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Planet Waves

The Recusant's Departure

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The patient had been in that room forever. Since she'd been hired as nurse, she's been tending to him. He wasn't comatose, but he didn't ever leave. The doctors insist he isn't well, that he has to remain in his room, but he wasn't to be solely bedridden. His room was furnished, and he had dark wooden bookshelf. Books on law, magi-tech, history, and the many sciences filled it to the ceiling of the room. The light switch was inside the patient's room, and he had no curfew. His meals were timed, of course, and she was permitted to speak with him.

However, the fact that he is a patient is classified.

Inside the hospital, above the ghastly burn ward, yet under the psych ward, is a floor only accessible by stairway. An intense magical charm keeps passerby from remembering the floor after going above or below it. Each day, they wonder about the floor that wasn't there before, and then do not do so at all, only to return to work the next morning, think about the new floor, and then forget it just before getting down to business.

Through the door, sealed akin to a vault, secured with a code phrase, is the ward Yago resides.

Chapter 0: The Recusant's Departure

___ _______________________________ ___

Today, after nine years, it was time for him to deliver the news to her - that he had become well, and was now to depart from hospital, and the two would likely never meet again. He enjoyed their vague talks, of those ambiguous subjects. It was like a girl her age to dance around the truth in speech only, but the two of them never jested of their friendship. Becoming twenty-eight a week ago, they'd already celebrated that birthday. Yet on this ninth anniversary of his arrival, shredded to ribbons, eye wide open as they tried to plug him up, keep him from becoming mush on the floor...His left arm still felt in a liquid state, and he wondered how much of his fingertips was artificial as no doubt not all of it could be scooped off the floor.

The click of her heels was audible now, and in five, six, seven, eight steps...the doorknob turned, and the wards identified her as his trusted aide. He opened his eyes, pretending to have been nodding off, rather than be lucidly anticipating her arrival that morning.

"Got enough sleep?" She began, clicking her pen, smiling sincerely at him.

"More than enough. Went to bed early last night. Lots to do today." Yago said, gingerly rising, revealing that he'd been dressed to go, in a suit and tie, rather than the pajamas she's become accustomed to him wearing. After a pen stroke going astray and a gasp, he laughed under his breath, adjusting his jacket, which remained unbuttoned.

"Then I...I assume you're going today? What's the change?" Her doting look came on, and she motioned a finger at the scar round his throat. It looked healed, but still the stark incision that remained on his neck. It was one of many wounds still in rings around his extremities, even his torso. She never asked how he'd been so roughed up, but she was going to ask how they've healed enough that he can move as much as he can.

"This body's finally become accustomed to staying alive, is the best way I can find to put it." He said, taking some books off the shelf.

"I just don't see how you've made the jump, is all." She pressed, placing her back against the shelf, crossing her arms, the clipboard always be her side now on the desk by the door. His face had a shocked expression, one she'd never seen before. "Well, now, what's with that look?"

His eyes dart from her arms to the board.

"I thought that was attached to you!" The two broke into laughter afterwards, but she was the first to stop, bittersweet about the announcement. Though, she didn't imagine he'd dodge a question. That searing look she gave elected a strange amount of obligation from Yago. He scratched his head, and sighed.

"Gloria...I hope someday you won't have to know. My existence alone is a secret you've kept. I don't want to make you keep another." He placed his hands on her shoulders. The look in his eyes reminded her of her father, when he had to explain that her ankle would get in the way of being a gymnast. That earnest look plead with her not to be hurt by the truth he had to tell her. And now here he was, giving her that same look. The sincerity she'd known before allowed her to nod, however saddened.

Yago released his hands from Gloria's shoulders, and stepped back, only for her to pull him back into a farewell embrace.

___ _______________________________ ___

"And so, that body is finally yours. I didn't think..." Aftman trailed off, as Yago drew closer, and then past him. It was a foolish statement to make in front of him... What'd possessed him to doubt the boss? Of course he could command that body to his will! Just as he'd commanded his greatest potential from him. Aftman folded his hands, as his leader took his seat in the driver's place. The engine hummed under their seats, as their third associate, late as usual, sat in shotgun.

Driving off from the hospital, the third associate opened the briefcase.

"Ah, so it's come. Go ahead and keep it away. We won't need it, not for our first task." Yago chuckled, shutting the case himself.

