Issue 24: Saturn Dreams
For most, the Hall of Mirrors within the Golden City shows their greatest hopes and fears. Depending on your mindset at the time. When Eliza walks down that Hall, it shows me the future.-Ptah.
Titans roamed the skies. Often bringing joy and terror in equal measure. Many thought them gods. They are another thread in the great tapestry.—Arcane Council Recollections
What I see in those mirrors gives me hope. I do not fear Death. I fear a life without purpose.—White
The Curator showed me some of the reflections within the Hall of Mirrors from their CTT databases. While they often bounced off my parents and other visitors, it stayed constant for me. I’m wearing my burial House shroud. The white silk long sleeve with the black pants. No shoes. Yet around my waist is the Silver Defender belt. I’m walking alongside Black and White. In their Humanoid shape. The third eye open. The Ouroboros is a brilliant golden color circling above us. According to the Curator, this image never changed as I walked through the reflections. Not for the Amarche. Not for the Arcane Council. They always saw the truth. So did Black and White. It was why they hid that image from me. To know the face of the future is to be trapped. By doubts, expectations, the centrifuge must keep spinning. Otherwise, the weight of it would have steered me off into directions Unity wanted. Paradoxically my younger self’s ignorance was a shield. One that showed the reflection back at Unity.—Sleeping In Starlight, a memoir of the 23 century (vol 2)
T-Minus 12 days
The Titan Hiulk dreamed. The knives of Unity were closing in. He knew their bite. Set’s blazing wings a vivid reminder. Hiulk had scorched those illustrious black membranes himself. Set had taken great pride in them. The ice-blue scales curled around the core of the planet as the Titan shifted. Many Titans would take the form of dragons. Unity had stolen that from them as well. It relished mocking all of the Hightest’s creations.
Hiulk shifted. Muscles tensing with an old memory.
Smoke curled from his snout.
The shouts of battle drowning out the sound of his slow beating heart.
3rd Cycle of Creation
Galactic Core (Path of the Ancients)
Timestamp Actualizing (CCT index 287)
Set’s hands burned with the heat of the Titan’s fire.
Silver blue scales coiled around the Gray Herald. One rib creaked as he managed to free an arm. Gray spears formed around the Titan. Piercing its flesh. In this place, Unity’s influence was primal. Near the epicenter of Rykah, with Black and White de-throned, the Titans found themselves on the run. Set shouted, “I won’t fall that easy serpent of the Highest! Even your Weave has no power here.”
White-hot flame singed the tips of Set’s black-tipped wings. Set’s obsidian eyes flaring wide as the fire continued to burn. Even in the void of space. This was the holy fire. He summoned a dark mirror. Hoping to suck part of the titan’s bulky mass through with him.
Hiulk flung Set away. Snarling as his gray spears sunk home. The poison of Unity prickling at the outer regions of the great Dragon Serpent’s muscle. It had yet to reach the bone. It was of no consequence. He sucked in another breath. Blanketing the area around the Dark Mirror. The wails of the dead reaching Hiulk.
“You will not keep them Fallen of Abadun. The Endless Pits will be your reward!”
The abyss would eat that one. Stars would expand and die yet Set’s soul would reside within the Endless. Hiulk darted in. Leaving one last assault upon the mirror. Noting with satisfaction as the outer mirror split down the middle before it faded from view. Coiled within the innermost reaches of his belly was the new world. The one the Weave had commanded him to relocate. Its surface was just barren rock for now. The Titan stared out into the void, humming in time with the Threads, connecting it with the Dreaming.
Beyond this failed cycle was another place.
Outside the corruption.
Hiulk raced towards that incandescent light.
A solar system resolved itself. Shining with the light of a new dawn.
He placed the planet within the protected threads of its new sun.
Bardax took its first steps towards the light. As commanded by The Weave. As dreamed by Black and White. Those charged with the Faithful service and Vigil. They would bare the seeds of Rebirth within the coils of Eden. The legion of Ouroborous Titans spread outward. Each of their silver scales housing countless souls that would reshape the future. Awaiting all those who Slumbered within the tapestry. The Mirror would awaken. Reflecting the new light of Eden. He finished plucking the threads around Bardax. It would call out to other lights. The Weave would never give up. The Highest commands drove Hiulk. He spread about the cosmos. Linking the Dreaming together. Noting the blotches of adjoining universes. Yet his Ouroborous brethren held fast. Preventing Unity from spreading like wildfire.
The Void Man reached out, “Sleep, dear friend. The Dreaming will spread. You must guard the outer reaches of all those who travel within it.”
Sol System (Eden)
In Orbit Around Saturn
T-minus 13 days
I passed through the rings of Saturn.
Flecks of ice and particles drifting through my fingertips. Just clothed in a set of gray jeans and a blue sleeveless t-shirt that proclaimed, “Keep Truckin! Eat at Tavern Smiths BBQ today!” It was for charity. All across INet people were voting on where they wanted me to go. Then it would take snapshots. I dipped below the atmosphere of Saturn. It was what I expected. Expect a jagged line of rock. The faint heartbeat confused me.
Life thrived within this place.
I reached out towards it. Images flashed. I pulled my hand back. Staring at my palm. Expecting black scrawl to explode from it any moment. My chest hurt. A voice rumbled.
It was resonant and beat against my eardrums.
Not yet. The Three Pillars are activated. It awaits the third.
