Of Gods and Men

The Gathering Dusk
Part I of III

“You going tomorrow night?”
Roger lifted his eyes from the thick stat-report in his hands.
“What do you think?”
Derek leaned back and flung his feet onto his own desk that butted against Rogers.
“C’mon man; Ryan is going, she digs you, you dig her; when are you two just going to get it over with?”
“I’m working here, De”
“So? I’m working too; doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the spoils, right?”
Roger sighed and placed the report on the desk. It was dead anyway; nothing that warranted any real attention.
“Look… I, er. Saw Kelly the other day. Last week.”

The Dead of Night
Part II of III

Shadow Torches dragged the remains of the bizarre creatures away the second they arrived on scene.
Ariel patrol, Sicams, boots on the ground and a dosing of satellite coverage; it didn’t matter, they were both of them gone, like they had never existed.
The short had erased most of Rogers playback, only the ghostly image of the inky humanoid dragging the other into the darkness of the upper city remained; it was the only thing that told Roger that it hadn’t been a dream.
The rain intensified throughout the evening, and it took a good six hours for Roger to get debriefed, detoxed and reprimanded for letting the subject go.
He was back at his desk when he got the call, like he knew he would. Just two men in high fashion suits, a nod and a mag across town.
Light Towers.

Part III of III

“Leave the dark avenger alive, my daughter; kill the rest.”
I have underestimated my father, and my hubris may cost us our lives; and the universe it’s freedom.
Galactica smiled, beautiful despite her malice; the raw power of the cosmos smoking from her eyes.
“I think the metal man first?” She said.
But destroyer was walking away already.
“As you wish.”
“What’s the plan here, Night?” Roger braced himself.
There is always a plan.
“Watch out for the sword.”
“That’s it?”
“No. Take it.”

The "FBI"
Woedin Part II of III

“Godammit Wilsons get this shitty pack off me. It didn’t do shit to that class five! Holy crap have I got news for the boss. Theres some heavy hitters out here in the west, we were just hunting small time techno-junkie hackers and lame water-walkers. But a mutant that can take the juice of Dr. Finks electro-gun? Damn. Damn, damn, damn.”

The “FBI” agent was sputtering this speech over taking off the pack by loosening its many straps. The backpack and the cannon weighed roughly in the hundred and twenty area so it was quite a burden, until science finds a way to make it smaller. FBI Agent Grimstone finally had the pack on the ground, and then reached inside his vehicle for his cellular. While pressing buttons on the phone he looked around.

Blinding Light
Woedin Part I of III

Gamaliil Rabota, skilled linguist in Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, French, and Vietnamese. A masterful interrogator, tracker, hunter, mutant. Practiced in the deadlier forms of Kung Fu and stealth. A self proclaimed advocate of God’s work, and a rogue KGB super assassin – Death Blossom. Flying over the upper end of the Zuni Mountains in southern New Mexico, he was tracking a splinter cell of FBI agents who had detained a group of “illegals” and were now hauling them to a processing center.

Meetings: Part 1
Ironhide's Log: 1

It’s been almost three years since I became aware of my role in the world, since I officially died in a bank bobbing in Detroit, since I began the Mission. In those three years, I’ve helped maybe a dozen mutants, lost twenty-three that I know of to DARWIN, and seen dozens of flats die in the process.

Earth Runner
Woedin Part III of III




The chant alighted on the night air, carrying the hymn to the ears of the creatures in the dark. A pact of primitive villagers from a long lost time, definitely not modern, sung around a bright fire. They continued with calm reverence as they peered into the twisting flames, their chant morphing into a meditative sigh.

On the horizon a star fell from the sky. Magically enough, it landed not far from their sitting spot with a booming thud and flare of bright light. This was the first time anyone at this fire circle had been lucky enough to have a star fall within their walking distance. Curiosity fanned the flames of adventure and a small group set out for the landing site.

Following the trail of smoke to where the star had fallen was easy to track. It was only a handful of miles out, they could still see the smoke from their earlier cooking fire in the distance. When they arrived they were astonished at the heat the Earth put off. The ground was still sludgy from hot molten material strewn about. It was a short time they allowed the ground to cool before climbing the edge of the impact crater to see inside.

