Ray #14

For What It’s Worth

Ray, Cletus and Abby walked a marble path to the steps of what looked like an ornate cathedral, flanked by Seraphim guards. Two pink marble spires, encrusted in golden filigree pierced the clouds that hung low in the sky, framed on either side of a heavy oaken door, that stood three stories tall. The marble split in the middle and surrounded a fountain of frozen water, draped in the snow that had been falling since they arrived. The fountain was ringed by shrubbery bearing blossoms that glowed with deep colors that illuminated the snow that covered them. The path was lined with trees with low hanging fruit that lit the path with golden light. Cletus and Abby ogled in wonder at the sprawling Seraphim city the stretched out around him, rolling with the hills of the land. Ray scowled. He knew nothing good goes on in this building, especially when you’re led there by security. He was being taken before the Seraphim Council of Parthus. The council was populated by Seraphim Ray had fought alongside in some of the worst wars known to the galaxy. They fought side by side, slept on top of one another in flooding trenches, caught dysentery together, tended each other’s wounds and watched friends die together. That didn’t matter now. In times of relative peace, soldiers either fade away or become pencil pushing politicians and policy wonks. Ray chose neither option, much to the chagrin of his allies.

They were led into a cavernous chamber of white marble, dark wood and swirling, gold, rococo ornamentation. Ray was taken to the center and Cletus and Abby were seated off to the side. Behind an elevated stand, seated much like a judge at the bench, was a long, lanky Seraphim with features more drawn than an average Seraph’s.

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SEG 1st Anniversary: Ray #1

 

A Crashing Entrance

The Kuiper Belt – Jan 6-7, 1422 A.D. (local time)

A small vessel floated between the debris tumbling through the Kuiper Belt. It’s sole occupant was meticulously turning a dial on a console with spindly fingers. A sound like a tenor bell being struck at a plodding tempo swelled through the cabin. The pilot removed his fingers from the dial and pressed one of a myriad of blinking buttons.

“This is Ray,” he said.

“Seraph Raphael, state your position, ” said a disembodied voice.

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Ray #11

XI.

Awake and Alive

Ray had been thinking. He wasn’t sure for how long, he just noticed he was doing it. Not so much thinking, really, as watching random thoughts skitter through. He wondered if he had fallen asleep during meditation. It was either pitch black or his eyes were closed, he wasn’t certain. It was silent, save for the low, steady pulse in his ears. He couldn’t determine whether the buzzing was in his head or in the rhythmic oscillations of a starship drive. He settled into the comforting idea that he was aboard a Parthi vessel that had finally come to retrieve him. He stretched his neck and discovered the focs of the dull ache throbbing through his forehead. He wanted to rub the pain, but found his arm unable to move. He jerked his arm again to confirm it wasn’t sleep paralysis lingering long after its welcome. He decided his arm was working fine, and the pressure against his wrist suggested he was restrained. He tried his other arm, then his legs to no avail. There was no doubt he was restrained. He cracked his eyes and blackness gave way to a grey cloud, like he was trying to peer through fog. Multicolored hues began flooding the fog, now obscuring, swirling, blinking, creating a garish scene. His breath quickened and his fists clenched. Dagon had found him; Ray was a captive.

“Abby?” he said, but no words came out, just an undefined moan.

He gazed into the florid lights as he struggled against his restraints. Shapes began to emerge from the vivid technicolor blobs. A face began to resolve. An ecstatic face, crowned by wild hair gushing from his top chakra like a raging fountain of thick black water curling over on itself in discrete waves.

“Yaldabaoth,” he squeaked out in an inaudible wheeze.

