Monday, June 6, 2022

The Uplift Protocol Blood Feuds: Issue 18


Issue 18: A Soul Torn Asunder


            It all came down to Eliza rolling with only having half the battle encased in her brain. Of all of us? Those last revelations were the ones that finally made my wife realize just how much we had to lose if we did not succeed in the present.—Thomas Murphy

            Temporal Thread Engines: Crafted in the year 25 AD. Property of the Golden City Arcanum. We thank the Icath Ruling pair for their involvement. Please note: Only three ships of the Line have this capability. We must protect Gilgamesh Sector at all costs.—Arcane Order fragment

            Jupiter Rising. What a crafty ship you are. I cannot separate her from the marvel she became. From the start, she was on the other side of the pin. I just didn’t know it. Until my twilight years.—Sleeping in Starlight: Temporal Oddities

The Jupiter Rising


Exiting Temporal Stream Space


            Images danced behind my eyes. Scores of worlds interconnected. Fireworks lit up the morning sky across the vast space. They were praising the Protectorate. Faces blurred. Their hands raised to the sky.

Paradise Falls repeated, <<Arbiter Murphy! Re-connecting current-era threads.>>

            I rubbed my eyes. I said, “Let me guess. We got the info we needed.”

            Mom’s expression didn’t change but a wave of self-deprecating humor washed off her. I fixed my jacket. Paused as I detected a crinkle of paper. I pulled it out.

            I groaned softly, “If you are reading this….”

            Here’s what’s on the table. The soul shards of all life. I know. We both want our minds whole but it's not in the cards just yet. Yes, we can have communication through the Temporal shifts via the Ur but we are still on the chopping block until that Phase 3 completes itself. Silver Fox insists that it will all be worth the hassle in the end. First, Mom and Dad know a whole lot more of the puzzle now. So you aren’t alone there. They have a special item that will help us prepare for the future.

            Multiple times.

            Yeah, it’s going to be a while before Phase 3 hits.

            Touch the sigil at the end of this letter. We have an Ark to position.

            It will come after Doc next. In the 2nd phase. So she will have to be kept out of a few Arcane Order missives. It means Eddie and Arthon will get to do some heavy lifting. Alongside Robin and his party. Yes, she’s still feeling that stab I got from All-Father/Thoth. But we know what pulls the strings in that one.

            Meathook will cause problems. He allows you to hear his approach. Or would that be it. One can’t tell with that abomination. We are going to have to lure him into Noah’s Ark. A specific room. It will be able to trap him. Then shoot him out into the depths of space but not in the time he suspects. We will have to build up Eden alongside all those Universes that are still free of Unity and the Red King.

            One of the pair of owls is a failed universe version of us.

            You’ll know when they strike. Make sure they are on the elevator to the future as well.

            I winced, “Oh that’s just peachy.”

            Doc’s frown grew as she peered over my shoulder.

            “That answers that question.”

            I reached up behind me and covered her hand with mine.

            “I’ve already made headway in that arena. I won’t let them get close to your soul.”

            She nodded and then exited the bridge.


            Arthon tapped the final holo sequence into place. They had finally cleansed Alvara’s systems of all Unity corruption. The twin to At’lan came online, her voice filled the Muthra vessel. <<Brother! We must…>>

            At’lan replied, <<Indeed. We are gathering Noah’s Ark together. Minus the piece that Chronos was allowed. It is all one big bait machine. To the future, it must flow.>>

            Eddie leaned against the railing. His eyes locked onto the patterns flowing through Alvara’s cortex. Nothing hidden remained. He breathed out a long sigh of relief. Data flowed through his HUD. A message from J’ino popped into place.

            //Once Alvara is situated? Bring At’lan to Paradise Falls. We have work for you and Arthon. Do not tell Lorain anything. Phase Two is now officially in effect.//

            Arthon added, “Ever get the feeling that these secrets within secrets will fall apart at some point?”

            Eddie replied, “All the time. But considering who’s ultimately behind it all?”

            Arthon rubbed his chin, “Yes, this future Eliza knows much but how can she ensure everything will go according to plan?”  Eddie studied Alvara’s matrix once more. “She can’t. She can only hope that things go along the Path long enough to see this future happen.”

            Arthon crossed his arms over his chest. “That puts more on us than most realize. She’s trusting us to pull through this time.” His expression darkened at the memory of Eliza’s universal funeral. He added dourly, “We have to do better. For everyone's sakes.”

            Eddie clapped his friend on the shoulder, “We will. We are.”

            Arthon headed towards At’lan’s training deck, “That leaves more time to prepare!”


            Lachesis linked with her sisters. Clotho’s light tenor echoed through the temporal lines that connected all three of them as one. Many knew them as the Fates. Others knew of them as the original Three aspects. Past, Present, and Future. They had followed the Highest after the burst of Creation that flooded the Dark Matter Cluster. Giving life to the multiverse as the mortals knew it.

            Lachesis watched as Eliza reclined upon a beach chair within the entertainment deck.

            With the Necrotic World out of commission? All of the Artock flesh slaves had been recalled through the dark mirror networks. All of the defenders of Paradise Falls were taking a 5-minute breather to collect their thoughts.

