halialkers: (Default)
 Chapter IV: 

Idle as a painted ship/upon a painted ocean-Rime of the Ancient Mariner
 

They stood by the sign with a kind of sick fascination. For a moment flashes of memory that were only possible with minds partially human came. In their bassinets they had been sleeping when a monstrous force had stormed into the hospital, a towering mountainous flaying force hewn in a quasi-human form. The God on the Gilded Throne was six feet shorter than the usual avatars she projected even in her armor but a fourteen foot tall god that had erupted into Gotham and callously murdered innocent and guilty alike and reduced the place to a horrific charnel house had a way of remaining a clear and present presence in the minds and hearts of them whom the beast had fallen upon and devoured. 

Then they looked to the right of the monument. And for a moment time itself stood still. 

Two infants in a statue held by hands and wrists without arms. The names Karlee Meir and Rachel Roth, the 'Lost Ones'. 

Us. 

Meir sighed and then flexed for the first time unconsciously something she would come to do very knowingly and replaced her Azarathi garments with a golden armor with a black cape, raising a hood over her brown face, her white pupilless seemingly blind yet far-seeing eyes gleaming. Rachel Roth likewise replaced the flowing dress she'd worn beneath her Azarathi robes with a much smaller and more form-fitting kind of plate-armor, and they looked into Gotham. 

Should we risk that they will know who we are? 


Rachel shrugged. 

We've seen what the God on the Gilded Throne can do. It calls you sister, perhaps you can cloud minds as readily as it can if they do. 

With that the two then took their first steps into Gotham, entering the decaying East End. It was a city at once modern and ancient, solid and liquid, air and stone. Gambrel roofs that seemed more in place in ancient New England where over them danced witch-fires vied with newer buildings that were corroded with rust on the screens. Doors sagged and the stench and slime of mold was all too present. A low-edged hum of despair that was almost tangible even to non-empaths and which was seemingly overpowering at first to Rachel Roth was there, and for a moment she fanced she saw a swollen-bodied nude woman with a fanged mouth gazing with sad and almost protective eyes before vanishing. 

Further they strode into Gotham, the empathic presence of Dagger beginning to manifest for the first time. The God on the GIlded Throne and her avatars, the monstrous entity known as the Azar was a knife that flayed the soul and carved and butchered without pity or shame. The Lightdancer was an elemental tempest, a living storm wrought in demi-human form and even in her purely human guise a storm-scale living testament to divinity wrought in a human guise. 

Dagger herself was a figure who transcended categories and unknown to her but not as much to her sister who gazed for a moment with wonder and then sadness and horror and sadness again would become quite monstrous for this. A being whose defiance of the writ in stone order of things made her presence hard to quantify, something in a tooth that could never be found yet never gotten out. A spectre always on the edge of consciousness yet not seen and an impending and nightmarish presence. A shining brilliant eye-searing light of gold that left blindness and confusion where once had been order. 

Unknown to Rachel Roth likewise her own presence was beginning to flower outside of Azarath. Something like a storm-cloud in her own right, but where the Lightdancer was a being of hope and awe and dread terrible aspect in her storm-wrought presence, the daughter of the demon was something ominous. Hellscape made flesh, something monstrous and the blazing hell-light writ into human form, not a figure of dismal darkness as human imagination in its wretched bigotry would have wished but light, brilliant and terrible as the sun or an atomic bomb. A willowy tall being with a dancer's grace and a nightmare and harbinger of death, and likewise to her sister of choice  a being even then deciding to grasp a power akin to hers. Hers the destiny to level worlds? No. Hers the destiny to save them. 

It was then that as they walked in the moonlight a figure strode up to them. He was a tall man in a purple suit with green hair and a rictus, a cringing whipped person whose back was still bleeding from the pain following him. A harlequin and a mad clown, and as he turned to them he doffed his hat facing not one monster of a make unknown to him but two. 

"Tell me, children, have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?" 

Rachel prepared to move but Karlee placed a finger on her shoulder and smiled. 

No sis, let me. 

She lowered her hood and a brown face with carbonized charring appeared, her flesh still reflecting her natural form and content in her brownness she turned to look at the monstrous lunatic. 

You don't know the Devil, little man. 

Casting off the glamor that had made her seem more human she swelled to a height without her armor of fourteen feet and within to twenty feet. That same wrenching presence as a monster of the outside context, the jarring of the carefully created systems made her jar even the eyes of the deranged and savage Joker, who realized with a start that for all that he knew he was a being of two dimensions, lines of ink and pencil, balloons and the like, and that his atrocities would help continue his existence and that of his world that he faced another being equally aware. A being grasping that awareness for the first time. 

Rachel looked with a start as a balloon suddenly manifested over the Joker reaching from his mouth with a jagged element on his laughter as tears fell from his eyes. Karlee Meir smiled ruthlessly and then grabbed the balloon straight away from the Joker's head. 

