Sorry that the ending for this has been so long. If there is anyone out there who is still interested, here is the last installment.
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“Where are we heading?” Nigel asks, fishing around the ashtray for cigarette that’s only been half smoked.
The necromancer, tired and a little disoriented from his experience with the gargoyle answers with little more than a mumble, “where we found the gargoyle clutch.”
The drive is longer than either will admit. It has been a long couple of days and for the first time Nigel is feeling the twinge of defeat biting him in the back of his mind. Ko’Val too is feeling this as well. These are the plans of a master at work. He realizes that there was much planning and time spent on every detail. He also realizes that there may be no way of stopping it.
The two make their way back to the spot where the bodies were found and the alter uncovered. Ko’Val stands there and looks around for what seems like an eternity to Nigel.
“I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.” He remarks, still visibly worn.
“What? Where?” Nigel asks spinning around looking for what Ko’Val has found.
“This.” Ko’Val says as he plunges his hands into the ground. The plants begin to die and fall as ashes to the ground. Ko’Val is hungry and is taking everything that the life has to offer. Nigel, for his part stands there and watches as a slight rise before them opens up and reveals a small crevasse into the ground. He can’t understand how something like this could have been over looked. As he ponders this, Ko’Val’s voice snaps him out of his thoughts.
“There now. That’s a little better.” He says, a slightly refreshed. Nigel turns to speak with him, but is shocked to see a wasteland where only moments ago there was a park.
“What have you done?” He asks.
“I needed the energy. Especially now.” Ko’Val says moving towards the crevasse.
“But the whole park? Did you have to eat the whole park? Do you have any idea how long this is going to take to grow back?”
Ko’Val, who is about to slip into the small space turns and says, “this isn’t growing back, at least not for sometime,” he then heads into the dark.
Nigel, with much difficulty, follows him into the earth. The space is small and leads downward. The light fades into darkness long before the passage opens up. Eventually, it does and the two find themselves moving cautiously into pitch-blackness; Nigel because he cannot see, Ko’Val because he doesn’t know what traps have been laid for him. If not for the relative straightness of the passage they might have gotten lost.
“Well, I might get lost.” Nigel thinks. Ko’Val would probably leave him here to rot given the chance.
The widening passage and faint light up ahead makes Nigel focus on the task at hand. Through the doorway the two enter a small room where the light is becoming more intense. Beyond that they can see movement in the light and something blocking the middle of it. As Nigel approaches he realizes that it is Emily strung up hands and ankles like a big “X” in the middle of the room. He doesn’t hear Ko’Val tell him to stop. Before he knows it he has crossed the threshold into the next room to get to Emily and set off the trap placed there for them both.
“Emily,” he says rushing over to her. “Emily!!” He yells this time.
Groggily she moans out of pain and weakness. Nigel lifts her blood soaked face and sees what the monster has done.
“Jesus Christ,” he mumbles as he starts to wipe her bloody face off with his hands. The chanting in the other room makes him turn around. As he does a bright light and large wind blows around him and the robed creature inside standing in front of the light. Realizing that this may be his chance to put an end to this he looks around the room for a weapon. He sees a large length of pipe in a corner. Quickly, he grabs it and launches himself at the creature. He is about to smash the robed creature’s head in when it turns around.
“Are you going to hit me with that large piece of pipe Nigel?” Thomas says pushing back the hood of his robe. “I wouldn’t break the circle if I were you.” He points to the ground where a salt circle has been prepared. Nigel is so stunned by Thomas’s appearance that the pipe slips from his raised hands and falls with a clank to the ground.
“Thomas?” Nigel asks, unable to believe what he is seeing.
“That’s not Thomas” Ko’Val chimes in.
“Huh?” is all Nigel can manage
“It’s not Thomas. It looks like Thomas, but it isn’t him.” Ko’Val says angrily as he stands frustrated by the circle of binding.
“He’s right you know. Thomas has been dead for quite some time.”
“How long?” Nigel says bending down for the pipe he dropped.
“Before I met you.”
Nigel realizes the depth and breadth of what is happening now. This thing has been planning this for years, possibly longer.
“Why do all of this?”
“I really don’t’ have time to answer questions. It’s been a long day. I have some loose ends to tie up in another reality and then I’m off again so I’ll just say see you later suckers and be off.” With that Thomas turns and goes to make his way into the light.
“Which one are you.” Ko’Val shouts from across the room.
Thomas stops then starts again heading for the light.
“Come on which one are you.”
“It doesn’t matter which one I am. Does it. You’re just stalling for time.” Thomas calls back over his shoulder.
“True, but if you planned this thing half as well as you think you did then it doesn’t matter. Does it.” Ko’Val says.
