Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Point Of Origin Issue 18

Issue 18: Binding Threads


            The All-Father keeps moving his main Fortress. Yet I know my wife lives. I think of her often. The Dreaming is the key to safeguarding her soul.—Matarn

            What primitives call Shiphoning I call power. Their souls are only good enough for that. The more luminous the soul, the more I can bleed it dry for its secrets. I have been overtly cautious within this Universe because it has an abundance of powerful souls. I know one has been following me. Yet I do not see his face clearly. He is well shielded.— Renenutet

            Doc knew me entirely too well. If I had known that she would be walking into such a lion’s den I would have found a way to follow her. Yet the path she traveled allowed her to figure out vital information about our enemies. They never thought she’d be able to escape on her own. Then again: That aspect of her training had never been put to public record. C.A.P  training modules are still sealed even today.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 23rd century (vol 2)

The Void Line

Outer Sol System

T-minus 28 days


            The while pillars formed around us as we entered the line. Auggie took the lead while my parents walked behind me. The rest of the Golden Redeemers were back in New Ashbury. Running tests on that Demi Dust issue. Many had taken to the name Red Haze. Because it often left behind bloodshot eyes. Besides the real possibility of death. Only one message hit the NAPD feeds: //I am doing you a favor!//

            Committing a greater evil to stop lesser evils would never end well.

            Di’axi waved us over to a pool of clear water. Housed in a well of pure marble.

            “To know the future: one must see the past.”

            Water poured from the well. Splashing against my boots. Lazer fire echoed around us.

            Goldenlight was enveloped in a pitched battle. Not against the Keepers.

            The pale white milky darts surrounded the Collective Fleet.


            Goldenlight roared, “Handmaidens of Unity!” The ship countered the initial wave with light bursts of blessed rites. Rows and rows of the plague ships exploded upon contact.

            The Markav captain grunted.

“I see them.” They were drones created in the birth. From the bones of Unity’s universe.

Nearly as bad as the Artock Golems. Endless due to the sheer biomass left behind in that cursed place. “Wall Formation. Breakthrough their main body.”

The 20 Collective Ships closed in. Their holy energies interlinking.

As they reached the main thrust of the enemy forces a sickly lance of a ship hailed them.

“Dark Mirror: Launch my enemies into the black. For they have no home!”

Hextor of House Urraden folded his arms. His smug grin fading as his fleet was sucked in as well. The bony reach of Unity crashing around in his head.

“Pollute the Light of your people. Wretch of Oblivion.”

My Lord of Chains.

Hextor screamed as the White Owls swarmed him. Feeding off the madness of the Path of the Ancients. Unity closed its fist around the remaining bits of his soul. Goldenlight watched as the mirror closed in. The howling of the damned dragging them under. When they reappeared the stars around them were unfamiliar. They were lost. Forward or backward in time, he couldn’t tell. Then the alerts shrilled. Artock and Unity forces had breached his defenses. Keepers converged as well. They hadn’t taken the whole fleet. Only Goldenlight and 6 of his sister ships. The rest floated silently among the stars. No life signs.

The captain prepared his men, “We make our stand here. Close down the records! The enemy must not gain any information!”

He turned to the floating orb. “Array, after we seal the Archives….flush the atmo. Override 229X Alpha. The Wall must Endure!”


I said, “No wonder we found Goldenlight out there. Surrounded by Keeper Hulls.” Dad asked, “The Dark Mirror network. That is how we will find The All-Father.” Di’axi rubbed his chin. His face was pale.

“It is one way.”

I frowned.

“What’s the other way then?”

My question remained hanging like an open wound.

White murmured, <<We must go. Questions only delay us.>>

“What are you hiding?”

Dad pulled me through the portal.


Di’axi knew what Lorain Lanis intended.

 It was suicide. But probably the only way to rescue his mother. Matarn formed sigils in the air. The golden light of the Weave surged around everyone. Bringing them to the true Golden City. The sky above was a dark purple. Two moons floating above.

Eliza paused.

Her eyes were unfocused.


            Sy’ra reached out through the Dreaming. Pulling at Murphy. Knowing the woman’s face. Its contours memorized through endless visions. “Ask about the Sleeping Rites of Ta’mathon.” The Scholar pressed a lock of hair into Eliza’s palm. “Give this to Lorain. She will know what to do!”

            The Dreaming receded.

            The cold green fire of Tarkanan swirled overhead.

            A handful of white owls stared down at her. Their black orbs were unblinking.

