Jorge Joestar

Chapter 16: Beyond II

Chapter 16: Beyond II

Note: This is the last chapter, i added some picture on old chapters

Through my eyelids I could tell the blinding light that had enveloped us was dying down. I opened my eyes to see the night sky, with the moon and stars shining down on us. The giant Antonio Torres hanging from the sky let out a long sigh, and as if that was the signal, Dio spoke.

“I’ve been waiting for this night for a hundred years,”

he said. He’d been standing bolt upright on the deck of DasBoot, grinning confidently, as if thirty-six times through the birth and deathof the universe was nothing to him. (Next to him, Funny Valentine had closedhis eyes, covered them with his hand, and turned his back to avoid the blindinglight, much like we had.)

“Cars! The wait had been unbearable. Not to eat you, Ialready know what you taste like. No, I’m just so excited to finally stand atthe pinnacle of the world, of the universe, of all history, recorded orotherwise! I am in sight of that goal at last! All that’s left is to step upand claim my place! Cars! Bwa ha ha ha! My very soul is quivering, so certainis my victory!”

Cars, too, had paid no mind to the compressed light of 36universe’s history washing over him. He put his hands on his hips, looking downat Dio with a faint smile on his lips.

“Hmph. So be it. Come at me, vampire.”

Dio moved his arm out in front of him so fast it made anaudible whoosh, and waggled his finger tips slightly.

“The name of your new emperor is Dio! And as your emperor,you will come to me, Cars!”

Cars betrayed no irritation at Dio’s indomitable smile. Hisown smile grew still larger. He was clearly enjoying this. It was the happiestI’d ever seen him. I backed away, keeping Penelope behind me. Narancia alsoquietly stepped behind me.

“What the fuck, these guys are nuts!”

he muttered, but I thought him saying that was a sign of hisown strength. My knees were knocking and my teeth were chattering and basicallyeverything was shaking and it was super pathetic. My only comfort was the tightgrip on my sleeve Penelope had; she was clearly every bit as scared as me.Having a scared girl around was the only thing that kept me from completelylosing it.

“Heh heh heh. Seems you’ve managed to sip a drop or two ofmy blood somewhere, vampire,”

Cars chuckled.

“What more do you want? You’ve conquered the sun, will notdie or age. What else is there? You know full well your body can never becomethe true Ultimate Thing, as I have. What’s the appeal of being this ‘pinnacle’you speak of? I merely wanted to conquer the sun. I personally slaughtered mostof my kind in the war, then lost all of my kind that remained, and at lastachieved my goal only to find myself alone. You waited a hundred years? I’vewaited a quadrillion. In all this universe, as far as my abilities reach, onlyEarth has any life worth mentioning. This is the only place in all the universewhere life is worth living. Vampire, you are immortal. There is no need for youto rush into death here.”

But Dio just kept beckoning.

“A quadrillion years spent not bothering to think can’t beginto compare to the hundred years I spent furiously busy.”

Still smiling, Cars stared at Dio for a while, then let outa long breath.

“Very well. As you have gnawed on my life, you will be aprime opportunity to test the limits of my life force. Perhaps I do need toexperiment on just how a body that cannot die may die.”

He dropped down to the deck. Dio waited, grinning.

“That’s what piqued my curiosity, too. Can’t die and can’tbe killed are two different things, after all. Can’t have someone pulling anidea I never thought of out of their ass later on, so better to find out thetruth right here. But curiosity is a secondary concern; more than anything elseI simply want to make

you not exist. Ensuring no clever little bastards think tosip your blood and flesh so that they might stand a chance against me.”

Cars strode forward.

“Heh heh. I need hardly point out that the clever littlebastard is you, vampire.”

“My name is Dio Brando. Remember it well.”

“I’m not in the habit of naming food.”

“Your species has worn the crown long enough. It’s time tomeet the new boss, Cars.”

“Don’t project your boundless ego on me. I know perfectlywell there are hierarchies between species.”

“Ha! There are. Strength and weakness alone provide one.”

“Then that very thought will prove your undoing.”

“Like I said – I am only here to prove what I already know.”

Funny Valentine removed Dio’s cape, folded it, and steppedback as Cars reached Dio at last.

“Come on!”

Dio yelled.

“Mwa ha ha ha ha! Time to dance, Cars! This is the firststep!”

“Heh heh. Unable to wait after all.”

“Useless useless useless useless useless useless uselessuseless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless uselessuseless useless useless useless useless useless useless!”

Bam! Cars burst into dust like a popped balloon, bits of himflying in all directions.


Those of us on the bridge screamed as one. Bits of Cars’blood and flesh hit us so hard we were sent flying. Thank God I’d put Penelopebehind me. Minced Cars meat stabbed my face and body, breaking my bones,puncturing my organs, and stripping away my flesh. Nnnnn!? I was just abystander and I was already in critical condition! On the brink of death!

“Jorge Joestar! Ahhhhh!”

Penelope screamed and Narancia yelled,

“Shit! I gotta get Das Boot put away!”

And his submarine shrank so rapidly I was

left standing on nothing. But just before the bridge left mebehind, Narancia yelled,

“Wait, wait!”

and grabbed me, pulling me along as he rode a one meter longDas Boot like a skateboard, carrying me like a princess as Penelope clung to myneck as we hurtled through the trees. Ollie, nollie, kickflip, heelflip,totally unnecessary moves but bounding farther away from Dio and then the bitsof Cars in me started wriggling and the pain was insane.


Cars’ bones and flesh and blood were crawling out of me andit felt like infinite fishing hooks were yanking my skin in all directions,peeling it off me and then splat! All the bits went flying out of me and bloodsprayed everywhere and my vision went woozy. Cars was still alive. Evenpulverized, even as a single drop of blood. I could just about see Carsreforming, headed away from us.

“Fuck knows what’s going on but we gotta get the shit outtahere! Ain’t nobody got enough lives to survive that crap!”

Narancia said, but my hearing was fading out.

“Ahhh! Jorge Joestar! Don’t!”

Penelope yelled, squeezing my arm. I woke up. I’d only beenout for an instant, though, so it wasn’t like I was healed up or…wait. I wasunhurt. Cars had healed me as he left my body. It had hurt like hell but I wasfine now. And Penelope worked that out, too.

“……..? Jorge Joestar? Hunh? What are you doing?”

“Just enjoying your warm embrace.”

“You devil!”

“Who the fuck…?”

Narancia said, and someone slapped my head, but the slapperwas someone new who said,

“Hunh? What?”

A girl’s voice, one I didn’t recognized.

“Wait, who is this Jorge?”

I opened my eyes and saw a beautiful girl with long hair,riding a surfboard made of leaves somehow stuck together, riding the length ofone tree branch after another alongside Narancia’s Das Boot. A Stand Master? AGoddess?


Penelope said.

“Thank goodness! You’re alive!”

“Oh, um, sorry! I heard your voice and came running but…Who is this guy?”

I produced my card from my chest pocket.

“A pleasure to meet you. I’m Jorge Joestar, detective.”


Perhaps not a line to use while being carried princess styleby an Italian gangster.


Elizabeth said, but she took the card anyway.

“…this is Japanese?”

“Oh, the back’s in English.”

“No, I can read Japanese,”

she said, in Japanese, and not in some heavy foreign accentbut with perfect intonation. AMAZING!

“All the boys love Elizabeth,”

Penelope said, as if it was a foregone conclusion, but shewas gorgeous, too!? Maybe not the time to insist upon it.

“If you’re fine then get down. This shit’s creepy,”

Narancia said, and he made Das Boot the size of a smallfishing boat and put me and Penelope down on it and Elizabeth hopped hersurfboard down and as she landed all the leaves scattered, blowing behind us.It was so graceful I kinda gawked at it and said,

“That’s a really cool Stand,”

but Elizabeth said,

“It’s not a Stand. It’s Hamon.”

Um. Hamon? Oh, right, the people that fought vampires andzombies! Penelope had mentioned them when she was telling the story of theother Jorge Joestar’s life. Then this must be Jorge Joestar’s childhood friendand wife! Right, right. Oh. Hmph.

“The zombies seemed to be gathering in London again so Icame to see what they were up to,”

Elizabeth said.

“And here’s Dio at last. But he’s way more intense than Iremember from the box. And that other guy’s just as insane, who is he?”


I said, and hesitated. In a few decades, Elizabeth would endup fighting Cars, and witness his transformation into Ultimate Cars. Along withher son,

Joseph. Should I really tell her? Would I cause a timeparadox and split us off into a parallel world? But only someone from the 21stcentury would think to think that because Penelope just flat out said,

“He’s called Cars. I dunno who he is, but he seemed to knowJoseph. These people are from the future, and they seem to know a lot aboutwhat’s going on, so ask them!”

Uh oh, I thought, but Elizabeth just shook her head.

“Nope. I’ve learned you can’t do anything about fate.”

“Tom Petty’s prophecies?”


“Elizabeth, I haven’t given up.”


“We will find Jorge. And we’ll bring him back to you.”


“I just wanted to do something. I’ve been with Erina allthis time, and thought that was being with Jorge, but I was never really withhim. You were always off in some distant land, but you were actually with Jorgeall the time. And now Jorge is gone, too, but Joseph is here, so all this timeI’ve been thinking I’ve got to get Elizabeth to come home. But I knew you weresad, and angry, and you can be pretty scary, and I knew you couldn’t come backto be with Joseph, so I didn’t know what to do. Same reason you kept yourdistance from Jorge. You didn’t want to lose him, so you left and stayed as farfrom him as you could. You tried to keep that up but finally you couldn’t standit any more and you were together at last but on your wedding day,Jorge…disappeared. When I imagine your grief and remorse I know why you can’tbe with Joseph. But today I met another Jorge Joestar, this one, the Japaneseone. And I changed my mind about that. Really crazy things happen in thisworld. And if something this crazy can happen, miracles, dreams, hopelessdesires…all of those things might come true, too. And maybe this JorgeJoestar’s name is a sign, and he’ll show us the

way. So with no warning whatsoever I begged Erina to let mego, and came with them. I thought at least we’d manage to find you. If we used‘Jorge Joestar’ as bait. Ah ha ha ha. And we found you already! So now I’mextra sure. I will find Jorge. The real Jorge Joestar. This other Jorge Joestarwill show us the way, be our bait, be our decoy, be a trap we set, whatever ittakes to find the real Jorge Joestar, and bring him back to you. I don’t knowwhy, but I know I can do that now.”


The two beautiful women stared deeply into each other’seyes, and I felt like the Jorge Joestar of this world must have led a trulyblessed life.

“Yo, yo, look at that…!”

Narancia said. Mildly annoyed by this interruption, I lookedwhere he was pointing, and saw Dio and Cars punching each other. Each time onemade contact, Bam! Bam! They’d explode, and then reassemble their pulverizedbodies just to punch back. The explosions were getting more violent, and theywere putting themselves back together faster each time. It was like dark redfireworks moving through the air flickering and blooming. Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam.Bam. Ba-bam. And both were smiling ear to ear.

“Enjoying their immortality,”

I said, disgusted. I felt sick to me stomach.

“But maybe not just that,”

Elizabeth said, and I noticed she was looking somewhereelse, and turned to find Great Britain had been traveling east all this timeand the sky was growing lighter… Wait, this wasn’t sunrise, it was sunset…!We’d been going west, faster than the speed of the Earth’s rotation, and hadcaught up with evening. We must be going at least 460 meters per second. Fasterthan the speed of sound. So? The cliff we were standing on was at the veryfront end of Great Britain, and we should be hearing the sound of the islandrushing

through the waves, but we were going so fast we left itbehind. Was that why it was so eerily quiet?

“I believe Dio has a strategy in mind, and is buying time,”

Elizabeth said. I could see land on the Western horizon, andas it grew closer I realized what it was. The United States. I could even makeout Manhattan Island. In the orange light of evening, the fourth rhinocerosbeetle. There almost certainly was something there.

“Like the sun’s rising from the west,”

Penelope said. Hmm? I thought. The sun rising from the west?It felt like a long time ago but I’d heard that phrase this morning, in theArrow Cross House. The morning Tsukumojuku was murdered. But that wasn’t likethis, the sun wasn’t actually rising in the west, just when the sun rose thearrow that points west was instead pointing to the rising sun. Which remindedme of another thing I couldn’t believe I’d actually forgotten. ‘Sun rising fromthe west’ was literally the meaning of my home town’s name, Nishi Akatsuki. Adetective who’d come to Nishi Akatsuki had been killed the morning the sun rosein the ‘west’, and to solve this murder a detective from Nishi Akatsuki was nowwatching the sun rise in the west. And now I remembered one more thing.Manhattan Island’s tip was a corner of this universe’s Bermuda Triangle. Thetriangle that had sent Tsukumojuku to Nishi Akatsuki…!

It felt like something awful was closing in around us. For awhile I stared at the western sunrise, letting the feeling nag at me, untilthree American Air Force fighters scrambled from shore came flying towards us,and brought me back to reality. Didn’t seem like they were gonna let us make itas far as the Bermuda Triangle, I thought. Only natural. They were flyingtowards us at mach speed.

They passed by without any sound reaching us, droppingmissiles that exploded soundlessly off the barrier…inside the belly of thegiant Antonio Torres.


The suspended upper half of his body appeared again,screaming.

“That’s a hell of a bomb…!”

Elizabeth said. Penelope went white as a sheet.

“I doubt it can get through,”

I said.

“The barrier covering us is really strong.”

There were two or three more waves of bombs, but the firejust rolled out along the barrier surface…the only difference from Morioh wasthat Antonio Torres made a fuss about it each time.



“It huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuts!”

“Make them stoooooooooooooooop!”

He writhed around upsidedown, shrieking, and I glared up athim…and saw something.

“Hunh? Who’s that?”

There was someone standing near giant Antonio’s waist. Notwearing a space suit, so not Pucci…it was wearing a slim-fit coat and gloves.President Funny Valentine! He was walking across the surface of the barrierusing his giant frog Stand, ignoring the explosions and fighter planesoverhead, making directly for us. Funny had come to Morioh, too, but having seenFunnier’s fate with my own eyes, what could he have to say to us? I didn’t knowwhat he was after, but I was scared. What was it he’d said in Morioh? Ifnothing changes, the American army will flip the island. Right, that was it.

“The island”

then was Morioh. Had they flipped Morioh? The American army?How could they do that? Morioh was floating, but it wasn’t a dinghy, it was anisland! No way you could just flip something that big! Admittedly, the islandsmoving of their own accord was equally impossible, so perhaps I couldn’t saythat for certain. The wind outside the barrier must be really intense, but the

frog crawled along on all fours, and then Funny climbed offits back without any apparent difficulty. He was holding a large piece of paperin his hands. A message. He spread it out on the surface of the barrier, facingus. Narancia grabbed a pair of binoculars off the bridge, set them to maximummagnification, and took a look.

“Co… Cora…geh? Coragay?”

That seemed wrong.

“Let me have them,”

I said, and pretty much just snatched them out of his hands,and he got mad about that but fuck it, I could read the sign.



“Just one word?”

I said.

“It is some sort of code?”

Had he maybe gone senile, and had just gotten lost and woundup here? Seemed unlikely.

“That’s a warning. Directed at all of you.”

We turned around, and young Funny Valentine, the one Dio hadbrought from the past, was standing behind us. As we turned he spread out acape, and flung it out around me. It was the one Dio had been wearing earlier.

“Do not fear what you are about to see,”

Funny said, and just before the cape covered the two of usElizabeth hissed, and a brutal fist shot under the cape, slamming into Funny’scheek.

“Hunh…argh! auauauauau!”

Funny’s face went flying up down left and right but the capecame down on us. When I pushed it off, Das Boot was gone, and Elizabeth andPenelope were nowhere to be seen. We were in the middle of a red desert,nothing but boulders and rocks, on the edge of a long,

straight, unpaved road.

“Aaughh aaughh blargh argh hahh hahh…”

Funny’s face finally stopped twitching, and he staggered butmanaged to stay on his feet somehow.

“Who…who the hell is that woman!?”

he said, gasping for breath. His face was all swollen, hishandsome completely ruined. He was unrecognizable. A moment before he’d beenslim, fit, and now his body sagged, the rounded figure of a man who indulgedtoo much. Even his body was swollen? But as I watched he recovered, returningto the handsome man I’d seen before. Hamon. I didn’t know how it worked, butshe could gather leaves and make them stick together, and make a single punchinflict damage over time. Moisture was the only thing I could think that leavesand human bodies had in common, and ‘Hamon’ meant ripple, so perhaps it was apower that sent ripples through the moisture in living things. While she was incontact, the ripples kept going, and after she let go they’d take a while todie down… So…where were we? The redness was somewhat like the Martian landscapesI’d seen a few hours ago, but it wasn’t that. It didn’t seem like I was in adream or an illusion. This place actually existed somewhere. It was real. Thesmell and the feel of it were real. Not the same sort of real you think you’reexperiencing in a dream or creation. Like if I kicked a pebble there was toomuch information. When he caught his breath, Funny said,

“I’m sorry. I’ve kept you waiting. It looks like we’re righton time.”

I followed his gaze, and a car was coming towards us downthe desert road. It left a towering cloud of red dust behind it. It was aclassic Bentley, a Drophead Coupe. The driver was wearing sunglasses, andletting his long curls fly in the open seat breeze. I’d seen those curlsbefore…standing right next to me. It was another Funny Valentine.

“Have we…traveled in time?”

I asked.

“Not in time,”

Funny said.

“Across worlds. Just a little step sideways into a parallelworld.”

“…those actually exist? Or are you creating them with yourStand?”

“……! Hmm…worlds created by my Stand, Dirty Deeds DoneDirt Cheap? The possibility never occurred to me.”

But there was definitely a world here that his Stand hadbrought us to. A parallel world, hunh?

“Mr. President, do you know who I am?”

I was a detective, if not a particularly famous one, buteven so it was possible people overseas had heard of me. But I was a detectivein modern times, in 2012. This Funny was President of the United States ofAmerica in 1920.

