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clockwork17 [2012/11/27 03:11] (current)
doan created
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 +The Game Gear reappeared around the corner with a shopping bag full of batteries and wondered where everyone had gone. Then he saw the reflection in the mirror and immediately darted in after them. Reality shimmed around him and he reappeared out of an identical mirror on the other side.
 +
 +The realm was full of mirrors. Ornately wrought full length mirrors hung in spiral patterns up the entire span of the vast cylindrical chamber, winding in a helix around a column the size of the Clock Tower, a pillar of ash-grey light. Motes of light the colour of dust broke off from the crackling column of energy, dancing around it or falling to the ground in a pale shower, never touching the mirrors, which were pristinely clean. They were placed so as to reflect the grey tower and the shapes that cavorted within its light without ever catching each other in their reflection. 
 +
 +Looking up, it was impossible to tell the size of the vast, dark chamber. The light of the column did not entirely illuminate the room and Will found himself staring uncomfortably at the shadows, where other things might be lurking, things he wasn’t sure if he needed to keep an eye on or avoid seeing at all costs. He heard low rumbling and felt a wind ruffling his clothes and hair when he approached. It could have been the humming of a giant machine, sleepless and eternal, or the sighs of a gargantuan beast that was asleep but ready to awaken if it caught the scent of prey. There was also a very loud ticking, like a giant pendulum that seemed to get louder with every swing. This unnerved Will more than the other noises.
 +
 +He also saw NiGHTs hovering high above him, in front of the column. Facing him, suspended in the centre of the column, was Selph. He was mirroring NiGHTs’ movements exactly. Will didn’t like NiGHTs being that close to a being that had possessed him, but was relieved to see them existing as separate entities. NiGHTs must at least have some way of resisting the pull.
 +
 +“So, you have come to worship at my temple to the new world?” Selph’s hollow, dead voice echoed around the chamber, “Behold, I have given you a vision of the future. Is it not beautiful?”
 +
 +“It needs more colour,” said Will.
 +
 +“The world of colour and life has had its day,” said Selph, “And it has swallowed everything. It shall not be satisfied until it devours all possibilities and begins feeding on itself. I am saving your world the trouble of burning itself out. I am switching it off.”
 +
 +“It is because of actions such as this that you were considered too dangerous to be included in the Universe!” said Owl, “Even when you try and find a place for yourself, you must overwrite the entire Universe to do so!”
 +
 +“An owl cannot exist in the sea, and a shark cannot exist on land,” said Selph, with a broad sweep of his arm, “The Universe must be completely different if I am to exist. The Awakening will bring in exactly the new era I need: a place untainted by the whimsy of every single thought. A place that shows only the pure, clear truth of exactly what exists in the background of the Universe.”
 +
 +“Even the will of the Universe itself? You will be left with nothing! Alone in a Universe of nothingness!”  said Owl, “It is a much worse sentence than existing here.”
 +
 +“Living in a world where nothing you do is of any consequence, or living in a world that is perfectly designed for you. It seems like an easy choice to me,” said Selph, “You cannot see what this world you call ‘nothingness’ is positively flowing with: crystal clarity, and cold, primal fear, pandemonium, panic and death. I was created as a Nightmaren, and I am a Nightmaren at heart. The destruction of this Universe will feed me with all the souls of all other life forms, including the other Nightmaren, and I alone shall remain, the one eye awake in the entire Universe. The whole of the Awakening shall rush around me like a storm, and I shall see how this Universe was meant to be in all its glory. The Universe shall be itself, and myself, and I shall be itself, and myself. There shall be nothing but a clear reflection.”
 +
 +“That isn’t even what a Nightmaren is! Nightmaren aren’t as bad as this, even after we turned from our original mission!” said NiGHTs, “This… this is completely insane!”
 +
 +“I could not care less about the opinion of my jailers. You were fortunate to have come here in time to escape the destruction of your Universe. I shall easily be able to change your forms to something more compatible with my new world, once the process is complete. You see, the process has already begun, and you have done most of my work for me!”
 +
 +“What do you mean!” yelled NiGHTs, “What have you done? WHAT?”
 +
 +He began to cackle menacingly, then threw back his arms, causing the mirrors to swivel and then slot together in a grid. The image displayed on them was not a reflection, but showed a scene from another world: Nightopia, outside the Clock Tower.
 +
 +The shield was faltering, now covered in cracks and holes from the sheer concentrated pressure of the Awaker attacks. Then, suddenly, the ground began to shake violently, then a crack tore apart the entire floor from the beginning of the shield to the sector’s entrance, swallowing both armies, trees, mountains. Sickly, blinding white light began to pour from the crack, immolating anything it touched with ivory flames. Then the rumbling grew more intense as something rose from the fissure, something that vibrated and made a deafening ringing noise as it emerged in its cradle of wires and its throne of half-created mahogany: the Clock Tower of the False Awakening, in all its twisted and terrifying majesty, a ponderous monolith to a dead Universe. The surviving Awakers darted towards it, standing in a circle around it and channelling the remaining power of the smaller Egg Clocks into it. Several of them were casually destroyed by the amount of energy they were standing close to, overloading their essence and burning them out instantly, or were knocked into the crevasse by a flailing wire.