            She must be ready. It would take everything to escape this place. They wouldn’t touch Lorain. No, they wanted to know how her powers worked. It was that armor that would prevent the White Owls from consuming her. Unity wanted to know as well. Its desire for knowledge is the trump card. All they had to do was prevent Eliza from finding out. She would want to follow Lanis into the void. Sy’ra would find a way to escape with Lorain.

            She would have to taunt the All-Mother.


            Matarn took the hair from my fingers. His hand trembling.

            “She lives.”

            His wife. The Dreaming had connected us for a split second. I said, “She wants Lorain to have that hair.”

I turned to Dad, “What are the Sleeping Rites of Ta’mathon?”

We traveled under the gates of the City. The Sphinx growled low in her throat but let us pass. I knew now she was reacting to the substance Nyx had put in me as a baby. The mirrored halls opened to us. My father guided me to the central pillar. “Go. On the other side is answers.”

As I stepped into the center a rainfall of sand buried me. I sank lower.

Until a warm tongue brushed my fingertips. On my right hand.

I opened my eyes to see floating pyramids.

Some blue. Mixed with purple, orange, and marble white. They were all in a circular pattern. At the center was a golden scepter clutched in the mummified hands of an Egyptian warrior. I couldn’t read the writing on the platform below him.

Auggie barked. <<Ptah said you’d come!>>

Standing next to the corgi was a giant white panther. A honey yellowed jewel in the middle of his forehead. He pressed a massive paw to my chest. “Follow.” He was a Singer. Like the Twins, I had met on Illarium. The markings on his legs changed from silver to black. Great glowing steps appeared. Leading us from the floating structurs and their solitary guardian. Silver-white reeds sprange up. The faint trickle of water rushing through them. My old clothing was gone. I was wearing a simple robe. White cloth died with a brown rope. Water clung to the soles of my feet as Ptah remarked, “The Well of Forever. Peer into the depths.”

The surface hardened as I got closer to the pool. Black Marble.

A shadowy figure wrapped its arms around my neck. It sounded like Lorain but a hint of rot repulsed me. Ptah said, “See what will happen should it consume you.”

The shadowed arms pulled me under.

The unfathomable depths of the water closed in on me.

I couldn’t move. Watching everything from behind my eyelids as this mummy commanded, “Bring me more food. I hunger so!” She wore the face of Lorain. Yet that was not my Lanis. Not by a long shot. People screamed as I grabbed them. A prisoner in my own flesh. I knew what I was doing. Every horrid moment. Yet I couldn’t break free of her. Black scrawl was etched over my heart. Binding me to her. Above hers, it read, “Shiphon Art: Golem, command the Flesh. Clear the Mind.”

We weren’t on Earth. These were primitive people. Behind the mummy, I saw the rest of the Redeemers.

Their eyes plucked out.


She pressed a kiss to my lips, “Good Girl. Let’s go harvest more for Unity. It has promised me you. All of you.” She nipped my left ear.

“Lanis had no idea just how good she had it.”

Around its waist was Back and White.

The fire of their souls flickering on the brink.

She grinned. The hunger lancing through me.

“And to think: All that was required was to get you to kiss me.”

I burrowed through the earth. Hearing more people. Wanting to scream.


            Auggie circled as Eliza cradled her face in her hands. Her breath was hot and heavy in the small space. The water soaked through her clothing and skin. The corgi sat in front of his 2nd favorite human. <<White! You saw it! Spinster cannot be allowed to succeed.>>

            White curled around Murphy. Resting a great paw upon her head.

            “She will not. I see now. It was more than just a kiss that did it. The longer it stayed near Eliza, the more threads it wrapped around her. Slowly. So much in fact that I didn’t notice until it was far too late.”

            Eliza grated out, “She was feeding off me.”

            White turned to Ptah, “How can we prevent this?”

            Ptah leaned in, his whiskers brushing Murphy’s cheek.

            “You must not be on Earth. I have another duty for you. Let your family handle the mummy.” He wouldn’t mention the switch. Doctor Lorain Lanis would have her own crucible to pass. One that Renenutet failed.

To the point that she fell prey to Unity long before she found this universe.

The Jupiter Rising

Captain’s Quarters


Lorain handed all the personal effects to Moonlighter, “I know you’ll keep it all safe.”

            She wouldn’t let her diseased mirror feed off anything remotely important. J’ino and Thomas already guaranteed that Eliza would be off Earth when everything went down. Jupiter reminded her, <<I will seal off all sensitive areas of the ship. We will feed her false information.>>

            Lorain gripped the metal of her Unity bracelet. That would go to J’ino. She wouldn’t let the enemy examine it. She had even removed the bed and replaced it with an identical one. No impressions for the witch to glean. Ritark blocked the doorway. “I asked my mother what we could do to help. I can hide in your shadow.” Lorain bit back a protest but she saw the way Ritark expanded. His golden eyes sharpening.