Some sort of enormous egg sat, but as a glossy reflective material that appeared to stay red hot, no larger than a person. None of the villagers, a total of seven to be exact, dared to approach the mysterious ore. As they watched the ore-egg cracked open, and the flare of its outer heat suddenly dissipated with a gush a hot wind blowing their hair back.

Inside was a man, like one of them, but without hair. Like a newborn, but a fully grown man and glowing like the shell. It stayed in a rested egg position for some time, shining like a beacon of light. The villagers were all amazed. Was it a person from the stars? How could it be?

One of the eldest clambered over the edge and slowly skidded into the pit, his curiosity peaking. This was a man named Hoontauk Mohit’Nahobi. He was fearless in this newfound discovery, a trait not so uncommon as man would come to find.

Hoontauk approached the golden figure, feeling the air heat around him. When he was close enough for words the figure turned on its heel to face him, and reached out a hand. The body language was seemingly common enough, and Hoontauk felt that this might be a special moment in his life, for it was he who was the one who called up the men to travel. It was he who had ascended the pit first, and it was he who climbed in alone. It was he now who stood before this being from another world!

Hoontauk knowing the gesture to be peaceful decided to return it and reached out his arm. Then a shockwave pulsed out from where the being and Hoontauk were standing, a wave so powerful it re-leveled a secondary crater. When but a few of the villagers came to, and found some of their comrades slain they were doubly shocked to find at the center of the crater was nothing more than a pyramid of crumbled and red hot embers.

*Deep in the Earth, at the furthest depths of the core*
Through the ancient mysteries of time and space we find the spirit of a galactic, or even cosmic force resting, centered. The very essence of an idea in it’s purest format as a living being. Mother Gaia; from before time, cosmic in space, eldritch in its basest forms when encountered on the physical plane of man.

Now nursing, as she would, one of her many creations. A babe from within the Sol sphere. A shattered egg that was shed by starlight, and as the stars would have it delivered to Earth. Not one of her sisters or brothers, but where there are the clearest stretch of skies, the bluest of deep oceans, the greenest of farthest hills.

Energy is very strange when it becomes sentient, as far as comprehension allows. When it becomes aware of the field of the magnetic sphere it resides in as it’s home there settles an idea of comfort. To itself present, however, it must shed and bond continuously with the outside, or the reality that Man knows.

Once such a bond is made, from the devour, the previous experiences of said person can template over, but generally the soul comes about fresh, anew in our universe. A devoured soul becomes something far greater than what it would accomplish along the duration of a mortal life. They, being the soul template overlapping the Elemental template, become a being of pure thought and in essence pure energy.

However, the fizzles of magic leave many loopholes for ghosts and spirits to return. Sometimes the full embodiment of a past being can worm through to enshroud a new template, fully. Such occurrences are rare, but not unknown.

This Elemental here was a shapeshifter of all the traces of our existence of Earth. When it “retired” an identity it shifted into a new vibration completely. Once it devours a soul it is reborn. Taking the form of light, or lava, or water generations down. The identity that evolved through each life-span never truly clinging to a specific mold, and therefore never having an ego past it’s death to remember itself by. Every form was new back to square one.

At this dawning age Man had only begun to understand the elements of power the Earth had at her reign. A new force was unleashed, to hold back tides of darkness that were foreseen. For future sight allowed Gaia to grant her children, elementals and mortals the gift of ever lasting life. Whether that be at a change in the core of the planet or through reproduction at the surface there was a spell cast and both Man and Elemental knew they were forever tied together, if only they could communicate.

Therefore Gaia unleashed her newest babe upon the world. One that could learn and be a force of nature in every way, even in death. For this Elemental had the power to assume human form if it wished, and to live a semi-human life. The refraction of the Elemental’s spirit, and its commune within itself to shift from one power to another after it’s death was a generationally split decision. Much the same way traits appear in people farther down their lines, with some even reoccurring. Except some Elementals lived for hundreds of thousands of years, or even millions and beyond in some sectors of space. Spatially adept Elementals controlling solar systems themselves are not unheard of, Mother Gaia being an advanced sentience of an Elemental herself.

