His eyes opened slowly, only to see a blinding light glaring. Todd looked around and saw a man in a sterile white suit, and they were in a similar room. "Ah, you're awake. You gave your folks quiet a scare." The doctor grabbed a phone and said, "Todd's awake. Let his folks know."
The doctor asked Todd if he needed anything...other then answers, he felt thatit would be better to tell him if his family was there. Todd did not. The man turned off the light. Todd was alone in the room in the dark. Or so he thought. "Simmions, you are a fool." said a voice. "Who's there?" Todd snapped, getting out of bed.
There was a man standing in the corner. "Who are you?" asked Todd. The man didn't answered but smiled evily, "Now, now Todd. Don't want another heart attack do we?"
"Heart...attack?" Todd asked, grabbing his chest. "Yes. This...World Walker nonsense is finally doing its toll Todd. Too much stress for someone your age. So, why not just let it go, quit the world walking? Live your life, get Johanna..." The man snapped his finger and an image of Johanna appeared.
Todd, despite himself reached out to grab her hand only for the image vanish into mist. "You're a fool Todd. Listen to me...if you continue the being the World Walker, you will die young...in this hospital, in your bed, Bed 45. But if you join me, I can make you live forever!"
Todd replied, "I don't believe you." He walked back to his bed. Or more accurately he tried, as the floor became endless, even in a full sprint. "There is nowhere to run...nowhere to hide. I am all-powerful, you are nothing!" Todd fond a Bible near-by and held it in front of him like a shield. "Do you think those pieces of paper can do something against me..."
And like that the Bible spontaneously combusted. The man grabbed Todd by the shirt and snarled, "Mortal brat! This path will get you killed, Johanna will be out of your reach forever! And..." The man then tore his hand off his shirt and shouted in pain. He looked at his hand and saw the burned imprint of Christ.
A crucifix. The wound burned, despite the fact it was healing already. "Alright then...then you will die. And I will do everything I can to make your soul...mine." The man vanished, but was able to stay long enough to watch Todd have another heart attack.
Todd woke up in his bed again, this time with Johanna and his family by his bed. Martha held Todd tightly, while Johanna held his hand, and Hank placing a hand on his shoulders.
The doctor returned and told them the basics, Todd had (now two) heart attacks, most likely caused by stress. Martha asked, "Todd, what's been causing you stress? What's wrong?" Johanna offered, "Maybe it was Albert, when I saw Todd in his room yesterday, before our show, he was all stressed out."
Hank nodded and added, "High blood pressure does run in my side of the family."
After a few hours Todd was able to leave the hospital with his family, who were given medicine to keep his blood pressure down. Todd sat next to Johanna. He couldn't help but think of that damn image. Johanna leaned and whispered, "What's wrong?" Todd just said, "Johanna?" "Yeah?" "You've been my friend since we were born..." "I know."
Todd flushed and said, "Johanna, you have the right to know...I...uh, well, find you to be pretty." Johanna flushed, "Er, thanks Todd. That's sweet. Where did that come from?"
"I...I just felt you deserved to know..." "Well...thank you."
They made it to the Simmions' house shortly afterward. Todd walked upstair to the bathroom to look in the mirror. It appears the man was right on something, world walking has caused him to age considerably. Other then the weakened heart, in the mirror Todd noticed crows feet around his eyes and a receding hair line. As the doctor ordered, Todd went to bed for some rest.
Johanna bid the family good bye and decided to go for a walk. As any one would expect, she was worried about Todd. She knew damn well what was causing his stress, fighting the demons and malevolent gods. But since Todd can't fight and has to rest for a bit...now what? Once the word gets out that Todd is inactive, who knows what'll happen.
All Hell could break loose. Then an idea poppped in her head. "I wonder where Philip lives right now?"
After about an hour, she found Philip's new apartment. "Hello Johanna. Come on in. To what do I owe this pleasent surprise." Johanna filled Philip in on the situation. "Hmm, sounds grim. We can't let those aliens learn Todd is out of commission."
