Titan in the Playground
Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: [Nexus] Backstories etc
Inherit the Earth, part Two
When she woke up next morning, Sophie hoped she would feel normal and the events of the previous night would turn out to be simply products of her imagination. It was, however, not so. She felt different. More alert, more aware, as though her previous life had been spent wrapped in wool. During the next weeks, she saw things that froze her blood. Every once in a while, she'd spot a person, seemingly no different than those around him or her, but something would be off about them. She would concentrate and see them for what they truly were.
A man in the street after dark who was, she was sure of it, a walking corpse.
A short woman, who under her new sight turned out to be surrounded with a tangible aura of reality-warping power.
A family of reclusive people in rural clothing whose features were bestial and there was a predatory glint in their eyes.
A man who was trailed by a shade in the form of a horribly mutiliated child, attached to him by a spectral chain.
Slowly, the idea that she might not be going insane dawned on Sophie. But she wished she was. Otherwise, she was forced to accept that monsters walked among humanity, hidden from everyone's sight. But if they did, why did she suddenly see them? What was going on?
Sophie was never the one to run away from her problems. Something had to be done. Those things should not be allowed free reign with the ignorant masses. But what could she do? And how? Nonetheless, she had to do something before her thin veil of sanity broke and her family, friends and fiance discovered she was going crazy. Her only hope was that there were others like her out there, others who knew the same thing she did. Of course, she had no way to contact them... except she felt that she did. For some reason, she remembered a series of symbols and knew their meanings. She had never seen such symbols in her life, so she was forced to believe they entered their head during the fateful night in Antoinette's home. Growing desperate, she took a can of paint and, making sure noone saw her, painted two symbols which she meand "Chosen" - a cross with a dot at each end and in the middle - and "Help" - a circle inside a cross, again with a dot on each end - on a wall near her house. Tomorrow, she found an address and an hour scrawled there...
The next day, after work, she found that address, arriving at the designated hour. It was a small building in the suburbs, with a well-kept garden. There was a piece of paper stuck to the mailbox... with the "Chosen" symbol written on it. Sophie, on her part, had made a small plaque with that symbol and pinned it to her jacket. As she stood in front of the entrance, she struggled with herself again. Was it all real? Or was it some sort of... mass brainwashing experiment or something? Only one way to find out, she decided. She couldn't go on not knowing. She took a deep breath, crossed the lawn and knocked on the door. A thin, balding and neatly dressed man opened the door, took a look at her, spotted the symbol on her jacket and ushered her in without a word. As he shut the door, she started to say: What- but he just shook his head and led her deeper into the house, into a small room with covered windows. Becoming more nervous with each moment, Sophie took a seat at a chair while her informant seated himself in front of her.
"Let me guess," he began, "you have no idea what happened to you, what's going on and why you're seeing monsters. You think you're going crazy and you drew those symbols in hope someone out there would recognize them."
"Yes," Sophie said after a moment of silence. "That about sums it up. I came here in hope of getting some answers."
"If it's answers you're looking for, I have precious little in that regard," the man said with a hint of bitterness in his voice. "Let me tell you what I do know. We're both Hunters, also known as Imbued... it seems that for a while now, people all over the world have been awakened to the real face of our world by some mysterious presence commonly called Messengers or Heralds. It seems they want us to do something about the monsters hiding in the midst of humanity. That's... about all we know."
Sophie sat there for a moment in stunned silence, thoughts racing around in her head. It... it explained everything, but... how could it be true?
"How do you know all this?" She asked in a somewhat harsher tone than she had intended. The man seemed to pay no heed to her tone, however.
"I was awakened a few months ago, just like you were. I work in a bank, and one day, a man tried to use magic to withdraw money from someone else's account... I put a stop to it together with a security guard and a passer-by who were also Imbued at the same time... it was easier for us, since there were three of us together. We managed to find other Hunters... and the Hunter-Net, of course."
"Hunter-Net?" Sophie asked, absent-mindedly.
"It's a message board for our kind. Ran by an American fellow going by the name of Witness1... he was one of the first to be Imbued and he heard the words "Inherit the Earth", so they say. Do you speak English?" He asked abruptly.
"I manage", Sophie responded in a distant voice.
"Good. Most of the Hunter-Net is in English, because most users are American. There are some channels in other languages, though. A lot of it is drivel and pointless bickering... I mean, it is the Internet", the Hunter said somewhat glumly. "But it's invaluable for us."
"I see..." Sophie said, still staring off into the distance. "And those symbols?"
"It seems every Hunter knows them... and only we. They're quite invaluable, since they allow us to communicate without the monsters knowing."
"Ah, yes. The monsters. Have you had any encounters with them?"
The other Hunter looked at a clock on the wall. "I'd really love to explain more, but we're running short on time. My wife will be back soon, and she's already suspicious of my... activities. I'll contact you later. We might need help rooting out a demon that has possessed a local school."
And that was that. Sophie returned home, her head swirling with thoughts, doubts and sheer befuddlement. Still, she felt better. She knew something now, as unbelievable as it was, and she had direction. The voice had asked her to help... so she would help, as she always had. Only now she had a whole new world she had to help...
Later that evening, as Sophie was preparing for sleep, her phone rang.
"Yes?" She asked tiredly.
"Sophie, it's Dominic. I've been trying to reach you all day", her fiancÚ's voice said on the other side of the line. Where have you been?
"Hi Dominic. I... I had to run an emergency. One of our projects started cutting himself again..." Sophie answered, thinking quickly to make up an excuse. Dominic sighed.
"Again? They're running you ragged, you know. You can't drive around the town dealing with everything. Don't they have anyone else to do that?" Her fiancÚ's tone was irritaded. They'd had this discussion several times before.
"I know Dominic, I know... but there wasn't anyone else available and he's a hard case. Look... we'll talk tomorrow, okay?" It hurt her to lie to him, but there was no other option. Little did she know she'd have to lie to him more and more in the coming months.
"Okay, goodnight. I love you."
"I love you too. Goodnight." With that, he hung up. Sophie sat staring at the wall for a while more, then slipped into bed and fell hard asleep. It was one of the last times for a while she'd get a good night's sleep.
Well, that's that. A second part of Sophie's story. I'm not entirely satisfied with it for a variety of reasons, but there you have it.
My FFRP characters.
Avatar by Kid Kris. Sigatars by Gulaghar, Kid Kris, Zefir and billtodamax, respectively.