Ashes to Ashes

 

The reek of Samhain hung in the air like a hot summer day 12 years ago. Now steam rose from the sewer gates of Samhain, methane, pressured up from the rotting corpses that were just hidden out of sight beneath the city. A group of drug addicts, skinny with rotting teeth, cook up an ever increasing rare batch of chemicals scrounged from some shattered hospital. More than one of them will probably end up below the sewers, when their stalker decides he gets hungry later tonight and satisfies his sociopathic tendencies. The sounds of moaning and crying come from an alleyway nearby as some young vampire girl turns a trick with an ogre, while the main street has a parade of slaves. Mostly drones, but a few pookha, and the occasional nosferatu. Their chains clank past with their hollowed out stares, while a well dressed Eshu bids them off with shop keeps. The most common of which, are restaurants and nightclubs. High demand for bodies to keep up the demand for hunger and vice. 

 

Everyone ignores the man sleeping in the gutter of piss. Lying on his back, staring up at the night sky, dressed in a ripped up suit coat and some tattered shorts and sandals. The occasional foot print of someone stepping on him or kicking him is apparent. His sky blue eyes stare back into the fractured night sky under Lilith's Moon. He contemplates something important, at times both chuckling about something or crying about it. His madness and his beast rail within him. He knows what comes and is prepared to study it, for he can not prevent it. I mean, he chuckles over this fact, because he very much COULD prevent it, but he can not, such would be the grossest violation of the Path of Bones. 

 

Lucian Montague laid there, gaining insight on the purpose of this upcoming death, and drawing strength from the life that prefaces it. The pursuit of the purpose of immortality, life, and death inches one step closer. Will this be the end of Samhain's life? How will the souls here transition to what lies after life? Is this the end of Samhain’s soul’s desire to be?

 

But what of Dystopia? Perhaps it is they who wish death, and they are clearly showing fear of death, causing more of it. A vicious cycle, but there must be a greater purpose to the coming death. Lucian also braces himself to what will come after. Does something called “antimatter” unravel a kindreds fortitude?

 

::A silent green light simply appears. Like a christmas tree they start to flicker everywhere and where they do things simply just fall apart. There is no screaming. No explosions. Just people and things turning to a fine powder. As if they are unmade on a molecular level and turn into.... dust::

 

There is silence for a while. Then out of the dust reaches a hand, now skeletal, as a pile of bones picks itself up and begins an insane cackle. No clothes, no skin, just a laughing skeleton. Finding it infinitely hilarious that indeed, natural gifts of resilience work against something called antimatter. Perhaps its because of the will of a soul. He ensures his laughter is loud enough, that every visiting astral traveler, who he knows is no doubt checking, can hear. Once again, he is just a beast, who is now out to study the purpose of death and the meaning of the life that precedes it. The perceptions others had of Samhain will give it’s short life meaning, and he’s now curious what those were. 

 

In the distance, a red light appears. The skeleton thrusts his hands up and begins clawing at his skull, crumbling in the fetal position trying anything.... and everything to get away. The message is delivered and clear to the skeleton, parts of which turn to ash as the red light illuminates him. 

 

When it is gone, hours pass as the skeleton lays there. Motionless. 

 

::please play this music while you read this next part:: 

 

The weather and the sky begins to be full of heavy cover and storm clouds. Fog moves in every direction and lightning cracks down in the distance. The first battle begins to wage as a well dressed man in a black suit with a white tie, steps out of the shadow caused by a lightning bolt and summons forth darkness to claim the skeleton. The leader of the Invictus Imperium, Xavier Hood of Vancouver makes his move against the Laughing Lord. His plan is foiled when the shadows recoil forcibly, and a man with a tengu mask swoops in, unseen in the fog earlier, as the Praenomen makes his strike. Before his wooden stake makes it inbetween the skeleton’s rib cage, it is shot out of his hand. 3 miles away on hill, a sluagh with a white eye, Cap, the governor of the Second City fires a shot to buy time for the Nosferatu to abscond with the Skeleton. 

 

As they attempt to sleek off while the Praenomen and the Imperium leader exchange pleasantries through combat, the nosferatu begin to glow with faerie fire lights, as Craig Boddington, master hunter of Aranta Shadur, aims to collect their payment one way or another, and flickerflashes away with the skeleton. When the smell of sulfur begins to permeate the air and the weather outside takes a distinct red hue, Craig is summoned back into existence like a jumper pulled back on a rope by Hal Morgan and two of his demons. Craig vanishes instantly, but that is okay, the prize is the skeleton. When the spirits of earth and wind revolt, one demon to another, the master of koldunism, Radu Bistri, finally made it out of court after being slapped by an impudent noble. Bistri and Hal simply burn holes in each other as more chaos moves over the landscape from other lords exchanging pleasantries. The spirits rush away with the skeleton when a beast of legend, a giant serpent is summoned forth to swallow it whole. Sage Cael McManus of Deus and a group of his druids make their bid, calling forth great weather spells and summoning creatures of legend. The beast is slain near instantly though from a lightning bolt that cascades through the sky as Thor pits his mastery of rune magic weather control vs the Druids.

 

While they exchange their hellos with each other, as rivers are formed from the battle waging, a robed skeletal figure, with a lantern and a scythe on the boat, sails through a shimmer and begins to sail off with the skeleton, seemingly untouched by the battle and none able to interact with him. As if he was the legendary figure orpheus sailing through hell. Except, a Pirate Lord behind him has what he needs as well, and holds up a box.. The Ferrymen of the Domain of the Dead, turns around to look at Roberts, who draws his sword and leaps gladly into the fray. 

 

As quickly as the battle began between the Domain Lords, it was as quickly over. For in the confusion, the skeleton disappeared. It didn’t get up and walk away. The lords do not even hesitate. They simply bow to each other, some smile, some grimace, some simply disappear, and they retreat back to their homes with the knowledge they have all learned, and unwilling to risk any further ploys. They know that killing and eliminating, or even recruiting, the former Lords of Samhain, is now open season as power consolidates. 

 

As the dust of Samhain settles, and the storms stop, and the fogs recede.... on the wind and in the ruins of samhain. Ashes fall near what was once, a thriving restaurant.