“Lately, yes,”

Funny said, as the Bentley the other Funny was drivingpulled up.

“Hi, Jorge Joestar,”

the other Funny said.

“…? You know me, too?”

“Hop in,”

‘Funny’ said, ignoring the question. Yeah, but it was atwo-seater. I was super not up for being in a Funny Valentine sandwich, butthen the ‘Funny’ driving said,


opened the door, and got out. Hunh? In the middle ofnowhere?

“Is another car coming?”

I asked. ‘Funny’ stared off in the distance, so I turned tolook. Three cars were tearing across the desert in the distance. Kicking up somuch dust I couldn’t actually make out the cars themselves.

“They’re in a big hurry,”

I said.

“It’s a race,”

‘Funny’ said.

“The Steel Ball Run. This is the second stage. The event’sonly just begun but already it’s packed with thrills. Success is a foregoneconclusion…at least, as far as the event itself goes.”

The Steel Ball Run?

“I read about that in history. This is it, hunh? But what isthe President doing here? Isn’t this more of a

local shindig?”

“The Steel Ball Run has never once been a ‘local shindig’,”

‘Funny’ said. He reached into his chest pocket, and pulledout a book.

“Part of the holy scriptures. Nine volumes in all. I’veordered my men and their associates to collect and recover these.”

“Hunh…? If this is Steel Ball Run, this is America, right?And the second stage was Monument Valley. If you’re using the Steel Ball Run togather those books…I mean, you’re the President. Can’t you just have peoplelook for them normally?”

“It requires foreshadowing and flow.”

Foreshadowing and flow? Oh, I knew that feeling. You don’tget things to shape up right, you can’t get the result you want.

“What’s in the book?”

I asked, but before I could look closer he slipped the ‘holyscripture’ back in his pocket. It was a very old book, and it looked ready tocrumble or fall apart if it was handled at all roughly, so I didn’t press thepoint.

“…so, uh,”

I said.

“In my adopted family, one of our ancestors was in the SteelBall Run. It was a horse race across the entire country then, but you’re usingcars this time?”

“It changes,”

‘Funny’ said.

“Sometimes it’s horses, other times cars. It’s even beenplanes and blimps. In your world and in this parallel world.”


“In my world it was horses.”

“That is not a ‘world’; merely a universe between an end anda beginning. When I say ‘world’ I mean the entire series of universes. Whatlies there is not just space, but a history that repeats with minor variations.”


“Once a universe passes, in the next universe history beginsanew – similar, but distinct. The history of a ‘world’ is a spiral staircase ofdifferent universes.”

Spiral Staircase.

One of the fourteen words…! Come to think of it, Funny andPucci had exchanged a few words I hadn’t understood.

“I am me but at the same time I am not. How can this betrue? I believe you know the answer, Father Pucci.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Please share!”

“Because I can make a connection. Because I can’t make theconnection.”


“Because what I create is the Spiral Staircase.”

“Very good!”

At the time, it had been complete nonsense, but thinking itover now, perhaps it meant as follows. By I am me but at the same time I amnot, he meant that history repeated itself, but with variations. As theuniverse looped, Funny would be born again as Funny, and live a similar life,but not the same one. Or perhaps their identities weren’t the same in the firstplace. Because I can make a connection. Because I can’t make the connection.Because what I create is the Spiral Staircase meant Pucci’s Stand that couldspeed up time had been used by one Pucci or another to reach the next universe,attempting to connect history and create a ‘loop’. And he didn’t believe it wasa failure on his part that instead of a true loop, he’d made a spiralstaircase. When I said this, ‘Funny’ nodded.

“I have no idea if this is Pucci’s fault, or if it wasalways destined to turn out this way. But Dio considers this Pucci’s sin, andhas punished him accordingly.”

Pucci was gone.

“Punished how?”

“I don’t know. But I know for sure he won’t return.”

“Mr. President, as the American President, why are youworking with this Dio? As more or less his henchman? And who is this Dio,anyway? All I really know is the Dio from 36 universes ago wasn’t just a thugwho robbed a train. He seems to be fighting Cars more or less evenly, so…whatis he? Is he not human?”

“He’s a vampire who drank the blood of the ultimate being.But that’s not what makes him really terrifying.”


“In the Steel Ball Run in your universe,”

‘Funny’ suddenly changed the subject.

“I believe they gathered nine Holy Grails, was it? AndJohnny Joestar played a major role, although he was forced to drop out alongthe way.”

“? Is that right? I don’t really know much about him. Um,can we get to the point?”


“Why did you bring me here?”

“There’s one thing even Dio doesn’t know,”

‘Funny’ said, suddenly completely serious. Here we go.


“Earlier, when Pucci was explaining the meanings of thefourteen words, did he say something about the word ‘singularity’ appearingtwice?”

“It was pretty vague, but something about time and theconnections between people?”

“Yes. But that is very vague, isn’t it? You see, that wasonly a flow that ‘I’ created for Pucci, that allowed him to believe what hewished to believe.”

“…but he ended up with that nutso Stand?”

“Producing that was our goal. It was all calculated. By DioBrando.”

“…but there’s something about the ‘Singularity’ bitshe hasn’t completely done the math on?”

“Exactly. You aren’t a detective for nothing, I see.”


“Listen, and remember this. ‘Singularity’ appears twice. Ifyou compare the universe repeating in the real world to the similar butdistinct parallel worlds, there are things that only exists one time. There isno other instance of these, not even anything similar to them. The first is thebody of the holy man, the pieces of which were being hunted behind the scenesof the very first Steel Ball Run in the real world.”

“The holy man…!?”

“Yes. And the second singularity is you, JorgeJoestar.”

“An abandoned Japanese kid adopted by the Joestarfamily who becomes a detective. You are born only once in this world, and thereis no replacement for you in any other universe, or in any parallelworld.”

Hunh, I thought. But I figured that response wouldn’t quitecut it so I stayed quiet and tried to think. First, we couldn’t prove that.Funny had called out this other ‘Funny’ to provide evidence that parallelworlds existed and worked as he said – that they were similar but different.But in fact this was just…well, maybe that was a weird way to put it, but itcould be time travel or teleportation of some kind, and the other ‘Funny’ couldjust be Funny’s twin and actually had a different name and was trying to trickme for some reason. All of this was information overload and I hadn’t varifiedany of it myself. If I chose to doubt it there were any number of

ways to doubt it, and the worlds this ‘Funny’ could accesswith his Stand, Dirty Whatever, were too many and too large. Had he really beenable to search them properly? Parallel worlds were…I mean, my source wasrealistic sci-fi novels, but anyway, the theory was that any minute differencewould create a parallel world. Having one hair more or less would do it; thetiming of a drop of water from a leaky faucet being one second early or laterwould do it. I had no idea how the parallel worlds Dirty Whatever visited werecreated, but without the ability to investigate them myself, it came down to medeciding to take ‘Funny’ at his word, and I was professionally incapable oftaking anybody at their word. And secondly, so what? What did they want fromme?

“So I can’t actually do anything though?”

I said, which I guess wasn’t much better than


as far as responses went. But ‘Funny’ just laughed.

“We aren’t expecting any specific action on your part. Wejust want you to believe what I said.”

“That part’s kinda hard. I’m doubtful by occupation.”

“…heh heh. Feel free to doubt as you like. You thought awhile before answering, right? Do as you always do, and don’t let those wheelsstop spinning. I don’t want you to have faith in me. I want you to have faithin yourself. I want you to believe that there is no one who can take yourplace.”

? That seemed a little different than believing in myself.It sounded more like the certainty that I could do this that happened when Iwas using Beyond. When I failed to say anything, ‘Funny’ kept talking.

“Listen, Jorge Joestar. I don’t need an answer from you. Ijust want you to believe. …it’s almost time. You should get in the car andleave this place.”

He opened the passenger side door, I got in, and he shut itafter me. Then he handed his sunglasses to the original Funny in the driver’sseat. As he took them, Funny said,

“Thanks. I’d have

preferred to handle this alone, but…”

“I understand, of course.”

In the blink of an eye, a humanoid Stand with rabbit-likeears moved from Funny to the other ‘Funny’.

“All yours.”

“I got this.”

Then Funny put the sunglasses on, and drove the Bentleyaway, leaving the other ‘Funny’ behind. So what was ‘Funny’ going to do in themiddle of the desert? Wait, was I fucked now? Dirty Whatever had brought us tothis parallel world, but if he’d handed it over, what now? Were we stuck inthis world now? Was Funny not planning on taking me back to my world?

“Uh, what about your Stand?”

“It’ll come back eventually.”


The rule was one Stand per person. The ‘Funny’ from thisparallel world might not have Dirty Whatever, but what he going to use thatStand to do? I looked at ‘Funny’ in the mirror, and saw a massive cloud risingup behind him. I turned around to get a better view. There was yellow and greenin the cloud, and it was truly a dreadful sight. I was fully awake, but thefeeling was the same as that moment where you realize you’re having anightmare. ‘Funny’ made sure we were safely away, and then turned to face thecloud.

“What is that cloud…?”

I asked.

“The Cars from this parallel world,”

Funny answered.

“The other me is going up against him one more time.”

“What for?”

“To conquer Cars.”


So that terrifying man was somewhere inside that massiverolling cloud? And the Cars from this world appeared to be very angry.

“We told him this was but a parallel world, and he andeverything in it weren’t real,”

Funny said.

“I’ve fought that living nightmare any number of times indifferent parallel worlds. Looking for a way to seal him or send him away.Allowing something as fearsome as that man to live free is always a threat,”

said the President of the ‘free’ country. Behind us came aloud crack crack boom of lightning striking and I looked back to see Carsstanding there, his hair in a single braid, his arm through the chest of thisworld’s ‘Funny’. His eyes met mine.

“I’ve never once defeated him,”

Funny said.

“But I’ve done my best to learn from him. And I’ll put thatto use and beat him in the battle to come.”

Cars tossed ‘Funny’ aside, and Dirty Whatever floated away,swooping back towards us. Returning to its original owner. But Cars was flyingafter it…!

“So you’re the one who made this world? I did not give youpermission, and I will not allow it!”

he yelled, clouds billowing up behind him. He was soterrifying I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Next to me, Dirty Whateverdisappeared back inside Funny, and he shouted,

“Let’s go, Jorge Joestar! As a singularity, you have a dutyto witness everything!”

“I do not!”

I yelled back, and then couldn’t stop myself from screamingin horror as Cars got closer.


Funny had the Bentley going at top speed, and he yanked thesteering wheel so hard the car couldn’t handle the curve and began to roll. Asthe world went upside-down and I was too scared to even scream Funny said,

“I’ll say this once more, so remember it well! You are theonly one like you in all the world, Jorge Joestar!”

Was that anything to scream while deliberately trying tokill us both in a car you crashed!? The upside-down Bentley’s driver’s sidetouched down first, and I saw half Funny’s head get torn off, and before Icould even think ‘ugh’ my face slammed into a nearby


But I was still alive.


I opened my eyes screaming and found myself lying on stonepavement, unharmed, in a square of some kind and the first thing I saw was awater fountain with a winged angel statue. Eros, the famous tourist attraction,so this was London, the West End, Piccadilly Circus. Even since the place hadbeen built in 1819, it had been packed with people, but there were no peoplehere now. Because it was occupied by zombies. Around the fountain and on thestairs and benches and roofs and street and abandoned horse carriages were theremains of zombie corpses and piles of dust. The light of the evening sun hadhit, and they’d all died. Well, not all; I could heard groans and screechescoming from the insides of nearby buildings. The entrance to the subway waslike a full on zombie choir. My heart still pounding, I looked west, and thesun was shining between the buildings of London. I couldn’t be sure where GreatBritain was headed next, but if it stopped, the sun would soon set again, andthe zombies that had survived in the shadows of the buildings would comeflooding out onto the streets again. Seeing me staring at the dark entrance toPiccadilly Station, Funny said,

“Joestar, no need to pay them any heed.”

He wasn’t dead either. He still had all his head!


he pointed at the sky, and I turned to see a giant AntonioTorres torso growing out of the sky, clutching his throat in pain.

“Unhhhhhh blarghhhhhh!”

His giant mouth split open and he puked out a militaryhelicopter. It was off balance at first, but soon recovered and flew down aboveLondon, headed right for this square.

“His honor, the President of the United States,”

Funny said.

“The Funniest Valentine, another ‘me’ and another‘grandson’.”

There was a circular emblem with a bald eagle on the side ofthe massive chopper; the Grand Seal of the United States.

“And here come our two stars,”

Funny said. I followed his gaze, and saw two figures flyingtowards us, buildings in the West End exploding in their wake. Obviously, thiswas Dio and Cars, but following them were three giant Das Boot submarinesflying close together. They were sailing across the treetops, heedlesslysmashing any buildings in their way, and firing a constant barrage of missiles.Boom boom boom boom! Exploding all around Dio, who wasn’t making any particulareffort to avoid or dodge them. Several missiles scored direct hits, and hisbody was momentarily blown apart, but it reassembled instantly, and Dioremained alive. Occasionally a missile would miss Dio and hit Cars, blowing himup, but he was back a moment later, too. This was hopeless, I thought. They’dnever have a winner. Neither one could ever die, no matter how much damage theydid to each other. And both of them had figured that out a long time ago, and Icould hear their laughter on the wind. Bwa ha ha mwah ha ha. They seemed to behaving the time of their lives, trashing the shit out of the city. And thenfrom the back of the rubble came a wave of sand that swept over the buildingsand swallowed Dio. Cars appeared to have added Goyathlay Soundman’s sand Boundto his repertory. Pulling Dio with it, the rubble sea came flooding towards us,turned into a whirlpool near the square that rose up into a giant pillar ofrubble. More and more rubble was pulled into it and the size of it expanded,and the density grew thicker and when at last it stopped swirling it was over300 meters tall, and 200 meters across, made of almost solid rock like a giantmortar built right next to Piccadilly Circus. Without so much as a glance inour direction, Cars daintily landed at the tip of the Eros fountain, andlaughed at Dio.

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! How’s that? The strength of that is

dozens of times these puny buildings!”

But we could hear a faint sound growing from inside thepillar. Thud. Thud. Thud thud. Thud thud thud. Thud thud thud thud thud thudthud!

“Useless useless useless useless useless useless uselessuseless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless uselessuseless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless uselessuseless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless useless uselessuseless useless useless!”

Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud!Booom! A hole erupted in the side of the pillar, and Dio leapt out, half-naked,and we just gaped at him and Cars kept laughing.

“Ha ha ha ha ha! Well done! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

Dio brushed the dust off his shoulders, laughing.

“Whether we fight physically or with Stands, nothing eitherof us does seems capable of overcoming our immortality.”


Cars said.

“But I am still learning about Stands. I may not be able tokill you, but I may be able to send you away. The same way I myself was oncedefeated!”

Dio sighed.

“But I’m unable to acquire further Stands, so I must haveothers fight for me. Cars, I won’t give you time to learn more about Stands!You’re the one who will be sent away! Into another dimension, ensuring you willnever again return to this world!”

Then he raised a hand to the hovering helicopter, wagged thetips of his fingers ever so slightly, and the door of the chopper opened, and Isaw the current President of the United States in person for the first time.The Funniest Valentine had his curls cut short, but was otherwise identical toFunny.

Another ‘me’ and another ‘grandson’. By my side, Funny letout a long breath.

“Come on down, my minion, The Funniest!”

Dio said, and swung his arm down hard. The Funniest leaptout of the helicopter with no parachute. The other passengers looked alarmed,but The Funniest himself was completely calm.

“And your time to shine, Funny!”

At Dio’s cue, Funny broke into a run, headed for the placewhere The Funniest was about to land. Right next to the Piccadilly Circusfountain, Funny stopped, braced himself, and spread out his arms as TheFunniest fell into them, and Funny didn’t catch him, but clapped his handstogether. And with that, The Funniest was gone. Ah ha. Getting hit in the headdidn’t send you to a parallel world, getting trapped between things did. Funnyspread his hands again, and turned towards Cars.


he said, grinning.

“………..? A magic trick?”

Cars said, still not clear on how Funny’s Stand worked.

“What do you think?”

Funny asked. Cars scratched his chin.

“Hm. Doesn’t matter either way. You get near me, you die.”

“I’ll do just that. But you’ll never see me coming.”


“Here I come!”

Funny yelled, and broke into a run. Cars was ready for him,but unlike Dio, Funny was running on real human legs and didn’t seemparticularly fast, but just as Cars confidently spread his hands to grab him itwas like some frames dropped from the film I was watching. Not fast forward,like a moment of time skipped. Funny was in mid-jump one moment, and the nexthe’d already clapped his hands together. With a huge smile, Funny said,


and trailed off. He

must have thought Dirty Whatever had sent Cars to thatparallel world, but Cars was still standing right where he was. He’d bent theupper half of his body like a crochet hook to avoid Funny’s clap.


Dio said, which made it clear that momentary time skip thathad assisted Funny’s attack was his doing. Beside Funny stood a humanoid Standwith what looked like air tanks on its back. Cars looked at this and also said,


I guess he was surprised because Dio had not shown his Standthe whole time they were fighting. He’d kept it in reserve for this exactmoment. And even thought his Stand attack had been timed perfectly, Cars’reflexes had been far greater than Dio or Funny had ever imagined.

“…tch, don’t just stand there, Funny! One more time!”

Dio yelled, and time began to skip all over the place. Clapclap clap clap clap clap clap Funny never even hit the ground, just came afterCars with everything he had but every time his hands came together Cars’contorted his body further out of the way, slipping through Funny’s grasp.

“God damn!”

Funny said, impressed despite himself with the speed ofCars’ reaction. I’d figured out what Dio’s Stand power was. It could stop theflow of time. Dio’s Stand was right next to Funny, so it must be moving Funnywhile time was stopped, setting things up so all he had to do was bring hishands together. But in the instant that time started moving again, Cars wasable to dodge.

“Heh heh heh.”

