Dreams of Fire

James

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James bloody Cully

My former pimp, I suppose, trainer, lover, and friend. He's not a *nice* man, by any standard, nor is he decent. But he is a friend, someone outside the group I've come to know here in Denver, probably the only person who knows me heart and soul, not only my strengths but also my true weaknesses. A precarious posistion for me to be in, heaven knowing why I trust him.

And he is the man my thoughts turn to now, down here in this stinking hole of a Vault that Samuel has me cleaning…and cleaning…and scraping and painting and other things I've not wanted to think about. I…hardly know where I am or what day it is or what time, I've been down here so long, and been working so hard. No entertainment, no grace, with only my thoughts to keep me company and the occaisonal appearance of Marcus. Samuel still hasn't shown, the bastard.

So my mind has been wandering, a lot, as the tasks I've been assigned usually do not require a great deal of thought. Winding back, moving down the years, and now James appears…who knows what else I'll think of next. I don't *want* to think so much…

March 26th, 2069
Sir Walter Raleigh approaches the Queen as she is frustrated and upset in her chambers. The Queen speaks. "Are you here to tell me I must murder a queen?"

"I would never presume to tell my queen what to do. Only you know where your duty lies."

"Was it my father's duty to murder my mother? She was a queen…for a time. Ohh, how be loathed I so bloody a death…"

"Since when were you so afraid?"

"I'm always afraid."

"Kill a queen, and all queens are mortal. We…mortals have many weaknesses. We feel too much…hurt too much, all too soon we die. But we do have the chance of love."

"Do we…? I have given England my *life*…but she also has my soul."

Late March, 2069
Hope

The greatest of all human gifts.

I don't think that we're paticularily gifted otherwise, as a race. We're stupid and petty, ignorant. And yet, our stubborness, our arrogance, leads in part to some things that can astonish others. We hope against hope, we strive and thrive in the worst of odds, we push and push and push at the boundaries of the material and the immaterial, if only because we *can*. We live on the razor's edge of life and death every waking moment, and it seems to colour our short lives with an intensity of passion and vibrancy that is in many ways unequalled. And gods, how we hope, holding on to the most stupid, blind whispers, ghost of whispers, that in the end maybe everything will be fine. Because if we did not, or do not, humans as a race would not be able to survive that fine line, and we would, we could be driven mad by the black despair that overshadows a race whose span of years barely crosses three quarters of a century, if we're lucky.

Life and light is a gift given to all sentient races, but it seems that in no other race is both the most brilliant of things, and the darkest of horrors can be found hand in hand. How can we create works of art and music that shake the soul, and yet we create murderers that leave cities in fear? How can we shed blood in the name of a faith that preaches tolerance and love and yet be willing and able on the same turn of the dice to open our arms to all? Great discovery has wrought great devastation. Great passion has wrought greater pain.

And yet, even now, we survive. The frailest of creatures, soft and bloody, and we still, for some reason, think we are in control. Think that we can in the end overcome all odds, stand high with any being.

That we can hope.

Poetry, March 2069
I bear in me the blood of kings
The lies of men
The affairs of great things

I bear in me the blood of maruaders,
Forgotten ones
And fire that smoulders

I hear in me the blood of elders
Sacred dreams
The memory of flight lingers

There is nothing new that it was not old
There is nothing hot that it was not cold
There is no pain that it cannot be pleasure
There is no order that chaos cannot measure

Ramblings, March 2069
I am unloved and unloveable, I am a woman alone. I have not the power to draw a man's love, but only his will, his pleasure, his shallow gaze.

These damn colonials…aye, and damn them all. What corruption have they brought me? How many times have they broke me? Only this, that a heart lies cut and bleeding, that a damn man, and two of them, have two of them held it in their hands and all for naught. I am cursed by colonial power, cast out, and damn this black, unfair life for such deciet. For such base allowances.

Cast me off and let me be burned; there is aught else I can hope for.

