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Caelum Prognatus

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Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:02 am

Act One

“It was previously a question of finding out whether or not life had to have a meaning to be lived. It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that it will be lived all the better if it has no meaning.”
-Albert Camus

1: Abecedarian
.......Dusk. The air is cool and fresh, scented of orange blossoms and lilacs. The swooning clouds embrace the rising horizon and slowly bleed into the rolling hills, as the setting red sun passes away from one day to await its rebirth in the next. The glittering waves of an orange, mirrored sea reflect the light of the dying sun, casting its waning light onto the harsh linear corners of the buildings and skyscrapers that sprout up from the City on the Coast.
.......As daylight fades, the city’s lights begin to flicker on. The sleeping city comes to life, opening its electric eyes as the blanket of day recedes. The worker bees of society put an end to their daily grind and make their ways home to either bask in the embrace of a loved one or reconnect with the inner streamline of a night-driven community.
.......Jason Asclepius was raised with the belief that one should work hard in life and harvest a bountiful life for those one loves. He is a twenty-one year old college student working full-time during the day and attending classes part-time at night three days out of the week. He spends his evenings and weekends in his small, third floor apartment with his girlfriend of three years, Cara Delilah Mills. He loves Cara dearly, and works as hard as he can to provide her with a decent life so that she is free to attend school without the need to work.
....... On this fading red evening, Jason takes flight from his own place of work and begins his journey home for the night to once again bathe in the warmth of the loving home he shares with Cara. He arrives at his home and, after ascending the stairs to his front door, finds a single rose on the door mat. He bends down and picks it up, flashing an ardent smile, and enters his home. He finds his domicile lit only by candlelight. On the carpet before him, a trail of rose petals leading into the dining room. Following the red mosaic path, Jason enters to behold Cara, seated at a table set for two, a candlelit dinner set out before her. He cannot withhold the smile that breaks across his face.
....... Later in the evening, after partaking in the whole-hearted meal, the two move on to the living room, where they engage in a silent, slow, and graceful dance to the harmony of Pachelbel’s Canon. An aura of warmth and solace fills the room as the two move as one. Jason finds himself lost in the calm, amber waves of a wondrous dream of love.

....... The next morning, Jason wakes, lying in bed beside Cara. He lies silent for a moment, watching her Angelic face as she sleeps. Her soft lips part ever-slightly as she delicately breathes in. Feeling satisfied with his viewing of the majestic beauty beside him, Jason rises from the bed and begins his morning routine in preparation for another day of work.
....... Once he is dressed and ready to leave, he notices a flashing light on the answering machine. One missed call. He approaches the machine and presses the play button. Beep!
.......The automated female voice emanates from the speakers.
.......“One unheard message. Beep,” the voice that follows is one that Jason recognizes well, “Jason, it’s Mike,” it is his brother. “Listen, we’ve got an emergency. We need you to come out to the old house. Dad’s sick. They, uh…” the repressed sobbing is obvious in the recording, “They don’t think he’s going to make it, Jason. We need you out here right away.” Beep.
.......Jason’s gaze does not break from the answering machine until he hears the footfalls of bare feet on the tile kitchen floor. He looks up with a blank, disjointed stare to see Cara standing in the doorway, a shear white night gown hanging loosely off her body.
.......“Jason?” she says, humbly, “What’s wrong, baby?”


Last edited by Blackheart on Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:23 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:12 am

2: Despondent Suffusion
.......The trees and shrubs of the rural countryside blaze past Jason on either side, rushing behind him into the past and he speeds down an empty highway road toward his old family home. After three hours of endless driving, the anxiety of his situation begins to upset him. He hears himself asking all the questions in his mind that he does not know the answers to.
.......Will he die? Is he dead already? Will he wait until I arrive to die?” The question Jason finds himself asking the most is, “Why does he have to die?” This is the inquiry he finds most perplexing. “Why is this happening,” he wants to know.
....... Having grown up in the area as a child, Jason is very familiar with the countryside and finds his way easily through the rural back roads. He comes at last to a narrow dirt road that leads up to an open clearing, where a two story wooden house rests in the center of a colorful garden. Jason parks his car in the yard and approaches the front door. It is answered by a thin dark haired man in his late teens with a visible five o’ clock shadow.
....... “Mike,” says Jason as he embraces his brother, “how is he?”
.......Mike remains silent and leads Jason by the hand into the main bedroom. The room is small with large windows on opposite walls, letting in a flood of bright white light. Their father lies in a bed in the center of the room, tucked in under pitch black sheets. His face is gaunt and sickly and his head is shaved. A plastic tube becomes lost within a dark, bushy mustache as it pumps oxygen into his nostrils. His eyes stare blankly at the ceiling, unfamiliar with the people around him. His mind appears to be a million miles away. Jason’s mother sits in a chair at his bedside, clasping his arm indigently, her face awash with despair.
....... Jason approaches the bedside and falls to his knees at the sight of his father in this condition. He wraps his arms around his mother’s leg and buries his face in her dress, releasing the floodgates and losing himself to his grief. The long night is spent with the brothers comforting themselves and watching over their apprehensive mother, who never speaks a word or breaks her gaze from her failing husband. She remains silent in her own disquietude.
.......As they wait in silence, the dreaded moment arrives. For the first time since Jason’s arrival, his father stirs. His short breaths quicken, and his mouth hangs open, gasping for breath. His family rushes to embrace and comfort him as he begins to writhe. Jason places his hand over his father’s chest. Then, as quickly as it began, they all feel his breathing halt and his pulse cease. And all of a sudden, he is gone. Jason’s hand quivers over the silence of his father’s chest, and then the grief overcomes them, and they stand grieving over the body of their father and husband for several hours.
.......Late into the night, Jason and Mike sit together in the living room, keeping a watchful eye on their mother through the doorway, who sits in the chair beside her husband’s body, and they take the time to talk and catch up on the time that they’ve been apart. They share secrets of their lives and speak of the ones they cherish. Jason talks about Cara, and the passion and devotion that he feels for her. The brothers then speak about their past, and the life they shared in this very house. The times they spent with their loving father. The ball games, the trips to the zoo, the circus; they relived all of the treasured moments that they remembered about their father. The man they both idolized and modeled themselves after.
....... “Jason,” says Mike, as he reaches into his pocket, “I need to give you something.” He pulls out a small, shiny trinket and examines it in his hand, turning it around with his fingers. “This belonged to Dad. He wore it around his neck every day in the war, and he said it brought him luck on the battlefield. He told me once, that since you were the first born, and the first to move out, that you always reminded him of himself in Vietnam. Venturing out into the unknown, unsure of what’s going to come at you. He went through a lot of torment and suffering overseas, and he was always afraid that you’d go through the same suffering in your independence as well. He never wanted you to go through the same pain, the same madness. He was always proud of you for making it through life like you did; for being a free thinker, and staying sane. I think you should have this.”
....... Mike clasps the object in his fist and holds it out to Jason. He reaches out and takes the trinket from his brother’s hand. A silver Ankh, battered and worn with age, it has obviously seen many years, and many struggles.
.......“Thank you Mike.” Says Jason, as he reaches out to embrace his brother.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:31 am

3: Seed of Contingency
.......Later in the night, Mike takes up watch at his father’s bedside and Jason sits on the couch beside his sleeping mother. He tries to remain vigilant to watch over her, but he feels the gravity of sleep weighing him down, pulling him into a slumber. He looks out into the darkness and begins to see swaying forms in the black haze. He sees a scene setting up before him. He can make out a street, blacker than the night sky, lit only by the flickering amber spark of a dull streetlamp. On either side of this street are tall, drab-colored buildings, indistinct with no windows. Between these buildings, long, dark alleyways that stretch on as far as the eye can see.
.......Jason can almost feel himself walking down this street, passing beneath the flickering streetlamp. Engulfed in the stark silence of the cityscape. No cars, no people; like a barren world, abandoned by its inhabitants. Then he hears a noise. A footstep. He looks to his side, and sees only the endless black void of a dark alley. He hears it again, a slight ruffle. He steps closer to the darkness, trying to focus his eyes and glimpse at the unseen bugbear in the emptiness. Then he sees it, when he is nearing the threshold of the void; a dark figure, blacker than night, and taller than the most intimidating man. A demon with charcoal skin and eyes of coal. Its scratchy moan tears at the very foundations of Jason’s mind. Deep inside his psyche, he hears a ding. The slight humming of a tuning fork. The demon utters an inaudible phrase and then surges from the darkness, engulfing Jason’s body, snuffing out the very spark within his soul.