Warping his body to dodge another clap, Cars glanced over atDio and grinned.

“I figured out your Stand,”

he said. As Funny went to clap again, Dio grinned, too.

“A moment too late,”

he said. Cl-clap!

Two claps in rapid succession…and Cars was gone. I lookedat Funny’s hands. As if to make sure he’d gotten rid of Cars, Funny had hispalms open…and there was another set of hands reaching out of them. Wearingsimilar gloves. Funny had sent The Funniest to a parallel world, and TheFunniest had then reached back into this one. Which meant, Funny and TheFunniest had the same power. Another ‘me’ and another ‘grandson’.

“It was all part of the plan to create a rhythm, and let himget comfortable,”

Dio chuckled. The rule was one Stand per person, but perhapsas the universe changed over, the same Stands would crop up again. These twowould not normally have ever met, but Dio had brought them together. As my headwrestled with the scale of this plan, I noticed a thin black thread wrappedaround my neck.


Funny noticed it, too. That thread extended from my neck toThe Funniest’s hands in his. Dio saw this and yelled,

“Funny! Cut that hair!”

Hair? Right, the thing around my neck wasn’t thread, butblack hair. A strand of Cars’ hair. Coming from The Funniest inside of Funny.Yank! I was jerked into the air, towards Funny, and my eyes met Dio’s.

“What the fuck…!?”

he said.

“I don’t know!”

Funny said, but I knew Funny was up to something and Ivanished into the palm’s of The Funniest’s hands.

We were in a rain-drenched park. Beyond the wet trees andmist I could just make out some skyscrapers, and across the square I could seethe Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was in New York, Manhattan Island, CentralPark. In the parallel world The Funniest

had dragged me to. Where was Cars? I followed the hairwrapped around my neck but instead found another ‘Funny’, his hands together.Hunh? I thought. Why was Funny here before me? I could tell the hair around myneck was coming from this Funny’s hands. This was the real Funny. For example,Dio could have guessed they couldn’t catch Cars even with the time stop and hadthe real Funny wait here ahead of time to send Cars to yet another parallelworld as soon as The Funniest caught him off guard and sent him here. Twolayers away from the real world. The rabbit-eared Stand was standing behind thereal Funny here. Then, logically, the Funny that had been with me in PicadillyCircus was fake, but he’d been using Dirty Whatever so…one Stand per personso there was no way that was fake. But when he’d taken me to Monument Valley inthat other world Funny had shared his Stand with the other Funny. If Funny washere, then they’d planned this before The Funniest jumped out of thehelicopter, and the real one was already inside The Funniest. And the fakeFunny had done his magic trick and The Funniest had vanished. In that instantThe Funniest had handed Dirty Whatever over to the fake Funny. Funny’s handswere still clasped together, and he was not at all surprised to see me.

“Is this why you took me to Monument Valley?”

I asked.

“A sort of fool your friends to fool your enemies deal?”

They were already planning on bringing me here?

“That, too,”

Funny said.

“But we also wanted to verify that you are indeed aSingularity. Do you know why Cars brought you here, and is trying to take youfurther in?”


“Precisely because you’re a Singularity. There is not otheryou in any other world. Cars has sniffed that out somehow. I’m sure of it. I’dlike you to remember that fact. Although I believe you

were told as much by other mes in Monument Valley andPiccadilly Circus.”

“And what meaning are you prescribing to me being thisSingularity?”

“Obviously, I mean that you have a role that is yours alone.The only meaning you could have is in your role. You do not exist in anyparallel world. Which means the real you can never be killed by any alternativeyous. In other words, your path in life is a single possibility. Your truepurpose. You must fulfill it. That said…even without knowing a thing aboutparallel worlds, the nature of the world is that we all fulfill our roles.”


“You are a detective. That doesn’t change. Nothing is addedto that fact. But if you know that that role is yours and only yours, perhapsyou will be less hesitant to perform that role.”

“Are you looking at the future, too? How can you speak inprophecies like this?”

“We aren’t the ones that see the future. Dio is,”

Funny said. He put his finger to his temple, and traced aline around his skull. Dio’s crown of thorns.

“That? It isn’t just decorative?”

I’d assumed it was just a device to help him manipulatePucci.

“No. That’s Dio’s Stand, The Passion. We don’t know the fullextent of its power, but he can use that to read the future in great detail.”

“? But Dio has another Stand? The one with the air tanksthat can stop time.”

“Yes. That is The World. You have a keen eye. Indeed, thatis a terrifying Stand. When he was a vampire he could only stop time for nineseconds, but with the power of the ultimate being that has expandedconsiderably, and he can now stop time for nearly an hour.”


I said.

“How can you fight a Stand like that?”

Funny shook his head.

“It is a terrifying Stand, but there are ways to fight it.What really makes Dio Brando formidable, to my mind, is The Passion.”

The true nature of fear. The Passion, hunh? I thought.Passione in Italian. Was there some link to the Passione Family Shiobana Harunohad been part of?

“Anyway, I’m not interested, and don’t have a Stand, so I’dquite like it if you could take me somewhere neither Dio nor Cars are,”

I said. I really wanted to go home to Fukui.

“I’m afraid you must go,”

Funny said.

“Hunh? Where to?”

“As the flow takes you.”

Then at last he moved his hands apart, and my body wasyanked into his hands once more.

This time Cars was there. I landed flat on my back on a wideopen patch of land, with him looking down at me.

“Took you long enough, Jorge Joestar,”

he said.

“What were you doing?”

Before I could answer, his fist hit me and sent me spinningthrough the air, but my cheekbone didn’t break or anything so…I guess this wasCars holding back? Compared to his fight with Dio, anyway. When I landed, adisc popped out of my forehead, and Cars took that and stuck it in his own headfor a moment, then went,


and put it back into me so I could move again.

“So this isn’t the real world. It seems real enough,”

he said, looking around. I looked around myself. It was verydark, and there was nothing around us. I assumed it was night, but there was nomoon or stars above us. We must be near a country town of some sort, but from wherewe were there was barely anything that looked like

city lights. Yet unlike London, it wasn’t completelydesolated; there were still signs of life. I could see bonfires burning, andeven a few car headlights being used for illumination. But there was nothing inthe sky above. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I could tell it wasn’t justcloudy, either; there were no clouds. So why couldn’t we see the moon andstars? This made no sense. Wait…I’d heard about this before, back in the realworld. In Morioh. Before Pucci sped up time, just before we blasted through thehistory of the universe thirty-six times, Narancia handed me a phone. Thepebble phone. I’d spoken to Bruno Buccellati. The sky’s gone pitch black, nomoon or stars. He’d described this same thing. I’d let it go in one ear and outthe other but this was pretty fucked up. And I couldn’t believe something thisfucked up was happening everywhere. I ran across the dark field until I found agate. It had the name of the school on it.

“Budogaoka Academy.”

This was Morioh!

“Hey! Jorge Joestar!”

I’d been staring at the gate, lost in thought, and looked upto find Cars standing right next to me, looking exasperated.

“You have a bad habit of not hearing when people speak toyou.”

“Yeah, if I’m focused on something else. Sorry. What?”


he said, and nodded at the sky. I looked up, and somebuilding had searchlights aimed upwards, and the light had caught a huge squidswimming through the sky. It was genuinely

massive, at least a kilometer long. But even giant squidsdidn’t ever get that long. And a moment later I realized I was looking up atthe giant squid’s mantle, but that itself was weird. Squids swim with theirmantles upwards, but I should be looking at the squid’s underside right now.This squid was swimming upside-down.

“What the…?”

The squid seemed to be interested in Morioh, and the hugeeyes on either side of it were looking at us. I heard cries and shouts in thedistance and turned to see a giant sperm whale come over the horizon, alsoswimming upside-down. It came up to the top of the sky, and bit into the squid.The squid’s tentacles writhed around its mouth, using its suckers todesperately fight back, but it just kept forcing the squid farther inside andsoon vanished off the other horizon.

“This entire town is floating upside-down in the ocean,”

Cars said, as if stating the obvious. Given what we’d justseen, no other explanation seemed to fit. What was up with this parallel world?Were there worlds this batshit different? This was straight up fantasy orfantasia. But no, that wasn’t right. I wasn’t sure about the ocean part, butBuccellati and the others had reported the lack of stars and moon, and that wasin the real world. I should follow up on that. I still had the pebble phone! Itook it out of my pocket. I’d forgotten to give it back to Narancia aftertalking to Buccellati on the deck of Das Boot. I tried calling him. I hitredial and it rang. He answered.

“Hello? Narancia!”

Buccellati said.

“Uh, it’s Jorge.”

“Hunh? Which one!?”


“Uh…the adopted one…”

“The Japanese one! Of course!”

“? You’ve met some other Jorge?”

“We’ve got an English Jorge Joestar here.”

I might be a detective but even my head was spinning.

I asked Buccellati to brief me on events at the Arrow Cross


Shiobana Haruno had found Jorge Joestar lying on the road inMorioh, badly injured, and had taken him to Arrow Cross House, healed him, andthe moment he was better he’d begun solving the mystery, figuring out who’dkilled Kira Yoshikage and Diavolo, and pointing out that the killer had a Standthat sped up time, at which point the killer, Enrico Pucci, stepped out ofhiding, so Shiobana Haruno had taken a mysterious arrowhead that had beeninside Sugimoto Reimi’s body and stabbed it into his own Stand, which evolvedit and allowed him to beat Pucci by sending him into a void world where neitherlife nor death existed but Jorge Joestar then went on to prove that ShiobanaHaruno / Giorno Giovanna was actually Diavolo’s alternate personality and the sameperson as the big boss of the Passione Family they’d been fighting all along,and the only reason Shiobana Haruno was still moving was because he was just ahollowed out skin inhabited by Antonio Torres, a zombie Tsukumojuku hadaccidentally brought here from 1904 and who had been the one who murdered thethree detectives, including Tsukumojuku, and a moment later Shiobana Harunothrew Antonio Torres out, repaired Diavolo’s body, moved over to it, and in hisguise as Diavolo attacked Jorge Joestar, went through the door in the floor ofthe Cube House, entered into an infinite fall loop and then vanished into thinair! That made sense, I thought.

“So Jorge Joestar and Shiobana Haruno have traveled throughtime, then?”

Buccellati didn’t seem to follow so I explained that theCube House, the predecessor to the Arrow Cross House, was actually a timetravel device. We’d fallen through that hole and ended up in

England in 1920, and after that astronaut Enrico Pucci’sStand had suddenly mutated, sped up time, and brought Great Britain to thecurrent timeline but Pucci himself had disappeared and I guess for some reasonhe’d gone to Arrow Cross House and murdered two very bad men, and that reasonwas almost certainly something to do with the terrifying vampire named DioBrando…at which point Buccellati said,

“What!? Dio Brando!?”


“Wait. We’re currently interrogating Antonio Torres, and wejust got the initials D.B. out of him,”

he said, and put the phone down a second. Wait, none of thiswas what I’d meant to ask him about…and then a girl picked up the phone.

“Hello? Japanese Jorge?”

It was Sugimoto Reimi.

“Uh, yes.”

“Where are you?”

she asked.

“I’m not entirely sure. I’m in Morioh, but there’s anupsidedown whale swimming across the sky.”

“Oh, that’s just how Morioh is right now. We seemed to havebeen flipped over somehow.”

“Hunh? So the upside-down whales…?”

“Yes. We’ve seen octopuses and schools of mackerel. It’spretty nuts. We’ve even had some sharks.”

A parallel world, similar to the real world but distinct.This world might seem totally insane, but it was similar to the real one afterall. It just wasn’t real.


Sugimoto said,

“I have a favor to ask.”


“I’d like you to find the English Jorge Joestar.”

“Got it,”

I said. Before I knew it. But it felt so natural.

“Thank you. It’s a big help.”

There was a rustling sound as she handed the phone off.

“Yo, Buccellati here. Yeah, Dio Brando’s behindeverything. Second I said his name Antonio Torres started crying and then hefucking pissed himself. Ugh. But some other worrying information came out.According to Antonio Torres, Giorno Giovanna is this Dio Brando’s real son, andsince he was half-Japanese he helped make the murder displays look moreJapanese for Dio Brando. I can’t say if that’s true or not, but it does make acertain amount of sense. Anyway, I’d love to know where Giorno is, but atpresent we’re trapped in Morioh with no way out. Should we try diving into theCube House hole, Jorge Joestar?”

If they time traveled, would the Morioh residents be able toget back home? Were they time traveling in the first place? No, they wereupside-down in the ocean.

“Hmm…I dunno if you can get back where you started ifyou’re time traveling.”

“Is that so? Hmm. Then what should we do?”


“Your phone might stop working again, and this could well beour last chance to contact the outside world.”

Where I was right now didn’t exactly qualify as the outsideworld, but…wait a second.

“You’ve been trying to call me? And you couldn’t get through?”

“Yes, I’ve tried a number of times. Couldn’t reach you once.I didn’t understand what Narancia was saying, figured there was no point intalking to him. I mean, he said you were in England, but apparently that wasactually true.”

“When we were in England, you got through.”

“Yes. But since then I haven’t been able to get through atall. We can use it within Morioh just fine, but…”


This must be a hint, I thought. These phones ignored thelaws of physics, calling anywhere, even allowing them to call me here in aparallel world that didn’t even exist, but there were

times when they couldn’t get through. What could the causebe?

“You couldn’t get through to anywhere outside Morioh?”

“No, we did. We contacted a number of Passione branches and pulledwhat strings we could. We can move the military and government to a degree, butthat didn’t help our situation at all.”

“…then the only place you couldn’t reach was England.”


If distance didn’t matter, space time didn’t matter, and thedimension of the world didn’t matter, then what could ever stop these phonesgetting through? Was there something special about England in 1920? Well, itwasn’t 1920 any more. Thanks to Pucci it had gone through the birth and deathof the universe thirty-six times and wound up in the present day…I thought,but wait, that actually wasn’t correct. Maybe England wasn’t technically inmodern times. Great Britain existed in the year 2012, but the flow of time onthe island might still be 1920. After all, England didn’t have the rhinocerosbeetle’s barrier armor, it had Antonio Torres, a zombie with a conscious mind.While I was watching Pucci fast forward the history of the universe, I’dfigured that out. Figured out that consciousness was the point that divided theflow of time. This had nothing to do with any superpowers, it was something weall had, every day. And because of that, I knew what was happening with time inGreat Britain. To those in England, it was nothing more than a transparentwall, but to Antonio Torres it was his own belly. The world outside was‘outside’ to us, but to Antonio Torres it was ‘inside his belly’. Hisperception reversed it. The only thing that counted as ‘outside’ to AntonioTorres was the island of Great Britain, and he wasn’t thinking at all aboutwhat lay inside his belly, and even though he could see it, he didn’t reallyfeel it. Just like all of us don’t really

think about, look at, or feel anything in our stomachsunless shit gets really weird. So time within England was still 1920 fromthirtysix universes ago. That’s why England was still here, intact. Theuniverse had looped thirty-six times, and everything outside of Great Britainhad died and been born again each time, but Great Britain itself had remainedexactly the same because the sped up time was outside of England, inside ofAntonio’s stomach. In other words, without meaning to, Antonio Torres hadprotected Great Britain from the death of the world. His consciousnessseparated the flow of time. The same way time flowed differently inside andoutside of us all. But our internal time was not always different from thatoutside of us. We were constantly adjusting our internal time to match the timeoutside of us. We looked at our watches. Made use of calendars. Concoctedschedules, built routines, and believed we should be doing X at time Y. Whentalking to people we matched both subjects and tempo. So many ways we sync ourinternal time to the world outside. Keeping us aligned with our peers. It wouldbe much harder to remain isolated, in a world of your own. In a world of myown? Cars had just accused me of doing just that.

You have a bad habit of not hearing when people speak to


Yeah. Same thing. Which led me to one conclusion. Thinkinghard sped up your internal time, allowing you to use more time than passedoutside of you. Concentration or even desperation made time denser, andextended it. To be even more precise, the thoughts in your conscious mindextended the time you had. Thoughts that were fun, sad, or flustered were toosimple

and did less to extend the time. Hence

“Time flies when you’re having fun”. Thinking did theopposite. So what powered the reverse effect, Pucci’s sped up time, was thesimplicity of his thoughts. With thinking, ‘simple’ meant clearing your mind ofeverything else, which was what happened when you believed wholeheartedly in asingle thing. For example, Pucci’s belief in ‘God’ was so absolute it mightwell have caused time to speed up like that.

“Hey! Argh…have the phones stopped working again?Hey! Jorge Joestar, are you there?”

Crap, I was doing it again. But I had the answer. I’d beenthinking just now. I’d been thinking earlier, in the school grounds. On bothoccasions, my internal time had come unstuck from the time around me. Andbecause of that, I’d been unable to hear Cars and Buccellati talking to me.This happened all the time, but that same thing was happening on a larger scaleto England right now. They’d been able to place a call from Morioh in 2012 toEngland in 1920 thirty-six universes ago. But once England came to this worldin 2012 they couldn’t get through any more. The gap in time wasn’t a problem,but something in the same time but desynced from it couldn’t hear a thing. Thenif we broke the rhinoceros beetle’s armor, the wall made of Antonio Torres,time would start to sync up again. And calls would get through. But was that agood idea? That England belonged in 1920, thirty-six universes ago. Should wereally force it to join the modern world?

“Hey! Jorge Joestar, are you there?”

I heard, again. Indecision had made me think too hard again.


“At least answer!”

“Sorry, lost in thought.”

“You come up with an answer yet? How can we flip Moriohback over?”

Oh. I hadn’t been thinking about that at all. Couldn’t exactlyadmit that, so I said,


and quickly began thinking about it, but given how Moriohwas the center of the world’s attention and surrounded by the American army ifit were to suddenly flip over in the middle of the ocean it would hardly gounnoticed. They’d have started rescue operations immediately. Giant squid liveddeep in the ocean, but sperm whales ranged from 1000-3000 meters. Not a problemfor modern submersible technology. But even if a sub found Morioh the town wasprotected by the rhinoceros beetle’s armor, which was strong enough to deflectmissiles, and since we were underwater they couldn’t risk breaking through thebarrier anyway. If there was a way to flip us…but there was no technology ormachine on Earth that could do that. This wasn’t something we could solve witha few cranes. So how had we flipped in the first place?

