The various fictional worlds, characters and elements that are written about in this fanfiction belong to their various creators, who I'm too lazy to list. This is purely a fan work and not intended to generate any sort of profit. I know that if it does a fair number of bloodthirsty lawyers are likely to make my life miserable. As always constructive criticism is welcome and flames will be ignored.

Well, here's my latest work. I confess that it's more the result of accumulated nervous energy, too many Worm CYOA fics and a truly monumental case of writer's block on my normal stories. I would like to stress that THIS IS NOT A FIC I'M SINKING TOO MUCH EFFORT INTO. It's simply something I wrote for fun and to break through my writer's block. I sadly don't expect it to be up to my usual standards, but I'm putting it up in the hopes that it will provide it's readers with some entertainment.

Truth be told I only have a half formed idea of where I'm going with this, some points are already set, but I welcome any suggestions.

On that note if anyone can clarify a few details on the Emperor of Mankind I would be very grateful. I know the general 40K lore, enough to enjoy the Warhammer fics I read, but I'm still a bit unclear as to just what the Emperor can do. I know that he's got supernatural leadership and ruling powers, enough that he was able to forge the titanic Empire of Man. I know that he has expertise in all the advanced tech of his empire. I also know that he's a psyker of vast power, enough that even the Chaos Gods don't want to tangle with him straight up.

My problem is that aside from his destruction of Horus and some of the feats he performed when reclaiming his sons there aren't too many examples of his other capabilities, at least none that I've found in my admittedly limited research.

Having seen what other psykers can do I'm guessing that telepathy, psychometry, telekinesis and televiewing are all available to him. I also know he can do the whole 'I will blast you to bit with my MIND' thing. But if anyone can provide me with some specifics I'd be grateful.

I do ask my readers to remember that I'll be keeping things on a slightly even keel though. I'm well aware that if the real Emperor found himself in the Wormverse that he could probably lobotomise Scion in short order, then take over Cauldron, burn it to the ground, salt said ground and then begin to churn out Space Marines. But I'm trying to avoid that, at least initially.

On a different note I hope that DerTodesbote doesn't mind me naming him as the artist of the fanart referred to in this fic. I greatly appreciate his work and hope it's okay with him.


Play it My Way: Chapter One

I look at the screen before me and weigh my options. Alright, I've already got a couple of fics going and both of them aren't too bad if I do say so myself. I've also got one or two incomplete first chapters to a couple of others on the back burner that I only touch on when I'm feeling uninspired.

Like now.

Well, if all truth were to be told my current lack of inspiration for my main stories was driven by far too much time playing the Mass Effect trilogy while also reading some 40K books and listening to the entire Lost Fleet series on my iPod. The simple fact was that both of my main stories were mainly fantasy based, and for the last month I'd been overdosing on sci-fi instead. When you looked at it from that perspective it was hardly a surprise that I'd been having trouble getting into the groove once more.

So maybe trying something a little different would be in order. If nothing else then at least a change of pace might do me some good.

I've made a couple of comments online at other peoples' work, what I hoped had been useful constructive criticisms. Given that Worm CYOAs were popping up like mushrooms all over the place there had been plenty of them to read. Sure, most of them hadn't had a chance to get up too far off the ground yet, but they'd all been pretty fun to read so far.

As it turned out though someone had taken note of me, because when I sat down at my laptop today to check my emails I'd found this.

My address is known to a couple of other writers so that we could bounce ideas about, so it wasn't odd for me to get mail from people I didn't know. Whoever had sent this one had a sense of humour, because the sender was simply ROB. For a moment I consider that it might have a virus or malware, then decide to go ahead. My anti-virus software is pretty good after all, and so far I hadn't gotten any of the sort of hate mail that some authors had complained of.

A click and the email is open. The attached message is pretty short, but it is interesting.

Hi,

Heard you were having some trouble with your writing and that you might be interested in doing some Worm stuff. Just click on the link below and I promise you that you'll have no trouble at all coming up with something.

Worm Choose Your Own Adventure!

Well, that brings me back to the present, should I, or shouldn't I?

Oh, what the hell, what was the worst that could happen?