.......Jason jolts awake, lying hunched over on his mother’s couch. Morning light filters in through the window, burning his dilated pupils. He looks through the doorway into his father’s chamber and sees Mike, still sitting upright in the chair, yawning with exhaustion. Then, beside him on the couch; his mother is gone.
.......“Mom?” he asks into the waking house, “Mom? Where are you?” He leaves the living room, entering the dining room, where he finds his mother wandering, wearing an apron and holding a feather duster, gently dusting the furniture and homely ornaments.
.......“Mom, what are you doing?”
.......She looks up at him with a light-hearted smile.
.......“Good morning, dear,” she says, “I’m just straightening up a bit. Your father always liked a tidy home.” She continues about her dusting as she speaks.
.......“Mom, do you want to talk about anything? Are you alright?”
.......“Of course, dear. I’m fine.” She says with an even wider smile, “I don’t need to talk about anything. I’ll just go about my business and run some errands. You on the other hand should be getting home soon. You need to get yourself back to work.”
.......“No, mom,” Jason replies, “I can’t leave you like that. Not so soon after—“
.......“Jason dear, I’ll be fine. You can’t afford to miss any days of work. Don’t worry about me.”
.......“Mom, I’m not going to leave you. You need me here.”
.......“Jason, no!” the smile finally fades from her face, “Damn it, Jason. I don’t want you here. I don’t need you here. You remind me so much of your father. It’s hard.” She sniffles as her eyes begin to fill with tears. She takes a deep breath and maintains her composure. “But I’ll be fine. I’m alright, Jason. I love you very much, and it means so much that you were here for me. But it’s over. I don’t need the comfort any more. Now I just need to move on and start the healing process. You need to go and heal in your own way too.”
.......“Okay mom, if that’s what you want. I’ll go. But I want you to know, if you need anything don’t hesitate to call. I’ll come right back out here if need be.”
.......“Okay baby,” she says, the flat, unnatural smile striking her face once again, “thank you.” She wraps her arms around Jason and they hold each other for several moments in a loving embrace, their way of saying their goodbyes.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:09 pm

4: Lament of the Forsaken
.......Later that evening, Jason sets out to return to the City on the Coast, once again leaving his childhood home and the greenery of nature behind him. The drive goes by fast, and Jason is somewhat at peace to see the lights of the city once again. Anxiety begins to creep over him and he feels a desperate need to confide in Cara and share his feelings. Now that he has been there to support his grieving mother, he needs someone to support him and lend a shoulder to cry on.
.......He finally arrives home and ascends the staircase to his apartment. He steps into the living room and looks around, searching for signs of his girlfriend. He hears her distinct giggle come from the bed room. He walks down the hall and steps into the doorway to the bedroom. Cara is laying in bed, naked, the silken white sheets draped over her figure. She sees Jason and gasps, clasping the sheets against her body. A combined look of shock and guilt layer her face, and at the same time, Jason’s heart skips a beat.
.......Then, through the bathroom door steps a tall naked man, fresh out of the shower, drying himself with a towel. Jason’s anxiety increases drastically as he feels his throat tighten up and his knees weaken. He leans against the door frame and looks away.
.......“Jason,” says Cara, pleadingly, “I—I don’t know…”
.......Jason looks her in the eye and states, “I bury my father, and then come home to this. How could you do this to me?” Then he turns and walks back through the living room and goes right back out the front door, slamming it behind him. He walks away from the apartment building, never looking back, never getting angry. He just walks and walks, letting the tears flow, not thinking where he is going. For hours he wanders, saturated in his grief and anxiety, and eventually he walks straight into the center of the city, into the heart of the bustling night-life community center. As he passes under bright lights and by raging night clubs and bars, only one single word rings out to him over the growling of engines and shouts of drunkards and clubbers: “Why?

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:20 pm

5: Centrifugation
.......Jason later finds his way into a downtown pub frequented by local bikers and college students. He finds a perch at the bar and orders a steady stream of heavy drinks. Over the course of his stay, several patrons cycle through the seats beside him, all of which hear a portion of his tale, which he mumbles on about in his expanding drunken stupor. He speaks of his mother and father, his brother, Cara; the sudden downward path of his life. He asks the now empty seats beside him why this all had to happen.
.......Ultimately, the bartender tires of Jason’s autonomous soliloquy. He barks out, “Hey, buddy, quit your whining. Everybody suffers. You’re not the only one who goes through this sh-t. When you lose your balls to testicular cancer, then you can come crying to me. Otherwise, buck up and act mature about it.”
.......Jason looks up at him, head swaying, eyes dithering, clouded mind deep in thought. Suddenly tears begin to stream down his cheeks and he buries his face in his arms.
.......“Oh god, you’re right. You’re right,” he says, sobbing, “I don’t know what I’m doing here. I’ve just turned my back on everything, like it’s all fallen apart.” He lifts his head and wipes away the tears. “But I’m still here. It’s still together. I can still salvage this.”
.......The bartender smirks in conciliation with the feeling of having set Jason on the right path.
.......“I need to get back on track,” Jason says, “I need to set things right. I need to… I need… I need another drink.”
.......The smirk fades from the bartender’s face and he once again barks out at Jason, “Alright, buddy, you need to leave! You’ve had enough!”

.......Jason leaves the bar and once again walks out into the city nightlife. The bright lights and rhythmic music of the downtown club scene dazzle him in his blurry, streaking haze that he calls perception. Soon, the neon signs and flashing lights fall behind him, and he steps into the sleeping edge of the dark city. He looks out into the darkness and begins to see swaying forms in the black haze. Hardly able to walk straight, he holds him self up against a lamp post. He rubs his eyes and looks ahead. He can make out the street, blacker than the night sky, lit only by the flickering amber spark of a dull lamp above him. On either side of the street, tall, drab-colored buildings rise up into the black starlit clouds. They are indistinct with no windows. Between these buildings, long, dark alleyways stretch on as far as the eye can see.
.......Jason begins to see fleeting forms at the corners of his vision. They hide in the shadows and lie still when he looks in their direction. Beginning to feel clear, he pushes off from the lamp post and continues on down the street. Then he hears a noise. A footstep. He looks to his side, and sees only the endless black void of a dark alley. He hears it again, a slight ruffle. He steps closer to the darkness, trying to focus his eyes and glimpse at the unseen bugbear in the emptiness. Then he sees it, when he is nearing the threshold of the void; a dark figure, blacker than night, and taller than the most intimidating man. A demon with charcoal skin and eyes of coal. Its scratchy moan tears at the very foundations of Jason’s mind. Deep inside his psyche, he once again hears a ding. The slight humming of a tuning fork, growing louder; shaking the very center of his psychic mind. The demon utters an inaudible phrase and then surges from the darkness, engulfing Jason’s body, snuffing out the very spark within his soul.

.......Jason strides down the sidewalk, determined to get away from the sobering darkness. His mind is still reverberating from what he believes was a hallucination; a drunken hypnosis inserting visions of insanity into his thoughts. He finally makes it out of the grip of the city and comes back to his apartment. He ascends the stairs and pulls out his keys, unlocking the front door and stepping inside. What he finds does not surprise him. Most of the furniture has been moved out, along with a majority of the electronics and household appliances. In the bedroom, the Queen Size bed remains, complete with stained and ruffled bed sheets.
.......Jason wanders the dark, empty apartment, trying to find some semblance of his past life. But all he finds is the jolting reminder that he is all alone. He notices that the phone is gone, but the answering machine remains. Its small red light flashes feverously. Jason approaches the machine. Twelve unheard messages. Curious, he presses the Playback button.
.......Beep. “Jason, its Mike. Call me back. We need to talk. It’s important.” Beep. Again, Mike’s voice, “Jason, it’s me. Where are you? I have something to tell you.” Beep. “Jason, answer your phone. It’s really important.” Beep. “Damn it, Jason, where are you?” Beep. Several more similar messages clutter the answering machine, then, the final one. Beep. “Alright, Jason, I guess I’m just going to have to tell this to your machine. After you left the house, mom broke down. She couldn’t handle it anymore. Jason—she committed suicide.” Jason’s eyes go wide and his jaw drops, “She’s dead. I wanted to tell you in person, but—I don’t know. I’m sorry. Call me back.”
.......Ding. The hum of the tuning fork begins to shake Jason’s mind. Louder now. Harder. It begins to crumble. And then Jason lets out a deafening scream.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:26 am

