It's an hour past midnight. Everyone is fast asleep, save for Lukewarm who can't sleep. He meanders out of the bathroom and meanders again through moonlit palace corridors until he finds his way to the larder.
Stumbling onto a granite carved table Luke holds himself fast and raises his to see Business Luke raiding the larder for snacks.
Business Luke freezes in place. Crouched by the larder. locking eyes with LukeWarm "….."
"…." Business Luke opens a bag of chips, a loud snap is heard from the opened bag. He slowly reaches for a chip and eats, all the while emanating crunching noises that shatter the silence.
"What are you doing?"
He grabs another chip. "Fighting Cancer"
A Shadow leaps behind LukeWarm, pulling a plastic bag over his head. Lukewarm struggles with both hooves against the bag strangling him.
Business Luke runs in and begins cheap shotting Lukewarm in the diaphragm repeatedly
They stir around and beat Luke within relative silence inside the shadow of the kitchen quarter.
An incredible half a minute of this passes as the Alt Lukes begin to lose hope of incapacitating Lukewarm. In quiet finality Lukewarm tears the bag off his face and they all stumble over eachother until catching themselves onto pieces of furniture
Somebody, maybe a guard, a person obscured by the night passes by the the other end of the corridor and calls over from his end "Is everything okay?"
Business Luke and Normie Luke become pale. Eyes turn to Lukewarm.
"Yeah.. I got this."
The Luke's hold another staring contest. And the Person's footsteps sound his leave from the vicinity until the sound fades.
Normie Luke makes a dash to Lukewarm, but his shoulder blade is capped hard when Luke swings his bat at him.
Normie Luke whispers shouting "Ow! Ow! oh my– ….!!!" He nurses his shoulderblade in one hoof.
"You brought a bat to the kitchen?" he whispers
"You have a gun!" He whispers loudly
"Yeah, but I'm not using my gun am I." a quiet retort.
LukeWarm cautiously shifts his eyes between B Luke and Normie Luke. Business Luke's gaze doesn't leave him.
At the first sign of movement they break, Lukewarm swats Normie Luke's head first.
"Stop! Stop!" whispers turn into quiet agony "I give, I give. It hurts so bad!" Normie Luke complains as he darts out of the room.
As Normie Luke retreats, the space opens for Luke to advance towards business Luke.
Business Luke reaches into his coat, but the very moment he extends his pistol toward Luke. Lukewarm's bat slams onto B Luke's hoof.
"aaahh! Shit! Shit!" The whispers continue "Why do you use a fucking bat!" Business Luke flails his hoof. metal clanks on porcelain as the gun drops from his wrist.
"Okay I'm gone dude. I'm gone." Business Luke runs out the kitchen with Normie Luke -fleeing the scene.
Lukewarm breathes deeply from the rush of battle. He crouches to his knees looking for B Luke's gun instead finds a wristwatch. He recognizes it as the same clunky wristwatch his other alternate selves used to travel through time. An UgCorp brand painted on it
LukeWarm takes it and returns to his quarters. For the rest of the night he can't sleep and when morning finally arrives he decides to travel back into the past. To the very same fork in the road made by all his past selves.
Turn the dial, push the button, set the date, set the time. A calender produces and a diagram proceeds. Shorn into space a rift in time, electric lights and sonic vortex deliver Lukewarm back to the future.
[Present Era minus 18 years]
LukeWarm looks around at an open an empty baseball field. He's landed in a dirt crater just some acres away from ponyville. He knows exactly where to go. So he begins running.
As Luke runs the same thoughts replay in his head sped forward without room for anything else. If that calender was right then this is the day. I'm crying in the alley behind the hobby store. I ditched school and I'm highly impressionable. This is where everyone else went when they knew their timeline was botched. I can reset it. I CAN RESET IT
I want to have kids. I want to have a family some day. I want be a better person. I want to see Lavy again. I don't want things to end like this. I don't want this life! I'd rather die! I'D RATHER DIE!
After one acre Luke sees somebody. In the distance he's standing there ahead. It's another Lukewarm.