“It’s your fault,”

Buccellati said.

“It got dark the moment you crashed here on your way backfrom Mars. Must have been the shock of impact.”

Really? When we’d touched down Cars’ ship had almostentirely burned up and it was basically just Cars and us so there reallyshouldn’t have been that much of an impact. Did this have something to do withtime traveling through the Cube House? But Tsukumojuku and Shibana Haruno hadboth used the time device, and nothing happened to Morioh when they did, sothat seemed unlikely. What the heck was making Morioh move, anyway? I didn’tknow. But at face value Morioh had turned into a giant insect. It appeared tohave more than six legs, and seemed to be alive. It could swim. Based on NeroNero Islands behavior, it

could walk on land as well. Could it also turn itselfupside-down? I doubted it. I mean, it was a bug. Bugs never turned themselvesover on purpose. That would be a threat to their survival. All insects flippedon their back would immediately put all their attention on trying to flipthemselves back over. Morioh must be doing that now. It must be desperatelytrying to get itself back upright. But it couldn’t. What was stopping it? Aninjury? No, there was no reason why its legs would get hurt underwater. Wasthere any other explanation? I couldn’t think of any…unless something was ontop of Morioh’s belly, preventing it from turning over. Was something on top ofMorioh? What could be that big? Nero Nero Island was much too small bycomparison. It had to be a bigger island. But just before Morioh flipped, we’dseen the islands from the air as we fell, and Nero Nero Island had been on topof Morioh, with no other islands of any significant size anywhere in sight. ButI knew at least one island that didn’t exist in this time until later. GreatBritain. Was that on top of Morioh’s underside? Had Great Britain flippedMorioh in the first place? Could a large rhinoceros beetle take a small oneout? Or perhaps Morioh had sensed the larger rhinoceros beetle approaching andflipped in an attempt to get away from it. Showing your belly was a common signof submission. Even with bugs.


I said.

“I think England is on top of Morioh. So if we can getEngland to move, Morioh will probably right itself.”

From his perspective, this must have come out of nowhere. Ittook Buccellati a moment to absorb it, but being in upside-down Morioh mustmake you fairly used to things like this, because all he said was,

“Then make it move.”

“Mm…but Great Britain’s been moving the whole time.”

“Hunh? It has? Then it’ll be off Morioh soon?”

It would have been off it ages ago. Great Britain has swumacross The Ocean faster than the speed of sound, and was almost at New York.What would happen if Great Britain made land in the United States with Moriohstill stuck underneath it? Would it walk across America with Morioh stuck toits belly like a tick? Removed from the water, would Morioh be able to cling toGreat Britain upside-down? Would it fall off? And land on top of New York City?Before it even hit land the water would get shallow. I wasn’t quite sue whereMorioh was, but the water would clearly stop being deep enough long beforeGreat Britain came ashore, so would we get caught on the sea floor? If we did,would Great Britain run us over, trampling us under all its legs? Um? All thesesounded terrible, and just before Cars dragged me into this parallel worldFunny and The Funniest made, we’d been within sight of New York. Uh-oh. Thiscould be really bad? But should I really tell Buccellati how bad it was? Wasthere anything people here could do about it? Nope, not a thing. We’d thoughtKira Yoshikage was moving Morioh, but he was dead, and the bug was still going,which meant that theory was highly suspect. At most, ‘Kira Yoshikage’s emotionsinfluenced Morioh’ or ‘Kira Yoshikage being in trouble and Morioh starting tomove just coincidentally happened at the same time’. After all, there were fourrhinoceros beetles. It seemed like a real stretch to assume all four startedmoving at the same time for four completely different reasons. But what theheck should I do? I couldn’t just say nothing and let what happened happened.Should I tell them to run away, even if they have to time travel? Yeah, as alast resort, sure. Time travel should be avoided as much as possible, but shitcould start going down any second now. I told him to gather as many Morioh

citizens in the Arrow Cross House as he could. They might beable to have them all time travel, and if not, Arrow Cross House might be ableto handle the impact of whatever was about to happen. But Buccellati said,

“Oh, did I not mention? When those arrowheads came out ofSugimoto Reimi the Arrow Cross House turned back into Cube House. So it has noway in or out, no doors, no windows. Just four walls. We can’t bring anyonehere, and have no idea how to get out ourselves. Reimi herself doesn’t know,and she can steer the Cube House around but it rolls like a die so that wouldexpose anyone stored under the Arrow Cross House.”

Then Morioh was entirely on its own, and only the peopleinside the Cube House had any way of escaping? Even their Stands couldn’t help?

“There are no Stands that can turn flipped land back over.We can roll the Cube House, sew things with a needle and thread, make phones,replay human memories as holograms, spread mass delusions to large crowds, andhave little drag queens kick some bullets around. All useless here, right?”

Why little drag queens? Whatever. Point is, he was right,none of those sounded like they could save Morioh. I had to hurry. This couldstart happening any moment.

“Um, Buccellati,”

I said, and then explained what I knew and what I feared.

“Uhh…what are we supposed to do with that?”

I didn’t have an answer.

“Hey, Jorge Joestar,”

Buccellati said.

“Get England off us. We’re gangsters, we’ll end up OKsomehow, but the people outside the Cube House are civilians. You’ve got tosave them somehow.”

Exactly. I hung up and turned to Cars.

“We’ve gotta get back to England.”

Cars grinned.

“That’s what I brought you here for. Think, detective. Whileyou figure out a way to get back to England, I’ll entertain our guest.”

Entertain…? Mm? What guest? I looked up, and someone camedown out of the moonless, starless sky and landed in the darkness of the schoolyard. From what I could see in the darkness, he had long hair, and washalf-naked.

“Another ‘me’,”

Cars said. There was a pop and this new Cars’ entire bodylit up. Not just one color, either. Intricate light patterns roamed the surfaceof his skin. It was clearly ‘Cars’.

“Heh heh. Light mode?”

Cars chuckled.

“Interesting. Seems like he’s become the Ultimate Thing,too. And wants to see how that mode works in a fight.”

Cars too a step forward, and the other ‘Cars’ held his handup, palm towards him.


Cars stopped. The other ‘Cars’ smiled and, still glowing, hestraightened up, let the smile fade, and put his back into a punch that hitonly air. Zzzunn! Brilliant lights danced. His arms spinning, he raised himselfup, and then punched to the side. Ruuummmble! A swirl of light spread outaround him.


Cars said, not getting it. But I did. This was a dance. Carshad wanted to see how to fight with light, and the other ‘Cars’ was showing himwithout the need to actually exchange blows. Shhaaa! Papapapapapa! Boom boom!Shhaaaa! Papapapa! Boom Boom! Firing flames of light, Cars moved like a blackbelt, and the light’s movements gradually changed. At first they burned brightand aggressive, but then they started shimmering up against ‘Cars’, as ifprotecting him. Then ‘Cars’ made the lights expand, growing more intricate, andthe shimmering lights caressing his body began flowing in reverse as well, andsuddenly there were two of him and he began moving still faster, making morecopies of himself. Glowing ‘Cars’

flowers blooming in the school yard that exploded,scattering in all directions, or flitted at random, each showing a differentstyle of martial arts, each wrapped in different lights, firing light allaround. Then the lights grew even brighter and the variations increased innumber and the array of copies added a third dimension and soon BudogaokaAcademy’s campus was filled with blinding light cast by a giant mandala pyramidthat made me forget to breathe. It was such a spectacle I forgot to think, butbeside me Cars said,

“I’ve already understood his point, so why does he not stop?”

“I think…he’s not just doing it for you. He’s doing thisfor himself, as well. Like…something he needs to express, something he needsto leave behind.”

“This is a parallel world. It isn’t real. Nothing willremain, so how can this have meaning?”

“Of course it has meaning! Don’t be stupid, Cars.”


Cars looked back at the 3D light temple. A tower of lightsuddenly growing in the middle of pitch black Morioh was drawing people in, andquite a crowd had assembled. Some were just here for the fireworks, completelyunaware that this was an ultimate being burning his life out. Then the lightcopies rejoined together as one ‘Cars’ and he shouted at the sky.

“Mere moments ago I intended to take the sole chance I hadof killing myself! But I came to understand! Why I ran across the back side ofMars for so long! And why, despite the stifling feelings boiling up inside, Iam equally filled with joy! My flesh may not be able to die, but my life is asfragile as it was before, and can be snuffed out so easily! You, who areanother ‘me’! You are not special! You share the same sadness I feel! But thatis a treasure! Rejoice, ‘Cars’! You, too, can suffer!”

The Cars next to me did not visibly react. I couldn’t readhis expression at all. But he watched closely, and thinking. Holding the gazeof the dancing light ‘Cars’.

His thoughts were so deep he didn’t hear me or ‘Cars’ whenwe spoke to him. I didn’t want to interrupt that, but we were in sort of ahurry, so I said again,

“Cars, I thought of a way to get back to England.”

This other ‘Cars’ showed no sign of surprise at the originalCars’ arrival. So he was already aware of the existence of parallel worlds. Hewas fully aware that he was fake. How was it he already knew that? Because he’dmet ‘Funny Valentine’ in this world. And like in Monument Valley, he’d engagedin an experimental skirmish. I was sure ‘Funny’ had fought with ‘DirtyWhatever’. And Cars had understood that Stand ability, and realized the truthabout himself. And then he’d said this. Mere moments ago I intended to take thesole chance I had of killing myself! The Ultimate Thing had learned of a waythat he might die, and fully intended to do so, but instead he’d danced. Howcould the Ultimate Thing die? Which means the real you can never be killed byany alternative yous. Funny had said that. And the way this ‘Cars’ held hispalm up to the real Cars, telling him to keep his distance. That must mean thatif a real and a fake of anyone but Valentine met in a parallel world, somethingwould happen that left only one alive. I’d better remember that, I thought.Seemed like it would be useful when we made it back to England. And to get backto England, Cars and I looked for, found, and headed into a house at the edgeof Morioh. Cars never looked more out of place than he did in that neat littlegarden. Inside was a three person family eating dinner by the light of anemergency lamp. The wife was Shinobu, a homemaker. The eldest and only

child was a grade school boy named Hayato. And the husbandand father was Kawajiri Kosaku. He was here. When he saw Cars step in he knewwhat was about to happen, and leapt to his feet.

“Shinobu! Hayato! Scram!”

Between the half-naked man and her husband’s reaction,Kawajiri Shinobu was at a complete loss. She bumped the table and spilled somehot soup on her hand.

“Ow! What’s going on!? ‘Scram’!? Who are they? Do you knowthem?”

She began wiping her reddened hand with a towel, butKawajiri Kosaku yelled,

“Just get out!”

But Kawajiri Hayato’s reaction was the polar opposite.

“I knew it! You’ve been acting so weird! You’re hidingsomething!”

I had Cars wait this out.

“Both of you! Out of this house right this instant! Listento your father for once!”

Kawajiri Kosaku said, desperately enough that Shinobufinally grabbed Hayato and dragged him out the back door, away from Cars.

“Farther than that! Run!”

Kawajiri yelled out the door after them, and once they weresafely out of the garden he finally turned towards Cars, and tried to catch hisbreath.

“ThThanks for waiting.”

I was in a hurry. I’d been here almost an hour. Cars took astep closer and said the keyword.

“You’re Kira Yoshikage?”

Kawajiri Kosaku laughed, then spoke, sounding choked  up.

“You’re right. I’m a serial killer.”

There was a tiny Killer Queen on his shoulder. He’d set offBites the Dust. Boooooooooooooooooooooommmm! All we heard was the explosion,and I let Cars handle all the

fire and the shockwave. A bomb couldn’t kill Cars. Cars,with me inside him, was sent back in time an hour. Before meeting ‘Cars’ in theBudogaoka Academy school yard, before seeing the sperm whale eat the giantsquid, before The Funniest sent us to a parallel world from Funny’s parallelworld and before the conversation I had with Funny there, back an hour ago, toPicadilly Circus. We made it in time.

Funny spread his hands again, and turned towards Cars.


he said, grinning.

“………..? A magic trick?”

I watched this exchange, but this time I knew everythingthat was about to happen. Before going to see Kawajiri Kosaku I’d had Carsswallow me. Making him promise not to digest. So Bites the Dust had sent meback an hour, but since I was inside Cars, I’d been protected from theexplosion, and since my body was safe, so was my consciousness barrier, andsince that was safe the flow of time within me remained intact and I rememberedeverything. My theory had been that to send people back in time internally andexternally he had to shatter the shell of consciousness, their skin. That’s whyhe needed the explosion. But since I was unharmed, I remembered, even if Carshad forgotten. Now it was my turn. This was my second time watching theseevents, and they were going by awful quick. But that was the difference betweenfocused thinking and not. I wasn’t thinking, I was just waiting for the righttiming.

“Heh heh heh.”

Warping his body to dodge another clap, Cars glanced over atDio and grinned.

“I figured out your Stand,”

he said. As Funny went to clap again, Dio grinned, too.

“A moment too late,”

he said.

But as Dio spoke I yelled over him.

“Cars! Funny’s gonna clap twice!”

Cars didn’t even glance in my direction, but he reacted.Cl-clap! Two claps in rapid succession and Cars bent his body twice, dodgingboth.


Funny squeaked.

“How the hell…!?”

Dio said, glaring at me, and my legs started shaking so hardI wouldn’t have noticed if I’d pissed myself and I lost all sensation in myupper body but I forced myself to grin back at him. That would have been agreat time to introduce myself but given his history with the Joestar family Idecided I’d better not.

“Suck it! I’m just your friendly neighborhood detective,dipshit!”

I somehow managed to get this out without my voice breaking,but halfway through he lost interest and looked away, which rather took thewind out of my sails. While Dio’s attention was on me, Cars had bent his bodystill further and punched Funny out of the air. Bam!


Dio grinned, showing no concern at all for Funny, who wasflung quite a distance away.

“Hmph! You think you’ve second guessed me? Do you think Diowould ever just throw ONE knife!?”


“Prepare to be astounded!”

Dio said, and as he did, I was

genuinely astounded. Even Cars looked pretty dang astounded.Behind Cars stood another Dio, and he slid his hands under Cars’ arms, andlocked them behind his shoulders. The moment he had Cars trapped, to his righta group of Funny Valentines appeared, three high and three across for nineFunny Valentines in all, and to his left a three by three grid of The FunniestValentines appeared, nine The Funniest Valentines in all, and each tightlyplaced grid of Valentines had eighteen hands, making for thirty-six hands allabout to clap down on Cars as time began flowing again.


Cars yelled and Cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-cl-clap!Thunderous applause as eighteen pairs of hands clapped down on him. And beforeI knew it only the pile of nine Funny Valentines and the pile of nine TheFunniest Valentines was left, and Cars and the other Dio were gone.

“Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ultimate Thing or not, if you don’tbother thinking you’re nothing but a useless monkey! The new thing born fromthirty-six souls? That would be the brand new parallel world Funny and TheFunniest share! A world with no exit or entrance, and your new best friend!That world has a fourteen words of its own, so seek them out and enjoy yourselfforever!”

Dio laughed his head off. I knew what he’d done. First,Funny had gone to The Funniest’s parallel world and found Dio Brando andbrought him here. Then Funny had found nine The Funniests that could use DirtyWhatever, and The Funniest had found nine Funnys that could also use DirtyWhatever, bringing them all here. You see, because of the one Stand per personthing, in Funny’s parallel worlds there were no Funnys with Stands, but in hisparallel worlds there were a lot of The Funniests, and he just had to gatherones that had Dirty Whatever. Same went for The Funniest collecting Funnys. Andwhile time was stopped, they’d all been placed. With

so many Funnys and The Funniests around him there was no wayof even knowing which parallel world Cars had been sent to. All I knew was thatwhichever Funny or The Funniest had landed the deciding clap, the only way toget there was if they sent you there. It might well be a world that Funny andThe Funniest shared, and it might be one of the worlds they each had that weremutually exclusive. Either way the only way to get to that world was right nowwhile all the Funnys and The Funniests were still here. I screamed,

“Caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaars! Come baaaaack!”

I didn’t know why I was screaming like that. Cars was scaryas shit and I should be relieved he was gone but for some reason I wanted tosee him again. Dio must have enjoyed my scream, because he looked at me andchuckled.

“As a reward for catching me off guard, I’ll tell you onething. When Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap sends someone to another world, theentrance, the exit, the place they were caught between, continues to functionas a passage for a short while longer. So perhaps that wretched scream of yourreached Cars’ ears. Perhaps Cars can follow that voice and find his way backhere. But he’s a step too late for that, too!”

Why? I knew the answer already. Because the Funnys and TheFunniests brought from other dimensions could not normally exist at the sametime. That was why Cars had silently held up his hand back in the parallelMorioh. The instant after Cars vanished, it began. The Funnys and The Funniestsbumped shoulders with each other, and where they made contact they beganmelting into each other. It was like a pile of Menger Sponges, and as theyfused together pieces of them rolled away, crumbling to nothing with acrackling sound, rupturing and vanishing. Nine Funnys and nine The Funniestsall colliding and collapsing. The hands that had swallowed Cars shattered, andwere


Good-bye, ‘Cars’.

Watching the eighteen Valentines crumble to nothing from adistance, Dio laughed.

“Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I am the trueemperor! I am the pinnacle of all creation! Everything in this world, no matterwhich loop of history, no matter which parallel world, all of it is Dio’s tocontrol!”

Which is exactly when I spoke up.

“But there is always someone better. Someone will come alongto surpass you. Those who strive for domination must live in the shadow of fearof something just like them. All you’ll ever do is wait for someone to surpassyou. What an exhausting way to live. But look closely. The one that surpasses youmay not come from below. Without you ever noticing, they might already belooking down at you from far above. But if you think hard about that, if youreally look at the big picture…that might well be a comfort to you. Goodnews, Dio Brando!”