6: Fecundation of Sorrow
.......Outside, darkness. Up above, blackening clouds. Jason stands awkwardly in a void, eyes wide and glazed over, looking out into nothing. He begins to walk, zombie-like, into the deep space of his emptiness. He feels the solid ground beneath him but sees nothing there. Then suddenly, he feels the frosty cold kiss of raindrops on his face. Looking up he sees only the black face of despair. He walks still, blindly, droning on without any sense of purpose.
.......He wanders through the city in this trance-like state, never seeing his surroundings. He steps beyond the city’s edge and passes into the foothills at the base of the northern mountains. His dark, cloudy haze is broken all of a sudden, when in the distance, a dim blue light appears. Jason becomes aware of his surroundings, seeing the wooded hills encircling him. In his catatonic state, the blue light attracts him; he feels the need to seek it out; so, he begins walking toward it. As he approaches, the light grows brighter. Soon a structure begins to take shape around the light, emerging from the veil of shadow. It becomes apparent to Jason that this is a small monastery; the blue light shines from the open doorway.
.......Two hundred feet from the doorway, Jason stops dead in his tracks. His awareness returns to him, and he feels a presence behind him, watching from the shadows of the trees. He dares not look back, but instead stares forward into the light of the doorway. He begins to take slow steps towards the building, baby steps, and he feels a shifting of the presence behind him. Then comes a growl; a warning. Jason stops, taking heed. He then finds himself feeling afraid. Not for his life, but for fear that he may not be permitted to see what lies within the entrancing blue light of the monastery before him.
.......Jason gives in to chance and decides to make a run for it. He bolts, dashing toward the doorway. The beast behind him launches itself after him. The heavy footsteps gain quickly on him, and he feels what he perceives as hot breath on the back of his neck. Jason reaches the doorway and takes one step over the threshold, when all of a sudden he feels an excruciating pressure over his shoulders and head. He is thrown head first into the ground from the impact, and the next thing he sees is the smooth, grey stone floor of the monastery entrance, and an expanding pool of blood around him. He falls into darkness once again and goes numb, but can still make out the sound of his body being torn apart.

.......Shrill tormented screams and the heat of a blazing inferno jar Jason awake. His consciousness returns and he feels the burning pain of fire and the piercing sting of barbed wire and meat hooks. He struggles to breathe in the cloudy musk of brimstone but finds himself suffocating. He feels a biting pain travel up his body. He convulses, violently, and feels himself become further engulfed in flame. All he can do is scream as the torment sets in.

End Act One.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:34 pm

Act Two

“A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That’s control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That’s abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.”
-Carlos Castaneda


7: Suscitatio Substrata
.......A cloudy field of white spreads out from an open void. Engulfing all, cradling everything in its soft, feathered grip. In the distance, gentle and faded, the sound of waves breaking on a shore line; seawater hugging a rocky beach. The white field bleeds away, revealing a series of parallel shapes. Wooden boards. Rafters. A ceiling.
.......Jason exhaustedly opens his sore, sensitive eyes to find himself lying in a strange down bed, staring up at an unfamiliar ceiling. He turns to his side, doing his best to keep his weak eyes focused and steady, and examines his new surroundings. He is inside of a small wooden shack. Apart from the bed, the only other pieces of furniture are a small table, two stools, and a rocking chair. There is a small countertop and a stove with a large steaming pot in the corner that apparently composes the kitchen.
.......Jason pushes himself up to a sitting position and suddenly feels a sharp pain in each of his hands. He quickly lies back down and looks at them. They are both bandaged tight with a thick layer of gauze with a slight amount of blood leaking through each palm. Each finger is wrapped individually, so he does not lose functionality of his hands. He then sits up by pushing off his elbows and stands, unsteadily. He limps over to a small mirror affixed to a wall and looks at his reflection. His hair is matted over his forehead and his skin is extremely pale. He looks as if he hasn’t eaten or bathed in a few days, and he feels like it too.
.......He curiously approaches the pot on the stove. He peers over the edge at the contents when suddenly a door slams behind him. He quickly turns to see a small, old man standing before the front door. He is thin, gangly and old, with a shaggy white beard and balding head. He wears a torn, shabby cloak and old sandals. Around his neck is a large, heavy chain clasped to a dead white albatross that dangles over his chest. Over his shoulder is a fishing pole, and in his other hand, a bucket of caught fish.
.......“I see you’ve awakened,” says the old man in a deep, scratchy rasp, as he steps further in, setting down the bucket and pole on the small table. “I was getting worried.”
.......“W-where am I?” asks Jason, “What am I doing here?”
.......“Ah, good question,” the old man says, approaching the pot on the stove, “We all should know such mysteries. What are we doing here? Where do we come from? Where are we going? These are not simple questions to answer.”
.......“I just want to know how I got here.”
.......“I brought you here.” The old man dips a large wooden spoon into the pot and scoops out a spoonful of steaming broth. “I figured you could use a hot meal.”
.......“What happened to me? Why are my hands bleeding?”
.......The old man tastes the contents of the spoon, and, satisfied, turns off the stove. “I’d say you had a run in with nature. Encountered a vengeful forest spirit maybe? But who knows? At least you’re alive and well.” He opens a cupboard and pulls out two bowls.
.......“I don’t feel alive and well. And I don’t think I look it either.”
.......“Well then here, boy,” the old man hands him a bowl, “Grab yourself a bite and see if you feel any better.”

.......After helping themselves to a bowlful of hot stew, the two seat themselves, Jason on a stool and the old man in the rocking chair, and begin to exchange words.
.......“Who are you?” asks Jason, “What’s your name?”
.......“My name?” he replies, “Bah, this Old Mariner has no name. If I ever did, I forgot it long ago.”
.......“How long have you lived here?”
.......“Very long, young man. Maybe too long.”
.......“I—I’m sorry,” Jason starts, “but I find it kind of strange—the bird. Why is it hanging from your neck?”
.......“Oh, this?” he cradles the dead bird in his hands and holds it up, almost lovingly. “This is the cross I bear. My penance. Long ago, when I was a young sailor, this old bird flew over my ship. I got the wild idea to shoot it down. I don’t know why. Just to be young and stupid I suppose. It came to me by fate that I would be forever bound to this bird. As long as I walk this earth, I bear this mark, and speak the tale of my sin to whosoever would listen to it. Most people in these times would turn their backs on a ranting old man.”
.......“Some people just don’t understand the sacrifices and the pain that someone can go through.”
.......“True. These are the wings I bear,” says the Old Mariner, as he strokes the wings of the albatross, “You too, boy, shall have your own wings to bear. They shall take shape in another form, but still, they will etch their mark on your soul.”

