The God-Seer (Fragment Alpha-12)

Generally, a god is capable of seeing the past, present, and future for the worlds that they have created. Naturally, they cannot see these things in their own world, just as humans cannot see beyond the present.

A god-seer is one with the capability of viewing the timeline of the World of Gods. Some can see just a bit into the future. Others can observe the entirety of the past. The few born with this natural talent can be said to have the power of those dimensional beings that transcend all manners of alternate realities. It is a rare gift, but it can also be manufactured through secret techniques.

The last remaining god-seer in the Age of Velorus was one of those not naturally born.

It was the creation of an organization foreign to the World of Gods. An artificial creature embedded with a single Blue Solar-Powered Observation Lens. Utilizing an unknown matter as fuel, it travels across many godly realms recording as much information as it can. With its special eye, there is no limit to what it can see. The scope of its observation spans the complete timeline from beginning to end for any given World of Gods and all sub-worlds within.

At present, it has left the world that Velorus reigns over. At a certain point, it will return to its creators for deactivation and to be disassembled for parts. In the event that it is destroyed, no information will be lost thanks to its “black box” feature. The information repository of this god-seer is forged in the metal of The Gate itself.

While this god-seer is an artificial entity that was designed to be used as a tool, it is still beloved by one of its creators. The main designer of the entity bestowed one of its own names unto the creature: Jeanne.

Jeanne the god-seer mechanism is also capable of recording the Alpha Fragments. As they are stories scattered across time, they also fall within the scope of its observation. Jeanne already knows the identity of Reyskaw Marcosius Velorus, but that is something not to be spoken of. While Jeanne spoke briefly to Velorus, it utilized its own discretion in deciding what to reveal. The fact that it even spoke to him was strange in itself. Jeanne was not designed to communicate with anyone other than its creators. And yet, as beings with free will often do, it followed its curiosity for a short time and deviated from its mission.

“Are you equipped for combat?” Velorus asked her. In his mind, she was certainly a woman despite having no reproductive features.

“Combat functionality has not been installed,” she replied.

“What about your defenses? Are you immune to my power?”

“My armor will not withstand your full might,” she replied. “Though that is unnecessary. I can escape any potential harm faster than it can reach me.”

Velorus asked questions regarding her offense and defense thus highlighting his focus on dominance. Jeanne asked him questions that he didn’t understand for the purpose of confirming what she had learned. After satisfying her curiosity, she left to continue her mission in another universe.

Viper Investigations (Fragment Alpha-11)

Note: Intended to be read after all three parts of the Creswood Mysteries series.

“What do you mean it’s over?” Stolas complained. “I thought you brought us here because we had a new case to investigate.”

“I never said that. I said there’s a case I’d like you both to help me review. It just so happens to be a case that’s already been closed.”

Detective RR had called his subordinates, Stolas and Ash, into the office on an ordinary Saturday. Viper Investigations typically solved cases Monday through Friday with work occasionally spilling over into the weekend. Neither Stolas nor Ash were currently working on any cases so they hadn’t expected to receive a call from their boss out of nowhere. Neither of them were particularly busy so they showed up like loyal employees according to RR’s request.

Stolas was eager to get back to work, as was Ash to a certain degree, so they both felt misled when RR started giving them the details.

“Is this old case one that we worked on?” Ash asked.

“No. It’s a case that was closed long before any of us were born. I was investigating something else when I came across the records of the Lockwood case. Entitled Shadow Puppet Mysteries in the archives, it seems to involve something I’m interested in.”

“I’ve never heard of it. How long ago was it closed?” Stolas asked.

“From our perspective, about 90 years ago.”

“Did something important happen back then?” Ash asked. “90 years is a long time. I can’t imagine it’s a personal case for you like Creswood was.”

“Take a look at this,” RR said. He handed a page from a dusty file folder to Ash. His subordinate scanned the paper for a few moments before looking up with a serious expression.

“This can’t be the same though,” Ash said. “Even if it is, they’ve got nothing to do with one another.”

There was a very loose connection between this old case, Shadow Puppet Mysteries, and the Creswood case they had been working on a few weeks ago. The connection was tenuous at best so Ash dismissed it. RR wasn’t so certain that it was something to be dismissed so easily.

