LoH/story/Absolute Reckoning

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Prev: << Emergent Behavior Storyline: Absolute Reckoning Next: Back Issues: Part 1 >>

There are two paths through this issue, depending on whether you follow Zeroth or Absolute Zeroth. Both paths begin and end the same way, but the rest of the issue is different. Use the tabs to view each path.

Beginning of Issue
LoH Cards 388 space station zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: This is the on board computer system of Space Station Zeroth.

I am acting on a directive to contact you in the event of an interruption of communication with Aloysius Zeroth.

LoH Cards 388 space station zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: Or in the case of conflicting communication with multiple users matching his genetic profile.

Prepare to come aboard.

LoH Cards 388 space station zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: And prepare for action.

We have company.

A Tale of Two Zeroths[edit]

Beginning of Fight: Dimetrodrone (1)
LoH Cards 396 dimetrodone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: These are the Dimetrodrones. You have encountered a more "advanced" prototype in your adventures.

They function as something Zeroth refers to as "redshirts" despite their predilection for not wearing any upper garments.

LoH Cards 396 dimetrodone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: Their primary function was to guard a prisoner in a section of the Space Station that was shielded from me.

The station has been breached and the prisoner escaped. By all readings he is Zeroth. I have been getting conflicting commands ever since.

LoH Cards 396 dimetrodone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: I need your help. There are two temporally contemporary Zeroths trying to command me. Each with a set of Dimetrodrones.

I can't detect which one to follow but I know that choosing the wrong one could be calamitous.

Beginning of Fight: Zeroth
LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Aloysius Zeroth: I can't make my Space Station listen to me...

I am optimistic that you will be more receptive.

LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Aloysius Zeroth: Things I have done in my life have come at a significant cost.

And now The Schism is coming to collect on that debt.

LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Aloysius Zeroth: There was a time when I was the only emergent and I used my abilities to accrue wealth and power.

I created weapons such as the Dimetrodrones and Codename: Soldier for generous sums of money.

LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Aloysius Zeroth: That all changed when I became aware of the threat of an alien invasion.

Everything I have done since that moment has been to keep the human race safe.

LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Aloysius Zeroth: Join forces with me and we can get on with saving reality from the maw of The Schism.

You do believe me, don't you?

Beginning of Fight: Dimetrodrone (2)
LoH Cards 396 dimetrodone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: The Dimetrodrone forces appear to be split into two factions. Under the command of two different leaders.

Which is impossible since everything on this station...myself included...only responds to Zeroth's genetic signature.

Beginning of Fight: Absolute Zeroth
LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: You look like you have seen a ghost and I suppose you have.

I may share Zeroth's genetic makeup but I am as far from him as possible.

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: You can call me Absolute Zeroth.

I have been a prisoner on this space station for the last 30 years.

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: We were once the same man. We came before all other emergents.

When the threat of an alien invasion changed our world view.

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: I split off from Zeroth ... like your friend Shimmerstorm ... and went back in time to plant the seeds of our emergent genes.

To create the first generation of emergents that became the Genesis Squadron.

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: But Zeroth saw that as a solution with a limited duration. He does not like anything challenging his position on top of the hill.

Look at what he did to me! And what about the Codename: Soldier project?

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: Join me. He would rather destroy everything before being overrun by generations of emergents.

You do believe me, don't you?

Queen of the Chimerae (Zeroth)[edit]

Beginning of Area: Queen of the Chimerae
LoH Cards 388 space station zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: The station is overrun with intruders. It is unclear which side they are on.

But some are clearly up to no good!

Beginning of Fight: The Undone
LoH Cards 306 the undone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: The Undone herald that The Schism is very close at hand.

You have only faced a fraction of its power.

LoH Cards 306 the undone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: I do not know if all the emergents together can stand up to its full might.

Or if they can even stand together.

Beginning of Fight: The T-Generates
LoH Cards 348 the tgenerates.jpg Space Station Zeroth: I am beginning to piece together how Absolute Zeroth was freed from his chamber.
Beginning of Fight: Three Harmonies: Offkey
LoH Cards 349 the three harmonies.jpg Space Station Zeroth: What I don't understand is how these monstrosities were able to get on board.
Beginning of Fight: Dr. Tessera: Devolved
LoH Cards 397 dr.jpg Space Station Zeroth: And how they were hidden from my detection.

