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Final Showdown



It was one of the most popular espresso shops in Colorado Springs. Coffee lovers from all over the city converged on the corner of Tejon and Baker in the early morning, before dispersing once again to their particular businesses and homes, sipping on the steaming brew that kept them going until they could indulge in their vice again...and again.

No one paid heed to the tall, dark skinned man, his head shaved bare; his dark, slightly almond shaped eyes watching those around him with a hint of amusement. He stepped into line, watched the young couple in front of him carefully. Understood, as those around them did not, just who...and what...they were. The slender blonde chattered softly, happily; the bespectacled young man listening raptly, with a look of indulgent love in his eyes.

He listened to each of the orders given, the terms confusing and giving him little insight as to what the utterances meant. When he stepped to the front of the line, the young woman...a barista he had heard her called...looked up at him expectantly, and not without a bit of impatience. "I believe I'll have a tall skinny double double mocha with handles," he said, simply repeating what the slender blonde had ordered. Watched as the coffee was pressed into the cup, chocolate syrup added, as well as two servings of sugar and frothing cream.

Standing outside of the small building, sipping the steaming liquid, he thought about the fact that this strangely addictive beverage, with its sensually pleasing components, existed only in this place; this small ball of blue and white in an insignificant solar system in an equally unimportant galaxy. He took another sip. Would it be possible that he'd find anything as...tasty...elsewhere?

The young man pushed his glasses up, glanced at the man who stood beside the door of Pike's Perk. Wearing a gray hoodie over a white tee shirt...he couldn't tell exactly what the design on the front of the shirt was, or might represent...gray cargo pants and black boots, the man looked no different than the other patrons who rushed in or out of the shop, dashing in from hastily parked cars, or waiting in the drive-through queue. His fingertips began to burn. An odd sensation, but one not completely unfamiliar to him. It was strange that it was happening now, when there was no obvious threat in sight. He watched the man for a moment, wondering just who he was...he certainly wasn't a 'regular'. The light turned green, and the stranger was forgotten in the jumble of thoughts pertaining to the day. The Jeep eased forward, swallowed up by the traffic that filled the streets.

Finishing off the cup of coffee, the man looked around him. How long had it been since he'd been to this place...where he had once visited so often? Answering the call of those who knew his name...knew his worth...understood the power he wielded. Power that had continued to grow, until now there were none who could stand against him. Any universe, any reality he wanted was his for the taking. Should things go badly here, there were dozens upon dozens of realities. If events turned against him. Who could stop him now? Certainly not those who deemed themselves his 'superiors'. They were little more than an annoyance to him now. Once certain...details...were dealt with, he would be quick to show those who believed themselves to be above him just who was in control, just who was the most powerful. Confident of his success, he shrugged away any thoughts of failure. There was no one to stand against him. It was time. He wandered into a nearby alley. Found a deserted doorway. A flash of bright white light...

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