Iron Rain Pt. 19byLost Boy©
I would like to send a big thanks to SlyStone for editing this piece for me. As always I hope everyone enjoys this installment and please vote and comment to show me how much you like it. Suggestions are always welcome.
Nick Shaw: Entrepreneur and Eternal Master of the 'Order'
Kat Shaw: Nick's Stepsister and Manager of Numenor Technology Arkham Mass.
Petra Shaw: 'Deceased' Stepmother now avatar
Jesse Tillinghast: Computer Genius and Nick's Close Friend
Terry Wilkes: Software Genius and Nick's Close Friend
William Bell Jr: Close Friend of Nick's (Deceased)
Akira Kusanagi: Nephilim and Silent Master of the 'Order'
Sora: Member of the Sisterhood and Kat's bodyguard
Fire Heart: High Priestess of the Osirins and member of the Bast tribe
Nightwind: Biomechanical Avatar for Nick based off the Bast Osirin form
Mary Stone: Nephilim and Bakaret (Soul Thief)
Oswald Sebastian Kane or 'Oz': Nephilim (Via Professor Griffin's Serum) and general rogue
Quincy Morris or 'Quinn': Nephilim (Via the Bloodstone Ring) owner of Quinn's Emporium
Augustus Eisermann: Mayor of Hammerton Mo.
Celeste Eisermann: Daughter of Augustus Eisermann and Cyan Michaels
Cyan Michaels: Billionaire and Philanthropist
Gadda Doin: Farmer/Recluse whose property borders Mary Stone's (Loki's Father?)
Marie Dubois: Cajun and Majestrix of the Sisterhood
Loki: Ancient Immortal once worshipped as a Deity in many cultures and agent of chaos
Fen: Loki's son
Magus: Rogue Zeitgeist that once answered to the Old Ones (Albino)
Garnet: Svartalfar and companion to Magus (Rune Mage)
Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight: Secret Organization headed by the Eternal Master
Silent Shadows or the 'Sisterhood': female arm of the 'Order' who answer only to Akira
Nephilim: Hybrid offshoot of Humans and the Old Ones
Osirins: A group of tribes of humanoids that were sired by the Egyptian Gods in antiquity
Old Ones: Ancient Race of Humanoids who origins date back to the Hyperborean Age
Shifters: Short for Shape Shifters and able to alter their form at will
Svartalfar: Dark Aelves who once lived beneath Ygdrassil the World Tree
Akhkharu: Virulent predecessors to the Nephilim led by the Dark Mother
Numenor and Beyond (Nick)
December 5th, 2012
I knew that I couldn't put off the conversation with Akira much longer and she did deserve to know what was going on but first I had a myriad of tasks to set into motion. I was eternally grateful for the fact that I had outstandingly gifted avatars to carry out my will without question or reservation. They stood waiting eagerly to be given these monumental tasks to accomplish and they didn't have much time to complete them.
"Surfer," I directed my most difficult task to him.
"Yes Master Nick," he said with a beaming smile.
"I need you to make sure that the following museums are emptied and their contents moved to the designated locations." I said sending him the information via holographic keypad.
"Yes Sir," his expression became a little stressed. "I will do my best."
"Lilith," I said turning to the lovely young woman once more now that I was Master of the Isle she could drop her demonic appearance.
"Yes Master," she purred.
"I have a list of young people who need to be located and tested for possible entrance into the school once it opens next year."
"Yes Master, consider it done."
"Morrigan," I said turning to the once goddess.
"Yes Sir," she bowed.
"I need you to observe the following locations for me unseen and report back to me in a week's time. The information I require is in this file." I said sending her a tiny document.
"It will be done."
"Grim," I turned to face my digital twin.
"Yes Nick," he replied and all the others glared at him but he just smiled.
"I need you to go to the Vatican and have them empty their library and the contents of their private holdings and deliver them here." I said once more sending a small digital file.
"Sir? Why are we moving relics, artwork and irreplaceable items?" Grim asked.
The gasp from the other avatars was loud in the small room.
"Because Grim if they are not removed they will not be there after the turn of the year." I said with little or no emotion.
"OH... very well, I will make sure everything is secured on time Sir."
That was that and with a nod from me they vanished.
"What about me," Petra appeared tapping her foot.