To human form this Elemental returned not much longer after its birth. With only a few brief memories shuttling it into faint existence on the hallowed ground of a quiet and hopeless battlefield. Men wearing the skins of animals and colorful feathers lay mostly dead around a caravan that fell to a raiding party. Some men in uniforms of white and blue, bearing muskets lay dead near the silent caravan of wagons. Many of the tops of their heads had been removed. Not how he remembered being alive. Alive?

He materialized out of light and an arc of lightning that pitched from the sky like a cruel barbed hand. There he stood suddenly. In a body of flesh, amongst the dead.

He was naked. Looking about he matched some clothes to his body and managed to have on leggings of animals, and an unbloodied shirt. The jackets were warm too, but all of them had been soaked in blood. None of the bare men wore tops, so he foraged from the dead uniformed bodies.

With his body warm now his head began to hurt. He could make sense of things to a degree, and existence didn’t seem like a foreign concept, but what was this place? How is it that he’d arrived here now? All he could remember was the darkness pierced by light, and a sound. He tried to speak for the first time, the vocal cords polishing in from a quiet whimper to a deep bass.







Wandering off into the dark he had one thing on his mind. Woedin. Nothing else seemed remotely imperative other than the brief obsession with this unknown word. Scurrying off, he left the bloody scene behind. He wandered for days, through dry patches and storms.

Later in his unbridled walk, and feeling quite mad, he emerged from some undergrowth to the side of a river, across from which he could hear tunes and melodies alighting from the yard of some partygoers. Fiddles and drums made rhythm of music, and from a distance he could see people galavanting around a large fire.

Approaching on barely sturdy legs a few of the party goers noticed him. Eventually the music died and the dancing stopped and all that could be heard was the burning heart of a crackling fire. A woman approached him.

As she got a closer look she witnessed his bloody scraps, “Êtes-vous bien?”

“Uhh,” the man moaned.

Now more concerned the woman approached him face to face, “Ce qui a fait cela pour vous? Avez-vous vu une bataille?”

“Whooa-dyn,” he mustered through a raspy dry cough.

She turned to some of her friends, “Amener l’eau! Certains aliments! Il a besoin d’un médecin.”

Others were now around him, some offered bowls of water, others crusts of bread. The girl looked him over, and when she got to his leggings she stopped. Taking a step back she shook her head in disbelief.

“Il porte un sauvages jambières! Il a sur l’un de nos hommes uniformes? Qui est-il?”

After a brief period of rest, watering, and a bread crust he had gained back some constitution. Sitting more alert now amongst this crowd of people he did not recognize fear began to overtake him. With his pulse quickening he knew not what was happening, only a word.

Woedin,” with a flash of lightning he vaporized into thin air.

When he awoke he was in a small chamber, well furnished, with a fire crackling in the corner. In the shadows just out of sight, the clanking of dishware sounded off with the preparation of food. He could hear heavy breathing and the light footfalls from a slow moving person.

His eyes adjusted and the form of an elderly hunchback man emerged before him. Wielding a bowl of slop into the clumsy grip of the younger man. There the bowl sat in his lap, as the steam slowly stewed about on the air.

“Feel you any better?” asked the elderly gentleman.

He hadn’t realized he knew how to talk, or even what language he could speak. He merely spoke with all the understanding one has over mastery of their language. To this being in front of him he could have a fully comprehensive conversation.

“I feel strange. Scared. Where am I?”

“The emotions you must be feeling right now. At least your complete, more than any I’ve seen before you.”

“Who are you?”

“I am an ocean. A great teacher, and giver to man. I haven’t a name that stays put, yet of many names have I come by. Why not call me Adra?

“Fine. Adra,” the now more awake young man came to say. He peered down at the slop in his lap.

“Eat. You will need strength.”

“Strength? I don’t even know whats going on, what will I need strength for?”

“The war.”

“What? How would I fight a war?”

“You will soon become something greater and in your new form you will be able to properly combat this coming menace.”

“What can you tell me about this menace?”

“There seems to be a change in times. For if the stars have delivered you to us then something terrible must be on its way to our dear precious gem of a planet. Something Gaia won’t be able to repel on her own, something she will need her children for. You are one such child.”

“I don’t believe this. What could I possibly become? How am I able to move about the way I was? And who were those people speaking in French?”