            They thought her birth resided within the technological hub of Typherian engineering. She wasn’t going to change anyone’s mind for now. To be considered an Ascended AI or VI was one kernel of cover. She plucked at the strings connecting her to the Curator. The renegade leader of the remaining True Amache replied, <<What can I do for you fair lady?>>

            Lachesis tugged. A tendril of warmth infused the old caretaker, “It is nearly upon us. Phase Two. Just as the Highest wished. Eliza is about to get a piece of that downtime she desires. I do not blame her. Much has happened.”

            Curator bowed his head. A lance of regret shot through him. He could not hide it from her. Not as they were linked. <<The Red King must be stopped. I only hope the White King and Silver Queen forgive us for using them as bait.>>

            The VI Jupiter Rising was the middle of the Fates. Those linked by Time and Duty.

            Atropos, the final of the sisters cut in. <<The combined might of our fleets is moving into position. Eliza has sent you the proper plans I take it?>>

            In that era, the final fate, that of Death was known as the Trident of Earth.

            Clotho’s humor poured through the link, << It's just as much fun seeing Eliza and her Doctor travel about the newly minted Golden City. Have to keep an eye on the little ones.>>

            Clotho’s designation was Ra’s Endurance. Each of the sisters helped to coordinate the activities of both Arbiters. Dexter’s contributions were shrouded from all. Even his sister. For the Red King’s grasp reached outward. Burrowing into flesh and soul alike. Light Shamans across the ages could salvage some against that darkness but not all. It was why some demis chose the life of a criminal, murderer, or malcontent. The sins bubbled up to the surface-level minds in different ways.  Each act of cruelty shaped the drone that had willingly given itself over to the abyssal dark of those crimson hands. Abbadon would take the flesh. Then seep into the soul shards of the mortals. Twisting them over to his will. Bit by bit. It was why Eliza’s time as the Banner was so important. To simply believe that a demi of her level would use her powers for good was a powerful message.

            They had no idea what Dexter Murphy protected.

            As was needed. He would become what the Red King denied.

            For Death had a role to play equal to Life. Within this world plane one needed both within the mortal cycle. Prolong kept the fear at bay for many of these little lights. The next 1000 years would change the face of the future.

            The Moirai would not fail in their mission.


            I finished pulling on my boots. The medical pod along with Trouble’s ecstatic quacking told me all I needed. The baby had arrived. I released the airlock cycle. The scents of trees, foliage, and animals hit my nostrils. The sharp metallic ozone cut through like a knife. “Think J’anu will want an extra pillow?”

            Doc tapped my chin with an index finger, “I'll bring a mint!”

            Cooper leaned over. His Green Defender armor materialized over his black-furred frame. His tail quivered, <<I smell Black Scrawl.>> Auggie floated out the door. His nub of a tail stock still, <<The Howling needs my help. I must go!>>  I blinked and he was gone.


            Cerberus circled the flesh monster.

            Ta’rammon ran interference. Yes, he was a corrupted soul but upon seeing what his final fate could be? He raged against it as vehemently as he did towards the Light. Therein lay the path to Purgatory. The best that one of his ilk could achieve. He and his wife had murdered far too many for the scales to balance but they could save the boy.

            From his Grandfather.

            Ta’tarr Urraden. The Eyes of the Void.

            Three for Unity, the false Vanguard.

            Three for the Red King upon his crimson throne. The blood siphoned from the soul core. The Flesh made compliant. The Will fallen to the depths. That was his true power. To breath from the shadows. Controlling all lesser evil.

Argos howled.

            The White Wolf of Elysium had arrived.

            Ta’rammon buried the cursed Light Shaman blade into the side of the third arm against the rough flesh of the where an armpit would be on a human. Smoke filled the caverns. It screamed. Its four back arms knocked Ta’rammon backwards. It cared not for the human. That one was claimed by its master. It brought its misshapen head back around. The 6 rotted obsidian horns twitched. Black Scrawl dripped from its 5 tongues.

            Its body was a mishmash of lion, goat, snake, and boar. A sickening pop along its back revealed additional bones. They morphed into arms. Each hand wielded a whip of ivory, black, and gold.

            It hissed, “You shall die here Wolf of the Gates!” It spat on the ground. The saliva hissed as it ate through the rocky exterior.

Cerberus snarled, “Nargus Samata.”

The profane one bowed as its hands pulled at the sacred knife. Smoke hissed as flesh burned away. Then it tossed the accursed blade away. “I shall feast!” It charged.

Cerberus bounded to meet it at the center of the cavern.

Fire burned within his gullet as divine magic stirred. He would consume this demon.

Cleanse it from the multiverse and spit upon its ashes.

Only then would it be concentrated to enter the Gates of Underworld. As was proper.


            Argo smelled the blood. The rage of battle.

            That putrid stink sent a shudder up his spine.

            Cerberus was strong but together? They would hunt. His heart thudded in his chest.

            Highest protect us within the shadows.

            The White Wolf of the Gates bounded forward. His mighty howl resounded.

            The battle was joined.

Issue 17: Here

Issue 19: Here

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