Infinite Planeswalker by Ernie Laurence, Jr.

Blood dribbled down Fashtion’s chin.

“You leave me no choice, Hadrin.” Fashtion’s right arm hung limp bearing multiple small cuts from Hadrin’s Avalanche Riders’ relentless attacks. He reeled from all the pain the boy had caused with such a simple array of spells.

This is it. “You’ve done well, boy, but you cannot stop me.” Fashtion closed his eyes and connected to his mana. He tapped into their power and drew it into himself: a forest burgeoning with mana from the Abundant Growth he’d enchanted it with, two islands, and two Lotus Vales. Black from them, for the death I will bring you. It still wasn’t enough for what he needed.

“Fashtion, you don’t have to do this. You can still walk away.” The wind swirling around the two planeswalkers ripped Hadrin’s passionate plea away.

Fashtion didn’t care. He would annihilate this upstart and take his silly toys. This very long day would be something to laugh at from the comfort of his own plane. Fashtion had heard that Hadrin somehow defeated several other planeswalkers who even Fashtion was wary of. So far, the boy had produced nothing of significance, a Soul Warden and a Furious Assault enchantment. And those blasted Avalanche Riders.

His grin held no mirth as he activated the Aether Orb. The lands he had tapped crumbled to dust in the worlds where they lay. Even the Lotus Vales. Five lands no longer existed, bereft of form and mana unless given new life by his will. Five lands sacrificed to the Orb to gain the extra mana he needed.

“Emrakul, the Aeons Torn! Come forth and annihilate!”

Hadrin’s eyes narrowed, but not in fear. Fashtion admired the boy’s courage, but it wouldn’t save him.

Air pressure lessened. The winds drew together in a massive vortex. A tear in the fabric of reality appeared in the sky and grew beyond the size of a large city. Enormous blue tentacles emerged followed by a body incomprehensible to mortal mind. The summoning of the Eldrazi god could not be countered, could not be stopped by either of the pitiful creatures defending Hadrin. It was the end game move Fashtion had sustained so much damage to reach.

Even more, Hadrin would not be able to access his own mana again before Fashtion was able to bring more to bear. Emrakul would need a moment to orient himself, then it would all be over.

Fashtion watched Hadrin’s eyes. The fool is not even aware that he is already dead.

“Fashtion!” Hadrin yelled. “You have forgotten the most basic rule of planeswalking!”

Fashtion frowned. “I have forgotten nothing, boy. ” Then, curiosity piqued, Fashtion said his final words. “What rule?”

“Never tap out.” Hadrin drew mana from the one land he had not accessed in his last sortie across the field, an old Abandoned Outpost. He fed the mana into one of his artifacts, an Erratic Portal he’d been using to unsummon his own puny creatures whenever Fashtion directed any spells at them.

This time, Hadrin directed the energies of the portal at Emrakul. They wrapped around the Eldrazi and returned it to wherever Fashtion had summoned it from. Fashtion could have prevented it, could have drawn a single unit of mana to direct at the Portal to counter its effect since it was his summon that was being returned. Such was the nature of the artifact.

But he had counted on being able to bring another mana source to bear before Hadrin could draw again from those he had tapped already. He had nothing left at the moment. Fashtion had violated the most basic rule of planeswalking.

Emrakul disappeared. The storm of its summoning quieted.

Fashtion shook as he brought a single swamp to bear. The pitiful effort did not even give him enough mana to do anything. He watched as Hadrin drew once again on his own lands, this time for an enchantment that allowed both of them to summon smaller creatures at will without mana.

Fashtion used Hadrin’s Aluren enchantment to summon a spellshaper Instigator. The woman blinked and looked around, barely aware yet that she had been called upon to fulfill her commitment to Fashtion.

Across the field, a small blue jellyfish appeared, a Man-o’-War. Fashtion grunted from the small scorching dealt by Hadrin’s Furious Assault. It was a pitiable spell that did minor damage every time Hadrin summoned something. Not worth Fashtion’s concern.

The jellyfish disappeared as Hadrin used its ability to unsummon any creature to target itself. It reappeared and the Furious Assault stung Fashtion. Again the jellyfish faded then returned. The scorching began to burn in earnest.

Fashtion’s blood turned cold as the Man-o’-War faded and returned over and over again, driving him to his knees. So that’s how he did it. Clever.

Fashtion’s last sight before the combination reduced him to ash was Hadrin marching across the battlefield, not a scratch on him, tears streaming down his face.

~~~~

Hadrin bent over the spot where Fashtion had died. Nothing remained of the planeswalker’s body, but the various totems representing his spells and mana lay in a pile in the dust. Hadrin picked through the items carefully as he could only select one before the rest faded. He already had a couple of Lotus Vales and he had no use for the array of spells requiring black mana.

There. The totem looked like a small island with tiny, intricately carved tentacles hanging frozen underneath. The idol of Emrakul looked fragile, but sustained by its magical connection to the Eldrazi lord, it could not be easily destroyed.

Hadrin put the totem in his pouch and knelt. He said a silent prayer to the One Above, the Being even only a few planeswalkers acknowledged.

The rest of Fashtion’s items passed into the aether, freeing the artifacts, people, and land they were connected to.

Hadrin walked away, his collection complete. No one would ever harm him or those he loved again.

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