[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: archive 9
Storyteller
 GM, 29 posts
Wed 16 Nov 2016
at 07:41
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Moros often have the roughest Awakening; they have to reach a point of losing everything to become what they must, reaching a point where giving up is inevitable, and finding them in the last days to force their hand.

_____
Just as one day ended, a new one began for Simon, slightly duller than the last. Four days ago, it was waking up and wondering what his birthday would have in store for him. Three days ago, it was having to confirm the bodies of his family, victims of what was described as a “home invasion” that had left most of them gutted like fish. Two days ago, it was standing behind a suit for his family’s company, half-listening as it droned on about moving forward and honoring a legacy.

Today, however, was the day that they would be laid to rest. It was a cold morning that was leading itself into an overcast day, and the usual bustle in the Waller mansion had been eerily quiet. It was a deafening silence, one that seemed to be permeating his life...

[Private to Midas: Stretch the character’s legs some if you wish, as I’m moving your character forward a couple of days from your RTJ story. Simon didn’t notice anything strange before his family died; no bizarre visits, no precursors, no clues. This is a version of himself that doesn’t understand things that survive off of not being noticed. Please end the post with him about to say his last words to his family.]

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:21, Wed 30 Nov 2016.

Midas
 Moros, 10 posts
Thu 17 Nov 2016
at 05:27
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Up until a few days ago, Simon had been a hedonist, almost as a point of pride. He spent his days flitting between pretty women and overpriced drinks, spending money without concern for how it was earned. But it had all been ripped away from him, along with the certainty that came from having a family to be there for him. That, more than anything, was what he missed- the noise and bustle of a family, strange and dysfunctional as it might have been at times. He hadn't appreciated it until it was gone, leaving only silence in its wake.

And this morning, he woke up wealthier than he could ever have imagined, and he felt nothing. There was only numbness, and a profound sense of absence. His driver brought him to the church where the service was being held, which had always seemed an enormous space, but now loomed ever larger, and emptier, than it ever had.

The first parts of the service went by in a blur. Others- friends, distant family members- tried to comfort him, to no avail. No matter how close they were to him physically, he felt like he was in the coffin along with his brothers and parents.

And then came the dreaded moment, the time to speak. He stepped up on the dais, and unfolded the speech he'd tried to write.

"Thank... thank you, all, for coming," he said, in a halting voice. "I never... never expected I'd have to do this. Not so soon. Not for... so many of my loved ones." He had to pause, as sobs tried to bubble their way up into his throat.

"I spent... a while, thinking of what to say. But how can I... how can I do justice to all of them, or any of them, in a speech? My brothers, my mother, my father... all taken in one night. It's not fair. It's not right. My father was a successful and respected businessman. My mother cared for our home and family. My brothers were building careers and, perhaps one day, families of their own," he said, glancing at his eldest brother's fiance, who was weeping. "But that didn't matter to whoever it was that did this. Now they're gone, and I... I don't know what to do," he said, trying not to break down at the podium.

"But... but just because they're gone, doesn't mean I... we... have to join them. My father, I'm sure, wouldn't... wouldn't want me to spend so much time moping," he said, with a sad chuckle. "Life is... out there," he said, motioning towards the doors of the church, "Not in here. Not with them. Not anymore. And no matter how lost and alone I feel, I can't just... can't just..."

It was too much. He started breaking down crying right there, unable to continue with the rest of his eulogy.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:28, Thu 17 Nov 2016.

Storyteller
 GM, 36 posts
Sat 19 Nov 2016
at 08:13
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
The room was silent for all but Simon's crying and the sound of a crowd trying to be politely quiet. The emotion was like a tide, grabbing at his chest and pulling him down, begging him to give in. It had been tough to see them in their worst state just days ago, but to look at the four glossy black coffins lined up alongside the podium somehow gave it a cement anchor.

Simon felt himself lose his stature for a moment, collapsing to his knees. He saw people in the front of the row start to get up as well as a caretaker to the side, but just as they moved, it seemed that time itself had fallen into a crawl. The silence became a deafening rush in his ears just as the blurriness of his eyes as they welled with tears, his own senses filling up with the rush of those coming to aid him.

It seemed as if they would not, at first; it wasn't until a moment after Simon composed himself that he realized no one was coming. When he opened his eyes, the church was empty...other than himself, and the four coffins that carried what remained of his family.

