Believe in yourself. You are an ancient, absent god, discussed only rarely by literary scholars. So if you don't believe, no one will.


There were plenty of things to fear in the world, things that Henry had employed plenty of times for both good and bad, dipping into the font of dark magic one too many times to be healthy; but even with such vast power at his fingertips, at times even jutting from his body in the form of tentacle limbs from creatures unknown, and an otherworldly title that suggested there was little for him to fear, there was only so many things he could eschew.

Goblins didn’t scare him and were in fact quite helpful in the grand scheme of his work with Molly and Madelyne Pryor, borrowed minions when the thick-headed and primitive minds of creatures born in the black void of the Darkforce weren’t particularly useful; and the kaiju that where Madelyne’s own comparative were only an extension of the lumbering beasts he had found himself akin to. Demons didn’t bother him, many taken up forms in Limbo to his own ideals, never mind the fact he had been employed by such; and the only thing that perhaps trumped such powers would have been the abysmal eldritch limbs protruding from his stomach, but those were familiar now, as much a part of him as they were simply using him as a portal to this world.

Even Chthon, one of the oldest of the Elder Gods alongside Set, Gaea, and Oshtur, who became the world’s first black magicians and the source of most of his magical ability didn’t seem to faze him – not now, not while he had a trump card hidden away somewhere in the mansion - but Hecate?

He was terrified of Hecate – perhaps not as she had been presented by the Greeks so many years ago, the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy, and a “worker from afar” who, with two torches carried through the dark of night, aided Demeter on her quest to find her daughter, Persephone, when she had been claimed by Hades; the one who was maiden in appearance, the daughter of Titanes Perses and Asteria who bestowed the girl their power over the heaven, Earth, and sea; but the one that he come with further digging through what texts Arcana and the Internet had to offer.

His experiences with the Dark Multiverse counted among his reasons, Henry couldn’t help but focus on the roil of his stomach as he continued to read, taking notes where applicable with small scribbling in the sidelines of additional sources to check, texts to crack open, in case there was something they could do about the woman who, in a far more blasé explanation of a series of unfortunate events, screamed so hard, she ripped a hole in the Multiverse that allowed such dark magic like the kind he manipulated into the world with the hopes mankind would destroy themselves. It was certainly plausible – he knew that much – but put the power of the Crone, the power of pure evil who wanted nothing but suffering to be felt by every being in existence, in the body of an Amazon?

Henry couldn’t be sure the chill that he had suddenly felt in the room was his own fear spreading from his core to his fingertips and making the hair on his arms stand up on end or something else – something deeply magical – at work, but it was quick to come with reassurances that, in the depths of Arcana, he could be safe from such prying eyes as Hecate could have had on those gifted with such powers; and if he needed an escape, all it took was a door. The right door – be it an elevator to take him to the far reaches of after space where the emptied Hotel Oblivion could, perhaps, be far from her reaches, or one made of his own devising in a portal to Limbo where he could take solace in a fortified clock tower, armies of demons at the ready to unleash their more violent wiles on intrusion, as he continued his work.

But just like trying to lock her in a box wouldn’t have worked, something vaguely considered as a means of trapping the malevolent being much like Henry had his own, neither would running to whatever points in the universe they possibly could when dealing with someone who’s age was ancient and reach was beyond dimensions. Even trapped, there was always way for power to seep into the universe – there was always someone drawn in by the power, someone enthralled, and someone stupid enough to read a book or follow a witch into the woods only to be branded by their magic. He glanced down his hands at such a thought as if reading text that wasn’t really there, etched into his skin in magic instead of ink or scars as his own sordid reminder of what had been locked away.

No one needed an Elder God at full power just like no one needed Hecate to come into her own magic once more – that much was certain, and Henry loomed over his notes once more, reading through his scribbling while one of the eldritch limbs flipped through the pages of the book in front of him and another took to perusing other options, snatching books out of the shelves only to drop them unceremoniously on the counter. There had to be something that he was missing, something he hadn’t yet found which would stop such a thing from happening.

<Mal, I’m not liking the looks of this… which is to say at least I found out more about this Hecate, and none of it is actually really good.>

Shifting to stand more readily upright, he focused his attention on the telepathic link – something relatively unfamiliar with him considering how little he actually used it in any general regard – instead of the research, glancing at the titles that had been stacked up otherwise by creatures who, in some way, may have known what to do, but otherwise had no way of communicating it.

<It seems mankind was able to summon and bind Hecate, trapping her in a prison for eons until she broke free… but in breaking free, she ripped a whole in the Multiverse, allowing the darkness of the other side to seep into the world, which isn’t entirely unlike my more chthonic of experiences, I suppose.>

Henry continued to explain, comparing and contrasting one experience from another where he could in hopes of giving a better-rounded picture of what they were dealing with that was underscored by the more scientific view he wholly expected the Monocle to be – well, when was Sir Reginald Hargreeves ever happy with anything that his children did? It was always going to be subpar to aged and alien genius, but at least it was something. Unfortunately, even science didn’t stop the villains of his youth from escaping their prison in Hotel Oblivion, overrunning the city after Perseus had provided them the very Televator code needed to cross after space.

<Fact is, if we did try to trap Hecate… I don’t know how long it’ll be before she’s back to collect the witch marked, but perhaps we can take some faith in knowing that it is just Diana of Themyscira, which means we might be able to nip this in the bud before anyone else is found…>

Now, if only he could just get rid of the feeling of dread in his stomach, seemingly shared by the small cavalier spaniel that seemed to toss and turn in her bed nearby.