tagSci-Fi & FantasyLook Upon My Works, Ye Mighty...

Look Upon My Works, Ye Mighty...


Author's Note: everyone in this story is eighteen or older!

I was in the middle of enjoying my summer vacation when an ex-President sat down on my face.

The worst thing was that it was not entirely unexpected.

"Mmphhmmmmhmm," I mumbled against a bunch of swimsuit. I felt Maddie's feet press against my belly, then her palms slap against the ground behind me as she lounged backwards. She sighed, her voice full of the utter joy and happiness that only a true sadist would know while bringing torment to others.

"Such a beautiful day in the Sandwich Isles," she said, cheerily.

I reached up and grabbed Maddie by the hips. Lifting her up was easier than pie -- when you can lift three billion three hundred fifty five million four hundred forty three thousand two hundred metric tons, picking up an eighty kilo girl pretty easily. I set her down and sat up. My parents, oblivious to the fact that one of the most dangerous supervillains in the world had been sitting on my face just a few seconds ago, continued to do what they did.

Dad read a book.

Mom eyed the hunkiest man on the beach.

Dad Two eyed Mom eyeing the hunkiest man on the beach.

"So!" Maddie said as I set her down. "How are you doing Archie?"

"Why aren't you in prison?" I asked, closing my eyes against the brightness of the sun.

I've determined that, oh glorious Archive! A too cheerful voice filled my head.

I sighed. Great.

When my parents had come to me and said that they had gotten their tickets to the Sandwich Islands, I had to do a ton of stuff. On top of packing, cramming some studying in so I'd be ready when I came back for the last chunk of my high school existence, getting my passport ready for travel between the USA and the Kingdom of Hawaii, checking with Precog and the Loom of Fate to make sure that this wasn't the week the Earth was going to be attacked by some nightmarish monster...

I also had to talk to the voices in my head.

Well, technically, the voices were from all over my body.

That was the joy of being Archive. The press called me the new Hyperion, which made me distinctly uncomfortable, considering Hyperion had been incinerated by a megalomaniacal alien god when I was six years old. So, I mean, thanks for the compliment, I guess? But less thank you for reminding me that my new part time job involved 'incinerated by alien god' as a possible ending for my employment.

And life.

But unlike Hyperion, my powers didn't come from the yellow light of our sun. Nah.

A year ago, I had accidentally gotten between a chunk of highly advanced alien nanotechnology and the ground. Before you could say 'by Anubis' balls!' I had gotten my entire body transformed into alien nanites. They provided a bunch of powers, but they also became what the high forehead types at the Project called 'computronium.' Which sounded a bit nerdy and weird but it was actually cool and rad. Basically, it made it so that every single cell of my body could do a calculation. Since there were a bajillion cells in my body, my left toe could handle the complexity of running my brain's software.

Leaving the rest to store the brains of the seven million Altarans who had fled the destruction of their homeworld.

Normally, having an all female race of gorgeous, super-intelligent, entirely sexually uninhibited space elves living in my brain would have sounded great. But there were some serious downsides.

Before leaving the house with my parents, I had simulated Princess Radiant Element With Ninety Two and turned to face her. My hands clasped together as I looked at her simulated form. She was tall and curvy, with breasts that were so large that I was sure Altarans had evolved with exceptionally strong back muscles, considering she wore a diaphanous gown of see through silvery cloth. Her feet were bared and the gown cut down the middle of her chest, exposing vast acres of bright, golden flesh.

She was the only part of Altaran society that didn't change every other day. I wasn't in contact with most of the seven million Altarans, thankfully. Instead, they voted several dozen Councils into power. Each Council had a speaker, who communicated with me directly.

"Okay," I said. "I want to go off and have a nice vacation and not deal with any superhero stuff. I don't want to foil any muggings. I don't want to stop any bank robberies. I don't want to have any massive invasion of undead sea-squids."

Princess Radi beamed and thrust out her chest.

"Of course, oh glorious Archive-"

"Please, call me Xander," I said, pinching the bridge of my nose.

"-but we cannot control the world beyond your divine form," Princess Radi said, bowing to me.

"Please stop with that," I muttered.

Princess Radi stood. "Besides, did you not go to the Loom of Fate to determine that the world should be safe for the two weeks while you are in the Kingdom of Hawaii?" She smiled. "I was there for that!"