Philip, being an agnositc, didn't refer to the monsters Todd fought on a regular basis as "demons", but rather thought they were extra-dimensional aliens, but respected Todd's and Johanna's belief in demons. (And the fact he refers to them as demons in the heat of the battles).
Philip then remembered something, "Hey Johanna, does this smell like chloroform to you?" He shoved a rag in her face, in which she fell asleep.
About an hour later she woke up and snapped, "What the hell!?" Philip replied, "Sorry Johanna, let's just say I stumbled on something big, and it's making me paranoid, hell I had to move here. And I assume it's immune to chloroform, so yeah, sorry."
"Alright, so again with Todd..." Johanna began, only for Philip to inturrupt, "Look, I know what you're thinking, have me take Todd's form and place. But I have no magic, and Todd doesn't have superhuman strength...wouldn't seem weird for "Todd" to start only using his fists then go back to magic?" Johanna thought for a second and said,
"Well, you canprobably replicate matter creation..."
Philip nodded and answered, "True." "And since you're composed of nanomachines you can probably have a flashy way to cause it to "vanish"." Philip nodded at that point. He sighed, "Fine, I'll do it. But if we get Todd in anymore trouble then he usually is, I'm blaming you." Johanna nodded.
In the woods, at roughly 10:30 was a group, a cult, that worshiped Lovecraftian-equse beings. As with most stereotypical cults, they were sacrificing virgins...despite the fact their "holy text" said absolutley nothing on the matter. The leader said a few cerimonial phrases, "Kycons meosncah xenu thetanoan mysoni!" He raised the knife over his head.
Something struck his hand, flinging the knife through the air and into a tree.
"Well gentlemen...and I assume ladies. It appears I have walked onto your "mass"." "No! It's the World Walker!" The boy raised his eyebrow, thinking, 'Huh, didn't know he was well known in this world.'
A sword formed seemingly out of nowhere in his hand. He did a few flashy manuvers with the sword, causing many of them to run away. The sword vanished as the last few men remained. "Well can you say "death-wish?"" The leader pounced towards the boy, who vanished, causing him to crash into a tree.
Johanna was up in the treetops, watching Philip's show. It was impressive, for matter creation he would just have his nanomachines "pile up" to form his weapons and to make them vanish he did something similar to his teleporting trick, having his nanomachines fly off in all directions. It was rather clever.
Things got weird from there. The man snapped his spine through his skin, but he seemed to warp from it, his spine becoming some form of tentacle and the torn skin becoming sharp fangs and around the portions of unripped skin, eyes grew out..
"Er, Philip... what's that?..." asked Johanna over a walkie-talkie on a frequensy Philip could tap into to talk with her. "Would take more time to explain then I have Johanna...but remember how I drugged you earlier?" "Yeah?" "These guys are the reasons."
The other members preformed self-mutilation, slicing from thier lips to the back of thier heads, forming hideous mouths, cutting down thier chests and creating a pair jaws, and jabbing out an eye, creating a glowing organ.
'Well damn. The only way I know how to kill them is with weed killer. Think Philip, how else can you kill a plant-like alien, with the power to preform body horror based transformations by getting injured?'
Philip reformed at the altar and released the woman, "Run like hell." Philip demanded. The woman ran away, as Philip grabbed the candels and exhaled (gesturing his hand to make it seemed he was using magic) lighting the aliens a blaze. J
ohanna commented, "While I doubt even Todd would kill those...things, nice touch." Johanna said. Philip replied, "Sorry, let's just say the less of them the better."
Meanwhile, at the Simmions household, Todd was tossing a bounce ball against the parallel wall, thinking about the being his saw at the hospital. "Why? Why me?...ok I fight demons and killed several gods, so yeah he has reason to worry..."
Todd said to himself. His parents were fast asleep already. Todd turned to his drawer and took out a Bible. "Worry not, for I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.", that's what he read. Todd sighed. He knew demons would probably try to attack across the multiverse now that the World Walker has been disposed of.
