Issue 15: Velvet Hands
Souls often move together. I have known many friends. Many families. We shall endure.--Dexter Murphy
How is it fair to put such a burden on them?--Lorain Lanis
No wonder I saw reflections of my children within each star upon the expanse. Though not always born into demi powers? As the first to possess such abilities? It carried across all their lives. Linking them to everyone around them. No wonder Eliza understood how to cleanse the false Uplift Protocol. How my son could walk between the realm of the living and the dead.--Thomas Murphy
I wonder what kind of past lives I’ve had.--Jonas “Eddie” Olsten
Lethe is hiding for now. Makes sense. She did take part of Lorain’s burden this go around. I don’t think either of them wanted to go through awaiting my rebirth 2.0. I recalled telling Eddie to watch out for her. Nola did her part as well. Bonds that last through every age.--Sleeping In Starlight: Post Convergence Files (Conclave Access Required)
The Jupiter Rising
New Ashbury Spaceport
May 5th 5488
My sister and I stared at the readouts.
We had 5 uncles and 3 aunts. Grandma Murphy just beamed at us both from the other side of the mess table. I leaned back and crossed my arms. “What will happen when we reintegrate fully with this cycle?”
Eliza indicated the news feeds with her mug of coffee, “People will remember us again. As our Demi selves. It will be up to us if we decide to go full blast on the civilian ID side. But by the time that happens? The Escapees will know who we are as well.”
She touched the side of her face.
“It's still weird. I got so used to this face before all the memories came flooding back.”
I brought up our HeroNet profile. Known only to a few within the Protectorate.
Abraham Murphy resonated on my senses via his share of the Tear. 1 down. 7 more to locate. I had already examined all our friends and family from that boisterous reunion. Nothing had popped up.
Eliza noted, “I bet you White and Black will have some leads. Hidan too.”
Lorain brought over additional plates. “Where’s Mary?”
“Working.” My wife was one of the HeroNet Warders that sent out Type 1 and 2 demi notifications. Even if she didn’t have access to any Conclave level alerts she picked up right where we had left off. My sister smiled, “Already?!”
I wouldn't lose any time this go around. I wanted my children back in my life. It was one of the few things that was utterly normal for me in this life or the next. Eliza shook her head,
“Maybe our last name should have been Rabbit.”
Grandpa slapped his knee. “The only reason why we didn't have more last cycle was due to our busy we’d been as Demis. With the Protectorate in place? We had more options this time. It helps that the Western Alliance Protocol didn’t have to deal with multiple wars.”
Eliza frowned, “Just glad that the Void Walkers never took hold. So many cycles with Chronos tinkering with Creation level systems.” We all remained quiet as she continued. It was useful getting Silver Fox accessed information nowadays.
I waved Herbert-Lanis over.
Doc tensed momentarily. “You aren’t still fighting are you?”
My question caused her to flush.
Lorain gave me a probing stare, “No. Its just….”
I examined her mother closely. Nothing physical seemed out of sorts but a tiny distortion was located at her right shoulder. My mouth went dry. Lethe. Lorain’s only other Soul Imprint. I had so many I lost track. The perks of being the first demi pair to fight the Nothing and the Dreamweaver. Mary caught the extra second of examination. She pulled me from the chair and directed me towards the grav lift, “Be right back!”
As we descended I asked the patch of energy at her shoulder, “I know how you both operate. Doc’s gonna keep digging you know.” A warm presence filled the room. Mary pulled me over to the old Arcane Order Null section. The wall lowered and we stepped inside.
I told Lorain, “Eliza will figure it out.”
Out of all of us? Lorain had only been reconstituted through the Creator Ouro twice since her time as Lethe. I still remembered my sister tripping over her shield as she tried to figure out the enigma known as Lethe. A few of us had our start out of the true Creation cycle. White was often at Eliza’s side. At this point we had borne so many names it was easier just to think in modern terms.
Heaven (Mortal Layer)
Conclave Clearance Required for Memory Archive
My sister offered Lethe the music box. Forged by Hephaestus himself.