Dio stared at me blankly.


“Don’t catch my drift?”

I said.

“Take a hint and look up.”


“This isn’t advice. This isn’t a motto for life. I literallymean ‘look up’. Straight above your head.”

I raised a hand, pointing above my head.

“See it yet?”

Dio looked up.

And saw Cars, in the air above him, grinning down at him.


Dio yelped. His wait over, Cars began dropping like a stone,straight at


“Like I said, I understand your Stand.”

Behind Cars was the ultimate version of Dio’s The World. TheWorld Ultimate. There was some resemblance, but even at a glance you could tellit wasn’t the same Stand.


When Dio said nothing, Cars went on.

“Heh, what? Never imagined you’d lose the game ofout-guessing each other? Well, I can’t blame you. Even I could never havehandled that last stunt on my own. I slept for two thousand years on Earth,woke up in the middle of the 20th century, but shortly afterwards spent nearlyten quadrillion years running across the back of Mars. And you spent nearly ahundred years, from the end of the 19th century to the end of the 20th sleepingin a box. You may have seen all sorts of things about the future down there,but I imagine you never once read a detective novel. Even after you woke, itwould never enter your head that you should catch up on the last hundred yearsworth of mystery writing. Detective fiction is born and evolves throughout the20th and 21st centuries in every universe. Both of us slept right through it,never noticing, never realizing. Neither of us could ever hope to match adetective who grew up on that and lives that life for real.”

Ohhhh, you shouldn’t have! ♡”I didn’t do anything special, Dio. I just hadthis sense there was gonna be another twist. And figured out how to turn thetables on it. I just have a whole lot of experience with mystery novel twistsand turns.”

This was the honest truth.

But Dio still paid me no attention, his attention alldirected to Cars, and as I said ‘tables’ he shouted,

“Impossible! The emperor of this world is me! Withoutquestion! That is a fixed truth!”

That reminded me of something.

Cars chuckled.

“Where does that confidence come from?”

Where did mine come from?

“I am Dio, and I will win! I have been promised thefinal victory!”

By who?

“By who?”

Cars asked. And behind Dio I saw a shadowy figure, with longhair, his face hidden by a shadow seemingly unaffected by the direction of thesun. He was half naked, his rail thin body covered in wounds, and there was acrown of thorns on his head.

“I agree with everything,”

he said.

“Keep going, call it off, do anything you like, do nothingat all.”

It didn’t seem like Dio could hear the voice coming fromright behind him. He just kept screaming. The crown of thorns came out on hishead, and the figure behind him vanished.

“My blood calls to blood, and thus I know! I am the king ofthe world! I

rule everything!”

Oh, I thought. The way Dio talked was similar to the way Ispoke about believing that I was a detective. Beyond. Dio Brando had one behindhim, too.

“If you want it all that much, then let’s do this!”

Cars cried, and flitted down to Dio’s level. Dio’s The WorldUltimate came out, but it was Cars’ White Snake Ultimate that fought it. Splat!White Snake Ultimate punched Dio’s cheek, and Dio staggered back. A disc flewout of his head and fell to the ground, where it shattered, and The WorldUltimate standing beside him fell apart, dissolving.

“Now I will grant your wish! Make these all your own!”

Cars said, and discs began flowing out of his head, and asfast as he could he slammed them into Dio’s head.

“One more!”

Blooorp, Dio’s head swelled up, then returned to normalsize.

“And another, and another!”

Blooorp blooorp! This time Dio’s chest and belly swelled upand shrank.

“More more more more!”

Blooorp! Blooorp! Blooorp! Blooorp! Dio’s entire bodyswelled and shrank, waves running across it as it bent in all kinds of hideousdirections. The speed of Cars’ arms grew faster and faster, like a punchvolley, until discs were slamming into Dio too fast for it to shrink and hebegan swelling into a hideous ball of flesh.

“Wa ha ha ha ha! How’s that feel!? You full yet!?”

Cars laughed. Dio’s face looked down at Cars over hisswollen body. His expression hollow, but there was still a light in his eyes.Uh-oh, I thought, but Dio opened his mouth, and I heard what he said.

“This is right. There’s no mistake. Everything is taking mewhere I need to go.”

That sounded like what the wounded man with the crown ofthorns had said.

I agree with everything. Keep going, call it off, doanything you like, do nothing at all. Dio pulled something sharp from near hishand. I yelled,

“Cars! Watch out!”

Even without my warning, Cars saw the weapon. Before Diocould take a swing, Cars slammed one last attack home, and said,

“Everyone has their limits! Can yours contain the entireworld!? Let your own arrogance lead to suffering! Learn just how limited youreally are! Ha ha ha ha! Now the finishhhhh!”

He put one last disc in Dio’s head, and Dio’s swollen bodyreached its limit. I braced for the explosion, and Cars waited, a grin on hisface. But Dio just said,



Cars finally looked concerned.

“With Pucci gone, you’re the only one who could take me toHeaven, Cars.”

Dio swung the weapon in his hand. Cars dodged, but to noavail, because Dio was aiming for White Snake Ultimate.

“My Angel!”

Dio said. And exploded. Bam! Chunks of Dio were flung allaround. His head, his eyes, his ears, his spine, his torso, his head, his righthand, his left hand, and his legs, nine parts of him fell to the ground. But ofcourse he was still alive. But unlike the earlier firework vaporizations, thistime the bits of his body stayed where they were, making no move to reassemble.Dio’s head spoke,

“So you were the ‘Angel’, Cars! The only other man who cancontrol White Snake!”

I looked over at White Snake, and it wasn’t looking right.It had a stab wound. Dio had thrust something into it, and that had remainedinside its body. Something shaped like an arrow.

The arrowhead.

Shiobana Haruno had taken a mysterious arrowhead that hadbeen inside Sugimoto Reimi’s body and stabbed it into his own Stand, whichevolved it.

Wounds could grant power. That could happen to Stands aswell. The arrowhead burrowed into White Snake Ultimate, making the wounddeeper.

“Unh…what…did you do?”

Cars asked. Even he didn’t know. Regardless of what Carswanted, White Snake Ultimate’s wound grew deeper and deeper and soon it beganevolving. Like with Pucci’s version, an arrow motif appeared on the Stand’sthree faces and six arms. The arrow was a part of it now, and the Stand’s newpower emerged. Like Pucci’s C Moon, it could control gravity.

“I’ve been down this road before,”

Dio said.

“Enrico Pucci failed me twice, but that only served to leadme to this moment. Everything is agreed upon. The third time’s the charm. Thecircle will be closed. Why? Because I am here.”

The sheer force of his confidence was getting to Cars.

“Not if I have anything to do with it!”

he yelled, and pulled out a Stand with even longer rabbitears than Funny’s. Ultimate D4C.

“Too late,”

Dio said, and Dio’s head and the other eight bits of himfled Cars’ fist, floating through the air. Just like Pucci had levitated offthe deck of Das Boot. Mm? ……oh. I’d just remembered that I still had thepersonalized Stand disc in my head, the version of Das Boot Cars had made forme. I could fight. I didn’t know what Dio was up to, but I wasn’t about to lethim get away with it.

“Das Boot!”

I shouted. Look, by this point yelling your Stand name wasjust how these things worked.

Whoom! A massive submarine appeared, resting on top of myhead. It wasn’t heavy. It had corporeal form only to the extent I needed it to.The only thing it did was prevent me looking up. I popped out the headsetperiscope and locked on to Dio.


Pssht pssht pssht! Cruise missiles shot out of it and headedfor the floating bits of Dio but giant hands slapped them away. Boom bambooooom. Behind the explosions loomed the massive upper body of Antonio Torres,reaching down out of the sky. You again!? I fired some more missiles, butAntonio Torres’ dumb ass knocked them all aside. While that happened the bitsof Dio began rising up, and with him went C Moon Ultimate Requiem, nowcompletely freed from Cars’ control.


I said. But another shadow crossed my periscope. I lookedcloser, and saw the largest version of Narancia’s Das Boot racing upside-downacross the inside of the sky. It was running on the barrier that covered GreatBritain; in other words, on the side of Antonio Torres.


I yelled, and unleashed some cover fire. Antonio Torresknocked all these missiles aside as well, and, as the pieces of Dio got closer,he opened his mouth wide. I knew we couldn’t let him swallow those. Antonio hasswallowed Pucci, too. Inside Antonio’s belly = Outside England, and once Pucciwas there he’d completed his transformation. Narancia’s Das Boot was stillfilling the sky with missiles, but he wasn’t doing any more damage than I was.We were fighting a giant zombie. He was dead to begin with, and it didn’t looklike the exploding missiles were causing him any significant pain. What elsecould we do!? But just before panic really set it, I looked through myperiscope and saw Elizabeth standing on the deck of Das Boot. What was sheplanning? Skirt flying, she ran up the upside-down deck, and leapt off the end.She was hanging from the rhinoceros beetle armor/Antonio Torres’s body by herfingertips alone!

“Ahhhh! Holy shit!”

I shouted but she couldn’t hear me. Instead, she curled herlegs up till her toes were

against the barrier wall, and then began running across itupsidedown. Dear god! Ha ha ha! I couldn’t help laughing out loud. How the hellwas she keeping her skirt from flying up? Before I even got over my excitementshe was dodging Antonio’s giant punches, still upside-down. She had one hand onher muffler and was waving it like she was throwing invisible shuriken so mayshe was unraveling the thread and using that to perform these acrobatics? Shewas like the world’s most graceful Spiderman. It took her no time at all toreach the base of Antonio Torres’ massive belly. Where had Dio got to? He wasstill pretty far from Antonio Torres’ mouth. What was Elizabeth about to do? Ilooked closer, and she took out a pendant with a red stone from her shirtfront, took a tight grip on it, and shouted. Das Boots sonar system was able topick it up for me.

“I am Jorge Joestar’s guardian! I fight to protect thatbeautiful bloodline! You can do this, Lisa Lisa! Yeah! Put everything you gotinto this! Antonio Torres, you were always an idiot! Good-bye! Here we go!Sunset Orange Overdrive!”

Elizabeth put the hand holding the red stone to AntonioTorres’ belly, and opened her hand, pinning the stone between him and her palm.A tremble ran over her. Pshhht! A red firework went off, and a ripple thatactually was the color of sunset ran across Antonio’s translucent belly, aroundhis sides onto his back, over his shoulders and down his arms, up his chest andneck to the top of his head, the ripples building off each other and rollingback and forth. Antonio Torres let out an unholy shriek.


Floating towards him, Dio yelled,

“Don’t scream, you little bitch! Stand your ground andinhale me! Be good for one last thing before you die! Inhale! Stop screamingand take the biggest breath of your life!”

His entire body burning from the red ripples, Antonio triedpursing his trembling lips, but only succeeded in making strangled noises. Nomatter what he did, he couldn’t inhale.

“You worthless shit!”

Dio sceamed.

“Can’t you do anything you’re told!? That’s why nobody everloved you! That’s why they all pushed you away! Your mother peeled your filthyskin off in a desperate attempt to at least love the surface of you! You werealways empty inside, and there was never anything in there that anyone couldlove! I bet even your mother couldn’t believe it at first! Even after shepeeled your god damn skin off she still couldn’t find a single worthwhile thingabout you!”

Antonio Torres was letting out strangled sobs, but try as hemight he couldn’t seem to get any tears flowing.

“If you can’t even take a fucking breath, then die! Die asthe useless piece of shit you were born to be! As a worthless piece of trasheven your mother wished she’d never given birth to! You’re a maggot! The manureleft by the cattle in the barns in the Canary Islands is worth more than youhave ever been! Jorge Joestar’s a complete nincompoop but compared to howunsalvageably dumb you are, he looked almost acceptable!”

“Unhhhhhh aahhh aughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”

“Stop fucking crying you flappy hollow! Put your fuckinglips together and inhale! Do what I fucking say! Breathe in!”

I could hear a steady bam bam bam bam bam of missiles fromNarancia’s direction. I could hear shouting over the speakers, but that wasPenelope.

“Hey! Vampire! Just because he’s a zombie, there’s no excusefor that kind of language! Apologize this instant!”

Some sort of beam shot out of Dio’s eyes, slicing throughall the missiles, and blowing them up. Boom boom boom boom! Dio kept shoutingat Antonio over the explosions.

“Bwa ha ha ha! You spent the last twenty years trying to getback at them and all you did was make them pity you! C’mon! Your pathetic lifeis about to reach its suitably awful, pitiable, pathetic end! Ha ha ha! Youfailed to be of any use to anyone, did nothing for anybody, took nothing foryourself, and will die as useless as

the day you were born! Is that what you want, AntonioTorres!? Are you fine being shredded like your father by the same Hamon bitchwho turned his ass to ash!? Are you happy to die without a single memory ofmanning up and accomplishing anything!? Hey! Antonio Torres! Think! I’m theonly one who ever expected a single god damn thing from you! Are you preparedto leave this world having disappointed me!? To die without once having anyonebe grateful to you, without once having anyone be glad you were born!? Are youOK with that!? Then I was a fool to expect anything from a piece of shit likeyou! I take back anything nice I ever said to you! You are nothing but a stupidworthless meaningless ugly little poison shit! Admit Jorge Joestar was rightall along, that every action you took was wrong, and drop fucking dead!”

“Uuuuuuuuuunghhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Nooooooooo!”

“Then inhale, Antonio Torres!”

“Unnnnhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Ff…fff…haaaaahhhhh!”

“Yes! First, let all the air out…!”


The thousand meter long upper half of Antonio Torres wasturning to rags from the red ripples, and if this pathetic monster had just bea little bit dumber he might have died in time, but as he finally inhaled Diowas pulled up towards him and vanished between Antonio Torres’ puckered lips.The missiles Narancia and I sent after him were too late, and exploded all overAntonio’s face.


The explosions caused a crack in Antonio’s giant head, andhe began crumbling from the crack out.


someone said. I looked sideways. Cars was talking to me.

“Stop attacking. If that zombie dies we won’t be able tosend England back in time. Don’t kill him till this is all over. And Dio isabout to speed up time. If that zombie isn’t there, this island will be leftbehind and vanished when the universe restarts.”

Cars-sempai was absolutely positively correct. Bravo. I hadnever imagined he had the same idea as me about the relationship between timeand consciousness. I took out the pebble phone, but this was originallyNarancias, and since I had it now, that left me with no way to contact him. Ithought a moment and then gave the Das Boot’s radio a shot. It worked! I toldNarancia to knock off the attacks, and as him to make Elizabeth stop, too, andhe didn’t seem to get it but he stopped. He picked up Elizabeth, too. Once shewas back aboard Elizabeth radioed me so I said we had to move Great Britain sowe needed Antonio Torres a little longer and she said,

“Understood. I’ve already given him a fatal level of Hamon,but I can add some resistant Hamon and slow the effects down. It’ll prolongpoor Antonio’s suffering, but…I’ll see if I can do anything about the painhe’s in as well.”

Elizabeth was astonishingly kind to zombies. When I said asmuch she just said,

“No? I’m just trusting you. Because you’re also a JorgeJoestar. I’m in the state of mind to grasp at any straw.”

I wasn’t sure what she meant by that but she didn’t seem tobe inclined to clarify.

“It begins,”

Cars said. I looked up and through the crumbling belly ofAntonio Torres I could see the pieces of Dio and C Moon Ultimate Requiemfloating above the rhinoceros beetle’s armor, and that Stand was stillchanging. Ruptures were appearing all over the surface of it, and as itcrumbled away a horse and rider and clock emerged, a Stand even more fused withthe arrowhead. Made in Heaven Ultimate Requiem. And a second round of sped uptime began…but what for? Next to me, Cars said,

“What waits for us at the end of this?”

The universe repeating on a spiral staircase. And then…? Icouldn’t see the answer. Nothing came to mind at all. But then someone spokebehind me.

“We have a terrifying idea, Jorge Joestar.”

It was Funny and The Funniest but they both

looked white as a sheet.

“An idea?”

“Yes. No…it’s already a certainty,”

Funny said.

“Wait a sec, I’ll check,”

The Funniest said, pulling out a cell phone and trying tocall someone…but he couldn’t get through.


I said.

“That won’t work, but if you use this one from a parallelworld you might be able to get through.”

I handed over the pebble phone, and told him how to use it.Funny clapped his hands and sent The Funniest to a parallel world. He came backa minute later. He just popped his head out from between Funny’s hands, andsaid,

“Yeah, just as we feared.”

Funny nodded, and said,

“We believe Dio Brando is headed for the past beyond thefuture.”

Beyond the dying Antonio Torres, Made in Heaven UltimateRequiem activated, and the sun began to spin around us.

Funny and The Funniest took turns explaining.

“The Valentines have two duties as leaders of the UnitedStates, two duties vital to the prosperity of our homeland.”

“The first is to intervene in the Steel Ball Run, held atthe end of the 19th or beginning of the 20th century.”

“This is like a Valentine family ritual; more or less apractice run.”

“The other is to protect the secret held in the undergroundfacility beneath the Trinity Church in New York, and ensure that no one getsnear it.”

“The second duty is of the utmost importance, and we willstop at nothing to fulfill it, no matter what it costs.”

“Even wars or genocide.”

“That’s why we’re telling you. Needs dictate that we let youin on part of this secret.”

“The underground facility contains the body of a holyman.”

“Whoever possesses this body, whatever group theybelong to, will possess eternal prosperity so long as they maintain control ofthe body.”

“The body was gathered by our ancestor, thirty-five loops ofthe universe ago – the original Funny Valentine.”

“The 23rd President of the United States.”

“And the race where it was collected, thirty-five universesago, was the first Steel Ball Run.”

“There were nine pieces to that holy man’s body, hiddenacross the American continent.”

“Those nine pieces were the head, the eyes, the ears, thespine, the torso, the heart, the right arm, the left arm, and the legs.”