Odd font, this. What is this? Comic sans? Really? You, the Joker speak with COMIC SANS? 

That last pair of words was a sudden bellow that caught Rachel by surprise and as she watched she realized appropriately for a moment that here in their home, out of the shadow of a greater deity, she was watching the moment in time at which a fledgling entity grasped a greater truth. It was then that she herself grasped that truth and realized with awe that in every world and clime there were multiple iterations of the same people. She could be a being of three dimensions, or two dimensions. A being crafted out of words or clay. 

This then was part of how to extend life. She could defy the great contours of fate itself with this knowledge given time and space, could extend a cycle until it was postponed and never came. Not the destroyer and the monster she'd seen in Azarath, a savior and a redeemer. These thoughts passed in a whirl within time and the twenty foot tall being that was her sister was striding toward the Joker, a speech balloon appearing over her mouth, one colored with a riotous rainbow like aspect and written with a jagged font that represented a tear in reality. A dark blue almost purple italic text that was visible in the lighter part of the rainbow's coloration: 

Comic sans. I knew you were an evil bastard. 

Then raising the balloon in a mocking salute she began to blur and smash into the Joker with his own speech balloon, the blows raining on him with a speed and strength that he had no means to contest, leaving him wrecked in less than a minute. Harley leaped to protect her lover and master but a glancing blow with the balloon led to her falling unconscious and then the balloon seemed to vanish in thin air. 

Rachel Roth looked to her sister in awe, saying: 

So that's the great secret, then. 


She looked with surprise at her own speech balloon. Where Dagger's was a rainbow coloration and a dark blue italic font, hers was a squiggly one reflecting the infrasound reverberations in her speech pattern, some text bold and others normal in contrast to the ones of her sister. 

It is indeed. We are all of us products of a creation by a blind idiot god at the center of nuclear space. Our existence is a random set of events stacked together with beginning, middle, and end. Climax and resolution, plot twists, and all that crap. 


She shrugged. 

All of us at this level know that, I think. Most of us just use it to gain power and to become the central characters and greater scope forces maneuvering mortals and then mocking about what fools those mortals be.  Arrogant, that. We make them pawns and then laugh at them for games they don't get choices to be involved in. We make them puppets, and then because we overawe them pretend that they are inferior to beings that give them no option but to be manipulated. 

She shrugged again and then they resumed walking in Gotham, aware of its two-dimensional aspects now that they saw it and the more fascinated and repelled by it all the same: 

I don't really care past a certain point. I realized when I grabbed that damned balloon that I'm in the most annoying part of any story, really. The origin. The point where I am evolving to be awesome and yet not as awesome as I could be expected to be. 


She then sighed. 

Gotham. Bah. 


For a moment she looked down and rubbed the back of her head and sighed on a different note. 

I came to bury our mothers but the time's not right for that. More things to do, more horrors to uncover. Wonders to witness at the dawn of a new age. 


A portal opened in an alley and a drunk who watched it dropped his booze and decided from that point he'd rather be sober. The portal opened outward in Metropolis, ironically enough in Suicide Slum. 

Dagger sighed. 

Really? We couldn't come out in the nice shiny financial district? Really? 


She shook her head. 

All right. Well, we're here. Now what shal-

It was then that she saw with a terrible smile the next phase of things and her growing power and knowledge and her sister's likewise led the two to suddenly alter all that they were doing. A monstrous figure lurched out of a building it had torn down, roaring in discontent and anger. 

Kalibak, son of a pitiless and dreadful god from beyond the stars. 

And toward Kalibak was hurling a brilliant figure, a blur of red and blue, a figure that held Rachel in awe and it was then that the look of confusion on the part of Karlee was replaced with first a wide-eyed stare of comprehension and then a smile that began to cross her face with a shark's grin of razor teeth. 
 
halialkers: (Default)
Chapter III: 

Why this is Hell, nor am I out of it-Faust.
 

The Gate of Death, Pandaemonium: 

Three months' time had lapsed since my hands and body had turned grey. I looked at myself in a mirror and saw a monster, skin the hue of ashes, eyes that shone with violet instead of white, hair turned indigo. Runes burned in my flesh. We met four lords, the Tetrarchs of this strange and unholy sphere. Angra Mainyu, Ahriman. Lord of the Abyss, King of Pandaemonium, God-Emperor and Anti-God who sat on the great Obsidian Throne and ruled with an iron fist and a will of terror. A being of towering proportions in jet-hued armor with a roiling red cape and four glowing eyes, the rumbling infrasound undertone within his voice like a hammer to the face. Jvarasura, known to the Sumerians as Nergal, God of Plague. Though in his case less God and more an Asura. A rail-thin skeleton with a light hue of sickly green flesh and maggots weaving in and out of his body. Known as the Hand of Death to his followers we detested him most. 

