Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Latch-Key Part 5


Father's hand on my shoulder.

Glasses twisted beneath my foot.

"My true son. My only son. My Cain.

"Come on out little brother. I will end you quickly."

The last two of my White Guard followed me down the basement steps. A filthy hole for a laundry room. I was not surprised in the waste that my brother lived. Pitiful technology. No divine integration.


I adjusted my robes and began my walk through the rows of ancient machinery. On the lid of the end washer to my right, lay Michael's ridiculous bowler, jacket, and tie.

"Come on out Michael. Where are you?"

He stepped out from behind the washer, wiping his eyes.

"Ah, there you are."

There was a tickle behind my eye.

"Here I am brother."

I smirked, pulling my face back in a smile. The back of my eye was burning. Why was it burning?

"Finally decided to give up? Strip away your heresy and face us as a man?"

My mechanical eye, Father's first gift, was burning, searing my skin. Can't flinch. Not here.

"No. I just didn't want them to get bloody when I shut you down."

"And how will you do that?"

"With Father's blessing."

I blinked and fell to my knees. My eye. It wouldn't stop burning. Why wouldn't it stop? I closed my eyes tightly.

"Kill him."

The White Guard didn't move. I opened my eyes.

The sighting reticle and my rainbow of visions had left me. I reached for my eye, touching my cheek. Father's mark had left me.

"Look, and see the true chosen of Adam 2.0. Cain refused to go to Nod as was his punishment. Now Nod has come for Cain."

Michael stood before me, wearing Father's mark, Upgraded. He shone; brilliant gold was his right arm. His left eye was gone and in its place, mine own eye.

"Strike him down. He has stolen Adam 2.0's gift. He defiles the Upgrade. Kill him!"

The White Guard, my elite strode forward, shoving the machines aside, howling their rage. He raised a hand and they lifted into the air.

"Such impurities shall not be allowed. They shall be shattered and swept aside for the new."

He clenched his fist and they compacted. A car dropped into a crusher. Broken, bleeding, snapping, squealing.

They fell as cubes of flesh and steel before me.

I fled, scrabbling for the stairs. I lifted off the ground with being touched and was thrown the basement door.

"Trevor; patron of lost causes and marksmanship."

He landed on my back, grabbing the back of my head. He drove it into the floor and I heard my nose break. And then, he was gone.

Where is he? Where'd he go? I ran for the front door, blinking once, and he was there again. He lifted me into the air without his hands.

"Jonathan; patron of shadows and silence."

Michael. No Michael.

He lifted his hands and I was punched through the ceiling. I lay gasping, air gone, crawling down the floor.

"Gregor Rook; patron of stone and patience."

Behind me again. I raised up, looking back. Please, please Michael. No more.

He hit me. Fist? Don't know. Teeth across the floor. Don't get up. Don't move.


He was moving.


Closer. No Michael.



"and James; the patrons of mayhem."

He bent down. Hand on my neck. No, no Michael I don't want to get up yet.

So small. So small in his hand. No.

Michael. Michael, this isn't fun anymore. Stop playing.

No Michael. I don't want to look out the window.

Michael. Michael, please, I don't want to look out the window.

It's raining.

Raining me.

Rain, rain go away.


I ended it before he hit the ground. He wouldn't die, not with his Upgrades. Father would find him and mend him.

I refused the tears, and instead gathered up my suit, my tie, and my bowler. No scratches. It wouldn't have to come out of anyone's hide.

I didn't cry until I boarded the train for the Ghom District. I could hear them in my head then. Whispering. Ever there but never flesh again. Can't revive the dead.

"I will find a way."

"Pardon me?"

"Just talking to myself."

"No, sir, you don't understand. I've been sent by Mr. Jorgensen. He wants to have a word with you."

"I doubt he'll need my services now."

"I wouldn't assume that just yet. We are well aware of what has transpired in the last few hours."

"Excuse me?"

"Mr. Jorgensen has a proposition to discuss with you."

"I'm listening."

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