A click, a short wait and my screen suddenly turns black. For a moment my heart leaps into my throat as I think such thoughts as 'virus', 'system corruption', and 'lost data'. Then I notice a small hourglass in the top right hand corner quickly filling up and my heart starts beating again.

The hourglass fills, turns over and I'm suddenly looking at a screen with big white letters at the top against a black background.

Worm CYOA

Two beings spiral through the void, past stars, and worlds. They dance through realities, shifting through other times, other dimensions. Countless facets fuse, part, and shift as they journey. Approaching a world they shatter. Shards fall into millions of . . .

This was an intro I was familiar with, it was the bit written at the top of the Worm Choose your own Adventure rules that I'd seen a lot on the Space Battles forum and on the Sufficient Velocity forum. Scrolling down I saw the same description of the rules and choices, but unlike in the text there were a number of parts you could click on to make choices.

Oh, I think I get it! Some bright spark has cooked up a computerized version of the Worm CYOA and made it into a . . . whatchama call 'em, an electronic muse? I'd read about them somewhere, basically it was a program where you put in your choices and then when you were done it gave you a whole bunch of suggestions and ideas. You'd pick one and then it would give you a whole bunch more, and so on and so on until it ran out of ideas to give. It can also play a bit like a game since if you make poor choices you end up getting a 'bad' ending.

Interesting.

Oh well, it's Saturday morning, I don't feel like reading, playing games or writing my normal stuff. I didn't have any plans, other than making a whole bunch of chicken fingers for supper, and I wasn't looking at any interruptions any time soon.

Let's give it a go.

Alright, first I've got to choose the nature of my entry. My choices were Self Insert, Reincarnation and Endbringer.

Okay, not doing a Self Insertion, there were already plenty of those out there, and the same could be said to a lesser degree about the Reincarnations, though a few ideas did come to mind.

For a moment I consider doing a short fic about how I could be Bonesaw's godfather. I could simply purchase up as many of the 'I win' powers and write a fic where I turn up out of the blue, tell her that she'd been hanging out with a bad crowd and insist that she come with me so she could be a productive member of society. A few power applications to ensure that the rest of the Slaughterhouse Nine are in humiliating and helpless states, and I could probably talk Riley sane. Given that the main cause of her madness was fear of Jack tearing her life apart again once he was out of the way writing it wouldn't be too hard. If I was feeling really cheap I could just invent a 'makes people sane' power.

. . . Ohhh.

Ye gods, that would probably be the ultimate power in the Wormverse.

Actually, the PRT would probably count it as a Master power and forbid its use. Of course, Cauldron would have no trouble using it behind the scenes. Hmmm, that might make for another short fic.

But that wasn't what I was looking for here, what I wanted was at least the start of a proper fic, one that I could run with.

So no, Reincarnation has some appeal, but it wasn't what I want. So that leaves Endbringer.

Well, it is the most underused option. I think there had been one or two attempts to get one started, but they hadn't gotten too far yet. Still, the idea of writing a bad guy wasn't too appealing. Mind you . . .

I look over the description of the Endbringer route, and an idea starts to form in my mind. Yes, there's definitely something I can use here. Also being an Endbringer automatically grants a level of physical strength and durability even without the use of a power.

Moving my mouse I click on the Endbringer option. The screen changes and now I'm faced with the choice in difficulty level.

Well, my first impulse is to go with the World Breaker option, with that many points I could have loads of the perks and powers I wanted without having to take any complications and all the powers would start out twice as strong to boot.

Nope, too much overkill. As an Endbringer 'my' powers were already an order of magnitude higher than they would have been had I chosen another route, to double them on top of that . . . no, that was just too much. Boring!

Besides, it was kind of against my policy to play a game through on the easiest level, it made it kind of unsatisfying. This thing was set up like a game, so maybe there'd be a gaming aspect to how my choices went as I continued. I didn't want to get a message telling me that I'd made the wrong choice and Scion had killed me before I got anything done.

No, let's go with Standard mode, if it was fun I could always try doing it on an easier or harder mode later.

