[8Fold] Incarnate #2 "And It Is Of More..."

Jamie Rosen jamie.rosen at sunlife.com
Fri Aug 3 15:32:07 PDT 2007

  (((                              #2
 ))))))                   "And It Is Of More..."                ||
THE   ||
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Before her eyes
gathered enough wavelengths, the suit
data: they should leave. First memory is
those words.

Moebius strip the area.
She learned much, but those on the plane
and the residents seemed to be focusing
approximately one metre in.

"You are all in danger."

Without anything she was to determine
everything. Our finest creation disagrees
and overrules, being overwhelmed.

"Tuning in to them."

Nevermind that
secondary voice inside
of her; they have the star it circled.
That presence.

The diameter is that
of radio. The Home Torus
would be, but are we ever ourselves?


[1991. March. Ohio.]

"Are you ready? You are physically restored."

She opened her eyes. No, she reactivated her visual cortex. Old
habits, old turns of phrase die hard, even when they were not her
habits to begin with. "Doctor?" She could see blue above her -- the
diffraction of the local star's rays through the chemical make-up of
the atmosphere.


"Are we really where I think we are?"

"Yes." There was a resignation in the Doctor's voice. "We are on
Earth. Of a sort."

She brought the rest of her body up to speed, letting the smart suit
slither across and through her. It had already rebuilt itself from the
ambient energy and material while she recuperated, and had finished
its work on her as well. "What do you mean, of a sort?"

"We are on a planet whose inhabitants identify it as Earth. Charting
its location using stellar telemetry, it is located along the path
that the historical records show Earth traversed prior to its
transformation into the Home Torus. However..."


"There is no documented evidence to support the possibility of travel
backwards through time."

"Until now."

The Doctor ignored her. "And given the technological level -- although
I hesitate to call it that -- present on this planet, there is no
explanation for this."

An image superimposed itself over her vision: Two humanoids, each over
two and a half metres tall, digging themselves out of the ground,
their exposed circuits visibly repairing themselves before their
chrome 'skin' healed over the gashes.

"Self-repairing automatons are beyond the technological capacity
demonstrated by the civilizations observable on this planet," the
Doctor informed her.

"Extraplanetary technology?"

"I cannot say."

[There is information in the air.]

"And just outside of Cleveland, Union Airlines flight 523 was attacked
in mid-air by an unnamed terrorist threat. In spite of significant
damage to the aircraft, no lives were lost and only minimal injuries
were reported. Passengers attribute their survival to the intervention
of an unidentified 'angel' from the skies, who fought off the
attackers and guided the plane to safely before disappearing as
inexplicably as she had appeared. Authorities believe this so-called
angel was another in the growing number of metahumans appearing across
the country."

[It is all around you.]

The oceanic whitetip shark in 1979 that Bob Taylor, a 'Shoddy'
millionaires was a forestry worker had an alleged is a large pelagic
shark of encounter with a UFO in a clearing, derogatory term for the
tropical and warm temperate seas, war profiteers in the North it is a
stocky shark, most during American Civil War, notable for its long,
white-tipped allegedly, they supplied the Union which he claimed
dragged him along the ground, rounded fins, this aggressive army with
faulty uniforms but slow-moving fish dominates made from reprocessed
feeding frenzies, and has attacked 'shoddy' wool rather than virgin
wool, more humans than all other sharks the hill is used mostly for
forestry species combined - it is a notable plantations, and it was
here danger to survivors of oceanic ship in 1979 that Bob Taylor, a
forestry wrecks and downed aircraft.

[It travels through you.]

[1975. February. New York.]

Sky. Colours running. Running. Move. It's coming. Above you. Behind
you. Right behind. It's following. Above you. Screaming through the
air. You're screaming through the air. In the air. The ground below.
The light. Light all around. And then it's dark. It's dark and you're
alone and you're scared and it hurts. The pain. THE PAIN. It's gone.
On the ground. You're on the ground. No light. Stars. Stars above you.
No running. Stay here. The ground is soft. The air is cool. You can
breathe. Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. It's easy. It only hurts a
little on the inside. Can you move? Good. Slowly. A finger. A hand.
Dirt on your fingers. Not under your fingernails. What fingernails? It
doesn't hurt. Dig in. Push up. Up to your feet. Taste the air. Taste?
Yes. Taste it on your skin. Feel the moonlight. Snow on the ground.
Can't feel it. Don't feel the cold. See it. It is dark and sharp and
brilliantly illuminated.