Luke dashes perpendicular, he plans to run around.
The Alt Luke keeps up intent on out pacing him.
Then again ahead of Luke is another Luke. So he turns back now hoping he can circle around. His instincts kick in and instead he runs east thinking he can outstrip the distance. Two more strange figures in the distance appear behind him and join the chase.
Lukewarm runs. He runs up to the dirt path leading to the fields between here and everfree. And there sees three more lukes appearing out of the corners of his eye and running toward him in three directions.
There's too much fencing between here and ponyville. The only opening is back to the baseball park. So he runs back.
He runs back and things begin to seem futile
"No. No!" Lukewarm continues running as a gang of lukes close the distance behind him. A gun shot is heard.
a couple of strange Lukes are seen waiting by the boundary where Everfree begins and Lukewarm quickly slows down to make his turn. but it's too late.
A very tall and buff Luke tackles him into a dirt crater off from the baseball park.
"Noo! NOOOO! Stop! Get off me! Please! Get OFF NOOOO! Noooooo!" Tears roll out of Lukewarm's eyes. He thrashes and squirms. He becomes hysterical to a group of 13 Lukes emerging at the edge of the crater.
First Luke, Pothead Luke, Rockband Luke, Normie Luke, Serial killer Luke, Holy Luke, Merc Luke, Carbine Chef Luke, Average Sized Penis Luke, Grand Wizard Luke, Business Luke.
And Duke Lukem who is currently restraining LukeWarm to the ground.
"Calm down bro. Caaalm down. Just take it easy. We're all friends man. We're aaalll Frieeeends."
Lukewarm struggles some more. He hopes and wishes he can break free. But his spirit begins to break, he fails to struggle, Luke gives up "..ack ..ack.." he continues to cry.
B Luke stands ingloriously atop the ditch, looking down at Luke as the Sun casts a shadow over his figure
With two hooves he lights a cigarrette in his mouth "I remember this day. When I came back to talk some sense into you. History can't always repeat itself Luke. None of us want a repeat."
A radical bearded Luke with broad shoulders and new age robes glowers at Lukewarm through opaque goggles.
"We've done a horrible thing. Time was not meant to be strangled and spread so thin. We're all cowards here but a repeat is not guaranteed indefinitely. We must act."
What is left of Holy Luke has been installed into a bionic gorilla. A glass dome protecting the brain. And another glass dome shelling a digestive tract at the cyborg gorilla's belly.
He eeks and ooks as he creates signs with his hands. speaking to Lukewarm with sign language and monkey noises.
"Ooo Oo Ah aa aaa eee ahh hah ee heee hahaaaa! HA HAAA! Hoo OoO Oh AH AHha Ah Ooo oo ee O Ooh Ah aa eee ahh hah Ah OH OH ee EEK haaaa Hoo OoO Oh AH AHha Ah Ooo oo ee"
And Normie Luke across from him interprets "We must repent now before judgement comes. We can still be forgiven, but how long mercy lasts is for the sun to decide. Only trial by fire can exonerate you Luke. I too wish to die. Will you give me this gift, and free us from purgatory?
A proud looking Lukewarm holding a gatling gun slung over his bare chest and a chef's hat speaks.
"I've savored much from life. Again and again and now it's somehow lost the luster. Food tastes the same. Drinks don't get you quite as drunk. And experience is just experience. I don't regret anything. But I know I will if we don't stop."
Pothead Luke takes the blunt off his lip
"It's time to end this dude."
"WHYYY!! WHY DOES IT HAVE TO END!" Lukewarm screams "I feel like I never lived my life. Why can't I just do it all over again. I'll make sure the next one gets it right I'll make sure-"
"Dumbass!" A Luke dressed in an unbuttoned dress shirt, popped collar, sporting a hunting knifes shouts from the top of his lungs "What do you think we've been up to all this time."
A commando Luke, decorated in scares and weapons speaks stoicly
"Whenever the police were after you. I'd throw them off your tail. Then put a dead end in their investigation."
"When you were growing up I'd mail your cds and anime for hearths warming eve to inspire you."
