1965-08-17 - Apparitions of 1988
Summary: When was the last time you heard about trouble underground?
Related: None
Theme Song: None
elmo lucifer jp 


JP dropped 1988.

1988 grows ears and can now hear.

(([Previously in 1988))

Picture it,
New York, 1988
Only bunker on the block without a swimming pool…

JP from 1965 went to steal a car and lead the masses immediately into a frenzy in hot pursuit of the wheelman drawing attention away from Lucian and Rosemarie which gave Lucian time enough to do something to keep her safe. Current investigations however led Lucian, somehow down into one of the subway tunnels.

The lights, however, flickered. They seemed to carry a hidden message in the erratic luminescence meant for the Angel of Light: DO NOT GET ON THIS TRAIN. LET IT PASS.

Nearby there's the sound of whirring and a few people on the platform in bright colours and the music was eerily saccherine pop that is Debbie Gibson crooning on about how everything's great and she's in love and they're going to make The System better in her daydream.

Better in this case referring to social compliance. All teh pop music had an air of propaganda to it.

Rosemarie needs to be elsewhere, keep out of harm's way. That means Lux: the club is still there on the street, after all. Sending her back inside might make her angry. He doesn't give much thought on that from. He has his own filthy ways to proceed through the world at large, a world so much changed to the denizens of mortal realms and the planes where time dominates. He, who remembers the instant before time's fashioning, does not show quite so much terror in the face of the unknown.

He leaves behind dreams and laughing people in their sheared off shirts. The man looks the part, the Bowiesque grace of him meant to fit their world. Down into the subway he goes, unafraid of the dark. There is nothing in that endless vastness to entirely fear, not with the radiating lines of sunlight and plasmoid motes dancing violently in his veins, spiralling through the being made not of human clay but something substantially more primal.

All music hums around him. Shifting himself down to a soundwave isn't an easy thing by any sense of the imagination. But it won't stop him from humming a slightly off key, atonal melody just to fuck with the music. To screw with the harmony, to be the Morgothian note to Eru Iluvatar's nice little song.

The subway arrives. The colorful young people get on, and the train whooshes away, swallowed up by its tunnel. Forty five seconds later, another subway arrives. A single car, this time, riding by its lonesome on the rail. It's painted in vibrant electric blue, and there's a sigil of sorts on the nose: a wrench crossed by a lightning bolt.

The doors slide open. Inside, it's crammed with gear and blinking lights and control boards. Elmo Rosencrantz leans out—this future's version of him. He's in his forties, dressed in dark, plain colors, his beard starting to salt with age. His eyes are as dark and sharp as obsidian. "Get in," he says, clipped. "Fast."

There was another train due somewhat soon. The lights flickered on the platform and there was a sharp whirr as the camera feed momentarily died, looped, and carried on with its usual shitty static. Above on the street there was the sound of a faint droning of a bell in a tower that faintly carried down here.

In the shadows there were eyes. Always eyes.

The static inside the lone subway car hummed, "That's him. Greetings, Lucian. Please join us. He might have forgotten his manners a bit." Everyone's a critic, though there was no one in the car and it remained as such this way.

Get in fast. Not something one should argue with, and certainly not something that someone should take on face value. Lucian's seen enough movies to know how this one goes. He slouches closer, his back straight for all that his shoulders seem to droop by a few critical degrees under that dark jcaket to intimate he's up to not quite enough good. By any rule, there is no good he can achieve as fine as the original model was intended for.

He steps inside the car, sizing up Elmo with all the arrogance of the late twenty-something years he wears, a brimstone curl of his mouth suggestive of a smirk more than a smile, unable to be either.

"Manners," he says, "are a thing for better times, aren't they?"

Elmo steps away to let Lucian in, eyeing him with an open ferocity totally unlike his 1965-self. His mouth twists when the voice remonstrates him, and he sketches a sarcastic little bow. "Shalom aleichem, Helel ben Sahar, Morningstar, son of the dawn. That make you happy, Espereleh?" he adds, irritably, and gestures sharply at one of the many control panels. The subway car pulls away, fleeing near-silently into the dark. Elmo rubs his forehead—he's got plenty of careworn lines there, and crows-feet around his eyes. "Lucian, I couldn't agree more with ya. Can you tell me what the hell is going on?" Like Lucian's the weird one here.

"Pleased as punch, sir" came the AI's voice; staticy and digital like a female Max Headroom, now named Espereleh.

The car zipped through the darkness while Lucian was presumably asked about the events on how he arrived in teh future or … maybe? Maybe not. The voice carried helpful messages to Elmo, "Destination desired? I would be more than thrilled to go absolutely nowhere near Times Square Station" Because she didn't want her circuits scrambled again and need another backup restore.