"I know you were there for that," I said, my voice calm. "You live in my brain."

"Technically, my simulated form is dispersed through your body so that no single part of your body being destroyed will end my simulated consciousness," Radi said, cheerily. She actually rocked up onto her tip toes, clearly brimming over with joy to tell me this. I sighed. You didn't know how grating it was to have someone eternally, constantly chipper in your brain until you had one.

"I also want, ah, to, not have to, um, be Archive," I said, nodding.

Radi's eyes widened and her ears -- long, pointed, and bright gold -- dipped almost completely down to the ground. Her hair laid flat along her head and her shoulders dipped down and her entire body looked as if I had grabbed and punted a dog through the end goal zone of a zeeball stadium. I held up my hands.

"I'm not kicking you out!" I said, quickly.

Radi sniffed. "D-Did we do something to offend you, glorious Archive?"

"No, no, no, no, no, no," I said, shaking my head. "Just, I, uh, I've been Archive for a year now. Annnnnd I'd like some time. Alone."

"But we provide so many services!" Radi said, beaming. "When you lost your virginity to Cindi Pakowski, we offered a fully indexed list of sexual actions that would surely bring her great pleasure! And, ah, during your chemistry test, the wisest members of our civilization assisted you in completing the required work! And during combat, do we not identify the weaknesses and dangers and-"

I held up my hands. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," I said. "Radi."

I stepped forward and put my hands on her shoulders. I squeezed her gently, then sighed.

"I really appreciate the Altarans," I said, nodding. "But this is a vacation. I want to relax. Unwind. Be just a regular old Xander Logan." I puffed up my chest. "And more, this means all the Councils get to take a break. You can disband the Councils of, ah, things and stuff."

Radi bit her lip. "The Council of Combat has been mentioning they'd prefer some extra break time..."

"And!" I said, nodding. "It means when we start working together again, we'll enjoy it even more."

Radi nodded, her ears perking up. "You are most wise, glorious Archive. Shall we celebrate this decision with the ritual of shared pleasure?"

"Xannnnnnnnnnder!" Mom's voice echoed up the stairs. "Get your butt down here! The airship is leaving in an hour!"

I shook my head. "Lets do it after vacation?" I suggested.

Radi pouted.

And for one glorious, relaxing, non-migraine inducing week, I had no advice from any of the Councils. Nothing. I didn't have alien artists offering me their idea of easy listening when the Council of Arts had some new theory about humanoid acoustical development. I didn't have to have Princess Radi informing me about the entire Facebook history of girls I found halfway cute before I had even finished the thought 'hey, that girl is kinda cute.' I didn't have the Council of Human History droning in my ear about every halfway relevant local landmark.

Thanks to Maddie, I could see the last week of my vacation shattering into a million little pieces.

"Well, I escaped from prison. Duh," Maddie said, rolling her eyes.

She escaped, glorious Archive!

"Thanks, Radi," I muttered under my breath. I sat up and glared at Maddie. Maddie beamed at me. I frowned. "So, tell me, Maddie, how are you going to convince me to not pick you up and fly you right back to Anchorage?"

Maddie pursed her lips, then beamed at me. "I know how."

"Don't try to convince me," I said. "I'm not a regular human being. I have an entire alien species providing psychological baffling and counter-hypnosis programs. The best Altaran computer programmer works to debug my simulated brain every second of the day. You can try every memetic trick you have in the book and it won't make a dent. This mind? It is the first and finest fortress of the entire world of Altair!" I tapped my temple.

Maddie reached back, undid the ties on her top, and let it plop to the ground.

She beamed at me.

Her breasts were the most amazingly perky pair of tits I had ever seen in my life. Smallish, with hard ruby red nipples that contrasted fiercely with her otherwise milky pale skin. A thin patina of freckles -- the same as those across her cheeks -- dusted her chest, adding an extra level of texture and color. Her hands pressed to the sandy ground and she rolled her shoulders, pressing her breasts together slightly.

"Soooo?" she asked. "Going to fly me back to the Anchorage Maximum Security Dimensional Penitentiary?"

I blinked.

She makes an extraordinarily cogent point, Princess Radi said.

I jerked my eyes up, blushed, and then laid back on the towel I had been resting on. I crossed my arms over my chest.

"Now!" Maddie said. "Let's go on an adventure."

