PWD #05: Boskirk is Burning
PWD #05: Boskirk is Burning
Summary: Dream Sequence: A strange thing happens to Boskirk and the village just outside of the Arden estate…
Date: 31/12/2012 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Iphigenia Aios 
The Arden Estate, Boskirk, Virgon
Dec 31, 2004

(OOC Music: Bear McCreary - Passacaglia)

The sound of violins playing were the first thing to be recognized, met seconds thereafter by an accompanying cello as the string quartet played on comfortable chairs over freshly cut grass. It was summertime, and the cool air coming down from above the trees played softly against shawl and summerdress alike.

The Arden estate, the home of Iphigenia Arden, was blanketed in a mirage-like blur in the distance as the guests laughed and danced. Family, friends, associates and well-wishers were in attendance, and everything…as always, was perfect to the naked eye.

"Miss Arden?" Daniel Aios asked, his arm supporting her as they waltzed across the grass. He smiled softly. "Are you well? I was afraid I'd lost you."

"What?" She had been lost for a moment in the violins, her body managing the steps and posture of the waltz by rote, so well trained was she. It was rude of her to ignore her partner, and she smiled up at him. "I'm quite well. I hope you won't take it as anything but woolgathering. The music's quite lovely and it's easy to get swept up into it." As they twirled she vaguely recognized the other figures in a hazy, unconscious way.

"Quite alright, Miss Arden. It's a brilliant day. I must admit, I'm rather grateful that your family extended invitation to myself and young Jamey, though I have you to thank, chiefly. A wonderful time, this is." He replied, voice slipping off into the ether.

Their faces were recognizable through the haze. Mother, father, brother and sister, were all present. Duncan Pool, mayor of Boskirk was in attendance, and the village itself could be seen from their point on the hill. The quaint village was awash in the haze as well, and a soft, whining sound fluttered over the wind from its direction.

The soft whine…began to grow louder.

She starts to smile up at him. "I think we know each other well enough for you to call me Gen…" Her voice trails off though, as the haze onsets. "What odd weather." she comments, laughing as they turn and turn and turn. One-two-three, one-two-three.

"Do you hear that?" she says suddenly. She stops dancing mid-step, head cocked like an inquisitive bird to stare into nothing and focus on the sound.

She sees it. No one else does.

Boskirk, as if being warped by the whining noise on the wind, begins to warp and peel. Buildings shed their paint and bricks brush over into black like freshly torched creme brulee. The bodies of people walking in the streets fall to the ground, clinging for life as the cobbled roads around them warp and blacken. Like a slow-moving wave, lightpost after lightpost buckle over like wilted flowers and storefronts gasp dying breaths as the glass in their windows fogs over.

The whine grows louder still…and it was coming her way.

"Very well, Gen, although you know there's something I've always loved about the formality of your name. Miss Arrrden." Daniel laughs softly, oblivious to the screams carried upon the wind.

There might have been a reply, a comment about how Aios says her name, but it's like a tattered leaf that is flung a far, far distance in a whirlwind. Her body is turned, a sudden statue in white, toward Boskirk in the distance. "Boskirk is burning!" she screams, a finger raising and pointing at the glow even as her other seeks Aios' arm to grip so tightly he may well bleed. "Gods help us, Boskirk is burning! We need to run!" Some part of her whispers there is no escaping this. That they're all going to burn. She sees death on the streets of Boskirk, even while standing amidst the lushness and green.

Boskirk burns. Boskirk warps. Boskirk decays and curls into a long forgotten landscape before her very eyes. The screams grow louder as the wave of decay rolled towards the Arden estate. The very grass that lines the miles between them curled up and died like a pair of lips receding over a quickly decaying corpse. The wave, like a shadow over the wind, came to the forest that lined the estate. One by one, the tall pines shrieked with the voices of crying children and splintered into a million warping, overheated pieces.

"Iphigenia, darling, come now please the guests are watching." A familiar female voice whispers from over her shoulder. Her mother, in one of her stylish, slanted hats has patted her side with a lace-gloved hand. She leaned in. "Die with the rest of us like a good girl, now. Not to fuss…"

The screams were all around her, and Jonathan Graite and his teenage sons, speaking on the edge of the property, were suddenly slammed to the grass as if a tall weight descended upon them. Invisible hands wrapped around their ankles and flung them towards the trees. As they flew through the air, their bodies shattered and decayed into dust before her very eyes.

Her mother, as if hit by a truck, suddenly yanked away from Iphigenia, screaming in terror as the looming shadow devoured her as well. Her mother's bravado didn't survive the assault. She died screaming.