Does Elmo expect the immortal to look impressed? He isn't. The seamless transition into Hebrew comes without a thought, and how not, when he was claimed to be the one who helped humanity to construct the Tower of Babel, teaching them the mysteries they were never meant to know short of God's ordained will. Lucian smirks ever so faintly, his opaque eyes a brilliant shade of cerulean beyond which lies darkness, the unfathomable darkness of interstellar reaches. "A cut of prime rib, actually, with a deep, good burgundy to go with it. '58 was a banner year. The meat marbled ever so slightly, the better to wick up the flavour." The dry irony is not lost on him.

His back is still straight, and his expression utterly untroubled. What comes comes, and will be ripped to pieces if it gets in his way. "Do you have a particular preference? Otherwise this might end up taking us halfway into Jersey, and no one wants that." Not even the Devil likes Jersey.

This Elmo doesn't seem to expect much. He stares at Lucian like a man with nothing left to lose, not even to the Devil. Eyes locked, mortal and aging meeting the immortal cerulean void. "Sure. You never change, do ya?" Bitter as wormwood. "This don't mean nothin' to you." He looks away—still can't maintain eye contact, particularly not with the first of the fallen. "You came outta nowhere and …and someone who looks a hell of a lot like JP was with ya. We got visuals." Elmo beckons and images pop up. Lucian, JP, Rosemarie. "Tell me why, Lucian!" He turns furious, sudden as a switch flipping, rounding on Lucian. "Why are you here, why is HE here?"

He orders the air, or the voice, or whatever. "Espereleh, get us on a course to intercept that mishegoss."

"He means me. Video feed coming online…" Ever hear an AI programmed to be happy to do it's function with a pinch of sugar and salt? Meet this AI.

Interpreting its directive the subway car shuttled off down a new path that once used to lead off to the financial district but was taking a deviated tour through old Morlock tunnels. For those with great navigation they were cutting Southwest. The map feed blinked green lights on a green background of the re-purposed Apple IIE. Another dot appeared more as a generalized halo than a pinpoint. "Opening up lights on this route. Interception in 14 minutes." The car started to pick up a lot more speed on the track.

"On the contrary. My brothers and sisters never change, and those who do are mistreated, shunned, and cast out. They who dare stare beyond the appointed path of a presence…" He smiles. In that smile is all the terrible conviction of truth, the unshaken knowledge that surpasses confidence and is no different than the titanic forces boiling stars away in their lengthy lives, sending million degree waves of plasma pouring into the absolute chill of space. "You would be mistaken to think I do not value life." Those crisp words are each in their way daggers, plunged neatly with the expertise of a born killer, a born healer, the two of them interchangeable in their fashion. "Would you rather the horrors distilled through forty-seven generations of men raised to fear? Should I play to trope, and let your stories soothe within? It would be ideal for some, and for you, I think, completely deplorable. I will not insult your intelligence, such as you choose to use it."

The whirlwind that faces him is a plain, simple thing. A man, flesh and blood. Infinitely easy to kill. Would it even upset him if he did? The AI warbles, he absorbs that faint light, and his expression is unchanging in all its terrible beauty — the kind of beauty that belongs to supernovae and icebergs calving, to wildfires and meteors slamming into gas giants. There are no lesser scales for it. "Why is there ever any other reason? Need. That is part of the Plan. If you dislike the Plan, fight it and see where it gets you." The cool tone adopted by Lucian isn't for show. Neither is there a halo or wings or anything so square.

Elmo's hands clench into fists, the knuckles white. He closes his eyes, forcing himself to breathe deep, until he can let those fists relax. "I apologize," he mutters, rubbing his face. "Seein' JP…threw me for a loop." The green and amber monitors show the three time travellers in flickery lines. Elmo reaches out to tap one that shows JP's face, close up. He swallows. "He's been dead three years. Now you show up with JP lookin' like he's from twenty years ago, when we were kids. And what's he do but steal a car and get the whole tristate area after his ridiculous ass." He looks back at Lucian. "I can't pretend to understand the big picture. That's for our Father to know and us to find out. But I'm not letting JP die again. I have got to get him out of here."

The subway car pulled up, not at a standard stop, but someplace forgotten and off the grid. This was one of the abandoned stations. The AI said in her happy happy joy joy voice, "Final stop. Hopefully not forever, because I'd super appreciate you actually finishing my body like you told me you were going to before we got the scrapyard locked down" Mmhmm. She wasn't bitter. Could a cheerful, helpful little AI be programmed to be passive aggressive? Have you ever heard a GPS sigh and say Recalculating?

