Caligo - August, 2011

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Caligo - August, 2011

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:46 am


Written By Silvone Elestahr


The streets were filled with the bodies of the dead: burnt, torn apart, or just deathly still. The buildings lining the street were in flames, those that had not crumbled completely into mounds of smoking rubble. The sky was a dirty gray, yet it seemed almost washed with red. The grinding of machinery echoed through the air, drowning out the muted cries of the few people alive, hiding amidst the rubble of their former homes. Jets streaked across the sky, sonic booms temporarily beating back the sound of machine devastation. The jets shot toward the center of focus in the city, a tower of gleaming metal surrounded by exposed metallic ribs and hundreds of jutting arms. Each of the arms was spinning, loosing beams of energy or devastating explosives at targets across the city. One arm swung toward the jets and their subsequent explosion lit the sky. The bombs dropped by the jets only seconds before their death erupted mere feet from the machine; a blinding flash of blue swallowed the fiery explosion before it could touch the gleaming metal.

Soldiers in urban battle-dress uniforms marched into the streets, flanked by thickly armored tanks hovering over the debris littering the ground. Their cannons moved toward the machine. The retort of their fire echoed across the city and caused several more buildings to collapse. Several soldiers kneeled, shouldering heavy missile launchers. They fired in unison with the tanks behind them. More explosions were swallowed by blue energy. The machine swiveled several of its arms toward the new arrivals. The streets shook under the thundering firepower; the soldiers nearest the explosion disintegrated, tanks exploded, and the street was transformed into a gaping crater.

The machine stopped swiveling and its ribs pushed outward. Flame dripped from its spine, a tower of gleaming metal untouched by the onslaught of the helpless defenders of the city, and the machine seemed to grow taller. It was not the first time it had grown, and it would not be the last. New arms, and new armament, folded outward from the cylindrical torso. A far-off jet spiraled toward the city as an energy beam from the machine, now stronger and smarter, clipped one of the jets wings. The explosion of its impact marked the site of Capitol Hill, though its dome had long since collapsed.

“How does it grow?”

Norman turned away from the screens displaying the madness. The man who had spoken was a general of the United States military, what was left of it. Norman shrugged his shoulders. “How should I know? If I knew that, the thing wouldn’t be here trampling across our capitol. Instead of asking useless questions, why don’t you focus on your job: pummeling that contraption until its parts are spread across the four corners of the U.S.!” Norman’s irritation had grown as the weeks passed by. The general saluted sharply and turned away from him. It wasn’t the general’s fault, of course, but Norman didn’t care. That machine… that Pandora’s Box he had opened, it had ruined everything. And now it wasn’t even the only one. Somehow it had duplicated itself, many times over, and the thing was still growing. The rumors Blue Trinity had followed to chase the thing down did not even hint at its true capabilities.

Norman frowned at the screens, one showing the devastation at Capitol Hill, another displaying the shattered ruins of Manhattan Island in New York, where now the tallest structure still standing was one of the machines. Yet another screen showed the west coast, where battle raged in the city of Los Angeles. Norman had no solid evidence of what was controlling them, though he had some ideas. He had hoped to avoid it, this option of last resort.

“General,” Norman called out over his shoulder.
“Sir?”
“Call the President. It is time we put Caligo at the bottom of the ocean.”




Galalym’s tongue had barely pulled away from the surface of the child’s face before the flash was over. She stood there, standing over the infant and panting heavily. The infant reached up and grabbed at her whiskers, but she hardly noticed.

“What’s wrong?” The question echoed through her head, rather than the fog and trees that were thick around her. It came through her telepathic link with Joci. Her counterpart, the other half of her soul, walked up to her and placed a hand on her broad, sleek back. Her black fur ruffled at the touch and she felt a muscle in her back spasm slightly. The shock of the viewing was still fresh in her mind, though she still felt ashamed at reacting so to Joci’s touch. “What’s wrong?” Joci asked again, this time out loud. More figures appeared through the fog, at first just silhouettes until they were close enough for her to see details.

“We have doomed ourselves…” Galalym said quietly. The infant lying on the ground was a few feet from a dead woman wearing the uniform of Blue Trinity. They had not known the woman was with a child during the attack, nor could she guess why the woman had brought it out here in the first place. “What have we done?”

“It is just a soulless child,” Joci said. Galalym had not meant for him to hear her. Her tail lashed wildly at his words. “It was doomed anyway.”

“Not the child!” Galalym snapped. Her fur was standing on end and her throat emitted a low growl. She was too angry to care who she had snapped at. She was angry with everyone, with all of Caligo. She was angry with the Gods for not destroying that abomination when they had the chance. Joci jumped back from her, but an understanding look suddenly entered his eyes.

“What did you see, Galalym? I saw you lick the child’s face. You saw its future. Tell me what you saw.” Galalym had developed the power early on in her life, a result of Joci’s anxiety about the future. He always wanted to know what would happen, what the unintended consequences of his actions would be. It had been a pleasant surprise when she learned she could finally offer Joci the answers to some of those questions. She needed only touch the object in question and a vision of its future would pass before her eyes. It only took a moment in time, no matter how long the vision seemed.

“The death of the world,” Galalym said. “I saw the death of the world, and the doom of Caligo. This child, he is at the heart of it.”

“The child?” Joci said. He looked shocked, and Galalym did not blame him. She wished she could share her vision with him. For that matter, she wished she could share it with all of Caligo. That “Pandora’s Box” that Blue Trinity had opened had been a plague for Caligoans, a source of constant division and the reason for their ancient punishment. It was a punishment the world would soon share. “What do we do with it then?” Joci looked at the child more intently. “It is only an infant…” Galalym saw the pity in Joci’s eyes, and she was not surprised to see it. What unintended consequence would result from them… interfering? “Do we kill it?”

“Can you, Joci? I can’t.” Unintended consequences aside, it was against her nature. Her heart went out to the child whose innocence had not yet been shattered. But was that a legitimate reason to spare it? Galalym looked at the rest of the group, the other Caligoans that had helped eradicate the Blue Trinity outpost. “Will any of you kill this child?” Her question was met with its own mute echo from the dense fog, creeping in more densely with the fading light.

“I will,” said a man at last. He stepped forward with a pistol in his hand. He walked up to the child and Galalym backed away reluctantly. The man pointed the gun down at the infant, crying now that the Bownyte had disappeared from view. He stared for a few long moments, and then thumbed the safety off. Galaym stared intently, and she did not miss the slight tremble in his hand. His finger pressed against the trigger of the pistol, but not hard enough to make it fire. With a loud sigh, the man lowered the pistol. He wiped his brow and then turned away. There was regret on his face, though for his failure or the child’s future Galalym wasn’t sure. No one else stepped forward.

“Let’s just leave it here,” another man said. “Death will claim it soon enough.”

“No. We will take the child,” Joci said. He looked at everyone standing there, as if declaring the punishment for their failure. “We will take him and care for him; we will teach him our ways. With luck,” he said, staring into Galalym’s eyes, “we might avert the disaster you have seen.” Galalym smiled, though it was a sad smile. What she had seen could be the unintended consequence of their weakness, their inability to kill the innocent babe. But Galalym was not a ruthless machine. Now, Galalym was a mother.

_________________
-Tryne



"The enlightened shall rule the world. With vast knowledge, immense power, and manipulative control, we spread our influence and empire from unseen in the shadows, and yet in plain sight. We are the Illuminati." -Rynn Reaver, AKA 'Tryne'
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