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:59 pm

8: Salus Redux
.......After wrapping up their conversation, Jason decides that he must head back home. Although things have been strange and tragic for him, he accepts the fact that he must move on and leave the past in the past. There is still a future for him, and he does not want to let it slip away.
.......Jason exits the Old Mariner’s shanty and steps out onto a beach, looking up at the beautiful afternoon sky. It almost seems brighter than usual and appears to have a sort of celestial glow to it. Jason finds this comforting, and begins his hike across the shore and back toward the City on the Coast. Behind him, the cascading waves of the ocean shine with a crystalline sparkle and reach out to him as they climb the shore, then let go and recede back into the vast confines of the sea. Jason looks to the water and senses a sort of sentience to it, as if it were itself a large living creature, hugging the world in its loving embrace.
.......Jason reaches the very edge of the city and once again sets foot on the solid concrete foundation and almost immediately, a wave of apprehension strikes him. Something has changed. The tall grey buildings seem to be moving, pulsing… breathing. Everywhere around him, there are sharp corners and linear structures that seem to vibrate and sway. Pedestrians and city residents walk the streets, seemingly oblivious to this resonance. Jason walks forebodingly down the street, staying on guard.
.......He passes by dark alleys and shaded corners, and in those patches of darkness there seem to be bustling pools of life. Black forms that seem to swim within the shade, thriving in the absence of light. Jason, now feeling alarmed, quickens his pace down the sidewalk, passing the alleyways and breathing buildings on all sides. He rushes past pedestrians and feels their gazes on him. He can hear them talking about him, cursing him. His own gaze shifts to each person he passes, looking to see if he can find someone casting some form of black magic on him, creating these illusions in his mind. All he sees are angry citizens, shouting curses and insults at him.
.......Jason begins to trot and retreats to the empty back roads of the city to avoid the people in the open. The darkness at the edges of the street seem to pulse and speak to him. They are beckoning him to enter their depths, to give in to the darkness. He tries his best to ignore these pleas and focuses on the path ahead. He approaches his apartment with the intention of secluding himself within the safety of his home.
.......When he reaches the front door, he pulls out his house key and slides it into the lock. It refuses to turn. Jason tries the knob, but to no avail. He tries the rest of his keys but none will turn. He bangs on the door and curses at it. Suddenly, he hears the deadbolt click and the door flies open. On the other side is a tall older man with an annoyed look on his face.
.......“Hey, what are you doing to my door?” he asks.
.......Jason looks at him with a perplexed look, “This—This is my apartment.”
.......“No, I can safely assume it isn’t, considering I live here. Now what do you want?”
.......Jason looks behind the man into the apartment and sees the rooms filled with foreign furniture and appliances.
.......“I—I guess I have the wrong door.” He says, backing away, “I’m sorry.”
.......“No problem,” says the man as he closes the door. Jason checks the number on the door before leaving and sees that it is in fact the number of his apartment. Confused, he descends the stairs and tries to figure out what is happening. Jason wonders who he could turn to for help, and only one person comes to mind. He has to contact his brother.
.......He rushes back into the heart of the city, disregarding the menacing stares from the street walkers and pedestrians and approaches every person he sees, asking for change. Each one rejects him, shouting obscenities and renouncing him. Jason begins to beg, and eventually one pedestrian pulls out a quarter and throws it at him, swearing at him. He continues on his way and Jason bends down to pick up the tossed quarter. He then rushes to the nearest payphone and inserts the coin. He dials a number and waits for the ring.
.......Mike’s familiar voice picks up. “Hello?”
.......“Mike, it’s me, it’s Jason. Look, I need—”
.......“Wait, who is this?” Mike asks.
.......“It’s Jason.”
.......“Jason who?”
.......“Mike, your brother Jason.” He repeats.
.......“Hold on a second, I don’t have a brother. Now I don’t know what you’re trying to sell but I’m not interested. Don’t call this number again.”
.......“Mike, wait! What are you—” Jason is cut off by the click of the terminated call. He stares at the phone in disbelief and slowing hangs up the phone.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:03 pm

9: Caligation Incedo
.......Jason stands on a barren sidewalk, looking into the deep recesses of a black, endless alley. He faces it, listening to its beckoning cries. The darkness crawls all throughout the alley, engulfing every bit of space. Jason takes a step forward and reaches out to the shade. As his bandaged hand passes through the veil of shadow, he feels a chilling cold embrace. The quivering black forms swim to his hand, drawn to his warmth. They clasp on and pull him further, drawing him into their domain. Jason takes another step, and another, and then becomes completely engulfed in the darkness. He feels as if he has stepped into a solid wall of frigid water, and feels himself lighten and float, and falls into a rush of euphoria. He looks out ahead of him and suddenly the darkness absolves. His eyes adjust, and he realizes that he can see in the dark. The black barrier has become a faded purple haze, and has become an ally to his senses, rather than the foreboding adversary it once was. Jason feels the darkness swirling around him, hugging him and imbuing itself into his body. He walks further into the alley and comes to a dead end. He settles down and leans against the wall, facing the distant mouth that leads out into the auroral metropolis.

.......Jason remains in the dark alley for a long time, what seems like days, contemplating his current position and the state of things around him. He thinks back to the happier times in his life, living with Cara. He remembers living at home with his mother, father, and brother. The distress finally gets back to him, and he finds himself sobbing in the dark.

.......Jason finds himself feeling restless and alone. The confusion and anxiety is at an all time peak, and he feels the desperate need for answers. Only one person enters his mind who he feels he can go to for comfort. The one who found him and fed him, and mended his torn hands: The Old Mariner.
.......Jason stands up at the end of the alley and walks toward the light with a new conviction. A distraught placidity that drives him forward, hungry for answers. He holds his hands out and brushes his fingertips across the concrete walls as he comes closer to the mouth of the city. The edge of darkness approaches, and Jason feels a wave of warmth and energy as he passes into the ethereal brilliance of the morning sun.
.......He forces the tears back into his burning eyes as he leaves the city and heads back to the rocky beach that houses the Mariner’s shack. He once again sets foot on the soft, platinum sand and walks toward the spirited sea. It stirs, and sighs, calling out his name. The waves reach out to him, climbing up the shore, then recede back into the body of the ocean.
.......Jason ascends the rocky shore and comes at last to the old shack. What he finds, however, does not sit well with him. The old shack is in shambles. The roof has collapsed and the walls have toppled over. The ruins appear to have been in this condition for years, and there is a thick layer of dirt and filth layering the structure.
.......Jason finds no answers here to relieve his anxiety and clouded mind. He instead finds another tightly knotted thread that further binds this noose clasping his mind. The tears once again return to his eyes, and he looks to the sea. The vast crystalline maiden calls out to him. Begs him to join her, to allow her to encircle him, and cradle him, and become one with him. He steps forward to look closer at the ebbing waves. He stands on the rocky precipice and looks down into the water, seeing his own reflection. His pale white skin contrasts the dark crown of matted hair. He sees himself and thinks of his father, who had gone through war and experienced the tormenting pain and suffering that corrupts men on the battlefield. He wonders if this, too, is nothing more than a battlefield; if life is nothing more than war, a battle to be fought and suffered through.
.......“This fragile body,” he says to himself, “is nothing more than a prison of the soul. Perhaps freedom awaits me… if I am able to escape it.”
.......Jason spreads his arms and closes his eyes, and gives in to the call of the sea. He lets the wind pull him forth and he falls forward over the edge. The air rushes past him as he remains silent and still in free fall. He hits the water and is plunged into the familiar cold, dark emptiness. He feels himself lighten and float, and gives in to the current. He feels the pain of his lungs taking in water, but does not resist. He longs to become one with the sea. To finally be at peace.
.......He feels the straining in his chest as his lungs struggle, and he opens his eyes. He sees the creeping darkness seeping in around the edges of his vision. He floats free, almost liberated from his mortal coil, when he sees movement ahead of him. Two forms darting through the darkness, emerging from the black sea. They appear to be young girls, both naked with beautiful flowing hair streaming through the water. However, instead of legs these girls have long, slender tails, layered with scales and tipped with majestic fins. They approach Jason and swim around him, dancing with him and swirling around in the water. They grab a hold of him and caress his body. One girl places her hand on his cheek and looks him in the eyes. He stares back into the bright, splendorous orbs that look deep into him. The girl leans in closer, closes her eyes and purses her lips. Jason’s vision fades to black and he closes his eyes. He pouts his own lips awaiting this kiss, but it never comes. Instead, he feels himself slip away into a cold, empty void.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:31 am

10: Commoneo Recollection
.......Jason feels no movement and hears no sound in this black empty space. He cannot move his body, nor can he muster the energy to speak. He feels a stagnant sleepiness creeping over him, when suddenly he feels a jolt in the center of his chest. He back arcs and he once again opens his eyes. He sees a brown haze around him. The void seems to be dissolving. He can now move his arms, but still remains locked in this static prison. And then, he hears a distant voice. A faded cry shouting a single word:
.......“Clear!”
.......Another jolt and Jason’s back arcs again. He gasps for air and coughs up a lungful of water. He chokes as air rushes into his chest and he begins to breathe again. He begins to writhe, but is restrained on a padded hospital stretcher. Around him are figures adorned with white clothes. To his side is a doctor holding the greased paddles of a defibrillator over his bare chest. From his other side comes another faded voice.
.......“We’ve got a heartbeat.”
.......Almost at once the anxiety returns, as Jason realizes that his attempt at rejecting his suffering has failed. He lays back, breathing deeply, coughing up the remaining water inside his lungs, and stares dejectedly into space.

.......Jason is later laid into a hospital bed in a room with a nearby window that looks out upon the swaying trees in the wind. In the neighboring bed, his unconscious roommate lies in a coma, hooked up to a series of apparatuses that beep and hum while they monitor his life signs. Out in the hall, outside the room, an orderly sits at a post, watching the room. At the foot of the bed, a doctor looks over a chart with a nurse, then approaches Jason and says his name. Jason hears only static. He calls his name again, and Jason looks up at him.
.......“Hello there,” says the doctor, “How are you feeling?”
.......“Fine.” Says Jason, as he looks back to the window.
.......“Well, it’s good that you’re feeling well. You had a near drowning, but luckily a nearby jogger called the ambulance in time. Also, we checked out the wounds on your hands. We were hoping to get some insight from you on how those wounds were received, and how long ago. They don’t appear to be healing, nor has your blood begun coagulating, which leads us to assume you may have some form of Hemophilia. We’ve already got a blood test in the works, and we’ll be looking into that further. Do you have any questions at all? Anything you’re concerned with?”
.......Jason does not respond, but continues staring out the window.
.......“Okay, well then that’ll be all. If you need anyone to talk to, we have a counselor standing by for consolation. Good day.”
.......The doctor leaves, passing by the orderly outside the door.