Yes they absolutely can.

The stop was full of flickering lights and down here there was an inverted electric blue chevron painted, though it looked worn. To the locals it was the mark of the resistance. Some say a military faction and others suggested the arrows meant fight to the top or simply 'up yours'. The possibilities are endless. While no one could agree on what it represented they all agreed they liked it and thus the rebellion of uncertain, but definite malcontent, was born.

Somewhere the AI and whoever was on the program grid was rearranging paths to make it possible to coral the crazy out-of-time Gearhead in the 85 Fiero GT. A ladder went up into the tunnel system and then again up into various sub basements in the area. This one nearby would be to the parking garage maintenance room under the Macy's.

"On the contrary, you're damned to know your part in the plan. To some degree, that is entirely why. Is that not the power of will? To act, you need some sense of purpose, if only to defy it, fling back the truth in its face." Lucian speaks with grave intensity mixed with that fizzy effervescence that spoils everything. He doesn't take anything terribly seriously, not the way he could. The slant perspective on the world must be held accountable. "Your friend is dead, which allows for the other to be here. It would be a nuisance to sort out potential paradoxes. Consider that a blessing."

What is a blessing in this day and age?

"He will owe you a body, and I will keep him to that, mistress system." With that note, the Morningstar flexes his shoulders.

Inverted lights and flashing, flickering brilliance reaches out to him and he reaches out to it. A push of a photon here or there stabilizes the light nearest to him, calling down all the circuits to behave and shiver. His presence tends, in its way, to stabilize and make reality more real in a way. Only fair given who sang the place initially into movement. "You feel like climbing or is this the end of your line?"

Elmo takes that in silently, head bowed. "We always spat in the eye of anyone tellin' us what to do," he murmurs. Looking up, he smirks, and pats one of the consoles affectionately. "Espereleh, you charmer. Got the Devil on your side already. Get that from your dad." He raises his eyebrows at Lucian as he starts grabbing stuff—a bag full of equipment, an old bolt-action rifle that's been modified into something far more futuristic. "Oh, I'm comin' with you. I gotta see him." The last thing he gets is an earpiece, which he tucks on. The doors open and he's out, moving quick and silent through the crumbling, abandoned station.

Squealing tired.
That's how he always makes an entrance right?

Somewhere up on the surface streets Jean-Pierre was driving that stolen car like a bat out of a belfry. Maybe that wasn't the phrase, but damn if he could translate those sayings well. "Pourquoi me suivez-vous? Rentrer chez soi!" He didn't have to have his hands on the wheel as he was the car. No, he was digging through the glove box for ANYTHING interesting and, out of habit, nicked the insurance and registration. Really he was looking for a weapon.

Climbing up the service corridor entrance went Older-Elmo and Always Eldest Lucian, the Firstborn. Being armed came with useful advantage. One could hear the tires on the rotation above in the garage. A couple of things were in pursuit behind the Fiero GT. JP did the only thing he could think of in case of a firefight; he crawled into the back seat and laid low on the floorboards while his senses steered that car.

Probably for the best as that car jumped the side of the ramp and came down - Nose, rear- and spinning out sideways trying to change sposition.

What Elmo and Lucian saw was a red Fiero (same one Lucian saw JP take) barreling down on where they were coming up from the access , and veering wide to miss them. The three sedans that were inbound were not full of as much courtesy.

Lucian doesn't argue with Elmo coming along as his escort. What would the point of that be? The Firstborn does not descend to complain or tell most of the mortals what to do — Rosemarie being a distinct difference, but she is a special quality. He steps out of the car as soon as the door open, and his feet come down on the dirty station platform. Taking point comes naturally to him. It's part of that arrogance wrapped around him like a finely tailored coat. Powerful men emulate the power of a suit, the rank that goes with the sartorial tells. Doesn't matter if they wear jaguar fang necklaces or striped blue, red, and white suits or a pinstriped silk jacket and trousers tailored by someone on Savile Row.

So, arrogance in motion, a study of a dance and the hunting cat's savvy grace, the murderous intent of a wolf on the prowl. They apply to him. "That," he says rather lowly at the squeal of the tires, the squeaky wetness of the rubber on the ground. A car that comes spinning down from them is sufficient to make him stand his ground. Away goes the death trap for any rear-end collision — Fieros are nearly as bad as Pintos for fires that way, bear in mind — and right he goes into line with the sedans. Their momentum is a highly unfortunate thing given the seraph is right there.

