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To Live and Die in Arcadia Bay

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OCTOBER 11th, 2013 - SAVE CHLOE TIMELINE

 

            A butterfly, blue as a sunny day, flaps across the dark clouds consuming Arcadia Bay’s skies. Its wings are no match for the violent winds raging upon the town, sending it hurtling into a wall. It dies.

            A desperate family drives past the Two Whales Diner -  or rather, the “TWO WHALES DIE” according to the damaged neon lights overhead. Inside the car, the driver, a middle aged man, is maneuvering past frantic neighbors looking for some sort of sanctuary that will give them the illusion of safety. Sitting behind him are his wife and daughter: both are freaking out, and rightfully so. An EF-6 tornado is tearing up their hometown!

            Tired, the wife yells, “Please, just keep on driving!” A young boy from Blackwell Academy falls onto the hood and bangs on the front window in desperation. The husband keeps on driving, pushing him aside as he swears at the uncaring townsfolk.

            Panicked and muttered, the husband tells his wife, “I’m driving, Lorrie! Just stay calm!”

            “Where’d this damned storm come from anyways?”

            “Oh, only God knows, Lorrie! Just stop panicking!”

            The daughter, Lola, asks Lorrie, “Mama, where is Dale?”

            “We tried calling his parents, Lola, we don’t know! He’s probably okay! All that matters right now is that we’re okay!”

            “We’ll be safer when we get to the lighthouse! Look! It’s safe up there!” The husband points to the lighthouse by the edge of town. Its light is still shining, leading the way for support that will never come. He slams his foot on the gas and jets down Arcadia Bay Avenue. Narrowly, the car avoids a billboard flying at it. The billboard loudly scrapes across the top of the car and crashes a few feet behind them.

            Five minutes later, the car reaches the parking lot at the head of the lighthouse. The husband steps outside and is blasted by a harsh gust of wind, slamming his back into the driver’s seat door. He goes to open the back door for Lorrie and Lola, letting them out of the car. “Okay. This way!”

            With a flashlight in his hand, the husband leads his ladies up the path to the lighthouse. For years, it has stood at the top of Arcadia Bay, leading desperate sailors to dry land. Now, in this time of disaster, it serves that purpose once more.

            The family climbs over a downed tree and steps aside a pile of boulders before approaching their destination: The Lighthouse. Standing by the doorway is a ghostly deer. She stares down the family for a few seconds with a grimace on her face. The husband walks into her and she vanishes as he grabs the doorknob. It doesn't budge. Frantically, he pulls at it and kicks the door to no avail.

            "Oh god." As he continuously pulls on the door, a boat crashes into the lighthouse. It shatters on impact with the boat and debris flies out of it. It lands within a few feet of the husband… and right on top of the wife and daughter.

            “I… Oh, no… No…” The husband runs to the debris, tears welling up in his eyes, and looks for a way, any way, that the two survived. It is obvious though they did not. “They’re dead… They… THEY’RE DEAD!”

            The husband hops to his feet with an unsure smile on his face. “THEY’RE DEAD! OH MY!” He raises his fists in the air and looks off into the path that he walked on just a few moments prior. He fails to notice the radio flying at his head, knocking him out cold. As he hits the dirt, the radio lands within a few feet of him, playing Frankie Valli’s “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)”:

            “ Ooooooh… Ahhhhh…

Lonliness… Is the coat yooou wear…

A deep shade of blue… Is al-ways there…

 

            The tornado hits Arcadia Bay, crushing everything and everyone in its path. Houses and cars are picked up with the violent strength only Mother Nature’s wrath can muster. Within seconds, hundreds are killed with the hopes of their own intuition comforting them in their final moments.

            Just a minute later, the storm flies into Blackwell Academy, levelling it to rubble fast enough to make a demolition crew shed a tear in glory. Hundreds more are killed. And then, seconds later, the tornado hits the mountains bordering the town and dies. Just as it came, it left.

            Standing next to the unconscious husband, the doe returns and sniffs at him. She turns her sights to the destroyed Bay and her ear twitches. Peacefully, she fades away. Just as she leaves, fearful townsfolk descend upon the husband.

