(The joker is the only fool…)
TODAY started like an uneventful day, rather relaxed. Little did I know that I would end up fighting a being that will probably bring misery and torment to Millennium City, unless something is done about her.
Today, the Avatar of the Queen of Hearts attacked the Museum in search of Lemurian artifacts to power a plot that is too terrible to contemplate.
What plot? Well, first I guess I should start from the beginning…
We’re all mad here…
To put it simply, let's pretend Earth and a ton of other dimensions are on one side of the dimensional equation, as the worlds of 'order', realms where there are rules on the subatomic level, no matter how quirky. On the OTHER side there are dimensions that are pure potentiality, but also pure chaos as well. The more chaotic, the more insane. Between those two kinds of realms you have a kind of buffer zone that keeps them separate.
Alright, now let's call that buffer zone "Looking-Glass World", and one of the most terrifyingly insane dimensions on the chaotic side, "Wonderland."
Looking-Glass Land is protected by two Queens, Red and White. The world itself is an upside-down mirror of the dimensions of order--- it SEEMS insane, but it follows its own internal rules. It has to, because it must interact with both kinds of dimensions, in order to keep them from each other.
Essentially, if the chaotic dimensions started spilling into our dimensions, It would be a cataclysm on the cosmic scale of things. We wouldn't survive it, as creatures of order, but the creatures of chaos would end up with a multiverse all to themselves. A deranged one at that.
The Red Queen and the White Queen keep the Wonderland dimension from our realms: The invaders would have to cross Looking-Glass world to get to the other realm. To do so, they have to traverse a dimensional maze called the Linear Labyrinth. This is the buffer zone OF the buffer zone.
Also, the Queens have an agent that exists in wonderland. His name is the Cheshire Cat. He is the only being of the order planes whose nature allows him to exist in a chaos realm without going completely insane. I said *completely*. He is extremely... eccentric.
Wonderland is about madness, Wonderland is about living in a world that seems normal on the outside but is full of worms and horrible laughter and empty halls and doors to nowhere and upside-down staircases underneath.
Wonderland is an infectious, predatory, alternate reality.
Essentially, if you've ever read Lewis Carrol's book, don’t discount them: they’re not fiction. Though the Queen of Hearts used to be at most simply insane, over the last half century she has become more and more deranged. In her mania, she has vowed to turn all of the multiverse into a reflection of Wonderland. And hers are never idle threats.
Madness In The Brain
The problem is this: The linear labyrinth is not under anyone's control. It is a random entity that can suddenly forge passageways that are more direct than others. When Alice fell through the 'rabbit hole', she entered the linear labyrinth and went to the heart of Wonderland without passing through Looking-Glass World. These anomalies are called “Rabbit Holes,” and and they are dangerous, very dangerous.
The Linear Labyrinth can't be shut down. It does, however, re-organize itself constantly, so ‘rabbit holes’ are never permanent. This does not change how dangerous they are.
Regardless of what the Cheshire and the Queens do, there is always the danger that such a pathway may form, and the Queen can come through.Ultimately, this is why the Cheshire 'created' me. I am his eyes and ears in this dimension. The Queens also chose two avatars here, one of them is my mentor, Doctor Gnosis.
It may take a day, or a hundred years in this case, but there is always a chance that a rabbit hole will form.
And this is where I get to give you the bad news...
Such a hole *has* formed. It was in the middle of the city park, and although I managed to close it in time , *something* slipped through. That something was a small part of the Queen of Hearts’ essence, which apparently a civilian ended up soaking up. It took her over within minutes and created an Avatar of the Queen of Hearts in this reality.
What does this mean?
Well, as I said before, think of Wonderland as a horrible, horrible infection of insanity. Whatever it touches, it converts into itself.
The Queen has created a nefarious plan where she injects a ‘strain’ of a virus, a viral version of Wonderland!
When Wonderland infects you, you essentially become 'insane', but you aren't -- you start perceiving Wonderland. People see you as schizophrenic, but in reality you have a foot in two worlds. Whomever you come into contact with has a chance of 'catching' the crazy, so to speak, become infected with Wonderland too.
That's only the first stage. The next stage has you suddenly going down 'through the rabbit hole', passing through the Labyrinth and ending up in Wonderland itself. As you go *down* into Wonderland, a Wonderland version of you comes *up*... a completely insane, deranged version of you. All the while, you experience Wonderland for real... and with the chance of being killed, or worse, permanently warped by Wonderland from within.
