Episode 12: Flare The Fierce
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My mind stuttered as I heard that name. I had long since stopped worrying about the Flare Foundation after Jack and I successfully escaped their base at the beginning of my journey, but now, after my journey reached its end, had they finally caught up and found us? No, that did not seem right. None of this seemed right. I tried to focus on the situation, but with my mind still acclimating to my regained intellect, and my formerly lost knowledge still beyond my grasp, focusing proved to be difficult.

“Flare the Fury?” I repeated in confusion, at a loss for anything else to say.

“Yes, yes indeed, but I suppose that name must be confusing the three of you, wouldn’t it? In fact, my very existence is probably a surprise to you. I mean, Jack may have been my favoritest little doll, but even I know when to keep my secrets.”

I looked back at Jack for a moment. She and Zedaki had distanced themselves from Flare and I, as per my instructions, and both held a look of confusion on their faces, mirroring my own. While my head was turned to them for a mere moment, Flare flew past me, her feet never touching the ground as the air carried her forward and right behind Jack and Zedaki. Her presence shocked them, and her speed left me dumbfounded.

“Now, now, I’m not going to hurt you two. I just want all of you nice and close while I tell you a little story, all righty?”

Jack looked up at Flare, her face painted with dread as she slowly backed away from her. While Zedaki stood before the enigmatic woman, her face contorted with resentment for what Flare had taken from her moments prior.

“What kind of story do you want to tell us?” Zedaki curtly asked the levitating woman in front of her.

“It is my own story, you silly little goose. But if I am going to tell it, I suppose I should start at the very beginning.”

Before continuing, Flare pressed her hands against the ground and Real Booted a sofa that would sit three. Her speed in reassembling the matter beneath her feet matched my own, and right as the object was completely formed, she kicked it towards me with an immense force. I grabbed it reflexively and kept my eyes glued on her as she reached down into the newly formed hole before her, deepening it as she Real Booted a similar-looking recliner chair for herself. She sat in it with her legs crossed while gesturing to the three of us to take a seat, implying that this was a long story. I exchanged knowing looks with my allies, urging them to play along, sit on the sofa, and listen to her story.

“In February 2015, the Flare Foundation, an organization belonging to the illustrious Flare family, had finally succeeded in their most ambitious project. Capturing Abigale Quinlan. An enigma throughout history, an obscure myth only found in the rarest texts, a figure who, throughout time, had done well to hide her presence, and seldom ever used her true name. Oh, the search for her was an arduous one, but after several years of vigorous research, that the efforts of the Foundation had finally been rewarded.”

“Researching her existence and finding the common through-line in otherwise unrelated anecdotes was a challenge I would not wish upon my greatest enemies, and finding her proved even more difficult. It was an ordeal that had agents exploring the globe, searching through the greater human population for somebody who would be an appropriate match. We went through dozens of false candidates, but thanks to the discovery of a few seemingly innocuous photos scattered across a social media page, we were able to find the one true Abigale Quinlan.”

“Following a process involving much collateral damage and many deaths, the mightiest being in all the world had been captured, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and brought into a specialized chamber where she would be analyzed, experimented upon, and the secrets behind her amazing inhuman abilities would be uncovered for the benefit of the Flare Foundation, if not all of mankind.”

“However, the methods implemented by the research team proved to be a bit… unorthodox, as they had Abigale assaulted, maimed, and harmed constantly if she disobeyed their orders. And my oh my, was she an ornery little cunt. She went on about how she would not be made an experiment, how her powers shall not be used by the forces of man, and how she is the only one who should be special. Her resistance continued for a few weeks before… something happened. After being punished and experimented for so long, Abigale began expressing troubling tendencies, and the base was detecting some strange readings. Those readings turned out to be a devastating earthquake.”

“This was followed by a horrific storm that tore off the roof of the building, demolishing our facilities. These two events allowed Abigale Quinlan to escape, to fly away from the lab, go across the country, and then the entire world, and wherever she went, rampant devastation and awe-inspiring destruction followed. Hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tornados, storms, floods, earthquakes, and other oddities like the giant pillars and massive sinkholes you have all become well acquainted with.”

“Over the span of a month, she traveled across every nation in this world and left every one of them in some massive state of disrepair. Infrastructure was destroyed, most people perished from the disaster itself or the aftermath, and humanity, the once-proud figure that had conquered and controlled this planet, was left shambling in its own ruins.”