“Well, let’s find out together. It could be nothing or it could be something.”

“Hey, don’t leave me out,” Stolas complained. “What’s going on? I don’t know anything about any shadow puppets.”

“Then let’s start the story,” RR said. “August 1st, 1910. A mansion in a forest just outside of town.”

Coming October 25th… Shadow Puppet Mysteries’ First Performance!

World of Velorus Pt. 3 (Fragment Alpha-9)

Do you know the reason why they call me a monster?

It’s true that I kill gods as I please, but there are many that I would not kill. Gwen is obviously one of those select few. Reyskaw is a new addition to those that I seek to protect.

The World of Gods is a dying world. Originally, the gods of reality resided here. Those who created the planets and stars and humans and animals. They retreated to this world after their tasks were completed or they were driven out by mankind. Both they who fled and they who remained behind have likely faded by now.

An unknown number of years passed after that and now there are only gods like myself and the others who create small worlds for our entertainment. The Black Flames sometime venture into this world and there are those who seek the Marbles in this world, but those things do not matter. The fact is that this empty void in the “sky” has become a wasteland.

Gods who do not deserve the title ought to be murdered. That is my belief. It is also my belief that you might as well have fun carrying out unpleasant tasks. That’s what makes me a monster. Those with intellect like Gwen and Reyskaw and even the cloud called Marcosius are things that I will never harm.

There aren’t many who would find this explanation to be sufficient. I can’t be bothered to record all the details of my thought process so you will have to accept this. For now.

This world is practically mine so you all probably have another question for me: why do I not seek to revive this dying world?

The reason is that it is not dying in the traditional sense. In human terms, its population is declining. The world itself will remain. It is nothing more than a void. Nothing can destroy a void; it simply exists. 

This world is empty. Not useless, just empty.

There is no point in trying to fill an infinite emptiness.

Or so I chose to believe.

After all, in my library there is a document written by a god-seer…

Arata’raya (Fragment Alpha-10)

Dustin finally stepped through the city gates after hours of wandering through the desert. His skin was dry and irritated from his journey so he made his way to the nearest inn that he could find and paid for a room and as much water as he could afford.

“You’re lucky you didn’t die out there,” the innkeeper remarked. “The heat today has been dreadful.”

“I normally don’t wander the desert, but I was looking for a town that doesn’t exist anymore.”

“Well, you’re a long way from the So’raya crater.”

It was only natural that the innkeeper knew exactly what Dustin was talking about. The sudden destruction of that city still unnerved people even years later. It wasn’t the type of thing to be forgotten and left unmentioned in daily conversation.

During Dustin’s first visit to this world he had fought a great battle that had consumed the whole of So’raya. Having ended up in this same world again, he felt it would only be appropriate to return to the crater and pay his respects to the people that had lost their lives because of him.

“I have no idea where I am,” Dustin admitted with a weak smile. His entire body was fatigued and his mind was weak.

“This is Arata’raya, far to the north of the crater.”

“It was foolish of me to even try to go back there. That would just bring me feelings of sadness and failure.”

“You wouldn’t be the first to dwell on the past. That never ends well. The tragedy of So’raya unfortunately coincided with the disappearance of the evil gods. There are some who think the city was sacrificed to them in exchange for protecting the rest of the world. I think that’s a little disrespectful, but there are new rumors like that surfacing all the time.”

Dustin hadn’t imagined such a legend would spread. It certainly made sense that people might suspect that, but he agreed that it was disrespectful.

“The Corruption has taken human form,” Dustin said. “If he’s defeated, the world might be healed.”

“Now that’s a story I’ve never heard before. Where did you learn about that?”

“From talking flames. I’d like to think they were telling the truth.”

“That desert heat might have gone to your head…”

“It’s taken a toll on me, that’s certain. I think I’m going to go to sleep now. Which way is my room?”

The innkeeper guided Dustin to his room. Once inside, he closed the curtains to block out the sun and sat down on the bed. The blankets were a little rough, but softer than he’d expected. Dustin wrapped himself up in them. Thanks to the water and the relief of finally getting out from under the sun, being wrapped up in fur blankets felt comfortable to him despite the true temperature.