.......Later in the evening, a nurse enters the room, carrying a plastic tub filled with warm water and a roll of bandages. She sets them down on Jason’s bedside table and sits in a chair beside him. He continues to stare out the window until she speaks.
.......“Hello there.”
.......Jason slowly turns his head toward her. He sees a slender girl, with dark hair pulled back in a bun. She has a gorgeous face with soft, delicate features.
.......“How are you feeling?” she says.
.......Jason does not reply but just stares at her beautiful face. She stares back, awaiting an answer.
.......“Well?” she asks.
.......“F—fine,” he murmurs, “I’m feeling fine.”
.......“Good!” she says, “Now I’m going to clean up your hands. Is that okay?” She reaches out for his hand and he nods, lifting his arm out to meet her. She lays down a cloth underneath his arm and begins peeling away the bandages. His bared palm immediately begins to leak blood and she turns it face up to inspect the wound.
.......“Goodness,” she says, “That’s pretty deep. How long ago did you get this?”
.......“I don’t know,” he replies, “I woke up with it about—four, five days ago. I’m not sure how long it’s been.”
.......“What did this? Was it a nail or a spike?”
.......“I don’t know. As far as I know it was some kind of werewolf, or demon.”
.......“Very funny.” The nurse pulls a wet cloth out of the tub and begins to clean off the blood, both fresh and dried. Jason watches her work.
.......“W—what’s your name?” he asks her sheepishly.
.......“My name’s Poly,” she replies, “Short for Polyhymnia.”
.......“That’s a pretty name.”
.......“Thank you very much. ‘Jason’ isn’t half bad either.”
.......For the first time in a long time, Jason finds himself amused by her words. He cracks a slight smile and chuckles, but stops when he feels the pain of his dry, cracked lips. She finishes cleaning and bandaging his hand and moves to the other side of the bed to begin on the other hand.
.......“Thank you,” says Jason, “for—you know, cleaning me up and all.”
.......“It’s not a problem,” she replies, “It is my job after all.”
.......“Yeah, but I can sense the concern that you’re feeling; the effort that you’re putting into it. You’re gentle touch, your warm hands; you’re not just working with me. You’re taking care of me. And I really appreciate that.”
.......“You’re so sweet,” she says with a bright smile, “It’s an honor and a pleasure to take care of you.” Jason also smiles once again, but ignores the pain of his cracking lips. The two stay silent while Poly continues the rest of her work and is wrapping up the final bandage when Jason speaks again.
.......“Why is that orderly standing outside the door?”
.......“Because,” she replies, “You’re on Suicide Watch.”
.......“Suicide Watch?”
.......Poly raises a finger to her lips for him to keep his voice down and looks up at the orderly to make sure he didn’t hear.
.......“I didn’t want to say anything,” she says, “but they think you cut up your own hands and tried to drown yourself. I didn’t know if it was true or not, but it doesn’t matter. You’re a nice guy. You shouldn’t have any reason to kill yourself. Right?”
.......Jason forces a reply, “Right.”
.......“You’re getting better and you’ll be out of here soon, then you can get back on with your life. I mean, what could be bad enough that you’d want to kill yourself anyway? I mean, you shouldn’t turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”
.......“You’re right,” says Jason, “The suffering we go through only makes us stronger. We can’t just give up when things take a turn for the worse.”
.......“That’s right. Especially for you. You’re in your, what, early twenties?”
.......“Yeah. Twenty-one.”
.......“See?” says Poly, “You’re so young. You’ve got so much to learn. I know things get rough in life. Trust me, I’m only twenty-five but I’ve been through a lot. Both of my parents were killed when I was a little girl, I’ve been poor, I was even homeless once. But I stuck with it. Now, I’m back on my feet, I have my own place, I’m taking college courses. Everything is great for me now.”
.......“You’re so strong. So much stronger than I am. I used to think that I was dealt a cruddy hand; that life was just a long war, and that I was losing. But, I don’t know. Now I’m thinking differently. Our lives aren’t something we’re given. They’re something we make for ourselves. Something we create. I can do what I want in my life, no one is repressing me, or holding me back. I am free to do as I will.”
.......“That’s right,” says Poly as she reaches out and places her hand over Jason’s, “You are free to heal and get back on track. Don’t let life get you down when things don’t go your way. You can be in a thousand accidents and lose a hundred friends, but you know what? You’re still here, and you have to make the best of that while you’re here.”
.......“I have to use the suffering, learn from it, and grow from it. Use it to become stronger than I am.” Jason looks up at Poly with a growing smile, “Poly, thank you so much. You’ve enlightened me.”
.......“No,” she says, “I’m only bringing to light what you already know. Don’t give me credit for your own words.”
.......“No Poly, you’ve helped me to see clearly. You’ve set me right. I can heal now, and leave my wounds behind me. Thank you so much.” Jason reaches over and grasps her hand tightly between his own bandaged hands.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:57 pm

11: Viscus Cruento
.......Jason stands at the window in his hospital gown, looking out at the sky. A smile has spread across his face as he thinks about and remembers his parents.
.......“Hi dad. I hope you’re comfortable wherever you are now. And mom, I miss you. I hope you’re taking care of each other up there.”
.......Behind Jason, there is a high pitched beep. He turns around and sees his room mate writhing in his bed. The machines read that his vital signs are failing. Jason rushes to his bed side, concerned.
.......“Hey, buddy,” he asks, “Are you okay? Hey, wake up!” The patient begins to thrash, and Jason holds him down. “Hey! Help!” he calls out. He tries to calm his room mate’s convulsions, placing his hand over his chest. Jason feels his mind suddenly calm, and a series of images begin to race through his head. First, he sees the blue, crystalline waves of the ocean.
.......“Uhh—What?” For a split second, he forgets where he is and what he is doing, and sees only the ocean. Then comes the auroral haze of the coastal sunshine, highlighting the skyline of the City on the Coast.
.......What is this?” He wonders to himself. He shifts his focus back to his seizing room mate, who now lies still. The monitor at his bedside rings with a solid beep as a flat line slides across the screen.
.......“No, no, wake up, buddy! Wake up!” And then comes a final vision. Jason is choked off as he sees in his mind a pitch black field framing a solid blue light. The doorway. Suddenly, Jason hears the dull, steady ding of a tuning fork. It grows louder in his mind, and he becomes lost in his vision and does not notice the brilliant white light blazing from beneath his bandages. The light transfers to the still patient, spreading a white, objective purity across his body. The light becomes blinding, and then everything fades to white.

.......At one of the hospital monitoring stations, an alarm goes off, signaling a flat lining patient. The nurse at the station immediately yells for assistance and rushes down the hall in the direction of the room. The nurse, accompanied by two orderlies, shield their eyes from a blinding light shining through the window in the shut door of the room Jason shares with the coma stricken patient. They thrust the door open and the light disappears, revealing Jason, on his knees beside his room mates bed, hands excessively bleeding through his bandages. The flat lined patient is now sitting upright in his bed, awake and confused, breathing heavily. Jason’s bloody handprints stain his chest.
.......“What—” he mutters, “What is going on?”
.......The medical staff looks on, astonished and confused, and then rushes to Jason’s side.