“Exactly the pieces that Dio was just broken into.”

As the universe ended and began again repeatedly, Funnysaid,

“Cars, you placed nine discs in Dio, correct?”

The Funniest said,

“Why is it Dio could not put himself back together after youdid that to him?”

Cars laughed.

“Those were Stand discs, but all nine were blank. However,they were all made by me, and the parameters were set to my own body. For ahuman, or even a vampire, the rule is one Stand per person. Even with blankdiscs his body tried to accommodate the new Stands, was unable to fit them inthe space that originally held his Stand, and tried to compensate by splittinghim into nice pieces.”


“Any life form’s capacity is somewhat flexible, but limitedby nature. Vampire may be immortal like me but there is a massive differencebetween our capacities, and our abilities. Only I can truly call myself theUltimate Being. And only I can actually handle

the Stands I make. The automobiles you drive don’t run onjust any fuel, do they? Dio Brando has attempted to accommodate that fuel byaltering his own body, by splitting himself into pieces. And until the shock ofthat wears off, he’ll remain that way.”

“I see…!”

“I see…!”

“It isn’t just the number of parts and the types ofparts that match. The head of this holy man’s body has a crown of thorns,”

The Funniest explained.

“There are holes in the palms of each hand, and through eachfoot,”

said Funny.

“These were believed to be stigmata, but perhaps we weremistaken.”

“You saw it, too? Dio’s head had a crown of thorns, and hehad holes in his hands and feet.”

“Dio’s crown of thorns was a Stand, and if the holes in hishands and feet were not caused by crucifixion, but by some other injury…”

“Then we have made a terrible mistake. And all of this was plannedso that we would make that mistake!”

“Dio is not a holy man.”

“The polar opposite of one. Like Cars said, there is littleto him but self-love and deceit.”

“And if Dio is that body…then at the least we must rethinkwhat we have put our faith in, and this secret becomes all the more urgent.”

“And we have just verified one last thing. My wife, Scarlet,told me that the underground facility beneath the Trinity Church is long sinceempty.”


“The doors that can only be opened from the inside,were standing open, with no signs of tampering.”

“Good lord.”

“And we have no way of knowing when this happened. Thatfacility has always been there. Even as the universe renewed itself, itremained.”

“The holy man is a singularity.”

“But that holy man is gone.”

“And he was never holy. He was Dio Brando. At this point allwe can do is abandon hope.”


“Look! The sped up time is coming to an end.”

The speed of the strobing sky was growing gentler. Theblinding light and pitch darkness of the universe ending and beginning hadpassed, and we were down to the stars and moon and sun spinning around us.

“Jorge Joestar, you appear to be standing there in a daze,but were you counting the universes?”

“How many was it?”


I said.


“Check and see. Thirty-seven loops should have brought usback to the time we started in.”

The sunset sky. American fighters scrambling overhead. Inthe distance, stuck to the outside of the rhinoceros beetle’s armor on hisfrog-like Stand was this era’s Funny Valentine. He was still there.

Seriously, god damn. The Funniest’s grandfather, this other‘Funny Valentine’, had clung so closely to the rhinoceros beetle’s armor, tothe inside of Antonio Torres’ stomach, that like a tick or a parasite, hebecame part of Antonio Torres, and had ridden out the

sped up time. Exposing his flesh to thirty-six deaths andbirths of the universe. What had that been like?

Elizabeth and Narancia’s Das Boot were still hanging upsidedown from the sky next to the dying torso of Antonio Torres, and I had themcheck our current place and time. The island of Great Britain had come ashorein America, and right in front of us…well, right underfoot…was ManhattanIsland. The Funniest went to Funny’s parallel world and used the pebble phoneto make another call. When he got through to the First Lady, Scarlet, she wasin a panic.

“Are you OK!? What on earth is happening on that island!?”

Apparently Great Britain had vanished and then reappeared afew seconds later. After answering a flurry of detailed questions, The Funniesthung up and turned towards us.

“We’re back to July 24th, 2012, the same one we left.”

Funny nodded.

“In other words, we passed through thirtyseven universes andlooped back to our world.”

“Which means the universe I was born in is the world’s finaluniverse…”

The Funniest paused, and looked at Cars.

“And the one you come from is the first.”

Cars grinned back, but said nothing.

“And Dio Brando has closed the loop, with himself cast as aholy man who brings prosperity. He’s taken the napkins from the banquet table,”

Funny said. Whatever the fuck that meant.

I looked up. Made in Heaven Ultimate Requiem was floatingout beyond Antonio Torres, but there was no sign of Dio Brando.

“I can’t see him, but is Dio Brando still up there?”

“No, he’s gone,”

Cars said, breaking his silence.

“How do you know?”

“That was my Stand originally, you know? It’s still out ofmy control, but that effect is fading. Dio’s gone, and the job he had for it isover.”

“…so you’ll be able to use that Stand again?”

“There is nothing I can or cannot do.”


“I see,”

The Funniest said.

“Then we can use that Stand to speed time up again and go tothe universe where Dio is. If only we knew where…or when…that is.”

“We know that,”

Cars said.

“My Stand remembers when Dio left it. One universe afterthis one.”

Funny thought for a moment.

“Then we can use the Stand above us to speed up time andcatch up to Dio?”

“Yes. But why would we do that?”


“To kill Dio Brando, who has now become this ‘holy man’?”

Cars grinned.

“But this ‘holy man’ has granted you ‘prosperity’. And youhave fought to protect that.”


The Funniest said.

“Can we really let him get away with this?”

Funny added,

“Perhaps our decision to honor him has led to a great manyof the evils in this world.”

“Heh heh heh,”

Cars sneered.

“So the prosperity your holy man provided was merely amatter of perspective?”



“Then does it matter that the source of your prosperity wasDio Brando? Not like your history changes.”

“No, it changes to a spiral staircase…”

“Only on the universal level,”

Cars said, dismissively.

“I’m speaking on the world level. This world is a string ofthirty-seven

universes, which form a loop. If you look at each universe,then a similar but distinct history repeats itself thirty-seven times, and thenthe exact same thirty-seven histories happen again.”

Neither Valentine had anything more to say, so I spoke up.

“So catching up to him by speeding up time is no good. Youcan’t change history by following the axle of time. If you want to changehistory you can’t chase him to the future, you gotta go back and fix things.That’s just how time works.”

Cars laughed. A happy, excited laugh.

“Ha ha ha! What’s the difference between going forwards andbackwards in time?”

“…I dunno? But consciousness and space time are closelyintertwined. The power of human consciousness…even Stands are not just like,weapons we pick up, but a power we make inside ourselves. And they can be sostrong they control the flow of time in the entire universe! Sure, that mightbe an extreme example, maybe even a power so great only one person in all ofrecorded history has wielded anything like it, but even with more modestpowers, even the most ordinary people have wills of their own, and, weak thoughit may be, they have a similar power. So like, if everyone on an island withlots of people living on it like Great Britain thinks about turning back timeor denies a fact of history then it will have an effect, right?”

I really had no basis for this, or I sort of did but Icouldn’t explain it logically and I’d never tried to tell anyone about anythinglike this. It was really awkward. But I was pretty sure I was right.

“Ha ha!”

Cars laughed merrily.

“A curse, is it?”

he said. That was pretty similar, really. But he went on,

“Hmph, but if we are to go back, how would we do it? We havea way to go forward, but have you thought of a way to get back?”


“I’d really like if we could go to the Arrow Cross

House in Morioh – actually it’s the Cube House now – but wecan’t access Morioh right now and the Cube House has no windows or doors and isjust walls so you can’t get in or out…and the way the Cube House time traveldevice works is sort of weird to operate so I’m not sure we could get to thetime we wanted to.”


“So… I’m not sure, but I do have one thing worth trying.”

“? And…? Spit it out.”

“OK. You’ve heard of the Bermuda Triangle?”

Cars, naturally, had no knowledge of human legends. I gave hima quick run down and told him how Tsukumojuku had come from the BermudaTriangle in 1904 to Nishi Akatsuki in 2012, how our two world maps compared,and how the Bermuda Triangle in 2012 overlapped what was now Nishi Akatsuki in1904. As I did I realized,

“Are those the two Singularities? Nishi Akatsuki and theBermuda Triangle.”

Cars grinned.

“Anyone who doesn’t notice that will never be able to get toHeaven.”

Once again I was impressed by Cars’ ability to absorb newthings.

“But what is this ‘Heaven’?”

he asked.


“I’m aware that humans have concepts like the afterlife, thenext world, heaven, and hell, but is the heaven referred to in those beliefsthe same as the ‘Heaven’ we’re talking about now?”


“I know that humans consider ‘Heaven’ a relaxing place. Butdid that apply to the Heaven Enrico Pucci was searching for? Dio used him andhe wound up dying somewhere, right? And ‘Heaven’ comes from the message thatgot Enrico Pucci going in the first place. Who made that message and sent it toEnrico Pucci?”

In the air above Cape Canaveral in July 1999 was… Carsdidn’t wait for me to answer.

“And what happened to

the detective who came through this Bermuda Triangle?”

He died. Right after he got to Morioh. Buccellati had saidhe was killed by Antonio Torres. Cars had read my memories on the spaceship,but he had no way of know that the mystery in the Cube House had been solved,and yet he said,

“Antonio Torres is a zombie. Zombies are nothing but minionsfor vampires. They are made by vampires, and do everything for them. Is it acoincidence that out of the four rhinoceros beetles, only Great Britain hasarmor mixed with Antonio Torres so that people can get in and out? Like EnricoPucci, that man,”

he glanced at The Funniest, who cowered.

“And of course, the nine pieces of Dio Brando.”

And we couldn’t kill Antonio Torres. It was like GreatBritain was held hostage.

“And look,”

Cars pointed to a photograph Narancia had sent to the pebblephone.

“The modern Bermuda Triangle is right in front of whereGreat Britain is, outside Manhattan Island’s armor.”

Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty stood.

“But this Bermuda Triangle is also very close to the TrinityChurch on Manhattan Island. And they just checked the facility underneath thatchurch and found the body of the holy man was gone. They don’t know when itvanished, but it might not have been somewhere in the last thirty-six historiesof the universe; it might have been just a few moments ago. Thirty-sixuniverses ago the Bermuda Triangle and Manhattan were on the same continent,but  quite far apart. Now they’ve movedvery close together, and only the Bermuda Triangle is exposed…doesn’t thatworry you at all? Can’t you feel the vampire’s unconscious glee as he waits foryou to plunge into the trap he prepared? My point is, no matter how you look atit, out current situation is far too convenient.”

I was too busy beating myself up to answer and there was noneed to answer. He wasn’t asking. He was ripping me apart.

Why is it humans choose to blind themselves the momentthings cease to make sense? Cars had said that to Pucci, but I was guilty ofthe same thing. Even as I’d attempted to go against the man who’d inventedHeaven, I’d gotten excited about a miracle that same man had prepared. I’dgotten obsessed with poking at the puzzle Pucci had solved. Even though thatpuzzle itself was worth refuting.

“I’m loath to admit it,”

Cars said.

“But at the moment this is all proceeding according to DioBrando’s plan.”

It certainly was.

“It won’t be easy pulling one over on him. That crown ofthorns allows him to know the future accurately, in great detail, and for along time to come. How do you plan to pull one over on him, to catch him bysurprise? Think on that, Detective.”


“Who is capable of surprising him? Who has already taken himby surprise?”

When I was dragged into Valentine’s palms, he’d said,

“What the fuck…!?”

There was real surprise on his face.

I raised a hand.

“Me. I can surprise Dio.”

Then Cars asked,

“Why can you do that?”

And the second singularity is you, Jorge Joestar.

Those were Funny Valentine’s words, but it wasn’t because

I was a Singularity. I’d chosen to forget that idea.

You are born only once in this world, and there is noreplacement for you in any other universe, or in any parallel world.

He’d said that, but I had no way of verifying that, noreason to believe it. At the time, Funny Valentine was busy fighting Cars. Therewere things I found believable about his message, but at the moment, I didn’tneed to buy into it. And yet, I was still special. Why? Dio’s scream whenBeyond stood behind him.

My blood calls to blood, and thus I know! I am the king ofthe world! I rule everything!

If the crown of thorns’ range was limited to hisblood…then

“Because I’m adopted,”

I said.

I never dreamed having no blood relation to my parents wouldever be a weapon. And only someone with a Beyond could defeat someone with aBeyond.

“That’s right,”

Cars said.

“I myself haven’t let that vampire drink my blood, but itseems he ate another ‘me’, and that ‘life’ counts as me. He might well havesome idea what I’ll do. So we must rely on you.”


I never dreamed Cars-sempai would speak to me that


“So, figure out how to get back to the past and pullthe rug out from under Dio.”

“…wait, though, it isn’t that…I mean, even when Istepped in Dio still had us dancing on the palm of his hand.”

“Certainly, that vampire has a mysterious power, and anunusual drive. But you’ve been in your share of perilous situations andsurvived.”

“Yeah, but you’re a smart guy, Cars. It doesn’t have to beme, does it? If I hadn’t gone to that parallel world with you…if you hadn’tpulled me after you, what would you have done?”

“The point of Valentine’s plan was to overlap the parallelworlds. In other words, one layer wasn’t enough. Because even though there’sonly one Stand per person, in the next universe someone with that same Standmight appear. The two Valentines prove that. And I can survive multipleuniverses, in this world or a parallel one. I would have sought out a StandMaster in that world, one who had the same Stand. And I would have found them.And I’d have used that Stand to return to the world I began in. I know that onemore pass through history will lead to a world made of thirty-seven universes,so if I just wait long enough, I’ll be able to return to same universe andtime. Even if I couldn’t find the Stand I needed if I wait through thirty-sevenuniverses I could go to where another ‘Valentine’ would send another ‘me’ here,and get back to the world I came from.”

Maaan, ultimate beings sure were ready to play the long,long, long game.

“But if you did that, you and the other Cars would coexist,creating a paradox.”

“That applies to the real world as well. No such paradox wascreated. Perhaps your intervention was inevitable, but I’m sure I would havethought of some means of escaping.”




“How do we outmaneuver Dio?”

Don’t rush me, I thought, but I had already outmaneuveredDio once, right? When I brought us back from the parallel world.

“Um, OK…but…?”

I said.

“Spit it out.”

“I only know one Stand that goes back in time.”


“Could Kira Yoshikage’s Killer Queen’s Bites the Dust helpus out here?”

That only took people back an our. But Cars grinned at me.

“Explosions are hardly a threat to me.”

“Whaaaat? But we’re trying to get back thirty-six universesago!”

“Time is also not a problem for me.”

Kira Yoshikage from the parallel world was no use. If Bitesthe Dust activated Kira alone would be moved to the past of that parallelworld, which wasn’t the past we needed. It had to be the real world KiraYoshikage…!

“But Kira Yoshikage is dead. In Morioh,”

I said.

“This idea is impossible on the face of it.”

“No, he isn’t dead,”

Cars said.

“Hunh? No, he’s dead, Pucci killed him.”

“There is no need to believe Enrico Pucci.”

“Hunnnh? But they found a lot of evidence…”

“They found it. You didn’t. You’re the detective here.”

“Right, but even in the parallel world Kawajiri Kosaku wasKira Yoshikage.”

“No. Kawajiri Kosaku was a bomb.”

“But he confessed…”

You’re right. I’m a serial killer.

Mm? I thought. This was a man tearing up in front of hisfamily. Maybe what he means was that Bites the Dust had killed so man people hemight as well be a serial killer? The fierceness with which he’d made hisfamily run might well have been true love? And Kira Yoshikage had a thing forwomen’s hands. Yet when soup spilled on Kawajiri Shinobu’s hand and she’d said,Ow! What’s going on!? Kawajiri Kosaku hadn’t shown any interest in the burnedhand and yelled, Just get out! I didn’t remember if Kawajiri Shinobu hadbeautiful hands and hadn’t checked in the first place, and maybe his wife andhis victims weren’t the same to him but I felt like a fetish like that washarder to conceal in the spur of the moment…my experience as a detectiveagreed.

“Kawajiri Kosaku wasn’t Kira Yoshikage.”

Cars nodded.

“I knew that right away, even in that parallel world. Hedidn’t smell of blood at all, see. No matter how obsessed with cleanliness ahuman is, their senses only tell them so much, and to begin with washingdoesn’t really get blood off, it just lets you feel like it has.”

“Uh, then you knew then?”

“Yes. But our goal was to activate the bomb.”


“? Why are you hung up on the fake man from the parallelworld?”

Cars was lost. I was glad Kawajiri Kosaku hadn’t died. I wasglad he’d kept his family from harm. That Kawajiri’s suffering hadn’t ended,and he’d had to go through that last hour again, but if we caught the

real Kira Yoshikage and made him lift Bites the Dust thenhistory here would have an influence on that parallel world as well. Andhopefully that would free that Kawajiri Kosaku. So how could we find KiraYoshikage? That hand fetishist… If Kawajiri Kosaku had been Kira Yoshikage hewould have worried about his wife’s hands, I thought. And Buccellati had toldme what Kawajiri Shinobu did for a living. An election official. If she was aJapanese election official then had she worked in one of those electionloudspeaker trucks? She was still young and attractive. People in those truckswore white gloves and waved out the windows. That would attract attention, andeven with your hand out the window all day long you wouldn’t get sunburned withgloves on. Kira Yoshikage would consider that a relief, I thought. Um? A jobwith lots of young, beautiful women wearing gloves… an election office. TheMorioh Mayor’s campaign. Shishimaru Denta and Kumoi Takumi. The current mayor,Shishimaru Denta, had a male secretary. But when Shishimaru stood withBuccellati at Budogaoka Academy, his face swollen, the secretary was nowhere tobe found. I could say with confidence that no secretary would hand a politicianover to the mob. Quite the opposite; secretaries would put themselves on theline for the politicians. There should have been a secretary standing with him,his face even more swollen, and he would take all questions for Shishimaru, andnever let the man answer himself. So where had his secretary gone? I couldn’tremember what the man looked like. He’d been so plain looking. Plain in ahandsome way, but a man who’s job appeared to be trying not to stand out.

