He jolted awake, his world unfamiliar, and to that unfamiliarity he sat and stared. Thunder rattled the windows, dark smeared the lines of the world outside. One breath, another, memory returned, and his fear slowed. Unfisting clenched hands he pushed back from the table. Periodicals and books tumbled from the edge. The order he’d meticulously enforced upon the mundane was broken in a pseudo flight of broken spines and unfurled folds.
They were there. In baggy blue uniform. Thunder rumbled, lightning split the darkness whose scent he was beginning to savor. Swift, sweet, fleeting. The sour reek of antiseptic and fear was a poor trade.
He stared at them, sorted them from height and location as their impassive facades and unmarked attire blurred them in his eyes. Scrubs, misplaced surgeons, save no surgeon was that bulky, no doctor need to be that scarred. Nor did they need to travel in packs that covered all the exits. He’d seen them once (at least he recalled once) before, knew why they were here.
Unarmed, it was simply for a move. A placement to one place he disliked for one he’d despise.
Armed… if they were armed… he’d fight. Fight to the death.
Because in the depths of his soul, in those violated places least warped, he knew that he would not survive another “cleansing”. Didn’t want to, truth be told.
Tracing sleeves, backs, belts, he sought bulges and folds. There were none. Save the closest, that one had a watch if the whisper of ticking was anything to go by.
Wrinkling his nose, he grimaced. Painfully aware of all the scents, most sour, that lingered in the public place.
“What do you want?” He finally bit out, flicking his animosity rimmed eyes from one to the other. If one went, for gun or stunner he’d… he didn’t know what… But he waited, waited in the chancy light for they’d taken all the lights in their coming.
And killed all the cameras.
Ironic that… considering they were agents of the light and all.
“Are you coming peacefully?” The shortest, the farthest, gruffed back.
That depends…” Thunder rumbled, his face twitched into a fascimilie of a grimace as his
left cheek went numb. It always did in a storm, still their jumping at his shift nearly summoned a smile. Something like memory teased him then. It’s coming and going teased and tightened his eyes, killed his good humor, and left his eyes thinned to slits.
“General assessment,” the watch barer assured. “That’s it.”
The “I promise” was left unsaid, but not unheard. Familiar with the nature of false promises the traitor looked from one to the other. Combing them from first to last he sighed.
Who was he kidding, he’d never get away….
Still, breathed a whisper of discontent the heart of Before, that didn’t mean he had to make it too easy.
Cracking a smile meant to reassure, he stood, lingered at the table. Piles, some disturbed, others not, some relevant others not. He looked down at his efforts, then plucked his notebook and its cryptic question and answers from the organized chaos. Tucking it under his arm, he set one hand under the table. One push affirmed the wooden island was not nailed down.
That was more than enough.
They leapt, like loosed dogs all baying and backing (orders, always orders), at the tables fall. Grappled him, though he didn’t resist. Arms wrenched about, shoved behind his back, he held the notebook despite their damndes. That near loss woke him to violence, limited as it was with an arm pressed to his side with such tenacity it might aw well have been stone. The one who almost loosed it received a bite for his efforts.
The steely click warned of handcuffs, the kick to his knees of a fall. He his carpet with jeaned knees, despite the slight cushioning he hissed at the burn that surely happened underneath. Twisting about, he lashed with his feet, before those were bound. He felt, in that frantic madness of the scuffle, that something was missing. Something was missing. In the jangle of misplaced memories and maliciously guided instinct and transplanted impulse, in the heart of that fight (where his was still, hardly thundering despite the exertion) something was missing…
Pain, a pin prick, than warmth flooded over his shoulder… under the skin.
Damn them, damn the bastards! He snarled, surged, but they had him by then. All he could do was make the burly one flinch under a glare that was surly glazing.
He opened his mouth, futile spite wanting release.
It wasn’t curses that he uttered, there was little air in him, hardly enough to voice all his hate.
Still, they weren’t the only one bewildered by his drug drunken… “Wantit back… Givit bak…”
The dark behind his eyes felt hollow, but the fall was real for the impact bruised.
Bewildered, the squadrans leader would comb through his men. With queiies and questions, he'd repeat the redundant "What'd he say?" and think 'what did it mean?', and get no answer for either.
Save there were answers. One notebook's worth. A book of questions (who won the Struggle Tournament in 218 AD?), and it's answers that should have been mundane were not.
For the trivia was encrypted.
Except for the first six.
"I died, how can a man die more than once?
"Who am I?"
"What am I?"
"Who are the sixth, the fifth, the fourth, the ninth, the thirteenth?"
"What did I do?"
"What will they do?"
Then, under that, the last line on the sixth page, segregated by distance and a frantic, frusterated, spikiness, that spoke of words jotted down in a rush.
There are no answers, no truths, not for these six. For these are foundations, these are truths. That which I am always denied.
Thirteen thones in a white room, where breathing is forbidden. The grey is a scythes sweep away. The reaper adorns himself in roses, the assasins are aflame, the nympth adores the storm that sheers branch from birch, and we who know nothing always no nothing.
The last that very last, slurred by sleeps coming perhaps.
The heart of the world beats colors, thier fading is magnificent, brilliant, and nothing is left, nothing at all, substantial, sweet, stable void.
The void is a room, rememberance is a spire, this is where nothingness gathers.