"I made sure you never heard about Chitus, until after you met the Timequest gang."
"And I made sure Lavy never heard from you. So you wouldn't leave ManeHatten."
"I extended the flier for Creepy Crawly's job opening every month. And anyone who applied for it I made sure they were diverted elsewhere."
A rather innocent looking albiet tired version of Lukewarm speaks as if he were commanding a court of knights
"And I came up with the plan. I made sure we didn't fight too much. Or kill each other. Just long enough so we could get the plan to work. I explored the timelines and did a lot of sleuthing to figure out what we didn't cover."
Duke Lukem grimaces with chagrin, he averts his gaze from Luke "..I'm sorry bro."
LukeWarm's spirit peeters out. He aches with disbelief, and betrayal not from them. But from something greater. As if God were castigating him all his life. His eyes flit from Luke to Luke
When he looks at Business Luke with an open gait he is at a loss of words. It isn't true is what he wants to say. He wants to say Why.
"You're a loser Lukewarm." He takes another drag from his cigarette "When I found out you had cancer I marked you an utter fuck up. You and your alcohol indulgence ruined our lives and especially mine. Because I had put all my faith in you. The little boy crying from being bullied all his life. But now I know I was wrong. Your cancer was the key ingredient Crawly's experiments. Your entire biology is a weapon manufactured to defeat Eon."
Business smiles. It might be the first time Lukewarm's seen him smile "Don't you get it kid. You're our will to live on!"
He points directly at LukeWarm. As if he were passing down some great curse "AND YOU! ITS YOUR JOB TO LIVE OUR LIFE."
Luke's eyes turn to pinpricks. He shrinks into denial and crawls in place as he's pinned by Duke Lukem "Noo Noo.. No No No" LukeWarm shakes his head as he claws at the dirt.
"Yes Luke. YEEES Luke." B Luke slides down the dirt crater down to Lukewarm. "Would you stop already. -tch This is a good thing Luke. We're going to save the world."
"WELL I DON'T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT THE WORLD!!" LukeWarm swings his arms as he's still pinned. Business Luke gives Duke Lukem a nod telling him to let go of LukeWarm.
LukeWarm stands up now and gets into B Luke's face "And how do you know This is a BIG success -huh! You guy's fucked up 12 times now. Eon bulldozed all Twelve of ya!"
Business Luke blows a plume of smoke to the side "Eon's never taken all of us at once. And he's definitely never taken anyone like you."
LukeWarm flies into more hysterics as he points and shouts at every Luke around him "Yeah great fucking accomplishment. Me. MEEEE. Is that what it's all about. You manufactured the biggest loser in the world. How am I supposed to live knowing I'll never hold a son of my own! How am I supposed to look at Lavender and tell her I cum alcohol! I'm supposed to live my life for you. Well tell me how to unfuck it first!"
Business Luke flicks his cigarette away and pokes at LukeWarm's chest "Thats for you to figure out. We've had all the time to figure out our hang ups. And if you don't like it well guess what Mister Hero, that's what you get for always being such a shoddy person when you could be the world's last hope. It's not the end of the world Luke. But it will be if we don't take you now." Business Luke snaps his fingers and The Lukes begin assembling a portable station for time travel.
It's without much fanfare that the Lukes round together and drag LukeWarm toward the portable station.
The First Luke greets LukeWarm. He grabs LukeWarm's chin raising it so he can look him in the eyes "We are all counting on you Luke. We can't do this without you. You're all our hopes and dreams now."
The First Luke steps back "AAAAALT-MEN!"
And every Luke responds in unison "RISE UP!"
They step forward now to the final battle that awaits them.
flushing out rolls for mlpg
Roll #1 10 = 10 / Roll #2 10 = 10 / Roll #3 4 = 4 / Roll #4 6 = 6 / Roll #5 10 = 10 / Roll #6 7 = 7 /
Roll #1 7, 1, 5, 10, 3, 7, 4, 9, 4, 2, 5, 2, 10, 5, 6, 1, 4, 3 + 2 = 90