tagSci-Fi & FantasyIron Rain Pt. 18

Iron Rain Pt. 18

byLost Boy©

I hope you enjoy this installment.
As always your votes and comments are always appreciated.




Date: Unknown

Location: The Sunken Isle

It is raining again, everyday it is raining and so one day seems to blend into the next. But time and space are warped here like being in the library crystal but like a distorted reflection. The Dreamer calls me the Shaw and I have memories now from before my fall. I remember a woman with dark eyes and long black hair. She calls me the Cunning Dragon. She calls me Kouryou. I am the Eternal Master and I have wrought a great and terrible thing upon the world. I walk among the ruins of a dead city, a necropolis wrought long before sentience evolved upon this frail blue world. The sleeping dead are gods and demons that haunt the dreams of mankind and the other races and I walk in nightmare so that I may learn a great and terrible lesson.

"Shaw," calls the voice of the Dreamer.

"I am here I am always here." I reply.

"You say that like it is a bad thing Shaw."

"What is the lesson for today," I ask.

"The same as yesterday mastering your perception of true reality," the Dreamer says.

"I still don't understand."

"I have decided upon a new tangent today. Do you know the difference between subjective and objective?"

"Biased and unbiased," I ask.

"Very good," the Dreamer says. "Tell me what your slant on your reality is."

"My subjective view you mean. I am a man trapped on an island that has risen from the floor of the ocean attempting to master the perception of true reality."

"Partially correct but then subjective reality often is. I will correct your errors Shaw. First you are not trapped. Second this island has not risen from the floor of the ocean. Lastly, you can never master the perception of true reality until you understand what true reality is."

"So I can leave anytime I wish. I am at the bottom of the ocean. I must somehow see reality objectively." I say and the massive octopus head nods. "How to perceive reality without becoming biased, how the hell do I do that?"

"In your holy book what is the first thing that Adam does?"

"He gives names to the birds and beasts of the fields... are you saying I begin by rejecting names?"

"It is a good beginning."

"So blue is no longer blue it is just a color in the visible spectrum?"

"Good."

"The visible spectrum is an illusion due to the fact there are other spectrums of equal value whether I can perceive them or not?"

"Very Good."

"So how do I perceive the higher and lower dimensions that are currently beyond me?"

"A good question, I will show you how to perceive these dimensions and you will be a step closer to mastering objective reality."

I was about to ask how when pain tore through my entire being and something fundamental changed and when the pain was gone I opened my eyes and saw... oh dear god I could see the hidden places between! Not just the infra and ultraviolet end of the spectrum but the myriad dimensions that physicists try to define with mere mathematics. I could now see from the micro to the macro and everything in between! Oh this is too much input and I felt my sanity slipping away when the Dreamer intervened and showed me how to control how much I perceived. It was like squinting or closing one's eyes.

"Now you see Shaw," it said. "Now you perceive."

"Yes and it is both glorious and horrifying."

"Exactly and now you better understand your reality."

"One last question Dreamer, why are you doing this," I asked.

"Because the Bennu altered you and it was delegated to me to prepare you." It said solemnly.

"Prepare me for what?"

"Incorrect. Not what but who. You are being sacrificed to the Elder Things Nicholas Shaw. By changing you as she did the Bennu drew their unwavering attention upon you so that she could escape again."

"Escape, why are the Elder Things searching for the Bennu?"

"She was singularly unique in all the dimensions and stands outside the bounds of time and space. They seek her to understand and become like her. You are her lamb Shaw and now that you perceive you will be sent to them to face their full attention. Farewell."

"Wait, do you have to send me there?" I asked.

"I do not have to but if I don't, they will sunder this world to seek the Bennu. Your path has been about preserving the races not destroying them. I assumed you would continue upon that path."

"You are correct Dreamer; send me to the Elder Things." I said and closed my eyes awaiting my death.

The Numenor

September 20th, 2012

I still can't believe he's gone. This Bennu woman says that Kouryou is still alive but she won't say where and none of his avatars can find him even Surfer. I have initiated Operation Damocles per his wishes and the rebirth Nick wanted so bad has begun.

"Surfer what is the status of the power plants?" I ask.

"Lady Akira the power plants are at one hundred percent. They are providing twenty percent more power than expected."

"And the desalinization plants?"