Then there was the sadistic Prince of Pleasure, Ravana. A Rakshasha who'd managed to best the previous such deity in a clash for the title and now that deity was reduced to being his chamberlain. Ten heads and ten arms had he and he was a figure of towering destruction and death, and all who beheld the lascivious gaze of twenty eyes shuddered and felt befouled save the other Tetrarchs. He was a master of weaponry and bellowed in triumph and delight at his mastery, where to Angra Mainyu he was simply a fop who'd usurped his true master and no love was lost between them. 

And of them too there was Indra, an Asura who was like a thundercloud rewritten in the form of a man. Of them all he scared us more even than the King of Pandaemonium did, for his were hands that cast lighting and light in the darkness and Unlight of that realm. His hands that scarred flesh and proved able to break invulnerable flesh to create oozing wounds that were then cauterized in scorchingly painful fashion, and at each of their hands had we suffered. Each time one of us sought to shield the other we were punished for success or failure as our captors wished, but each time we did so we learned more of the nature of the monsters beyond the Veil. And of the means to leave this place. 

Three months' time passed and our bodies were scarred as thoroughly in Azarath, and my sister Rachel had an adornment placed on her face by Angra Mainyu when he sought to give her another 'blessing' as his father. A gemstone set in a chakra with a dark black hue when he'd placed it on her but in defiance she'd glared and summoned against it the power of her soul-self and it became red. He snarled then and sought to cast her down but I shielded her in turn and darkness mercifully swallowed me. 

She'd come to understand, however, that Pandaemonium had several gates, and the one that could be fled from to another corner was one marked, of all things, in Latin. And on it did these words appear: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. 

Some part of me fueled by the growing power of my kindred among the Urhalzantrani recognized this and realized the nature of the place, and its ties within the greater complexes of Hell, a realm ruled by what in some takes was its Eighth Pit, the Malebolge. A Dark Dimension of sordid terror and nightmares where Hell was made manifest in all its foulness. And yet next to the everlasting light and the blades and the laughter of the God on the Gilded Throne one was light and one was dark and that was all I could see then as a gap. 

So we came then to that gate, together, and the Tetrarchs seemed unaware of it though in truth we knew that we would be in a race between their power and hers as a native child in half her heritage of that dimension. She levitated in a lotus position and began a set of chants from a book we'd found in the Azar's library, the fiendish works of the Mad Mullah, the Heretic Hazred whose works revealed the Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu cycles and the rise of the Great Empire of Xoth vingtillions of years before all that was now was present. 

As she finished her incantation, part of me understood the words spoken and I learned later a great lesson in power and simplicity alike: 

By Ten Thousand Eyes and Ears I the gates of Yog-Sothoth declare open, the gates between the realm of joy and of sorrow, flesh and blood, reality and rhyme. Open unto these spheres the power of Yog-Sothoth who made all things and is beyond them, the Old Ones were, the Old Ones Are, the Old Ones shall be. Not within the spaces known to mankind but between them walk they! 


An eerie glow began to form and there was an element as of a river of glowing bubbles that burbled and spoke with ten thousand voices, and she extended to me her hand and I took it as we managed to step through the gate. It was then that Angra Mainyu rose behind us as a towering being in red wearing only a loin cloth, the semi-Elizabethan ruffle, and carrying the vast white Sceptre as he sought to reach through the gate to take us. 

She formed a strange sign akin to that of a Magen David and spoke words of banishment and the Elder Sign closed the gate of Yog-Sothoth, the monster in Pandaemonium howling in fear and in pain. 

Then we looked in shock. We were standing once more at the gates of the Doors of Night, clad not in the armor in which we'd been sent out but in torn blood-stained rags, scars and still-bleeding wounds visible, and we were at the foot of the massive throne on which the God that sat there leaned forward, lips peeling with that hideous squelching sound and eyes igniting like suns. 

Well done, Good and Faithful servants. You have ascended from children to women, now. 

My sister bellowed: 

I am no-one's servant and neither is she! 

And with that I in turn looked at her and the disconcerting smile on her face and as she leered downward, she unleashed the same shadowy bird from Pandaemonium, a great corvid form that hurled itself forward at the God on the Gilded Throne and began to peck and claw at her face. The God screamed and my sister and I turned and spoke a second incantation: 

Yog-Sothoth knows the gate, Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.

The Gate opened and we were carried through with a scream as the God on the Gilded Throne descended and tried to lunge at us. As we fell through the skies, we landed with an echoing boom in a park in a city that at the time I did not know.

Dusting ourselves off, I asked her: 

So where we are we now?


Then I looked around and blinked, relieved more than words could say that shifting the color of my eyes was but a shift in the color, not the nature or kind of my vision.

I looked at her and her face went from the exhilarated rush of escaping two monsters to the kind of quiet stone face I would come to know all too well.

