Saturday, May 20, 2023

The Uplift Protocol Twin Rulers of the Sky: Issue 29


Issue 29: Laylines within The Three

I was afraid. Always afraid. Until that day Eliza and I’rioh showed me sacrifice was more than just your body. You had to put everything on the line.--Gwen Murphy

Three. Synchronized through all time. The past. The present. The Future.

Issue 28: Here

Issue 30:

(Pardon the Construction. I decided to move a certain storyline to close out this book instead!) 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Uplift Protocol Twin Ruler of the Skies: Issue 28


Issue 28: Red Sun White Moon

    There is a way to Yak’tish’s homeland. The first go around Eliza and I had been summoned. This time would be a bit different. This time Gwen, Tobin and Jace would be joining us.--Lorain Lanis

    We know what must be done. Everything was on borrowed time. What mattered is how we used it.--Jace

    None can access the Ninth Circle sector now. Thanks to the Living Stone Wardens and the Three. We merely safeguard the next cycles to that never again shall evil walk our shores.--High Orator Mysis of Atheoa 7

    Convergence was many things. Our enemies saw it as a signpost. In reality? It was a wave continually lapping upon the shore. Until all that was left was the multiverse as we know it now. Wonders abound even in this reborn cycle of mortals.----Sleeping In Starlight: Post Convergence Files (Conclave Access Required)

Union Island

Council Chambers


    Gwendolyn Murphy stared at the unveiled map.

    Tobin highlighted the landmass of Ahpaktu. The visions were intensifying. She walked a path filled with stars. Below her feet their current Earth circled. Above her Typha’s wider orbit obscured the four suns. Bardax to her left. She approached the white basin. Water flowed over the rim. Adding more stars.

    Frost curled about her legs as she finally reached the lip of the basin.

    She peered into the depths.

    Three cowled figures stared back at her.

    The first intoned, “What shall you endure?”

    The second added, “We are within the Wall.”

    The last closed off with, “Each shall give onto the other. The Stone Endures. The Soul resides within.”

    Endless Living Stone Wardens swarmed the black planet. No. Not a planet.

    A portal. An inverted Ouroborous pulsed. Its pale green innards pulsed. Gwen flowed through the battlefield. Countless cycle Avatars of Dexter and Eliza were fighting side by side to keep the arch fiends from breaking through. Yak’tish’s tribesmen, their white and gold tatoos gleamed under the light of the stars. An endless rain of spears held the enemy back. Three figures in gold, black and white held their hands high.

    Their bodies swayed as they chanted an endless refrain. Their voices haunting. Familiar.

    It was her voice. Alongside Jace and Tobin.

    Within the Weave their soul forms grew.

    A blue gloved hand reached out. Moving past Gwen’s phantom sight.

    “I can’t just leave you here! We all climb together!”

    The plea wasn't just directed at them.

    The Star-Spangled Banner.

    Star’s Dark Matter beams shot out. Her eyes blazed with that golden cosmic fire. Bisecting one of the Inverted Spawn. A child of the Fallen Ouro. Bits of molten brown scale dug into the barrier about the Three. One sharp kick sent Lucifer sprawling. He had three white leathered wings on the right side. Three black on the left. His golden hair fell in splotches about his face. His mouth parted to reveal a purple forked tongue. Across his bear chest a circle of pale gray arms grasped. He raised his blackened sword. Its pommel of bone weeping Black Scrawl.

    Gwen blinked.

    Her vision wavered. For a moment Jace and Tobin mirrored their future selves. Across all points of time and space. Gwen dashed for the refresher on the far side of the room. She sealed herself inside. She splashed water on her face. Gwen bit back a scream as the cowled face peered at her from the reflective surface. It pulled back the hood.

    Three white rings etched on her forehead. Her black and copper eyes were piercing. Her face ancient. Not with age. White Scrawl flowed over the mirror.

    You are the Wall.

    Even One Brick can block the Flow.

    Remember who you are.

    Tobin watched as ships darted across the ocean of water. Their star born brethren echoed from above. “She’s getting an eyeful now too!”

    Jace replied, “We know our time here was limited. Same as the Void Man. The Silver Lady.” Like many who fought for the Oversoul they had a sliver of his consciousness within them. To help keep the Threads in check. After countless cycles their true memories had been unlocked. They were the original Three.

    Weave, Body, and Soul.

    Placed here to keep each realm whole.

    Lucifer’s fall had changed all that. This time their threads would weave together.

