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"The Meeting" /// PART 2 (Fan Creations)

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Monday, November 09, 2020, 23:03 (1262 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

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“Odd. I have no recollection of anything involving a place called Europa. I wonder how I could miss such a thing? Such seems far more a sloppy error than even casually I would allow. Is there a moon by Saturn or Jupiter called Europa that requires our attention?”

There was no response. Curious… nothing was moving particularly quick. To look around in a moment was to see that everything seemed to slow towards a stop. And stop it did until the eyes of the world shifted to start spinning dramatically around Wendell, and Wendell alone, slowly looking at him directly into his face.

“Hey… you guys ok? Whats… whats going on? Am I ok?”

Wendell places his hand on his head, which suddenly felt… light. The equilibrium of things felt… off. And then came the voices. The voices whom seemed ignorant to Wendells question and responding to their devices alone. Echoed tones and differing volumes in whispers surrounded Wendell. These were clearly not from his fireteam.

“Out here in the wild...”

“A side should always be taken, Little Light… even if it's the wrong side.”

“Dismantle Mines, yessssss? Or... you die.” followed by the same voice bleeding into the echo… “send Send SEND help-p-p-p.” “DARK Dark darkness walks among us.”

“The Great Machine Shall FINALLY KNOW OUR PAIN!”

Colors faded. Halved. Harvested. The air grew dark. Everything suddenly felt… small.

Wendell rubbed at his eyes, if only for the outdated act of doing so. There was too much sudden unaccounted for stimuli. It was as if his sensors were all suddenly going sideways.

“What-is-when-is-why is… what?” With a question uttered, Wendell's light headed and bewildering feeling cleared, but only to give-in to a sudden dread. A sudden calm, and Wendell knew the storm was here.

“No!” he whispered.

Wendell turned to look at the Newton's cradle. Nothing. Even if it had run out of energy properly through entropy, it wouldn’t be this still. Wendell's breath grew louder, but he wasn’t changing the pattern of his breath. It was just... becoming… louder. And louder! Are his ears malfunctioning still? Is this a cascading error? Wendell looked to his arm to see if the chill he felt was from hairs standing on end, only to realize that this idea was only out from some out dated instinct he no longer needed. As an Exo, he has no hair. No goosebumps here either, but there should be. Suddenly everything is wrong.

He looks again to his fire team. They are frozen in place, surrounded by purplish blue crystals. Wendell already knew that. He knows he is alone. His eyes glint back behind him once more, not to the Newton's cradle, but through the tall windows to which he could gaze towards The Traveler.

His whisper becomes a gradual scream. His relaxed hands fists, swung to his side!

“No No! No! NO NO NO… NOOOO!!”

The Traveler… was Gone. The Traveler was Gone! Replaced with a legion dark obsidian pyramids. A sky filled of skewed black shark teeth swallowing the sky. Jaws closing to eclipse all light and swallow it whole. And where the Traveler once was known, is by far the largest pyramid of them all.

Wendell was pressed right next to the windows looking up, hands pressed hard against the glass, but had no recollection of moving from across the room. He was just there now, in full attendance to the pyramids dark splendor. All ships that were once in the air, fall, the bodies within them ejecting and ultimately joining the same fate. Wendell could see that even the clouds were either being pushed away, or made anew in their image. Nothing could ignore the ultimate fate. The sun eclipsed seemed to fade into continually gentler shades of purple and red. And the stars far away? They dare for now show themselves in a sky for whom an hour should know none but one. These stars had no right to show them selves now. An easy remedy to fix… it will take but a moment. Less than that. Moments no longer matter.

In an instant, the largest pyramid ship emits a brass sepia pulse of… something… which reverberates across all matter, like fingers strumming a guitar. For a moment it’s as if Wendell's stomach is in his head, and his feet would make more use pointing up. But… where is up?! WHERE IS UP!? There is NO UP! IT’S ONLY DOWN! DOWN! Down. down. Wendell grasps his head once more and digs into his torso low, trying to keep himself together. The glass explodes, shattering angrily with purpose. The winds howl through and waft in the smell of wet earth and boiling shadow; an announcement that everything was fluid and changing at once and for all in grand finality. Wendell shields his eyes, again out of some sort of outdated instinct. His eyes were not of flesh nor water, and the deathless need not fear any damage, but it did not stop the impulse. The message that he should be (but wasn’t) crying. Weeping. A sorrow reaping at his soul, demanding the respect of his screams. Demanding that death knows his anguish at its required task.