"Did you see it?" "Yeah, it was over here." "What was it? Some sort of
light?" "I don't know, man. It just came down from the sky." "Over
here?" "Yeah, look -- holy -- what is that?"

They are musical. A symphony. But their fear is a discordant note,
growing in volume, shriller by the moment. Make it stop. Make it stop.
MAKE IT STOP. What is on your hands?

[1981. January. Pennsylvania.]

Fireworks and champagne, fire in the fireplace and snow outside the
window -- the early hours of a new year, a chance to live without the
baggage of the past, at least temporarily. Joanna had stopped the
clocks at 12:00 exactly, freezing time in that moment of transition
where the old and new were one and the same and nothing all at once.

"It's a cute trick," David said as they broke the kiss. "I appreciate
the gesture."

"I thought you'd like it," she replied, looking up at him with that
half-smile that she knew would make the Mona Lisa green with envy and
the hack behind it hard.

"You know me better than anyone." He squeezed her hand once. "Now,
let's drop the Days of Our Lives dialogue and go enjoy this world
while we can, what do you say?"

"Of course."

She followed her husband to the living room, where the party was in
still full swing. Everyone aside from David was oblivious to her
handiwork, preoccupied as they were with indulging themselves.
Glancing at the window, Joanna made a mental note to have the drapes
cleaned when she had the chance. For now, though, they had business to
attend to, and time -- unmoving as it was -- was running out.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said, snaking one arm around Joanna's
waist. The subtle power in his voice commanded their attention, and
she stifled a smirk as they turned to him like expectant worshippers.
"Friends." He flashed the smile that she knew had won him more women
than he had teeth. "Thank you all for coming to our celebration of the
new year and the passing of the old. You will never know how much it
means to me that you were able to join us tonight. Now, I promise not
to keep you from your revels for too long, but I would like you to
indulge me for a moment and permit my darling Joanna to turn out the

"What is this, some sort of sex game?" Douglas Fox called out from the
crowd, eliciting laughter from the crowd. An up and coming lawyer on
Wall Street, Fox was shirtless and in the arms of two of his fellow
partygoers, John and Emma Drake.

Emma giggled. "God I hope so!"

David shook his head slowly. "No, it isn't. I'll leave that up to you
folks. But if we may?"

Nobody objected, and Joanna extricated herself from David's arm and
slipped over to the wall, flicking off the overhead lights and
plunging the windowless room into utter darkness. For a moment
everyone was silent, and she could listen to her lover's breathing.

She knew what David was seeing -- he had described it to her more than
once, although they both knew words could never truly capture his
experience: the beauty of the Odic force, that vital energy that
surrounded and permeated all living things in auras of near-colour,
spilling out of every pore, streaming upwards from every eye and ear,
pulsing from nostrils and mouths with every breath. If she closed her
eyes in the darkness she could imagine she was seeing it as well
amidst the lines and shapes that floated past on the insides of her
eyelids. When she opened her eyes again, the images lingered for a
moment longer.

David's breath was shallower now, and she could hear the others
shifting about in the room, reluctant to break the silence and unable
to put their fingers on why. It was a side effect of his siphoning of
their Odic force; the reduction of their vital energy would leave them
listless, but in time they would recover, so long as he didn't drain
them completely. That... Well, he'd told her what had happened when he
made that mistake.

When his breathing slowed and evened out again, she took it as her cue
to turn on the lights. The scene was little different from before:
David had a healthy glow about him, and their guests looked tired and
a bit wan.

"Here now," John Drake said. "What was that about? You do some sort of
voodoo on us or something?" He chuckled nervously.

"What?" Joanna said. "Oh, don't be silly, John. Maybe you've just over-
exerted yourself, hmm?"

"Heh. Yeah, that's probably it."

[1977. December. New York.]

The black-laquered castle appeared over the town of Midsummer for a
single hour on Christmas Day, and everyone thirteen and over killed

The children who remained came out of their homes unfazed by the death
and destruction that filled their town. They were fascinated only by
the castle, watching it with rapt attention as it hovered above them
silently. At the end of the hour the castle faded from view, and the
children marched out from the city in single file, oblivious to the
cold and snow around them. This sort of thing would normally have made
the news, except that by the time anyone came through the town every
citizen had been replaced, and it would be decades before the mass
grave under the schoolyard would be uncovered.

[1981. January. Pennsylvania.]