That gives me six points to work with, but I can get some more if I'm willing to take some complications.

Alright, I have an option as to what I want to do next. Since I'd chosen the Endbringer route I am ineligible for any of the Companions options. Well, apart from friends anyway, but I didn't feel like writing anyone else into this, so I won't go with that option. So that leaves me with Powers, Perks and Complication, and physical appearance. That last one is a bit of a surprise, considering that it wasn't part of the original Worm CYOA pages.

Giving in to curiosity I click on it. Immediately the screen switches to something that reminds me of the create-a-character part of games like DC Universe online, Mass Effect or Dragon Age. In the middle is a vaguely humanoid outline and around the sides are pictures of the other Endbringers. What surprises me is that the 'style' of the pictures is strongly reminiscent of DerTodesbote, a fan artist on Deviantart who'd done some awesome pics of Worm stuff in the past.

Nice.

I click on the Simurgh and immediately the black figure is replaced with a white woman sporting a great number of asymmetrical wings. Below the figure are a number of bars and options that appear to let me change colours, proportions and all manner of other details. I play with them a bit, switching the Endbringer's bird wings for bat ones, altering her colouration to black, then blue, then bubblegum pink, giving her a humorously disproportionate posterior and an exaggeratedly swollen head. Then I switch to Behemoth, Leviathan and Khonsu, toying with their appearances, even flipping their 'genders'. The slim and slightly attractive female version of the first Endbringer is actually slightly disturbing. Damn, whoever cooked this up really went all out, maybe there's some kind of a Worm video game being planned?

It's fun, but after a few minutes I settle down and start to ponder the real issue.

What do I want my Endbringer to look like?

Well, I have lots of options available, the various changes aren't limited to variation of the original six, I can also introduce new aspects such as extra limbs, non-human bodies or completely new features. For a moment I consider something like a dragon/centurion, an organic version of the Ultima Weapon from Final Fantasy 7, but in the end I decide against it. If I'm going to write this character I'd best keep to something more humanoid, easier to write that way.

In that case, let's use my two favourite Endbringers as the base, the Simurgh and Tohu.

The Simurgh had the whole 'angel' thing going for her, and for a moment I consider doing a male version, maybe in black so it would be a sort of yang to her yin. It has a certain appeal, but in the end I discard it. The same goes for an idea of a male bat winged version and something that, after much fiddling, ends up looking vaguely like Sephiroth's final form mated to a squid with a passion for chainsaws.

Alright, in that case let's give Tohu a go.

I've always found Tohu's trump ability to be interesting. Sure, the original three Endbringer's had possessed more character, but out of the three new ones Tohu had been the most broken with her ability to mimic any Parahuman, living or dead, perfectly. If I remember right during the final battle with Scion she took that to eleven by copying Eidolon with one head and Glaistig Uaine with another, which went on to summon up a spirit version of Eidolon. When looked at from that perspective the three headed Endbringer had been potentially even more powerful than her monstrous siblings.

Her form appears on the screen, looking pretty similar to the picture drawn by DerTodesbote, a figure that gave an impression of not quite having a skin, and that you were seeing just the corded muscles underneath. With a click I change the gender to male. Another couple of moves and clicks with my mouse and the skin colour changes to a dull white colour.

Hmmm, I'll make some more changes later, but first I'll get on with completing the other parts of this program. I'll add in details once I've decided on perks and powers.

Okay, let's get the Perks and complications out of the way first; once that's done I'll know how many points I'll have left to purchase powers.

Complications first, then Perks after I have all my points.

Let's see, as an Endbringer I'm rather limited in what I can choose, but the ones that are available could prove interesting plot points.

The big one is The Cycle Begins Anew, which yields ten points to work with, but leaves me with two new Entities to deal with. Nope, not touching that one, tripling the number of capes in the story and having to handle two more Entities would just be too much hassle to write.

Next is Golden Morning for as many as eight points . . . I don't think so, not going with that one either. The way I plan to write this is going to be over the course of several years, I don't want the golden idiot messing up that time table.

Hmmm, Destructive Impulse, can't take that either, not with what I've got planned. So that leaves Sibling Rivalry which will put my character directly at odds with the other Endbringers.