"I haven't forgotten about you," I told her.
"How can I help Nick," she asked.
"I need you to find the two shifters that have managed to sneak on board and murder two of the crew."
"What?" she said in shock. "How long have they been on board?"
"Since before Aries went off and they may even be inoculated against Aries. I don't need any more of the crew being replaced."
"How am I supposed to spot shape shifters Nick," she asked.
"You and Nightwind are going to work together to find them," I told her.
"So that's why you had her made," Petra asked.
"It's one of the reasons," I say.
"Can I ask what the other is," she asked with a smile. "I hear she's 'fully' functional."
"That she is, she can even achieve an orgasm or two, so I have been told."
"You mean you haven't..." she looked at me and placed her hand on my forehead. "...are you feeling well Nick?"
"I'm fine," I tell her.
"So you say but your core temperature is only seventy two degrees. What's going on?"
Sigh. Without hesitation I launched into the full tale of Bennu and the dire alchemy she worked upon me and what occurred after. I left nothing out and I saw the pain in her face and the desire to somehow protect me from the past.
"Oh Nick," she said. "I wish there was something I could do to take it all away."
"I know mom," I told her.
"I will find these murderers for you but how do you know they are on board the Numenor?"
"The shifters are direct offspring of the Elder Things," I explained. "After I swallowed the gift I can sense the presence of anything that is tied to them. Whether it is technology, locations or living beings; it is part of knowing what they know I guess."
"Any suggestions on how I find them," Petra asked.
"Actually I do," I said as I sent her an upgrade.
"Ooh that tickles," she giggled. "What does it... oh my god...?"
"Now you know how to find them."
"Yes, yes I do," she said tears flowing. "I will have Akira arrest them once I locate them."
"Once they are in custody bring them to me," I say.
Vatican City, Rome (Morrigan)
December 6th, 2012
The throngs of the faithful had diminished little since the outbreak of Project Aries or what the world was calling the Angel of Death. It had taken the lives of what some experts were saying were up to seventy percent or higher of the entire human population; a full twenty percent higher than the Black Death centuries before. Cardinal Renaldo Giovanni was taking his duty by hearing the confessions of the high ranking members of the church. Much to his surprise a veiled woman knelt across from him and crossed herself and began the prayer in fluent Italian.
"Bless me Father for I have sinned. My last confession was two hundred and thirty five years ago," she said.
"My child what is the meaning of..." he began but then she continued his blood ran cold.
"Hello Longinus," she said raising her head and he saw those piercing green eyes.
"YOU," he hissed. "What are you doing here demon?"
"Oh Longinus is that any way to greet an old lover," Morrigan whispered.
"What do you want Morrigan," he whispered back.
"A good friend of mine is going to seek you out later today. I need you to help him without question."
"And why should I do that?"
"For two very good reasons lover, the first is that if you don't I will tell his Holiness who you really are. The second and more important reason is that he is a member of the Order. You remember your commitment to the Order don't you Longinus?"
"My loyalties are to the church Morrigan," he said.
"I was counting on that," she said her eyes glittering. "The request my friend is going to make has to do with preserving the treasures of the church."
"What's going on," he asked his handsome features growing pale. "It isn't over is it?"
"No old friend it isn't. If you have any sway over your fellow cardinals and the pope I would strongly suggest seeking higher ground. I can't say any more than that but do it soon before the turn of the year."
"Did the Order have anything to do with this plague?"
"I don't know," she lied. "But they are trying to preserve art, history and irreplaceable artifacts. If you really serve this church of yours help my friend when he arrives," Morrigan said taking to her feet.
"Where are you going," the cardinal asked.
"I have other museums and collections to save. Don't hesitate Longinus, you were a soldier once and this is a good time to fall back on those old habits of taking orders. I hope we meet again."
"Goodbye Morrigan," he said making the sign of the cross.
"Farewell Longinus, may your god be with you."
Antwerp, Belgium (Dark Mother)
Silver Twilight Lodge
The pack swarmed into the interior of the once regal and stately building now little more than a husk of its former glory. The interior had been stripped of everything of any real value long ago and what was left were shards and fragments of the terrific blast that ended the lives of several key members of the Order. Following the pack were a group of six, four men and two women they were all elegantly dressed in the fashion of centuries passed. One in particular stood out from all others as she was taller, more regal and carried a hidden power the others both feared and yearned to possess themselves. She was the Dark Mother and the ruination of the Nephilim race. She was a walking disease that spread not only to her children but her human victims as well. Those that fell beneath her fangs rose again hideously changed and were infectious themselves and so the Akhkharu grew with each new casualty.
