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Fleeting Entertainment
Tag: Waffles | August 2nd
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#1
Hannibal was bored. And a bored Hannibal was a cranky Hannibal, which in turn meant that someone, somewhere, was going to have a very, very bad day, very very soon unless entertainment could be found.

And then it was still quite that said entertainment was going to have a bad day. But that saved so many others from such a dark fate…

This place was not often boring, but… When you were a god, anything could get boring after awhile. The last universe he had visited had done this, had put him in this… This melancholy mood, and all he really wanted was for someone to cheer him up, to entertain him, because that was something people could do. They could be useful in that way if nothing else… So Hannibal walked down the street, and paused to allow his gaze to fall on one of the others who happened to be out on the street, and the woman stopped, blinking almost blankly before she looked over at the man beside her and slapped him hard, earning a dark chuckle from the god.

Well, that’s what the man got for forgetting her birthday. Really, after a decade of marriage, how did someone forget the important things? You remembered the birthday, forgot the age, and spoiled her. It wasn’t that hard. Then again, when you could read thoughts as easily as breathing air, then a lot of things were easy that wouldn’t normally be. Still! Mortals had such short lifespans, how difficult could it be to remember something for a few decades??

Hannibal often had to remember things for millennia…

At least he’d found a distraction, albeit momentary.
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#2
While Hannibel was entertaining himself with messing with the woman's mind, a certain former Emperor calmly walked through the street of the Hub City clad in his black robe, hood pulled low over his face to obscure it in the shadows. His form was hunched over, his hands folded behind his back. His mind raced with the possibilities that were available to him now that he knew of the multiverse in it's entirety. There was so much he could do, so much to conquer, so much to corrupt and twist to his own ends, that it was breathtaking. He was letting Vader and Luke believe they won for the moment, instead preferring to try and expand his horizons to the multiverse as a whole.

As he rounded the corner and started heading the opposite direction Hannibal was headed in, he momentarily stopped in his tracks when his senses picked up the subtle feeling of mental manipulation. Curling his lips up into an amused smile, he watched as the woman spontaneously slap the man next to her, and he could vaguely the influence of someone else. Narrowing his Sith yellow eyes, he continued on his path, until he stopped next to Hannibal. Hannibal piqued his interest because he could not sense the man at all, his thoughts and emotions were completely unknown to him. Capturing his attention for the moment, Palpatine decided to have his own bit of fun as well.

The man that got slapped by the woman glared at her for a moment, and before he could say anything, the robed figure next to Hannibal revealed his presence. "You will slap the woman back" the former Emperor said in a low, raspy voice as he waved his hand. This caused the man's eyes to blank over, before immediately turning to the woman and slapping her right back because she slapped him. Palpatine's hooded pasty face smiled in amusement, and he let out a couple of chuckles before turning his attention to Hannibal, the man he could not get a reading on.

"It is amusing how easy it is to manipulate those of a weaker will than your own, isn't it? The power that is at your fingertips when you can make any fool obey your every command" he said to Hannibal without turning to look at him.
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#3
Hannibal gave no outward appearance to having done anything. For all the world, it looked like he had simply paused to watch the woman slap the man, being in the right place at the right time, and had just happened to be looking in the right direction when it had happened. There was nothing about the man that would lead to the conclusion that he had had anything to do with the outburst in the least, and yet…

The gnarled old man had ‘guessed’ his involvement.

A telepath, or close enough to it. One that was far from as experienced as Hannibal, but then, that was nigh improbable, even in this place, this…city of worlds.

Hannibal frowned as the man slapped the woman, snarling quietly at him. That he hadn’t acted of his own volition mattered little; he had wronged the woman, first by his forgetfulness, and then by visiting violence upon her person, and that… That was grounds for discipline. “If you value your existence, fall to your knees and beg her forgiveness, and then pray she does.” The man barely hesitated, his eyes wide and frightened as he did as Hannibal instructed, not due to any coercion from the god, but out of fear of being forced, as well as fear for his life.

Funny how mortals thought that ‘life’ and ‘existence’ were interchangeable concepts.

Hannibal’s eyes went to the woman, and he arched a brow, “Do you forgive him?” The woman blinked, and then nodded wordlessly, and Hannibal shrugged, “Go, both of you.” he waved a dismissive hand toward them.