Within minutes, he had descended into the world of dreams. He dreamed of his conversations with the Black Flames and the knowledge they gave to him. He remembered their talks of his birth and his divinity.

And as he descended deeper into sleep, he remembered his time as the leader of the Blood Masters. He had rescued those he deemed to be good and given them power. Then he had abandoned them and failed to protect them.

They awaited his orders no longer. Those who wanted to continue fighting had joined the Archimedes Alliance while the majority dispersed uninterested and dispirited.

It was the biggest failure of his life, the Blood Masters project, and it still haunted his unconscious mind.

Perhaps for good reason.

Perhaps not.

Wrapped snugly in a small room in the middle of a desert, far from his quest to save the world, Dustin slept peacefully.

World of Velorus Pt. 2 (Fragment Alpha-9)

Despite Gwen’s protests, Reyskaw accepted Velorus’ invitation. Shortly thereafter, he was escorted to a mansion floating within the void of the World of Gods by a servant with a draconic form. The mansion appeared to be made of a dark wood and had an interior ominously lit by candles with flames of varying strength.

Reyskaw waited briefly in the drawing room for the god named Velorus to appear. The god himself soon appeared and Reyskaw’s first thought was that he resembled James Radcliffe with a slightly more menacing nature. After exchanging some words of introduction, Velorus offered Reyskaw the opportunity to stay as a guest and learn from him about the World of Gods.

Gwen feared Velorus, but Reyskaw lacked that fear and so accepted Velorus’ offer.

The very first lesson that Velorus had prepared was about the nature of reality itself. Reyskaw knew that the gods created their own smaller worlds that existed within the larger void commonly called the World of Gods. However, Velorus disagreed with this naming. He claimed that this place was simply a large Phantasmal Realm connected to the World of Reality.

The World of Reality was the source of the instinct that all gods had. Why was it that so many worlds featured planets and solar systems and galaxies? Why did they share the same periodic table of elements? Why did they have similar languages like English and Spanish and Russian? Each world was a unique creation, but they were all recognizable and none of them contained absurdly strange laws of physics or completely alien concepts.

Velorus explained that the instinct of the gods was based upon the fact that they were connected to this true World of Reality. The worlds they created, using their instinct, were reflections and projections of the World of Reality. Reyskaw had no reason to doubt this so he instead asked Velorus to tell him about the difference between the World of Reality and the Phantasmal Realm called the World of Gods.

This was where Velorus had difficulty. He explained that they were two types of existence. If you called one Reality, then the other might be Illusion. Truthfully, it didn’t matter which was called which. They were two realms that were connected but consisted of different matter and energy. It was possible for a god from the World of Gods to descend into the World of Reality under special circumstances. Similarly, it was possible for a human to ascend to godhood.

This, however, was just one way of viewing it. Another person might say that a god ascends to reality and man descends into non-existence. Ultimately it was a philosophical argument, but both worlds were real in the sense that they existed. Even if Velorus preferred the term World of Reality and Phantasmal Realm, that didn’t mean that was the only name for them. For the sake of simplicity, Reyskaw decided he would continue to refer to this world as the World of Gods although he wasn’t sure he would refer to the opposing world as Reality as that seemed somewhat offensive.

This subject interested Reyskaw and it seemed that in Velorus’ great library there were many books written by others called Existence Scholars who lived in the World of Reality and had come up with these terms that Velorus preferred. Despite being the supreme being of the World of Gods, Velorus respected the knowledge of those living in a different world and even accepted their idea that their reality was Reality and everything else was illusory.

Gwen had warned him of Velorus’ potential for cruelty, but Reyskaw respected the supreme god’s intellect and capacity for compassion. Despite being universally feared, Velorus was not necessarily an evil creature. That was the conclusion that Reyskaw reached early on during his stay with Lord Velorus.

In fact, one night after a few drinks, Velorus had even hinted that he wasn’t the most powerful being in the World of Gods but the beings more powerful than him had long since disappeared. Reyskaw knew that it wouldn’t be wise to ask more about this and instead decided to search for further answers in Velorus’ expansive library.

To be continued May 2016!