            “ The sun ain’t gonna shine anymooore

The moon ain’t gonna rise in the skyyyy

The tears are al-ways clouding your eyyyyyes…

When you’re withooout loooove!

Baby…


 

            Five days later, the husband reawakens a new man in a hospital bed. One without his burden of a wife and child. He looks around, tired, to see a serene nature take root in the ruins of Arcadia Bay. Seagulls fly freely amongst the blue butterflies and the breeze is cool. Inside his room, staring at him, are other survivors, scarred and scared alike. He asks them, “Where are we?”

            A young boy with rugged hair shakily tells him, “Arcadia Bay, mister. The hospital.”

            An elderly pastor, Father Lawrence, harshly adds, “Or what’s left of it.”

            The husband sits up in his bed, stroking his chin inquisitively, and asks another question: “What do we do now?”

            Silence befalls the small crowd. They are asking the same question in their heads. The silence is broken as Father Lawrence tells him, “We celebrate. We beat the storm, and we beat this shithole taking us with it!”

            The husband smiles: “I… I’d like that a lot. Yeah! Screw Arcadia Bay!”

            The crowd mutters and exclaim together as one, “YEAH!”

            “We’re the survivors here! We were chosen for this for a reason! I saw that tornado destroy everything- everything bad with the town!”

            “Like the bank!”

            “And Blackwell!”

            “And my family! My shitty little family! Oh god, we’re the new order! We’re the children left to thrive thanks to Mother Gaia! We are the Children of Nature’s Winds! We are a family reborn!”

            The crowd rejoices thusly: “YEAH!”

            The husband rubs his eyes and continues violently, “We need more storms! More brothers and sisters to fill this void in our lives! Onwards! To filling the void!” He leaps to his feet and screams, “To filling the void! Follow me, for I am your Storm Singer! We shall seek out the answer to this storm and bring more worthy survivors into the fold!”

            As the crowd cheers on their new charismatic leader, the husband grins and begins crying. He’s at peace. Happy with his lovely little… cult.


 

NOVEMBER 17th, 2013

 

            Inside the destroyed former Latter Day Church of Christ's Will, down by the shores of Arcadia Bay, The Children speak amongst one another, their ranks at the size of five dozen now. Their conversations are interrupted by the presence of the Storm Singer.

            Clad in black and blue robes, with a metallic blue and silver helmet that has metal antlers and soulless black eyes, the Storm Singer stands before his followers. In his hand is a wooden staff, typically used for discipline. Standing to his left is Father Lawrence, wearing a similar pair of black and blue robes. To his right is a young woman whose face is obscured by a potato sack. She is tied to a cart but she isn’t struggling.

            The Storm Singer points his wooden staff at the crowd and speaks: “Greetings, my brothers and sisters! We have come a long way from Oregon all the way down to Nevada! But it is all for the sake of a grander purpose. That purpose being to create a family. One where we can save others from their worldly fears into interlocking familial bondage. And with the secrets hidden in Pan Estates after our return home, we have found what we believe to be the key to more storms! And her name… is Maxine Caulfield!”

            The Storm Singer tears away the potato sack on the girl’s face, revealing her to truly be Max Caulfield. She speaks, in an annoyed tone, “First of all, it’s Max. Not Maxine.”

            Excited, Father Lawrence exclaims, “She speaks!” The crowd goes wild in anticipation of their goddess talking.

            Max rolls her eyes and tells them, “Yeah, hi. Secondly, I’m not the cause of the storm. The person you’re looking for is dead.”

            The Storm Singer drops his staff and worriedly asks, “Dead? Blast it! How come?!”

            “You can thank Nathan Prescott when you see him. No wait, you can’t. Because he’s dead. So really, you should be thanking Mark Jefferson… who is also dead.”

            “Prescotts, of course! The scourge of Arcadia Bay, how we all hate them!”

            Max smirks at the Storm Singer, telling him and the Children, “I’m glad we can agree on that.”

            “No matter! We shall make a storm with whatever it takes! Perhaps that includes human sacrifice!”

            Max fires back, with an air of boredom in her voice, “Ooh, sacrificing me! That’s a first! I’ll have to try that out at some point or another. Better than looking at your stupid mask and your stupid cult!”

