Dexter Chronicles: Guardians of the Soul
The time may change. The place. The People. But the soul? That is eternal. Yet Unity, in its quest for infinite knowledge, will never possess what it truly desires. The secrets of the spirit.—Hidan, Io Histories and Musings on the Path of the Ancients.
The Weave created the Arcways to balance the various Ouros within each universe. Allowing souls to pass from one realm of existence to another. The Milky Way is clear. Yet there are other galaxies within Eden in need of cleansing. That is why once Throne Sight is activated: We must be ready. That will cause a cascade effect. Pushing out all corruption, with Eden being the epicenter. It is why the United Earth Front forces guard their connection to us. The signal will go out through all Thrones. Bringing the light of the Weave with it.—Recollections on the Past, Sir Avalon. In a missive to the Arcane Council. Circa 2105
I walked through the frost, cosmic rays, the very depths of Death. But not as most people see it. I saw it through the lens of Rebirth, which was why my revulsion to Unity was even greater in those early days.—Dexter Murphy
November 2nd, 2100
The gates were shut. Beyond the thin membrane, Dexter beheld the new souls being born. His sister’s life was taking a turn as well. It was plain as day to him. How certain parties felt about her. Black stated, “You wonder why you get her memories yet it never flows from your end to hers?”
Dexter rested a palm on the gateway. The laughter of babies and children rippled across his senses. This place was safe from Unity. For it resided within Eden’s sphere of influence. Other universes weren’t at lucky. Just remembering what Chronos had done to the Artock soul well had made him want to vomit. Their people were trapped. Behind endless webs. A racial consciousness at the brink. He had managed to sneak behind enemy lines and place a counter sigil to put the majority of that race into stasis. The real Artock. Not the cannibalistic pirates that plagued endless sectors. It was all the Typherians could do to counter them. The real heart of that race rested upon the Shadow. At the very edge of Unity’s territory.
They wouldn’t be able to break them out now. Eliza wasn’t strong enough. The silver mantle that the Weave promised wouldn’t happen for some time yet. So he dug in. Laying the groundwork needed. Through muck and ruin. Unity made a mockery of everything. The Three remarked, “These acts of mercy you do will bear fruit for a better tomorrow.”
He had trouble believing it.
His sister’s soul. Past, present, and future. She would go beyond the barriers of Death itself. Even now her Ur-Stone locked self wavered in his vision. He reached out. He would have to push his sister even harder within her dreams. The missing left arm. There were times he saw her triumphant. Garlanded and walking down a revitalized Argax City. Others, one that disturbed the Three acutely, their bones sitting upon a doomed Throne Matrix. Endless corpses floating around dead worlds. Earth and Typha are at the forefront.
Entombed within the endless void of Unity.
He turned from that vision. Focusing on his sister.
“It lies.” He repeated this refrain within her mind. Her tired eyes flared briefly.
Hope curled around the foundation of her soul.
“It always did.” Her voice carried. Then her outline dissipated. Until all, he could see was the Union circlet on her head. This was the milestone she would face. So while he hated the Shrouded memories, some things would never be recounted clearly.
The Weave had promised him.
This clarity of memory would be available to one other.
Without it, Eliza would be lost to the depths. Beyond the reach of the Weave.
Lorain Lanis watched this particular segment. Current Dexter pressed a finger to his lips. The others had no way to pick up on this part. Why show her this? Murphy pointed to his younger self. Moving past this moment to another. One that Lorain feared above all others. In a small grove, on the surface of Typha, was a garden. Filled with oak trees. Cherry blossoms and Midnight Bloomers. One of Typha’s most renowned flowers. Their purple hue was unmistakable at night. Under the illumination of the moon, their inner buds glimmered bright white.
At the center of this garden was the Crystal Coffin. Dexter grasped Doc’s hand. The one with the Union bracelet. He pointed. A shade floated by the coffin. Its features were foreboding. It bowed. Its voice was deep. Masculine, “I am the Void. That which brings eternal slumber.” The Silver Lady joined it. “You must place the tether within the coffin just so.”
A bright outline danced within her mind. Unlocking hidden avenues between life and death. She fell to her knees. “This was not meant for us.”
The beings intoned, “Indeed. We ask much of everyone. The twins most of all.”
Doc ran a thumb on the outer edge of the crystal surface. She memorized every edge.
They would need so much life to bring her back.
Tears trickled down her face.
Bardax always knew. Their Light was the strongest. Next would be Earth’s dogs. There was no filter between them and the Weave. Yet Death played its role. She wouldn’t walk alone along that path. Her brother would be beside her. As he had always been. They were linked beyond just blood. Opposing Mirrors. The raging light of Life. The controlled rebirth of Death. Fear would lead to failure. Lanis watched as the lid cracked open. A hand moved to clasp the edge. A fully formed left hand.
Silver scales moving beneath the skin.
Eliza’s voice was not her own.
“With this act. The Balance will be maintained.”
Her body hadn’t been changed to house White. It had been changed to offer a mere flicker to the entity known as the Weave.
Lorain watched as the crystal coffin reformed around Eliza. Becoming armor.
She noticed a younger Dexter watching this scene as well. Memorizing it.
Black behind him. His huge tiger paws kneading the ground. As if to capture every sensory detail of this slice of time. Doc murmured, “Is time travel possible?”