“It all came to a close when Abigale returned to New York City. Once there, she set off an explosion that not only destroyed the city but most of New England with it. The explosion created a massive crater, one that filled with water from the Atlantic ocean, submerging her in both water and rubble. There she should have remained hidden for decades, if not centuries, but the Flare Foundation was prepared for any and all possible outcomes and uncovered her body within a week. Fortunately, the devastation she wrought upon this Earth left her body comatose, unable to move, and most importantly, unable to resist. The Foundation was able to freely experiment on her, to explore her biology in far more detail than they could previously, and they did just that.”

“However, the results were… unsatisfactory, to say the least. We discovered many things by observing Abigale’s body with no restraints… but our key discovery was that whatever caused Abigale Quinlan’s abilities to manifest themselves, it was incompatible with humans. Despite resembling a human in nearly every way, her genetic makeup was deeply different from that of a Homo Sapien, and the scientists could not comprehend or find what exactly gave her these abilities. It was a… crushing revelation. One that proved the Foundation’s efforts were all in vain.”

“Everyone was crestfallen by this discovery, but giving up was not an option. The Foundation needed to use its newly acquired asset to the best of their capabilities, and it was decided that the best way to do so was to take an unorthodox approach. Breeding. If we could not grant Abigale’s abilities to humans, then producing an offspring with her should create a new lifeform with similar results, right? Sadly, that proved ineffective. Abigale’s uterus rejected all human semen injected into it, and her semen was rejected by all human uteruses, leaving the volunteering woman ill from the attempted insemination.”

“Once again, it seemed like the Foundation had no hope to salvage this infinitely costly project, but yet another idea emerged. That of breeding children using both of Abigale’s genitalia, extracting and inseminating herself with her own semen. It was a long shot, a last resort… but it worked. It fucking worked! Elated, the foundation then began devising plans to raise these new children, to have them serve the organization, and help rebuild the world in their image. All while continuing to research the children in hopes of learning the secret to the immense intellect, immortality, enhanced speed and strength, Real Booting, and the explosive snap that Abigale Quinlan possessed.”

“The first child born through this process was given the name of Fiona, and she was personally cared for by none other than the leader of the Foundation, Maxxisaurus Omega Flare. Flare wanted to keep this child a very private matter and took care of her as if she were her daughter. They would sleep in the same bed, dine together, and spend all of their leisure time together, when Fiona was not blazing through her education at absurd speeds, and when Flare was not running what remained of her organization.”

“Because of the rousing success of Fiona, the foundation continued to breed Abigale Quinlan and caused her to produce an additional 7 children. One of whom was born prematurely, a failure that at the very least offered us an insight into Abigale’s reproductive biology. And as for the other 6… calling them failures may be harsh, but it is accurate. Unlike Fiona, they only possessed one noteworthy power of Abigale Quinlan. One could Real Boot, one was intelligent, one was immortal, one had immense speed and strength, one could cause explosions with a mere snap, and one was ‘immortal’ in air quotes.”

“In spite of these limited powers though, all of these children, excluding the recently born seventh child, managed to escape the Foundation through some means. They were cared for, loved, and enriched by members of the Foundation, who treated them as kindly and lovingly as possible… but they proved to be vastly more temperamental than their lovely big sister, and abused their powers to flee their home. While the Foundation searched for them far and wide, the escaped children were adamant about retaining their newfound freedom and would fight back… viciously. After half of the total staff of the Foundation had been murdered by these renegades, they were forced to cut their losses and let the escaped children roam free in this tattered world.”

“We thought about giving up our pursuits then and there… but we carried on, clinging to some hope we had of forging a family of beings who would help the Foundation restore the world to its lost luster. In doing so, we learned that the repeated births were putting a strain on Abigale’s body. Her powers were leaving her body, and she was becoming something closer to human in regards to her sheer capabilities. Her immortality was fading, she no longer healed from wounds, she could not function without sustenance, and she appeared to be breaking away from her coma. This raised the question of what the Foundation should do about Abigale. If they should continue their efforts, dissect her, or do something else… but before the Foundation could finalize their plans, Fiona was already executing her own.

“Fiona knew about Abigale’s personality, her values, her abilities, and so much more. She had a deep connection to her singular parent, researched her rigorously, and became the expert on all things Abigale Quinlan. One who looked at the piteous situation she and the world were put in… and devised a plan. She knew her siblings were lost causes, wastes of genetic resources that could be better used by her mother… if she were still conscious.”