"Pity this was once a place of great beauty and power," the Dark Mother mused to her children. "Though it may still hold secrets for those skilled enough to find them; Engineer search this place for hidden things and report back to me when and if you find anything."
"Yes Mother," replied one of the tall nobles who had entered the Lodge with her.
Then they entered the main meeting hall and found the victims of the blast still lying where the concussive force had flung them broken and shattered. The Dark Mother did not miss the fact that their signet rings were untouched. Whoever stripped this place must have belonged to the Order otherwise common thieves would have taken the gold and jeweled rings on these men's fingers. How interesting.
"Lord and Lady Kusanagi search the bodies and find me the highest ranking member among them."
"Yes Mother," they said and stooped and moved among the bodies examining the rings.
"Here Mother," Lady Kusanagi called out. "Here is a Temporal Master."
"I must agree none of the others are that high of rank Mother," Lord Kusanagi confirmed.
"Excellent," she said as she moved to stand over the corpse. "Eww it appears this one was very close to the blast when it occurred. What do you make of that my children?"
"They were traitors," Lady Kusanagi said without hesitation. "Why else would their rings still be here?"
"My thoughts as well daughter," the Dark Mother purred as she ran her fingers through her child's hair. "Now gather what bits and pieces appear to belong to this one and set them atop the corpse."
"Yes Mother," all of the children replied as they got on their hands and knees nobles and commoner alike searching.
"Ooh I see teeth in the ceiling," said one of the pack as he climbed the wall like some giant insect to retrieve them.
"And here in the wall is part of a jawbone," said another.
So very meticulously they managed to search, pry loose and scavenge what remained of the Temporal Master.
"Very good my children. Now watch a deep and dark magic at work," the Dark Mother said as she slit her wrist and let fall her precious dark blood.
It was the bones that first reacted to the blood, turning black as pitch and reassembling themselves. The shattered skull remolded itself into a proper dome and the pieces of the lower jaw became as one with a sickening crunch. Then the spine and ribs molded into a recognizable shape followed by the hips and lastly the arms, legs, hands and feet were restored to whole. Now the muscle and internal organs reconstituted themselves from the smallest bits left on the thousand dollar suit and spread and grew until it appeared as if he had been skinned alive. Lastly was the skin that puddled over the body like molten wax and spread and covered the corpse until with a final transformation became snowy white and without mar. And the crystal fine hair that sprang from his skull into a long shimmering mane that would hang down to his middle back. With a flickering of eyelids the Temporal Master awoke reborn. He brought his hand to his face and then touched his cheeks and shuddered remembering the terrible sensation of being flung like a rag doll and being ripped apart before the darkness came. He sat up and examined his body and seemed intrigued most of all at his colorless hair so long and luxurious.
"I'm not dead," he said and even his voice was deeper and richer than in life.
"Not anymore my child," replied the Dark Mother from above him.
"Who are you," he asked as he shakily got to his feet looking her in the eye unflinching.
"I am your Mother and the reason you still live," she said with a serpentine smile.
His mind was already at work analyzing his situation and came to one singular conclusion.
"This is going to cost me big time," he muttered and the Dark Mother laughed.
"Yes child it is," she agreed. "Now tell me what your name is?"
"I am Sebastian Shaw," he said and the entire pack took a step back.
"Really," she said looking him over. "Oh my children we have worked a very dark and terrible magic upon our enemy this night."
"Who is your enemy," Sebastian asked.
"Why your son Nicholas of course," she said smiling all the more.
"Nick," he whispered. "How can Nick be a threat to someone like you?"
"You obviously don't know your son as well as you might think Sebastian Shaw. He has become Death, Shiva the Destroyer and the Shatterer of Worlds. Tell him Lady Kusanagi. Tell him all about your daughter and his beloved son."
"Yes Mother," the ethereal creature said as she approached the half naked man. "My daughter is Akira Kusanagi, bound servant to your son Nicholas Shaw. What you may not know is that she is the Majestrix of the Sisterhood. No. The Silent Shadows that serve the Hidden Master?"
