The Scion watches as another martyr surrenders himself to the device, her Avatar torn apart and ejected out into the storm, empowering it. He feels it’s churning as it tears apart another Technocratic ship launching a final, desperate assault. Their time is at an end. One way or another, when this world is unmade, he will at least come into his own. Distantly he notices a breach in security, and smiles a slow smile.
Ismail pants, hurls his pistol away with a clatter. He feels sick and knows he will soon pay for his over-reaching. And his information, apparently, was unnecessary. He lights up a hand-rolled cigarillo and notices his hand is shaking slightly. He lets out a long breath.
Mr Gone, despite himself, is looking forward to this last little reunion. Its a shame that Ismail can’t join him, but punishment can come later, with relish. For now, there is one last meeting that must take place, and however it goes, it should be pleasurable. With a flicker he is…gone.
Poseidon gnaws on a hard kernel of doubt deep in his watery heart. What if the Scion is wrong? His precious city must survive, flourish, grow. It has been so long….. In time, he is lulled by the rolling phonemes of his worshipers’ chants and songs of adulation. He sits on his pelagic throne and feels the tides of energy surrounding him. One last storm to weather, then in the end, glory.
Jason‘s gauntleted forearm bumps against the faceplate of the powered armor suit. It isn’t as interesting as he’d hoped to be in here. Its climate-control was shorted by the bullets passing through, and the impossible Caribbean sun is making it a sauna inside. If this fails – of Sylvia fails – there’s going to be a lot of shit in no time at all.
Alice chews her lip as she takes another thorough look around her new home. She’s seen Marauders who are worse – maybe it is a mitigating factor that their paradigms seem so incongruent. They seem so earnest, and are possibly right about everything. She decided long ago that it is for some to understand and for others to do. The problem is that so few seem to have the capacity for both.
Natasha is trembling. It is almost done. Everything almost finished. It has been so long, so many lies, so much work, the constant threat of discovery, the constant manipulations. She has grown through it all. She has grown a great deal. And when the time comes, at the cusp of the end, she will seize what is rightfully hers.
Molly frantically tries to reconfigure the networks, but they persist in being unreliable. Atmospheric disturbances and degradation of infrastructure have taken a high toll. Elliot is more cut out for this kind of shit, but he’s dead now. Even Kat would be better. Fuck fuck fuck.
Malik is at another rally where new leaders are being selected. More loyal, more reliable. The armies of liberation have continually been stalled, sidelined, utilized for other’s purposes. He’s only recently seen how he became corrupted himself. He has lost the purity of his movement. Well, that ends now. He has more than enough power in the northeast. With the right people, he can turn things around, starting tonight.
Mori‘s eyes spring wide with a gasp that stops in his lungs and never reaches his lips. A long thin blade protrudes from his chest, is jerked sideways and then yanked free. He feels his lungs beginning to fill with blood immediately, but still has the strength to heave himself to one knee, his katana coming partially free. Jane whispers from behind her quarry, exultant in another killing and afraid and confused all at once, “Where are your friends now, motherfucker?” Mori steps out of the shadows and his blade easily parts her head from her body, shearing through ragged wards recklessly put up. There is a fountain of blood and she collapses, her body shuddering with the last vestiges of neural activity. He spits on her corpse, shatters her blade, and says nothing at all.
Jessica‘s heart’s blood runs down his lips and he grins at the taste. He swallows, luxuriating in the echoes of her first screams. There’s no time to waste. “I told you. Time is up. Your debts come due little girl.” With a flash and a reek of sulfur, he is with her, until the end.
Wiping dirt and sweat from his face, Michael looks down at Esther‘s grave. It is the right thing. Already he feels her power flowing through the earth, into the vast garden they have made of Central Park. In the storm and the darkness, refugees suddenly take hope. Coughs subside. Hunger fades. Sleep deepens. When a seed grows into a tree, does the seed die? When a tree falls and feeds new life, is it gone? Grass covers her grave already, and flowers are blooming on it, and will for as long as there is.
For the last time, Daniel rises and walks the streets, his angel wings now visible to anyone, spreading out from his back in a wash of bright divine fire. He carries the burning blade given him from the very gates of Eden. The time of God’s judgment has come at last, and he is its instrument. Isaac is wrong, was always wrong. Sitting in his church, weeping, unmanned, impotent. Sometimes, God’s love is found in His wrath and judgment. From the unrepentant, payment is due tonight.
Decklund puts his phone away. No reception. They must be near Atlantis already. He closes his eyes and wishes, not for the first time, that one God-damned thing would go right. Just one. Light from down the street catches his eye, not lightening, but like it. He squints into the rain and darkness. “Is that…shit, is that an angel?”
In an installation deep beneath Manhattan, a technician who has never seen sunlight in his tortured life begins the process of draining the containment cells. As he goes to each and attaches the moist, well-worn hoses, he reads the names and the unfamiliar words next to them. Dr. Sam Kinsey – Etherite. Katherine Reynolds – Virtual Adept. Lin Su Lin – Cultist of Ecstacy. Elliot Michaels – Virtual Adept. Morgan, “Destiny” Helsper – Cultist of Ecstacy. Raphael di Solificati – Hermetic. Henry di Solificati – Hermetic. The cells have been empty for some time now, but there is never time to do all that must be done. Never time, but always pain. Plenty of pain, oh yes. He wonders about these people who were Eaten. Did they feel pain when it happened? Or did they just fade away, like falling to sleep? Thinking of his Master, he shudders. There is always pain, when the Master comes for you. Always.