"Can't, sunbathing..." I mumbled, my eyes closed to slits. But I couldn't quite close them. My brain wouldn't let me stop, ah, looking. Maddie leaned over me, grinning down at me.

"I'm your President, I can order you to go on an adventure with me."

"You were impeached!" I said, opened my eyes wider.

"Only by, like, the House," she said, rolling her eyes.

"You blew up a country with an orbital death ray!" I hissed, sitting up, my nose almost bumping against hers. She drew back with a grin, her black hair spilling around her shoulders.

"Firstly," Maddie said, holding up her finger. "There were extenuating-"

"You introduced a psycho-hypnotic subliminal message into every cable news network that has programmed one tenth of every American to respond to saying your name with a hypnotic fugue," I said, shaking my head.

"Okay, now, that's just being taken out of context," Maddie said, looking sour.

"After getting impeached, you built a robot out of the Statue of Liberty! And attacked New New York!" I said, shaking my head.

"I built that robot before I got impeached, thank you very much," Maddie said, narrowing her eyes. "I am almost beginning to think that you don't like me very much, Xander Logan."

"The first time we met, you escaped your prison cell, used a magical spell to control my body, and almost blew up the Earth with a gigantic chunk of antimatter," I said. "I don't like you very much."

She stood, sticking her nose into the air. "Fine." She brushed her hands along the back of her thighs and her shins, then stood, wrapping her bikini top around her chest again. "I'll have an adventure. By myself."

"Good!" I snapped.

Maddie turned and stomped off.

I scowled, then laid back on the towel.

Former President Deinhardt seems to be upset, Radi whispered in my ear.

"I know, I don't care," I said, my eyes closing as I tried to return to the blissful state of Pre-Maddie relaxation. It didn't come. My back felt tight, my shoulders knotted, and my gut seemed to have half a dozen rocks dumped into it. It was all psychosomatic. I didn't have shoulder muscles anymore, it was all alien nanorobots. But it felt bad. I squirmed on the towel. Then I sighed and sat up. I stood and jogged after Maddie.


"So!" Maddie said, her feet kicking as she sat on the stool across from me, her free hand drawing circles around the edge of her fruity drink. "What are we going to do first?"

I grabbed her drink. "Radi, can you remove the alcohol from this?"

A haze of nanites surrounded the cup. When I sat the drink down again, the liquid looked almost clear. Maddie looked shocked and appalled.

"How dare you!" she hissed.

"Legal drinking age in the Kingdom of Hawaii is thirty two," I said, frowning. "You're eighteen."

Maddie crossed her arms over her chest and glared at my large fruity drink and the silly straw that emerged from the middle of the cup.

"You're eighteen," she said, her voice filled with grump.

"Yeah, but I have alien nanorobots, not gut bacteria, so, I can't metabolize alcholol anyway," I said, sticking my tongue out at her. I leaned forward and sucked on the straw. The drink went up and around, then down, then spun in a circle and entered my mouth. My eyes widened and I jerked back, coughing and spluttering. My tongue burned. "Ack! Ugh! What the fuck?" I coughed again. "Adults drink this stuff?"

Don't worry! Radi said, her voice happy. We can still simulate being intoxicated, oh glorious Archive.

"Skip it," I said, pushing the fruity drink to the edge of the wooden table. The resort restaurant was within walking distance of the beach. Beach goers came and went, tourists at roughly the same numbers as native Hawaiians. A serving robot puttered by, hovering about five feet off the ground, a collection of trays held in spindly, spider-like arms. I casually set mine and Maddie's drinks on one of the empty trays. The robot kept going without comment.

Maddie, meanwhile, had produced a piece of paper and a pen from...


My brow furrowed.

"Pff, like I'd wear a normal bikini," Maddie said, not looking up. "I'm making a list of possible adventure locations."

"Cross that one out," I said, tapping the first on the list.

Maddie looked up at me, narrowing her eyes.

"We are not adventuring in the National Bank of Hawaii," I said.

"But they have soooo much gold," Maddie groaned.

"Why...okay, answer me this. Why do villians-"

"Uh, I believe the PC term is differently moraled," Maddie said, rolling her eyes. "And the answer is because I use gold. It is an amazing superconductor. It also is quite useful in alchemy. There's entire branches of magic based around the use and transmutation of gold into rarer elements. Like aluminum." She nodded. "Okay, how about this?"