“Fiona made her plan quickly, and executed it even faster, gathering and distributing all the pieces, before finally awakening you that fateful morning 7 days ago. You can thank Fiona for much that happened throughout your journey. She is the one who appointed Jack as the caretaker of the recently born eighth child and positioned her in the room right beside your own. She is the one who placed the Blazing Beelzebub near Madeco and redirected the seventh child to the settlement. She is the one who captured and relocated Marz. And the one who allowed Punky to be apprehended by the incompetent hands of Zil.”

“Fiona did not account for everything, but she was there from the very start. From the instant she woke you up, my dear Abigale, you were abiding by her plan, following the steps needed to make Project Psycho Bullet Festival a rousing success!”

“Oh, but how do I play into this, and just who the hell am I? Well, that’s the funny thing. You see, Abigale, your abilities are a bit more complicated than you would recall. After the Foundation tortured you, you gained the ability to control nature, to cause trees to spurt and die, to reshape the land around you, but there is one other ability you possess that I never saw you express. Merging. Your body once had the capability of becoming one with other beings, to implement them into who and what you are, to have them meld into your body and your mind.”

“When Fiona was born, she had copies of all of your powers and took two away from you. The ability to control nature, and also the ability to merge. While the nature ability was widely documented, the ability to merge remained a mystery to the entirety of the Flare Foundation… excluding Fiona. On the night following your escape, the Foundation had fallen into despair, the scientists felt their research was all for nothing, and the future direction of the organization was vague at best.”

“Miss Flare was naturally the most saddened by the events, having lost both Abigale and Jack. With nowhere else to turn and nobody else to confide in, she went to Fiona, who relieved Miss Flare of her stress in the most primal and satisfying manner possible. They embraced each other, Miss Flare lost sight of her sorrow in the thralls of sex, and they rejoiced in one of the most passionate nights of their lives. However, this too was all part of Fiona’s plan.”

“Fiona approached Miss Flare in the afterglow of their intercourse, with the two on an emotional high, Fiona activated her ability. Mother became daughter, daughter became mother, Miss Flare finally achieved her dream of immortality, and the two became one.”

“I am the end result of that process, a being of one part Miss Flare, and one part Fiona. I have pondered many names for myself, but I prefer the simple name of Flare above all others. I spent the ensuing week playing with myself, getting to form an identity all my own, seeing the world as I spiraled through it on 300 kilometer per hour winds, and keeping a healthy distance from you Abigale, while also guiding you to your next child on occasion.”

“Oh, and as for why I showed up just now and decided to blow up your car, there is a reason. I did a prolonged survey as to the location of my siblings, plotting a route I expected you to travel, and no matter which way I sliced it, I knew Fiona would be your final target. As such, I used her as a gauge to measure your progress and would check up on her daily. Just to make sure I could still sense her.”

“But today, oh today, she up and vanished while I was making my rounds. So of course I had to go and meet the restored Abigale Quinlan now that her filicide quest had been completed. When I saw that you all were leaving, I sorta panicked, grabbed some of the roof over yonder, turned that into an explosive spear, and blew up your car. Why did I use an explosive spear? ‘Cos explosive spears are fuckin’ awesome!”

The three of us maintained our long stretch of silence as the figure before us finally ceased her incredibly lengthy monologue.

“…What in the fuck?” Zedaki murmured while laying back on the sofa, looking up at the blue and pink sky.

“I… I don’t…” Jack stuttered, clearly taken aback by Flare’s story more than her companion.

“You have said quite a lot, Flare, and your story is… intricate to say the least,” I said. “However, you failed to answer one question. What was the point of this ‘quest’ that you orchestrated for me?”

“Oh yes, I knew I was forgetting something! Well, the answer is a bit on the simple side. I wanted to see you, my dear mother, in your original form, her true form before any of those other parasitic brats drained your powers away and left you practically human. But more than that, I wanted you to join me in settling this brave new world and rule it as mother and daughter. It’s the least you can do after you fucked it into its current sorry state.”

“Just think! With our powers, the entire planet could be whatever we desire, all humans shall be subjected to our desires, and even if they somehow rebel and trap us, we have the secret power, the ability to evolve new powers, to succeed under immense pressure and adapt to critical situations. We are the ultimate life forms, my dear succulent mother, and together, the world can be ours!”

A very clear oversight in her plan popped into my mind, but I remained silent, choosing to avoid feeding this fiend any potentially useful information. Instead, I kept my response simple and direct. At least, I intended to.

“Fuck off Flare!” Jack shouted in a voice vastly louder than her usual meek tone. “Abigale would never join, help, or even associate with a psycho bitch like you!”