As Wendell lowers his protective arm, it was as if this arm was the difference between the before and after from the grace of his former glance. There is no sun. There are no stars, but still somehow sight. All color and shape was red and black and wiggled as worms with an occasional sepia hue. The air felt warm and stale among its bluster. A low infra-pulse sound was the beat among all matter. There is nothing but teeth screeching at the glass window of his mind. His breath was sounding panicked, but that's not right. He was breathing normally.

With the stage now set, Wendell is greeted with a new form of devilry. From beneath the unending howling of the cooling winds, they carry with them a new, awful message. Splintering quakes among screams. Ferocious, unrepentant, unyielding screams. A vicious veracious effort of shocking humbling speed, requiring one to catch ones breath or lose it all at once. It is an echo far too close and Wendell is far too far. Helplessly he watches The Last City shimmer and grow dead. A stillness among the inky black. Wendell watches as portions of the great walls surrounding, fall... like brittle pottery. A heaving of their mass as if a melting iceberg. Ruin and calamity. It was all so easy. Wendells mind issues a question; are these the shadows of things that yet shall be, or will be? Or even… has been? Of this question, there is no recognition. The sound of nature its self is changing and its laws are forfeit in full. A judge has put its writers in contempt.

Then those sounds are dulled once more into ominous whispers and onto the stage a new act is made. Wendell turns, maybe he can free his fire team. His fire team is gone, and Zavallas office has been completely destroyed. Dissolute, a destruction stripping off the bare bones of how things were once built. It is as if there has been a thousand years of neglect with a thousand more to come. As if the whole world has ceased to be tended. All color has faded. Gone, only to be mixed with the increasing cold and snow and the dire silence of the air, where to sing is to be only of mourning. Crys lost in an eternal winter. It is increasingly impossible to see the city now. Mixing with the inky black is a thick white soupy fog wafted about in the winds. All luster, hardly a shade. It is only flat contrasts where depth ebbs in and out from the world.

Then came the finality, and song in-between this transition. Where upon all sudden senses Wendell could hear was the ethereal sound of distant sirens, making a nameless call to him. Wendells breath grew colder still, his every pore a dragons fog anticipating its next meal. Fluid leaked from his eyes. The jaws frothed with fluid. Smoke begin to emanate from his mouth and eyes and ears and every part of him was a light in flame alone in the darkness. And then his body was gone too, and he was just a weighed down pulse of light. An eternal flame, slowly being frozen up too.

He felt as small as the Traveler truly was. All the truth. All of the truth. Every atom of every moment was known to him, and it was all insignificant. These things were worthy of only disdain and nothing. He felt an unquenchable urge to join it. The cold. He was so tired. SO tired. He wanted to join its call and be beyond all creation. No he didn’t! Yes! Yes he did. No. NO! He was paste being harvested and he could feel his fears being squeezed. But soon there would be no more fear! If there was a self, it was worthy of only disdain and nothing and it would all be so soon. A falling down down down.

Silence.

Calm.

The winds calmly whisper in gradated tones a notice; a sweet release. In fact, all Wendell could hear… was his breath. And the calm. And the winds. Up. Up up up. Wendell could breath again. He was of form again. And then… for a moment, there is a sound. A beautiful beautiful sound. A thousand Mozarts, and even a Vivaldi in spring. It was simple, just a bi-tonal harmonious call bathed in among an echo. A call of some distant bird, ethereal. But Wendell does not see any bird. There is nothing… nothing but the snow. Yet, if there is anything out there… Wendell stands tall and stretches out his arm, his hand, and for a slow instant. A brief slow moment, there is a bird of light acting to land upon Wendell's arm. His hand. And just as its about to make contact, in a motion so slow that each moment can be appreciated, it sings its beautiful call again.

Wendell is on the ground and cocooned in light fluffy snow. “Wasn’t I standing?”

With simple gradual action, he rises back to his feet, dusting off the clinging snow. It appears he has risen into a snowstorm, the wind is howling granting only about a meter or two of distance.

“Hello?”, his voice echos.

The wind responds, thinning the white foggy haze and bringing forth delight to the errant ice crystals which dance, swirling about. As the haze clears away, and the colors returned true, Wendell was now standing in snow surrounded by deep icy crevasses and an endless sky line at dusk. And upon that distant sky, a sudden contrast from the skyline haze of gray blues, purples and pinks; a black, tall, unevenly rhombic pyramid. Wendell thought he could see fractal shapes warped beneath it, etching into the snow, and that’s when it happened. Wendell could not speak, but he realized what was going on; “Who are you? Who slips into my robot body and whispers to my ghost?”