We're home. The Earth we were born in.


How do you know that? 

She pointed to a sign that said: Memorial to the Massacre of Gotham.

Oh.

halialkers: (Default)
 Chapter II: 

Tis better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.-John Milton, Paradise Lost.
 
 
 
The being that stood before her roared in delight at the thought of what he would unleash, the four-eyed form transforming into something monstrous. Ape-like arms corded with muscle, four eyes set into the form of a monstrous lion-like being with those same ram's horns. Long bat-like wings extended from either side of the transformed beast that stood not in armor but in legs like those of a great beast. The monster bared his teeth in a fanged smile, roaring once more before reassuming his armored form. 

This is the measure of my power, daughter of my blood but not my sentiment. 


Four eyes glared into her two, as she calmly folded her armored arms across her breastplate. 

These theatrics are to convince me of what, precisely? Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh you may be but if you intend to break me, you can do nothing to me that Azarath has not already done. 


He looked upward, before forming a great scepter out of what seemed to be flowing bone, a strange kind of collar arising behind him with a quasi-Elizabethan aspect extending beyond his horns, beneath it a vast white cape. 

He laughed. 

So naive. 

The scepter whirled with terrifying speed to a point that its sound created an infrasound assault on both our ears that led us to fall to our knees. Then a sudden blast of flame erupted from it and smashed into me, hurling me against a wall. The impact was painful and my armor, the one my sister had given me beneath my robes, burned, which did hurt but less than I expected. And it was then that Rachel went ballistic. 

Her voice was that of a whisper of the wind across the graveyard. It echoed with an infrasound resonance that matched that of the being facing us, but where his was a rumbling akin to boulders grinding together, hers was a funeral dirge.

What stings worse, father? That in mutilating yourself to gain power you still lose to a demented half-human who has altered herself into something that should not be, or that I am what I am precisely by being what it is that I am and gain greater power than you have by betraying yourself? To become a monster you took Chaos and tortured it into being Order. I will not have my destiny decreed by a God on a Gilded Throne or a Daemon who sits on a throne of obsidian and plots and schemes to work will through the deeds of others.

You have made a Hell that at least is straightforwardly Hell and not in the guise of a Heaven. Here, and now, I swear henceforth and forevermore to defy you now and forever until the Last Battle, when I shall cast down your twitching corpse before the Universal Emperor as a mark that the sins of the fathers do not pass into their children, and to show him that the daughter of his enemies can do more harm to my own father than his spawn.

Energy began to form out of her like a great bird, glowing with an eerie golden Unlight that made him stand in awe, then as his teeth ground together and his eyes began to glow, he roared:

My daughter in flesh you are indeed, and in spirit likewise! The soul that you prepare to turn against me I shall baptize in my essence, that you shall learn the folly of seeking to cast down your own kindred.

Hellfire lanced out of four eyes as he roared in delight and she stood calmly, eyes beginning to glow, two eyes becoming four. I finally managed to put out the flames on my own robes and through an incantation of the Azar's began to form armor of my own as a mystic construct hardening into plate and a cape. Armor of gold, designed like that of the knights in books and scrolls, and a cape of obsidian.

And with that the blasts that struck her vast glowing bird caused her to scream. And with my own armor formed I realized something of the nature of what we were facing when he withstood my eyebeams with an outstretched hand, the beams absorbed into his hand as he turned toward me and four eyes launched four beams that I
 dodged by levitating upward, preparing to dive down as shadows against the lord of Pandaemonium. 

He then casually reached out with his hand and a grip of iron enfolded me, hurling me down to the ground with a thunderous booming sound, and she, now with her own four eyes unleashed a sudden wave of force that threw her father upon his back. Snarling he sought to rise against her and she focused the same wave with sufficient force to smash him into the ground repeatedly. 

It was then that a sudden set of lightning bolts crashed between us, one of them striking me with sufficient force that I
 fell unconscious. She told me the rest, how she'd seen a monstrous being like a thundercloud in the form of a man. Dark, an ebony hue covering him, his body crackled with lightning that left an ozone odor in the air and a crackling metallic taste in her mouth. He had landed with a tremendous eruption of light and a sonic blast that left her on her knees groaning in pain. 

Eighteen arms had he, and nine heads, each of them with glowing eyes and throats that gleamed with the terrible light of the caged lightning. The lightning flew down and the thunder followed, and her bird formed again, interwoven with darkness this time. And the monster laughed and then hurled multiple bolts of lightning into it. And for the first time in her life the great bird shattered and she screamed in pain. 

And so we awoke. I felt.....different. And I looked at my hands. I blinked. There was a charred carbonized set of runes on them. 

And they were grey. 

Profile

halialkers: (Default)
halialkers

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
34567 89
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 24th, 2017 05:39 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios