2 Red Twilight Worldwalker chapter 2
Into the Nothing
Charlie awakens, he feels no pain, he feels nothing at first it seems. Slowly his head turns form side to side taking in the ambiences. The stars in the sky are distant, so much so that galaxies and nebula are somehow brought into soft focus. Light is so week it seems to shutter, wavering, leaving cut into the night sky a negative shape almost like a tree. The black of space seems bright next to the emptiness of the blackzone.
Charlie has found his way so far from any world he would know that the impossible is within arm's reach. The vary edge of tangential reality. Islands of floating stone reach off into deadspace off to one side of him, falling off the lip of perceivable nature, to the other side a body of water seems to settle as globs of water fall ever so slowly from space to the tiny rock on which Belmond rest.
Belmond know what this is, he knows where he is, somehow he remembers this place from his past lives, the land of Epheron, the valley of Laith, the lake of Lost Memories. The greatest outreach of spacetime, the end of everything.
Charlies hands find his face rubbing himself down, the roadmap of scars on his face are gone, as is every other imperfection on his body, his armor has burned away into a long gray coat, his boots are gone as he feels he has shed his flesh and now only the avatar of his mind remans. Charlie takes a deep breath and rolls his eyes back, "I'm dead again."
From seated nearby a man in bronze aged medicine robs and a conical hat calls out, he has flowing white hair and electric blue eyes, he is young and aged all at once "That is true."
Charlie sits up pointing at the strange man "I know you."
The old man nods watching the water "you remember me from last time, and the time before that." The old man shacks his head as the water ripples slightly one of the globs of water touching down. "the lake of lost memories, it is starting to look like in ocean."
Charlie walks over to the old man then falls into a resting position Charlie waves out to the water. "I should be in there by now shouldn't i?" The old man nods. "but you keep pulling me out." The old man nods again "I messed up."
"you are a drop of water; you throw yourself at a whelming wave to try to stop it. You could never have one." The old man explains.
"what is 'He'."
The old man points out to the wall of un-mater. "he is that. He is where everything ends, the final dream."
Charlie squints into the distance "Cravixs eats dreams. Why?"
"they are the spark. They are what fuels the river of mana, feeds the tree of beginnings and what allows the Tamreal to shape and craft worlds." There is a long silinces as the two men watch the water "do you want to hear the most amazing truth that will ever be muttered?" Charlie nods "this too will end. At some point in time all of creation will return to the emptiness. Now mater exist necessarily, any time there is no mater, mater will, will itself into existences, but apathy is will fallow mater and call mater back into a state of not mater in time. But time is space and space has mass, there for when mater stops time stops, and then non mater exist again, but because mater exist as necessity the motion of the universe must start again. Not me, not Him, no one can stop that."
"if life is death, then why do we fight?" Belmond struggles to understand the old man
"because death is life is death is life."
Charlie looks to the old man "you are God; why don't you fight?"
"I am Tamreal, the first king, they would say, but in truth one of for, and we too are slaves to another god, you pray to me Charlie, I pray to the tree of beginnings, and the tree prays to the water. Besides, we tried that already, if I fight my brother I lose. That's why the elaborate game, magic words, keys, the greater and lesser Tamreal."
"what does Cravixs want?"
"he is old, he has been hurt about as badly as anything can hurt him, he wants to return to nothing."
"are you saying that you Tamreal can't die?"
"half-bloods can. As for the others like me… I don't know?"
"you know everything!" Charlie commands
"I know only what is knowable." There is a long seconds silence as the elderly man thinks "Thou I was the first fruit to fall from the tree of beginnings I am not unique. Since the dawning of Tangential reality, I have watched the infinite Gaia's spiral off to the edges of the real. I have seen everything seeable, done all that is doable. But still there are limitations. I cannot see past end of this reality. The Time before and the Time after that which I have lived is beyond my reach, beyond my brothers and my sister as well. Tell me Charlie Belmond, what does it sound like when gods die? Where do we go? What is at the fare end of heaven?"
Charlie leans in looking down into the water, flickers if light jump from its surface as mystical waking dreams, the last visions of the dream's owner frozen on the surface. "can you die?"
"that is what Mammon hoped to learn when he set into motion the spells that would forge you"
Charlie offers the old man a queer glance "I am a suicide note?..." he turns to face the sky "why do you keep saving me?"
"If anyone is going to defeat a Tamrail in single combat it has to be you."
"when The Nothing entered into this branch of realities it broke Mammon. He now lives as four minds and four bodies. You have seen three of them."
"Adam Crow, the hand of Cravixs, Cravixs the Voice of Mammon, and Mammon the heart of the void" Charlie thinks aloud "what about the fourth?"
"his humanity." The old man refuses to say more "Charlie I can send you back, anywhere you want to go."
Charlie rolls to face the wizard "The tower steps! As I was on my way to face Crow! I can beat him!"
"are you in such a hurry to die again? Going there will save no one. Even if you win, your victory will be empty".
"then where should I go?"
"Go home Charlie"
Where is home for someone that has walked the roads between realities? Charlie lived alone in the days before his call to war. He hasn't seen his mother in months, father is long since dead, and his wife and kid are hiding out half way across the country. Charlie might as well pitch a tent in the boiler room of the school he worked at, there is little else left in his life but work. But this fight, this means something. As a father Charlie is a faller, as a husband he is hapless, but as a Warlock his life means something.
