Vision in the Dark

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Vision in the Dark

Post by Agent Tash on Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:46 am

Casey Duquette, Hades Naval Station, Guest Quarters, 3rd shift.  0200 standard hours.

You are woken from your sleep cycle by a distant hum.  It creeps up and needles at your mind, preventing you from falling asleep.   Finally, whether from frustration or fatigue, you set out to find the source of the sound.  You cross several corridors, ready rooms, and transit tubes, as the whispers grow in your mind.  You become vaguely aware that there should be station personnel at their jobs, but you haven’t seen a soul.

As you walk, the sound takes shape into a low murmur, like a distant crowded room, babbling in voices you can’t quite make out.  You aren’t certain how far you’ve come, or even what part of the station you are in, but you’ve arrived at a spacious observation deck.  A wide pane of transparasteel, taller than you and ten feet wide gives a view directly into the depths of the vast stygian abyss nebula lightyears away.  To the naked eye the nebula is invisible, but its dust-clouds mask the stars beyond it, creating a wall of absolute darkness in almost half of the starscape.

The whispers are louder here, and you can almost make out the individual voices.  You listen closely…

…You see Callen standing alone, his face in shadow.  You see a golden translucent being with six wings standing behind him, whispering in his ear.
“The power of the strongest forces in the galaxy, why shun and deny these things?  I’m the embodiment of your true potential…  We will be the catalyst that ushers in a new paradigm for the Galaxy!”

…the corridor of a starship. The air is think with acrid smoke, cast in stark relief by flashing red lights.  Soldiers, weary and wounded are assembled among injured crewmembers.  Derrek is there, you see his arm is bloody and torn, but he holds a rifle as best as he can with one hand.  Aslani battle cries can be heard amid weapons fire in the distance.  The squad leader speaks.
“We stand our ground!  We will not run!”

…Warren tips a drink back and smiles.  He is young, and there is no sign of the implants in his skull.
“I’m a liar, and a thief, and a murderer.  But I’m good company, sit a while and relax.”

…Warren sits curled in the corner.  Blood drips from his skull where machines twist their way into his brain.  A strange man wearing Warren’s body but with no face stands over him.  Warren whispers.
“I watched once from a dark place, now the darkness comes to swallow me whole.”

…Grave walks beside a bald white haired man in a dark suit.  They follow a buisnessman walking ahead of them carrying a messenger case.  The old man whispers to Graves.
“Look around.  Note your target.  Check him for weapons.  Are they hiding?  Does he have allies?  Are you outmatched without realizing it?  Treachery is our life’s endless game.  YOU must win it.”

…The Drakari Greatmother sits at the foot of the Ziggurat of Judgement, flanked by her daughters.  Before them stands a younger Gorakak, his scars fresh and angry.  The Greatmother speaks.
“You’re persistent, stubborn.   I suppose that’s why you excel at what you do.  But the price is high.  What won’t a Draken put aside for pride?”
Gorakak retorts instantly.
“I’d meet death head on for a comrade!”
“But would you kneel?”

…Derek and Gorakak in a passageway of the Lilith speaking quietly.  There are bodies on the deck-plates, torn and twisted.  You hear Derek speak.
“Every time I think there’s a person under all those scales and fangs, I get a nice sharp reminder.  I guess we all have to live with what we are.”

…Grave stands above the collapsed form of the same old man who once whispered lessons to him, weapon ready to finish the assignment.  The old man’s clothes are tattered and worn from a long chase.  Blood drips from his fingers where he clutches his belly.  
“Take this warning in exchange for my life.  You can’t trust Lady Grey, or the Vemene.  You may be their chosen agent now, but they will abandon you too.  Remember that.”