Turning back around Thomas walks over to the edge of the circle. “I guess you’re right. “
Nigel realizes that his stupidity might well have cost them all their lives. By moving into the circle he has set it off. It is designed not only to keep things in, but also to keep other things, Ko’Val, out. Breeching it from outside would surely kill both himself and Emily as would breeching it from the inside. He sees the keys for Emily’s shackles hanging on the wall, just outside the boundary of the circle. What he can’t understand is why Ko’Val doesn’t attack.
“So, which one are you?” Ko’Val asks again.
“As I said before it doesn’t really matter which one. Does it?” Thomas says moving back and forth in the smaller chamber. “What matters is that I’m finally gonna get my dues.”
“What are you both talking about?” Nigel chimes in annoyed.
Turning his attention to Nigel Thomas asks, “have you ever wondered about history, Nigel? I mean have you ever wondered why the stories are the way they are?”
The puzzled look on Nigel’s face tells him that he doesn’t.
“History is the way it is because it is written by the victorious. What you don’t get with history is a lot of truth. Like the fact that the US and England used captured Nazi scientists to further their rocket and military plane programs, things of that nature. This, bending of the facts goes back to the days of the bible with the ending of the last war, the expulsion of one third of the angelic host and the creation of hell. Lucifer took the blame because he was the captain of the guard, but the reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. Lucifer never wanted god’s throne. He just wanted to go home.”
“I don’t understand where this is going.” Nigel says.
Sighing deeply Thomas continues. “Angels are created out of love. As difficult as that is for to grasp, that’s how it is. Angels spend all of their time loving and worshiping god. To serve god is the angel’s ultimate pleasure. For that you would do anything for god. You sing for him you create for him and you kill for him. God says kill this one or that one and you obey, because you love him. He says fight this war for me and you go and fight because you love him. God says sacrifice everything that you are for me and you do it because you love him, but you don’t realize what you’ve agreed to.
Looking over the portal Thomas looks lost in thought. He turns back to Nigel with tears in his eyes.
“Humph,” He coughs a little trying to choke back the tears before continuing. “The last war was unlike any other ever fought. It wasn’t just fought here, but on all planes across all timelines using god as the focal and temporal point for all.”
Thomas sees that he has lost Nigel at this point. “Master of the universe this one, eh.” He says to Ko’Val who merely shrugs.
“Think of reality like a diamond. Each plane of existence is a facet, but they’re still the same stone. Before the last war, god had not yet consolidated his power so you had many realities joined at several points. Imagine diamonds laid tip to tip. Where they touch is where you can move from reality to reality. God merely absorbed them into his idea of reality thus making his stone the largest and only one. It’s also the reason why your little buddy can’t get back home.” He says pointing to Ko’Val.
“See Ko’Val’s plane still exists, it has to otherwise he wouldn’t. I realized this many many centuries ago. Then I realized that there must be a reason that his reality was spared. I mean, after all god isn’t the sharing type. Why would god allow Ko’Val to exist? He had basically wiped all of the other planes away. The more I thought on this the more I came to realize that Ko’Val and god had struck a truce. Ko’Val would have his plane and god the rest. The next question is the obvious one. Why would god do this? The answer is because Ko’Val sided with god against his dark brethren. Plotted to save his own miserable ass and destroy the rest of his people. Does that about sum it up?” Thomas asks, smirking victoriously over at Ko’Val, but the god doesn’t answer. He merely stares blankly at Thomas. Thomas’s look of victory turns to puzzlement, then to concern and finally to the realization that Ko’Val had found a way past his defenses.
Quicker than lightning, Thomas turns and flings a blue cooler into the glowing porthole then turns to backhand the spell book into the fire just as the black mass form of Ko’Val descends upon him. Darkness envelops him and begins to crack his bones. As scream escapes his mouth as Ko’ Val flings him against the rocky wall. Ko’ Val once again assumes his human visage. His face fixed with rage he pulls the moaning Thomas up by his robes.
“I know which one you are”, he spits out angrily pounding Thomas up against the wall, “Murmur”, he growls slowly.
Wheezing and coughing blood, the fallen angel laughs as the pain racks his body. He looks into the cold eyes of the foul god and says, “Did you really think it would be that easy”, he says taking in a ragged breath and then blowing out what appears to be a glowing blue smoke. Instantly, Ko’Val starts to gag. He staggers backwards knocking over several offering bowls, spilling their contents onto the soft earth. Murmur lies in a heap on the floor gasping for air as the life leaves his body.
The contents of the bowls corrupted, the chains holding Emily fall slack, their spells broken. Nigel, seeing this, retrieves the keys to her shackles and after freeing her begins to wrap her head with strips of cloth torn from his shirt. He looks up to see Ko’Val regaining his composure and walking, once again, over to Murmur. The angel laughs as more blood pours from his mouth, nose and ears.