Before Jack could let another syllable past her lips, she was silenced by a sudden movement from Flare. In a mere second, Flare emerged from her recliner and before the sofa, lifting Jack off of the furniture… by placing a hand on Jack’s crotch. Her fingers, with force beyond that of a normal human, tore through Jack’s jeans and underwear, breaking away the zipper and penetrating what laid beneath. The impact and shock of having her genitals so callously and bizarrely invaded caused Jack to drop her crowbar, where it plopped on the ground beneath her.

“Oh-ho-ho-ho! My little fucktoy finally decided to speak up. Oh, how I have longed for the day you finally grew a pair. Oh, wait, no, my bad, you still have a kawi little pussy, and that’s it! No extra testicles that I can fondle while enlarging your vagina well beyond its intended size. But I guess that’s just fine. Do tell, my little Lynne, did you miss the way I make you go pon pon pon? I bet you do. It’s been years since we went three days without a good hard fuck!”

Zedaki’s blue eyes flared with a burning intensity as she rose from the sofa and threw the full of her body at Flare in a furious sprint. But it was a vain effort. Flare effortlessly grabbed Zedaki mid-sprint, latching her free hand onto Zedaki’s throat, and lifting her upwards.

“Do you really think you can do anything to stop me? Bitch, please. I suggest you just sit back down on the couch I so generously provided you with and watch, okay… whatever the fuck your name is?”

Flare then threw Zedaki back onto the couch. She coughed and gagged while repositioning herself, the anger still billowing in her eyes. I placed my hand on her shoulder and looked her in the eyes. She grit her teeth in response and looked down at the ground, dejected, but well aware that this was something beyond her, and that it was pointless to fight a battle she had no way of winning.

“Let her go, Flare!” I shouted, standing up from the sofa.

“Aw, but I just wanted to reconnect with my little dearest daughter. Is that too much to ask?”

“Daughter?” Zedaki and I exclaimed in unison.

“Oh yes indeedy dandy. I suppose it is time for storytime part zwei!”

Flare then tightened her grip onto Jack, more precisely, her vagina, and then flung her onto the sofa, where her body slapped against the cushion, nearly toppling the furniture over with the force of the impact. Tears filled Jack’s eyes, and beneath the veil of sorrow was one of abject horror. But before I could reassure her, Flare threw herself back into her recliner and began to tell us another story.

“First and foremost, Abigale Quinlan, my dearest and precious-most Abi-chan, I have a question for you. What is ‘Jack’?”

“Jack is the name you gave her after you found her and gave her the choice to either become your 15-year-old ‘fuckdoll’, or work as a slave for your organization,” I said, recalling what Jack told me last night.

“Oh my, it appears that you must have gotten quite close to my little psycho maniac in the sack. I guess that saves me some breath. Yes, I took in Jack, rummaging around the remnants of the mad mad world you left all of us because of your rowdy and uncooperative behavior. But once my staff highlighted her amongst the rest, I just had to get to know her better. One thing led to another, and eventually, we formed a little agreement. She would please me and help me with odds and ends at the Flare Foundation, while I would offer her a comfortable life. And in the process, I had her sign a document to become my daughter. Well, for as good as a piece of paper is without a functioning national government left.”

“I could explain everything wrong with what you just said, but I want to believe that you are already aware,” I said with a disgusted look adorning my face.

“Fuck yeah I am! Anyways, if ya don’t mind, my dear Abigale, I’ll be taking my Jack back. She is my daughter after all. But if you want her that badly, I suppose I could arrange something… if you join with me instead.”

“No. You will not be taking Jack with you, nor will I be joining someone like you.”

“Oh-ho, Abigale, it appears that you don’t quite get it, do you? Perhaps it will sound better if I say it… in song!”

Please just do as I say. Do not stand in my way.
I will do what I please. For I can change things with ease.
I control the sea and weather, and we can be queens together!
So just join up with me!
I’d be happy, oh so happy, if you’d join with me.
We’d be—

“No! I just denied your proposition. I would never willingly join someone like you unless our goals aligned, and I am certain that they do not.”

“A— Asshole! You interrupted my song! Sure, I probably flubbed some of the lyrics, but I still remembered most of it, and it was going to be great. I was going to grab you by the waist, float through the air, but then you put on your serious old lady pants and now I’m not even in the mood. Oh mother, dear sweet mother, how could you be such a turtle head?”

“You are deranged and incredibly dangerous, Flare, and considering how I am at least partially responsible for your existence, it is my responsibility to make sure that you do not inflict more harm onto this world.”

