The Choice

Aug. 27th, 2009 12:10 pm
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"You may, if you so desire, rest- you have earned it."

It was so tempting. He was so very tired sometimes. Let others take up the struggle without him.

"Or you can be one of those who leads the others in the coming Age."

But he saw in his mind's eye the people he had worked tirelessly to aid, their faces perfectly imprinted in his memory. He saw what would have ahppened if he had not been there, what had happened in other parts of the world where there was no-one like him to step forwards.

And he saw, with feelings of guilt and pain that would never fully go away, twelve figures dying in green flames.

Turning to the werewolf nearby, Mark asked, "So, when did you say this fight against the Wyrm was happening?"
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Si was wondering exactly which deities he'd pissed off in some incarnation or other. First up, he'd died. Which he'd previosuly figured was the end of things. But he comes to a form of consciousness to discover a zombie in a top hat explaining to him that things hadn't ended, for him at least.

Eventually, he finds a bunch of like-minded dead types and moves on elsewhere, and tries to make a living (if that's even the right word) in his new world. And then one day, as he's making his way, suddenly everything goes to hell in a handbasket- suddenly he can see dozens of new enfants, and before he can even react to that, there's this wind like a hurricane only nasty, and he's lucky to find shelter before he gets torn apart like several of the other poor buggers he sees out the windows.

He doesn't know what would have happened to this place without the fact that a legion patrol had had to shelter here too- they've fought off six spectre incursions since they all got here, but several are showing signs of damage, and there'd already been one of the defenders who's descended into a Harrowing. And he can see the Spectres massing outside again for another attempt. How long would this go on for? How many more attacks could they stand off? It was growing harder to ignore that voice within him, the voice of his Shadow, urging him to just give up, since it was so pointless...

And then he saw him, through the storm outside. Despite the fact that every wraith he'd seen try and brave the storm had been torn apart, either by the winds or the spectres that clustered in the air, there was someone out there.

Now he looked at him, he was odd. And this was coming from someone who was used to seeing people who tied objects of value to their dangling intestines.

Whoever it was, he was wearing robes of a white so bright it almost glowed in a silver light. Added to that, he seemed to have a bizarrely darkened skin, and, a more notable point, what looked like four wings coming from his back, all folded in repose.

As he approached, he seemed to be struggling against the storm, yet where other wraiths had been torn asunder, he appaeared to, at most, take some wounds that almost immediately healed. Of course, Si wasn;t the only entity to notice this, and the spectres that had been massing for attack now headed towards this newcomer. Si moaned involuntarily as he waited to see this person torn apart like the others, yet stopped in shock.

As the spectres approached him, the figure appeared to start shining with a golden light that seemed to pierce even the darkness of the Shadowlands, and spread out around him. As the charging spectres touched it, most of them recoiled in something like terror and turned to flee. Two were braver or more powerful than the others, and continued on with malice etched on their features. The figure raised a hand, and pointed at the first as it approached. In a voice heard even over the screams of the storm, he said simply, "Begone!", and the spectre, manifestly against its will, turned and fled. The second rushed to attack, yet its claws seemed to inflict no noticeable harm, and then the figure for the first time reacted with something that might be called haste. With a strike right out of one of those silly martial arts films they showed in various places from time to time, the figure appeared to punch right through the chest of the spectre. And to Si's surprise, the spectre looked briefly agonized before fading to nothingness.

The figure approached the entrance to the building they'd holed up in, and, despite the fact he could see occasional wounds opening up as the winds buffeted him, paused and spoke, "May I come in?".

After a brief discussion, those within agreed, and the figure stepped inside. Despite his somewhat fearsome appearance, Si felt comforted by his presence, and it seemed almost as if his Shadow had retreated in fear- certainly it was far quieter than it had ever been.

"I am of the Shemsu-heru. I have, to my shame, neglected my responsibilities to the Lands of the Dead here, but I now offer my aid and succor, if you will accept it, and my protection upon this place."

One of the legionnairies looked like he wanted to argue, but having seen what had been done to the spectres outside the rest of us shouted him down and agreed. At that, the figured gestured at the most injured of us, and said a word that no-one seemed to recognise, and we watched as our companion's Corpus seemed to knit itself together, until there was no sign he had ever been injured. This Shemsu-heru laid his hand on another who was wounded, and the same thing happened. Then, without a word, he stepped back out into the storm and paced around the building we were in, despite the obvious harm it was doing him, chanting as he went. After he had gone a full circle, he walked inside and knelt, praying in some language we didn't know- the only word we recognised was "Ra", as it cropped up frequently. He remained like this for maybe half an hour, then stopped and bowed, to something we couldn't see. And suddenly, the winds outside that had been ever-present, seemed dimninished as they approached the building. Whilst they were obviously still as bad as ever, it looked like they were no longer eating into the walls as they had been.

The figure climbed to his feet, looking more tired than he had been.