Dr. Tessera: You again!?! Do you wonder if you have chosen the right side?

LoH Cards 397 dr.jpg Dr. Tessera: I will let you know when you are dead beneath these accursed paws...

And The Schism is swallowing us whole!

Beauty and the Beasts[edit]

Beginning of Area: Beauty and the Beasts
LoH Cards 351 dark thoughts.jpg Coax: Welcome to our little Drama Club.

It has been a long time since we were freshmen getting patched up by her.

LoH Cards 351 dark thoughts.jpg Coax: They call me Coax now. AfterImage and Cornerstone have joined me to fight for Zeroth.

We would love to have you join our cast.

Beginning of Fight: The Scarlet Tiger
LoH Cards 293 the scarlet tiger.jpg The Scarlet Tiger: You have to share the same suspicions I have. You were there in Hong Kong.

You have shared a glimpse of The Schism with me.

LoH Cards 293 the scarlet tiger.jpg The Scarlet Tiger: You know that I cannot show any mercy to anyone who would help bring that about.

You are being duped and I have no choice but to battle you for real this third time.

Beginning of Fight: The Conservator
LoH Cards 182 the conservator.jpg The Conservator: I have seen too many of you students go through to my waiting room.

And too many of them never come back.

LoH Cards 182 the conservator.jpg The Conservator: I have no desire to be the cause of your harm.

But Zeroth has been deceiving us. It is the only explanation for what we saw happen in Culverton.

Beginning of Fight: Pesticide
LoH Cards 196 pesticide.jpg Pesticide: The Schism is in my dreams!

Even now. Awake but dreaming.

LoH Cards 196 pesticide.jpg Pesticide: Bad dreams. Bad man in black.

Must make the dreams stop. Must stop the man in black.

For Whom the Bell Tolls[edit]

Beginning of Area: For Whom the Bell Tools
LoH Cards 358 nextlevel.jpg #Z03MG: See! I knew you were cool.

Maser said you were just another stuck-up from that school.

LoH Cards 358 nextlevel.jpg #Z03MG: Like these lamers who call themselves The Whom now!

Can't wait to tweet at him that I was right!

LoH Cards 358 nextlevel.jpg #Z03MG: Could use a little help in the meanwhile...

I would puke if Zeroth lost to these losers.
Plus I think we'd all die.

Beginning of Fight: The Beacon: The Whom
LoH Cards 378 beacon the whom.jpg The Beacon: You are siding with these ... children?

They would rather amass online followers than make things better.

LoH Cards 378 beacon the whom.jpg The Beacon: The Whom fight against the legacy of Zeroth Industries every day.

You are on the wrong side in this battle.

Beginning of Fight: The Accelerant: The Whom
LoH Cards 385 the accelerant the whom.jpg The Accelerant: Zeroth is using you like he has used all the emergents.

To him we are little better than those Dimetrodrones.

LoH Cards 385 the accelerant the whom.jpg The Accelerant: I wish I had time to convince you but...

If I took that time we could all end up dead.

Beginning of Fight: Bookworm: The Whom
LoH Cards 379 bookworm the whom.jpg Bookworm: I have never been great with computers.

But I have read enough books to know a lousy cover when I see one.

LoH Cards 379 bookworm the whom.jpg Bookworm: Zeroth's hubris would see reality destroyed rather than be supplanted by his prodigy.

I aim to make it an unhappy homecoming by this prodigal son.

Beginning of Fight: Bantam: The Whom
LoH Cards 377 bantam the whom.jpg Bantam: No one ever expects to be held accountable in a boardroom.

And they grow soft and weak.

LoH Cards 377 bantam the whom.jpg Bantam: Zeroth may accessorize his suit with warpaint.

But I am willing to bet he uses a girdle to fit into it each morning.

LoH Cards 377 bantam the whom.jpg Bantam: I would want the world to end too if I got soft.

Which is why The Whom have been coming at him hard...and anyone who sides with him.

The Band Back Together[edit]

Beginning of Area: The Band Back Together
LoH Cards 368 philosophical differences.jpg Professor Helios: Zeroth has been central to the greatest pain of my life...