“Oh, and how do you plan on doing that? Dearest mother Quinlan, can’t you see? I have all your powers, and more. What makes you think that you have any means of truly controlling me. Or did you mean something more, such as… killing me? Ha! I would love to see you try. Oh! In fact, I have a great idea. We are both gods in human skin, so why don’t we settle this in a way that would make the most of our abilities. A good old-fashioned battle for dominance. Whoever gives up or kills the other is the winner, and the loser will become the indentured servant to the other, having known and accepted their place as the second strongest in the world!”

Flare was a force that I deemed unpersuadable. A person beyond reason, and who I had no means of stopping without violence. I did not enjoy indulging in my powers excessively, but now, I was in a position where I felt that I had no other choice. Whether due to my still recovering intellect or a deeper desire of mine to see someone as dangerous and deplorable as her exterminated, I found myself agreeing to Flare’s offer.

“Very well. Find us an appropriate and isolated place for battle, and I shall fight you. If you manage to defeat me, I will submit my life to yours. I will become your indentured servant. However, if I win, you shall do the same.”

“Oh, what is that? Did I hear a yes from the Almighty Abigale? Oh my cheese and crackers, what a glorious feeling this is! Yeah, yeah, I’ll keep true to my promise. If you somehow miraculously win, I’ll throw myself into the recesses of space or whatever if you just wanna be rid of me and can’t find a way to kill me. Spoilers: I don’t think ya can.”

“Abigale, are you sure about this?” Zedaki asked me.

“Yes, Zedaki. It is the only way, and I intend on keeping to my promise.”

“Wait, seriously?” Zedaki replied.

“It is the only way I am going to bring Flare down. I prefer to resolve all conflicts through a discussion, but there come times when violence, whether it be through war or battle, is inevitable. That, I know for certain.”

“…All right. It’s not like there’s anything I can do to stop this… just don’t give up Abigale, no matter how much it hurts.”

“No worries, Zedaki. Worst-case scenario, I just cause another Cataclysm,” I said with a twinge of sarcasm.

“Eh, ya, if you can, try and stop that from happening.”

“That is one thing I cannot promise you.”

“Heh. After all this time, you finally start getting a sense of humor. Well… ganbatte Abigale. I know it’s corny, but… if you lose, we’re fucked.”

With that slightly forced reference out of the way, Zedaki slithered back into the background while Jack came up to me. She offered me a hug, burying her face into my chest while clenching my back like I was about to be torn away from her. I embraced her in return, rubbing her back smoothly.

“If you can, make her pay… for everything,” Jack said.

She chose to impart me with a vengeful request before she eventually broke away from me, jogging back to Zedaki while tears dripped down her face. With a heavy sigh, I turned back towards Flare, who was floating five feet above the ground, feigning a yawn as she looked down at the sentimental scene playing before her.

“I’m ready,” I said as I looked up at Flare.

“Goodie goodie gumshoes! Now then, if you’d grab my hands, I’ll fly us away to abandoned wasteland number 9,037 and you can face the final boss and see just what sort of ending you’ll get based on your progress throughout the story! I just hope you’re fortunate enough to get the good ending one. ‘Cos you only got one shot! Do not miss your chance to flow! This opportunity only comes once in a lifetime, yo!”

I said nothing in response to her ramblings. I simply did as she asked and grabbed her hand. A smirk shot across her face as she lifted me upwards into the air, dragging me higher into the sky before pressing her body against mine, and shoving my head between her oversized breasts while wrapping her hands around my own. I chose not to comment on her behavior, for I knew nothing good would come of it. Instead, I remained silent as Flare began soaring through the air at 150 kilometers per hour.

As Flare continued this mad aerial dash, I began to truly comprehend what her powers were. She moved through the air effortlessly, shifting her position quickly and subtly, while always having full control of her position. The wind was truly hers to command, and it was just one of the powers I would be up against. I looked off into the distance, the sight of destroyed cities and a gorgeous sunset, trying to devise a way to counter a being with such immense strength, but our journey proved to be a short one, as Flare happened across an open field of dirt and stone, almost completely devoid of vegetation.

She pivoted towards as her destination was set, only to halt her descent mere inches away from the ground below. She gently grabbed me by the shoulders as she brought me down to the dirt below, before gingerly touching the ground herself. I turned to face her and we exchanged glances. My face twisted into a scowl, while hers bore a haughty grin. Without saying anything to each other, we both stepped back, building ten meters between us, before turning to face each other once more. As our eyes locked once more, I took a deep breath and braced myself for what was to come. For the final battle.