“All wills are weaker than my own, save my Beloved’s.” The words were every bit as dismissive as those he’d spoken to the husband and wife, and he didn’t bother addressing the man, verbally or physically. “Give a mortal a bit of power and watch it go to their head. It loses its novelty, after a millennia or two.”
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#4
The former Emperor of the Galactic Empire couldn't resist smiling underneath the shadows of his hood at the man's reply. It was clear from what he said that although he looked Human, he was clearly anything but. Being alive for over a millennia was something that, to his knowledge, only the late Master Yoda had been capable of, and even then the man died before truly reaching one thousand years of age. Of course, Palpatine had been setting things up to continue living long after his life ended naturally from old age, something he took great care to hide from even his former apprentice.

He subtly reached out with the Force, but alas he could not read the man's mind, his emotions, or even how powerful he could be. This immediately made him cautious, not exactly fearful because he feared nothing and no one, but rather cautious because there wasn't a single person he couldn't normally get a read on. This man was something beyond his level of understanding for now, so he would have to tread with caution. The casual way he commented on there not being a single person with a will to match his own except his wife almost made him snort, but he wasn't about to utter his views on the inferiority of women.

"I know a little of what you feel. For many decades, I have yet to find someone with a will as great as my own, and most certainly not one greater. However, while most would find it boring, I take comfort in it because it makes me stronger than them" he said in that low, raspy voice he had. He made sure to not give too much away to the man, after all when a man dealt in secrecy and shadows for many years, it became extremely easy to continue being secretive and sneaky. Being loud and obvious was not the way of the Sith, after all.

"I happen to find amusement in those who get the slightest taste in power. In my experience, when one gets a taste of any form of power, they usually become drunk with it, which makes them much easier to manipulate. Political power, monetary power, territorial power, and especially mystical power, most usually allow it to go to their head. With the power of the Force on my side, manipulating the right people into doing what I want becomes all the easier" he said in a seemingly sage-like way, mentioning 'the Force' in a way that seemed to imply it was some kind of form of power that elevated people who had it above those who didn't.
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#5
Humans were… Boring. Most of the time, anyway. Once in awhile you’d get that one that was entertaining; smarter or with a stronger will than the rest. But honestly, most of the time, humans, and any mortals, really, were just… Eh.

Take this one, for instance.

Here was a mortal with the barest taste of any real power, and he thought it made him better than the others. He looked down on women. Why? Because they had a slightly different set of body parts than he had?

Mortals were just so...simple. It was almost tragic, how they thought themselves the top of the food chain, that there was nothing greater than them. Quietly, Hannibal heaved a sigh at the shortsightedness of the man who felt himself worthy of having a discussion about power with a god. Fool. He couldn’t help the bout of laughter that came from him at the old man’s words, shaking his head even as he laughed as though he’d made a very, very funny joke. “Oh, speak more, please, tell me of how strong and powerful you are.” Hannibal chuckled again, his amusement clear, “I think I like this place.”

The slightest taste in power. Like yourself, old man? Hannibal said nothing, but instead nodded his understanding, continuing to smile, but no longer laughing.

The Force? Was this the power the old man wielded, then? Was that what they called it where he was from? Interesting. That might be a world worth visiting. It would be more enjoyable if Adhira came with. Imagine the havoc they could wreak in such a place… So many planets, so many souls to worship them…

So much fun.

Speaking of fun, the man was still speaking. And it appeared that he felt himself above those who ‘get the slightest taste in power’ while being exactly one such individual. It was...it was like there was an inside joke here. This Force must be their version of power. Magic or mystic energy or whatnot. Something he could, most likely, harness. And Hannibal enjoyed such things, he did. “Tell me, old man, this world you’re from… What gods do they worship there? This Force you speak of? Is that your god?” Hannibal tipped his head slightly to the side, the face of innocence and curiosity, entirely non threatening while at the same time compelling. You can tell me, I’m safe, I’m just curious about you. Just curious.
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#6
Something about this man made him uneasy, the man was entirely too confident and easygoing. Then again, he bore witness to the man manipulating the mind of a woman to have some mild form of entertainment for himself. He didn't know why, but the Force was screaming out at him that this man was a significant threat, one not to be taken lightly. It wasn't like it was with young Anakin Skywalker, who was destined to be even stronger than Sidious himself if he hadn't limited his power due to that suit he was placed inside of, this man was strong on a whole new scale.

