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Transit umbra, lux permanet

Chapter Text

Prologue


Let me tell you a little story to start off with. I admit...it is a little jarring listening to a story from a man in a mask. But nevertheless.

You can hear them squawk into the depths of night, squawking about and their claws, talons, are clattering about on windowpanes, and it doesn't really sound like rainfall, does it?

tak tak tak

No, that isn't the sound of rainfall. But can you see the geysers, shooting jets of water out into the darkness of the night, spraying all of the country? Can you hear the lava softly bubble and squeak? Hold on now, there's the pounding of feet, and there lands the water onto the soil. Is it not meant to sound like a stamp?

Can you hear the trill and the lilt and low blow of a horn? Is it a train? But trains don't run this late. And they squeak when the wheels scream, wanting to halt themselves on the iron tracks that confine them forever. Your whole life is nothing but a track, but you can't switch it. Only the conductor does.

Who's the conductor?

It's the man in the moon.

You can see him on hazy evenings. Why does he hide his face so - is the disfigurement, the slaughter and the maiming and murdering of humans so much to bear? Is that why he is imprinted onto the rocky and cold terrain and slowly his face is chipped away at with a chisel every thirty days?

What pain he must feel! But I suppose such pain as that is meagre in comparison to scorching deserts, bodies blown to pieces and artefacts destroyed into the sunset. Must you destroy such heritage, name it to scripture and bleed and bleed and bleed away. Bleed dry.

And still the cogs turn, trees fall into line and fall onto the ground and here come the blazing torches and the grass screams. But I don't think grass screams. It shrivels; dies into the ground, chlorophyll seeping out of open wounds. Blood, must it be so red?

The man in the clouds is worse than the man in the moon, sitting on his throne upon seven skies bleeding you dry. The volcano speaks a little, spews a little more and then spits its saliva onto the world; it trickles down like saliva dribbling from a child's chin, down slopes and onto the grass. Chlorophyll out again. Shrivelling up.

Ah the inevitability of the end of life! When shall we meet, upon the hearth and scream gib mir dazu and phonology then dies on the tongue. Can you formulate the sounds your mind reads...could you replicate it? 'ph' and 'th' and 'd' and 'g'. Phi and theta and delta and gamma and out the open door they go, onto the mud track, somewhere near a cliff and seven seas and seven skies.

He still sits on his throne. His eyes don't bore holes into the world he's created.

In the sea of papers enisled, they swim by you, there over there in the pit of uncanny darkness – there lies a question. Was hast du gemacht? Why, it is held in the simple midnight blue beauty of the night and over there upon the hearth scream out phonetics in gruff guttural voices and the way you loop you letters tells of a little Norse boy, lost at sea, midnight blue swallowing him up.

Must it do so?…So savagely might the mind scream in retaliation? Oh, what is a silly organ, an age-old processor with its rusted gears and monotonous and horrendously repetitive taps, going to do about the matter at hand?

And out on a boat lies a fat little man, ear lobes stretched down to pool at his feet. Little man chortles, with his body rumbling – it laughs too. He speaks, mumbles with a lazy low squeaky voice, that perhaps the seven skies will open up soon. When will the heavens let up, he complains, the clouds are shut out to his mortal being.

It is midnight blue again.

If you're hearing this, then we're probably already dead. Ceased to exist. Gone like a puff of smoke.

How many of us are there? Millions. We're everywhere. You just can't see us. Y'see, we're like atoms; we're known to be there but we're invisible. And y'know what they say - everything is made up of atoms. You are. I am. We are...We were.

The world has changed; it is no longer a society which governs free will. Then again, what is free will when there is determinism? So many of us in philosophy have argued over free will versus determinism. But we're not quite sure.

You want a name? I'll give you a name. I'm only known by the name that was given to me by highly-classified intelligence documents, the Secret Service and some civil servants:

Phantom.

It's pathetic. It doesn't represent me; doesn't embody my true form and nature and spirit. Hell, that would make me sound like...like some mythical creature from a video game.

But this mask I wear... it represents skill and talent. That is what a Noh mask is and...I must admit, I've had the skill in evading society for many a year and slipping under the radar of my own organisation. But I have always performed my actions with the form of kabu-isshin, in total unity with myself and my halves. But you wouldn't know that would you? How weak-willed.

There is also myo; I am totally my persona. So how can you tell I'm not method acting right now? How can you tell this isn't simply one of my...identities?

Oh, you want my actual name? But if I were to give you that, then you'd ask for my appearance. The truth is, I don't have one. I don't know what my face looks like and I'm terrible at remembering faces in my mind. I think...I think I had facial reconstruction surgery but the true extent of that is...well, the details are a little hazy to me. I haven't seen my face in...in many a year gone by.

But I will say this: I am not a bad guy. Yes, perhaps I stole state secrets but...if everyone is stealing everyone else's secrets then doesn't that make us all so morally corrupt? You can't claim you're good when you cause damage and destruction. You reap what you sow; you stole secrets from us, we'll take them back.

I'm sure they'll find me someday...if they haven't already done away with me. Y'see, I'm easily discarded like trash. I'm a simple name on a file in a vault somewhere on this globe. So many vaults...so many secrets.

This establishment...my former employment...it should not exist. On records in some vaults it does but truly it shouldn't. It sounds a little strange, no?

But I am a loyal lapdog, just like my pathetic former identity. What was his name? Ah yes! Bobby Fulbright. Well like him, with fierce loyalty and a sense of justice I must say...I will not divulge information at this present moment of who we are or rather...were.

But I digress. I have one thing to say before I am robbed of my existence on this hallowed earth. The old must die to make way for the new. That sounds so simple, doesn't it? And yet...it's not working.

I implore you, citizens of and on this globe, to see reason: we must destroy the forces of the old world to pave way for the new one.

And with that, I leave you. Ta-ta! Cheerio!