He doesn't do more than open his hands at his sides. He looks physical enough, but he shifts out of phase with the physical. Joining with the four fundamental interactions, he reaches out for the engines with a field to pull that energy into himself. Particles yanked in to the bottomless void of energy needs right there feed the incandescent man. The electromagnetic force bends, and bends hard, ripped back into his being.

They didn't call him the Lightbringer for nothing. Light is only a narrow band of his current state.

Elmo slinks along after Lucian, nowhere near as astounding or primal. Just a lone resistence fighter for whom the nights are long since he lost his partner. He unslings his rifle, setting it to his shoulder in one fast well-practiced motion—and then Lucian sucks all of the electromagnetic force out of the area and Elmo staggers with a gasp. Wheezing like he just got punched in the gut. Which, actually, he kind of did. So when he yells, "JEANUSHKA!" after the Fiero, it's really not as impressive as it could be.

The fire dying in teh pistons and replaced by an oblivion of heat and friction as the Lightbringer swallowed it into his being led to a spectacular fallout as the three cars in pursuit died in their path. One crashed into the other to get hit from behind and forcing the first back around. The people inside looked almost ravenous. Maybe feral would be the better word. Could a person go feral? Well with enough mob mentality? Yes, they absolutely could.

Nothing moved in the Fiero GT and it looked from the side for all the world to have no one in it at all. As the car is only as big as a matchbox and not much larger it wasn't hard to see a sprawling of limbs inside the car that had clearly been hit a few times.

The people , 4 in the 3 cars, were trying to climb out of their vehicles. The two in the back, and the one up front seemed to be rushing Elmo and JP. the person in that unfortunate middle car was unconscious to the steering wheel. The smell of burnt rubber and brake pads was pungent right now. They yelled, "Without compliance they'll bring the robots back!" and from behind was the call from the man with the tire iron, "They caused this, they don't care. Get them!" Not the most original rallying cry, but they also weren't free thinkers.

Yelling has a significant impact, the positive potential for so much in the world. It can snap attention in a direction or cause a break in a fight. Lucian's method happens to use a lot less vocal impact, though he manages to look more real than he did seconds before. The transfer is efficient as it's meant to be, for say what one will, the Creator does not design things wrong. The whole issue of echidnae and other failures in Nature came much, much later.

There's a whole planet of echidnae Michael and Lucifer never talk about.

But the seraph never turns his head to ask Elmo what in his name he's going on aobut. Instead, he stands still through the screech of wheels and the dismembering of steel. His hips shift and he swivels at the last moment, those bodies in motion still a problem. In an instant, the electricity comes crackling into being, forming a spectral blade of the purest blue-white horror that strobes the roof and the floor in a muddied, unparalleled light. Thor wishes. Blood brothers they aren't. "I fail to be impressed by robots, no matter their size." To be fair, those robots /probably/ run off of electricity. Probably.

Elmo swings his rifle back up to his shoulder, panting hard. Lucian's electromagnetic inhale has his knees shaking, but his aim does not suffer. He doesn't yell now, but he starts talking. "Mi Shebeirach avoteinu v'imoteinu, Avraham, Yitzchak v'Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah—" He's chanting a prayer for the ill, as he pulls the trigger.

A pellet shoots out, expanding into a huge net of hair-fine metal threads. Almost invisible at first, then lighting up with electricity as it flies towards the men pursuing JP. One of the guys yells, "Don't touch it!" The net sticks the sides of itself all the way across the street, Spiderman-style, forming a barrier of light and pain. Elmo dashes towards the Fiero. Its locks pop up and the door swings open. He half-dives in, grabs JP under the arms, and hauls him out. "Dammit, JP! You're tryin' to get yourself killed AGAIN!" Already kvetching. Some things never change.

JP, once helped away from the forcibly retired Fiero GT observed with some confusion, having smacked his head pretty good, "Woah, Sparplug, lookit you… you're so…fuzzy." Not old. No, he was, in all of his shaken and stirred state going to comment on Elmo's lack of shaving.

You'd think that mortals learn at some point. Like that it is a terrible idea to vex those who are unimpressed by things. The blade of living lightning bends and conforms, arcing plays of plasma melting back into it. Somehow, because he is what he is, Lucian's hair is perfect rather than 'look who touched the static electricity ball.'

One of the crazed citizens saw that blade light UP. She didn't know what she saw but she knew what it meant and stopped pursuit and sank to heels just…staring.

The one charging looked terrified at Lucian and almost ran into that electrified webbing. That voice of warning came from the one behind him trying like hell not to get fried.

The *CLICK* of one of the doors back to the labyrinth of hallways unlocked and the heavy door fell a half inch open for them.

Whatever was happening in 1988?
It was messed up.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License