 +
 +It struck midnight, then the energy began to gather around its face as though it was a sun about to go supernova. It began to rattle so vigorously that it looked as though it would wrench itself free from its firmaments and fall back into the pit. Then, with a ‘ding’ noise, the energy flared into a penumbra and was thrown from the clock face in a solid beam of white light. The Countdown was still tilted upwards, so it didn’t hit the Clock Tower full in the face, but slammed into the top half of it and collapsed the pillars of the gazebo, flattening the dome. The Tower had survived but the top half of it was in ruins, clockwork exposed, cogs spilling out, rubble falling to the ground. Reala and Jackle were pulling Wizeman from the ruins. He looked very badly damaged.
 +
 +Selph’s cackling became more manic, until he suddenly stopped, his face twisted into a scowl, fevered joy turning to anguish. He began screaming with rage and frustration.
 +
 +“I’ll tear you apart with my bare hands!” he screeched.
 +
 +Emerging from the Clock Tower, just where the ‘12’ had been, floated two small figures, only human dreamers, surrounded by globes of silver and golden light. One was female, rubbing her eyes and looking in bewilderment at the chaos all around her, and another was male, and his eyes were closed in serenity as he floated within the nexus of Yellow Ideya.
 +
 +“Cass!” cried Will, running over to see the boy’s face more closely.
 +
 +“You’re one of us! How could you betray me? How could you take away what is rightfully mine? It is my time! It is my turn to exist!” yelled Selph.
 +
 +“So he really is an Unused entity!” said the AdvoCat.
 +
 +“How on Earth do you even have enough power to manifest here?” Selph asked the figure, who was floating away from the tower, completely unharmed by the hundreds of Egg Clocks that were shooting at him. They were dispirited by their failure to snatch a swift victory – their greatest weapon would now need a lot of time to charge up again before they could use it, and they had no more Time Pieces to use as fuel – but they understand that destroying this human was the key to their eventual victory. Reala and Jackle had disappeared with their leader but the other Nightmaren Generals were now leading a charge against the Awakers, in blind anger at the attack on Wizeman, except for Clawz, who was trying to eat the yellow globe. “No, I understand now. It doesn’t have to be placed in the Clock Tower. That’s just a safe place for it. And there are so many places within this realm, places where his power is beyond belief. And…”
 +
 +Comprehension dawned upon his face, at once agony and ecstasy as he gained some of the knowledge, the truth, he had craved, but found it to be nothing he had desired. NiGHTs flinched at seeing such a demonic expression on a face that was a mirror of his own.
 +
 +“If I exist… and I am a kill switch for it… but there is no place for me… then there is another one in here!”
 +
 +“Another what?” demanded Owl.
 +
 +“Another Clock Tower,” said the AdvoCat.
 +
 +“I don’t need the released world! I can turn this world into my own paradise!” said Selph, bursting into laughter again.
 +
 +“I won’t let you ruin any world, Unused or no!” said NiGHTs, “People live here too!”
 +
 +“Try and stop me, shadow of my former self!” said Selph, laughing as he whipped up the mirrors into a whirlwind of movement, so that one of them smacked right into NiGHTs. While they fought for their lives against the possessed mirrors, Selph soared to the top of the column and disappeared from view entirely.
 +
 +“Where’s he gone?” demanded Will, ducking before a mirror could hit him on the head.
 +
 +“He’s left the chamber,” said Owl, “Come on, we need to jump through that mirror over there! Don’t damage it or we’ll lose our way out!”
 +
 +Pointing with his wing, he indicated a mirror that was hiding behind a cluster of eight other mirrors. Unlike the others, it was actively evading them, rather than trying to murder them. NiGHTs drill-dashed towards them, then turned a tight bend, catching the first three of them and smashing them into slithers of glass. The AdvoCat ran forwards, using his umbrella as a shield, then rammed into one of them hard, jabbing the spike on the end of the umbrella into its fragile pane. The Game Gear descended from straight above a mirror, bisecting it with his screenburn ray. The other three formed a defensive wall in front of the exit mirror but they were distracted when the Game Gear flew straight around them, his small frame easily fitting through the gap in their defences, and then they were caught by NiGHTs on his way back as they tried to turn around again. The rest of them followed their games console companion through the mirror. They emerged inside the shopping mall. Everything was the same as they left it, except that NiGHTs’ hat had fallen off and now lay forlornly next to the mirror.
 +
 +“Selph is heading towards another sector of the Unused realm!” said Owl, “If we follow him, we’ll find this Unused Clock Tower of his!”
 +
 +“That such a thing would exist…” said the AdvoCat, “A backup copy of the control systems of the Universe! We could undo all the damage that has done! But if it gets into the wrong hands…”
 +
 +“Are we going to meet Cass?” asked Will.
 +
 +“We very well might,” said Owl.
 +
 +“Cass saved us all,” said Will, “I want to know how he did it. And I want to know where he lives, and what it is like, and what kind of a thing he was supposed to do in the world!”
 +
 +“Whatever it is, we now know that it isn’t what Selph wants,” said NiGHTs, “See? Not everyone here is a bad guy.”
 +
 +This thought warmed Will’s heart. He felt calmer about the world around him now, when he looked at its timeless repose. It was peaceful, a different kind of peace to the creeping standstill of the Awaker world: this was a place of sanctuary, a place deeper than dreams, where things could exist that literally had no other place to go to. He knew he would need every piece of good news he could get hold of, if he wanted to keep his spirits up for the battle to come. They would meet fierce resistance when they arrived to foil Selph’s plan.
 
clockwork17.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/27 03:11 by doan
 
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