[Private to Midas: Simon's cell phone gets no signal, and all the doors that lead out of the room will be locked if he attempts to leave the church.]
Midas
 Moros, 11 posts
Sat 19 Nov 2016
at 19:29
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Simon wiped the tears from his eyes, and stood up to look around, bewildered. Was he hallucinating? Dreaming? This didn't make any sense. A church full of people didn't just disappear... especially since his family was still here. A thought flitted across his mind, that this wasn't a place meant for the living... but if so, why was he here?

He looked at his cellphone, and saw there was no service, because of course there wasn't. And there was no way out. He suppressed the instinct to yell out- he had a feeling that, even if something answered back, it wouldn't be something he'd like to encounter. That was the feeling he got- that he was in some kind of weird horror movie, and he was the idiot who decided to split off from the main group to go take a piss.

His gaze turned back to the coffins, and examined them. An impulse went through him to try opening the lid, but frankly, he was in no mood to see their mangled bodies again, no matter how good a job the coroner might have done putting them back together.
Storyteller
 GM, 40 posts
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 05:53
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
There was no denying it as he stepped through the room; he was alone. There wasn't even a trace of another soul that had been in the room, from indentations in the seat cushions to the empty frames adorning the walls. The sounds of the city or the birds outside had even stopped, casting the entire room into absolute silence save his own breathing.

It wasn't until after several moments in the room that he realized it had slowly been getting darker, the light from the stained glass windows above him dimming further and further until they were simply colored walls between him and the storm that had begun outside. It obscured the back of the room, creating deeper shadows along the pews and along the balconies until he could barely see his own hand in front of his face. Wherever the sparse light was emanating from, it wasn't giving him much to see other than enough to remind him that it was the room and not his own vision.

And just as it reached it's darkest, the silence was finally broken by the sound of a hinge creaking as the casket door was propped open...
Midas
 Moros, 13 posts
Tue 22 Nov 2016
at 07:06
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
To call the situation ominous was putting it mildly. The silence, the storm, the darkness... oh, yeah, and the fact that all the living people were now gone. Despite everything though, Simon thought he was keeping things together reasonably well. Or maybe the shock of what he was experiencing hadn't quite registered yet.

And that was when the casket's door moved, and Simon backed away towards the podium. A flood of thoughts went through his mind- hope that maybe his family wasn't dead, disbelief at what he was seeing, an instinctive desire to run, or maybe get a shotgun- but he settled on simply waiting and watching. It wasn't like he had anywhere else to go, at the moment.

"Dad... is that you? How are you..." He paused, unsure of how to finish the sentence. "What's going on?"
Storyteller
 GM, 44 posts
Thu 24 Nov 2016
at 08:46
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Even as he spoke in the darkness, there was no response; it didn't seem that anything rose, or at least did that had the ability to communicate back. It was only the deafening silence that had continued before, with the room soaked in a silence only cut by his own heartbeat.

A light, however, began to flicker from where the noise had originally come. It seemed almost to twinkle, reflecting off of the light from the coffins that surrounded it, creating a soft halo of light that encompassed all four in a diffused ring. Wordlessly, it beckoned Simon forward, the pattern of light seeming to glow a little brighter when he moved closer to it and anchoring him in.

[Private to Midas: This is Simon's "embrace your destiny" moment. The light beckons him to enter Styx, but if he ignores it, he will return to the present to carry on his legacy as a young CEO and nothing more.]
Midas
 Moros, 14 posts
Thu 24 Nov 2016
at 10:05
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
In the midst of darkness, it is only sensible to reach for the light. And besides... where else was there to go? Back out through the doors, into the storm? No, he would need to investigate this light. If nothing else, it might provide some semblance of closure.

He decided to follow the light. Perhaps with it would come some of the answers he had been searching for.
Storyteller
 GM, 50 posts
Sun 27 Nov 2016
at 13:07
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Simon reached for the light, but as his hand extended to the point of origin, it was as if it kept pulling away; what seemed like a simple reach extended further and further, although he still stood where he head been as he did so. The light flickered between his fingers, temporarily blinding him when he was close, but not removing the point of light as his hand continued out.

It was only moments later that he appeared in a different place. Simon still stood in his suit, surrounded by the four coffins, but otherwise everything was different- he was standing on a rocky outcropping against a raging river, it's waters dark and wild as they battered at the shore. The sky was pregnant with lightning, each dark cloud on the verge of an electrical explosion, sending enough light that Simon could see where he was.

With the last flash of light, there was one other thing that Simon could see; a massive figure, wrapped in a gray cloak with a long scythe in one hand, standing at the edge of the water not too far in front of him. It silently looked out at churning waves that beat against the shore, face obscured in the dark folds of the hood. An open hand was raised to Simon, as if expecting something...