The Silver Lady replied, “Only through me. I granted some properties to the one known as Aether. To correct the Calamity. The breaking of the old world.”
A clock spun overhead.
Silver remarked, “Yet it flows differently for all. Not always in a linear fashion.”
She pointed, her gleaming figure highlighting a creature. Lorain stood, her mouth gaping open, as a mummy reformed from dust. A replica of her. Yet no warmth echoed out from those dead green eyes.
“Trust yourself. Know that Eliza will see the truth.”
The scene shifted.
I rubbed the back of my neck. “No wonder my fighting abilities got a bit better.” Watching my brother within this memory throw me all over the place brought a weak smile to my features. Mom, Grandma Murphy, and Anna crossed their arms. Giving Dexter various levels of disapproval.
Anna spoke first, “It's bad enough she throws herself into trouble. Yet I hate the reason why it must be so.” She meant the need for demis. Since they had shaped our world. Bringing others along for the ride.
I retorted,” I needed these training courses. To fight someone that could take whatever I could throw at him was invaluable. How do you think I managed to prevent myself from hurting people when I lost my sense of touch? Well besides Gulliver’s device? And Doc!”
Dad stepped in between everyone, “How about a break?” Sir Avalon agreed. The world settled once more into the cool stony room of chairs and refreshments. I stood, stretching, feeling my spine pop with the movement.
Bulleteer said, “It had to be done though. If you know the basics, you can turn an enemy’s power against themselves.”
Nola arched a brow, “You may not want to kill your adversary but they will attempt to drive you to the breaking point. Keep training with that Kitan master. If you can block certain things within the Dreaming, Dark Shamans and similar beings can be rendered impotent.”
I sighed, “I know it’s a risk. Not killing soul-endowed beings. But if I cross that line? I’ll become the thing Anna fears most. A regular flying Tyrant.” I shuddered. Dexter remarked, “For all my strength I have yet to slay a true living being.”
He was right. Within his memories, we had seen his countless battles with corrupted entities. Brood beasts. Artock slavers. Feeding off the original blueprint of the mother species they spawned from. We had to find those poor people. Knowing that my brother guarded their souls was a great weight off my shoulders. It would buy us time to get to the root of the problem. A sense of unease washed over me.
Would I have to kill? The very idea was so foreign to me. White added, “It took your father giving you a pep talk to go on the offense on the Living Stone. Fat chance you’d hurt a fly.”
I frowned, “I won’t do it. I won’t kill. I’ll find a way to cleanse who I can.” Dexter nodded as if he expected me to say that. His gray-black eyes narrowing, “Our enemies won’t hold such ideals.” I remembered the All-Father’s fingers digging into my flesh.
“Why do you think I kept the All-Father distracted? If he had his way he would have bulldozed more of Typha. I’d rather sacrifice myself than lose another soul to that mad man!”
Doc flinched. Nola passed her mirror to Lanis, “I see similar threads.”
I had no idea what she meant. Nola’s readings got cryptic. Eddie stared at me hard. Not with malice. With his hidden sight. Whatever he saw reassured him.
Gwen, Jace, and Tobin pressed their heads together. Murmuring in tightly controlled mental voices. Tobin hissed, >> You saw them right? That’s us. We are the Three. Or will be.<<
Their meeting at Whitehome’s temple was fresh in their minds.
Gwen blanched, hooking her hands behind her head as she ducked lower, hoping that her mother wouldn’t notice. >>How could we do this to our own family?<<
She hadn’t been able to ask her future self much. Noting how stooped she’d been in those white robes? They must be ancient. Older than V’alkor even.
Jace rubbed the necklace pendant. Remembering finding it in those radiant pools.
He calmed his siblings by stating, >>They are much older than we are now. With gray hair. With prolong, that could mean 100s of years in the future! Maybe even over 1000!<<
Gwen bit her lip. Chewing nervously. >>I almost bought it. White Owl mulch express! So I don’t know how much of an asset I’d be as one of these mystical figures!<<
Their heads whipped around as Dexter added, >> It's true. You are the Three. Yet not. Not always. Each cycle has a new set. In Di’axi’s time, it was two J’kua and one of Hidan’s people. You are another conduit for the Weave. Just as I am. Just as Eliza is.<<
Dexter glanced at his parents, >>No. They cannot hear us. Not even Eliza can. The Weave hides certain things.<<
He noted wryly, >>If you hadn’t noticed….<<
Anna snorted, “Indeed it does.”
Dexter smirked, “Ahh. So the 4th player has joined!”
She sat down next to the Murphy kids. Leaned back and grumbled, “Of course it’d pick me to ride herd.”
J’ino gazed out at the simulated sunlight coming through the “ceiling” of the chamber. Where exactly were they? It wasn’t anywhere near Union Hall. Thomas winked, using their wedding bands to communicate, >>Correct! Its one tiny secret I get to hide from you for a change!<<
She walked over and huddled into his outstretched arms, >>It was so much easier when Eliza was punching demonic dinosaurs into suborbital trajectories.<<
Thomas felt a ping of sadness. Those had been innocent carefree days in comparison. Then he pushed it aside. He had a wife to take care of. Along with so many amazing children. Ta’mathon formed the barriers within Murphy’s mindscape.
They would have to awaken the Titan slumbering within Saturn.
By then he hoped that Eliza would be ready. For all their sakes.
DC Issue 1: Here
DC Issue 3: Here