I have been cheated. Fate, a damn thief and a craven liar, Eris his bitch goddess, Love…pfah, Love! A blackened spit on Love, the worst of decievers, the worst of tricksters, Eros, Agape, the only true creations of the greatest evil, craft by the hand of the devil himself…

Oh, dammit. The whiskey is almost gone. How old was it again…oh, bugger. They're won't be any left….I should…I should go lie down now. I'll write another time.

Poetry
He said, "Alas that day I was born!
Now is my person worse then before.
Now is me fate eternally to dwell
Not in Purgatory, but in Hell.

For I might wail and weep, while I live,
With all the woe that prison might may me give,
And now with pain that love me giveth also
That doubles all my torment and my woe.

This may you see that wisdom nor riches,
Beauty nor slight, strength nor hardiness,
Nor many with Venus hold contend,
For as her wish the world then may she guide,
Lo, all these folks so caught were in her lash,
Till they for woe full of said alas.

"Alas! I have no language to tell
Th'effects nor the torments of mine hell.
Mine heart may mine harms not betray.
I am so confused that I cannot say
But 'Mercy, lady bright, that knowest well
My thought, and seest what harms that I feel!"

This world is not but a thorough fare full of woe,
And we been pilgrims, passing to and fro.
Death is an end of every worldly sore.
- A Knight's Tale, Geoffrey Chaucer

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
but came the waves and washed it away:
again I wrote it with a second hand,
but came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
"Vain man," said she, "that dost in vain assay,
a mortal thing so to immortalize,
for I my self shall liken to this decay,
and also my name be wiped out likewise….
- Edmund Spenser, Sonnet LXXV

Men call you fair, and you do credit it,
For that yourelf ye daily such do see:
But the true fair, that is the gentle wit,
And virtous mind, is much more praised of me.
For all the rest, how ever fair it be,
Shall turn to naught and lose that glorious past:
But only that is permament and free
From frail corruption, that doth flesh out last
That is true beauty: that doth argue you
To be divine and born of heavenly seed:
Deriv'd from that fair Spirit, from whom all true
And perfect beauty did at first proceed.
He only fair, and what he fair hath made,
All other fair like flowers untimely fade.
- Edmund Spenser, Sonnet LXXIX

When night's black mantle could most darkness prove,
And sleep death's Image did my senses (hear? here?)
From knowledge of myself, then thoughts did move
Swifter then those most swiftness need require:

In sleep, a chariot drawn by wing'd desire
I saw: where sat bright Venus Queen of love,
And at her feet her son, still adding fire
To burning hearts which she did hold above,

But one heart flaming more then all the rest
The goddess held, and put it to my breast,
Dear son now shut, said she: thus must we win;

He her obey'd, and martyred my poor heart,
I, waking hop'd as dreams it would depart
Yet since: O me, a lover I have been.
- Lady Mary Wroth

Leave me, oh Love, which reachest but to dust,
And thou my mind aspire to higher things:
Grow rich in that which never taketh rust:
What ever fades, but fading pleasure brings.

Draw in thy beams, and humble all thy might,
To that sweet yoke, where lasting freedoms be:
Which breaks the clouds and opens forth the light,
That doth both shine and give us sight to see.

O take fast hold, let that light be thy guide,
In this small course which birth draws out to death,
And think how evil becometh him to slide,
Who seeketh heav'n, and comes of heavn'ly breath.
Then farewell world, thy uttermost I see,
Eternal Love maintain thy life in me.
- Sir Phillip Sidney

Dragons
Dragons. This is just a random thought, but what with me working for the Foundation now, there's been some ramblings wandering through my mind.

What are they like? How do they think? How does this tie in with the old legends and the information we actually do have in this modern age?

Of course, there's no way to really answer these questions. One thing that has remained true through the ages, in both East and West is that the dragons are great, wise, and terrible. If one ignores the flame breathing death bringers that are often stereotyped in Western culture and mythology, one can discover some of the roots of those stereotypes…still great, mighty, powerful.

This will be an oversimplification. The plain fact of the matter is that one *cannot* define, as a human, the basic definition of what a dragon is. An approximation, something to wrap our minds around, as humanity is ever the one to try and understand the world, to somehow control it.