I called Buccellati in Morioh from Funny’s parallel world,

and quickly explained that Kawajiri Kosaku was a fake and wehad to find Kira Yoshikage again, but Buccellati said,

“Sure, but we’re trapped in here and can’t move.”

“But there are still detectives in Morioh, right? Runbaba 12and Daibakusho Curry. Have them look into it. They know what they’re doing,right?”

They might be a bit eccentric, but still.

“So I have an idea, but first one question. The guy who diedin Kira Yoshikage’s place, Kawaijiri Kosaku…he had a wife, Shinobu. She wasan election official, right?”

“Mm? Yeah.”

“Which side was she working for?”

“Shishimaru Denta.”

“Do you know his secretary’s name?”

“Hold on…yes, we do. Kunimido Chien.”

Ah ha.

“Then check him out.”

Then I called Narancia and had him bring Penelope down here.

“Sure, but you’d better not fucking scare her!”

Narancia said. Apparently she’d won him over. When Penelopereached ground level she took one look at Cars and the Valentines and froze.Oops, guess that was a bit intimidating.

“Penelope, over here!”

I said, but she didn’t budge.

“No! I’m scared! How can you make a girl come to a placelike this?”

“A girl…how old are you again, Penelope?”

“Don’t ever ask a girl her age!”

Yeah, yeah. But I needed her to do me a favor.

“Just get out of there!”

she said. I was talking to her with just my face poking outfrom between Funny’s palms. I shook my head.

“I gotta be in here or the phone won’t work.”

While I was explaining my idea to Penelope Buccellati calledback.

“We found him! You were right, Kunimido Chien is our man!The real Kira Yoshikage at last! He blew several detectives up. We also found abachelor he was about to kill in the basement of that

man’s home. He’s on the brink of death, seems like he wasbadly tortured, but he’s still alive. We’re headed to join the chase now!”

“Hunh? You are? You can get out of Cube House now?”

“No! The Cube House itself is moving! Ha ha ha! The entirehouse is rolling like a die! It’s crazy, but kinda awesome! I’ll call you back.”

I had Cars bring Made in Heaven Ultimate Requiem down, andwhile he was doing that Buccellati called again.

“Shit! Damn it! We caught Kunimido Chien but the man he wastorturing…that sack of shit! It was Jorge Joestar! He fucked up his face andbody and he’s dead! He’s fucking dead! God fucking dammit! We’re gonna fuckingkill Kunimido Chien!”

I took a deep breath.

“You can’t. Absolutely do not kill Kunimido Chien. I needyou to drop him and Antonio Torres through the hole in the Cube House.”

“What!? You want us to let him escape through time!?”

“Don’t worry. I think the Cube House’s time travel deviceisn’t for the person falling. If it was, Tsukumojuku wouldn’t have died. Or‘Jorge Joestar’. Or Shiobana Haruno…Giorno Giovanna would have come back inone piece as well.”

That device took the person falling and sent them to helpsomeone in the world. I was sure of it. And we needed him most of all rightnow. He would be most useful to us.


“Check with Sugimoto Reimi. Oh, and…Buccellati. I promisewe’ll cause Kunimido Chien more pain than a simple lynching ever could.”

I felt like I’d become a gangster myself. But ‘JorgeJoestar’ was dead? What should I do with that information? Tell Penelope? TellElizabeth? Send word to Grandma

Erina? I had to do all of those things. But I couldn’t now.Penelope would go out of her mind. She’d kill the shit out of Kunimido Chien. Imean, the lady had turned Antonio Torres into a giant wall covering all ofEngland when she thought he’d killed Jorge. She thought he was still alive inthe future for now, but I couldn’t begin to predict what she’d do if she foundout he’d died after all. At any rate, Made in Heaven Ultimate Requiem made itsafely through Antonio Torres’ throat, was spat out into the sky above us, andthen Cars guided it back down to our level just as Kunimido Chien and AntonioTorres appeared out of thin air next to the fountain. I’d been consideringpunching him on sight, but clearly the gangsters hadn’t been able to resistbeating the shit out of him before they dropped Kunimido Chien/Kira Yoshikagethrough the hole to Piccadilly Circus. It looked like we wouldn’t even need tohave Cars use The World Ultimate to stop time. He was a fastidious looking,handsome man.

“Ever heard of Dio Brando?”

I asked. If he hadn’t, I couldn’t see why a hand lovingwoman killing pervert would suddenly turn around and torture ‘Jorge Joestar’ todeath.

“All I want,”

Kira said.

“Is to live a quiet life. The only reason I ever set offthese deafening bombs is so that I can have that quiet life. But what am I todo when people come after me that won’t be silenced by a bomb or two? Whensomeone shows up that I will never be able to get away from? I do what I must.Killing one man is a small price to pay. If I clean and wash and disinfect thedirt will come off.”

Now what, I thought. But behind me Cars spoke,

“You fool. Like I keep saying, the way you do things you’llnever get rid of the blood or their bodily fluids. Humans aren’t nearlysensitive enough to blood. That’s why you’re so weak. You don’t even know thisis here, do you?”

Cars reached out his hand, touched the tip just to justbelow Kira Yoshikage’s lips, just above the chin. He showed his

finger tip to Kira Yoshikage, but there was nothing we couldsee on it.

“Even this trace amount of blood harbors life. Especially ifthe owner wants to haunt you, and is desperate to live. Have you ever seen theshape of life? No matter how much water you use, you can never wash the bloodaway.”

Some round, transparent thing swelled up from Cars’fingertip, and soon became the head of a young woman, dangling upside-down fromhis finger, staring at Kira Yoshikage. Not glaring, no sign of rage…juststaring.

“You kill with sudden explosions so she doesn’t know she’sdead or how,”

Cars said.

“They’re all like that. They’ve got so little blood leftthey can’t do anything to you, but they’re all watching you.”

The woman’s head dangling from his finger, Cars reached outand touched Kira Yoshikage. The head attached itself to Kira’s abdomen, andaround it more bubbles formed, and as they grew more formed around them.


Kira Yoshikage shrieked, and tried to shake and brush theheads off him, but they just kept increasing in number. Since the heads weretransparent I could still make him out at first, but soon there were so manythey completely buried him. Kira Yoshikage had turned into a writhing pile ofhuman heads.

“Auuuuuughhhh! Auuuuuuuuughhhhhh!”

All we could hear was the screams coming from inside. Intime, they grew fainter, and stopped.

“Make sure he doesn’t die of shock,”

I said.

“Heh heh heh, you are no judge of human limits. Human bodiesare weak, but their minds are strong. Look at these dead women. Traces of bloodfar less than a drop still harbor this much life.”

“Yeah. But I just feel sorry for them. I can’t watch this.”

“I see.”

Cars reached out his hand, touched the side of the 5m longhuman head grapevine, and the women’s heads shrank and were gone. KiraYoshikage came back into view. I stepped closer to check

on him, and his eyes were hollow, and he was muttering underhis breath, and for a moment I was glad to see him still alive and then I heardwhat he was saying.

“Filth. Filth. Gotta throw these clothes away. Got to alwayswear new clothes, never old ones. Filth. My nails must be filthy. Got to throwthem out. There must be stuff left under my nails from when I touched thegirls. Filth. Filthy nails. Gotta peel them off. Peel off all my nails. Grownew nails. Oh, my skin’s filthy, too. My skin is filthy. Can’t bear it. Gottatake it off. Take my skin and these clothes off. Peel it off. Peel my skin andmy nails off. Grow new skin.”

Grow new skin. Like Antonio Torres? Would Kira Yoshikage endup like him, able to replace his skin and nails at incredible speeds? Peel themoff whenever? I shuddered, but this was entirely possible. Wounds. Perhapshuman minds were as strong as Cars said. I had to settle this before he gaineda new power from the suffering he’d just endured.

“Cars, let’s go.”


I spoke to Kira.

“Good and evil, divine and demonic, right and wrong…I havealways believed there are shades of gray to all things, and I think I’m rightabout that. Even you…are not entirely evil. You see, you’re going to dosomething for us that only you can do, and that will save the world. Be that asit may, I believe this world is mostly good, and will continue to condemn evilas I see it. Because this world’s scale leans safely on the side of good,people like me can go around saying shit like, ‘There is no absolute good orevil’ and sound reasonable. So I’m grateful to you. Thank you for

saving the world, Kira Yoshikage. Good-bye.”

Cars crouched down next to Kira.

“From here is our little rendezvous. We’ll be together forall of this.”

But rather than help Kira Yoshikage up, Cars pulled KillerQueen out of him. It was a humanoid Stand with a smooth, cat-like face. It tooka swing at Cars, but he didn’t care.

“Go ahead and give it a try.”

Killer Queen blew Cars up.

“Wait…too close!”

Kira said, but Killer Queen pressed the switch anyway. Boom!Cars swelled up a bit and flames erupted from cracks in his skin, but they diedas soon as they began and he was back to normal. Killer Queen’s face was devoidof expression, but it had clearly not expected that.

“Keep going until you get it,”

Cars said, and Killer Queen hit the switch again, and again,and was clearly making the bombs bigger each time trying to blow Cars up, butboom, bang, ka-boom, all the explosions were contained entirely inside Cars. Hejust let a little flame or backdraft out and was fine. At last he said,

“Get it now?”

and the explosions stopped.

“Unh…what are you doing, Killer Queen!? Kill him!”

Kira snarled.

“The fact that you still haven’t given up is the differencebetween your life and your ability. The answer to that equation is the hopelesssituation you find yourself in, and the pathetic line you just uttered. Hmph.You wish your Stand to solve everything for you while you lie there and take iteasy?”

“N…no, I…!”

“I wouldn’t even qualify that as trying to live. You’re justbeing lazy, and pushing your problems onto others. A quiet life? If by anychance you manage to achieve that for a single moment it won’t be because ofanything you did. It will be purely because of the talent you were born with,that you happened to ride out. You

yourself and your talent are separate things, understand?You are but a fool trying to take the easy way out.”


“Heh, all you can do is grunt? And even that is because youpersist in trying to protect your tedious pride. Even though you long sincegave up on trying to protect your talent. Heh heh heh. I see right through you.Deep down in your heart, you’re envious of that talent. You’re annoyed itexists. You want to believe you’re this amazing person, but what actually getsresults is the one standing next to you. This is the inherent sin of allStands. They take human forms, stand right beside you, and prove that yourpersonality and talent are unrelated.”


Having brow-beaten Kira into silence, Cars turned back toKiller Queen.

“It seems your Master’s vanity had left him immobile. So letme ask you. Set one of those bombs that turn back time on your Master.”

Killer Queen stared at Cars, and then went back inside Kira.

“Stop…! How can you listen to him…!”

Kira said, but Killer Queen ignored him, vanishing fromview.

“You are now a bomb,”

Cars said. He picked Kira up.

“Come, Stand Master. Once again, you survive…all becauseyour talent is distinct from you. Pampered humans are but so much baggage.”

The abuse had Kira shaking, tears in his eyes, but Cars justgrabbed him bodily, sprouted wings, and took off towards the sky. He wasbeautiful. If only I had wings! I thought, but they wouldn’t look half as goodon me, so I figured I was better off without. As Cars wheeled above us, FunnyValentine called up to him.

“Wait, Cars! Let me do what I can to ease your burden! Suchas it is.”


Cars said.

“We know the approximate date that the pieces of the holy

man were gathered and hidden in Trinity Church. This occurredin the second universe – in other words, thirty-five universes ago – on January19th, 1891, at 4:30 PM. Right after the finish for the first ever Steel BallRun!”


“That’s one less universe you have to turn back, and thatmuch less time you have to search through!”

“…ha ha ha! I spent thousands of years in Europe, but yourAmerican jokes aren’t half bad, either!”

“Heh heh.”

“I thank you then, Funny Valentine. If you want off theship, do so now.”

And with that Cars, flew higher, and with Killer Queen byhis side, flew through Antonio Torres’ half-dead mouth, and out of therhinoceros beetle’s armor.

“So the world is going to be saved by a serial killer andthe ultimate being,”

Elizabeth said, coming up next to me.

“But he’d better hurry. Antonio Torres will die any moment.”

“Yes. But he’ll be in time.”

I had faith in Beyond, and we had Penelope and the originalAntonio Torres here, as well as Made in Heaven Ultimate Requiem. I’d askedPenelope to make repairs to Antonio Torres. We’d put Made in Heaven UltimateRequiem in Antonio Torres, speeding his time up so he was spitting out a ton ofnew Antonio Torres, which were inhaled into the dying one. The new ones wouldeventually die with him, but this would prolong that. Penelope was not a fan ofthis gruesome task, and I’d had to work pretty hard to persuade her. She didn’treally seem to get the purpose of it, but had eventually bought into mydesperation.

“Ha ha. It’ll all be fine.”

“You know,”

Elizabeth said.

“Your face and personality are nothing like him, but somehowyou remind me of my Jorge. You’re a lot alike.”

“Thank you?”

“Heh heh heh. My Jorge would have said the exact same thingin that exact same tone of voice.”

I wondered if I should tell her that ‘Jorge Joestar’ wasdead. She still believed he was alive. But I didn’t want to upset her now.Although that might not be best for her in the long run.

“Oh, looks like they’ve started,”

Elizabeth said, eyes on the sky. I looked up. Outside GreatBritain, time was going backwards an hour at a time. Pop. Popop. Popopopopopop.The speed quickly grew faster, and smoother. The moon and sun rose backwardsacross the sky, and fell. The speed grew even faster. Which meant Cars wasmaking Kira’s Bites the Dust blow him up more often. And each explosion tookhim back an hour, and Cars was planning on doing this until he went backthirty-five universes from now. Once the repairs to the armor Penelope wasmaking were good enough we could put Made in Heaven Ultimate Requiem in Carsand make that hour shorter…but that would only shrink his perception of theexplosion, not the number of explosions needed. And Cars had agreed to do thatall himself. For who? Cars didn’t actually have a reason to do this. Thisthought almost made me cry. That man was sacrificing so much.


Elizabeth said. I wiped my tears.

“This adventure’s almost over.”

The helicopter with The Funniest aboard rushed throughAntonio’s mouth, out of the armor, waved at Cars, and flew off, headed tosomewhere in America.

Trinity Church was located at 79 Broadway, New York, with anentrance on Wall Street. It was built in 1696, and rebuilt in the

current gothic style in 1846. Funny Valentine led us to thesecret underground facility beneath it. NYPD Blue accompanied us. As GreatBritain went back in time, Morioh got its legs under it and turned back over,and the phones started working again, but when I explained my plan over thepebble phone NYPD Blue insisted that Manhattan Island was his territory anddragged Nijimura Fukashigi here through the hole in the Cube House. So he couldmake himself useful. From the road nearby we could hear cheers and peoplecalling

“President Valentine”. The sky above lower Manhattanwas filled with confetti, drifting down on us. Until a moment ago we’d heardloud booming noises, but that was Cars, above us, enjoying Killer Queen Bitesthe Dust’s explosions. He’d released the power now. With real fireworks goingoff instead, we passed through the back gate, went around the back of thecemetery, and into a shelter disguised as a crypt. The door was already open,and there was a girl sitting on the floor inside, trembling and crying. Therewas a headless corpse at her feet. The corpse was dressed like a jockey, inriding boots. This was this universe’s Dio Brando. I had no idea how he’d endedup like this. And on the corpse’s back was the Dio Brando who’d been born inthe first universe, become a vampire, become an ultimate being thirty-sixuniverses later, had his body broken to pieces and then gone forward two moreuniverses as just a head looking for a new body. There was a table behind Dioand the girl, and a different, mummified corpse lying on it. This corpse hadholes in its hands and feet, and on its head you could just barely see thecrown of thrones. The body of the holy man, the secret purpose of the SteelBall Run. All brought together here; all that remained was to close the door.It had all just begun.

“Heh heh heh…I thank you, Lucy Steel!”

Dio said.

“Because your womb held the head of the holy man I was ableto reach this spot without anyone suspecting the truth, and now I can reclaimmy body!”

I didn’t know what he meant by all of that, but the situationwas clear enough. Except for the head, eight of the nine body parts were‘Ultimate Being’ Dio’s body. That was fine. From what he’d just said, a headbelonging to no holy man was here, too, but that was likely a miracle. Onebrought about not by Dio, but by the man who stood behind him, the long-haired,wounded man with the crown of thorns. From the cut on Dio’s head, tubesemerged…blood vessels, I assumed. They writhed like he was a jellyfish oroctopus, pulling him across the table towards the body.

“When I get my body back, Dio’s eternal rule will begin! Haha ha ha ha!”

And now it was our turn.

“You never did know how to treat girls, Dio,”

Erina Joestar said, stepping out of the shadows.

“’My body, my body’. When are you going to accept the facts andlearn some self-control?”

Penelope was by her side; she’d gone to fetch Erina fromWastewood. I’d loaned the Das Boot disc in my head to her to make the trip, andit was back in my head now. Erina went on,

“Can you still say that with me here, Dio Brando?”


Dio was momentarily surprised by her arrival, but soon gothis smirk back.

“It has been a while, Erina Pendleton. This does bring backmemories…of our time together on that box raft.”

Erina smiled.

“Not memories I think of fondly. I doubt you enjoyremembering those events either.”

“Why wouldn’t I? Heh heh heh. Did you truly believe youdefeated me then? Your spirit was indeed impressive! The way you cut your ownthroat! But no, you did not escape me that day. I let you go, certain that thefinal victory would belong to Dio! Because I needed you to continue the Joestarbloodline!”

“So? You planned to be a parasite on my son andgrandson, purely to fulfill your own desires? Such a shallow way of thinking,and yet you actually have the nerve to brag about it. Even your father had thesense to behave himself in front of my father-inlaw.”

“………..! Don’t you dare mention him!”