But I know it was to keep the world safe.

LoH Cards 368 philosophical differences.jpg Professor Helios: I may not like him very much...

But I am ready to fight for him with every spark in me.

Beginning of Fight: Shimmerstorm
LoH Cards 355 missing each other.jpg Shimmerstorm: Zeroth has been everywhere and everywhen I have been. And always in the middle.

I see no other possibility than to defeat him today.

Beginning of Fight: The Crime Blotter
LoH Cards 364 grip of fanaticism.jpg The Crime Blotter: The deeper I dig into Zeroth Industries the dirtier it gets.

Doesn't the fact that he has his own space station give anyone else pause?

LoH Cards 364 grip of fanaticism.jpg The Crime Blotter: I have given up expecting anyone to read the simple facts as they are presented.

So it's time for a little sensationalism.

Beginning of Fight: The Southside Sentry
LoH Cards 394 twisted genius.jpg The Southside Sentry: Is this beat up on Marcus day?

I don't even know who I am fighting anymore.

LoH Cards 394 twisted genius.jpg The Southside Sentry: I just know that Zeroth doesn't check out in my book.

When I am done beating this thing unconscious I am going to use it to pummel you.

Beginning of Fight: Devastatrix
LoH Cards 365 old habits.jpg Devastatrix: It takes one helluva threat to get me fighting outside of a ring these days.

And you know it is serious if I am willing to be in a room with this guy.

LoH Cards 365 old habits.jpg The Crime Blotter: Hey!
LoH Cards 365 old habits.jpg Devastatrix: We have fought together against The Schism. You can extrapolate its power if it comes all the way through into our world.

If my fears are correct then we don't have much time. And I cannot waste time sparring with you.

Queen of the Chimerae (Absolute Zeroth)[edit]

Beginning of Area: Queen of the Chimerae
LoH Cards 388 space station zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: The station is overrun with intruders. It is unclear which side they are on.

But some are clearly up to no good!

Beginning of Fight: The Undone
LoH Cards 306 the undone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: The Undone herald that The Schism is very close at hand.

You have only faced a fraction of its power.

LoH Cards 306 the undone.jpg Space Station Zeroth: I do not know if all the emergents together can stand up to its full might.

Or if they can even stand together.

Beginning of Fight: The T-Generates
LoH Cards 348 the tgenerates.jpg Space Station Zeroth: I am beginning to piece together how Absolute Zeroth was freed from his chamber.
Beginning of Fight: Three Harmonies: Offkey
LoH Cards 349 the three harmonies.jpg Space Station Zeroth: What I don't understand is how these monstrosities were able to get on board.
Beginning of Fight: Dr. Tessera: Devolved
LoH Cards 397 dr.jpg Space Station Zeroth: And how they were hidden from my detection.

Dr. Tessera: You again!?! Do you wonder if you have chosen the right side?

LoH Cards 397 dr.jpg Dr. Tessera: I will let you know when you are dead beneath these accursed paws...

And The Schism is swallowing us whole!

Old School Tri[edit]

Beginning of Area: Old School Tri
LoH Cards 372 faculty mixer.jpg The Conservator: Glad to learn you share the same concerns about Zeroth that we have.

Pesticide: Scarlet Tiger has not trusted him since Hong Kong.

LoH Cards 372 faculty mixer.jpg The Conservator: Pesticide and I have had our doubts since the adventure with the Upstarts.

But some of your classmates have chosen to take the opposite side.

Beginning of Fight: Cornerstone
LoH Cards 381 cornerstone.jpg Cornerstone: I don't want to fight you but Absolute Zeroth can't be trusted.

And I can't let him destroy all of us...and everything else in the process.

LoH Cards 173 shy freshman.jpg Cornerstone: It really doesn't seem like all that long ago when I was just a Shy Freshman.

You were one of my few friends.

LoH Cards 381 cornerstone.jpg Cornerstone: You can call me Cornerstone now...

But if you are going to side with that white haired devil you can't call me friend.

Beginning of Fight: Afterimage
LoH Cards 376 afterimage.jpg Afterimage: We don't have time to be fighting amongst each other!

We need to stop Absolute Zeroth before we are all doomed.