            The Storm Singer recoils in offense while Father Lawrence asks, “What makes you so crude in the tongue, Maxine?!”

            Max’s smirk grows into a conniving grin and she sends the signal to attack: “My girlfriend.”

            Out of the blue, a warning shot is fired into the air. The source: Chloe Price, dressed entirely in black and armed to the teeth. She aims the pistol in her hands sporadically at the Children while yelling, “Get the fuck away from her, you creeps!” She triumphantly steps closer to the front of the Church where the Father, the Singer and Max are. The crowd collectively plot their next moves, nonverbally threatening Chloe with their combative stances.

            Father Lawrence speaks slowly in response to the blue-haired intruder, “Ah, Chloe Elizabeth Price. An undeserving survivor of the Tornado. Fortunately, your mother is among the de-” He is cut off by a bullet Chloe fires into his forehead, killing him instantly. He collapses to the floor and the Storm Singer rushes to his aid. With his eyes turned away from her, Max vanishes from her restraints before returning behind the cart.

            “Father Lawrence! God… KILL THE INTRUDER!” The Storm Singer unsheathes a knife from within his robes before turning his attention to Max. “I will sacrifice… Maxine?” She’s escaped her restraints. He looks around before coming face-to-face with the young time traveller as she is standing behind him.

            Harshly, she corrects him again, “It’s MAX.”

            Without a second to react promptly, Max sprouts blue butterfly wings from her back and hovers in the air to kick the Singer in the face, sending him flying backwards. While still in the air, Max pulls out two pistols from her pockets and fires on the crowd of cultists, killing five with ease.

            The Singer shakes his head in horror as his family is being assaulted by these two hipsters. Many of the Children escape through the front and back exits of the church and, while focused on them, he takes a bullet to the face courtesy of Chloe. He falls backwards and clutches his swirling head. "Thank you, helmet! Ow."

            "Let's go, Chloe!"

            Chloe looks up at Max and cheekily tells her, "My favorite three words! Y'know, besides 'I love you'!"

            Max flies over to Chloe, taking her hand. She shifts her attention to one of the glass paintings, shooting it and shattering it open. The two fly up and away, and the Singer sees them disappear into the darkness of the night sky.

            He stands and asks his adopted family, “Oh, God… Is everyone okay?”

            “We’re fine! But… we’ve lost some people…”

            “Those two will pay for this!”

            A child runs inside and worriedly yells, “Mister Storm Singer, sir! Something is coming! A military helicopter!”

            The Singer briefly freezes in shock, uttering an “Oh no… Everyone, into the tunnels! NOW, DAMMIT!”

            Nearby, an airborne helicopter pilot - one working under the elusive Agency of Metahuman Containment - clings to the cyclic controller between his legs. Through the headphones on his head, he asks his demanding boss, “Target in sight. What next, Mister Prescott?”

            Harshly, Sean Prescott responds, “Turn it into a parking lot. Stolen files be damned.”

            “Yes, sir!” The pilot flicks some switches and pulls the trigger on the controller, firing a single missile at the church. Within seconds, the church is hit and massive damage is sustained in a massive explosion. The spires collapse upon the building and smoke arises from the fires within.

            Just a few feet underground however, the Singer is leading the quickest of the Children - roughly three dozen - into safety through a tunnel.

            A teenaged member of the Children asks the Singer, "Y-you heard that?"

            "I did. It's the sounds of our enemies. No matter. We shall recruit and return across the border. Safe from the hands of the metahumans and their Agency opponents!”

            The teenager happily exclaims, “Hell yeah!”

            The Singer smacks him across the cheek. As the teenager recollects himself, he grabs his shoulders and harshly whispers, “No swearing, boy.”


 

AUGUST 22nd, 2019

 

            "SHIT, SHIT, SHIT! I hate you superheroes so GODDAMN MUCH!”, the Storm Singer screams as he runs into an alleyway in Puerto Lobos, Mexico. He leaves behind several wounded or dead Children, killed at the hands of a local vigilante. While scurrying in, he narrowly avoids getting crushed by a flying pickup truck. It slams into the wall behind him and falls to the ground. Desperately, the Singer runs down the alley before spotting a wall at the end - a dead end. “Damn you. You killed my family.”