Sebastian's eyes widened in disbelief as he shook his head in denial and then the pieces began to fall into place. The small things like how the mayor of Dunwich had been so very generous with a priceless automobile. The mysterious funding of Numenor Technologies and the gift of a multimillion dollar super yacht to a mere boy; but where did it all begin? He lost a dear friend at school and was it a coincidence that the boy's father was a member of high standing within the Order? Was William Bell Senior really the Hidden Master? If he was then the ring would have passed to his son and if the burden were too much would he have given the ring to Nick? Did a simple desperate act of cowardice of a weak son elevate his own child to the rank of Hidden Master? Oh dear god it all makes sense now! So it had been Nick who had dueled and beaten the Grandmaster! And his own plans to overthrow the powers that be within the Order had unknown to him set father against son. Did Nick order his death? Did he know? He had to talk to him, he had to look his son in the eye and discover that truth for his own sake. Oh Nick I didn't know son, I didn't know!
"Why are you weeping Sebastian Shaw," the Dark Mother crooned.
"My son, I need to speak with my son," he said his voice breaking. "I have to know."
"Did your son order your death or was it the Eternal Master who discovered your plot is that it?"
"Yes," he sobbed.
"Well I am going to give you that very chance Sebastian Shaw. I mean what is a mother for if not to reunite father and son?"
"I won't kill my child," he said turning to face her.
"You will if I tell you to child of mine," she snarled and snatched him effortlessly off his feet. "I brought you back and can end you just as easily."
Sebastian slumped in her grasp and she nodded and set him gently down.
"Get him some proper clothing and someone to eat, he must be starving," the Dark Mother ordered and the pack swarmed out into the night and brought food and clothing.
Sebastian Shaw tore off what was left of his clothing and made his way to the communal showers the Order provided visiting members. He found that by some miracle the water was still running in this shell of bygone days. So he lathered up and washed the ashes and other filth from his porcelain skin and once clean he felt remotely human considering his situation. The archives of the Order had mentioned other races that lived alongside of humanity but he never believed them until now. He had become one. He dried off and went to his locker and opened it. Antwerp had been one of his favorite stops along his European route and he had spent many good days and nights by the sea. Sebastian looked at his much changed reflection in the locker's mirror and gasped.
"So young," he murmured to himself.
He looked barely older than Nick now. There was the change in skin color and musculature that was nothing short of amazing. He doubted there was an ounce of body fat on his new frame and the power he felt, the raw strength, was intoxicating. Then he remembered he had died and she had brought him back. That damnable woman had turned him into a monster! His rage rose and he saw the not so subtle changes take place in the mirror. His eye color changed from their blue green to an almost silver color and his feeding fangs slid down and into place and the shock drowned his anger and he turned away from the mirror.
He looked at the contents of what remained of his past life. There was so little of it that really mattered until he saw the gift. There tucked away forgotten and almost lost was Nick's birthday gift to him. He had never even bothered to open it. He had always been so damn busy trying to make money and for what? It had cost him his first wife and maybe even his second. He picked up the box and sat on the floor of the locker room and gently tore off the paper savoring the moment; that was something he hadn't done since he was a child. He set the paper down on the floor next to him and opened the lid of the box and saw the watch. It was just like Nick's and he knew that the key to rebuilding his family lie in the secret that watch held. He set it on his wrist and watch in amazement as the band slid down and into perfect position. He felt the thrum as the watch powered up and the digital numbers spun until they settled on the current time and date gleaned from a source somewhere.
'December 7th, 2012,' said the silvery female voice of the avatar within.
"Do not speak until I tell you to," he ordered it.
'Yes Master Sebastian,' then it went silent and dark and was just a plain old watch.
He rose and headed back to the pack and the Dark Mother smiling a secret smile. Sebastian strode into the blasted wreck of a room and found them waiting for him with clean clothing and a gorgeous young girl who couldn't be much older than Kat.
"The prodigal son returns," the Dark Mother purred. "I see you washed the shit and filth off, good lad. Get dressed and feed. You need to keep up your strength." One of the pack whispered in her ear and she nodded and smiled. "Yes Gregori you are right, perhaps you should eat first Sebastian then dress. The first time can be a little messy."