He also felt extremely insulted by the way the man seemed to find amusement in the former Emperor's proclamation of power. While he would normally discipline any fool that dared to mock him, the Force warned him to be on his guard around this being in front of him. He had to do his best to avoid getting on the bad side of this man if he ever wanted to make sure that he survived to start up his inter-dimensional empire. This man was a huge threat, and with the Force screaming out at him to not make this man an enemy, he was going to make sure that he tread carefully.

"The universe I am from is actually one of many worlds, a giant galaxy with many planets, systems, and moons home to countless amounts of species and rich in lore. As for Gods, this galaxy is in the peak of a Space Age, there's not much religion going on outside of sects that worship the Force itself, aside from the Death Cult the Bando Gora. While some worship the Force as a God, the Force can't exactly be described as just some God or deity, it's a much more complicated answer.

The Force is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, binds all life together intricately. It guides our actions, but also obeys our commands, and this cosmic energy is partially sentient. It is invisible to the naked eye, but can be detected by anyone who has the ability to do so. In order to truly manipulate the Force, you need to have the will power and the self belief to do whatever you want it to. This means that if you are attempting to use the Force, your success relies entirely on your own beliefs, and the only limits you have at that point are the ones you place on yourself. However, it is also not one to be trifled with, as there have been occasions where even the strongest of beings wound up having their power stripped from them if they committed some wrong that the Force itself found abhorrent. It is an entity that is unkillable and merciless if you wrong it, but the kindest of beings if you let it guide you"
he said, explaining the nature of his universe, along with what exactly the Force was.
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#7
Easygoing was not a word that most people would use to describe the person who called himself Hannibal now. Confident, though, that was a good adjective for the man, no, the god with whom Sidious spoke. Hannibal was fairly at ease; there was little that most could do against him, and even this old man who possessed some unusual amount of power wasn’t something he’d honestly consider a threat.

He had killed fellow gods, who had been trying to kill him. Sidious was… Intriguing, but still a mortal. Truly, the man should feel honored to have gotten so much of Hannibal’s attention, and yet still more to thus far surviving it. Hannibal wasn’t the kindest of gods, after all; he had little patience for annoyances, especially of the mortal variety, not when he had even a vestige of his actual power, and right now, while not flush with it, the god was far removed from being remotely ‘human’ in anything but visage.

“Yes,” Hannibal spoke the word dryly, “Universes do tend to be made up of galaxies, and galaxies of star systems, and those of planets.” Not much religion. Hm. Hannibal’s smile turned a touch more thoughtful, his brow arching ever so slight. No other gods? Just this… Force. He wondered if this entity were one like him, simply… Distancing themselves from humanity. And if they were, if they were a threat, or a possible ally.

Death cult? The words had Hannibal’s attention immediately, his head snapping over to look at Sidious, “Tell me of this Bando Gora. They worship Death? Or under a different name?” How many universes had he visited that had already worshipped the Lord of the Underworld? An easy thing, those, to gather to himself; their gods were usually long dead or imaginary, and Hannibal was very, very real, with very obvious power.

And the Underworld was his dominion. It always had been.

The Force. Life energy. Arching a brow, Hannibal had to ask the obvious question, “What sort of wrong would this Force find abhorrent?” Mortals had a thing about death; they thought it an evil thing… But death was simply a part of life, albeit the end of what mortals knew and understood, but there was nothing evil in it. Life was filled with pain, frustration, and struggle. Death… Death was easy; the end of pain, the ease of frustration, and the quiet sigh of relaxation after the toil of life. What, exactly, humanity had always found so vile about that was buried in fear. And all mortals possessed fear. “Please tell me it’s nothing so trivial as murder or pain…”
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#8
The Dark Lord of the Sith could tell he captured this being's attention in regards to what he's said about his home universe, and about the Force. That was good, perhaps this being could assist him with what he wished to do, both in his home universe and with the rest of the multiverse as well. Darth Sidious was always planning, always desiring to seize power and control over everything to ensure the dominance of the Dark Side. The Force would rule over all, the Dark Side especially more so.