            “I will not back down. You will take me along for the ride.”

            Moonlighter reached out to steady her.

“You will not walk alone. That way leads to death.”

            Lorain sucked in a breath,” Alright. Two Redeemers is better than one then.”

            Ritark chirped and sunk into her shadow. His voice was a warm wind on her skin.

            We will save the Dreaming Lady.

St. Christopher’s Boardwalk

New Ashbury

T-Minus 27 Days


Archer Lanis handed his wife and daughter a pint of draft beer.

In old-style glassworks. “It’s been a while since I felt the sands of home under my feet. Not much to do about the house when it’s spinning in a tin can within space.” He winked at the special ladies in his life. Knowing they both needed the distraction. Augustus barked. Pawing at Archer’s thigh.

He scooped the corgi up. “Ah yes. While I cannot give you a beer….” He held a small ice cream float over the corgi’s nose. To which the small tan and white dog took to it with excited cries. He forestalled any commentary with a raised finger, “I know. You both have weighty jobs. So let’s cut to the chase. For the next 2 hours, we are just a family having an outing. Clear?”

Mary leaned over and took another swig of her stein.

She slapped a hand on the wooden table.

“Good advice.” Lorain shook her head.

Realizing she couldn’t fight this.“I know daddy. I know.”

She would let her hair down for this one moment. To do otherwise would invite madness. A sonic boom echoed overhead as the familiar red white and blue streak changed trajectory. The news outlets reporting.

//The Banner saves shuttle in distress!//

Lorain tracked the table with her fingertip.

“Do you regret our choice?”

Archer tilted his head. Much like a bardaxian.

“In what way kiddo?”

“Letting our demi lives out in the open I mean.”

Archer Lanis threw back his head and laughed, “Not in the slightest! Considering your mother’s job status!” Lorain let out a watery chuckle. All the cloak and dagger. “Daddy! You’re horrible!” He placed a hand over his heart.

“Just the worst!” He grinned as his daughter let out a genuine ripple of amusement.

He knew others had far more hazardous  duties than he ever did. Even with his military service, he had been on the technology end of things. Not the front line. Considering how much pressure his daughter was under, a little R&R was vital for her health. One kid shouted, “Can you sign my postcard!” Dozens of civilians cried out as the Banner landed. All cheer and smiles. A thread of worry hummed through Lorain’s bracelet. Eliza never showed upset towards children or civilians.

Lorain sent back a burst of beer-induced joy.

She saw the way Eliza’s face relaxed.


One little girl tugged on Eliza’s cape, “Can I have a photo. Grandma’s in the hospital and this would make her grin. Me too!” Eliza swung the girl up onto her shoulders. While two boys clung to one of her biceps.

The sun glittered down on New Ashbury. The shadows had no purchase here.


Renenutet sneered at the holo screen. The Banner would be fun to break.

Everyone on this mudball loved her. As far as the sheep went.

She was a wolf.

The strong would eat. Down to the marrow. 

Issue 17: Here

Issue 19: Here

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Point Of Origin Issue 17

Issue 17: Augustus and the Icath Connection


There are very few sightings of Icath Singers. For most of the Universe, they are migratory. Appearing in various Uplifted Colonies or mainline worlds but with no home to call their own. At least from what my Bardaxian contacts say.—Augustus

            Eliza Murphy knows. How can she not? Yet we cannot tell her from what era we hail from. That is guarded. We guide our people throughout the ages. Until we meet on the very day of our birth. It is on that day Singers leave their mortal coil. Returning to the Sacred Cycle.—Uthway

            The Icath. Their Singer’s burden was great. They grow within their time. Then are sent back. To the primordial. To guide the rest of their people towards the future. The only thing I know: they are from beyond the 42nd century. No wonder they integrated with the Golden City. Ta’mathon has more mysteries up his sleeves.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 23rd century (vol 2)

Western Reaches(Golden City Ruins)


T-Minus 29 days


            Augustus pawed at the ground.

            The symbols on the sundial were set to a Noon position. After unearthing a good amount he shifted the sands. His telekinetic field clearing every grain until a partial temple ring was uncovered as well. He tilted his head to the side. At the apex was the figure of a feline. Similar to the Icath they had found on Illarium. Judgment rested a hand against the hieroglyphics.