            The prepubescent perpetrator of these deaths speaks from around the corner: “A few of them ran. Sucks.” The voice makes himself known as he turns the corner into the alleyway. Clad in red armor with his crimson wolf mask is Daniel Diaz, also known as the Superwolf. He adds, “But the ones I killed… You’ll join them.”

            The Singer spits, “What’s your deal with us, Wolfie?”

            Daniel expresses angrily, “You’re a cult! When has there ever been a good cult?!”

            The Storm Singer shrugs and mutters, “Fair point.” Suddenly, the winds pick up and the Singer shakes in place. “This isn’t me.”

            Daniel raises a fist at the Singer, lifting him into the air and slowly crushing his helmet. He clutches his helmet as it bends inward. He groans in agony, realizing his imminent death… that is until Daniel begins losing his footing on what should be the solid floor beneath him.

            Instead, under his feet is a black and white portal, pulsing and absorbing the young boy. Confused, he asks, “What are you-”. He falls in and disappears.

            The Singer holds his head as the helmet slowly pops out and reforms. “Finally. Some peace and qui-”

            A portal opens under the Singer and he too is absorbed into it. After feeding the portal, he vanishes.

            The Storm Singer looks around the white oblivion surrounding him. He yells panickedly, “Children? Children, where are you?”

            From afar, a young girl loudly begs for the return of, “Mister Storm Singer!”

            The Singer looks around and, behind his helmet, smiles. “My Children! Come to me at once!”

            He becomes distracted by a caveman falling through one portal into another. He scratches his helm in confusion as more and more people and things enter and exit through portals - androids, vampires, zombies, knights, artifacts, spaceships, buildings, just a smorgasbord of everything connected within the multiverse. Behind him, he hears the swoosh of a spaceship gliding out of a portal. Inside the porthole, a giant black eye with an orange iris looks down at him. Its pupil dilates in amazement at the weird man standing in oblivion before the ship is consumed by another portal. Beneath him, the Superwolf rolls by quickly in a ball of confusion. He falls into a portal, screaming as it closes behind him.

            The Singer laughs at the Superwolf before slapping himself in the face: “Agh, snap out of it! My Children, come to me at once!”

            The other Children, looking around to find the Singer, follow his voice and walk over to him. A younger Child, no older than three years old, pulls on the Singer’s sleeve and tells him, “Mister Storm Singer, I saw momma again! I thought she was dead!”

            The Singer heartfully and harshly tells her, “She is, young one! That isn’t your momma, just some other version of her! A cheap carbon copy from a parallel timeline. Your momma will always be dead, a sacrifice made to the Storm in your honor. Just like Arcadia Bay! Both are gone and long laid buried, never to-”

            The Children are all sucked into another portal, closing behind them.


 

NOVEMBER 17th, 2013 - SAVE ARCADIA BAY TIMELINE

 

            “-be seen again!” The Storm Singer pauses before looking around. Blue night skies, 

            “Uh, Mister Storm Singer?” One of the elder Children calmly points to a spot behind the Singer. That spot is the Two Whales Diner, intact and filled to the brim with happy Arcadia Bay citizens celebrating the end of the Prescott Era with drinks, dancing and a developing friendship between two Blackwell graduates by the entrance.

            The Singer drops his staff in shock. “How can this be? No… No, no, no, NO, NO, NO, NO!” The Singer looks at the starry scar plaguing the sky over Arcadia Bay’s waters. He clutches the antlers on his helmet and screams into the air: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

            From inside the Diner, Victoria Chase raises an eyebrow at the Singer’s behavior and asks her friend, Kate Marsh, “Um, is that guy okay?”

            Kate looks at the Singer outside as he bangs his head on the road, humiliatingly knocking himself out. Victoria holds in her laughter, covering her grin with a soft fist. “I doubt it. Anyways, wanna eat breakfast here tomorrow?”

            Stifling her laughter, Victoria stutters a friendly, “S-Sure.” She quickly turns her amused attention back onto the Children as they hurriedly pick up the Singer and carry him off elsewhere.