He ignored the man's dry remark in regards to what he said about his home universe, and instead honed in on the man's interest in the Bando Gora. While Darth Sidious thought he wiped that Death Cult out completely, last he heard before his 'death' at the hands of his apprentice there were whispers in the Outer Rim of them coming back to prominence. He wasn't necessarily surprised by this if he was honest with himself, as it was quite obvious that no true religious sect was ever wiped out. Just look at the Jedi, he had the majority of them wiped out, but some Jedi miraculously escaped the purges all those years ago.

"The Bando Gora revel in death, highly religious beings who see death as a mercy, a sweet release from the harshness that is life. They view death as a way of ascending to a higher level of power, throwing off the shackles of mortality and achieving a level of godhood. Having immersed themselves in the Dark Side in a unique way, these cultists mutated over time" he said, waving his hand to form illusions of different aliens mutating into blackened, husk-like creatures with glowing red or blue eyes. The sickening evil wafted off of these illusions, and they seemed to hobble with a single-minded purpose.

"The Bando Gora have been slowly coming back to the universe, even though I was sure they had been wiped out. Utter terrors in their day, a shell of their former selves now, but very deadly and made up of people who all know how to kill. They resorted to mass killings, brainwashing schemes with drugs they call death sticks, terrorist attacks, promoting fear in people, and ruling others through tyranny. They don't view death as a god or deity, they worship the abstract concept of death, the unknown, the idea that death is just the first stepping stone to an all new level of being one could never achieve by being alive" he said, waving his hand to weave illusions born of Sith Magic of all the events that happened because of them.

He tilted his hooded head to the side when the man in front of him inquired about what the Force regarded as abhorrent. He suppose he could understand wanting to know these things, as the Force had the ability to even dethrone Gods if they tried to assert their dominance in a way it didn't like. The reason the Force hadn't messed with him was because he was one more man in a long line of conquerors that used the Dark Side of the Force.

"Upsetting the natural order, trying to disrupt the balance of the Force in a way that would lead to the death of the Force itself. Many atrocities of pain and death were caused by Force users, but only in rare instances has it ever outright stripped beings of their power. The Rakatans are prime examples of this. They once ruled over the galaxy as Gods, maintaining what was called the Infinite Empire, ruling eight million worlds. However, they were savage and vile, creating an atrocity of an abomination in the Force. They commanded power over the Dark Side of the Force, but when that abomination of a factory station that consumed the Force was made, the Force got very angry, and stripped them all of their power. This lead to mass slave uprisings that lead to their slow death and extinction. Things like that" he said, explaining what kind of things that would make the Force act out and strip a being of their power.
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#9
Hannibal was, after a fashion, a god-killer. He hadn't started out that way; he had been a calm, even peaceful god, watching over the souls of the dead, taking care of them, sending them where they needed to go. He had ruled over the desert and fueled the storms, h
And he had, for some time, been content.

And then he had been betrayed.
I
That was even before gods had started to kill other gods, stealing their portfolios, taking over their domains, their followers, their power. Only then had Hannibal begun to fight in earnest…. Fight, and win. He and his Beloved had been the last gods standing, gaining the world of followers and all of that considerable power.

To hear tell of a universe with no revealed gods, and only this Force? It was a temptation. A universe full of worlds ripe for the taking…. and a cult primed just for him, giving him a starting point in the universe… Very, very tempting. He chuckled, “Oh, but Death IS a mercy, my friend. One very few can appreciate until it has sent them to he who is Unseen. Though they would likely be wrong about this new level of being. Death is death. There are…. ways to move on, for those who are worthy.” The abstract concept. Death was so much more than that, though. He could teach them. He was, after all, Setesh, the Unseen.

The evil of this man bothered Hannibal little, he had been called so for a millennia, called evil, accused of fratricide (he'd had a damn good reason, but no one ever remembered that), and so many other things. Ah, well. Wearing a small smile, Hannibal nodded, pretending to be cowed by the stories of the Force putting those who abused it in their place. Well, that was a duty of a god, of any god…. “I see.” And he did, at least in part. “This Force grants you use of its power, and in return you must respect it lest it take that power and perhaps a great deal more.” He waved toward some of the ghosts that wandered the street, “Show me, what sort of power you have been granted?”
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#10
The former Emperor raised an ancient eyebrow up in an intrigued manner when the man spoke of death in such a way that seemed to imply he knew everything about death, if he could refute the idea of what death was that the Bando Gora had. He was very curious as to why the man seemed so sure of what death actually was, and why he didn't seem to fear it. It was a curious thing, it was almost as if the man was speaking from experience. Regardless of how that was, he wasn't going to pry because he valued his life.