Take humanity, and take it's greatest strengths and cruelties. Intelligence. Creativity. Cunning. Stubborness. Violence. Greed. Magnify these a thousand, a million fold, and you have a dragon. Take the burning desire for immortality, that has touched us since the beginning of time, since Adam, since the first father took it away from us, and then give it to us. And you have a dragon.

Dragons are, I believe, fascinating creatures. I would love to speak with one, someday, if only from an anthropological perspective. Ask them what they think, how they feel about the world, what desires they have. At the same time, I can almost predict what the response would be, to a mere human…

Nothing.

Dreams of Fire
I'm asleep. I must be. This is a dream…yes…I've had those before. Always half remembered when I awake. Never real, never solid.

I…wake…in darkness. All around me. Pitch blackness, not quite as warm as velvet but not as cold or smooth as onyx or jet. I'm lying down, on my side, and as I push myself up, on my elbows, fires flare, little gouts of flame in circle around me. They're like jewels, bright and shining against this dark space, but they don't actually cast a light beyond themselves. They sit there, around me, wavering slightly in an unknown breeze, gold and blood red and glowing orange, little stars almost as the flicker.

I start to feel something. I don't know what it is. I look around me, pushing myself up further, still on my knees. All I can see is the blackness, behind me, to the side, right and left. I look forward, and I start to see a glow. Or not. I can't tell, because like the spots of flame encircling me it doesn't really cast a light. It grows quickly, though, and I can see that it's moving, moving towards me, perhaps it is going to join the flames around me? Maybe I have awoken right when these little bobbing flames were assembling?

The strangest thing is, I don't really feel afraid. I don't think this is a horrid nightmare, where I'll be burned alive, or that these flames are sinister…neither is the darkness. They're just there. Waiting…waiting?

The glow before me grows. I can see it's moving of itself, that it's really larger then these little flames. And it has a shape…what is it? I can't tell. It's graceful, delicate, beautiful, growing larger and larger all the time. Now I'm starting to feel afraid. It's moving faster. I can see the shape of it…it's…I can't describe it! Why is it coming for me? Why am I seeing this? I rises before me, higher and higher, and I try to back away, still lying on the ground, but the flames…they're surronding me. They grow brighter, burn higher. I…I don't know if I'm feeling heat. I am feeling so strange, with this power before me. The shape rears it's head, it stares at me…it's peering at me…staring me down. I can't look away.

Then those great firey wings spread, and it's jaws opened wide, and it swoops down to me…over me, around me…through me, and I fall to the ground.

And then I wake up.

ooc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLAvUdo5yTE

Music
Oh, heavens. I started listening to Mozart again…I really shouldn't have. Not with what's been happening to me, not with what I've begun to feel for Alexander. A put the disc in by mistake, and was almost insensate for the time that it was playing. The music consumes me. I can feel my mind drifting along with the notes, with these strange images filling my mind…it's the key to my heart, and whatever soul I have left. I sometimes feel that I truely feel nothing, but when the music by that damnable Austrian fills my room, it destroys what barriers I have built around myself and I feel like…I am myself. I am what I ought to be in a perfect world and these words…these damn words…spill out through my lips, my pen to paper.

Normally I would be scornful of such flighty, poetic language and imagery. But there's something magical about Mozart, a depth of intensity that even the Beatles, may they ever be blessed, even them are just a reflection of. With the Awakening, with the rise of the dragons, with the birth of the metas, even before this, I could feel that Wolfgang was one of these Spike babies…he was able to tap into something so magnificent, so incredible, unbelievable. I am an utter fool when I hear the strains of the Magic Flute, a feather tossed by the wind when I hear a concerto.

For the first time I'm able to sense the grandness of the task I've been called to undertake, in joining the Watchers. I can truely…feel…how big this thing is, where before I disregarded it. I am lifted. Enlightened. But it wasn't as if I didn't care, before. It was, it is, more that I didn't care for…myself. I know what is coming, or what I've been told is coming, and I regard it as a task to be done, something to be finished because it's for the greater good and…I might as well go along as something to do.

