why is that?"
"Consider this you immortal moron. There are an infinite number of you, versions of you that are created with every choice you make. Most of that infinite number make it to the portal as you did in 4956 A.D."
A slight pause and then the voice continues talking. Damnit, info dumping is usually my shtick!
"And most of that infinite number are now in the worst places possible. Some are floating through space just like you feared would happen, some are stranded on planets that will be devoid of life and breathable air for millions of years, some are just back where they started, popping out somewhere else on that Earth in 4956."
I hmm, furrowing my brow in thought, "And not a single version of me managed to get to a new dimension that was worth being in?"
"… Well some did sure. But I assure you, the majority of the infinite versions of you are suffering horribly."
I shake my head, "That doesn't make sense. If there are infinite versions of me, you can't quantify a majority of them. An infinite number of me would mean an infinite number are in horrible positions and an infinite number are in decent positions. And an infinite number of inbetween situations as well."
"… See this is the savant part coming into play. You have these insights and say things that are almost clever, while still being stupid. Do you think I would have pulled you here if you were destined for somewhere nice and fun?"
I blink at that, "Where was I going then?"
"Oh just a little place you're passingly familiar with. Warhammer 40k is what you know it as. Your journey into their dimension would have torn a hole in the warp large enough to attract every single member of the Chaos Pantheon. Knowing your… proclivities you'd probably have ended up a minor demon of Slaanesh after a few decades of torture. The great Master, turned into a mewling slave."
I wince at the imagery, "Well… fine. I can admit when I'm wrong… Thank you, for not letting that happen."
"… I didn't know you still had that in you after four thousand years as a monster. Huh. Right. Well, you're welcome."
Scowling, I look around, really wishing there was a physical manifestation of Omnipotent Me to attack right now. But there wasn't, so eventually I settled for asking the most pertinent question, "So what happens now?"
"That's obvious isn't it? You may have grown a bit apart in life experiences from the original over the last few millennia, but you're still a version of me. I'm going to send you somewhere fun. It might be a setting you recognize, it might not. Either way, I'll certainly enjoy watching you frolic."
I narrow my eyes, "There will be no frolicking, I assure you of that. So at the end of it all, I'm just going to be some show for your entertainment, like the Originals and the Vampire Diaries were for me so long ago?"
"Actually, I like to view it more as you're going to be recording Let's Plays for me. I'll be picking the 'games' so to speak, but there will be no script for you to follow. You're going to be able to do whatever you like, just as you always have. Yes, it will be for my entertainment… but it will be for yours as well."
I blink as I look at it in that light, and a slow grin spreads across my face, "Hadn't thought of it that way. I suppose in the end, it's exactly what I wanted. Fine then, you've got yourself an entertainer. I'm ready to start."
"Wonderful. There are so many worlds for you to explore. Let's begin."
… for now.
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