    While the Devourer consolidated its power into one Avatar. Chronos.

    They would be the bricks so no other would have to live in fear.

    Jace held out a generous cup of water as Gwen rejoined them. Her eyes bloodshot.

    In a subdued voice she proclaimed, “I’m...going to miss...” She sucked in a heavy breath.

    Tobin wrapped an arm about her shoulders. “I know.”

    I spotted Gwen and my brothers near the terrace.

    Union Hall wasn't all that different from how I remembered. Consistency was nice. Doc had gone to the lower levels to collect some gear. It had only been a week in the waking world. But for us it had been decades. A way to get reacquainted. Test out our powers. Anything and everything needed. Without the weight of past memories it was like being reborn again. Like the early days of the Eden Cycle. I hurried over as the faint scent of tears registered.

    Gwen dashed over. I didn’t ask. All I could make out was, “Forgive me.”

    She quaked like a leaf in the wind. Like all of Creation was on her shoulders. Weave forms clung to my siblings. One was known to me. Lazarus. The other two remained shrouded. They pressed fists to their chests. One was clearly feminine in shape.

    The Silver Lady reached out to Gwen.

    There is still time. We will not yet pass into the Threadhome.

    The Void Man, in a rare display, activated one of his gauntlets. Its space black segments rolled back to reveal a pale human hand underneath. This was always the Path. In order to learn. To feel as they do.

    Gwen shot back silently, Why does it hurt so much?

    Tobin answered audibly, “Because its real. A bond that cannot be broken.”

    Jace pointed to the grav lift. “Ill go grab our gear. The 5 of us are needed.”

    I asked, “Do you want an hour in the J’kua Sphere?”

    Gwen finally pulled back. I offered her a tissue.

    She replied firmly, “No.”

    I gave her a lopsided grin, “Family trip though! Should be illuminating. Doc will have you set in no time!”

    There was a renewed set to her jaw. “You and O’rioh showed me the way. I won’t fail you again.”

    A bright golden radiance flowed past us. Someone was a Defender again!

    Gwen smiled, “Choice will be honored.”

    I tilted my head to the side. Gwen let out a soft peal of laughter at the sight of it.

    She pulled me after Doc, “Let’s go.”

    Sentinel circled the Three Aspects of the Oversoul.

    <<Star’s aura healed me back to full strengthen! Eden was the needed foundation!>>

    The Bardaxian’s bushy black wolf ears tilted forward. His nose quivered expectantly.

    Lazarus answered for his cohorts, “Ahpaktu will harden our mortal bodies. Our soul will reform in the process. But memories of all three shall remain.”

    Eliza Murphy was a shield. A banner. The glue that held many together. The Wall would endure. So as long as she remained within the physical realm. She would fight this. Wanting to save everyone. It was what He appreciated the most about the demi. No matter how dark everything got? She still climbed one more step beyond. It had taken her life countless times. Across all cycles. Yet she remained determined.

    No matter the incarnation.

    That element would save them all.

The Outer Planes

Cosmic Void

Reliquary of Woe

    The Devourer sent a tendril of itself deep into the bulk.

    Flesh coiled around bone. He had done it. Taken the most precious commodity of the Oversoul. Inverted its purpose. Where his birthed new souls, this Ouro would collect them. Helios was a lesson. It was useless to store souls within an Aspect. Even cordoned off from the Oversoul somehow he and his minions stuffed out each avenue.

    This would ensure that reach would never subside.

    The Oversoul would never be rid of the Devourer.

    Soon the Tapestry would be his to control.

    An endless feast.


Cove of Stars


    Yak’tish’s clan symbol remained.


    This was the same place he took us after I inadvertently destroyed a Devourer Totem.

    Didn’t realize it at the time. The vines were green but the flowers that bloomed on each twinkled with a faint silver light. 8 pointed stars. Gwen plucked one gently from its groove. She did this all throughout the grotto. Until she had made a crown. She pressed her palm to the surface of the crystal clear waters. A pedestal rose. With one sweeping motion she secured it there.

    I did a double take as the Silver Lady formed behind Gwen.

    “Why are we really here?”

    Jace replied, “To forge a new beginning.”

    Tobin rose. The Void Man’s gauntlets materialized on his hands.

    He placed his hands on my shoulders, “It was an honor to be your brother.”

    “So what is Lazarus then?”