.......Two days later, Jason is given back his street clothes and is released from the hospital. Sporting two freshly bandaged and still bleeding hands and a brand new smile, he walks out onto the street and steps into the supernal atmosphere. Poly greets him on the sidewalk, on her way in to begin a day of work.
.......“So they’re finally setting you loose.” She says.
.......“Yeah. I’d say it’s about time,” he replies, “It’s been quite an experience.”
.......“I’d say. Well, you’ve been a great patient. I enjoyed working with you.”
.......“And I enjoyed the sponge baths,” he says with a chuckle, “But seriously, thank you for everything Poly. You’ve really helped me see things differently.”
.......“My pleasure.” She reaches out to him and hugs him tightly. She gives him a soft kiss on the cheek and whispers in his ear, “Pain itself destroys pain. Suffering itself frees man from suffering." She pulls away and starts toward the hospital door, “Remember that.”
.......“I will,” he replies, “and I’ll remember you too.”
.......Poly enters the hospital and Jason steps out onto the sidewalk. He strolls around town without anywhere in particular to go, glancing at passing by pedestrians who no longer stare at him with malicious gazes. He also no longer feels the same anxiety from the brighter than normal sunshine and living buildings and darkness. He has now a newfound desire to learn more about these peculiar wonders.
.......“And to think,” Jason mutters to himself, “I thought something had changed about the world, when in fact, it was me that changed. The world looks different to me because I’ve changed the way I look at it.”
.......Eventually Jason wanders into the inner bowery of the city. Trash litters the streets, which are cracked and filled with pot holes. The buildings are slummy and run down, and there is a different class of people walking these streets. Primarily, they wear shabby clothes and sport bushy, unkempt beards. This is the local kingdom for the homeless and underprivileged. Several condemned and abandoned buildings serve as squatting grounds for countless transients and runaways.
.......Jason peers into alleyways as he passes by and sees groups of hobos gathered around trashcan fires and sleeping on piles of garbage. None of them even notice him, as they are caught up in keeping warm or getting rest. He looks at their frail, gaunt figures and senses the pain and suffering that draws from the lives they live. He can feel a thousand hardships, a million torments, and countless tragedies.
.......Jason acknowledges to himself the fact that this is what he could have become had he not turned around his way of thinking in the hospital. He could have let himself become consumed by his fear and suffering, and he would grow old scrounging for food and sleeping in dumpsters.
.......“I do not want to live that way,” he says, “Nor should they have to.”
.......Jason stops in front of one alley inside of which he sees a battered old man, paler than snow, writhing on the ground. He is fast asleep, bundled up in a wad of old, torn, dirty blankets. His white, scraggly beard is muddy and littered with grime. Jason approaches and kneels down beside him. He reaches out a bandaged hand and places it on the old man’s chest. Almost immediately, the old man lies still and falls into a peaceful slumber. Jason feels the distress slip away as it is replaced by a sense of solace. A soft, white light begins to spread away from Jason’s hand, spreading across the old man’s body. It eats away the dirt and filth and purifies the sickness and ailing malaise. The old man smiles ever so slightly as he falls into a peaceful dream of comfort and complacency.
.......Jason stands over the harmonious dreamer, and a thought strikes him.
.......“I know what I have to do,” he says, looking down at his bloody bandaged hands, “I know what I’m here for.”
.......Jason then migrates from alley to alley, contacting each individual transient, shedding his white light and stripping away their crippling ailments and discomforts. He cleanses infections, dissolves skin conditions, purifies disease, restores vision, and most importantly, he rejuvenates a sense of faith among the homeless community of the bowery.
.......By the end of the night, Jason is being followed and joined by almost thirty men and women, all of whom have had some form of illness or disorder miraculously cured by his divine touch. They praise him and seek out others who are in need of his abilities. They thank him, and celebrate him, and call him ‘Messiah’. They smile and cheer, and make him their savior.
.......Soon after, Jason can take no more. He becomes drained and exhausted and must rest. His new attendants rest beside him, tending to his every need, offering him anything that would be within their disposal to provide. He declines all proposals and instead lies down and falls dead asleep.

.......Jason finds himself floating within a familiar void. The cold, swimming darkness is all around, engulfing his body. It dances around his limbs, caressing his hovering form. He feels a steady calm come over him. A peaceful silence that lulls him further into slumber. A sleeping spell of eternity.
.......Then, a ding as a blue light flashes on in the distance. Jason’s gaze immediately focuses on the light as the ding of a tuning fork grows louder. The doorway. Suddenly, Jason feels a crumbling as the ding begins to shake the world around him. A loud rumble begins to roar all around, and the blue light sways in the distance. The ding becomes a sharp sonance that violently jolts Jason awake.
.......He sits up in the dark alleyway, looking up at the night sky. His ears are still ringing from the high pitch tone from his dream. He remembers the blue light. He first saw it in the foothills of the northern mountains. The monastery. He realizes that the monastery must have something to do with what has happened to him. He did not change until his visit there, when he was attacked by the unseen demon, the bugbear in the dark.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:00 pm

12: Severed Misconceptions
.......Jason once again steps food on the chalky earth of the rolling foothills. The trees around him seem to pulse in the darkness. They almost appear to be breathing, watching him, as if they follow him as he passes by. He follows the same path as before, hiking up into the night shade. Then he sees it. The blue light flickers on in the distance. He continues on his route and sees the structure emerge from the veil of shadow around the light. The monastery becomes visible once again.
.......Suddenly, but not unexpectedly, Jason feels the same stalking feeling as before. The beastly demon has returned for him as well. He stops dead in his tracks two-hundred feet from the door of the monastery. He hears a heavy footstep behind him as the demon settles in position in the dark. Jason takes a single step forward, and then a growl from behind. He heeds the warning and remains still. Then, he once again considers running towards the door, but he knows how that will turn out. Instead, he turns around and stands whole-heartedly before the wall of darkness ahead.
.......“I’m not afraid.” He says to the darkness.
.......He scans the black, searching for a sign of life, and then he sees it. His eyes go wide as he makes out a tall, gangly yet muscular charcoal figure. Its coal black eyes pierce his mind. It mutters an inaudible phrase in a deep, scratchy groan and then hesitates.
.......Jason takes a step toward it, upholding his resolve.
.......“What are you?” he asks the demon in the dark, “What do you want from me? Have I not suffered enough for you?”
.......The beast takes a step forward out of the dark, exposing its leg in the light of the monastery. Its black charcoal skin twists and distorts in the light, spreading like smoke in a breeze contained within the bounds of its limb. Another step and its skin begins to crawl up its body, grasping for the safety of shadow. A separate form becomes apparent beneath the creeping veneer of vile flesh. The figure steps fully into view, throwing off the demon skin exterior to reveal the small decrepit form of the Old Mariner. He stands in the light, grinning, the dead albatross dangling from his hunched neck. Ding. Jason stands in disbelief, awestruck at what he has just seen.
.......“Well now,” says the Mariner, as he begins to walk toward the monastery, “Now that you’ve made it this far, won’t you step inside and have a word with me?”

End Act Two.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:11 am

Act Three

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion... this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.”
-Richard Bach


13: Stigmata ex Penna
.......Black clouds swirl above the City on the Coast. They release a torrent of rain on the coastal town. In the alleys of the bowery, the hobos and transients take shelter under alcoves, overhangs and makeshift structures. They sleep and keep warm in front of their trashcan fires. Jason sits alone in his own alley, leaning against a wall under the barrage of heavy rain. He stares into the dark with a somber, ponderous look on his face as he contemplates the words spoken by the Old Mariner.
.......“I do not want this,” he mutters, “This is not my responsibility.” He stands and begins to pace the alley. “Why does this all fall on me? What did I do to gain this power? To become anointed with this task? I mean, who pointed down from heaven and said, ‘Jason Asclepius, thou shalt make the world anew’?”
.......Jason walks out of his solitude and enters the system of alleys within the bowery. “I do not want this,” he says again, looking out into the multitude of homeless taking shelter in the alleys, “But who else is there? Who else can break these bounds, and spread this freedom among the stricken?”