She spun the list around to face me.

Rob National Bank

Scuba Diving

Visit Atlantis

Visit the Apocalypse Tower

Visit Mt. Pele (during eruption?)

I looked up at Maddie.

"You thought you could just slip the Apocalypse Tower in there and I wouldn't notice it?" I asked.

"Come onnnn, no one has visited it for decades," Maddie said, her eyes shining. "It'll be fun!"

"It's an alien terraforming device. If it turns out, everyone in Hawaii, hell, everyone on the Pacific Rim dies. Project Aegis has a dozen killsats in geosynchronous orbit, ready to vaporize it if it even twitches. And that's not even going into whatever defenses Darkthornn put on it."

"So, you're saying the strongest hero in the world-"

"I am not the strongest hero in the world," I said, sounding guilty.

"-and the smartest girl in the world," Maddie said.

I screwed up my face, but eventually had to concede that point. The Turing Intelligence Scale was logarithmic, kind of like the scales used to measure earthquakes and draconic magic. I was a Class 4, which was just slightly above human norms, which was a pretty nice improvement over the Class 2.5 I had been before having a race of aliens in my brain. They did help keep me on task when it came to studying.

Maddie was been a Class 16.

Which had also been the central part of her Presidential race. My Dad still had one of the posters and had shown it to me when I had been sixteen. It had been a picture of Maddie in 1950s style farmer-girl clothes, with a broad brimmed straw hat on her head, and some kind of super-advanced gizmo in her hand. The text had said: SHE'S OUR SWEET SIXTEEN!

"How the heck did you get elected anyway?" I asked, my brow furrowing. "You were sixteen."

"Far too complicated to go into now, we have scuba-ing to do!" Maddie said, springing to her feet. "Come on!"


The hovership that took us to the reef was piloted by a Martian. The green skinned man's antennas twitched with every hint of the breeze and he spoke with a broad Hawaiian accent as he pointed out the various bits of oceanic life we puttered by. The rest of the tourists oooh'd and awwed. Maddie pulled a camera from literally nowhere and took a picture.

I resolved to be grumpy.

"Xander, look!" Maddie said. "A sharkman!"

The sharkman was just under the surface of the ocean. It looked like he had made his house out of the bones of some ancient sea creature, with added bits of metal and wood to give the place walls. He was out front, lounging back on a sunken lawn chair. He waved at us as the hovership skimmed over the water.

"Neat," I said.

Maddie elbowed me. "Come on, Xander. We're on an adventure." She beamed at me. "Lighten up."

I found myself unable to not smile back.

The Council of Love has been in discussion about-

"Not now Radi!" I whispered.

"Getting some love advice?" Maddie asked, a light blush starting to appear between her freckles. Then she gasped and held up the camera. She snapped a picture as the boat's captain slowed the engine down to give us more chances to look at the object that had just become visible -- it shimmered faintly with the distinctive haze of something that had been cloaked. Most cloaking fields worked until you got closer -- the bigger the object, the further you could be before seeing through it.

"All right, everyone, we're in the shroud zone of the Apocalypse Tower," the boat captain said, nodding to us. "This area is cleared for divers, and it has the best reefs in Hawaii, but do not go past the line of beacon boueys."

"Maddie!" I hissed.

"This is entirely coincidental," Maddie said, waving her hand. "Come on! Scuba time!"

She hopped up onto the lip of the hovercraft, then leaped over the side with a whoop. As she vanished into the water, I looked at the captain, who was holding a scuba rig in his hands. His antennas drooped with confusion.

"Don't worry," I said, sighing. "We're superheroes. It's fine."

I stepped off the side of the boat as well.

Maddie looked quite comfortable not breathing as she settled down to float in the water above the reef. Her hair framed her head like a black halo -- and as I watched, she touched her fingertips together. Magic sparked between her fingertips and she spread her hands wide. A blue net of light surrounded her body, then faded from view. She opened her eyes and then breathed in, her mouth opening. She laughed, and her voice transmitted through water just fine.

"Hah! It works!"

"When did you learn aquamancy?" I asked, arms crossed over my chest as I sank slowly towards the bottom of the ocean. Other people were splashing into the water around us -- their scuba gear looking bulky and uncomfortable compared to Maddie's magic.

"I made sure to give myself a crash course in some of the more useful magics when I escaped last time," she said.

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