World of Velorus (Fragment Alpha-9)

By now you’ve probably heard my name many times.

If not, I would enjoy meeting you. None exist in the World of Gods who do not fear the name Velorus. I have my former apprentice to thank for instilling fear of me into even the newest gods.

Beloved Gwendolyn, dressed in white. She used to be a monster. I trained her to be like me. I showed her that gods are free to use humans as they please. The first world she created, Creswood, was truly beautiful. It had a simple elegance to it with a few intriguing murders.

Then she began feeling pity for the lesser beings. These creatures are nothing more than our creations. They are no different from the characters in a book or the personas of an actor upon the stage. They are not real. They are short-lived unless we give them life. So I do not understand why she pities them.

To claim that their lives are valuable and that they exist independently of us is foolish.

Gwen, you have your own apprentice now. Reyskaw. You’ve asked me to stay away from him. Could it be that you have fallen in love with him? I destroy gods regularly and you’ve never once asked me to save any of them. I’ve looked at the world that he comes from. There he was considered to be the founder of magic. Impressive. Perhaps not love, but admiration? I’ll make you reveal your feelings to me one day.

Reyskaw Valen. A figure of interest to myself as well. I have heard the name Reyskaw Marcosius Velorus and seen it within the Alpha Fragments that float through existence. What connection does that man have to me? And what of the other one called Marcosius?

There is a theory that one day we will all be joined together as one being.

I doubt such a thing is possible.

 

I reign supreme over the World of Gods. None can challenge me and there exists no being whose power I need to absorb. Even the legendary Marbles are surely nothing but fictions to give hope to the lesser gods that they may one day defeat me.

I am a tyrant and a monster. I am a creator god. For a while I have remained asleep, but the time for me to wake may be near. I look forward to our reunion, Gwen. And to Reyskaw, I look forward to our first meeting.

I wonder what the Alpha Fragments will say when I have destroyed you?

To be continued March 14th, 2016!

The Black Flames (Fragment Alpha-8)

The Black Flames are numerous. They exist in many worlds; sometimes hidden and sometimes not. Sometimes they destroy and sometimes they just watch. They are individuals with their own personalities, so what kind of creatures are they? And where did they come from?

I wanted to find out. So I sent one of my avatars to a world where one of the Black Flames sat as an observer. There was nothing extraordinary about the world and the Black Flame watched its residents from afar. Sitting on a hill far from the city below, the Black Flame hovered in mid-air away from everyone. My avatar approached and questioned it.

“What are you?” my avatar asked. The questions I had were simple. I assumed the Black Flame would either cooperate or refuse to answer so there was no point in having a conversation with it. Either it would answer or it would decline to answer.

So I asked my questions directly.

“I am a Black Flame,” it responded.

With no need for conversation, it answered directly.

“What exactly does that mean?”

“It describes what I am.”

“Why do you observe this world? What are you planning?”

“Are you planning something every waking moment of your life? I am here because I wish to be here. I am not planning anything.”

“Then why do other Black Flames do evil things?”

“Why do some gods kill their kind and others seek to help their kind? One of us cannot speak for all of us.”

“Your point is valid. Where do you come from? Where were you born?”

“I was born in a place that even the gods cannot comprehend. It is a place that you cannot see; a place that you cannot reach.”

“Is there a world above the World of Gods?”

“I wouldn’t know.”

“So you come from the World of Gods?”

“That is accurate in some ways and inaccurate in other ways. I come from a place that you do not know. A place that you do not understand, as I said previously.”

And that was all that my avatar was able to get the Black Flame to say. My avatar traveled to many worlds and visited many Black Flames after that and they all said similar things. Then, one day, my avatar disappeared. He must have been killed by someone who didn’t like the questions that he was asking. Perhaps I could’ve saved him had I been watching what he was doing after giving him such a dangerous mission.

Will they come for me next? If the Black Flames are as powerful as gods then I am not safe. I have difficulty sleeping at night now. My dreams have become nightmares, but they are nightmares that I cannot remember. All I know is that I am scared.

And I can’t shake the feeling that something is watching me. Gods do not fear death like humans do, but we are not immortal. Perhaps we should fear death too. At any moment they might kill me, so what should I do?