While you survive, or try to survive, exposure to Wonderland, your ‘other self’ is up here in this world behaving absolutely batty. He may be running (or flying) around naked, attacking random people, starting up conversation with objects, or simply be an incoherent mess. When your ‘trip’ to Wonderland is over, you come back up (and your ‘other self’ goes down) and find out that, to your friends and family and acquaintances, you’ve been acting crazier than a jackalope.
Trips become more frequent, and your behavior in your friends’ eyes more eerratic, and next thing you know, you're locked in an inpatient unit.
The Syndrome can spread quickly once acquired… so, what does it mean to have a ward full of Wonderland Syndrome victims misdiagnosed as Schizoids? What is the effect of lage numbers of *infected* within a specific area?
First, if one has a 'trip' to Wonderland, he has a chance of bringing the *rest* with him at the same time. And the larger the number of people that go through the rabbit hole at one time... the higher the risk of creating an actual stable rabbit hole.
Second, When enough Rabbit Holes are created, the integrity of the Linear Maze will be compromised, even destroyed.
A rabbit hole big enough for the Queen herself to come through, and Wonderland to slip through. Then Wonderland will invade the Looking-Glass World, and our dimensions.
The Cheshire has told me that each strand of Wonderland 'infection' has a finite life, because the Linear Labyrinth reconfigures itself and thus what worked once doesn't once the maze is realigned and cuts off the Rabbit Hole.
She has to constantly infect people with a new strain, and she has to choose her 'seed' carefully because not everybody can catch it.
Well, that catches everybody up to everything we know.
Enter The Queen
After the incident at the park, I did my best to try to track the new Avatar of the Queen of Hearts before she could cause much harm. Unfortunately I was not fast enough in locating her, as reports of a new super-villainess assaulting the Museum came rushing in. I knew it had to be her: a Lemurian artifact was being unveiled that day at the museum, and its source of mystical power was just the kind of thing she would need to trigger her first attack- she is weak in this world, a creature of chaos who must depend on external power sources to function at the level in which her original source functions. It seemed only natural that her actions in this world would be driven by an obsession to acquire power sources.
The energy stored in the Lemurian artifact would give her enough energy to create the first strain of Wonderland Syndrome. It was imperative that we stop her! Within minutes I had a team consisting of Viking Lady, Bumblebee, Clown and Starkist. We stormed the museum to find out that the Queen had taken hostages and had managed to create her Passion Guard- the Passion Guard are creatures that act as bodyguards to the Queen of Hearts back in Wonderland, and they are fearsome creatures. This Avatar, being weaker, fortunately could only create weaker versions of the Passion Guard with her own internal power.
Nevertheless, her diminished Guard still proved to be a challenge, and it cost us valuable minutes. When we finally reached the chamber, the battle became fierce, with the Queen using her powers to attack us. The first thing I felt when I stepped through the doorway was a relentless assault on my mind- the Queen knew who I was, of course, and had targeted me as her first Wonderland Syndrome Victim! I could sense her surprise when the rest of the Raven Watch guys came in after me, obviously she hadn’t counted on me having an affiliation with a team- a crucial mistake, because her concentration broke as my team-mates opened fire.
The battle was violent and fast, and by the end of it the Passion Guard had been dispelled and the Queen had been put on the run. There was much relief from the Lemurians and the Museum patrons.
However, not all was well…
The valuable artifact had, unfortunately, been drained of all power. The Queen had achieved her primary goal thanks to the delay bought by her Passion Guard!
So now we are faced with the possibility of Wonderland Syndrome becoming a reality. We can do nothing, except wait until I can detect another power spike from her in the area- and that will mean she will be creating her first strain of Wonderland Virus. When that happens, we must descend upon her and vanquish her as we can, and isolate the poor victim until the symptoms vanish – when the Linear Labyrinth recomposes itself and severs the Rabbit Hole created by the first carried.
What Must Be Done
So, now this is a waiting game: I want all of you to monitor the hospital frequencies. Anyone with schizoid disorder admitted to a mental ward *has* to be taken out of there and put in isolation. The Queen should be attacked immediately upon being sighted, and never alone— The Cheshire Cat has stipulated that those who possess super-powers may increase the risk of an epidemic is contagion is achieved. Therefore, if you start exhibiting symptoms like the ones discussed earlier, contact everyone you have been in touch with and alert them, and put yourself in seclusion—ideally under restraint, so that when your super-powered “Other Self” takes over, you don’t cause wanton damage and destruction.
There is no other way for now.