 

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The hospital faded into the distance 'hind them, and the slums of Arkadia Prime slowly rising before them, as they lowered into it. Ponds and colonies of the margins of the world. It was their rightful place, through destiny, and yet they weren't one with the rest of the city. How could worlds of distance exist in one world? At a cellar apartment, they parked across the street, exiting the car and walking single file down the concrete steps. Plenty of money had been spent to keep this block of the neighborhood entirely inhabited by associates. Rumors of a ruthless, shadowy gang spread from it, and operating inside was something worse.

In truth,

none of them knew what they were protecting.

The apartment was comfy enough. It made a good home for the cartoon-watching Aftman, who shrunk as Yago took a look at the DVDs lining his shelves, taking the place of books, and the third one asking the names of the figures he owned.

Yago took a bite of his first meal since leaving the hospital, and the first meal he had after nine years in one room was toast. Buttered by himself, toasted by himself, etcetera. It was like the peasant's mush of the old days, yet, that never degraded its worth. It had its place in the culinary world, and was one with all other products of bread-slice technologies.

They moved to the broom closet, from the outside looking in, it was where Aftman kept his raincoat, and kept the broom and dustpan. It was a tight fit, but the lack of a shelf allowed some headroom to stand up straight in, and all three pile in. Aftman demonstrated its function, reaching over and flipping the switch up, down, up again, and then placing it in the middle.

 

Edited by Planet Waves

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With a slow groan, and a clunk of something securing itself, twin steel doors shut, as did the false wooden one, and the elevator made its descent, the car of the elevator humming and thudding. The 25 story descent ended with a rumbling tone, as if a great church bell had been struck. The dark onset of their mission's truth opened afore them, and quickly, the gravity of the situation had been made known. In the 'song of everyone's souls', there would soon be 'harmony'.

The machine was immense, taking up 19 of the 25 stories the descent was made of. The development was overseen by Aftman, and carried out by the golems, who tirelessly assembled what the third one accrued for them.

An entity that could hold the 'weight of the world', as Yago depicted it. Aftman, with help from Yago, had seen 'what his eyes saw'!

The world as one, arm in arm.

The external surface was a support system that made it impossible to turn over. The weighting and balance systems were the second so far to be completed. The first was its core. The scent of blood was thicker, and thicker the closer they got to the pod. Even the shiny outsides were an 'organic product'. Akin to the filmy outside of an egg's yolk. This earth, the complex, and their wards being the 'shell'. What would germinate here was the perfect tool for 'uniting the world'.

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"Any evidence of brain activity?" Yago began, looking over his shoulder toward Aftman, who sputtered, approaching his boxy monitor, bringing up several charts, both static records, and real time readings.

"S3 has been making brain activity, but at a low level. It's similar to when a fetus. I'm not too versed in neonatology, but from what I've studied, after week 6 of gestation in the human body, it begins brain activity. This is year two, though, and considering the size it's gotten to..!" Aftman gasped, lungs unable to keep up with his rambling mouth, and just gestured to the incomplete, visceral construct in the center of the pod. "It's formed the 'yolk' on its own, that protective shell. It's so alien. Microbes won't land on it, they stay far away. If you got close enough, I think you could feel them all crawl right off your skin, heh, heheh..."

Yago stepped further towards S3. This reuniting was horrifying, yet to Yago, he stared as if the vile being from nowhere hovered in a  as the eldritch mound of life gently rippled, as the being within, named S3, 'breathed'. Its shut eye with a tranquil expression, its skinless half-jaw just a little slack, as if it were sleeping peacefully.

"Even the most primitive life form recognizes that what it's sensing it's life. The light it gives off isn't light. The shadows cast on it aren't shadows...it's asked a question that everyone's soul already knows the answer to."

 

"A masterful and famous sculptor once said that the sculpture is already inside the block he chisels from. And a philosopher dear to me once referred to all knowledge as what the soul already knows, that the words to express and remember that knowledge must be supplied. It's already within all of us, even the fear of something new to civilization and existence. How could our souls, even one, could steel us to what is before us?"

Its grace was supreme. The fact that it wasn't beautiful to the eyes of mortals was the very reason it was beautiful--its beauty was beyond human ken, and the marches of these children would turn, or halt when faced with S3.

The Recusant turned, facing his allies in this world not yet one.

"For her, let's be just as fearful, as we should be."

The celebratory mood allowed him to create a tray of drinks, born from the memory of their favorites. The dark one to Yago, the bright, sweet one to Aftman, and the clear one to the third of them.

"Bottoms up, now."

Coming soon - Chapter 1: Every Reason Leading You Through Here

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