…Princess Isabel Zhunastu wearing the golden sunburst addresses a grand chamber filled with nobles.  Garreth stands nearby the podium with a disinterested smirk on his Vargr jaws.
“I am only one person, from among trillions across the galaxy, who stood up in the face of evil and said no.”
Garreth growls under his breath.
“Though some said it more vociferously than others…”
“We must not forget those who paid the ultimate price for us.  We carry the burden of living up to their sacrifice.  …I owe it to father.”

…Rear-Admiral Marceau stands tall amid the flaming wreckage of her command bridge.  In a last gasp, her cruiser lurches forward on a collision course with an unseen ship, leaving a comet’s tail of burning radiation behind it.
“For over a thousand years our society has stood as a monument to glory and power.  Now our foes seek to destroy us again, but we will prevail, for the first and last Emperor lives still, and it is for him that we fight.  
Live for the Emperor.  
Die for the Emperor.”


…Lady Grey stands above you, a curl of smoke drifting from the barrel of her weapon. You try your best to keep your intestines from squeezing out of your belly with one hand.
“Delphine sends her regards.  Goodbye.”

…a man wearing Grave’s face, but his soul speaks only death.  He is girded in golden armor with the crest of the Imperial Inquisition, a sword at his side.  He regards you closely.
“Are you among the truly loyal?  Or do you hide treason in your heart?”

…S3 agents close off your last avenue of retreat, leaving you trapped in the sprawling ally-ways of New Detroit.  You try to reach Callen on comms, but receive no answer.  Then on Callens comm you hear the voice of Agent Mend, your old squad mate.
“They made their decision Casey, just like you made yours.  You chose to become a murderer and terrorist.  It’s time to answer for your crimes.”

…A dark room with a single lamp hanging from the ceiling by a cord. It illuminates a circle on the floor leaving everything else in shadows.  You can vaguely make out the shape of a man standing in the darkness on the far side of the room.
“No more orders, no more control.  I want to choose my own fate.  Both sides treated me as a puppet.  It all started to seem pointless.”
…Tash steps from the shadows, the barrel of his weapon trained on you.  Without thinking, yours is in your hand.
“This galaxy is filled with powerful secrets, dangerous and dark.  I’m going to learn those secrets, and feast on their power until no one dares control me.”
… You circle each other around the light, fingers lightly brushing your triggers as you stare down the barrels.
“…I somehow always knew it would come to this.  You, and me.”

The visions begin to overlap, coming faster, one atop the next.  The walls of your identity, bounding your essence and demarcating where you begin and the abyss beyond ends begins to crack.   A pressure builds in your mind, and unbidden the stray thought occurs, “we are going mad. “

The haze of visions, each shouting now, straining to be heard amidst the cacophony, assaults your fading identity.  You realize briefly you are shouting too, a vain wish to be heard, a certain knowledge that if your voice is downed out, you will be nothing but another fading echo lost forever.  

Then, almost at the edge of your awareness, a haunting tune of a keening flute.  The notes of a strange piping lift around you, sweeping back the visions and whispers like a morning mist, receding into the sea.  The hollow cords sound at once familiar and soothing, like you should know the tune if you could just grasp it for a moment.  But the memory inevitably slips away like smoke.

A great fatigue settles upon you, like a warm heavy blanket.  As you drift from conscious thought, the last vision you see, is a wizened herald in ancient rags before the window pane on some unknown deck of the station, facing out into the void.  The dark umber of the Stygian Nebula glows with a surreal light, sprawling across the star-scape.

The four arms of the herald grasp a delicate flute, carved of bone.  As vision fades the herald pipes the strange tunes, setting whatever madness lays within the abyss to its slumber.


Last edited by Agent Tash on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Vision in the Dark

Post by grumpit on Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:45 pm

Agent Tash wrote: You see Callen standing alone, his face in shadow.  You see a golden translucent being with six wings standing behind him, whispering in his ear.
“The power of the strongest forces in the galaxy, why shun and deny these things?  I’m the embodiment of your true potential…  We will be the catalyst that ushers in a new paradigm for the Galaxy!”

Callen curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal.

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