LoH Cards 177 fast learner.jpg Afterimage: You always said I was a Fast Learner back when we were freshmen.

I have done the math and Absolute Zeroth doesn't add up.

LoH Cards 376 afterimage.jpg Afterimage: I go by AfterImage these days.

Not that you will remember my name after the beating I put on you, old pal.

Beginning of Fight: Coax
LoH Cards 380 coax.jpg Coax: I guess I am the last player in The Drama Club standing.

That's what we call ourselves these days.

LoH Cards 172 eager freshman.jpg Coax: I still remember being such an Eager Freshman.

With just a fraction of the power we have now.

LoH Cards 380 coax.jpg Coax: Coax is my new stage name.

I can make memories and fears take form.

LoH Cards 380 coax.jpg Coax: I won't hesitate to turn your mind inside out if it means stopping this madman.

Zeroth Fan Club[edit]

Beginning of Area: Zeroth Fan Club
LoH Cards 369 surprised party.jpg Bookworm: I may still be Bookworm but we're not Upperclassmen anymore.

Bantam, Beacon, the Accelerant, and I have graduated to form The Whom.

LoH Cards 369 surprised party.jpg Bookworm: We fight white collar crime with our brains, our brawn, and occasionally some fire.

Collars don't come whiter or crimier than Zeroth's.

LoH Cards 369 surprised party.jpg Bookworm: These rejects still idolize this former arms dealer and have taken his side.

We don't have time to change hearts and minds. It's time the Home School got dismissed. Hard.

Beginning of Fight: Quickhit
LoH Cards 384 quickhit far from home.jpg Quickhit: Yer dumb. That's the only answer.

Have you seen how badass Zeroth is?

LoH Cards 384 quickhit far from home.jpg Quickhit: How many times has he saved your tights with death from above?

I am sure the new guy is pretty badass too...

LoH Cards 384 quickhit far from home.jpg Quickhit: But Zeroth is our badass.

And anyone who has a fight with him has to deal with us first!

Beginning of Fight: Makeshift
LoH Cards 382 makeshift far from home.jpg Makeshift: Having a little trouble catching your breath?

Not me. I have all the time in the world.

Beginning of Fight: #Z03MG
LoH Cards 374 zo3mg far from home.jpg #Z03MG: For reals? You sided with the counterfeit?

Here I thought maybe you were cool.

LoH Cards 374 zo3mg far from home.jpg #Z03MG: I am going to have to delete some embarrassing tweets.

Right after I delete you.

Beginning of Fight: Maser
LoH Cards 383 maser far from home.jpg Maser: I don't care. Even if Zeroth is trying to blow up the world.

I would not have anything resembling a life without him.

LoH Cards 383 maser far from home.jpg Maser: He can do what he wants with it.

And I will do everything in my considerable powers to hurt anyone in his way.

Professors and Pain[edit]

Beginning of Area: Professors and Pain
LoH Cards 368 philosophical differences.jpg The Crime Blotter: The more I dig, the more dirt is hidden under the dirt.

That has never been more true than with Zeroth.

LoH Cards 368 philosophical differences.jpg Devastatrix: They have done everything they can to avoid the real issues.

And their school has just indoctrinated one generation after another...

LoH Cards 368 philosophical differences.jpg Shimmerstorm: And now they are dragging us all to our doom.
Beginning of Fight: Billy Stopless
LoH Cards 392 three headed giant.jpg Billy Stopless: We don't have enough monsters to slay without fighting our own as well?

Let me get a grip on this situation...

LoH Cards 392 three headed giant.jpg Billy Stopless: I have been through enough battles with Zeroth over these three decades.

That I cannot doubt my heart.

LoH Cards 392 three headed giant.jpg Billy Stopless: He is no angel...believe me I know that.

But I stand with him ... and as soon as I get my arm back ... will fight for him.

Beginning of Fight: The Abyss
LoH Cards 364 grip of fanaticism.jpg The Abyss: You have aligned yourself with this thug who claims alumnus with the acolytes?

And this white-haired madman who has ensnared you in the web of tales he spins?

LoH Cards 364 grip of fanaticism.jpg The Abyss: I will slip this hold in 12 seconds...

And demonstrate the proper technique on both of you.