[Private to Midas: And there Death comes, looking for his leaden coin.]
Midas
 Moros, 16 posts
Mon 28 Nov 2016
at 00:41
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Simon was confused for a moment, before he remembered something from his mythology class. This was the ferryman from the River Styx, right? Who was supposed to bring the dead to the Underworld? But he needed a toll... two copper coins. He'd need eight for all of his family. He reached into his pocket, hoping he had some loose change in his pocket-

And his wallet was gone. Instead, there was a strange, heavy coin, about the size of his palm. He didn't recognize the metal, but on it was inscribed a picture of a Tower. A Watchtower, he knew, somehow. Lacking any other currency, he handed it over to the ferryman, hoping it would be acceptable payment.
Storyteller
 GM, 55 posts
Tue 29 Nov 2016
at 06:14
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
The pale hand extended out from folded robes, ashen skin pulled taunt across an exaggeration of bones, and folded over Simon's hand. It took the coin from him, turning it over in it's hands several times, seeming to consider it's meaning. The two stood in silence of each other for a long moment, the void filled with the nearby crashing river that punctuated with sprays of water as it slapped the rocks.

Finally, it tucked the coin into it's robe, shuffling past and opening one of the coffins. Simon saw his father's face, eyes closed like he was sleeping, oblivious to the world that fell around him. The robed figure reached into the front pocket of the corpse's jacket, extracting a small bone ankh affixed with rubies. With the movement of a sloth, the robed figure turned and handed him the item, wordlessly pointing behind Simon with it's scythe.

When he turned, Simon was amazed he hadn't seen the large structure that stood behind him, blocking out almost his entire view of the sky. It was a large pillar that must have been a hundred feet tall made of bone, the top clutching a large blue gemstone that refracted the light in beams across the river. He hadn't seen it before, but now to stand in it's presence was awe-inspiring. Something wordlessly drew him to it, pulling with a familiarity that was both foreign and like a comforting blanket.

[Private to Midas: The response should end by some form of "marking" the lighthouse, whether by blood or signature. Due to "magic," this ankh can be as sharp/useful as you need it to be.]
Midas
 Moros, 17 posts
Tue 29 Nov 2016
at 07:35
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
He gripped the ankh in his hand, perhaps a bit too tightly, and punctured his hand. He didn't mind though- the pain seemed so distant, as ephemeral as a dream. He walked towards the Watchtower, no longer questioning how he missed such a grand structure before. It didn't appear to him because it wasn't ready for him... until now.

"I am as King Midas, reigning over a kingdom of worthless gold," he said, approaching the tower, uncertain of where the words were coming from. "All I touch turns to ash, and all my wealth can purchase not a single day more with the people I love. Til the day I am cleansed in the River Styx, Midas I am, and Midas I shall be." He clenched his hand harder, allowing his blood to flow and cover his hand, and then placed his bloody handprint upon the Tower.
Storyteller
 GM, 56 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 00:05
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
An invisible wind whipped around him as his hand touched the tower, and just as the blood flowed from the wound on his palm, he could equally feel something that seemed to pour inside of him. It surged like a drug, lighting his veins with a fire unlike anything he'd even heard of. A cold surge poured into his body from his arm to his chest, but it wasn't painful; quite the opposite, it was borderline euphoric.

As the sensation spread along his neck, he felt more alive than he had in his entire life. The cold spread along his neck and through his jaw, clenching every muscle as it went. He closed his eyes...

"...Mr. Waller?" A hand touched his shoulder, speaking in a soft whisper above him. While Simon's skin still tingled down to his bones, the sound of the crashing river had been replaced by the distant bang of a heater kicking in, rushing hot air into the church. He was on his hands and knees behind the podium as if only a second or two had passed, having instinctively caught himself as he fell to the ground.

"Mr. Waller, can you go on?"

[Private to Midas: Welcome to the world of the Awakening. Give us one more post to end the thread; think of it like the end of the first episode of a television show. You can advance time from as short as a few seconds to a few days if you need, but don't feel the need to have to cover a lot. Just do what seems most fitting.]
Midas
 Moros, 18 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 00:36
[1.1] - (Midas) - Paint It Black
Simon- no, Midas- struggled to get back on his feet, hardly believing what he had experienced. And yet... and yet, he could feel the truth of it. In his eyes, his dead family behind him was more real than the living people in front of him. He had much to think about, to discover...

"I... I think I'm about done," he said, with a sad chuckle, wiping tears from his eyes. "Yeah. I'm done."