    Gwen interjected, “Much how you and Dexter formulated the Living Stone Wardens from your past soul incarnations? The ones you know within our shadows are bits of ourselves. Broken up over time to interact with the mortal planes.”

    Jace cupped the waters in his palm.

    He drank deeply. “I’ll miss this. But we….I had to understand. Had to understand demis, women, men, all our levels of Creation. The temptations you face. Sorrows. Triumphs.”

    Adam’s rib pulsed within me.

    I took up my customary stance. Hands on hips.

    “You’ll always be Murphys to me!”

    Tobin chortled. The sound was clear. It lanced through my heart. Bringing a sense of calm I never thought possible. This wouldn't change anything. They were still my family. Doc asked, “How will this help with sealing away the Devourer?”

    Jace answered, “Because it has absorbed so many souls that it also hungers along the mortal plane. I had to know the stakes. Understand them from your level. Perspective. I apologize if this comes off as overtly straightforward.”

    I marveled at it. The tone was sincere. I slapped my knees. My breath came out in a rush between fits of mirth. “I can do strait! Considering!”

    Doc held out a hand to steady me. “Better?”

    Gwen snorted.

    All three crossed their arms resolutely, “Not until I’ve properly settled this issue once and for all.” Perfectly synchronized.

    Doc inhaled sharply, “Wait. Does that mean we get mind wiped.”

    The Three put their hands to their lips. Index finger motioning for silence.

    “Not this time. This final cycle shall be yours. We only ask you uphold the Wall.”

Issue 27: Here

Issue 29: Here

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Uplift Protocol Twin Rulers of the Sky: Issue 27

Issue 27: Mordred’s Hook

    I saw it while the Highest was locked in battle with the various faces of Unity. We arent going to win this war. Not the war of flesh. The war of souls.--Mordred

    We kept calling it a finger trap. It was more than that. But it was the only way.--Dexter Murphy

    The multiverse wants a council of the best and brightest. I say we should have a mix of everyone from every angle of life. That way we don’t blind ourselves to the obvious. It is because I am a symbol that I cannot take the role they wish upon me. Where I go? Many will follow.----Sleeping In Starlight: Post Convergence Files (Conclave Access Required)


llaros Territory


    Mordred possessed the body of the Inktu.

    It was this world’s word for imp. It mattered not. He would never go back to the Ninth Circle. He dug through the mossy earth. His bulbous orange eyes flicked to the left as foliage rattled. He sliced his palm. Green ichor dripped. Three sets of spears impaled his chest. Dull thuds resounded in his ears as the tribesmen approached.

    They made a sign to the sky. Invoking the Oversoul for protection.

    Mordred smiled, “This...rite...was not...for you….”

    He laughed as the lead hunter ran his knife across his throat.

    He had done his work. All those years trapped in the Ninth had given him insight he never shared with any other inmates. The Oversoul never wanted the utterly destroy them. That one desired peace by obedience. What little shreds of soul they had left? He wanted to purify. Only Good would think it could save them all. It was why J’anu and Ta’rammon had taken that slim chance of lesser damnation.


    Mordred crawled to the edge.

    The Highest summoned lightning. It struck Unity, Abbadon, and anyone else foolish enough to be close to the innermost rings of the Ninth Circle. Cain ran a callused thumb across his bristling yellowed beard.

    “Chronos keeps his other selves distracted.”

    It was a shock to learn that every bit of greater Evil he knew of spawned from one entity. The Devourer. In retrospect the name Chronos should have set off warning bells. Each cycle he began anew. Sampling species from all across the universe. Testing the makeup of souls to steal the wisdom of his enemies. Karvax no longer remembered his former life. That was the danger here. Promise too much with your mortal skin? You found yourself the unwitting puppet of the insane asylum.

    X’mil would find himself here. There was a price for hanging on to Dark Shaman abilities outside the norm. Convergence had been obtained. It hadn’t come with the first death of the Banner. No, the Oversoul had been slowly purging the influences of the Devourer across all the ages. The Cycles. Not just from the physical realm. He wished to purge soul corruption. The newest incarnation of the Multiverse gleamed as a set of silver stars circling over the aura of the Highest. Even in this blighted place.

    New paths to burrow into.

    Even now the tendrils of dark power tugged at the edges of his mind.

    The heavy thrum of leather wings pulled him sideways off the cliffs. J’anu’s cold crimson eyes, the one feature that remained from her previous life bore into him, while her spiked tail coiled about his chest and waist. He bit back a hiss of pain as Ta’rammon wrapped one massive clawed appendage about his neck. Shadows clung to the former human. That one had been vain in life. Mordred stilled as a pale figure approached.