Black stated, “Do you think such a relationship could work? Between Demi and Shardbearer?”
I shrugged. Then traced the wings stylized on each side of my helmet. Lightning danced on the edge of my fingertips. Each spark turned blue. My sister’s aura flashed silver and gold in the sunlight. As she presented the gift once more.
“My sister is quite persistent.”
White paced back and forth. Her agitation grew as she spied the head of the Golden Host descending from on high.
Known as the Lightbearer. His long legs carried him past my sister and Lethe. His azure orbs locked on the Tower of the Three Aspects. He pounded on the gateway. “I know you are in there!” He didn’t have much love for mortals. As the first demis? My sister and I had been blessed by mortality via our parents. Our spirits had been forged by the Oversoul himself.
Lethe had no paired bearer. A rarity among their kind.
She rose and my sister followed. The Eternal Springs. White padded after them.
Lethe reached out to grasp the music box.
“This is lovely but why give it to me? Don’t you have to safeguard the realms?”
I hooked my thumbs into my belt, “There are others of my kind. We do have a free moment. Besides I hear the Springs can show you the future!”
Lethe’s vibrant green eyes locked onto my silver shield as it clanked against my back. White sprang forward. Her paws tapped against the sigils that formed upon the ground. I floated above the calm waters as we passed the southern gate. The water rose to carry Lethe foreward. At the middle of the lake stood the shrine to the Trinity of Creation.
The Oversoul. The Highest.
The Life Thread of Mortals.
Lightbringer circled high above us. Out of reflex I shielded Lethe as he landed near the shrine. He glared at the gold, obsidian and white monument. Its three rings shifted in color. The world turned white. Lethe gasped.
It was us. Remolded. Yet unbroken.
Her clothing was bombastic. A suit made of black, green and white coating.
I had an odd bit of clothing on my back. A cape. One blue line. Whites and reds. My whole suit was silver. Three gold rings on the chest. A woman with two faces charged at us. Her screams contained a hint of insanity. The Nothing’s corruption poured from her nose, ears and eyes. I stepped in front of Lethe, “Fancy meetin’ you here!”
My vernacular was peculiar.
Lethe aimed a strange device at the woman’s legs. The corrupted woman tripped and skidded to a halt. I picked her up one handed. My silver shield no longer resided on my back. It covered the whole universe beyond ours. Beyond all epochs. Each layer built until all those who linked with the Mortal Thread of Life hummed against my skin. I couldn’t see White anywhere. She was one of the first of the Lifebearers formed after the Golden Host. Her brother was her Shard Pair. A Deathbearer. Made to carry the souls of the mortals to the Ouro of Rebirth.
Lethe shouted, “Now Star!”
A whirlpool of energy opened up at our feet.
The vision faded. The waters shielded her from the sight of the Lightbearer.
They sang to her.
You will carry a set of Tears through the Convergence. This world will end but you shall remain. The Shielded One will protect you. The Amache will know. You must help them see the truth.
For she had been Amache. Those who had recoiled from the Seeds of Creation. The demi beside her had grown milk white in the waters. She could see the patterns that made up this one’s soul. A bright red thread rose from the Shield.
This one will protect you. The other Twin shall hunt the Tears hidden from us.
Conclave Clearance Required for Memory Archive
I watched as the portal shimmered.
It would carry us to the realm of the Dreamweaver. Dexter readied his Spear. It circled around him like a second skin within the Weave. My silver shield pulsed. It had been a while since we had used our foundation demi abilities but whomever was being used as a Sleeve Suit wouldn’t recognize it either.
Dexter leaned in to ruffle my hair. “Once more into the breach?”
White had my last remaining feather cupped in her hands.
“What are you?” That one question was at the heart of this whole adventure.
“Mix that feather with the waters of the grail. When the new world rings true.”
A hum reverberated in my chest. “The Arc of the Covenant has been activated.”
