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 Thousands of Lights Winking Out

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yanamari

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PostSubject: Thousands of Lights Winking Out   Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:26 am

1922, New York
The night was like day when it all started. Shadows became hard lines as everything lit like flashbulbs, leaving nothing but ash in frozen tableau of a life held just seconds before. What heat or power could cause it left Marven shaking. He had a simple job, one fucking simple job. It wasn't glorious or fascinating, except in the most rare of occasions. But there the toffer worked, flicking over floating rags and tree limbs, digging with the long stick ended with a hook. Death wasn't such a strange thing to a man that worked on cleaning sewers, especially bodies that bloated with bugs that would explode out from a carcass left for weeks in the mire and muck.

But this sort of end was terrible. The air smelled acrid and strange, chemical like that stung the nose and eyes. Tears spilled over his cheeks, making him rub and rub at his eyes, until they itched too painfully to handle. Someone stood over the bent supplicants, bringing a swinging staff down upon the figures.

Marven gasped, his stick falling from limp fingers as the robed figure spoke in harsh strange words. Light glowed from a witchling ball hovering over his head, shadows of his hood concealing his face. Silvery symbols burned on dark fabric around his neck and dragging to the floor, humming like a little engine. "Saints preserve--"

The hood turned, piercing the young sewer man through. His eyes kept tearing, itching, until that vision blinked out in pain. His eyes...what happened to his eyes!? Panic gripped him them, bringing pain to his suddenly dark world, as pained as the scream from the man in robes.

Something happened...there in the sewers...as a pulling of wind began with a high-pitched squeal. Dust and rocks flew about, as if sucking away. He fell back, hands clawing into rancid earth and the nooks and crannies of stone bricks. His mouth opened as screams of fear ripped his throat raw, a sense of hell yawning before him real.

And as sudden, it ended. Complete darkness filled the place, far more so now as his eyes were destroyed by what he saw. Shaking with adrenaline and an experience so close to death, he fumbled around finding his stick embedded into the sewer wall. Somehow, he yanked it free and began the long hard trek to find his way out. Life would never be the same for Marven again...

2013, New York
It had been only four years, but still Marven was amazed every morning he woke up. Somehow, he kept living. Breathing in, and out, rising from bed, wandering down the hall in his shuffling way. Eventually he would make it to a chair outside in the poor excuse of a garden at the All Saints Retirement Home. Many of the residents and staff felt he kept living just to spite them. He had long given up any amazement that he lived on in his moldering body.

But that alone did not surprise the old man. He had learned ages back after the end of the second World War to shut his trap and not go on and on about how he lost his vision. Same held true to now...as it returned. It began with a tiny red dot. No matter how he turned his head, closed his eyes, this red dot was everywhere. Finally, outside in the garden, the wails of sirens keeping him up at all hours, he looked to the sky and saw. He saw!

Stars exploded to life around that single red dot. Back in 1999, like some sort of omen. Every month since, his sight grew stronger, less clouded. But the things he saw, it was like the things he heard. All those whispers for so damn long. And then it happened...he had looked into the mirror and a figure in dark robes was slamming fists on the glass, not his own reflection. How long had this been going on? He really couldn't say. Perhaps since his job working in the sewers.

Doffing a hat, moth eaten sweater drawn tight, he did not stop to sit in his favorite chair this night. He kept on walking, down the street, with just a cane and a prayer.
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PostSubject: Re: Thousands of Lights Winking Out   Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:19 pm

1999 - The Red Star Wakes
Rainier pulled long and hard on a cigarette, black as sin and free from the whore sitting on his right. It had been a long night. One that felt endless, compelling him to chain smoke his way into an early grave. If only he could. The bed was filthy, smelling of old condoms, ass, and White Diamonds perfume. His mom wore White Diamonds. Was she a whore?

A hand leaned in and plucked the cigarette from his fingers, stealing a drag.

"Fuck you."

A puff of smoke was blown into his face. "Thou shalt not curse before your fucking betters." Grey feathered wings tucked tight and neat against Gabriel's back, hair in wane blonde ringlets hanging about a face born to look like a sweet child, grown older into a demented pedophile.

The priest sighed and took back the remains of the cigarette, filter and ash, nothing left to enjoy. "You take all of the love from life."

The whore tried to turn over in her booze and drug ridden sleep, forced on her when the demon just would not let go otherwise. Some bodies just held on to the old vices, unwilling to let go the ghost of horror, even when the soul begged forgiveness.

"Tis not my duty to make you smile. But the end times are not so far from coming, herald. When will you learn these souls must lie in their putrid, wormy flesh for it to be?"

"Not my style, bastard."

The angel's wings ruffled in anger, rising to pace about the filth of the room. The perfection of his white suit remained untouched, unmarred by the room or denizens within. "You are in no mood to clearly listen. I shall return."

"Oh...goodie..." But when he looked up, the angel had left. "Couldn't even leave me another pack of smokes..." Looking back to the whore with split lips and fingernails, he frowned. Only one way to help her, the painful road.

And so he laid his hands to cup her cheeks, thumbs prying open her mouth. Leaning in, he kissed her fully with whispers of Latin and curses in English. Deep in the subjugated woman, claws released their grasp from around the whore's organs, slithered from her mind, and sliced through the mouth-to-mouth contact. The demon ripped and tore through one pile of shit to try and destroy Rainier from within. The priest breathed deep and fell back into a dead faint into the rat infested refuse of month old trash and clothes.

