2011 NANO Part 7
Wilson gets there first. Wilson always seems to get there first it is almost like an unspoken tradition. Being the second oldest member of the group often times he feels as if he is one of its great organizers and at the same time one of its great liabilities. His relapses are terrible to behold and often it takes two or three members to keep him from doing what ever the hell it is he wants to do. Balding, bespecled, pot bellied, underestimated. The story of Wilson’s life until one fateful midlife crisis led him into the jungle. It isn’t something he regrets. If he regrets anything it is coming back to the states. At least in the jungle he wouldn’t be forced into the indignity of boxer briefs. Boxer briefs, there isn’t a man among them that seems to question there necessity. Alexander who has strode across milleniums like the rest of us travel through weeks wears them. He loves the horrible things. However, Wilson can’t seem to get over the way they cling to his thighs or the way they are a constant prescene upon his buttox. He hates it. Naked. That is the way to be. Wrapped in the sweltering jungle heat hearing the calls of the birds, stalking villiage children through the underbrush to serve as a sacrifice to the great snake. Those were the days. They called him the great white ghost for he neither burned nor tanned, nor showed any fear of death or the dead. Wilson the great emissary of the snake led the cult deeper into the jungle and together they carved out an altar and kept it running with blood as he learned more secrets, secrets that now are useless to him.
For now. Now he is arranging chairs in the basement of one of the local churches that John found for them. Finding the right church actually took quite awhile. Fortunalty, this minister’s faith has fallen on the wayside and he is now using the church to run a number of schemes. He is supposed to be charging us for the space and he uses that to launder money for god knows what. Deven claims innocence in the whole thing but no one believes him. Still it doesn’t matter in the long run. They are who they are and they always have been and they always will be. Wilson doesn’t believe the group will help him more than it helps anyone else. Still it is just enough. Just enough to hold them back and to keep them from shaking the world out of its orbit for fun, or having it consumed by horrible star things, or to have everyone dace to death. Though that last option didn’t seem so bad to Wilson. With chairs in a circle and coffee on the burner the other’s start trickling in. They smile at Wilson and shuffle about, there is a nervousness in the air and rightly so. There hasn’t been a disaster of this magnitude for years. Wilson supposes they were overdue and since the last one was his fault and caused a city to vanish off of the face of the earth he realizes that it could have been much worse. He hopes that this meeting will ooze away quickly and quietly. Most of them were tired. Putting Rebecca’s place back together again was an agonizing task. Even with Jerimia’s robots, Alexander’s golems, Jared’s spirits, and Rebecca’s surviving mindslave zombie things the whole thing took the entire night and most of the next morning. It never ceases to amaze Wilson as to how hard it is to put things back together, or at the very least to make the land untainted. Given, dry weather, a box of matches, some gas, and 5 pounds of salt he could destroy miles upon miles of woodlands and fields, things wouldn’t grow back for years, and in many ways it would never fully recover. The area would be something different, something scared. You didn’t need magic powers, gifts, or bizarre abililites. You didn’t need slaves. You just needed some matches and dry weather and some malicious intent. Judging from the way people drive Wilson is surprised that there is anything left standing anywhere.
Jared, sitting down next to Wilson asks, “So you’re being rather broody. You okay Wilson?”
Wilson jolted out of his thoughts looks the at boy. He has to be around 25 maybe 26 which meant he was only 16 when he was planning on shaking the world and changing everything. Increadible. Wilson remembered being 16. All he cared about was flipping burgers, getting laid, and finding out where next party was. His apocalyptic designs didn’t really emerge until he got an office job. To be fair though an office job is enough to bring out the apocalyptic designs in anyone.
“Wilson?” Jared looks at Wilson concerned. Jared has never really felt all that comfortable with the group. He stopped aging at the age of 16 when the initial event happened. He still looks and occationally feels 16. He’d never really expected the world to be the way it is now. He expected to win. Now he doesn’t know if he is imortal, if he will die of old age or die at random tomorrow because a lightning strike messes something up. Both Alexander and Jerimia are at a loss as to how his body works or even what he did to himself. Which isn’t comforting. He does find Wilson to be comforting though. There is something about him, something about the way he just strode into the jungle one day, shrieked into the face of the unknown, and lived to tell the tale sanity intact that Jared has always found comforting.