Joanna lay on on her side with David's left arm around her and watched
the smoke from his cigarette spiral upwards to the ceiling with every
drag he took. They'd kicked the covers off the bed at some point
during their lovemaking, and now as the sweat dried and cooled on her
skin she was beginning to get goosebumps. But it was comfortable,
nonetheless. His arms made her feel safe. Like there was nothing to
fear in that great big world outside the four walls of their
apartment. Of course that wasn't true; she knew that as well as
anyone, but...

"Well?" he asked. "What's on your mind?"


"Something's bothering you." He stubbed the cigarette out, leaned over
and put the ashtray on the nightstand. "You don't want to talk about
it, but I can tell."

She weighed her words for a moment.

"If I said I was just thinking about how much I love you, you wouldn't
believe me, would you?"


"I didn't think so." She rolled off of his arm and plucked the sheet
off of the floor, covering herself in the blue silk. "Do you really
think it'll work? Will you really be able to bring them back? The rest
of them?"

This time it was he who thought before he spoke. "With the energy I've
absorbed, yes."

"But they won't be the same. Just like we weren't the same."

He let his breath out slowly. "No, no they won't. They will be older,
older even than we were. And who knows what other changes may have
happened in that time? Two years here -- two decades there -- and look
what we became." He turned his head to look at her with those eyes
that saw things she could only imagine. "Are you sure you want me to?"

"Yes!" Even she was shocked with the ferocity in her voice. "Yes. They
deserve a chance at a normal life. Whatever that will mean when they
arrive." She squeezed his hand with both of hers. "I miss them,

[1979. February. New York.]

The air spat them out with disdain onto the ground between the trees.
Snow mixed in with dirt to coat their naked skin. Their breath fogged
when they coughed out what remained of the alien atmosphere in their


"I'm here, Joanna." Was that his voice? It didn't sound right. Sore,
scratchy, deep.

"Davey!" She was screaming. He blinked his eyes against the daylight,
the blinding reflection of the sun on the snow around them.

"I'm here!" He lurched to his feet and the world spun around him. He
felt like he was floating, like his head was a balloon at the end of a
thread he was holding. Everything looked wrong.

He found her voice coming from another person's body. Much too old to
be Joanna. And she was naked in the snow. He was naked, too, he
realized, and looked away, embarassed, reaching down to cover up...

This wasn't his body.

The woman with Joanna's voice was crying Joanna's tears. No longer
mindful of his nudity, he crouched down beside her and touched her
face. "Joanna," he said. "It's okay. It's me. It's Davey."

She looked up at him and her eyes were Joanna's eyes. Her fear was
Joanna's fear. "What's happened to me?" she asked, her lips trembling.
"What's happened to us?"

"I don't know," he said. "But we'll be okay."

She sniffled. "Promise?"

"I promise. Now come here." He held out his arms and she climbed into
them. He picked her up just like he did... just like he did before,
and carried her through the forest in search of shelter. The air
wasn't all that cold, really. Just little pinpricks of chill against
his skin. And she was warm, so warm in his arms that he could almost
forget that it was winter and his bare feet were moving across ice and
through snow.

"Hey, you wanna hear a story?"

"No," she said into his chest.

"Come on. It's funny." She didn't answer. "You see, there was this guy
taking a shower one day, and he slipped and fell in the tub. Everyone
ran to the bathroom, and a doctor came and took his pulse. 'Drain the
tub,' he told them." Her breathing was evening out. "So they emptied
the tub, and then one of them said, 'What do we do now?' Because the
doctor would know what to do. And do you know what he said?"


"He said, 'Put a lid on the tub and carry it to the graveyard. This
man is dead.'"

She laughed. It wasn't much, but it was enough to make him smile, and
think that maybe they really would be okay.




Anne Roche took four year old boy Michael Leahy, who could not speak
or stand, to the river Flesk and bathed him in it three times. The
third time he went below the water he did not come up alive. After she
claimed that she was trying to drive the faerie from him, the jury
acquitted her of murder.



Bridget Cleary, in her mid-30s, was burned to death by her husband
Michael while eight other villagers looked on. He insisted that his
wife had been taken by the faerie and replaced by a changeling, and
that only in this way could he get her back.

The man who set his wife's chemise on fire and then threw oil on her
as it burned was convicted only of manslaughter.


[When dates will have no meaning.]

There is no one left to steal.


INCARNATE, all characters and contents (c) Copyright 2007 Jamie Rosen.
All rights reserved.

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