Todd also worried about himself, and those around him. It was well established by him and the others around him, even Nilrem ('Where has he been?' thought Todd) that he was in over his head, and he can't just stop being the World Walker, but what if he gets a fatal heart attack in another universe, no one would know where he would be. "God, what am I to do?" It was getting late, so Todd said his nightly prayers, and went to sleep.
Philip reassumed his form and was escorting Johanna home. "Thanks Philip, this means a lot to me." Philip replied, "No problem. Pardon my asking but does it mean a lot to you?"
Johanna flushed and answered, "Well, I, I don't want Todd to hurt himself, I mean, he's my best friend. And I don't want him to..." Johanna was starting to cry. She was thinking of the possiblity of Todd dying.
Philip picked up on it and said, "Johanna, stop it. Todd's not going anywhere. He's alive and well. We just need to help him keep his nerves, to prevent another heart attack."
Everything after that happened too fast and Johanna blacked out.
Todd was floating in some kind of misty void. "What the...?" Then a fire formed on a bush...that appeared out of no where. A Man walked up to him from the mist. The Man had brown skin, with ancient, brown eyes, and grey hair. "Todd...how have you been. Not good I assume, what with the heart attacks and all...sorry about that by the way."
Todd then snapped, "Where am I? Who are You?" The man outstretched His arms and said, "I Am to the Deists, the Grand Architect of the Universe, to Pantheists, I Am the Universe, and to Theospophists, I Am the Truth. To you, however, I Am God." Todd took a step back.
God continued, "Pardon Me, I don't usually such a showy and lengthy introduction, but let's just say Fullmetal Alchemist's got nothing on Me." He then laughed, and recollected His demeanor. "Todd, first I must welcome you to the World between the World of the Waking and the world of Dreams...and the Dreamlands if you want to get technical."
When Todd finally came to peace that he was talking to God, he asked, "Why am I here...my Lord." God answered, "Well, I need you to know something, look into the burning bush...and please, no need for Lord, "God" will do."
In the flames Todd could see Philip, as a puddle, encased in a ball, and Johanna tied to a wall, as Nilrem started opening a portal, most likely opening a portal to Pandora Hell. "What the...why is Philip and Johanna captured by Nilrem?!"
God answered, "Philip assumed your form to try to cover you, Johanna watching him in a hiding spot to try to guide him to be more "Todd-like". Nilrem was watching them. He heard you were gone and decided to stirke now while the iron is hot. His plan is to summon an army of Pandora demons and relocate the ones he lost after he kidnapped Johanna." Todd was expecting a pain of a heart attack, only to remember he isn't in the physical world. "Thank you God! I need to go home! I have to get them back!" He turned to leave...somehow, when God then asked rhetorically, "What of your heart?" Todd stopped for a moment, now remembering his weakened heart. Todd sighed and replied, "Better me getting a heart attack then for Johanna and Philip getting hurt and Nilrem summoning up demons."
Todd turned to face God and said, "You know, I thank You every day, for giving me my powers. To be honest, I wouldn't give them up...because with them I can save people who need me. Like my friends and family." God approched him, rested a hand on his shoulder, giving a wide smile as He laughed, "Yes! You've got it, that's the right answer! I knew it was a good idea to let you fall into the Mana Stream, or Gate if you prefer that name!" God then placed a hand on Todd's head and chest only to lift them off. "Todd I have repaired your body greatly. You're signs of age, the hairline and wrinkles are all gone. You're heart is still a little weak, but it can withstand greater levels of stress before you receive the heart attack."
Todd was about to ask, why not get rid of the heart attack all together, but then again he's talking to God, so it's best not to ask. All Todd said was, "Thank you God." A door appeared behind Todd, just a few steps away. Todd turned to the door, only for God to call out, "Wait!" Todd turned around and asked, "What?"
God then said, "Remember, humans have but a short time on Earth. Make sure you can die with no regrets. Don't want to be ghost now do you?" Todd found this to be a bit strange, but again, it's God, no questions. "I'll try God. Well, see you...er, eventually. I love You." "Love you too my creation." God smiled. When Todd returned to the waking world, God sighed.