"I want to go back to 'the Lamia's Back' September 10th"
The old man chuckles and slaps Charlie on the arm "Good chose. Now, It is your memories I'm sending back not your body. Much of your magic will need to be relearned, and only you will remember all that has transpired."
The old man waves his hand and the stars in the sky start to spin counterclockwise changing the vary shape of the cosmos. A flash of light erupts from Charlie's body, he reaches his hands to the sky, then he is gone, his thoughts and memories sent back in time to try to change the past futures.
The old man pulls his hat down over his face lying down. "Im going to miss that kid."
When Charlie reopens his eyes he is on his back in a hole in the ground piled high with broken car parts, the air is dry and dusty, the smell of rust and blood is thick about him. Charlie looks himself over, he has on his motorcycle gang jacket with the patriot eagle and flag on the back and the scales made out of pop tabs on the front, his magic whip Souleater is still clenched in his fist. He starts to sit up then falls over backwards "that's right, I had broken two ribs on September 9th. "
Charlie had been at this bar yesterday night, there had been some form of evil magic at work wherein the bar became a breeding pit for monster. Charlie Belmond alongside, Snake and Larry Geeks, Lances Jacob, El Driver, and his friends Mohamed Quin and Luca Wingate had fought off the demons that night. It was the first time Charlie had seen the monster called Crow, the day he knew he had to fight! When Charlie had first learned of his heritage from his mother, he fled, but never again.
Push past a great deal of discomfort Charlie finds his feet, he stagers right then left then finally straightens up. One hand finds the side of his head as he closes his eyes trying to remember the last time he stood atop this stack of broken car parts at last shouting down into the hallow ground
"RT (pronounced as Art) Z9 Double One Z One. Xzoner, wake up!"
A soft fluid voice shacks the ground "I do not recall the last time my name was spoken out loud by any but myself" a two dimensional monstrosisty bubbles out of the ground, visible at first as only sparkles of red light bouncing off its cytoplasmic outer membrane but then twist in the air showing off its backside at first which is the shape and color of a red blood cell then its underside which is a bottomless pit lined with teeth and ridges stretching from now into never. As if air is water its body flickers slightly in and out of view as it partly folds in on itself falling back into its duel dimensional transparency.
"RT, do you remember me?" Charlie ask the monster,
RT pulls and sags on air becoming ever larger as it blankets the sun from entering the pit in which Charlie stands "this version of you and I have never met."
Charlie calls up to it. "But others of you and I have!"
Sound gets sucked into the empty vortex of RT's body, all sounds outside the pit are silenced, the quite is painful to hear. "the aura your body generates does not belong to you, not this you. I have infinite sisters sleeping on infinite worlds across infinite realties. I can see all that they see, but I have never seen you."
"when last we spoke RT you asked me to ask you a question. What is infinite minus one?" Charlie stars up at the beast from outside time.
"I have wondered that myself many times." There is a hard second of stillness as the air under the dome RT formed becomes heavier. "Why did you call to me warlock?"
"RT I need your help; you were born when the Nothing broken into this reality. You are what was left behind when the god Cravixs targeted this world to be returned to nothing. You are the keyhole through which the Tamreal can see other worlds. I need the power to slide past the keyhole." Charlie explains.
"For what purpose?"
"I am going to kill god."
RT makes no move, no sound, in the stillness the grinding of warms underfoot becomes ever louder as does the echoing of Charlie's breathing and blood flowing through his vain becomes addible. "what you are asking for has never been done."
"then I will be the first."
"Do you understand what you are asking for?"
"it will be a fine adventure."
"and what happens to us when there are no gods left?"
"All prisoners will be released. All sin forgiven. Life will have meaning."
"whatever you choose."
"Choices is the meaning?"
"yes." Charlie smiles waiting for the Xzoner to think over what he has claimed. How long Charlie can't tell but it is long enough. The canopy brakes and RT rolls itself into a ball. In this form it flies down into Charlie diving into his body. Charlie absorbs RT taking on a portion of its magical abilities. He has taken the next grate step into becoming the sorcerer he knows he will become.
There are a multitude of ways to take another's essence into oneself. Directly might well be the most unpleasant. For more than a few moments Charlie hugs himself swaying from side to side waiting for the new life within him to settle in. any looking on may even see the alien crawling under his skin.
When at last Rt has found a peace within Charlie's chest it takes the form of a glass looking marble protruding from between his shoulders, it takes only the slightest color from his skin as well making his flesh look discreetly thinner and his vain mildly more pronounced, but with the tapestry of scars Charlie has already no one would notice.
Charlie makes his way back to his 1940 Harley Davison his head still swimming. Sirens can be heard whaling in the distance. Charlie pays them no heed as he looks over his bike, then back at the bar. He opens up his saddlebags looking them over to remind himself of what he had with him on what had been his trip to the bike rally.
Its outstanding how quickly an extra-planner terror can change vacation plans. Charlie's digging terns up a tape player, he pops it open to pull out the cartridge "Ecliptica." He smiles brightly "I remember this." He had gotten this tap in the mail from his son months ago, he had been playing it on a loop. It's a rock band from Netherlands, not his normal taste but because of where it came from, he quickly learned to love it.
Charlie repacks his bags and mounts his bike as he starts singing to himself "I'm home again, we have one the war, and now I am behind the door. Remember me, before the war, I was the man that lived next door, long agoooo." With a quick kick of the starter, the bike explodes to life.
Charlie needs to regather his forces, arm himself for war again. This time, things will be better.