"Under normal circumstances, that would hold for a month or so. I do not know if it will last that long now. But I will return, and I ask only this of you. Do not give up hope- despair is the ally of Oblivion, and its servants would have you believe there is no-one who cares for your existence. This is not true. This storm, like the others before it, shall pass, and there will be need for those to rebuild in the aftermath. I cannot remain, but I will return again before this protection expires. There are others who also need my help, and I go to seek them now. Rest here, and know that you will not be abandoned."

Normally, that speech would have seemed trite or cliched, but the sincerity overlaying everything he said seemed to make it more than that. And so, as the figure stepped out again to face the storms, Si plucked up the courage to ask a question of this Shemsu-heru; "Who are you?"

"My name is Mark", replied the figure, and then strode out again into the Maelstrom.
[identity profile]
But you have to try. )

(Still a bit of a work in progress, so comments/ suggestions welcome)
[identity profile]
Dear Sir,
I write to express my condolences...

Mark screwed up the paper and threw it in the bin, where it joined the last dozen attempts. How could he offer empty platitudes when, when it came down to it, it was his fault they were dead.

They were dead because he'd tried to make the city a better place, and involved mortals in doing so. It would be so easy to follow Seraph's example and be a "super hero", almost no ties, just fighting the forces of evil. But Mark had believed, and still did, that to truly make a difference, it would be necessary to influence the city, and eventually the world, by means of the institutions that existed. But perhaps Mark was the wrong person to do it. Too noticeable, to easy to target.

And so now 20 people were dead because of him. Because he could not back away from those who stood against Ma'at. And yet, what else could he do?

And so it was time to examine whether he was now causing more harm by being here than not. The rest of the Amenti here didn't really need him any more. They had better warriors, better healers, better investigators. Many had made great strides in understanding Ma'at in the time that he had known them. They could do well without him there.

And so again, it came down to those in the wider world outside the Amenti that he called friend. And yet he sensed that Michael also was as weary as he was. Seraph was, well, Seraph. Tolly was, as ever, confusing. Rissa would be fine- that was, he thought, one of her stock in trades- it would be nice to think she'd miss him, but then she would still have Tim.

Mark would never abandon the fight. But perhaps it was time it was taken elsewhere, if he was causing more harm than good....

He looked at the tickets in his hand- their destination: Cairo. And they were not return tickets...
[identity profile]
She can feel the hollow point of the long thing tube peace her arm. must be time to top up the poision, she thinks.
right on que the feeling of cemicals racing to embrace her blood stream. her body thrasses against the strong binds holding her down more by rembered patten than atual need.

"Now now my dear all be over soon. Have you fixed and back in your loving fathers embrace." to frayer the good doctors voice seamed even more twisted than the world curently painted in blue cold clourers.

She dose not bother try ing to skream, long ago her toung was cruley replacerd by a thick serpent sleeping there. the sepent, seth she think is name is. refuces to play nice. loling about like a gold fish in air.

frayer closes her eyes. soon they will try the shock again. not like it ever stoped her before being.....

oh yes broken. the one, oh cold boring face, horrable taste to him. frayer did not like his taste. he had told her she was broken, mad, off her rocker. this was why she was back.

it has suprised the very privet clinic for the mentaly chalanged. its a lonny bin for the most posh people she childed herself. well they was suprised when she walked up to the gates. normaly it was one of the famoly cars that bought her. as she fought to get away. that was till she hid. 'your broken' his words cut her almost as much as rhyan look had. she was only trying to help.

"fix me." she had skreamed while shadows danced about the bilding. it did not taste nice. how could it with the wonderus expromental cures they was trying out. smart talk for we do what we like.
wraiths probaly was tied to the stark wight halls. snow had more varation then her curent cell.

there cure was not working, frayer still felt difrent. so the drugs did not help. but still. would the man with the voice but she could never rember his name, ever care what she was going throgh. hell the walk to the laberinth was like a picknick to this hell.

Cold cold, fuck me you bastareds iced that, water drenched her retrined form. Mark do you know about mind?
no mark's to bizzy the spider told her. He is to bizy saving the world. oh was all frayer could say.
Had she rembered to set up the bank orders to dribble moneys into ... oh were they worked.... who was they.
Danel she howled.

did the small new one get his lessions she had inrupted, gorn to the circus. yes she was ment to go there.

dancing nimphs swayed to the music while facless people watched. srians sang beutifule crule words, "frayers mad, she a loop its sad, frayers mad, tryed to brake the web at last."

they will not come, who? what was she looking for? why?

so so tired, her body still cramping for the flows of ac curent throught them.

another day. tomorrow i will be sane. another day tomorrow i will walk in sun.

Mark.... she reaches out. Then the tought of danced off in a swerl of leaves and amber.
do the amnei of london care.

time ticks past counted only by the people shif changes unoticed by frayer, just another poor soul.


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