Beginning of Fight: Moxie
LoH Cards 356 over the top.jpg Moxie: Nobody knows better than me how devious Zeroth can be...

He put the wheels in motion to have me kidnapped in Hong Kong.

LoH Cards 356 over the top.jpg Moxie: He wanted to trigger my emergent powers.

I am grateful to him for that. I have saved the world multiple times over.

LoH Cards 356 over the top.jpg Moxie: And if I have to go through a former student to do so again...

So be it!

Beginning of Fight: Helios
LoH Cards 367 some say.jpg Professor Helios: I have never understood the enmity this newer generation has for us.

But Absolute Zeroth is using that to his advantage.

LoH Cards 367 some say.jpg Professor Helios: Even when Zeroth has caused me great pain it was in the service of keeping the world safe.

I cannot let that pain be for nothing. I won't let it.

Zero Sum Game[edit]

Beginning of Fight: Zeroth
LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Zeroth: I don't have time to reason with you. The Schism is almost on Earth.

We have spent too much time fighting and yet I have no choice.

LoH Cards 386 zeroth resolved.jpg Zeroth: I will fight every last one of my counterpart's allies if that is what it takes.

To keep The Schism at bay.

Absolution[edit]

Beginning of Fight: Dr. Tessera: Devolved
LoH Cards 397 dr.jpg Dr. Tessera: The Schism is upon us. And you have nearly wasted too much time to stop it.

A few more rounds with me and my beloved should provide enough time for sweet oblivion.

Beginning of Fight: Absolute Zeroth
LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: You are a persistent specimen. I will give you that.

You have found me out. The proverbial end boss.

LoH Cards 373 the road to hell.jpg Absolute Zeroth: I want nothing more than to eradicate this existence and every heartbreaking memory of it.

I went back in time to change the future. I was supposed to come back but I fell in love.

LoH Cards 373 the road to hell.jpg Absolute Zeroth: Madeleine Tessera was a beautiful and gifted genius. My perfect companion.

Together we sowed the seeds of emergence in hopeful young couples who came to our clinics.

LoH Cards 398 schism arrived.jpg Absolute Zeroth: We altered the fabric of reality. Tore holes that the unspeakable could reach through.

We were at the epicenter of that rift between dimensions and were tormented by the vision of what was coming.

LoH Cards 397 dr.jpg Absolute Zeroth: Madeleine turned her mosaic experiments upon herself in an attempt to quiet the dreams.

But they worsened.

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: I tried to bring about the end two different times but Zeroth got the upper hand on me and imprisoned me here.

I had provided Madeleine with a backdoor to the Station's security and with the Schism pounding on the door to this reality...

LoH Cards 375 absolute zeroth.jpg Absolute Zeroth: You are the last thing that stands between our torment and the bliss of oblivion.
End of Fight: Absolute Zeroth
LoH Cards 390 brink of destruction.jpg To be continued...

...In the Megabrawl!

End of Issue[edit]

This final panel contains the dialogue that was originally in the Schism: Arrived megabrawl. It has been added here in order to complete the storyline.

Megabrawl Story: Schism: Arrived
LoH Cards 388 space station zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: My scans show that your body... and powers... have been pushed beyond their limit.

But the threat facing this reality is far from defeated.

LoH Cards 371 zeroth unity.jpg Space Station Zeroth: After his defeat at the hands of you and your fellow emergents, the one who called himself Absolute Zeroth agreed to incorporate with the original.
LoH Cards 371 zeroth unity.jpg Space Station Zeroth: Their plan was to use their combined might to defeat The Schism and then work together to return Dr. Tessera to her original form.
LoH Cards 389 young zeroth.jpg Space Station Zeroth: But something went wrong.

The result of their fusion scans as Zeroth but a teenaged version of himself whose powers have not fully emerged.

LoH Cards 398 schism arrived.jpg Space Station Zeroth: I am afraid this reality's best hope of defeating The Schism is decades away from the height of his powers...

...and we needed him 10 minutes ago when The Schism arrived in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and started wading to shore.

LoH Cards 390 brink of destruction.jpg Space Station Zeroth: You are going to have to join forces with every emergent that we can possibly muster if we have any chance of this reality remaining intact.

And if we still all exist after that we can worry about young Master Zeroth.