Tilting his head to the side when the man asked him to showcase the power he obtained from usage of Force, he thought about it for a moment, wondering if he should. Perhaps demonstrating the abilities he had would convince the man to form some kind of alliance with him, really let him know that he wasn't like the average mortal the man was used to seeing. Usually, a demonstration of the Force was a way to leave people in awe, and perhaps this was another chance to do so.

Deciding that he had nothing to lose by demonstrating his abilities, he spoke up. "I am not sure it would be wise to display my powers here since I'll get into trouble some, but before I go into a list of abilities I can do, I feel an explanation about the Force is in order. There are two sides to the Force, the Light Side, and the Dark Side. Light Side is meant for things like defense, protection, and healing, while the Dark Side is meant for more offensive abilities, although it is a pathway to many abilities some would consider to be unnatural. I am a practitioner of the Dark Side, a Dark Lord of the Sith.

With the power of the Force, I can enhance my body in such a way that it ignores the aches and pains of old age and have it fight at it's prime, I can read the thoughts and emotions of others, I can cloak my presence to be undetectable to others, as well as close off my thoughts and emotions so one cannot discern my true nature. I can also manipulate the actions of others, using a simple Mind Trick to get people to do what I want, although it does only work on the weak-minded.

I can fire lightning from my fingertips, I can choke someone from across vast distances and suffocate them or snap their necks with this technique, and I can even predict the future, although it is always in motion. I have access to Sith Magic, which gives me a whole plethora of other abilities, and Sith Alchemy. I can manipulate the world around me with telekinetic abilities with mere flicks of the wrist, I can forcibly take the knowledge of others or drain something from them, I can summon near apocalyptic storms on planets, and I can even cheat death by casting my spirit into another body to avoid being slain. The man who taught me the ways of the Force, Darth Plageuis the Wise, could even manipulate the Force in such a way to create life. These are but some of the many abilities that one can possess when using the Force"
he said, explaining his various abilities to the Death God.
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#11
Oh, Hannibal and Death were quite well acquainted. Death had hovered at his side since his birth, and was an old friend. So yes, one could say that he knew what there was to know about death. Intimately in some ways, and in the cold, calculating manner of a god who had no intention of ever experiencing it for himself in others. As far as fear… Well, Hannibal didn’t fear mortals. The last time he had heard tell of a mortal killing a god… Well, he couldn’t rightly remember a time when a mere mortal had killed one of them. Wounded, certainly, even assisted in the act, but never had one successfully murdered one of them.

No, they had murdered each other, in the end.

Get into trouble? Hannibal arched a brow, and the look was telling. It spoke, that look, it asked ‘if you are so powerful, then what worry have you of getting into some trouble?’ But Hannibal didn’t interrupt Sidious as the man spoke. And the man spoke. Mortals liked to hear themselves speak, that was for certain. And they were so… Fearful.

Light was for defense, dark for offense? And this dark side was considered unnatural? That was just.. That was nonsense. How was offense unnatural? Did they consider the lion unsheathing its claws to take the gazelle an upset to the natural order as well then? “Why is it considered unnatural? Is the universe you are from one of perfect, uninterrupted peace? Do they expect the lion to lay with the lamb, and cats and dogs to groom each other as well? Do predators not exist where you are from?” His tone was mocking, not of Sidious, but of those who would cast such aspersions on the cycle of life. Of which Death was a part, of course.

Magic and alchemy and tricks. “So then you are a priest of the Force, which allows you to use the energy and power it contains in return for your belief?” Because there, right there, that was familiar. That was expected. Sidious could call himself whatever he’d like, he could label himself as he pleased, but the fact of the matter was that his power came from elsewhere, not from within himself. The way the man spoke of the Force, it was evident the other god had never seen fit to show themself to their followers, which was understandable, especially if the Force were the only god in his universe. There was no need to walk among the mortals, not really, though Hannibal thought it would grow lonely and boring to be so isolated. Why not walk among men and have some fun? They wouldn’t even need to know who and what you were…

More than once, Hannibal had assumed a new identity and walked amongst his followers as a high priest of Set or Nergal, and found entertainment where he could.
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