    A patchwork cloak of skin obscured its features. Cain lowered himself. He bowed cautiously to the newcomer. He never looked up from the scorched earth. A delicate feminine hand appeared from the cloak. She hummed as she ran her fingers through Cain’s hair.

    “The new wheel rises. Even now this place is being positioned at the heart of the Elusian.”

    The murder’s voice was oddly respectful.

    Karvax had met this woman once. She had professed to serve Unity. It had all been a lie. She served the Devourer. They all did. In one way or another. Mordred cursed silently for the gifts given to him. He was one of the Blood. One of Chronos’ prized experiments. The answer to the Vigil of the Three.

    There must be a way to break these bonds inside him.

    The skinned one pressed one palm to his chest.

    “You will walk the path. Knowingly or not. It is too late for you to choose.”

    Mordred’s mouth opened in a silent scream of despair as every nerve in his body burned white hot. His soul grew taunt. Then it was sucked into a whirlwind. Enteral cold shot through him. He shivered. There was nothing beyond the void. Nothing awaited him except for the blasted abyss of the Ninth Circle.

    He caught sight of the curvature of the planet. It was massive. Triple the size of Earth.

    His heart skipped a beat. He inhaled sharply.

    He recoiled from the purple flames encircling him but his limbs wouldn't respond. Frog-like beings peered up at him through the flames.

    “The Eyes of the Devourer.”

    Metal and bone clanked against his chest.

    A small frogman, with red stripes along his back bowed, “I greet you. Bound you are. To the will of the Devourer.” His mouth sac expanded. He let out a croak that resonated within Mordred’s chest.

    He held his staff aloft, “By the Blood. The Bone. The Sand. You are known.”

    Mordred moved beyond the circle of fire. He left the darkness of the cave. It didn’t hurt. His limbs were longer. A surreal strength filled his core. He crouched near the stream of water. His features were harsh. But fitting. Two curling horns on his head behind each ear. Four red horns poked from his smooth skin above his eyebrows. His skin was charcoal dark. His irises were a dark purple. He had no need to blink. He opened his mouth.

    Black tissue. Black tongue. His tooth was a dagger.

    He held his 4 fingered hands to the sky.

    No hint of black scrawl.

    This form was not tied directly to Chronos.

    What plans did they have for his Eden cycle form? The Ninth Circle contained nearly all evil from all Cycles since the start of the Oversoul’s reign. But what happened to all the physical shells? Where did the Oversoul store them?


    The Answer would save him. He was certain.

    Charon lifted the obsidian scale. Darva murmured, >>All their former shells are contained. What little soul connection was left is completely severed. Shall I run all threads through containment?<<

    >>From the Eden Cycle. But yes. Keep up the wards. Run all processes.<<

    Every piece of the board was in play now.

    These would provide the glue that would seal away all Evils forever.

    Mortals would still be imbued with the power to choose. That was the promise of the Oversoul. Charon was put here for a singular purpose. The world of Man and Divine would be separated. So that Evil could be denied the pull on the soul. No longer would the Devourer lay claim to those who came after.

    Mordred returned to his fallen shell.

    Chronos’ Will plucked away at the outer edges of his mind.

    But unlike his half human form? This body was insulated. Due to its summoning ties to the Frogman. Mordred didn’t bother learning their names. They were beyond notice. Only put on this earth to serve. The fact that a baseline primitive landmass had more raw power than the typical Light or Dark Shaman gave Mordred ample concern. Chronos was prepping everyone for a feast. One he intended to use to break past the bonds that held his main bulk in place. It was never about freedom. It was about the Devourer consuming all. Apsects, Angels, Demons, Demis and mortals. None would escape. It was sheer folly that the Oversoul even attempted such a thing.

    He needed to find a J’kua Learning Sphere.

    Have one of the sanctimonious graylings activate it.

    He’d bury himself deep within his enemy’s priceless artifacts. Live out ages in the blink of an eye before the end game. All he had to do was get off this backwards hovel. He painted additional wards onto his forearms. All he had to do was make enough noise to catch the eye of the Protectorate. America and her erstwhile allies were finally reformed into nations he remembered. Now it was time to prod the Frogmen.

    Make a bridge to the outside world.

    He inhaled the salty air.

    Lucifer would arrive. Mordred would be ready.

Issue 26: Here

Issue 28: Here