"They too are operating at full capacity and making a huge impact upon the surrounding areas." The gleaming male figure said his face a perpetual mask of worry.

"Has the President been able to swing the last nations on board yet?" I ask.

"He has not Lady but Grim is putting pressure upon those who have not joined the United World Order."

"Keep me informed of any changes Surfer and don't worry he's coming back."

"You mean Master Nick?"

"Who else."

"You believe Bennu?"

"No, I have faith in my Kouryou." I say and mean it to my core.

"Then I too will have faith in Master Nick." He said with a brave smile.

"Tell the others as well, we can use all that positive energy right about now."

"Yes Lady I will inform the Master's other avatars."

I leave the command center and walk up to the helipad and remember all those hours training the handsome round eye how to fight. It appeared hopeless at first but he never stopped and he never gave up on me. I can almost see his flashing blade red gold in the night slicing away doubt as he battled his imaginary foes. If anyone can come back from this it is Nick.

"Lady Akira," Marie Dubois called out bent on one knee.

"What is it Majestrix?"

"The Nephilim representative wishes to speak with you."

"Of course she does, tell her I'll be there right away."

"Yes Mistress." Marie said and was gone.

"I fucking hate politics." I say to the empty air... just like Nick.

That brought a little smile as I headed for my rooms to accept the call from the Matriarch of the Nephilim. I entered and found the holographic display blinking.

"Connect," I say and the ethereal image of the Matriarch hovered next to me. "Hello mother."

"Daughter, I send greetings from your father."

"How is he dealing with his new position as head of the council?"

"He loves it of course," she says with a canine grin.

"What can I do for you," I ask.

"We are doing well with these feeding rights you have hammered out for us with your Master."

"Good I am glad all is well then."

"But..."

"Ah here it comes," I said.

"But we want our scientists to have an untainted sample of this Aries virus for examination."

I raised an eyebrow and looked at her with no emotion.

"Why."

"We are looking for a cure for the Others," she lied poorly.

"Did father put you up to this?"

"Who else, a majority of our people are settling into the concept of farming humans? However the nobles still want the ability to hunt."

"They have always wanted what the majority never have. However as I have said before once Aries was released there is no cure. I wish I could help but it is out of anyone's hands mother."

"It was designed that way." She said softly.

"Pandora's box, once opened it cannot be closed."

"Well there is no harm in asking," she said with a genuine smile. "You look good Akira. I have to go and don't be a stranger."

"I will drop you a line soon and I'm glad you called."

The hologram disappeared and I wondered at the real reason for her call but that was more up Nick's expertise.

Arkham Massachusetts

Sleep is such a rare commodity these days. So a two hour nap was about on par with my schedule. As I shifted in my sleep the hammock moved and creaked waking me.

"Oh damn," I moaned.

"Master Terry, are you awake," Mekada asked softly.

"I am now," I said opening my eyes.

"I have finished the final diagnostic," she said.

"So what are the results?"

"We have reached ninety nine percent compliance," Mekada said with a huge smile.

"Really, that's amazing," I said my fatigue forgotten.

I got up and walked into the lab in the next room. The skeletal construct lay gleaming under the work lamps. It was the first of its kind but hopefully not the last.

"I hope Nick appreciates the last minute changes he asked for," I said looking at the hybrid skull. "Is the musculature remaining stable?"

"The improved formulae provided by Master Jesse have proven more than effective. I measured a full one hundred and twenty five percent improvement over the original."

"Excellent."

"We are ready for the exterior layer of skin and fur Master Terry."

"Okay let's place the last of the internals and then paint it," I said eager to see the finished product.

"I calculate it will take six hours for internals and exterior shall I wake you when it is finished Master?"

"Yes... as eager as I am to see the final product I need to sleep. Great job Mekada."

"Thank you Master."

Six hours. Six glorious hours of undisturbed sleep; it was near midnight when Mekada woke me and she appeared quite pleased with herself.

"Well?" I asked.

"She's done."

I got to my feet and saw the silhouette of the construct in the other room. I crossed the distance slowly and saw her head turn to look at me and she lowered her head and bowed. I entered the room and slowly walked around her. It was perfect and not knowing better I would think she was a living breathing creature. The scans that Nick had sent made this possible and I kept wondering if this was his design or an actual being. The tail swished through the air and the combination of human and feline features was an amazing blend.