Eyes wide, he remained still. Warfare exploded in his mind and soul, everything within, never without, lest he be dragged into paradox. It kept the headaches away, but his soul felt thinner and older by slow aching degrees. Head turning, he peered through the rents in fabric draped over the window. Stars. So beautiful, they burned and spun far in the skies. Only in these moments could he see them, truly closer to understand what Gabriel had been on about.

"Beatus, qui legit, et audit verba ProphetiƦ huius..." (Blessed is he who reads or hears the words of this Prophecy..."

2013, Fuck Red Stars
The humor was not lost on Rainier. The vampire had not only drained the nuns, but filled a bowl with their blood, mixing it with chicken and stars soup. The little pale noodles, stained with vitae, floating in watery scarlet blood. "Yeah, yeah prophets and signs."

The hollowers helped as best as they could, tossing mages left crying and broken into their old cars. An army of volkswagons and jettas, spray painted with satanic symbols and penises or draped like hearses. Weird kids. But they helped where no one else had.

One of their number named Sinclair neared, standing by the priest as he stared grimly at the bowl. "Morbid sods aren't they?"

Rainier did not answer, just stared at the bowl...and the pair of white shoes on the other side. His eyes flowed upward until meeting a pair of eyes he had not seen in years. "What are you doing here?"

The hollow one in a fine old suit of leather and velvet tilted his head in confusion. "Following you. Would you rather time alone to say your good byes? I'll remain and clean up after you close up shop. Just bring over the others to replace me."

Only a grunt answered the man as he walked off, Rainier not budging an inch.

The angel was not as pale as before, the suit in stark white, hair burnished gold, eyes piercing in their pale blue with matching golden pupils. "Oh my friend, you still live. I had hoped you did. Thou shalt not forget nor forgive, for thine is the path of the righteous."

"Spare me."

"Alas, my friend, I cannot."
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PostSubject: Re: Thousands of Lights Winking Out   Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:58 pm

2004, Paradigma Symposium
Dr. Phineas Robberason stood before the assemblage of magi in his finest suit. A pile of cards and post it notes told him exactly what to say. But within the first half hour, the scientists had attacked his ideas enough to lead him astray. Miss Margery Masters just shook her head, making herself a dizzy wreck by the time what he said went from horribly misjudged to looney land on the Etherite-o-meter.

"But sir, how can you quantify such a reality as...Atlantis. I mean really. If it existed, would not our archmagi crafted it within Horizon?" Others around the speaker nodded, their goggles and hats dipping and rising like a series of flashing lights warning him off of a bad landing.

Phineas rose to tip toes as he spoke in reply, truly not needed for he towered over almost all magi as it was. "Where humanity gets it wrong is in imagining Atlantis as having any kind of quantifiable existence. Which of course it hasn't; not in the way they imagine anyway. We have deemed there to be quite a few Atlantises, will be quite a few more. To many of you, it is just a symbol. A symbol of the art. But the true Atlantis is inside you, just as it's inside all of us. The sunken land is lost beneath the dark sea, lost beneath the waves of wet, black stories and myths that break upon the shores of our minds. Atlantis is the shadow-land, the birth-place of civilization. The fair land in the west that is lost to us, but remains forever, true birthplace and true goal."

The many began to chuckle. "And so why then all this craftsmanship of submarines? Of seeking these endless depths?" "What ho, shall you next speak to sharks? Or dolphins perhaps?" "Does it exist within Flipper too?" The many laughed and tittered, moving on from his lecture without listening to his reply.

He fell back on his heels, sighing deeply. "Because even a myth has truth. We have all taken part in creating Atlantis..." He looked to Miss Master, but she had long since left. If he was to journey this path alone, so be it.

Walking from the symposium, his chin fell and hands laid gripped behind his back as he made his way to the exits.

2013, Depths of the Atlantean
Another round of magi and followers, sorcerers and gifted, arrived to his small underwater world via the blue submarine. Phineas had long been considered a laughing stock of the Etherite community...until some of his theories merited consideration. New locations of old ruins in deep waters, an entire city found within an old trench, the loss of Horizon, had all given his ideas scientists willing to investigate their possibility. So much so, he had gathered a few new scientists to his calling.

As soon as he had enough subs to begin real research, New York had fallen prey to war. And no one else could help as quickly. But their chantry could not support the amount coming in, nor the medical cases growing. By chance, they had sent many subs along through the underground water ways charted over the past decade. In one sub was an old man, older than any other, yet nothing of him felt magical.

"Mr. Seymour, may I have a word with you?" He motioned over one of his Etherite Atlantean. "Why is this gentleman aboard our ship? He speaks not of inspiration nor carries any marks of tass I can gather."

The man shrugged and motioned off to him. "He was with the others, sir. You should...speak with him."

The captain moved to the elderly man leaning heavily on a cane with a grace of nobility. The others milled about him, without questioning, as the Etherites took their names and determined destinations. But this man just waited. He met Phineas' eyes, never blinking.

"Sir, I must ask--"

"I need to speak to someone about the man caught in the mirror. It's been nearly ninety-one years since he's been stuck. But I just noticed a couple nights ago. Think you can help an old man right things, sonny?"
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