It happened like a flash grenade. Overwhelmed with omniscience, the beginning and the end in every which direction.
The jungle, the division, the gods, the men, feminine and masculine, the fire of life, the shadow of pasts, the spirits within us like feasts to divinities, multiverse, worlds before us, among us, beyond us, abstraction from knowledge and histories and future, revelations of cataclysm, inevitable conclusions and rebirths until the earth is spent beside a bulbous Giant star, incinerating nothing as live resides and recreates enterprise of cultured life on other worlds, other galaxies, and infinite life, restrained from this divinity, this amalgamated wraith that struggled inside me intertwined with the spirit of my younger self.
I was full again, aware of the self I had come from, but not whole. Rather, I was cordoned off from myself, kept at a distance like two separate entities within my mind, complacent and neither divine. Two castaways in one damned boat, horribly disfigured by scorn and hope. I was a cracked artifact, entirely aware of my own immaculate defect. This was the crushing conclusion. I would never be complete again, in the most humane sense.
She and I, for the first time since that night she stole my tangible youth from me, were inside one another. So much more complex now, though.
Multitudes of voices carried on in my mind, in multitudes of languages, some not even human. I inhaled deeply, climbing into my higher consciousness, where she existed, an amalgam of she and I, tangled in tryst and I was alone. As alone as I’d ever been, in that serene open mindscape of rolling ideas tumbling brilliantly for flashes and vanishing to dust, like tumble weeds in flames. Visions in dust.
There I was again, unwelcome. No surprise there. These synthetic man eaters were as over us as we were of the whole calamity. If they weren’t so flawless in their human aspects, clad in old cybernetics, high cheek bones beneath titanium alloy, tall stark figures with mechanical heat signatures, the lot of them might have urged me to try to stay. But their presence, which seemed to close in, was imposing to say the least (and to spare the most, was terrifying).
Windy lay him across the deck in a fetal pile, came to me and asked me for some sustaunance for us from them, and if for nothing else, than for some solution to the return of Peter’s pain, that immenant thing.
What was next.
A tiny blade thrust through her neck. Windy stared ahead, and she acquired Coral’s attention.
With swift event, the blade vanished. Extracted, like it never happened. All but the delicate spritz of blood that spat from the slit, as the tip of the blade exited it. She clutched her neck with her left hand, across that gasping side of her neck where it bled from, and spun on the dime if it all to face Peter, standing dead inside, blade and all, his one arm tied up like Punky Brewster’s thigh. Tall and like me, defiantly, and like I said, pretty much dead inside. It’s a kind of charm. Don’t hate.
Coral’s cavernous mechanized eyes reached windy’s as they dissolved into a sadistic kind of destiny.
Coral, snapping her glance from windy as she wavered in the moment before collapse, to capture the construct of the situation. Peter slew her and stood like a satan in sinew, and I was stone and aggregat, a compilation of too much to figure out, and she sent the signature to her, to It’s…fellow soldiers.
With Coral’s order, they sparked to life and captured Windy as her spark of presence faded, before she even descended to hit the ground.
They carried her away like a fallen Mod, and none of us thought about it.
By this, and from here, everything grew visceral to that fevered pitch. Coral crouched and I could hear her operations, in disrepair and out of date, captured In the tech of 1920.
I turned to him. He stood staring hard through his round browned hazel eyes that grew brilliantly emerald, ghostly green and cold.
She stood low, Coral’s lines glowed, sections glowing violet against red, dead flesh, enduros red. A blinding array of ultraviolet light blinding me, but in the flash of seconds I could feel him moving behind me, four good strides, maybe five at his size.
The cry of my flaming red fist resonated incidiously through my skull, as well as the crys of parahuman aluminum against celestial concrete, flooding me with adrenaline.
Peter drew his sword and bashed the cyborg in her bitchin face, and whipped his sword with expert bliss, and snipped my hand right at the wrist.
In the air, my hook tumbled, light getting all angry and uncontained, a lost spirit. A final breath of life, bursting with celestial luminance!
He departed from behind me with a snake-like snap and snatched AT the fist with the final essence of the Pan, but as it happened…
Like a furious black dragon out of space and time, completely cloaked on the like of a ship, like a guard dog, the only beast to share meals with, emerged as if from some other space and time, that familiar Machina.
The one that seemingly saved my life, years before, and the one that reemerged into my little world.
How emotional. It erupted and consumed the hooked fist as it whipped it’s blades tail towards Peter, who parried with his blade, so precise and surgical, snipped that magical mechanical scythe from it, and it fell to the deck of the ship light a sword in a stone, as it vanished again into the water, becoming cloaked again.
Coral lurched forward and ripped Peter’s heart from his chest, crushed it and the gate between planes opened like a vacuum and Peter fought the gate with argument.
Peter screamed back with words of hate in vile tongues, from every generation of every disaffected human. Every misdirected, cruelly mistreated, dejected, abused, ignored, whored, lied to, talked down to, faulted for everything, disregarded our everything, the children’s condition.
Suddenly there was the first history, Peter, Pan, called the Architects of gods beyond two distant dimensions, and told them what’s What.
Peter won, and he was alone on half of the boat.
Coral and I wavered captivated and intelligently nullified.
Peter turned, and saw an evil, not a friend.
He grew horrifying, decadent, blacked feathered wings that shimmered like silk.
Suddenly, winged, he erupted up and into the night sky.
I caught Coral’s eyes with mine.
And I caught the shimmer of silk and steel. She was gone. Coral vanished into it.