Philip was blacked out, since Nilrem used his magic to emit a sort of mock-EMP, preventing him from forming his body. Johanna struggled in vain to loosen her bonds. Nilrem was muttering an incantation to open a portal to some Hell-dimension. A vortex opened, as a claw opened as it reached through the portal. But the vortex closed on the arm and severed it from it's owner.
"Damn!" snapped Nilrem, "It seems I'm missing something!" He looked over his shoulder to see Johanna still struggling. "Perhaps the blood of a female virgin..."
Nilrem was sent flying by a gust of wind, causing him to crash into the wall. "You know it's rude to question a woman on her virginity." Todd smiled, arms crossed as he leaned against the doorframe. "Todd!" Johanna smiled. Todd rushed over to Johanna to cut her free, only to be tossed backwards by a telekinetic force. Nilrem was back on his feet, slinging his shoulder back into place.
Todd rolled on the ground and went to the orb Philip was in. Todd created a bat and smashed it, and gave Philip a little shock, reactivating him. Philip reformed into his humanoid form and groaned, "Oh, Todd? I thought...how did you know we were..." Todd answered, "Let's just say I have outside resources."
Todd looked back as Nilrem repositioned a rib or two and a femer back into place. "Er...Philip, you take care of Johanna, I fight Nilrem." "Got it!" Philip dissolved into a puddle and slithered towards Johanna.
But first he made a detour and slipped under Nilrem and pulled himself out from under him , causing him to fall, and Todd and Johanna to laugh for some reason. 'Humans are weird.' he thought, as he reformed and made his silvery claws. Todd rushed to Nilrem and headbutted him.
Nilrem kicked Todd in the chest as he got back up. "I guess you're not out of action. You should have stayed that way World Walker." Todd got back up and smirked, "Well you said so yourself, I'm in over my head and can't turn back. But I like a good challenge." Todd tossed a fireball at Nilrem, only for him to catch it, and hurl it back.
Todd formed a shield and forced it forward, sending it crashing forward. Nilrem formed his own shield, blocking Todd's attack. "You need new attacks Todd!" Nilrem waved his hand, allowing two demons to form.
(A/N: Before you asked, Nilrem needs the portal to summon an army, but he can summon a few demons on his own.)
Todd created a knife and stomped his foot. A pillar formed in front of Nilrem, and went into his chest, sending him flying. "That should get him out of my hair for a while." The demons lundged at Todd. Todd managed to stab one in the chest, but missed the heart. He tossed it aside, as the other demon grappled onto his back. Todd stabbed it's hand several times, as the other demon bit into his leg. But suddenly the demon on his back was torn off.
Johanna lifted it's head and slit it's throat with a sharpend cross as Todd stabbed the demon on his leg in the back, then kicking it off. Philip turned his hand into a lance and impaled the heart. "Where's Nilrem?" asked Johanna.
Todd answered, "I sent him flying, but I wonder why he hasn't come back..." Philip answered, "Well after I have a personality study, and I assume he's was shocked that you're fine and is also taking this opprotunity to think of yet another plan."
As the trio walked out into the street, Johanna asked, just remembering, "Todd! What about you're heart?" Todd tapped the left side of his chest and said, "Outside resources. As my Uncle Stu would say, My ticker's tickin' fine." "Good, I was worried to death about you." Johanna replied.
Meanwhile, as Nilrem wandered into the streets, he found his demons death and Todd and the others gone. "Damn!" he snarled to himself. He walked back outside, as something resembling a seed lundged out off nowhere. It's feeler penatracted his skin, trying to assimilate Nilrem's form. But the "seed" screeched out in pain as its feelers were burnt off. Nilrem tore it off, and bit it, then swallowed it. "Pathetic Assimilator!" Nilrem snarled.
(A/N:Well that was the second Personal Grounds. I introduced my Satan, the Source of All Destruction, and revealed the limits of the Assimilators (the aliens in Nanomachines). I got a bit done didn't I? Oh and heads up, the next story it going to be a little, um, different. :) Well see you all around)