Wilson finds him creepy, “Sorry Jared millions of miles away you know how it is. I’m fine. Just thinking about the past and our uncertain future”
Jared smiles, “Yeah John didn’t seem to happy with us last night. I don’t even know how it got so out of hand. From what they were saying it all started so simply and then it just exploded outards in this camphony of disaster that someone sucked us all in”
Jerimia who over hears them comes over, “It is part of who we are dear boy, that’s why. It didn’t even start off with a simple spell, it started off with a poker game. I mean this has got to be the most disastrous poker game in history. It is part of who we are. It is also part of who we aren’t. We aren’t people who sit around waiting for other people to do things for us. No we tell people to do things, and they do. They don’t question our frequently questionable ideas, sometimes it is because they are robots or other times they are just simply loyal. The point is that we have other people to handle the smaller details and when… wait no what I am saying makes no sense doesn’t it? Ah bugger what do you want I’ve trying to properly regrow my leg for the last couple of hours and the meds might of made me a little loopy”
“How is your leg anyway?” Jared now distracted asks.
“Fishsticks! I mean hello! Damnit it is mechanical! Here look I am from that Akira movie you are so very fond of!” He pulls up his pant leg and his leg is a horrifying amalgamation of flesh, metals, wires, and some strange unidentifiable organic compounds that smells like oranges.
“Neat are you going to keep it?”
“Hell no I want my own leg back. This thing itches and it while I can hop 20 feet into the air the only thing that I got out of it was that I broke my other leg, before you ask broken bones are easier to fix than severed legs”
“Sorry about that by the way”
Jerimia waves Jared off, “Oh don’t worry about it, it isn’t like you left the not a virgin there for anyone to trip over. That was probably Stephan’s fault.”
“Erm I meant the second time”
“Oh that well I was blacking out from pain so I didn’t really notice. It certainly did seem to be the best thing to do at the moment.”
Jared is able to accept that and with guilt assuaged he looks around the room. While he likes Wilson, Jerimia is the one closest to him in terms of abilities. It is funny it is kind of like Stephen’s relationship with Alexander. Everyone except John is there. Sitting around the room they talk quietly amongst themselves about nothing, quietly dreading the moment when John Smith comes in and does whatever it is he plans on doing. Rebecca has somehow managed to look glorious despite having had no sleep and spending most of the night doing manual labor. She kept saying how fun it was to do some things yourself and she couldn’t understand why some of her subjects would grumble so. She is sitting a little bit off to the side like she always does. The most recent member to their group and the only woman the others guessed she never learned to feel at home with the,. It is something they all went through. From being an emperor of any room they walked into to being amongst equals. Jared couldn’t help noticing though that her chair is closer to the center than it usually is. Nothing like a disaster to bring a group together. Even if the disaster is caused by the group itself.
John Smith strides into the room. The original world shaker, everyone quiet down when he enters not unlike the class room hushing when a teacher stands ready to begin. Looking vaguely priest like in his frock coat they notice that he isn’t wearing any shoes. That is a bad sign. His bare feet wriggle on the thinly carpeted floor as he looks over the room patiently. A full minute ticks past in scilence as he drinks it all in.
Stephen breaks the silence first, “Did the not a virgin make it through okay?”
John surprised and more than a little taken aback looks at Stephen with his piercing grey eyes, “Yes Stephen I managed to repair all the damage done to her in mind, body and soul. It wasn’t easy but she’s okay now and she is right where she belongs”
Relieved Stephen sits back in his chair, “Thank you for that John. The things I do and use are particularly tough on the innocent bystanders and we never meant for her to get hurt but you know how it is. When things start flying we can’t save anyone. Not even ourselves sometimes.”