Then the lone pyramid slowly and evenly whispers into his mind;

It seems your makers didn’t want you to come home, Exo. Here. Yet another gift. One of many, once you return home.

The Warlock gasps and falls unto all fours to splash upon snowy ground. Europa! Eramis!? Your power!? Me!? The Crypt! The mind, fluid into darkness!! N-no!!! The Warlock manages to stand on his knees and begins to cry a dry sob into the sky. He can speak now. More than he ever wanted to in one moment. In a whisper Wendell says... “Tried to stop me? You knew the risks, didn’t you? How could you not? Did you care? Did it please you to see me keep coming back? To not being broken when all others would be? The Horrors you inflicted? I will tell the world what Braytech has done if I must! The truth about Clovis Bray! What you did to your own Grand Daughter?!”

Wendell feels… nothing but fear. And pain. And anguish. Things forgotten but not removed, be they needed or wanted, and Wendell remembers everything now. Everything, and even a little bit of hope. Some of the memories though were odd. Some of this stuff… he shouldn't even remember. Between so long ago and it hasn’t happened yet. But… there it was. In the memory.

The Pyramid whispers to his mind once more. Slowly and evenly.

“Don’t you see the failure of the light? Such suffering? Why do you want to be afraid? Is it because fear is what once gave you life? Kept your life? Do you really want peace? We are willing to give it to you. We are your salvation. What say you… Exo?”

“I say… how… unexpected.”

Wendell wasn’t much for words… and he has never spoken to what was, ostensibly a god before. Usually it was just shoot first ask questions later, as much as Wendell would prefer to have it the other way around. But… if Wendell was to speak, it would be the light of all the truths which he had worked so hard to understand as a Warlock. And even… before.

Wendell stood back up from his knees and brushed the snow off them. He opened his mouth, took a deep breath and with unexpected giggle, of warmth within him, a beating in his chest. He spoke forth;

“Before I speak in full, I know that I do not know, and this is folly. That you are humoring me in this opportunity. Testing. With this said, here is what I see for now… thing. To follow you alone and to embrace your gospel alone, no matter how sweet, would be a fools gambit. You are but a mono optic shade. Power limited to its self yet built only from others and thus why, however oddly, you fear death. As an entity absolute, your are lost in the struggle of your recklessness in absolute. An end within its self. You can see only nothing but what you are, and for that in all your power I pity you. That in all your omnipotence, you are lost in a rigid frame and can be nothing else. That is why primarily I have followed the light, that which I admit, is why I am even able to speak in this now. For it is this spectrum of living, and pain, and yes… death and failure, that I am able to exceed far far beyond your blackest stone. Your coldest night. Your greatest challenges. YOU WILL FAIL, because I will fail! Again! And AGAIN! You are a trap, a fearless continence towards a living death, built with only no room but for one thought of you! Of your shape! And your song! You are the creator of plucked flowers, beautiful in its moments, yet doomed. For the flower feels admired, but in truth it has become lost in isolation, no longer rooted to the ground. Salvation? Ha! At minimum a Moral victory requires freedom, and I’d bet that’s not something you understand. All you know are tools to your end, and tools alone. That’s what makes this so funny. With these knives you shall soon so eagerly gift as evidence to your perceived slice of truth, I shall teach at you the empathy of sacrifice. Show you birth from your decay. Again and again and again as I must and I can and I will. And while in this joining I shall be YOUR salvation, THING! As all light must have its shadow, and than we shall be whole. And you can trust that I shall cast your shadow far far away. You may have fooled others, but do not think me a fool, calmed by pleated plethora of gifts. My name is Wendell-777 and all this is my quietest whisper to you.”

Wendell spits in motion alone, and ends with… “Zero is still an even number”.

The ship is silent and still. Then the winds pick up once more and all distance becomes blinded. The snow blows away from Wendell's feet, revealing a rich dark wood flooring. It is upon this sudden mist, the ship calmly whispers its concluding words;

“Your conflict is needless. Foolish. You need not fight an endless war. You need not worry of friends or enemies. We are your salvation and we shall see you soon, Exo.  All of you... soon. And there are so many more gifts here on Europa to share with you.”

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