"Do you know who I am?" I asked.

"You are my creator," she said.

Even the voice was perfect, so ethereal and gorgeous.

"What is your designation?" I asked as I reached out and touched her shoulder.

"I am Nightwind, Osirin Prototype Master Terry."

"Who is your primary?"

"Master Nicholas Shaw," she replied without hesitation.

"Is your full spectrum vision functioning?"

"Yes Master Terry."

"Can you feel my hand," I wondered.

"Yes Master," she purred. "My sensory network is functioning perfectly."

"Pop your claws please," I said watching as six inch razor sharp blades protruded from fingertips. "Nice. You may retract them." Snikt and they disappeared. "Smile for me so I may see your canines please."

"Yes Master," she said with a feral grin and her gleaming teeth were exposed.

"Extend your canines for me Nightwind please," I asked and her combat fangs came into view. "Gorgeous." I said and she actually blushed.

"Thank you Master Terry I am pleased my appearance meets your expectations."

"Let's run you through the paces shall we?"

"I am eager to perform for you Master... in all ways." She purred.

I raised an eyebrow and couldn't help but smile. I sensed Mekada's touch on her programming.

"Mekada you added a little sensuality to her personality profile?"

"Yes Master Terry, I thought Master Nick would appreciate it. She is fully functional after all."

"Can you prep the obstacle course please?" I asked.

"Yes Master Terry."

I watched in utter fascination as Nightwind ran through the paces of the obstacle course and after she was done watched the side by side compared to a human athlete and her stunning eye-hand coordination and speed. Nick was going to be floored! She performed better than expected. Now that I knew that the prototype was a success I was going to give Mekada her desire.

"Mekada I need your help," I said and she appeared instantly.

"Yes Master how can I be of service?"

"I need you to do a detailed analysis and create a 3D model of the following character."

"That's ME... oh Master you are going to do that for me?"

"Yes, I need as realistic a model as you can create."

"You mean like this..." she said displaying a holographic skeleton she had been working on for a while now.

"Let's send that upstairs shall we and get Project Mekada started!"

"YES Master!!!"

Antwerp Belgium

As the last light of day has departed and Mother Night is fully manifested the windows open automatically and I can see the sea. It is that simple sight that helps calm me for so much has changed and so may yet drastically change for my people. My daughter, who is bonded to our direst enemy and because of him we must farm humans instead of hunt them as is our nature. The nobles are chomping at the bit for a chance to once more stalk and slay their prey. It is possibly in my power to make that happen if I dare. I have contacted the Praetor but he is out of country so I must bring in elders from the other Houses to help guide my decision. Oh what we have been reduced to.

"Husband they are here," my wife tells me.

"I will be there soon," I say.

My keen hearing told me that everyone I had called had answered my 'summons'. With a heavy sigh I turn and enter my private chambers.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice," I greet them.

"Are the rumors true Lord Kusanagi," the Lady of House Nanna Sin inquires.

"Yes we have found Her, but she is badly injured and may not survive." I tell them.

"So we need to decide of whether or not to intervene, is that it Lord Kusanagi?" asks the Lord of House Tiamat.

"Yes if she is revived we must accept Her rule she is the Eldest after all." I tell them.

"If she is restored the Nephilim will be no more the Akhkharu will rise once more," my lovely wife said wisely. "Do we want that?"

"Our ability to hunt will be restored but at what cost," says the Lady of House Ishtar. "Do we want to become a plague ourselves?"

"That is what concerns me the most," I admitted. "The Old Ones may step in again and finish what they started all those long years ago."

"Do we bring this before the full council or try and contact the Twelve?" my wife asked.

"I say we let her perish," says the Lord of House Tiamat.

"I say we bring it to council this is too weighty a matter for so few to decide," voted the Lady of House Ishtar.

"I say we let nature takes its course and we do nothing," my wife said.

"How votes Nanna-Sin," I ask.

"Death," she whispers.

"I concur we do nothing and let her face the final death." I said.

"I may have something to say on the matter," purred a voice like ice.

We all turned and there in all her dark glory our worst nightmare the mother of us all. She was dressed all in white silks and on her fingers gold rings set with precious stones. Our mother was tall as any man and willowy as the loveliest courtesan and her blazing hatred was focused on me.