I am worried now. I'll start having dreams again, more then likely.

Musings
Dreams. I suppose I should speak more of that. I suppose it's healthy for me to get these thoughts out, so they don't wrassle about in my mind and cause more damage then has already occured.

I wonder sometimes about such things. Psychology. Pysche. What secrets lie buried within people. And I discover that as much as I am disinterested in myself, I have a driving need to peer at others. I like knowing what makes people tick. I like hearing their thoughts, their concerns, and I like offering what advice I have. I will not pretend that I am anything so much as a philanthropist and I wish to help others, no. It is more that I find myself intrigued by manipulation, control, tweaking the strings to watch them dance. Drop a word or two and see what effect it has. At the same time, I am not so utter a bitch (yet) to say that I am consistently so cruel. I do wish to help, now and then, or at least get them to stop moping so much.

People are so *irritating* when they don't play along!

And that's what I hate the most, when people act so damn irrational and I get caught up in it, and I act as much the fool as they do because they're on ground I can't tread. And I hate myself when I get emotional, tempremental, angry. I love Alex, but…nevermind. Nevermind

Dreams.

I'm sitting in front of a large loom, or blank tapestry, or whatever it is. A white sheet, an empty space, spread out in front of me. And I can see all these colours, all these threads, piled up, wound about little nobbins, ready and waiting. I take one thread, then another, and another, and one at a time I begin to thread this tapestry, this loom, seeing a pattern emerge even before the picture is complete. Each colourful bit of silk I run through my fingers is different, each one I move and run downwards, and they blend together, chaotic but yet containing some meaning, some complicated explanation that's so hard to figure out. I see myself as part of it, not at the centre, but being both objectively viewing and yet intertwined. And once again, I have no worry, no care about my role. It simply is what it is.

I wonder why I feel this way. After I awoke, my mind still half drifting on currents of sleep, my subconcious tantalizingly close to the surface, I wondered why I could feel so…cold. So objective. Why I feel and react and then…and then…at the same time, I'm simply watching, distant and detracted. WHY nothing bothers me much. And yet why when something happens it does.

I remember speaking with Samuel about this the other night, I think. Games. Roleplaying. Presenting an image to the world. Something that both of us engage in, in vastly different ways and to vastly different degrees, but still, the same message being told. He asked me, or told me, if I lie to myself. I don't, not really. Then again, maybe my dreams are echoing something that is not buried within me, nor is it something I cannot admit, but some part of me that I don't even, honestly know about, something I shan't be able to recognize.

I can see how this would be hard for some people to deal with, how no matter what public image they display it takes a toll on them. Even Samuel. And I know how arrogant I sound when I say that I don't think I have the same problem. Ha. By my very words I admit I have a "problem". But I truely do not think I do. I do not regret they way I am, I do not regret feeling the way I do, the objectivity, the coldness, the mecurial temper and mood. I think it's healthy I recognize it, and I think that it is a more positive sign of my humanity that I at least make the effort to not behave like a strict sociopath. I could, if I wanted to. I think I could, quite easily.

I loved Samuel, and I still do. I love Alex, and I feel that love growing everyday, even while I feel hurt and lonely at times when he's not around, when he admits to me that his work takes precendence. I ache for him when I think of his mother's death and the way his family treats him. I like the boy, Elvis, this newcomer with such an innocent nature. And my other friends, Kassandra and Aladriel. Yet at the same time I believe I am able to distance myself as needed. I have trouble understanding how someone can be so foolishly in love that it impedes not only their general mental health but the structure of the team, and while I have no issue with someone being foolishly in love, I also don't understand that it can actually harm people who are hardened professionals.

And now I'm back on a rant about how nutty everyone's been acting. I honestly wish I could just tell them all to stop being so sodding silly and get on with it. Is it so damn hard to trust someone to take care of themselves? No. I'll let that go, and be civilized, if I must, and keep an eye on things.

I *can* distance myself. I can remain in control. Yet, unfortunately at times, I'm still human.

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