“I’ll find you wherever you go, you know.” Ko’Val says, kneeling besides the dying angel. “No matter what body you decide to inhabit, I’ll find you.”
“Heh, heh, heh…won’t be any other body to find me in”, he chuckles sarcastically, “not this time. I’m not moving on, I’m moving up.” Murmur whispers more than speaks the last words as life fades from his body.
“How’s that?” Ko Val asks puzzled by the statement.
“Humph, a sacrifice of myself to myself. You’ve won nothing. It’s just be…” Murmur’s last statement is cut short by his passing. A strange calm passes over the room as the magic forces that crackled there are removed.
“We need to leave” Ko’ Val states as a rumbling begins to resound within the room, “Right now!!” He turns and runs back out the way they came in. Nigel is further hindered by having to drag and push Emily’s half dead form through the crevasse they entered by. Around them the earth shakes and collapses in upon itself as the vacuum left by the disintegrated magic is quickly filled in. The rocks around them begin to close in quickly. Nigel feels the blood pounding in his head as the crevasse is squeezed slowly closed. Sweat runs in his eyes as his movement slows to a stop.
“This is the end”, he thinks as he can no longer move forward towards the light. The pounding in his head is drowning out the thunderous roar of rocks as they bash together behind him. The pain in his body is unbearable now. He screams at the top of his lungs into the collapsing chasm. Dirt pours into his mouth and eyes and then there is nothing.
Coughing, spitting and blinking Nigel tries desperately to clear the dirt from his mouth and eyes. It’s as if Murmur tried to reach beyond his own death to destroy them. Forcing out the last remnants of dirt Nigel breathes fresh clean air. His eyes still crusted with dirt give him only glimpses of the desecrated park around him. Soon though he is able to make out that both he and Emily are sitting at the park’s edge watching the outcropping of rock slowly sink into the depths of the earth. News reports will later glaze over this as they do other paranormal events. Reports of a cavern cave in will dot the evening news for a couple of days. No one will make mention of the three people just appearing from the collapsing cave.
Still spitting Nigel begins to dust himself off. He’s not quite sure what has happened. He does know that his ribs were broken and now they feel all right.
“Can anyone tell me what the christ just happened?” He asks angrily to no one in particular. Moaning from over his shoulder shakes this thought loose. He looks over at Emily. She is mostly unconscious and covered in dirt and blood. His first instinct is to get her to a hospital. Carefully he begins to take off the blood-soaked wrappings from around her head. Once he gets the last bandage he is astonished to see that her eye has miraculously healed and repaired itself. Shaking her gently, Emily soon wakes to find herself whole; dirty, but whole.
“What happened.” She asks as she touches the new eye beneath her eyelid.
“Don’t know”, Nigel responds as he checks his ribs in disbelief, “I think that Ko’Val had something to do with this though.”
“I believe that your right”, Emily states as she closes one eye then the other trying to measure if there is a difference in sight between eyes. Suddenly, she looks around and realizes that Ko’Val is nowhere to be found.
“By the way, do you know where he went off to?” She asks.
Now concerned, Nigel makes a visual sweep of the area to see if he can spot Ko’Val, “this isn’t good”, he says as he is becoming aware that the god has fled the area, “no, this is not good at all.”
“What!?, what’s happened now?” Emily half sighs, frustrated that there is no end to this debacle.
“He shouldn’t be on the loose that’s all. I mean there is no telling what kind of havoc he might wreak on the world.”
Getting up off the ground Emily dusts herself off, “I guess we’ll just have to go after him then.”
“No, I think we have bigger fish to fry.”
The puzzled look on her face tells Nigel that she doesn’t understand what would be more dangerous than a god of the old order loose on this plane.
“The angel said something before it died. It said that this was a sacrifice of itself to itself.” He explains as they walk over to Nige[‘s car.
“So?” Emily says still trying out the sight in her regrown eye.
“It’s a reference to old Norse mythology. Odin hung himself on the world tree, pierced by his own spear. There he is visited with visions and translates those visions into runes.”
“Once again, so what?” Emily asks.
“Well, it is supposedly the beginning of the written word in Europe, but more than that it’s the ultimate sacrifice. The sacrifice of one’s own life for the benefit of all. I’m just wondering who the all is at this point. That and why he pushed the cooler through the portal and then closed it.”
Emily just looks at him not knowing what to say. She hadn’t seen anything inside the coolers, but obviously there must have been something important for Thomas to forfeit his own life for it. Also, the deeper question is if Murmur was passing the cooler to someone, who are they and what are they up to.
“There are too many unanswered questions, Emm. I have the feeling that this is only the beginning.”