.......Jason thinks back to his visit to the monastery, speaking with the Old Mariner. The old man paces slowly down a hallway, leading him deeper into the depths of the holy building.
.......“What’s going on,” he says to the Mariner, “What was that? What happened to the demon?”
.......To which the Mariner coyly replies, “Demon? There is no demon. A mere thought-form; a personification of your own fear; what you perceive to exist beyond the darkness, around the boundaries of your mind where you cannot see. It is only there, in your mind.”
.......“No, that’s not true,” Jason presses, “it was real. It attacked me when I first came to this place. It mauled me just inside this very door!”
.......“Did it?” the Mariner gives a moments silence for Jason’s thoughts to begin a new cycle. “What you perceived as being mauled by a vicious beast, as extreme pain, as the tearing of flesh, was actually the psychokinetic impact, if you will, of your consciousness hitting the spectral ceiling, so to speak.” He turns and continues down the hall at a slow pace, with Jason close behind, gazing intently as the Mariner speaks. “For when you set foot through this hallowed threshold, your inner fire blazed at full intensity. Your frail mortal form could not sustain the distinct energy released into your body, the power streaming through your soul. Your fragile mind buckled under the tremendous pressure of your unfolding gift.”
.......“My gift? I don’t get it,” Jason replies, “What gift? Who are you? What have you been doing to me?”
.......“Now, now, young man,” the Mariner replies, “one question at a time.”
.......“Okay then, tell me who you are. I want to hear your tale.”
.......“Ah,” the Mariner stops beside a table and two chairs, which seem to have appeared out of nowhere, and offers Jason a seat. The two sit down and the Mariner begins his tale. “There was a ship,” he began, holding Jason’s attention like a three year old child, “we set out from harbor on a blessed day, celebrated by those in port. We sailed out to sea under the bright warm sun, and one afternoon we met a storm. With the fog and the mist and the stormy sea, a majestic Albatross began to circle our mast. I took up my crossbow and shot the Albatross. Then at once the sun had set and wind had ceased, and the storm had cleared away, for I had killed the bird that brought the fog and mist. However, what I had done was curse the ship, and the very crew, for with the passing of the Albatross came a silent sea and still winds. We sat frozen on a painted sea, locked in our vast blue prison. Ah, what evil looks had I from old and young! Instead of the cross, the Albatross about my neck was hung.
.......“Soon our crew grew weak and hungry, with bitter tempers rising in our dilemma. Soon, a ship came upon us, black as night and driven by billowing fog and shade. Upon the deck of this ship was Death himself and his mate, the Nightmare Life-in-Death. For having come upon us they had found themselves a new game to play. With a roll of the die, they bargained for the lives of each of my crew mates. One by one, Death won their souls. It was not until they came to me, their final trophy, that I became prize to the Lady Life-in-Death.
.......“To this day, I bear my curse, alive in death, carrying this mark of penance over my chest. For every generation I find another like myself, and set him on the path to redemption. You too, like me, Jason, have become a part of the black Lady, continuing on in a state of Living Death. You are no longer bound by the conceptual restrictions of mortality. You exist on a new plane now; you are eternal.”

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:12 am

14: Mundus Ordained
.......As daylight breaks, Jason migrates into the alleyways, gathering his homeless devotees and bestowing his power on those he has yet to bless. Today is his day to assemble. His goals for the day are larger than before. He must reach as many people as possible, not just the homeless, but everyone. He passes through alleys, spreading his white light, walks into soup kitchens, passing on his purity. Eventually, the word gets out on the streets, and more homeless and crippled citizens seek him out. He heals their wounds and they spread the word even further.
.......It does not take long for the word to reach news officials. News stations across the city begin reporting on rumors of a miracle worker curing the ill. They obtain footage of the crippled masses swarming the back alleys of the bowery, but no images of Jason himself appear onscreen.

.......A television screen displays a prominent news anchor during his evening broadcast. In the corner of the screen, a still frame from footage of the massing believers.
.......“…and several sources are flooding in reporting that a mystery messiah has miraculously cured several individuals of existing illness or injury. He is apparently traveling with a large band of associates who are spreading the word, but so far no further details are known.”
.......The camera cuts to a woman being interviewed on the street.
.......“If he’s really doing what they say he’s doing, well hell, I’ve got a broken heart I need healing.”
.......The camera cuts to a man, “This is ridiculous,” he says, “who’s really going to believe all this? I think it’s a hoax. Nobody can do what they’re saying this guys doing, you know? If he’s out there healing people then why is he in the bowery and not out making a million bucks? Huh?”
.......Next on camera is a tall, skinny man with a shaved head and a cross tattooed over his forehead, “The Sustantivo del Cristo will not tolerate this kind of heresy being voiced in our city! Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the true and only Messiah! We will not permit this false idol to corrupt our faith and seduce us into his fray! We will not acquiesce to the Devil’s Own!”
.......The news anchor returns to the screen, “And there you have it. More details as they arise. Now on to this week’s weather forecast…”
.......In the center of the bowery, hundreds of people have gathered. They are lined up, awaiting their session with Jason. His community of cohorts assists in the organization of the crowd. His bandaged hands are now stained red with his own blood and drip onto the asphalt. His white light illuminates the alleys with every encounter he has. The exhaustion grows stronger each time he uses his abilities.
.......Around the edge of the large assembly, a dozen cars pull up, each unloading several passengers carrying large picket signs, each labeled with religious quotes and phrases that undermine and insult Jason’s mission. Another crowd forms to demonstrate, and they try to break up the assembly and get deeper into the alleys to picket Jason himself. Soon after, several police cars come racing down the street with sirens blaring. They come to a stop before the crowd and then people begin to scatter everywhere. True-believers and nay-sayers alike flee like cockroaches, leaving the alleys barren and empty. Jason’s consignment for the day has been officially disbanded.

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:14 am

15: Vehement Gale
.......Late at night, at an ungodly hour, when the denizens of the bowery are fast asleep, a car pulls into the mouth of a major alley, shining its headlights into the darkness. A large group of men silently stroll into the alleys away from the car. They all bear tattoos of some sort with religious imagery, such as crosses, crucifixes, angels, and Jesus himself. They wear primarily black clothing with leather boots and straps. They carry baseball bats and wooden clubs and other forms of bludgeoning weapons. They begin to assault various sleeping transients, beating and kicking them.
.......One of the invaders picks up a transient by the collar and yells in his face, “Where is he!? Where is your blasphemer, your so called savior!?”
.......They follow the same act with several of the homeless, trying to get Jason’s location out of them. None of them utter a word and dauntlessly take the beatings. The group moves further into the alley, continuing their rampage.
.......One of them shouts into the night for all of the bowery to hear.
.......“El Sustantivo del Cristo have come for your messiah! We will not stand for this blasphemy, tainting our domain! This land belongs to Jesus! Any and all who seek to oppose the word of God shall be struck down, like so many before! Imposters and false idols shall forever burn in oblivion! You have two days to clear out of these alleys and leave this city, or else you shall burn with greater torment than Hell could ever provide!”
.......The group then recedes back to their car and leaves the alley. From a remote dark corner, Jason looks upon the aftermath of the carnage.
.......“Fools. I’ll make them all see.”

.......As Jason bathes in the chilling darkness of the alleys, he again thinks back to another portion of his conversation with the Old Mariner inside the monastery. The two are wandering the halls of the building, which is far larger on the inside than it appears from the outside. Paintings of religious figures and mythical creatures adorn the walls by which they pass. Jason trails behind the Mariner, listening as he speaks.
.......“You see, Jason, every generation there is another who falls to the curse of Life-in-Death. Another who has the potential to rise above and surpass the material world; our material prison. With the proper guidance, you could do just that. You are already on your way.”
.......“I’m starting to understand,” Jason says, “but I am still confused. What is this so-called state of Life-in-Death you refer to?”
.......“You belong entirely to Death’s mate, Lady Life-in-Death. You are neither living nor dead. You exist on the material plane, as you had in life, but you no longer exist in terms of history. You’ve been erased.”
.......“That—that’s why my own brother has forgotten me? It’s like I was never born?”
.......“No, Jason,” says the Mariner, “You were born to this world, Michael is your brother by blood, but memory is like foam on the sea. It can wash away as easily as the waves themselves. You’ve merely become a riptide under the water. You still exist as part of the whole, but apart from the rest of humanity. You have been set aside for a greater task.”
.......“A greater task?” Jason barks, “What, save the world? Bring about world peace? Destroy evil? This is ridiculous! What kind of task could possibly require the suffering I’ve gone through? Why have all of these problems fallen on me?”
.......“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. The suffering wrought on you in your life, death, tragedy, betrayal—these are the bearers of the fruits of knowledge, awareness, and above all else, Jason- Perfection.”
.......“Why did this happen to me?”
.......“This did not happen to you. This is what you became.”
.......“This is insane! I don’t want this kind of responsibility! It’s taken enough strength just to get to this point, to discover what I’m already capable of. I can’t handle anything more than this. Please!”
.......“Jason,” says the Mariner, “Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.” The Mariner’s words begin to remind Jason of Poly and the words they shared in the hospital. “I know this is hard to take in, but you’ve got to understand, this is your purpose.”
.......“My purpose? No, my purpose is to get my life back on track. To get a house, get a job, buy some food, clothes. I’ve got my own responsibilities.”
.......“You know, Jason, the best way to avoid responsibility is to say, ‘I've got responsibilities.’”
.......Jason hesitates and hangs his head.
.......“We all have our cross,” the Mariner says, “for me, it is to seek out those like you. For you, it is to rise above and teach the world how to become like us.”