Perfect!

Okay, that's four points right there, and since it's already part of my plot it fits in just fine. I'll also take You Need Worthy Opponents for another two points bringing me up to a total of twelve. Granted, this means I'll have to cook up another Endbringer that's specifically designed to defeat my character, but that should be a pleasure in and of itself. Plus having a Nemesis will make things a bit less in favour of my new Endbringer.

Right, that gives me final number of points, twelve. Now let's move onto the Perks. I think I want to keep six points for powers, although that isn't set in stone, so let's say that I have six points to play with here.

First there are the Endbringer route specific Perks. Additional Core is a must, if Evangelion taught me anything it's that having only one of a vital organ is not a sensible path to take. It says they can be detached if needs be, so even if my character is destroyed there's a get out card right there. Right, I'll take one . . . no, make that two. Two additional cores for my Endbringer. That leaves me with four points.

Next is Alien Nature. Hmmm, I might use that for the Nemesis Endbringer, but making this character too alien would make him a pain to write, I think I'll give that one a miss.

So that leaves Unbound Form, which was of considerable interest. Having a form that wasn't static would give my character both an edge and a distinction from the other Endbringers, set him apart as different. Okay, one point to that.

That means I have three spare points left, but unlike the Complications I'm not limited in the Perks, so I've got more choices to work with.

First off I'm definitely taking Shattered Limits. For the most part I don't want my character to be a total curb stomp on everyone, but letting him increase his powers will put him in a better position to fight Scion at the end of the fic.

I briefly consider Blank, but discard it in the end. As an Endbringer my character will already be immune to most forms of thinker powers, even Scion's. Sure, Contessa could model him to a degree and Tattletale might be able to determine something by looking at him, but the Path to Victory couldn't defeat him and the various other Thinker powers would have similar problems. Blank would give him a Stranger that that makes this a bit more potent, but in the end it doesn't seem to be enough of a gain to make it worth the cost. Besides, having him tracked to a certain degree ties in to part of the plot I've got planned.

Invictus is definitely another. The other Endbringers were invulnerable to mental control by virtue of the fact that they didn't really have minds of their own, at least not in human terms. My character would be different though, which might leave him vulnerable to such influences. This Perk would cover that, as well as allow for some uncharacteristic behaviour, if I was going to be completely honest in my writing.

That left me with one spare point, if I didn't want to dip into the points I'd kept for powers. My remaining options were Inspiration, First Impressions, Bottled Superpowers, Cloak and Dagger, and Manpower.

Well, Cloak and Dagger is useless to my character, as an Endbringer he won't going to be engaging in contacts, links or intelligence networks. The same went for Manpower. The only possibility that I saw of using that is if my character set up a cult in his honour or something like that. Not really likely.

Bottled Superpowers has some potential; even if he couldn't use them himself my character could leave them in locations or see the correct people received them. Seeing to it that Danny Hebert got one for example, that would certainly create plenty of butterflies flapping their wings to make things interesting.

On the other hand it would be a pain and a half to write, probably lead to too many original characters messing up the plot. No, this Perk isn't really suitable for an Endbringer.

So that leaves Inspiration and First Impressions. Well, if I choose a power that allows my character to create minions then Inspiration could be of use. On the other hand, if the new Endbringer creates minions then he'll be keeping them under control with a hive mind, or something similar. If that's the case then morale doesn't really enter the equation due to it not existing in the first place.

First Impressions though, that's intriguing. If my character is going to be up against the other Endbringers then he'd certainly be making an impression on the world, making it a good one could be . . . interesting.

Alright, my choices are made, now onto the powers.

Three powers for three heads, there's a pleasing sort of symmetry to it, but the question is just which powers am I going to go with?

Well, first off which powers don't I want? Power Manipulation was a favourite amongst writers, so I'm definitely not going with that. I mean, I can see the appeal, being able to gain, impart or even steal any power you wanted is so broken that any sane person would take it given the choice. Still it doesn't seem right to give it to an Endbringer; After all, that is just a step or two short of flat out making them a new Entity and being done with it.

The same could be said of the Kaleidoscope, being able to access dimensional counterpart's powers and knowledge, fiddling with time and space at will, basically choosing how the universe operated in your general vicinity . . . well, it's pretty much an 'I win' button an order of magnitude greater than the Path to Victory. If you don't like the way the universe is going simply find a universe that is to your preference and then make it this universe. Again, it's a power that would be utterly awesome to have, but rather boring to write.

Inspired Inventor pretty much suffers from the same problem in that it allows you to make Tinker-tech to do anything. There are some challenges to be had in getting started, but once you have the resources you become a juggernaut that can't be stopped. Martial arts, politics, medicine, it doesn't matter what my character would put his mind to he'd soon dominate it. With an ability like that it's unlikely that being an Endbringer would do too much more than slow him down.

Right, those are the ones that I don't want to use, granted they are all awesome, but most of them are only a step or two short of simply handing my character a completed Infinity Gauntlet, good for a short fic, but not conducive to a prolonged one. So, what else do I have to work with?

Well, there're the three Triumvirate powers, they're certainly interesting. I'm pretty sure that an Endbringer turning up with vastly enhanced versions of the three most powerful hero Capes in the world would generate the sort of panic that would be quite fun to write. If I really wanted to I could probably set things up in such a way that they'd think my Endbringer was their fate in the future and he'd travelled to the past in order to change things.

I consider this possibility for a moment, and then shake my head.

No, the Legend power was one I could work with, but the other two were simply too broken. Alexandria was pretty much a Superman without any breaks. I mean 'You are completely and absolutely invulnerable and immune to harm'? If that is true then it didn't really matter what the opposition do. Hell, even if that's the only one I gave my character then he'd still be able to win every battle through simple attrition. There might not be too much of a planet left by the end of a fight with Scion, but he'd still win.

As for the Eidolon power, it's pretty much Power Manipulation with an autopilot for when you don't want to pay too much attention. The power itself selects the abilities you needed, in some cases even before you know you need them, making it something of an Empowered Path to Victory. In essence it suffers the same trouble, good for a short write, but not for a big one.

So that leaves me with four to choose from; Legend, Emperor of Man, Psychokinetic and Shaper.

Well, the one that I'll definitely be taking was the Shaper. Having spent many happy hours playing Prototype and Starcraft as Kerrigan it was the kind of power that would be loads of fun to play with. In an Endbringer it will have lots of potential, but lack the utterly overwhelming power that some of the other choices possess. Already any number of ideas bubble up in my mind, just waiting to be written.

Okay, one down two to go.

Next is Psychokinetic, again it's an ability with vast potential and many obvious applications, but just like the Shaper it lacked the immediate 'I win' quality that would make it boring to write. The ability to freely manipulate matter and energy by will alone would make for a nightmare on its own, especially when done at a level that an Endbringer could manage, add it to the Shaper and so many possibilities open up.

So that leaves one last power to purchase, but the question is, which it should be?

The Legend has a certain appeal, but at the same time it seems somewhat superfluous in the face of the Psychokinetic power. Certainly the ability to transform into living energy has an appeal, as well as the ability to recover from all injuries simply by switching to it and back, but it doesn't quite fit into the image I have in mind.

So that leaves Emperor of Man. In all truth I find myself slightly leery of this option. On the face of it it's not a bad choice since it provides not only physical, mental and psychic enhancements but also something akin to a Tinker only slightly below the Inspired Inventor ability. The problem is that it said 'psyker abilities are the equal of the Emperor's at his peak'. Well, I might not be the most enthusiastic of readers in the 40K universe, but even so I do know that at his height the Emperor of mankind had the kind of power that would let him scythe entire solar systems clean of life. Hell, if I remember right he managed to beat what was arguably the most powerful of the old star gods to a pulp and then bury its comatose carcass under the red soil of mars.

More than anything else it seems to be the kind of power that would be more suited to a great hero or conqueror, rather than an incarnation of alien hostility.

On the other hand, it does seem the more interesting option. To be sure many of the psyker benefits are already covered by Psychokinetic, and the knowledge to create Primarchs and Space Marines is already available with the Shaper. But even if you tak that into account there are still other aspects that should be taken into account, aspects that could be fun to use.

Yes, I can definitely work with this.

Alright, click, click, and click. All three powers were complete and the program is asking me if I am finished with my choices, well not quite yet. Switching back to the physical appearance of my Endbringer I begin to make a few changes.

First off there's the matter of size. Even the Simurgh, the smallest of all the Endbringers, had been fifteen feet tall. Just how big should my character be? Let's go with . . . twenty five feet tall, that should be about right. That's big enough to go up against the likes of Leviathan or Behemoth without being ridiculously oversized.

Alright, now for a few purely cosmetic changes. First is the skin, or lack thereof. The avatar on my screen retains the ropey, corded look that Tohu possesses. Now, I want to keep my character inhuman, but at the same time I want him to be distinct from the original form I've based him on.

Fiddling with the options available to me I try out a few different variations. The rock like skin is to close too Behemoth to be used, and the smooth porcelain skin seems too much a duplicate of the Simurgh. In the end I settle on a vaguely shell-like skin, one that fits close like armour but which has a nicely inhuman and unnatural look to it. The new armour covers the three conjoined torsos and all else below the three necks. In colour it's a dull grey with a slightly metallic tint to it. It doesn't look like something that's worn though, this, quite clearly, is skin.

And that leaves the final matter of concern, the three faces of my Endbringer.

Three heads for three powers, but if they were all the same it would be rather dull. Also it wasn't as though each face really did control a different power, but to make it appear so would be an interesting deception to perpetuate.

Right, first the left head, that would be the one to supposedly control the Shaper power. A few clicks change the face from the same dull grey as the insect armour to a light green with vivid crimson veins marking the temples and running down to the neck. The hair is now Kerrigan style tentacle dreadlocks, though somewhat shorter than the ones sported by the Queen of Blades, running down the neck and merging back into the flesh. As a final touch I set the eyes to emit a red glow that matches the veins that framed them. I pause for a moment and look at it.

It really does look like a slightly colour changed version of Sarah Kerrigan, still I suppose spending literally dozens of hours playing as her on Heart of the Swarm rubbed off on me.

You know what, why the hell not? I click another option and the left face switches from masculine to feminine. If I was going to have a face to represent the bio-manipulation power why shouldn't it be the Queen of the Swarm?

Next was the right head, the one I'd have 'control' the Psychokinetic power. I think about changing it to be distinctive and inhuman, maybe reptilian or insectile, but then I discard the idea. Making it animalistic would have been more suited to the left head, the Shaper was based on biological manipulation, and that tied into flesh which in turn tied to animals. What did the power of ultimate telekinesis associate with in my mind?

Well, the first thing that sprang to mind was Tetsuo from Akira. Nope, not quite what I want, though his out of control form could certain be inspiration for future Endbringers. Next was Jean Grey from the X-Men, but again not what I want. I want inhumanity, faceless forces that were as unstoppable as an oncoming storm.

Hmmm, faceless . . . that I can work with.

I remember the middle head from Tohu's original picture. That had been her mimicking Eidolon I think, blank mask, hood and glowing green eyes sounded about right. Alright, no copying that, but maybe something similar?

Once again I take a look at the list of options available, and once again I'm pleasantly surprised. Really someone sunk an ungodly amount of time and effort into making this program, there're more than two hundred choices for different masks, helmets and the like. I try a few options, such as a knight's helm, a carnival mask and something like a Spider-Man mask without the webs, but none of them really click for me. What I want is something sci-fi style rather than fantasy, yet at the same time something that doesn't look human, that doesn't have the obvious features of mouth and eyes.

Ah, this looks promising. The image before me is very close to the mask worn by Zero in Code Geass. The design isn't quite the same, and there's no gold wing design beneath the oval, indeed there's no oval. The whole mask is a single piece without indication of how the one wearing it would see out. Aside from that though it shares features such as the flared back spikes and the complete covering of the head.

All in all it's just what I want, no features, just a plain blank surface that's just close enough to human to be offsetting. Now, the only things I have to change are the colours. At the moment it was all a matt black, but I want something a bit different. Let's see, the left head was predominantly green and red for leafs and blood, what colour seemed appropriate for the mental control of pure force?

Void black with a dashing of pinprick stars? Glowing red, like an internally lit ruby? Radiant electric blue? No, those all seemed too overt, not really to my taste. What I want is something a bit more subtle, special effects like crackling energy or small orbiting orbs don't quite fit.

In irritation I turn back to the colour palette, just as with all the rest of this program it's surprisingly complete, all manner of shades and patterns are available to me for use.

Cyan perhaps? No, that's too close to the green of the left face; I need something different, something at the other end of the spec-

Ah, that should do just fine.

Honestly I'm surprised it's there, but with the options available I can set it up like . . . so.

The right hand head changes into a shade of blue, but it's an unusual shade that I'm actually quite fond of. If you look at it from the right angle it looks purple, or even slightly red. A single shade that can appear to be other colours, that strikes me as just right.

So that leaves me with the middle and final head, the one I'll associate with the Emperor of Man power. That shouldn't be too difficult though, I already have something of an idea as to what I want.

First I need a face, something similar to the stern features the Emperor of Mankind is depicted as having, but at the same time a little bit different. I cycle through the prepared options trying to find something that strikes my interest. No, not that one, nope, too pretty, too young, too old, too scarred, ah, I think I've got a winner.

If I had to choose someone the face I saw reminded me of I think that it would be Sanguinius, the winged Primarch. He had similar features to the Emperor, but they were slightly younger, less severe. The hair was about the same style, if a bit longer, only golden instead of black. Okay, just need a few more alterations.

First I leech the colour out of the face and hair until it's completely white. Not the alabaster white of the Simurgh though, this paleness is, for want of a better description, deader. Like comparing the white of chalk to the white of marble, yes that's a good comparison. Another click and the hair changes from white to black, the majority fusing into the shoulders and back, but some strands left moving free.

Yes, that was what I was looking for. Just like the Simurgh the effect was of something trying to be human, but not getting it quite right it was closer than the third Endbringer, but the blank skin, the colourless eyes, the impassive expression, it all adds up into something nicely alien.

Still, it needs an extra touch. Checking my options again I see that there's a selection of crowns, tiaras and other head worn jewellery.

Really, I'd played games by big companies which had invested god only knows how much money poured into them that weren't even half this good. Maybe it was someone's proof of concept or something like that. It went a ways to explaining the detail and flexibility. Oh well, I suppose I should be grateful that my computer could run it.

Anyway, back to my final touches. I scan down the options and find the one I'm looking for, a simple laurel wreath cast in gold, just like the one the Emperor is often depicted wearing. No, that doesn't go to well with the black and white of it wearer, the gold seemed lost and out of place. Another click and it's silver.

Much better.

Alright, that seems to be it. I briefly consider giving the middle head a halo or aura, but dismiss that as over the top. I have a few more ideas, but I think I can save them to later, the Unbound Form Perk means that if I want to write in any cosmetic, or even major, changes in my Endbringer's appearance later I have a perfect excuse for it.

So, click on design complete, and then click on character complete.

Oh, here's another message this one telling me about the victory conditions. The simple one is that I have to survive past the end of the story, meaning after Scion's death. I don't have to be directly responsible for it, but my involvement is hinted to be recommended. As an Endbringer my character can also win by slaying all other Endbringers or simply eliminating them as a threat. I read the rewards for that and feel a smile touch my lips.

A congratulatory brofist from Godzilla? If I get that far I might need to use the Shaper to scale up my character so that it's not so absurd, but it might be worth it simply to write that scene.

Huh, there's a bit at the bottom that I've never seen before. Must be an addition for this program version.

Once this program has been engaged it will not stop. You will have to play all the way through to an end before you can exit.

Guess that meant that once you got started it wasn't one of those games you could pause or save. That should be okay though, I've got lots of time today and if worst comes to worst I can always just turn off my computer.

Let's get started. With any luck this should give me the inspiration for something interesting.

Cli-