"What's up New York?!" – Talking Out Loud

'You've quite the lovely mind' – Telepathy/Thinking

"Hello little Raven" – Demon/God/Monster Speech

"For the love of Hell" – Magic

"Well, it's a good thing they don't speak Farsi" – Foreign Languages

"You talkin' to me?!" – Angry/Intense Speech

[no fucking way] – ?

How'd it end up like this I wonder? I mean, it wasn't Truck-kun as far as I remember. No mugging, no dying act of heroism, no utterly inane thing like choking on an apple in the middle of a war-torn country, not even suicide. I think… Yeah, I'm pretty sure I just died on the spot, in the middle of the street. Alive one moment, and then dead the next. Wow… That is just a pathetic way to die. At least suicide is a bit more interesting, if sad as fuck.

Gods Above and Below, what a depressing end to a mediocre existence. But still, how did I end up in the cliché pitch-black void as a floating soul? Ok, so fanfiction wasn't exaggerating when describing the void, because it was less like vantablack and more like… ok, how do you describe nothingness? Forgive me, but I'm not the most eloquent of bastards. Hell, I flunked out of literature in high school because my teacher said I was a literary heathen for the ages. All that's missing is a bored ROB. Where are they actually? "Right behind you, my boring mortal friend", answered… Was that Morgan Freeman?

I turned around my spectral equivalent of a head, and saw a very trippy looking… thing. A human torso, with a hollow cavity where five copper rings covered in eyes with stitched up pupils, each ring spinning inside of a larger one on an invisible axis. Looking down, the blue pinstripe suitcoat ended around some kind of white goat or horse, cloven hooves and all as a massive green rooster tail stretched behind them. The arms were unnaturally long and spindly, with way too many joints. The dark sleeves of the suit ended around the fourth joint, and the next 7 or so joints formed up very fluffy looking wing-hand hybrid things… Oh, and instead of a head there was a massive lotus growing out of the collar of his shirt. Did I mention the glitching? No? Well, there are these little white pixels on the edges of its frame that keeping blinking in and out… Hey, I said it was trippy but did anyone listen? Noooo~ But hey, maybe something in me cracked during transit, cause I was stuck on the thought even ROBs liked Morgan Freeman's voice. So like the dumbass I was, I opened my not-a-mouth, "Did you watch Bruce Almighty too many times?"

Definitely cracked something, because I distinctly remember having a sense of fear, a very good one too. They snorted… somehow, and the eye rings turned to look at me, at least the outermost one did. It was looking at me like I was a goldfish that learned to do tricks; mildly amusing in the short term, but hardly worth much attention. "So", I tried to start a conversation. Oof, awkward. "How boring am I? I know I wasn't the most exciting, but on a scale from "solid silhouette in crowd" to "supporting character for 3 chapters", how bad is it?"

I swear there must be an achievement reward for making an Nth Dimensional Being snort twice in a row.

"In all honesty", he said in Morgan freeman's iconic voice, "you're like the one-off character that shows up for 3-5 panels for exposition before randomly appearing in the background whenever the mangaka feels like doing a detailed background character". Well yikes. I mean, better than I was expecting but that still stings. "So, what'd I do to get your valuable attention, nameless being of unknown gender?" Excuse the sarcasm but if they'd bothered to pick my soul out from whatever infinity25 cosmic waste dust and then proceed to tell me how I was boring as dirt then you really had too much time on your hands- er, feathers?

"I'm a dude, and the name's XynIkjlQ. As boring as your existence is, my boredom is stronger", he spoke sagely. "Plus, my buddy suggested this as a good way to pass the time or get some creative juices flowing. A little thought experiment if you will. I'm throwing a bunch of universes together, and so far I've got DC's Earth 666, Earth 52-16, Earth Prime, Earth 12, Earth 21, Earth 26, and a bit of Marvel's Earth 616, as well as some Earth 131518200112-09. Since I'm gonna isekai you with some powers, depending on what you pick I'll add some more stuff. So, what powers do ya want?"

Ok, I was feeling kinda petty, so I told him the first, most basic choice that I could think of, "Can I pick from the Meta Essence CYOA doc?" I didn't know a freaking lotus could look disappointed! He sighed, and like he was a bored monk reciting scripture for the 1000th time to a tourist, he just said, "Let me guess, Archmage and the Blank right?" My pettiness evolved into FUCKING pettiness. I had this suicidally stupid smirk on my face as I looked him in the eyes and said, "No, I want the doc list. Essence Meta CYOA parts 5 through 8, with nothing from the Jabberwocky bastard". See kids, this is how you kick your future self in the proverbial nuts across time. And when the countless eyes in his chest cavity simultaneously eye-smiled at me, I knew I fucked up. And I definitely cracked something in my head, because I felt fuckin' high on the thought of my impending doom. What's worse, is that I was about to chase it.

"Hell, why don't we make it more interesting? I'll give up all the memories I have beyond basic skills and the sum total of my pop culture knowledge, and I'll only take 13 Essences. And I won't take complete Essences, I'll remove at least half the shit, and even then, I'll seal the OP abilities until I earn them. I'll even make it so I only have a limited number of uses for some abilities. Hell, I'll take on weaknesses too", ok so this is the suicide part of my origin story, and then some other ROB will use my soul ashes for recycled paper. After a while of scrambling my choices around,I settled on my choices. Seriously, the lotus headed fuck was purring AND preening, and now he was leaning down. The lotus bloomed wide open, and I saw 3 fanged maws in a triskelion pattern, each one grinning all teeth. Very, very sharp teeth. I extended my hand, knowing a Faustian bargain when I saw one, but I couldn't keep my mouth shut, "Well then, Mr. XynIkjlQ, do we have an accord?"