Flying into the Light

"Let me help you pick up your dead as the sins of the father are fed with the blood of the fools and the thoughts of the wise and from the pan under your bed."

- Jethro Tull, "Thick as a Brick"

The last of the darkness ripped from his wings as he flew forth into the light. The sun played across dapper scales of gold and bronze in a hazy rainbows. The light blinded.

The clouds played a lazy pattern across the disc of the sun, occulting the light and plunging the world in graying darkness once again. He flew onward, and shot through, leaving behind trails of powdered mist.

Here, beyond all reckoning where no others dare approach or follow, the music jangled in the air like a dying chorus torn from broken throats, cresting and waning on the wind. It was impossible to block out, impossible to ignore. It twined with all being, enticing and repulsing and flowing with the change of the world.

He squinted in the light, and soared through the bright empty places where there was a nothing, an emptiness that he had expected to be filled with something other then sunlight. His wings batted against the updraft, and he peered before him, but what once was, was not. He cried out in the silence for those that once heard to hear him again, and only silence returned. And he thought, _"When he opened the seventh seal, silence covered the sky."_

He spun and dove again, plunging headlong through the mist of the clouds back into the icy cold darkness. His speed was great, and ice crystals formed on the glistening scales where moments before there had been shining pearls of moisture. Blackness engulfed the light, and soon, there was only the sensation of continuous motion and the passing of the wind beneath his wings. Even his eyes, so honed, could make out nothing.

He flew. And he flew. And he flew, ever deeper and deeper into the darkness.

The music smoothed, the harsh voices gave way to a certain regular sameness in all directions. It became uniform, unfocused, taking on a certain predictable regularity. It was possible, he surmised, that this was worse then the harsh jangle of discordant noises, as the nothingness, the meaningless eternal sameness, is possibly equally as maddening.

He reached a place where others dared not tread, for fear they would fall and lose themselves completely to the universe, to swim in the emptiness forever. There was no change in the music. No life breathed, no force moved the darkness in a pattern of change, no being lived in the inky blackness. Here, there was nothing, no sun to split the sky, no waters to split the ground. It reminded him of what it was like _before_, which was why he ventured down to this forsaken pit which teetered precariously at the edge of existence.

Frost covered his muzzle. He steadied himself, hovering in the air, spinning slowly. He breathed heavily, the air rushing in pants, and he peered. He listened. He waited. But there was no response to his intrusion into this space.

He called out, finally. He cried out in the darkness. He begged for something to respond to him, to exist in the frozen wastes of emptiness. But nothing acknowledged him. He heard only silence.

He cried out in fury. He cried out in sorrow. He cried out in madness.

He shot out of the pit on wings born of pure anger and hatred, desperately wondering. What had happened? What had gone so desperately wrong?

And was what he had been told, true?

He flew, and alighted in the frozen room, touching the icy cold floor, cool air against a cheek. The sound of his frame against the stone cobbles and the air as it rushed in and out was the only noise to disturb the silence. He slowly climbed up and sat, pondering. How long he sat could not be measured in time.

After a while, he looked up and noticed the figure who stood before him. The figure said, "It is fate, it is what was written."

He growled, "Then unwrite it."

"Cannot be done," the figure said, wringing his gnarled old hands.

He leaned forward on his icy cold stone throne, and hissed, "Then I will destroy you."

The figure had the audacity to chuckle, slightly, and clean it's glasses on his shirttails. "It is far too late for that, I'm afraid. Far, far too late."

He narrowed his eyes. "And the Lamb?"

The figure grinned, and it wasn't a pleasant grin. It was a grin of knowing, of realizing that he finally had the upper hand over an ancient advesary, and that, this time, he was going to win. "Gone. Oh, so very gone from our realm..."

Flaming edge graphics from Our Domain Gallery of Graphics
The "In Nomine" and "flaming feather" graphics are
(C) 1997 Steve Jackson Games, Incorporated.
Used with fnord.