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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:14 am

16: Evangelion Excessum
.......Another day begins anew, and Jason prepares to venture out into the city again and spread his healing touch. This time, he plans on the biggest movement yet. He has his homeless associates spread word that there will be a rally, hosted by Jason. He will speak to the multitude and then pass on his blessing to those who will follow him.
.......“The time has come,” Jason says to himself, “to initiate a change of order in the world.”

.......Later in the day, the stage has been set for the rally. Jason’s podium has been erected in an open field at the edge of the city to allow enough space for a large crowd. Before long, the faithful and crippled begin to filter into the arena. It does not take long for the space to become filled, and more viewers continue to come. They stand on top of cars in the streets and climb trees and rooftops to have a view of Jason and hear his words.
.......Jason finally ascends the stage to the podium, where he looks out upon the swaying sea of people. He feels no anxiety or apprehension from addressing the crowd, and his words flow from his mind to his mouth like the water of a stream.
.......“Thank you all for coming,” he starts out, “and thank you for believing. I know it can be hard to believe that someone such as myself can do what it is you’ve all heard I can do. But it is not fiction that I have a blessing to give to all of you. I have been given a gift. A gift that I wish only to share with everyone. I desire nothing in return, no payment or compensation. All I need is the satisfaction of knowing that I have saved a life.
.......“But the truth of it is, no matter what I do our lives do not need saving. Even though we may die, we live on. We are reborn, recreated, resurrected. You see, life is not some objective force that animates us. It is an energy, a spark, an eternal vitality. Life is eternal. The issue that arises from eternity is the inevitable corruption that taints our inner beings. We lose sight of our morals and precepts; we forget our teachings and customs of old. We become new and refresh with every generation, but we lose a little piece of ourselves with it. We wash away our past.
.......“We have grown arrogant and vain. We sell ourselves to entertainment and culture, and let our failing moral structure taint our minds and our bodies. And now, this is the part I am to play in this Theatre of Tragedy. I have come to you, bringing my healing touch, to purify this society of our corruptions; to cleanse us of our immoral culture and ideals. I have come to you from the edge of eternity to purify your very souls and attune you for the coming perfection.”
.......Suddenly, at the edge of the field, several cars swerve to a stop. Dozens upon dozens of black-clad zealots rush into the crowds, yelling and shouting religious quotations and insults. They are the Sustantivo del Cristo, the so-called Children of Christ. They are all armed with bats and bludgeoning weapons and they begin to attack and assault the people in the crowd, men and women alike.
.......Jason can only look on from the center of the crowd in distress, as his word has been interrupted and is now being defiled. He feels no regard for the safety of those in the crowd, but instead feels distressed that the work he has put forth to convert these people will now be reversed through violence.
.......Sure enough, the people in the crowd begin to fight back against the Sustantivo. They punch and kick and do what they can to defend themselves. Soon, the entire crowd has swarmed around the hostile group, and has become an angry mob. This is no longer a peaceful rally, but a violent riot.
.......Jason looks on. He sees blood splatter, teeth fly. Bruised flesh and flying fists. Hair is pulled, skin is torn. Scraped knees and battered skulls. Physical violence and pain. This crowd of thousands is inflicting on themselves a material disease. They are taking advantage of the mortal body, destroying what God has given them, and using it for their own egotistical desires. Even after all of the words spoken by Jason they still resort to such acts.
.......Frustration and anxiety rise into Jason’s throat. He begins to glow with a soft, white light as the familiar ding of a tuning fork rumbles in his mind. Now his throat rumbles, as he lets out a deafening scream.

Fade to white.


Last edited by Blackheart on Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:14 am

17: Lacuna Detrimentum
.......In the green countryside of nature on the outskirts of the City on the Coast, there is a small rural mortuary that lies nestled in a cluster of trees. Inside, there are several coffins and corpses laid out for embalming and presentation in funerals. One coffin in particular sits out in the viewing room. It is labeled ‘Asclepius’.
.......The front door of the mortuary opens, and Jason walks inside. He is covered with blood, splattered from head to foot. The bandages are gone from his hands and they drip a steady stream of blood onto the floor. He is distraught and sobbing softly. He slowly approaches his father’s coffin and kneels beside it, laying his bloody hands and face over the closed lid. He cries onto the coffin and speaks between sobs.
.......“Oh, father,” he says, clutching something in one of his hands, “I couldn’t do it. I just made things worse. I wasn’t ready for this.” Jason stops crying and raises his head, “Now I’ve messed everything up. Now everything is lost.” He clasps the object in both hands now. “Only you, father, can take me away from all this. I need you here with me. You’re the only one who understands the suffering and the torment that I’ve gone through. One thing I’ve learned, it is that sorrow is not in death but in loneliness, and conflict comes when you seek consolation, forgetfulness, explanations, and illusions. Now my conflict has passed. I’ve overcome my illusions, and now I seek your consolation, father. Come now."
.......Jason spreads apart his hands to reveal his father’s silver Ankh floating in mid air between them. A ball of white light forms around it and it begins to rotate and twirl. The energy between his hands grows and transfers to the coffin, engulfing it all with its brilliant radiance. The Ankh spins faster and faster as the coffin begins to rumble and shake. Then, all at once, the light burns out and Jason is thrown back. The lid of the coffin is torn off, exposing the corpse of his father inside. Jason rises and approaches the coffin, seeing his father look up at him with a blank, mindless stare. He opens his mouth, taking in breath.
.......Tears come to Jason’s eyes to see his father move once again. He reaches down and pulls him out of the coffin and helps him stand. He is stiff and unsteady, and embalming fluid and chemicals begin to seep through his burial suit as they leak from his body. Jason interlocks his arm with his father’s and ushers him back out the front door.


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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:15 am

18: Deus ex Oraculum
.......Jason looks on as he sees blood splatter and teeth fly, bruised flesh battered by flying fists; he watches as hair is pulled and skin is torn. The crowd of thousands before him is engulfed in the material disease that is violence and despair. They are taking advantage of the mortal body, destroying what God has given them, and using it for their own egotistical desires. Even after all of the words spoken by Jason they still resort to such acts.
.......Frustration and anxiety rise into Jason’s throat. He begins to glow with a soft, white light as the familiar ding of a tuning fork rumbles in his mind. Now his throat rumbles, as he lets out a deafening scream. The intensity of his light becomes blinding, making his body indistinguishable. His cry echoes out as two golden arcs sprout from his back and rise into the air. The light suddenly snuffs out as Jason’s cry is cut off, and his body is revealed. His skin has become black like charcoal with angelic marks etched into his skin. Behind him, two wings spread from his back layered with silken black feathers. His eyes burn like coal.
.......Jason, in his new form, runs into the crowd, striking and thrashing about. He assaults everyone in the crowd, believer and protestor alike, unleashing a blitzkrieg on them all. He bludgeons and tears, drawing blood. He throws bodies like dolls, twists off limbs like tree branches. He grunts and screams with a feral rage, like a blood lusting demon. People try to get away but are unable to escape the densely packed crowd. Jason’s black wings spread and contract and flail about as he rushes on, tearing apart flesh and bone.
.......Finally, when the bloodletting has ceased, Jason stands over hundreds of bodies lying in pools of blood. The ground is no longer visible underneath the organic debris from the carnage. Jason’s blood rage fades away and he sees the results of his assault. The charcoaled skin flakes away and the wings dissolve in a cloud of black feathers, reverting Jason into his normal self, covered head to toe in blood. He looks upon the death and destruction as tears come to his eyes.


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Re: Caelum Prognatus

Post by Blackheart on Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:15 am

19: Terminus Aeternus
.......Jason guides his undead father by the arm into the wooded hills of the rural countryside, leaving the dark, violent City of the Coast behind him. No longer does he desire to live with a purpose or fulfill a destiny. He has forcibly lifted the weight of the world from his shoulders, and now seeks the existence he desires for himself.

.......Jason came to learn a very important ideal. He learned that the moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed. Jason chose to give in to the love he felt for his father, and to allow his love to govern his life rather than his suffering. He came to the realization that he truly is free, and that nothing can get in the way of letting him live as he pleases.
.......Jason once sought to bestow his healing gift upon society. It became his mission, his destiny, to use his own suffering and torment to heal the suffering of others. However, in the end, it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. And thus, he let go; and he disappeared within the chilling mist of darkness.

End Act Three.

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