Deven pipes in, Yeah that was a little silly of us to just not remove her from the scene when things started to go south, especially with what happened to Jerimia and all”
“Well to be absolutely fair,” Alexander cuts in, “I mean he shouldn’t be using a light saber when he doesn’t really know how to use it”
“Now see here…” Jerimia joins the argument and they are off to the races. Slightly removed from it all Rebecca sits and watches. These people were her new family for better or worse and while they did incalculable amounts of damage to her house and property they did manage to fix it all and since the virgin was saved no harm no foul. Secretly she is relieved that everyone is so focused on the star thing angel disaster and not her cult refounding. That is nothing short of embarrassing. They all go back and forth and they shout and yell and everyone seems to be having a perfectly good time. Even John seems to be relaxing and they are all getting into it carrying on with finger pointing and haphazard accusations. They talk about handling the angel better, the nature of star things, and eventually they make a solem vow not to mix Stephen’s stuff and magic anymore. That is definitely where things started to go down hill for all of them. They talk about possible reprisals from heaven though they doubt there will be any and if there was I mean who can stop heaven anyway. Leave it to the group of them to think that they have a chance against an army of angels. Then again after the Star Thing incident who knows, they might. Then they talk about possible meddling from the light bringers. Their little group uses a lot of weird terminology for things. From what she’s gathered its all comes from John Smith. However, of all the terminology they use the one that always makes her shudder is the light bringers. Light bringers is the broad term they use to talk about the brave people who rose up to stop them. Rumor has it that they have their own group. The thing is that unlike them the light bringers are a sad shattered bunch. Ordinary or semi ordinary people who were thrust into their world and then broken but so rarely killed. Sometimes she wonders if it would be more humane just to put them all down.
Then it happens. The last moment Rebecca wants to be dealing with John turns to her, “Well now they weren’t the only ones to experience a bit of the back slide. Wanna share a little bit Rebecca? This is your first one after all, or at least the first time one of us has caught you”
Her shoulders slump and she seems to be trying to blend in with the chair, “Well I don’t, I guess I don’t really know what to say I mean…”
Jerimia cuts her off, “Aww don’t sweat it Becca I mean I still have two secret bases and all of my deathrays. Of everyone here I am the least repentant person we’ve got and it isn’t like we are going to flog you, or throw you into a lake to see if you’ll sink, or anything like that. That isn’t what this is about. It is about finding our way in a world that we fully intended on either running or ending. 2001 baby. That is when it was supposed to go down for all of us. Now its years later and we gotta keep moving as best we can you know”
Rebecca smiles greatfully and stands then hesitates, “Umm may I stand?” No one else stops her, “I don’t really know why I did it. First it started because over half of my house is in shambles. That thing needs constant maintnence and well you know how it is. People agree to fix it or help out, then they get sucked in, and then I realize that I just want some more power so I don’t have to worry about things. You know for the last three weeks I haven’t had power because I didn’t realize I had to pay the bills? I mean all the little stupid things you got to do youself when you don’t have an army to do it for you. It is absurd and I hate it. So I figured why not?”
She stands there awkwardly for a moment before Alexander answers, “Because when there is one then there is two then who can separate the three.”
Deven looks surprised,. “Did you just quote Cradle of Filth? Never mind I don’t actually want to know the answer to that. What our cryptic friend is say here is that people like us, we can’t stop. We are adicts of some sort, adtics to what I am uncertain but addicts none the less. We do things then we keep doing them then we do them some more and before you know it the world is in danger and everyone is screaming and there are fires that need to be put out but since you had all the firemen executed you are using men made of wood because that’s all you got. This is something that happened to me by the way. Worst island vacation ever. We blamed the whole thing on an erupting volcano even though that happened after the fact.”
She looks confused for a moment, “Well how-”
Jermia cuts in, “Don’t worry to much about the how much is to much or how little or whatever. This isn’t like alchohol were we can fix it by not drinking. I know I am not supposed to have my death rays, and Stephen is supposed to destroy those books rather than just letting me hold onto cheap copies of the real ones”
“Shut up Stephen everyone knows. The point is that you gotta trust the rest of us to swoop in an save you when things go south. Otherwise things will never get better for you and you’ll be stuck in that crappy haze for a very long time. I’ve been there. I didn’t build anything for weeks and it was terrible. All I could think about was my failure. I don’t fail. People like us don’t fail. People like us tell the outcome how it is going to happen ahead of time. That is what we do. But we screwed up. Now we gotta live in a world more boring, or for some of us a world still alive, but here we are and this is the best we got. You’re one of us now even if you don’t wanna be so you might s well take advantage of it. Lord knows I do”