            “Those who walk the sands know the threads of Life and Death are but a mirror. The Future is set. All we do is walk the Path.”

            J’ino picked up the corgi. “Is that supposed to be reassuring?”

            Ta’mathon formed next to the group. “It is both. A warning and reassurance.”


            Thomas entered the cavern under the statue’s vigilant gaze.

            Golden sparks danced from torch to torch. J’ino a few steps behind him. Augustus trotted ahead. Then paused. Lifting himself into the air. <<There are mechanisms in here! Metal not of Earth!>>

            J’ino said, “Not of Typherian make either.”

            As they reached the ground level a mosaic formed along the walls. The word for Artock rising above the rest. The Golden City had gone to war with the Aztecs of the New World. Murphy knew that Chronos and Ishtar featured heavily. This planet had been embroiled for far longer than most realized. He traced a thumb against the stonework. A hidden archway rose. Dust and time flowing from it.

            As he entered a lone sarcophagus was positioned at the center.

            The lid rolled back with smooth precession and a lean white panther exited.

            Its yellow jewel catching in the low light of the room.

            The feline stretched. Bones popping. He shook his massive head, “It has been many long years. Projections into the Deep. Ahh. The Father arrives. As predicted. With the Lady of Change.”

                He tested the air. His nostrils inhaling great gulps. “Ta’mathon! HA! You did listen. Very good!” As the pather approached Murphy saw the tattoos along the legs and chest.

The former ruler of the Golden City bowed, “Ptah how good to see you once more old friend.”

            The double being. Dwelling in multiple plains.

The Icath circled J’ino. “Not slowing down are you?” The panther hummed, “Many children in your future. Provided Eliza’s aim holds.”

            J’ino drew herself up. A small smile blooming.

Thomas pulled his wife to his side.

            “Doc assures me the cryo net will hold.” She had found a way to hold babies in status. It wouldn’t be the safest time for them to raise another child. Victor was enough of a handful as it was and in that case, they had V’alkor and M’taris backing them.

As far as daycare duties went. So this delay was the compromise.

J’ino asked, “Did you know a demi called Bastet?”

The white-furred head dipped, “Indeed.  Many helped the Golden City behind the Veil. This place is only a shade of its true power.” He touched the right side of the wall. Revealing another room. Within was equipment equivalent of Typha. Chairs formed from the ground.

“I will show you my journey through the Sands.”

Icath Omnisphere

The Dias of Threads

Date Redacted


The Singers prepared for their journey. He was not yet named but that would come with the Unwinding. The long road. From birth to oblivion they danced along the corridors known only to Black. Yet even he had to hide. The Icath would prowl the halls of history. Guiding time along the eddies the Weave and Highest provided. The twin siblings of the lower royal line bowed. “We know our path. We must bring forth the past to the rusted plains!” Their fur dark as the void itself.

Just so. The balance would be maintained.

He entered the projection orb. Time slowed. An endless number of Ouroborous’ spun against his eyelids. The vibration of one pulling at him. The sharp hot winds engulfed him. His new body clawed its path to the surface. A yellow sun warmed this place. A bright blue sky. The distant roar of water. This was a dessert but an oasis was near. His paws moved. The gravity of this place was unfamiliar. Beating against his skin.

He moved slowly. Acclimation would take time.


            Isis let the camels drink. They had found more of the Gray Watcheyes. Taking them from the air was still a matter of timing. They had to wait until the metal shifted. To accommodate the air around the holy golden city. The sky devils wanted information. Ta’mathon’s orders were clear: Destroy their eyes. Blind them.

Thoth’s armies had been formidable but these devils wanted to remain unfathomable. She whirled. Staff in hand as a giant cat crested the dunes. Fur as white as the snowy mountaintops. She had seen far-off places around the Earth. Due to the Leylines infused with magic. Yet this one was not of Earth. He carried with him a burden. She shouted, “Do you walk within the Void?!”


            The Icath Singer paused. Studying the person before him. Her armor was elegant. A mix of silver and gold. What he assumed were holy marks dotted her lower clothing. She could see the Threads!

Even tap into some. His jewel glinted.

Sending out waves. Within moments he had the rudiments of her language.

“I am star friend. From outer planets.”

The woman held that staff before her. Yet didn’t advance.

“Who sends the Gray Watcheyes?”

“Void Walkers. Hidden Eyes. From the Path of Ruin.”

The Icath watched as the woman considered his words.

Finally, she said, “I am Isis. I will take you to the Golden City of Ammu Sul.”