"You have no right to pass judgment on me but I will be merciful and grant you a boon, my blood."

Even as I tried to defend myself she was on me her teeth biting deep and stealing away my blood but in turn she let fall her own in my open mouth.

"There child of mine now you are reborn," she purred in my ear.

So it went with all of us and none were spared her wrath or her boon. We were Nephilim no more we were Akhkharu and a walking plague, for our victims would not perish they would rise and become like us the living dead.

St. Louis Missouri

We had decided to split up to find Oswald Sebastian Kane. Ingrid returned to England and I stayed in this new country to search in the hidden places and see if there were hints of his location. I walked down the sidewalk passed the park that had become a commune for the dispossessed and those among the pagan community. Several blocks later I found what I was looking for the coffeehouse. The business was closed but the building was not abandoned. I knocked on the door and a young woman of average looks answered the door.

"Can I help you," she greeted me.

"I am Magus and I seek the Maze," I told her.

"Come on in it's in the back," she said and pointed towards the rear of the building.

I saw the green door with the red frame and knew I was in the right place. This was one of the three entrances to the Maze; the other two were in Norway and Japan. They formed a kind of mystical triangle. The door opened and for the mundane it led to the basement of the building for the gifted and the strange it led to a large area that was dimensionally out of phase with the rest of the world. I step through the door and down the metal fire escape steps that would give me access to the back alley-like space that was the Edge. I dropped down the last few feet and was immediately surrounded by younglings that ranged from six to thirteen.

"Piss off," I said sending them running.

Rising above the apartment buildings on the Edge was the anchor an ancient totem pole depicting the spirits that guarded this corner of the Maze. Members of all of the races dwelt here and did business selling anything from information to Forbidden technology and even slaves. I made my way to the best information brokers in the entire Maze the Brothers Ravenstorm. Since the virus all my other sources had dried up or died. So I was forced to deal with the twins who were as clear as mud on the best of occasions. I just hoped they knew where Oz was hiding if he was still alive.

"Greetings fair one are you in the market for a body slave? Someone to serve your carnal needs or carry heavy loads..." called the short stocky hawker.

"What do you have today oh squat one?" I stopped curious as to what the current trend was.

"Ah I have a male and a few females to choose from oh lovely one," he said licking his lips.

"Just show me what you have and leave the smoke for someone else's arse hole."

"Of course... of course... bring them out!" he called to someone beyond the ugly black tarp.

The tarp rippled and then parted and three skinny but gorgeous female Aelves stepped out followed by a badly beaten and half starved male. Their ebony skin and silvery hair marked them as Svartalfar or Dark Aelves a once proud race but reduced to slaves after the fall of their great forge city below the tree of life. It was said that the hammer Mjolnir had been forged by the master smiths of the Svartalfar. How sad. I approached and looked them over and saw that only one was of any interest as she bore the ritual tattoos of a rune mage.

"How much for this one," I asked pointing to the mage.

"You have a keen eye pale one... I will give you a great deal on her forty." He said rubbing his hands together.

"She's half dead I'll give you thirty."

"Thirty! She's half alive thirty seven."

"Hmmm," I cupped her chin and looked into her drugged eyes. "Thirty two and not a penny more."

"You drive a hard bargain but she is willful and difficult so I will let her go for the paltry price of thirty two."

Money was exchanged and I took her chain and led her away.

"The moment the drug wears off I will burn you to ash Albino," the Svartalfar slurred.

"I am going to set you free idiot," I told her. "Even I am not so foolish as to try and keep a rune mage captive. But I would like to hire you."

"Oh well that's different," she said as she staggered about. "Who do you want dead?"

"I don't, but if my meeting with the twins goes ill I need someone tracked."

"Eh okay," she shrugged.

"Let's get you a meal and then a bath, you smell like a dung heap."

But her eyes were glassed over and far from here. I guided her to a bath house and paid a full coin for the works. Her clothing was burned and a meal was delivered which she promptly devoured. Free of collar, chains and drugs the Svartalfar was back to a keen eyed quick witted mage I had hoped to find underneath it all. We haggled over the price of new clothing and I decided it was wiser to fork over the cash instead of pissing her off more than she already was. Clad in softest silk of deep blue and shoed in fine sandals the aelf was in better spirits.

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