Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: Lords of the Pulpit Part 3


I was never the problem solver of the batch. Nod was. He wasn't good at fighting, but he could bargain, wheedle, bluff, and plan better than the rest of us combined. I was not entirely stupid though. Even facing the mechanical monstrosity that was Nod's father, I didn't lose my wits. The gleaming, golden construct clacked its piston teeth at me with annoyed arrogance. It would've sneered, might have been, but without skin, it was impossible to tell.

"How old was Michael when you killed her?"

Adam snorted.

"I didn't kill her. I fed her to the Sleepers as a peace offering. She tasted delicious."

"How old was he?"

"Why? His memory is beneath me."

"You've screwed with Abraham's memory enough that he can't seem to remember whether Michael was two or three. He claimed three before, back when he told us she was killed by the Sleepers. Now, he claims two and that you had a hand in it. I don't buy it."

Abraham gasped behind me.

"You're full of shit Adam 2.0. You didn't kill her did you? Abraham knew better the first time around. You've screwed with his mind enough that he believes what you want him to believe. You didn't do anything so drastic. Your daughter got killed by the Sleepers and I bet you went batshit. You couldn't protect her could you, oh wise and mighty Adam. So you wanted to be upgraded. West Worthington had the answer, and you let them change you. You're a failure and a madman."

He made a fist and I hit the wall. The stone cracked behind me as I slumped to the floor. His powers were not based on emotions like Abraham's were. He had raw power to move things. This would end badly.

I stood and Adam walked slowly toward me.

"You are one of the inferior boy's creations are you not? Pitiful. He creates fantasy yet again, rather than accept reality and his gift."

I staggered forward, pushing aside Abraham's podium.

"How old was he?"

"Two, when she killed. Three, when I began my pilgrimage to become Upgraded."

He raised his hand and made a fist again. I braced myself for impact, but it never came. Abraham was in front of me, whimpering.

"Father... Is it true? Why did you tell me that you consumed her flesh? That she was a sinner to be struck down by the might of the Upgraded?"

"Because she was of her mother's blood. It is what I would have done to her if I had had my senses about me. Why my Cain? Do you doubt? Is your faith shaken by this furry heathen? Then let me make myself abundantly clear."

His mechanical fist spun at the wrist and Abraham screamed. There was a thick sound; a wet seal being torn open. Abraham dropped to his knees, a puddle of blood spreading outward around him.

"Those who are not worthy, shall have their Upgrade taken from them, until they have proven their worth. Show me, my son. Show me you are not weak and I will give you back my eye."

Abraham fell onto his belly, clutching at his face, whimpering in pain. Adam rolled the mechanical eye between his metallic fingers and blew exhaust impatiently.

"You worry me, my son. Rise and kill the wolf, and I will let you carry on."

Adam tossed the eye back to Abraham. It rolled across the floor, through the puddle of blood, and tapped at his hand. Abraham put his hand on the eye and started to pick himself up. Just as his head turned upwards, Adam was thrown forward. Adam hovered in mid-air, then lowered himself to the ground, turning around.

"Leave our brother alone."

Nod and Rebecca stood in the doorway, the rest of our family out the door behind them. Gregor was shouting.

"We've got things handled out here sir. Carry on without interruption. We have your backs."

Adam howled.

"Blasphemy! Both of your are scars upon the face of our world. The worm who should have died and the harlot who is already dead."

Abraham and I watched from across the chapel as Rebecca stepped forward, lips so tightly pursed that they were missing, and barked at Adam.

"You are not my father. You are a trash compacter. You will leave my brother and my boyfriend alone or so help me, I will disassemble you down to scrap metal."

She remembered.

I helped Abraham to his feet. His cheeks were wet with tears and blood. I was smiling

She remembered.

"Jonathan, get outside, help the others. Leave Abraham."

I nodded and darted across the chapel, past Adam, and out the door. Disciples of every stripe were assaulting the entrance to the small chapel. Massive White Guard, wheeled quick-moving Preachers, winged Seraphim, every Disciple had come to aid their Lord. And facing down Rebecca, I had the feeling he'd need all the help he could get.

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