            Auggie circled the cat. <<Why do Bardaxians warn us of your kind? Maybe caution would be a better word.>>

            The Icath nudged the corgi with one giant paw, “It is in our nature. The Bardaxians guard the faith of the Weave and the Highest. We guard the Lower Path. That which remains Unseen. That which Eliza Murphy shall walk. That which the 42nd shall bring back into balance.”

            Thomas said, “The 42nd. I have seen this mentioned before. Are they here now?”

            Ptah nodded. His teeth bared in the equivalent of a smile, “They learn through the lens of possibility. Threads are already bound. We are set upon the Path.”


            The observer who had handed Eliza that note from herself reviewed this scene over and over. Hoping to catch a glimpse of what his people would have to do during the Solstice. He highlighted the old Icath Singer. Ptah was the first and last. The first singer to travel forward from the primordial. His body existing in and outside of time. It was more than Astral Projection. He couldn’t imagine it. Being born so far in the future. Sent back to the beginning then propelled forward in time until you met yourself at the moment of your creation.

            The Icath Singers.

No wonder they understood Eliza Murphy in the way few really could.

 Maybe even more than she understood herself.

He watched as the Curator entered the field.

“We need to drop another letter.” He handed it over.

Eliza’s familiar script upon its surface.


            Augustus barked. Digging at the ground.

            <<Eliza is here!>>

            J’ino said, “I just checked HeroNet. She’s working with Paxton on that drug problem. What are you going on about Auggie?”

            The corgi dug straight down. Little legs kicking up a storm.

            Eventually his tan and white head resurfaced. Triangular ears flickering. A letter in his jaws. Carefully protected by telekinetic shielding. She took the paper. Unfurled it.

            The 42nd century will walk the Path of Ancients.

It is the original corridor of planets from the first age of Creation. Make sure I meet Ptah within the Gates of the Golden City. Not of the Earthly plain but within the Weave.

I am no longer Slumbering.

            Augustus grinned, <<Can I come! Please?! I have never seen the Golden City!>>

            Ptah headbutted the small dog. Gently.

            “Yes, little one. You may join me.”

Downtown New Ashbury

NAPD Supply Depot

T-Minus 29 days


Mom called out, “Got a lead for you Space Cadet!”

I gently set down the remaining evidence from the warehouse.

One of the glass cylinders recovered that had held a majority of test subjects. Lorain pushed me over to mom, “Get cracking!” Her half smile tugging at my heart. I couldn’t pin it down but I knew she was perturbed by someone or something about this drug. Mom took my hand and practically dragged me out of the bay. My father was waiting by a TA shuttle. I climbed in. I might be the Banner but I enjoyed all sorts of flying. My parents strapped in and we took off. The coastline of Texas falling away. The dark of space replacing it. We were heading out system. Dad lifted a finger, “ Di’axi and a few others are waiting for you at the Void Line.”

Mom pressed a hand to my Banner chestplate. Using matter manipulation to examine the material. I told her, “I won't take it off unless you say so!” Her face relaxed. Her old Amulet. It had saved my bacon once already.

I passed along messages from my HUD. Mom laughed.

Delight etched on her face.

Victor was already manipulating matter into tiny ducks. Their sandy features holding against the waves. Gulliver positioned behind him. Like a proud uncle. I wondered how Jacob and Samantha were doing. The Terran Alliance had sent them out on a survey mission. I linked to their private coms.

///How is everything?///

Jacob’s reply was brief.

///About as well as expected! See you topside!///


            The observer had a name of course. Murphy had overhead his codename when she first arrived at the CTT. But he preferred the nickname for now. Better for those to make assumptions than glean other truths for the moment. Within the compartments of that amulet were materials that would assist Eliza. Not in the realm of the Living. It would be needed. He accelerated the Time Reel. Viewing the final blow against Unity in a new light.

            Eliza wasn’t just being prepared for encasing Unity.

            She was helping them as well. The future Threads.

            They would have to be ready.

            To save the future, they must protect the present. Preserve the past.

            He turned to the White King and Silver Queen.

            They had chosen to reappear within the 42nd century.

            They turned away. The iris to Eliza’s temporary quarters opened.

            Convergence inched ever closer.


            I looked up from my desk. Another holo recorded. I was up to 12 volumes now. The 42nd century didn’t joke around. They wanted all the details. No matter how minuscule.  A lion and lioness entered. Their faces were as familiar to me as my own hands.

I reached out. “I have no words to express my gratitude.” They headbutted me.

            No words were needed.

            I had never walked alone.

            I would return to my time reforged.

            The Vigil remained.


Issue 16: Here

Issue 18: Here