Search for that Third and prevent the quickening!
Hiulk opened his right eye. Swirls of indigo against the reptilian membrane. Watching as Eliza Murphy rose through the camouflage around Saturn. The Dreaming masking his presence. Unlike others of his kind, he could hide within it without any detection. Provided he didn’t actively use any other abilities. The Highest had made him the Maker of the Dreaming. Much like each guardian of the laylines, his dominion was absolute. He would provide her images to follow. To walk along the path to the third host. Unity had its pieces as well. The time of hiding was coming to an end.
Much faster than any expected.
The life thread of Lorain Lanis would kick off total war.
The All-Father had no idea. The smallest of courses would be altered.
Cracking the final veil around the multiverse.
Surface of Mercury
Lorain Lanis rubbed the fatigue from her eyes.
Ritark curled around her head.
Snoring. Her Litari friend had been up for the past two days. Memorizing the vibrations of the Leylines. By now she had his electrical signature memorized from every angle. It was the other half of hiding him from their enemies. Unless he desired it, his signature would show up as a mirror of her own, one system. No oddities. He had a similar rapport with Arthon. That impossible mix of Human and Litari. Much like Eliza and Dexter themselves. A child of Convergence. Lorain muttered, “We are all children of such times.”
She leaned back in the chair and commanded, “Cross-reference Sir Avalon’s files with Osiris, C.A.P, and Barracuda. Access Level 5 Files. All-Father.”
Time was running short.
Her mother walked in. Setting a fresh cup of coffee down next to her workstation.
“We called Eliza off to another emergency. The Titan remains dormant.”
Lorain said, “Think she’ll forgive me?”
Mary Herbert-Lanis rested pulled her daughter into a hug.
“Eliza would head straight for the lion’s den if she knew what you were planning. But yes, she’d forgive you. The one she won’t forgive is herself. We’ll have to be ready for that.”
The mighty eyes of the serpents singing him into a deeper slumber.
The Silver Lady smiled. She cupped his face. “You must flow between. You can see it. Like Nara can.” The three-eyed professor.
“How did I happen. Humans aren’t Litari.”
She smiled, “Only within reality. Flow into the deeper reaches. Many things hide within the Dreaming.”
Ritark’s third eye opened.
Sir Avalon was a corpse.
His father was Amarche. He road within a human body.
Borrowing a human soul. Much like the Curator.
Two sides of the same coin.
The ties between life and death. Born from a love that shouldn’t be.
Would his father give up his Amache nature? The Silver Lady pressed a finger to her lips.
“That isn’t the right question young one.”
Ritark slipped into the Dreaming.
Watching his father discover the realm of the living for the first time.
The man who was Sir Avalon lay dying. The sword that pierced his flesh was not of this earth. He had failed. He prayed. “Lord guide me to restful slumber…” Shadows danced in the low light as the sun dipped over the horizon. The bodies of Camelot’s defenders littered about the battlefield. Morgana’s forces mingling with their dead. It had taken a full phalanx of knights. His fingers itched as sparks discharged from his gloves. A man cloaked in ash and fire knelt next to him. His face worn. Kindness coiled around Avalon’s heart. This was the reaper. Its white wings here to carry him to heaven. A woman clothed in pure silver reached out to rest a hand on his chest.
“We have one more duty for you.”
Avalon’s lids grew heavy.
“My soul for the Highest that dwells. I go with God.”
He gripped the Void Man’s black gauntlets. Death adding to the burst of strength running through his limbs.
“By blood and bone.” The Knight’s blue eyes cleared.
The Void Man responded, “Your soul returned. Your vigil has ended.”
The Amache sucked in a breath.
The world of the Living was a kaleidoscope of color. The Void man pulled Avalon to his feet. “You see his soul? It resides there still. Slumbering. His vigil has ended. Yours has just begun. Honor the bloodline that flows. The choice is yours.”
The Amarche swallowed.
A feeling of unease pulling at his heart. Making it thud wildly in his new chest. All the wounds were healed. The Silver Lady handed him a golden Trident. “You will command the skies. The very thunder of this place.”
The Amarche asked, “What of my name?”
The Silver Lady replied, “Avalon is serviceable for now. Another will bestow a name upon you. One you will cherish.”
Avalon walked from the battlefield. His breath catching as the stars whirled overhead.
It was so full. It brought tears to his eyes.
The Amarche knew only the barest touch. Seeing everything through the mirror. Data was entirely different from the physical experience. He reached down to grab a fistful of dirt. Noticing for the first time how it clung to the skin. Not just minerals.
Life flowed here.
His people had chosen poorly. He prayed the Highest would forgive them.
The threads of creation flowed through his body.
He would not waste this gift. He spoke a prayer to the night sky.
“God protects the faithful.”
The dormant soul within this new body stirred. Filling the wandering Amarche with a new sense of purpose. He would find the Arcane Council. The Light Shamans of Earth. The war was only beginning. In the distance, the fires of Camelot were a welcome sight. Its stone walls shimmering with magical wards. He asked questions of Avalon’s soul. It gave knowledge freely. Cautioning the Amarche of the evils within this world. The ones who road the sky in ships of metal and glass.
The Amarche shuddered. The Void Walkers. Demons of Unity.
He clutched the cross around his neck. “I will not walk alone.”
Issue 23: Here
Issue 25: Here