Wednesday, July 30
Seraph was a busy place, full of businessmen running to meetings and housewives running to buy the latest fashions and musicians running to the next gig. But when those horrible air-raid started wailing, it all changed. Businessmen started running to their housewives and the musicians tried to run away from the housewives before the businessmen caught them. Me? I ran for the nearest back alley to keep from getting trampled.
I heard a roar overhead like on of those new-fangled jet engines and then...fire. The whole sky was lit up.
You know how when you're real lonely you hear a voice in your head? Or when something really dangerous is going on it tells you how to get out of it? Well maybe you don't but I got one. But this one's a real pain usually. And half the time he doesn't make any sense. Except this time I really needed him.
Say my name, Child! Even once! It is your only chance to live!
I hated saying his name. It always got me in trouble. Especially with Old Koen. But he wasn't here and even if he popped up right in front of me we wouldn't have enough time.
"Okay!" I screamed. "BLOODWING!"
Through the screaming and explosions I could hear the name echo off the bricks and metal of this beautiful city. Bloodwing. Bloodwing. Bloodwing...
I was actually flying this time. I have no idea how but I was. I rose up past that metal statue of Seraph herself, that shining beauty with the six wings that He liked so much. I could swear she was crying...
No. She was melting. And my city was crumbling around me. Louder than than I could scream. And I screamed until my throat was raw.
Nothing but a sea of glowing metal and shattered rocks. FOUNDER DAMN YOU ALL THERE WAS NOTHING! I didn't ask much of you, Seraph. You taught me to jump over across building and dodge the freeway traffic. You mass-produced enough food that I could always find enough scraps. I never went without a hot manhole cover when it cold. Seraph raised me! She was the only mother I knew! WHO DID THIS TO YOU? WHY?
At the edge of where my city once was, I saw a clunky old robot tapping away at some machinery. He looked up at me with one glowing eye for a moment, like he was sorry. Then he went back to work.
It started raining and it seemed like the whole planet lifted me up higher on my wings with a thick blanket of steam. I fought the current and touched the ground. I couldn't see a damn thing from the steam.
Somebody was still alive!
"Yes! Hello! HELLO! Over here!"
I didn't see him until he was a few feet in front of me. A neko with red and black tiger stripes wearing scraps.
"Wait," I said. "I know your voice! You're Koen! But you're not the old Regent with gray fur and you're not the new guy with white fur!"
"You got a good ear. I was a kid in black fur but...we diverged at some point, but I AM Koen. You're right about that. Listen, kid..."
He started telling me about Neo and the Wastelands. About how anything that's left of a city or world that gets wiped out ends up in some never-never-land where nothing works unless you build it yourself and you gotta fight and rummage for every scrap of food.
"The good news is, kid...you don't have to stay here. As a matter of fact, Neo says you're not allowed here. There's rules against demons. And that's definitely what you are now."
"So that means I'm gonna be stuck in Old Koen's time box forever?"
I heard the same voice behind me. "No, Brian. I know a place where you'll be safe."
I felt his white paw on my shoulder. "And inside the TARDIS..."
"The voices stop. Right." It was something about there could only one Founder in one time, and his box was out of time. But it was true. I was a normal kid in the box even if nothing inside the box was normal.
That was a while ago. Now it's different. I am hearing that voice again, but it's from the guy's head. Which I rested on a table in the Zero Chamber because I don't like carrying around heads even if they're not dead yet.
So you've already felt my presence. That will make things much easier. I apologize, child. I was ready to pass into Oblivion, but...
"I know. I'm a seventh son of a seventh son. I don't know who this huge family of mine is because I never met them in my life...and I sure as Hades won't ever find them now."
Stranger things have happened. I am tired of manipulations. I will allow you to make your own decisions...
"Unless they put us both in danger. Yeah, that's what you said the first time. Can we just get on with it?'
He closed his eyes and dried up into a skull. Then the bone and horn turned to powder and powder to dust that blew into nothing. It didn't even hurt this time. Then that feeling, like when someone's injecting medicine in you and it burns up your arm all the way to your heart and from there it flashes everywhere else inside you. Those damn wings and the horns. And even the clown face. I was the Founder again.
The walls of the Zero Chamber all mirrored. I took a long look at myself. Something was different. This wasn't exactly the same Founder that took over after that big black hole swallowed Seraph the first time. That guy was tired. Lonely. Too depressed to barely do anything. Almost... senile? I could feel this time, the Founder wasn't slipping into the back of my mind. He cared about me and what was happening to his family outside this box in the big crater.
"Alright...it's the only family I have now. Let's save them."
I felt a surge of confidence. I think that's what it was.
"OPEN THIS DOOR!"
The TARDIS computer didn't recognize me with confidence I guess.
"Vocal Identification not recognized. Please identify."
"I am Brian Mason! I am BLOODWING!"