The Sun rose over a desert. This is not your Sun. Hotter, more pure, the essence of sunlight. Fiercely white-hot, if you found yourself here, you would be nearly blinded for a time. A light so bright it bleached the color out of the world. Once you adjusted you would notice other things about this desert.
Unlike deserts in the First World, nothing moved here. There was no sign of life, no undercurrent of hidden activity. Nothing, you as a visitor, would recognize, at first. If you spent a hundred years, and you could, because for you time would pass slowly, you would age slower, you would be out of sync with the First World.
Here in the Second World, you might begin to notice a texture to the light, a shimmering that was different than any other light here. Like a mirage in the desert, it would stand out to you, a discontinuity you could not ignore. If you were more discerning or terribly lonely, you might approach that shimmer, that trick of the light only to find a single immense structure, also made of pure, hardened light.
If you had lived in the First World during the time of the Roman Empire, you would recognize this building as the great Coliseum of Rome. In all ways, that majestic structure would appear before you the same in every way save one, this one was immune to the ravages of time. No great walls had fallen, no wreckage due to the imperfection of Man. No trauma of earthquakes throughout time. This structure was perfect, permanent and static; unchanging, outside of the forces of Entropy.
If you were to, now that you have found this Coliseum, continue for another hundred years or so to meditate upon it, you would begin to see signs of life, not as you know it, beings, mere wisps flickering out of the corners of your eyes, nothing you would see straight on, a movement that seemed to move with purpose, malice and forethought; mostly malice.
Listening intently, you would hear a conversation taking place between two forces. To wrap your mind around them, you might consider them people, if people were to have the power of a hurricane wrapped neatly in a shape slightly resembling a man in the less of those two and if a star were trapped in the body of a giant in the other form. And their conversation would be troubling to you. Because it whispered of a world without darkness, a world perfect with the structure of Order, a world without Change or the forces of Entropy.
And after three hundred years of listening, you would begin to know the horror of these perfect, shimmering forms of trapped and barely contained power. You would see their idea of what the world should be like and if you are like any rational being with any ideas of free will, you would be, no, should be repulsed. And that would be the correct response. These beings were not evil. They were merely focused on a different way of being.
“We have failed to acquire the Equinox. The boy has already tainted it toward the Dark.” The smaller storm being stood imperiously before the sun-god giant.
“Are you saying you have failed me?” His voice, hot, shimmered the very air around them.
“Yes,” the storm being thundered in response. A momentary silence followed.
“Kill yourself immediately.”
“I will, post haste, your Vastness. But I believe our failure may allow us new opportunities.” Another silence.
“Continue. Your impertinence may still please me.”
“I believe they may decide to seek the Master of the Loa, Mister Black. He has not accepted our treaty, nor denied it outright. Knowing him, he will betray them if it suits him. All we need do is wait for the right moment.”
As if he were explaining to a small child, the sun-god spoke. “Illuminatus, we must take advantage of the transition of Gaia. She is at her weakest. If we can overcome the Darkness during her transition and re-acclimation, she will have no choice but to accept the state of things upon her return. We can simply destroy the opposition and force her to treat with us instead.”
And in a way surely to arouse the ire of his master, the storm being responded. “I was under the impression unless we were able to harness the power of the Radiant Ones, we would not have the ability to resist her. She is the greatest power in the First World, unparalleled. She cast all of us out during one of our earliest wars and forbade us using our powers fully in the First World. If we did not mask our powers in the Veil, she would have detected our many conflicts. It is only because our human operatives are so weak and puny that she remains unaware of our plans as it is.”
“All of that is true. Which is why your next mission is to bring the Radiant Ones into the fold.” If a sun-god of blazing solar light could be said to smile, this would be the feeling you might sense from him. A strange, good humor.
“I thought you had agreed to spare my life. To go to the realm of the Radiant Ones is to court destruction.”
“Are you saying you are not interested in the mission?”
“I would be only too happy to serve you in this vital operation. The Radiant Ones live at the very edge of the Second Realm. It will take time and resources to reach them. I was under the impression you still valued my abilities and had spared my life.”
“I did, but if you fail to secure their cooperation, then you would resolve my need to replace you with someone more… effective.”
“By your command.”
“Before you go to the land of the Radiant Ones, you take my decree to the Master of the Loa. Let him know he is out of time. He is to join us, or you are to take your army and destroy him, utterly. Destroy his clan, the Loa, and any of his offspring. When the Equinox seeks him out, I want him to find my servant or nothing to offer him hope at all. Then you can bring the Radiant Ones to my court.”
“Absolutely, your Immenseness. Your will be done. He will join us or die.”
In a flash of heat lightning, the storm being would vanish, leaving a pile of steaming glass in the desert floor of the Coliseum. The sun god might look in your direction, sense your attentions and with a flash of light, oust you from the Second Realm. You would be only too glad to be gone from that place.
Equinox: The Last Scion © Thaddeus Howze 2013. All Rights Reserved [ @ebonstorm]