He bore into his enemy’s visage with his narrowed eyes. But the face wasn’t Yalda’s, it was human. And it was static, just an image. An image of unnatural brightness. Ray surmised that the colors were being stimulated by a nearby, electromagnetic radiation in the low ultraviolet range. Stabbing hot yellows and reds, deep greens and blues he wasn’t sure he could even see. The face belonged to a man who appeared to be a monk in the throws of nirvana, standing before a vibrating mandala. He was holding what appeared to be an elaborate boat oar. He was gazing down at the oar as if it was his direct connection to his Dharmic ecstasy. There was script at the bottom, but it was difficult read, in bulbous, exaggerated lettering that bent and swelled. It was dripping with ornamentation that favored aesthetic joy over comprehensibility.

“Jigh my hen dry x?” he mouthed as he read.

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Ray #10

Some Other Time

A stagecoach ambled over the muddy ruts of a drenched country road. The horses stepped high in the puddles and twitched the rain from their manes. A small, grey figure led the coach, hunched over, rain pouring from the gutter formed by the rolled up brim of his hat.

Inside, Bart took up one seat and Pietro sat in his lap. Ray sat in the middle opposite him with Abby and Cletus on either side. They jerked in unison to the jostling of the coach.

“I can’t wait to go somewhere it isn’t raining,” Abby said, half her head soaked by the leaking door.

Pietro gave Bart some lazy gestures.

“Not much further,” Bart said as he signed back.

“It isn’t?” Ray perked out his despondent gaze.

Bart shook his head and mouthed, “No idea.”

Ray’s eyes rolled back, as did his head. “I can’t take this coach anymore.”

The rhythm of the rocking coach slowed to halt.

“Doesn’t mean I wanted to stop,” Ray shouted.

Cletus slid open a wooden panel on the top half of the door and stuck his head out. He withdrew, snapped the panel shut and shriveled into his seat.

“Papal guard,” he wheezed.

A knock came at the panel. They all exchanged glances. Bart gestured to Cletus to answer and Cletus responded with a vigorous shake of his head. Bart puffed, pressed his finger against the panel and slid it back, like he expected to reveal the Grim Reaper on the other side.

There stood Cardinal Martell, crimson and black, supporting his dragon-headed hammer on his shoulder.

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Ray #9

Late to the party? Catch up here.

 

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Wizard

 

The ground rumbled low as a twisting water funnel rose and grew from the Thames. A multitude of tentacles began poking out of the mouth of the strobing tornado and probing their surroundings, looking for a foothold.

“Maybe if we can keep it from getting out in the first place?” Abby offered.

“Worth a try,” Ray said as he flitted on air currents toward the funnel. He began pulling the air around him into a whirlwind which spun in the opposite direction of Dagon’s waterspout. He led his typhoon into the funnel and merged with it. The waterspout slowed and began to fall back toward the water as the tentacles retracted.

“Good thinking, Abigayle,” Cletus cheered. He looked around at the gathered crowd, smiling. “My granddaughter.”

Abby looked on with concern as the waterspout collapsed into the river. The choppy surface became calm and Ray had yet to emerge.

“How long can he hold his breath?” Bart asked Abby.

Abby shook her head. Pietro scaled the side of the tavern and squinted into the water. Under the surface writhed a frenetic light show of deep colors in rapid, evolving geometric patterns. Ray breached the surface at furious speed and arced through the air. He was followed by a mass of flailing tentacles attached to a snapping maw and vast legion of wild, swiveling eyes. The rest of the pulpy, bulbous form of Dagan sloshed from river and slammed to the ground, crushing several blocks of buildings and houses.

Abby, Cletus, and Bart fled from the miniature tsunami that Dagon’s impact had aroused. Bart grabbed Cletus and Abby, pulled them close and huddled over them as the wave broke onto them.

“”Pietro?” Bart’s frantic shouts were drowned out by the din of the Dagon’s chaos. Dagon was shoveling tentacles full of squirming bodies into his dripping, convulsing gullet. Dagon broke open structures like nuts and consumed the wailing meat within.

“Bart,” Abby pointed to Pietro clinging to the back of Dagon, jabbing him with the dagger.

“That’s my boy,” Bart applauded.

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