Break the Code 11/14/10

Been a busy few days. I picked up something new from Thistle. She’s able to send messages telepathically, and somehow, some of it rubbed off on me. She says that she imagines telephone lines, but I used more familiar imagery: chains. When I mentioned it to Jocasta, she freaked out. I need to get with her later and try and figure out why she reacted in the way that she did. I was using the lens of my Magic to help me visualize the interconnections between people, but the imagery is just a crutch, a tool to help overcome the plateau effect and crawl onto the next level. I think I’m starting to get good at this. With practice, I might even be able to fool someone into thinking that one of my broadcasts is their own inner monologue…but that might be taking it too far. Something like that is divisive in its very nature, the fact that it exists is enough to start sowing doubt in the group. The last thing we need is to fly apart at the seams right before we try and save the world.

Speaking of saving the world…I think I was too negative last time. I have to remember that I’m not alone. It’s not just me against Kane, it’s all of us. Teamwork is going to pull us through this fight, not one person throwing his life away for the good of the world. That makes for a neat hero story but I’d rather be the hero who lives to get the girl. Canard gave me the low-down that he had on Kane and his buds, it was really short. Apparently he hangs out with another Aztlani, a Tuatha de Dannan, a Greek, and a Scion of Loki. Intel is still spotty, but we’re all going to get together and pool data to help plan tomorrow. This is what I’m talking about, teamwork. Sitting in a hammock disassembling and reassembling my M16 isn’t going to accomplish much. I do definitely know that it’s clean, though. I should give the MP5 a once-over, too, even if I don’t necessarily plan to use it. A back-up weapon never hurts, and neither does spare 9×19 ammo.

Break the Code 11/12/10

Tom fiddles with his Raspberry, pulling up his mp3 storage and sliding his single earbud into his left ear. He clicks through the simple media presenter, finding the song he was looking for and humming it softly along with the music in his ear as he types.

We’re on the ship now, headed for Antarctica to meet our current destiny. It sounds preposterous, really. I have to stop a man that I’ve never met, but Canard and Amaranth have, from melting an entire polar ice cap and raising a continent that was supposed to be a myth. Sometimes I honestly wonder if everyone else has an idea of the scale that this encounter holds. We fucked up the Jotunhammer and millions of lives were lost. Millions more in this Wolf Age, this Sword Age…and if we fail here, everyone on Earth is going to die when the seas rise and flood the land. That much heated water will probably erode away the northern ice cap too, cover the entire planet in water. The sudden spike in heat in the oceans will kill the plantlife, and the fish along with them. The fate of the entire world is in the hands of seven people, seven demigods. The very word seems insufficient. Canard and his eight copies could probably give fighting off a small army a good go, at least before Amaranth drives them all insane or the Tamases put enough arrows out to make human pincushions of an entire battalion. So I did what I could. I made a phone call. I can’t lift mountains like Morrie, or shrug off a Magnum round like Jocasta. So I did what I could.

If you are near to the dark, I will tell you ’bout the sun

You are here, no escape, from my visions of The World.

You will cry, all alone,

But it does not mean a thing to me…

From everything I’ve heard about Mr. Taoka, he’s a formidable opponent and a bad dude. I need to learn more. Maybe I can interrogate Amaranth or Canard…Amaranth seems like a better source since they’re from the same pantheon. I still need to pass on everything I can to Jocasta while I’m here. She wants to learn Magic, and I’m eager to teach. I don’t know anything really flashy, the best I can do in a combat situation is nudge and prod and hope to throw a foe off-balance for a minute or two. Maybe it’ll be enough. Nevertheless, it’s knowledge that I need to pass on while I have the chance. I’ve known for a long time that I’m the most vulnerable out of all of us. I don’t know a thing about Thistle in combat, but I’ve got two decent tricks. When those fail, I’m out of luck. I know I’m going to do everything I can to stay in one piece, but if I’m going to end up having my heart weighed against Ma’at’s feather, I’m not going to just go gentle into that good night. I’ll fight with my dying breath to make sure that Kane Taoka is right next to me on the road to the Underworld. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that, but I’m prepared for that eventuality. Thoth didn’t sire a fool. I’ll make you proud, Dad. It’s what I came to do.

Knowing the song I will sing

When the Darkness comes to sleep,

Come to me, I will tell

Of the secret of the Sun.

It’s in you, not in me,

But it does not mean a thing to you.

(Note: I don’t own those lyrics and I don’t claim to own them. Please don’t sue me.)

Fate, Up Against Her Will

(Originally Posted 10.02.10)

Even in the witch’s hours, the sprawling, floating city teemed with life, a brilliant, glittering beacon adrift upon a vast black plain. 

The crowds wandering the open spaces had thinned enough that a lone, dark-clad figure slipped easily from deck to deck, unhurriedly navigating dozens of stairways and through as many corridors in pursuit of her destination.

When she could ascend no farther, she at last came to rest, waiting at the railing of the uppermost deck.  Her hollow golden gaze, barely muted by the glasses perched at the end of her nose, lingered sullenly upon happier passengers.  The ocean surrounding them on all sides seemed nothing but a vast matte abyss, the light of stars and other heavenly bodies obscured by the thick veneer of ash and dust that had taken up permanent residence in the sky the day the Jotunhammer had fallen upon the World.  Only the moon broke the relentless emptiness above, although even her grand pale face was a smudge of obstinate light upon the otherwise unbroken night.   In pairs, trios, and groups, the last of the late night crowd dwindled, until there was no one left to stand witness to the presence or actions of the young woman.

One final, fast, furtive glance confirmed her solitude, her muscles tensing briefly, gaze lifted to the enclosed bridge and sections of the ship that stood as the highest pinnacle she could strive to reach.  A simple motion, her knees bent only momentarily, the still wind briefly seeming to embrace her, lifting her to soar half the vessel’s own height above the boat before the natural arc of the leap brought her down upon the rooftop.  The force of the motion, in addition to her own weight and her chosen footwear, proved no hindrance to a silent, nimble landing, laughing in the face of any sane laws of physics.

Turning her face upward to bask in the glow of the barely present moon, Jocasta Tamas’ eyes slid slowly closed.

Removed at last from all company, the mortal and not completely so, she was finally, totally alone.  Exhaling a long, shuddering breath, her slender, muscular arms wrapped around her trembling torso, the tears shed in silence leaving a shining trail down her cheeks.

  Continue reading

Conflict Resolution, the Tamas Way

(Originally Posted 09.26.10)

Ignoring the startled cry of the man left behind in her wake, Jocasta Tamas tore away and down the cruise liner’s corridors, a smattering of Greek curses, jostled, disheveled and grumbling fellow passengers marking her trail.  Thunderstruck, Thomas stared after the young woman, reviving partially when she rounded a corner and disappeared from sight, gathering his wits once more and moving in the same direction she had fled, at a somewhat saner pace.

Heavy, thick-soled boots pounded up and down stairways and passages as she made her way across the massive ship, the gothicly made up woman at least having the wherewithal to appear out of breath as she finally came to a halt in front of one of the boat’s smaller gyms, the sign on the door indicating that it had been reserved for the better part of the day.  Leaning against the door with a huff, she tapped her knuckles on the wood barring her passage in a rapid, staccato rhythm.  The lock turned with a soft, rasping metal-on-metal sound, and something shifted away from a position directly behind the door.  Turning the knob and slipping inside, the lock turned again a moment later as she moved deeper within, sealing her in with the other current residents of the open space. 

  

Continue reading