“You are still adjusting to your new position, and soon you will be something entirely different. The rifts of others are flowing through you and access to their memories is helping to tune you to your new form. It will pass.”

“You mean I’m not going to stay human?”

“No young Woedin, you shall not.”

“What will I become?”

“Whatever has been written in Gaia’s future. Whatever is needed shall be adorned upon her supple mantles. Added to the continuing spirituality of the Elemental, you shall be a force of nature. A power to be reckoned with, and the beacon of light for Humanity.”

“What am I to do then?”

“Seek out another of significant power. He resides in your time, although what he looks like and who he is I have no idea. He goes by the name of Roger Armstrong and he will be a leader of a rebellion in your time. This very rebellion will be the seed of the new populace upon the face of Gaia. You will know your fortunes to be good if you can get to him and keep him alive, for a very dark force seeks to end him as we speak.”

“I’ll just rest a little, then I’ll go to find this Roger you speak of.”

“I will be in touch young one.”

Woedin laid his head upon the ground. It was not long until he fell from a deep slumber back through the spiritual realms to his body, and upon awakening found himself in a the crumbled ruins of the quartz cave. The skeleton of a man lay before him, semi-crushed by fallen debris, an old uniform with the symbol of an elegant black flower was all that gave it an identity.

Pausing briefly after removing himself from the obstacle course of a broken cave he took in a deep breathe of air. This was Gaia’s realm. Home of man. A person here lay under threat and Woedin’s task was unknowably grim. An existential threat was out there in the stars floating slowly through aeons of space, on its way here.

Woedin peered into the oncoming sky. As the sky looked back long breaths of distance cleared between them. And from miles away where the gem cave had been blown to smithereens, a spark ejected a small gem of light into the sky and was gone.


the Darkest Dawn
A New Age Dawns, But at What Cost?

It’s all gone wrong. Everything I’ve done up to this point, every move I’ve made and every life I’ve saved, it has all lead up to this one moment, and I took my eye off of the prize.

I should have listened to my gut, I should have made our move weeks ago. If I had, maybe thousands of people would still be alive today.

The Battle of Manhattan: Epilogue
After the destruction of Manhattan, Ironhide faces the future.

The wind whipped past his face, dust and smoke obscuring his vision. Strangely, the world seemed to finally be at peace. He was alone in the grey, and the world was retreating from him.

It was a second before he remembered where he was, what had happened. Then it struck him: he had failed. As his mind cleared, so did his vision, and the Manhattan skyline began to clear. Or, at least, what was left of it.

What was left of Manhattan was in flames, and the rest was simply rubble. No busy streets, jammed with afternoon traffic, no eager tourists and busy New Yorkers traversing the concrete arteries of the Big Apple. Manhattan was dead, and sprawled below him was its still warm corpse.

Below him. The shock of remembering, the horror of the sight; he had forgotten where he was. Not that it mattered. He was level with the peak of the Empire State Building, if it were still standing, and plummeting. He was above water now, the blast apparently having blasted him horizontally before gravity took over and dragged him back down.

The air around him, which had been filled with debris ranging from soda cans to pickup trucks not even half a minute ago, was no clear but for smoke and dust. Vaporized, along with the historic monument that had been so close, by a blast that he had failed to prevent.

It had all happened so quickly, everything a blur now. As the ground grew closer with each beat of his heart, time slowed for him, slowed enough for him to reflect on his greatest failure, and the doom that he had brought to New York City.

He wondered if his friends and allies had survived… but of course they hadn’t. How could they have? Once again, his gift, his curse, had left him alive, and alone.

The waves quickly approached, only heartbeats away, but seemingly an eternity. He looked up… no, down at the surf, red with the setting sun. It looked angry, as if the ocean had felt the pain and loss of those on the land that it surrounded. He looked at the waves below, and wondered what it would be like to let himself die. To let go, and let someone else fight in his place. It would be so easy, just a thought and he would be smashed against the rolling waves, killed as quickly and efficiently as if they were crested with concrete at this speed.

Just another corpse, fished out of the bay sometime during the cleanup in the next several days, or weeks. Nameless, and forgotten.

It would be so easy.

He closed his eyes, and thought of home.


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