Kairos
Cutscene: Kairos
Author
IC Details
Synopsis:

Meanwhile, somewhere far away…

IC Date: October 26, 2019
IC Location: ????
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 26 Oct 2019 04:35
Rating & Warnings:
Associated Plots

For the longest time, there is nothing but silence. And then, after eons — there is a voice.

You seem skeptical, Warren. Did you never think there would be more? That's surprising, given who you know.

Something, maybe Warren, wakes up from nothingness. Something, maybe Warren, eventually answers.

You never spoke to me in life. I figured that if You wouldn't talk even to me, there was nothing there.

The voice chuckles, echoing in infinite refractions. It sounds somehow familiar, as if he has heard it all his life.

Yes… and yet here you are now, dreaming of voices in the dark. What we presume isn't always what we expect. Are you even sure you're dead? The voice laughs, more fully, and the darkness resonates along with it. Well. Regardless. That's an arrogant way to think, isn't it? 'If no one speaks to me, then there is nothing.' Interesting. If you take one lesson from this life-cycle, then take the lesson to guard against such solipsism. It's a habitual problem for you, you know.

The darkness hums multiple discordant notes. The perfect blackness dims to grey. Blue light flickers in the distance.

Even in this better iteration of you …you have trouble looking up from yourself.

The blue starts to spread. It patterns like ice crystals through the dark, cold and mechanical.

I don't know. I don't know what you mean. I don't know who you are. Is this real?

You decide that for yourself, Warren. In the end, we all decide what we enshrine as 'real.'

Blue eyes blink open, still sticky with dried blood. For a long few moments, Warren Worthington lays still, breathing in and out. It requires all his focus to do just that — to work muscles and fire synpases which have lain fallow, by now, for days.

…where? It is a thought — his first thought. His body is not yet warmed up enough for speech. He lays there, thinking slowly, remembering.

There was a gunshot. There was blood, everywhere — in his eyes. On his face. He could taste it. He could smell it.

He can still smell it, now.

He shudders with recollection. For a long time he refuses to turn his head… and when he finally does, his gaze fixes on what remains of Alison's dead face, and does not look away.

Hours later finds him sitting by her cold body, having made no move to investigate his surroundings. Nothing interrupts his head-bowed focus on her.

Not the hiss of the wall splitting into a door.
Not the quiet steps of the massive, armored man(?) who steps through.
Not the shadow that falls across him, as his host comes to share his vigilance over the corpse.

"I would give you more time," come the low, measured words, "if we had more time to spare." The man looks a brute, dressed like a warlord, his corpse-grey skin runnelled with blue-black metal, but he speaks with a cultured voice layered with thousands of years.

"Leave… me alone." Freshly risen, Warren does not have his own usual grace. His voice drops half its syllables from the rustiness of dissipating rigor mortis.

"That," replies his host, with a passing hint of humored dryness, "would make it hard for us to bring her back."

Warren looks up. His eyes burn, blue, in his bloodless white face.

"This world is a failure state," says Warren's host, who introduced himself only as Genesis. They walk along a spar of what looks like a futuristic battleship, smithed in alien shades of blue and silver and black which match the metal hues riddling its master's flesh. It seems massive enough that it should be staffed by thousands… yet they are wholly alone, for now. "It was similar to the one which was your home… until the humans used their lists and their registration databases to begin their purges."

He looks at the empty space at Warren's back, where wings should be. "You have already tasted the first hints of that eventuality."

He comes to a stop by a wide viewing-window. A glance out reveals they are not in orbit, nor have even left the atmosphere; Warren recognizes their altitude. He has flown at these heights before, if briefly. The thick cloud cover obscures what sort of Earth might lie below. "The mass death woke me. But too late. I roused to find ninety-nine percent of our people gone, and the few remainders huddling in hiding."

A faint smile crosses his alien features. "At the least, as one might expect — only the strongest survived."

The expression fades as quickly as it came. "Still, no matter how strong, one percent is too few… and more have been lost to the war that has raged since then. So I reached to other realities. I looked across the barriers between planes. I offered my hand to those who had nothing left in their own worlds. Those who had been so betrayed, so maligned, in their native homes, they might choose to come be the genesis of a new one."

Warren says nothing, but his silence is a listening silence.

"I will make you an offer, Angel," says Genesis, presently. "What humans took from you, I will return to you tenfold. As they destroyed you, I shall recreate you. I will return your wings, and you will fly again. I will empower your blood, and you will return her to life."

The first attracts Warren's empty blue eyes. The second holds them. He waits, but there is no talk of the price that will be paid. There is no talk of the cost. There is no talk of the process.

There is only the question:

"Do you accept?"

The process is not easy. For a full day Warren screams, facedown, as alien technology integrates into every last shred of his body.

Recovery consumes the second day, even with his accelerated healing.

On the third day, Genesis comes to him, and gives him a gift that… expands his perspective.

Then, on the fourth day, comes the stress test.

"Is it not right?" asks Genesis, as blood drips down the pinions of a spread metal wing.

"Is it not just?" muses Genesis, as a shake of that wing flicks the blood away.

And then, he is silent. The moment seems to demand that brief beat of quiet. Within it, a winged figure rises slowly back to a stand over the halved corpse of the former Death.

"Ah," Genesis finally exhales, in apparent appreciation of the view. "So rarely does the image happen to so closely match the role. I was old when the Scriptures were written; I remember that time well. Man had a clearer picture of the role of an angel, then: to work miracles, and kill for their God."

The so-named angel turns eyes on Genesis, waiting.

"Go then, and give her life," The First One permits. "Then return to me, as Death."

He still cannot look at her face. He rationalizes that he will not deserve to look on it until he fixes the fact that he failed her… but he supposes that still makes him a coward.

She has been left laying, in the cold, for the many days it took for him to be healed, altered, and given new strength. The cold has kept her just as she was, when she died. The blood-streaked tears are still frozen on her face; her wound still gapes, the sharp vital red of it undimmed and seeming almost fresh.

Something much like a glass casket keeps her so cold. He has an odd, unbidden thought, looking at her, that it's like a perverse version of Snow White — if Snow White had had her brains blown out by Prince Charming's best friend —

He notices, after a moment, that his hands are shaking. He stills them.

Methodically, he lifts the glass, with a hiss of decompression. Methodically, he runs lines into her freezing arms, the needles sinking deeply into her empty veins. Methodically, he sinks down beside her slab and runs the other ends of the lines into his heart.

He closes his eyes, head bowing, and his silvery wings unsheathe to canopy them both. Blood flows, and the vital color starts to leave his skin — slowly. They will be here for a while.

It will take all the healing blood in your body, echoes the voice of Genesis in his memory. But do not worry. It will be replaced, and then you shall be wholly made new.

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