A white shimmer ate at the edges of my former home. Those within the 42nd century saluted us as it passed over. The Sleeve drives across time and space planted their idols. Swords, Spears, Shields. It didn't matter the form it took. Each anchored itself against the Convergence. To safeguard those who would come after. There was no way the Nothing could use its puppet now. We entered the portal.
Thoth’s crimson eyes locked onto me first.
“You come here depleted dear niece.”
Lorain waited until only a glimmer of the portal remained.
She smiled at Black and White. She tugged at the silver thread in her arm. The Tear slipped out. She used the head of the black pin to shatter it into four pieces. Those pieces flew off into the great white void eating away at the last bastion of the Eden Universe.
Without a word she jumped in after the Twins.
A small silver music box began a simple tune.
Black and White shifted.
Their wings brushed the edge of the box as the wave finally reached them.
Heart of the Multiverse
Before Mortal Reckoning
Black gasped as the cool void of space enveloped him.
His arms were wrapped tight about his sister. She still had that final feather. His hand was curled about a simple silver music box. His eyes raised. Utter stillness. Three golden rings circled. Spinning within each other as a complex pattern of sigils spilled outward. The song was pure. Each note heralding rebirth. The Oversoul had given everyone a choice. To remember the Eden cycle or to forget. Forge a new path.
He had chosen to remember. He would not forget the Twin Rulers of the Sky.
He reached out to pull at the next to emerge. Hidan.
The Golden Host came next. All except for Aether. Micheal raised his sword on high.
“Our brother chose a different path.”
Stars formed around them. A warm wind hit his face as each guarded shield world flowed past. This time would be different. First came dark matter. The Aether emerged. Crackling energy. They would guard the bridge between this matter and the void. Their physical forms elongated. Six eyes. Six limbs. Two legs. A multitude of colors. The Curator floated before the Life and Deathbearer.
>>I am Ata’mos. So named. So given. We shall weave the souls of old into the new bodies.<<
The Multiverse expanded outward. Every race grew. Always aware of the hazard of the Ninth Array. The Humans, Typherians and Bardaxians drifted together. Just as Eliza had wanted. The Sol System reformed. They watched as Ta’mathon and his Golden Kingdom rose from the sands once more. As Typha launched itself into space. Connecting with Humanity upon the physical plain. They rejoiced. Their songs flowed outward. Bardax greeted their neighbors with the typical excitement of a long lost friend. Demis arose from Earth. They explored the vast tapestry of the Cosmos.
Soon they found the Scholars. In an alliance with the Litari. Who also shared a home system with the Tarvellians. For protection. Never alone. Defenders arose from primordial worlds. Across all sectors. Hearing the call. Belts crafted by Hephaestus. Powered by the Aspect. The 4th aspect. As was meant to be.
The source of Life. All Hope in the Multiverse.
There was only one thing missing.
Black scanned the Ouro fields. Eliza and Dexter’s soul had never crossed the threshold.
He waited for the passing of ages. Finally they descended to Earth.
Black noted, “2255 A.C.”
Ta’mathon greeted them. His form still pristine.
Isis bowed, “We have news.”
White held out the feather. The question burning in her eyes.
Ta’mathon replied, “There is no trace of them. Not yet. We will continue to map the skies. No matter which layer.”
White highlighted the profile.
//Ethereal Titan: Magic Demi. Channeler. Flight.//
The feather at her throat quivered ever so slightly when she pressed one fingertip to expand the photo. The maroon dynamo mask hid the eyes. Dirty blonde hair. Cut shoulder length short. A bit windswept. A mix of maroon, silver and gold. Her chest plate stenciled with a silver triangle. Black expanded the profile.
“limited invulnerability.” His glee was contagious.
White grinned. Her stark white hair lined with one stripe of white. Her brother was the opposite. Black with one white streak. She pulled at his arm. “Let’s go meet this Titan.” They were New Ashbury’s dynamic news duo.
She opened her coms.
//To the Ethereal Titan….//
Issue 14: Here
Issue 16: Here
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