“You still fly into a rage at the thought of him? All thistime and you’re still trapped by your parent’s curse. You’ve lived more thanlong enough to grow up, but you refuse to take responsibility for anything. Ifyou had the time to steal glimpses of my heir’s lives, you should have spentsome time reflecting on your own life.”

“I have no need of your tedious sermons! Be silent, ErinaJoestar! When I get my body back, I’ll kill you first! You’ve already had yourchild! It’s time for you to make your exit!”

Time for our next guest.

“That child would be my husband,”

Elizabeth Joestar said, stepping out of the darkness. At herbosom was a baby; Joseph Joestar, only a few months old.

“And now that I’ve had a child of my own, is it time for meto make my exit, too?”

Dio could not conceal his surprise. It had been my idea tobring Joseph along. He was not in any danger.

“How…are you mad!? Why would you bring a baby here!?”

Dio roared, so confused he actually spoke sense.

“Heh heh heh, don’t worry,”

Elizabeth said.

“This place is rather dingy, but it will hold a specialplace in the heart of every Joestar.”


And at last it was my turn.

“One important person is still missing,”

Erina said. Elizabeth called my name.

“Jorge, come out!”

I leapt forward.

“Hey hey hey!”

I yelled.

Dio Brando’s jaw dropped.

This was working.

The key to our strategy was catching Dio off guard. With ThePassion, Dio could read most events. But when I intervened, the future changed.And according to Cars, the point at which Dio had left Made in Heaven UltimateRequiemwas one universe before this one, the first of the thirty-sevenuniverses, one morning in Egypt in 1987, right after the vampire double he’dprepared had fought Joseph Joestar and his grandson, Kujo Jotaro, and died.Having faked his death as a vampire, he recovered his Stand. Dio Brando couldread the future with The Passion and use The World Ultimate to stop time so hewas at peak power. And as someone not related to him by blood, it was criticalthat I upend expectations in every way I could think of. At the top of mylungs, I yelled,

“Welcome to the Joestar family reunion! I’m Jorge Joestar,and I’ll be your host today.”

“Jorge Joestar?”

Dio said.


I imagined he was asking how that could be my name when Iwas clearly Japanese, or perhaps more specifically he was questioning the factthat Jonda Joestar had not children, but Elizabeth said,

“Surprise? You had the mafia boss take him from Cube Houseand you turned him into a vampire double and then had his son andgreat-grandson kill him, or at least his body, so how is he here?”

Elizabeth’s ad-libbed deductions caught me off guard. Yeah,that was a simpler explanation, I thought. Far simpler than using a secretchild who was secretly helping him. Having Elizabeth totally nail his originalplan seemed to stun Dio to silence.

Now, I thought, and turned it up a notch.

“Well, there’s a bit of tension in the room so I’d say it’stime for me to perform a special party trick! With mah belly ♡!”

And I yanked my shirt up, exposing my belly. Cars was hidingin my bellybutton, and he jumped out. I still couldn’t believe it had occurredto me to ask Cars to do this, and when Cars had simply agreed to it without asecond’s thought I’d panicked slightly. I even had him say,

“Boo!”, making for the least Cars-like thing he’d eversaid, and quite frankly I’m not entirely sure he had any understanding of quitehow goofy this all was, but in mid-air he got back in character.

“If the world is a loop, you can never get away, Dio Brando.Are you ready to savor despair?”

Yikes, saying shit that might make Dio calm down a little,but we didn’t have time for me to point that out and I didn’t have the nerve inthe first place. Not a problem. I just kept going.

“A big round of applause for our special guest, Cars! Andyou know what that means! Cars’ special self-made ladder! It’s the Ultimate!You’ll never forget it!”

From inside my stomach, Funny Valentine produced sevenparallel world ‘Cars’ and flung them up towards where Cars was floating. Eachhad a Cars version of The World Ultimate, and could stop time, so a latter ofeight ‘Cars’ stretched from my stomach towards the body of the ‘holy man’ buteven when they touched their bodies weren’t destroyed. Dio was so flabbergastedhe forgot to put his own Stand out. Instead, he sputtered,

“Wh-what!? What are you doing!?”

“And time resumes,”

Cars said, and at this signal I started running up the Carsladder. Beneath my legs the ‘Cars’ were knocked into each other, turned intoMenger Sponges, fell apart, and vanished. Bam bam bam bam bam! When my runfinished, Dio’s attention was entirely

on their destruction. As the seven ‘Cars’ crumbled, they gota bit close to the eighth Cars, and when he noticed, he kicked the wall to putsome distance between them. When he did, for an instant I was exposed. I’d beenwaiting for that moment. I’d thought of all kinds of things to say, but whatactually popped out in that moment?

“Dipshit! You’re a disgrace to everyone adopted! Youshould never have fucked with us!”

I have no idea what I meant by that last bit but I said whatI said and had to live with it. Like, I hated that this made it sound like whathe’d done for the reputation of adopted kids was what bothered me about him buttoo late now. As long as I could get that shocked look on his face. Before herecovered from any of these surprises, I landed on the table where the body wasplaced. Right next to the corpse. And the table itself was about the same sizeas the thing that goes in the oven during cremations.

“Wh-what are you doing!? Stop!”

Dio yelled, but Funny handed me a hatchet and I used it tochop the holy man’s head clean off.


Thwack! This wasn’t anyone’s head. It was just asupplemental one, created by a miracle. I got it off in one hit, tossed thehatchet away, and grabbed another head that Funny passed out of my stomach. Thehead Erina Joestar had kept safe all these years, the head of her husband. Thestart of all of this.

Jonathan Joestar’s head.

At last Dio realized what I was doing. He screamed.

“No, no! Stoooooop! That’s my bodyyyyy! I trained it, I madeit the ultimate being! It’s mine! Noooooooooooooo!”

I ignored him, and put Jonathan Joestar’s head right on thefresh cut stump of the mummified ‘holy man’. Jonathan Joestar’s head lookedeven fresher, and it matched the cut perfectly. This was the place where itbelonged, and now it was back. Human bodies had such strong identities, Ithought; all of this was only possible because me and the other ‘Jorge Joestar’and Dio all had Beyonds, but those three Beyonds were actually one. TheTrinity. I turned around and looked right past Dio’s severed head at the faceof his Beyond. It looked a lot like him. Sad, kind eyes. Dio’s Beyond knew thiswas all over. With a smile, it faded out, and was gone.

“Hey, Jorge Joestar! Look!”

Funny said, his head peering out of my belly. I turned tosee Jonathan Joestar’s head fully connected to his body, his eyes open, a lightback in them. Blood pumping back into his head; I could see the life comingback to him. His skin went from being like dried papier-mâché to a healthygleam. To be honest this was all kind of gross.

“Good, it worked!”

I said, backing away. Nobody would mistake this body for acorpse now. I hopped down off the table, and he groaned and sat up. Realizinghe was naked, Erina took off her shawl, and wrapped it around his waist. Hegroaned again, and brushed his hair back out of his eyes. For a moment I couldsee the crown of thorns; the same one Dio Brando had had. The Passion.

“Heh heh heh!”

The man on the table suddenly began laughing, and we allcaught our breaths.


Erina said, worried.

“Heh heh heh…ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”

The man grinned.

“Erina Joestar! When I cut Jonathan’s head off on that boat,did you forget I gave him a little of my blood? At the time, I merely plannedto let Jonathan experience the pain and suffering that lies beyond death…butnow it has allowed me to take full control of his body and his head! I thankyou! Like I’ve said all along, this world belongs to Dio!”

Funny and I were both struck dumb with horror. Elizabeth andCars looked astonished, too. Only Erina looked perfectly calm.

“Oh, come on, Jonathan! First thank the nice people. Really,this is no time for joking around!”

Hunnhhhhhhhhh? Jonathan Joestar’s naked ass broke into abroad, warm smile.

“Ah ha ha ha! Sorry, sorry, couldn’t resist,”

he chuckled.

“I don’t remember anything after I passed out in thatsinking ship; to me it’s as if I just closed my eyes and opened them a momentlater, but at the same time I feel like I’ve had a very long dream. And thatwas sort of an inside joke based on that dream. Right, Dio?”

We all turned at his words, and the jockey’s body on thefloor was standing up, with Dio’s head on its shoulders. He’d managed to gethimself a body after all!


Dio said.

“I am sick to death of the lot of you. Not one good thinghas ever come from associating with any of you.”

And he vanished into the darkness of the stairs behind him.None of us moved to give chase.

“…we sure?”

I said, just to be sure.


Elizabeth said.

“I mean, this is the Joestar family reunion!”

Since I’d met her, there’d been a hint of desperation to herevery expression, but her smile now was bright, open, and totally gorgeous.Tch. ← Mm?

“I’m back, Erina,”

the half-naked man said.

“Welcome back, Jonathan,”

Erina said, tears flooding down her face.

“Sorry I kept you waiting. Thanks for looking after things.”

“No, no…But…but I’m sorry. Jorge…Jorge is…!”

Erina could barely get the words out, and Elizabeth’s smilefaded, but Jonathan looked confused.

“Jorge? Isn’t that Jorge there?”

he said, looking at me.

“He’s the future Jorge Joestar, Jonathan.”

Erina said. I felt super guilty suddenly.


“No, inside him!”

Jonathan had it figured out.

“Um, well…sorry!”

I said, and dropped to my hands and knees for a veryJapanese apology that would almost certainly be completely lost on everyonehere. Just as I did this…


‘Jorge Joestar’ leapt out of the parallel world inside meand banged his head on the concrete, and because of my posture no one but mecould even see him. With my hands and knees on the ground and his head stuckout between my arms I started arguing with ‘Jorge’.

“Ow! What the heck are you doing!?”

“Uh, you know, things got awkward and…”

“Don’t worry, we go big enough it’ll be fine!”

“I super promise you that isn’t true.”

“Just stand the fuck up! Seriously, what are you even doing?”

“Shut up.”

“Oh, wait, I know this! Tsukumojuku told me about it!”


“The Japanese dogeza! Pfft ha ha ha! That’s how you showtotal submission to someone Japanese, right?”


said, shut up!”

Before we could bicker further, psssht! Electricity crackledacross the floor.


I said, and the other ‘Jorge’ yelped too, and my body stoodup on its own and I couldn’t move. Elizabeth was standing in front of us,Joseph in her arms, giving us the devil’s own glare and I had to concentratevery hard to not piss myself and in my belly Jorge went,

“Arrghhrghhrghrgh woah woah woah woah woah I I I I’m gonnaI’m gonna piss myself oh shit I did sorry!”

No! Not inside me!? But I guess that parallel world wasn’tactually inside me but still! Gross!


she said, very calmly.


“What are you doing?”

“Um, well…”

“Get out.”

“Um, sure. But…”


“Kira Yoshikage tortured me pretty bad so everything’s a bitscary right now…”


“So I thought I’d make a nice happy fresh start but, uh…itdidn’t really work out like I planned.”

That was the point I’d been trying to make. We’d figured itwould be a fun surprise and had thoroughly enjoyed planning it but in the heatof the actual moment…well, people picked up on our nervousness and the moodwent south and nothing really worked out. But then Elizabeth said,

“You’re a clumsy, fretful, awkward man so it can’t possiblybe that bad. You’ve always been like this.”

‘Jorge’ looked up.

“Lisa Lisa…”

Elizabeth smiled.

“Now, Jorge. Come on out of there.”


‘Jorge’ scrambled out of me, and Elizabeth knelt down nextto him.

“You’re an idiot, Jorge! Don’t you ever dare die again, forreal or not!”

she said, tears in her eyes. She gave him a kiss, and thatpsssht happened again like he was struck by lightning.


‘Jorge’ said, convulsing. I was freaking out behind him.

“H-Hey, be gentle!”

After all ‘Jorge’ had literally been dead when they’d foundhim in Kunimido Chien’s house in Morioh. But he’d come back to life after theybrought him back to the Cube House and Sugimoto Reimi had started crying andshaking his body. Two full hours after death, a completely impossible turn ofevents, but Reimi said she’d seen a half-translucent ‘Jorge’ flying inside herand I believed her. Somewhere somehow ‘Jorge’ had learned how to remove hissoul, and when Kira Yoshikage got him, he’d separated it from his body and comeback once the torture was over. Because he wasn’t big on pain. When the kisswas over Elizabeth realized ‘Jorge’ was about to pass out and panicked.

“Hunh? What!? Sorry, Jorge, did I use Hamon? I really didn’tmean to, honest! It’s just been so long! I forgot!”

In her arms, Joseph was laughing happily.

“Leave him be, Lisa Lisa,”

Jonathan said.

“He’s a man, he’ll be fine. Ah ha ha ha! That was somefantastic Hamon, though!”

Elizabeth smiled, too.

“Thank you. But I’ve still got a lot to learn. According toMaster Tom Petty, anyway…”

The Joestars all started talking at once, and I realized‘Jorge’ had woken up again but missed his chance to speak. Our eyes met.‘Jorge’ gave me a faint smile, like, ‘Families, eh?’ so I sent him a messageback. ‘Yeah, but they’re yours.’ Well, maybe that didn’t come across in aglance but Jorge winked back at me. Winked!? What was that supposed to mean! Ithought about it for a second and then gave up. He wasn’t exactly someone whoput meaning in every action to begin with, I mean,

look at the timing he chose to come bounding out of me, soodds were he didn’t mean anything in particular by it. Maybe that’s why he wasso popular with the ladies. The place still smelled like blood despite themerriment, but Erina noticed Lucy Steel staring at them.

“Your nightmare’s over,”

she said.

“I’m sure this can’t have been easy for you, but…”

“Erina Pendleton?”

Lucy said, interrupting.

“Yes. That’s my maiden name.”

“Mine, too. I was Lucy Pendleton. Now I’m Lucy Steel.”


“Um…I’m married to someone else, but…it’s important tokeep the faith, isn’t it?”

Erina smiled, and nodded.

“Keeping the faith is the only way to deepen love, to addrichness to it, and to turn love into strength.”


“I’m glad we could meet, Lucy Steel.”

“Me too, Erina Joestar,”

Lucy replied. Tears ran down her checks, but even Lucydidn’t seem to know why. Erina smiled gently at her, and then Jonathan andJorge and Elizabeth and Joseph all came in for a group hug. It was time I wentback to my own family. I looked at Cars, and chuckled at how bored he looked.Oh! of course he did! Perfect.♡♡♡

I left the Joestar family to it and went upstairs. Penelopecame with me. Hunh? I thought, and glanced at her.

“I mean, I live with them and I’m like family but bigchanges are in store for the Joestars now, so I’ve gotta change too. It’s timeI left the nest.”

“It is?”

“Yes. So…what’s everyone else doing?”

“I wanna go back to Morioh!”

Nijimura Fukashigi said. He’d been hiding behind a grave.

“Look, that dude who came running out looked scary.”

Nothing good ever came of running into Dio Brando. For sure.

“Whaaaaat!? But I live here!”

NYPD Blue yelled. He started begging Fukashigi to staylonger, but got talked down.

“OK, OK, OK. I promise I’ll apply to a college here. I’venever been away from Muryotaisu and I’m scared of the whole thing but…it’llbe easier than any of this mess was, and being on my own in a city like thiscould be kinda fun.”


Funny Valentine went back to his own universe.

“I wanted to uncover the secret to America’s prosperity. AndI wanted to protect that secret. And if I’m totally honest I sort of wanted tobe that secret. But I’ve learned my lesson. What makes America great is thepeople who live in it, not anyone lying underground or in the heavens above.And that lesson will be my treasure.”

I hope he becomes a great President. One who spreads joy andpeace to the world, and reduces pain and suffering.

Penelope was interested in Japan.

“I mean, my Stand is in Nishi Akatsuki, right? I should gosee


? Wasn’t this the result before the cause? Nah, I wasn’tgonna argue it. Come!

“And I only ever made it to London! I want an adventure!

They’re a lot harder to start on your own than you’d think.”

Well, that’s what she said at the time but once we got toNishi Akatsuki rather a lot happened and even more crazy stuff happened andthen two years later she married my father, Jonda, and became Penelope Joestar,her registration going from Spain to England to Japan. What the heck. A yearlater they had a kid. A girl! I was totally mad for my new sister. But theynamed her Joeko Joestar. I mean, if you’ve got no ear for it at all don’t tryand give us Japanese-esque names! If we’re gonna be Japanese, we should reallygive up the whole Jojo yoke.

Cars used the exhausted Kira Yoshikage he’d hidden insidehimself to take everyone back to their own universe, and once we were all backhe disappeared, but whenever I met up with people from Morioh or Nero NeroIsland we’d talk about how crazy he was and wonder what he was up to. I didn’tknow. I didn’t need to know. I was sort of scared to know.

Anyway, I kept doing my detective thing in Nishi Akatsukiand finally turned twenty and could change my name. Of course, I went withJorge Joestar for the English spelling. The Japanese name was a littletrickier. I’d tried all sorts of kanji for it but when I actually tried writingthem out they all were a little bit wrong. And then I happened to talk to‘Jorge’ for the first time in a while. At this point he and his wife wereseparated. Apparently almost losing him had made Elizabeth afraid of losing himand

she’d been reluctant to get back together again…officially. I was pretty sure she was just off on some big adventure with Joseph that she wasn’t telling Jorge about. Since he was legally dead in England, he went to America and started working as a screenwriter in Hollywood under the pen name Motorize Jump, waiting for her to come back to him. I think he was rather an idiot but oh well. Anyway, while ‘Jorge’ was complaining endlessly about Tom Petty’s prophecy and what it had done to him and Lisa Lisa, I began to wonder. Maybe I should ask Tom Petty about my name. So I picked up the pebble and called across space time and the result made me think I’d been an idiot to ask anyone from a country without kanji but then I looked at it again and sort of liked it which was bad. It was just super weird from a Japanese perspective. So why did it feel right? Maybe Jonda and I were family after all. Wasn’t sure if that made me happy or sad. I mean, Joestar was always just Jo-suta- in katakana, but using ‘castle’ and ‘character’ for Joji was just madness!


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