Opening her side of the beat up car Emily calls over the roof, “Just not right now. Right now I need a shower and a decent meal.”
“Agreed”, Nigel says as he climbs behind the wheel.
The car speeds off into the evening as residents begin to gather around what was just hours before a beautiful park. No one notices Nigel and Emily slipping away.
“Sir, the package has arrived.” The angel announces carrying a crappy looking blue cooler over to the stone table in the middle of the room. Another angel quickly makes room on the cluttered table.
“Thank you”, the angel clearing the table says, “hold on a moment.” He further replies anticipating that the young angel would turn to leave.
After the messenger leaves, the angel opens the cooler to see three glowing angelic hearts beating in unison as they sing a song of praise to the almighty.
“What the fuck is this!!” Asteroth says disgusted by the sight.
A tall blonde angel gracefully walks in from the balcony outside. He smoothes back the dirty blonde hair that has fallen in his eyes. He walks over to the cooler and looks inside.
“That would be Murmur’s contribution to the cause and our way back into the silver city”, He says blandly, “I take it that since Murmur didn’t accompany the package that he is lost.”
“This was all that came through the portal. It has since closed.” The young angel reports, then turns and departs.
“Hmm. Very well. I doubted his commitment to our cause. I’m glad to see that my distrust was misplaced.” Turning away he makes his way back to the balcony.
“Is this really going to get us back into the city.” Asteroth calls out after him.
“Yes it is. It’s a back door to heaven’s vault.” He calls back over his shoulder.
“It’s not going to be easy. Is it?” Asteroth asks, sensing the loss of more of his brethren.
Turning around to console the despondent angel he places a hand on his shoulder, “No, it isn’t going to be easy, but what else can we do. We can’t linger here for much longer unnoticed and I’m not going back to hell. We’ll either win or be destroyed. I think that we’ve suffered long enough. Don’t you?”
The angel can only nod his head in agreement. The angel with the dirty blonde hair turns to leave.
“I’m so very tired, Asteroth”, he says without turning around to face his friend, “I want to go home and be welcomed. I want to bask in the light once more,” he continues, tears welling up in his blue eyes, “and if I can’t do that, I would rather not be. Let god destroy me then for I’ve reached the end of me.”
He makes his way back towards the balcony as Asteroth stands hunched over the stone table, tears streaming down his face making a smacking sound on its surface. Centuries later this table will find its way into the study of a powerful necromancer mage. Often he will sit at this table and ponder the creature that made silvery stains that grace the surface.
Outside the wind howls and thunderstorms threaten constantly, but rain never falls here. The soil is dry, dusty and barren. The trees here grow dead from the ground in gnarled thorny masses, like orchards of the damned. In many ways this place is worse than hell. The land is overshadowed by dark clouds that never break. They give the illusion that there is light above, but he knows there isn’t, just a never ending canopy of gray that only ends a couple hundred feet above the land. Its is as if the creator of this land saw only in shades of gray. How anyone could exist here is beyond him. No light no warmth this is the very anathema of the silver city where he was created. This place confuses him. Why would god allow this place to still exist? Why would he cast out those who loved him the most? These questions only steel his resolve to ask them of his creator in person.
Moving his mind from those unpleasant thoughts he watches the battalions form on the fields below. As far as the eye can see, squares of hundreds of angels gather in readiness for the upcoming invasion. The lightning flickers off of their armor and weapons giving them a surreal look of molten metal across the bleak landscape.
“Sir, everything is in readiness. When do you want to proceed.” Asteroth asks not daring to step out onto the balcony. He waits for a response, but none is forthcoming. Carefully, he pushes back the velvet curtains and peers out onto the balcony. His lord stands there arms behind his back, charred armor oddly blending in with the bleak backdrop of this realm.
“Lucifer, the troops are ready. We’re awaiting your word to begin.”
Shaking his head he calls over his shoulder, “the word is given.”
Asteroth departs with the blue cooler. Lucifer watches and waits. After a moment a peal of blowing horns parts the thunder and signals the beginning of the troop movements. Hearing this Lucifer turns, grabs his helmet, spear and broken sword. Spreading his wings he leaps from the high tower of Ko’Vals abandoned temple into the cheering throng of angelic battalions below. He makes a pass over each battalion to show that he is ready for the ensuing invasion. Once that is done he heads for the blue-purple glow that is the portal that will take them back to the silver city. As he grows closer to it he draws his broken sword and begins his war cry. It is this sound that ushers in the beginning of the next great war.
Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 14 Final Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 13 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapters 9, 10, 11 and 12 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 8 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 7 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 6 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 5 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 4 Name Forgotten, Grave Unknown - Chapter 3 Name Forgotton, Grave Unknown - Chapter 2