The afternoon party, as if in unison, suddenly erupted in screams of terror as one by one the bodies of her family and loved ones were swept up in shadow, only to be rendered decaying, exploding husks with dust-filled eyes and broken teeth.

"RUN!" Daniel cried, taking Iphigenia's hand, leading her and her sisters towards the safety of her house. The house would be safe.

"Mother, no - " It's too late, Regina Arden is momentarily nothing more than a furnace before she's so much ashes in the in the wind. Iphigenia's father, her brother, her sister, they all die screaming even as Iphigenia is reaching for them, even as Daniel is pulling her away. "Your son!" she can't help but cry, even as he's dragging her to their house. Their tomb?

"My what?" Daniel suddenly came to a stop and lets go of Iphigenia's hand. He turned his head, calling aloud in a mournful voice for his son. Behind them lies an entire landscape of death, and as the blonde pilot turns his head, he's greeted with the sight of his son being flung through the shadow, erupting into a cloud of dust. The long, mournful cry that escapes his lips adds to the cacophony of terrible sounds and sights. He stumbles back with a whelp and lashes out to her leg.

For a second, it seems as if the shadow has her, but instead it has Daniel Aios.

He bears his teeth, eyes wide with pain as his clothing and skin start to crackle and turn white-hot, threatening to drag her down into the grip of the shadow with him. She'll have to break free…or die.

"I'm sorry." she weeps, even as she pulls away from him. A part of her mind suggests she should simply embrace the inevitable, but human instinct calls for survival. "I'm so sorry." And she runs for the house that to her has always meant safety and warmth.

She couldn't be sorrier than Daniel is. His hands clawed out for hers in a serious of mewled wimpers. The dark force that is killing everything tears him apart before her very eyes. Coughing ashes, his fingertips started to crumble before she was able to get away.

The door slams shut behind Iphigenia and she finds herself all alone. Outside, it's as if a tornado of dust and shadow roils around the house, and the Arden estate is the eye of the storm. The hard-wood flooring starts to buckle, and the only light in the house that hasn't been destroyed by the cut-off electricity comes from the only safe place she knows…

Through the front hall. Up the stairs. Iphigenia could traverse her childhome even if she were blinded. She keeps running, flinging open the doors to the wing where she spent most of her time, running down the hall until she comes to the open doorway of the place that always meant safety even after she was too old to sleep there anymore. The nursery. There's a tiny little antechamber with a hidden entrance, a cupboard big enough for a child and her precious things too sacred for adult eyes. This is her haven, or so she believes, even though no force she knows off can stop the terrible fire.

Everything she knows and loves warps and died around her. The house, her family, and the pictures on her wall decay. The walls around her groan and implode until the door to the nursery is closed. The door began to rattle, and the nursery suddenly explodes in a cloud of ashes that fill her senses. They sting her eyes and fill her mouth. They whipped around her, spinning her in circles and forcing her to her knees. The ground beneath her is the only place that will bear her weight. The debris in the air stings her skin, slicing her in a thousand places, dulling her senses and obliterating her ability to think…

…and then silence.

The dust is gone. The chaos hass gone. It has been replaced by the sound of a million voices moaning softly all around her. On her side, suspended thousands of feet above a neverending landscape. Below her, like a writhing mound of maggots, billions of people moaned in one repeated dirge. All of them are shuffling towards a massive river where even from her angle the other side could not be seen.

In the river, a single, small boat appears over the horizon, slowly being guided by a rear-mounted oar towards the billions.

The journey down the river is supposed to lead one to a peaceful place. Where family awaits, and loved ones are reunited. But the swell of people like a tide is like to drown her, and there are too many people. The only thing that Iphigenia can utter is a wail of despair. There are more people than the boat can hold. More people, even, than the river can hold.

The lives below, however, are not the last of it. Up above, the sound of whispers and moans on the wind can be heard. She tilted her head to the sky to view something of equal, if not greater terror.

One large planet looms overheard, growing closer with every passing second of Iphigenia's wailed cries. A technological world, surrounded with satellites and strange spacefaring vessels with billions of souls crying out in terror starts to glow red on its final approach down towards the landscape below. A threat to all of them, it was as if she could almost hear the cries of terror from the planet above. Even from her vantage point, she could discern clouds of ash, hundreds of miles long forming on its surface.

Behind it…another planet…and then another.

Dozens of worlds came into view, each its own world with different colors and continents. Each and every one of them was burning. Each and every one of them was screaming.

Billions…turned into trillions in the blink of an eye.

Iphigenia wakes up screaming. So loud and so long, that later she'll feel hoarse. Loud enough to wake up those around her in berthing, hysterical enough for medical to be called to issue her a sedative. And even then, she's forced to stay awake long enough to report to the senior chaplain of the department, wearily recalling her dream.

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