The Last And First Overmen: A Novel of the Last Superheroes

By Jave Harron

Chapter 32: The Sum of All

Heritage wasted no time lingering over the corpse of the wallet from Outback, he tried channeling the Aussie soldier. He knew he was pushing it close with all the personalities active at once. Deciding to stick with Tesla and Outback, he weighed picking an object from the meta that lay dead at his hands.

Aren't you going to get Kensai's sword?

No. That's how he was controlled. Channeling that might allow the Archon to steal my mind, too, he hypothesized.

The Australian wants you to at least pick up an object of hers. Her personality as a meta might be messed up, but he at least wants a way to preserve her personality as a civilian.

Begrudgingly, Heritage took her wallet. Rooting through it, he took her money, credit cards, and a few personal artifacts.

Don't you think you're being somewhat unethical?

Nah. What better way to channel a schoolgirl than through what I assume might be her most commonly used things?

Soon afterwards, Prometheus appeared directly and told him what he had to do. Afterwards, Heritage began gathering as many items has he could from dead metas. Sometimes, he would bat an eye up to watch the aerial battle between the two metas. Most of the time, however, he was concerned with staying away from the meta-junkies and dispatching the ones he had to. Heritage had just taken the shield from the impaled corpse of Union Jane when he saw Prometheus become vaporized by the Demiurge.

A sickly purple energy radiated from the Archon's corpse. A new glow was in his eyes. Even behind his battered black face mask, the gaze was recognizable as something other than human or metahuman.

Let's get cracking.

Tesla, I should be able to channel Zeitgeist now, right?

Now that he's dead, sure. But do we really know how to take out the Demiurge?

No, but I know people that do.

He pulled out the watch, and merged his mind with the German scientist. Heritage knew that he alone did not have the power to defend against the full force of the Demiurge, nor any of the personas he currently had. But he knew where to find them, thanks to Prometheus' memories. For now, he would channel two powers together: time freezing, and Zeitgeist's dimension hopping.

He froze time, and set that as his temporal anchor. This ensured not a millisecond would pass outside. Hoping to the Nexus, his idea guided him. He entered several different worlds that had survived Archon attacks, and gathered artifacts from their historical figures. If that failed, he would go for raw power. To find the greatest meta-powers in the multiverse, Heritage hopped in between several different alternative histories, grabbing artifacts from their historical figures. He also went to the distant past of timelines similar to his own to raid artifacts. Using a mass-storage device he found in the Nexus, he managed to fit the collection from several metas in several different parallel universes together at once.

Once he was ready, he returned to the temporal anchor he had set. Years had passed for him and an array of voices filled his head, but he had retained enough of his individuality to have them target the Archon for annihilation. His own fate afterwards was not something he considered. Regardless of what happened, it was now time to put his newly discovered skills to the test. He let time return to its normal rate.

Hundreds of voices began to combine their skills together inside Heritage's body. The personas of gun specialists, genetic mutants, thaumaturges, martial artists, and others began to channel their energy through the single man. The resulting blast of energy was a second sun over the burning city. It followed hit the Demiurge in the side, who reeled backwards from the blast.

Another chorus of personas began to take over. Heritage flew into the air. Such flight was a skill that had eluded him before. Now, he accelerated to a near-relativistic speed and headed directly at the Demiurge. The alien horror moved to the side, and countered with an energy blast of his own. Another group of personas (including Union Jane) instinctively caused him to raise Jane's shield to absorb the force of the blow.

The resulting blow did nothing other than slow him down a bit. Heritage drew several projectile weapons, and fired at the Demiurge as he approached. He started with his vintage channeling firearms and ended with several high tech ones, such as gravity burst weapons, energy weapons, rail guns, and far more bizarre ones.

The Demiurge did not flinch for most of the barrage, but continued dodging and returning fire with small energy bursts of his own. The look on the Archon's stolen face was clear: Fear. The Demiurge was now faced with the very real possibility of its own destruction. This hesitation allowed Heritage's blow to connect with his target.

The Demiurge flew backwards, and began tumbling downwards through the air. Heritage was not about to give let the Demiurge the chance to escape. He let a chorus of melee-specialist personas take over. Bektashi was leading that chorus. The two swords came out, and began to deliver justice to the Demiurge. Slowing down time, Heritage knew it was time to deliver the death blow. Using Wagner's gravity blades, he began to reduce the Archon into femtoscopic components. Then, creating a black hole, Heritage sucked what was left of the Demiurge in.

In the city below, the meta-junkies fell unconscious and comatose. Their minds consumed by the drug, and then the Demiurge, they now had nothing to direct their neural activities. City police, metahumans, and the meta-public had won the day. Around the world, the meta-junkie-driven offensive was stopped dead in its tracks.

After reducing the mutual foe to subatomic particles, the coalition of personas that Heritage had build collapsed into infighting. He fell from the sky, and lay comatose in the ground. His original identity was lost in the crowd of historical personages familiar and alien. Heritage's body soon vanished, and his disappearance was considered to be the event that heralded the end of the era of superheroes.