Dreams of Songs

November 03, 2015:

First it was Dreams Of Flight… now… it's Dreams of Song…. what's next?

Astral Plane


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Astral plane. A non-linear infinity that makes the regular infinity of the universe look tiny. A place where ideas link areas, more than distances or gravity does— where regions are defined by levels of order or chaos. At the hazy periphery of the Astral plane are the nebulous lands where forgotten gods wander and the most abstract of ideas float delicate as clouds, waiting to congeal into something more concrete.

At the heart of the Astral, where a flickering train of thought can carry a person from world to world, floats the Endless Forest of Songbirds. Though a simple concept, it's perhaps one of the oldest and most redoubtable of conceptualized locations- common for humans, Asgardians, and all manner of other species. It's here that dreamers find themselves steady ground in those whispered hours before sunrise, when songbirds praise the coming dawn and people roust themselves to wakefulness. The population of of the Forest comes and goes in cycles, as people wake and sleep and the songbirds intrude in their dreams. It makes conversations with the rare visitor to the dreamscape a bit difficult, but that does nothing to stop the endless flow of those who make the Astral their home. In many ways, it's prime real estate, because ideas not wholly formed in other dreams are often caught and bottled here as they're discarded by those who wake. In what passes for an economy in the Astral plane, this is an oil field of limitless wealth and potential.

So it's with some alarm that the first sight of the Dreadnaught, the vast harbinger of the Void, has been made— and that that terrible vessel is not far at all. Behind it, it tows a wake of… nothingness. No dreams or infinity, or astral eddies. The Astral plane is simply consumed behind that ravening, all-consuming force, infinity itself dying as it travels.

A small woman with long flowing white hair and green eyes stirs into wakefulness and looks around with some confusion. She isn't dreaming is she? Or..is she? "Oh those mushrooms were the good kind I think…what ..what is that?" The Kitsune stares up at the Dreadnaught with an expression of horror and nine white furred black tipped tails appear behind her as she's startled out of the illusion she masks herself with.
It's not like it's needed here anyway. She's infinitely more at home here on the Astral Plane than in the new city she's come to live. More at home doesn't mean happy to be here however, and certainly not when staring up at something so terrifying. This is the plane of dreams and anything should be possible here but that.. no. It's eating everything. Not taking, or destroying, just eating. "I either need more mushrooms or less.."

Kat pinches herself several times. "I'm not waking up. Oh balls." She looks around for, well, not help because everything with a shred of sense is going the other direction but she's bound to this plane and if it gets eaten it isn't going to be good for her so running while it seems a good idea, isn't something she can do.

Fenris looks up and grinds his teeth. This thing is making inroads and lots of them. He's come back here to check on things, being one of the few who can navigate the dream world of his own accord. "This isn't good. Not good at all." He notes the fox child and wonders where the Valkyrie got to. There's not enough of them to stop that thing… but maybe they can slow it down…

The Valkyrie is not far behind the Wolf God, stalking forward, wings outstretched, Raven Spear in hand, round shield on her right arm. This is, Astryd in full warrioress mode. "I am here, God Wolf." she murmurs. The Kitsune gets barely a glance as her attention is drawn to the Dreadnaught.

It's a scene that's played out a thousand thousand times in the last few months. The Dreadnaught uses no weapons— no torpedos or bullets. It's just a giant anathema to existence. A sponge, soaking up the essential substance of the Astral plane. The closer that a notion comes to the hull of the ship, the faster it disintegrates. It crashes full into the edge of the dreamscape of songbirds and morning risers, and it consumes /everything/. Stars overhead blot out, sunlight from the mountains yonder fades and vanishes. The soft grasses and cool breeze and early morning rains all disappear into a thin mist, sucked into the rocky hull and the crystal formations that glow a sullen, angry red.

From inside the pockmarked vessel a man-shaped form emerges. He's a thoroughly average looking fellow, a bit on the short side— blonde hair, a ratty trenchcoat. But when red light flares behind him, casting his shadow over the dreamscape, it shows not just darkness, but absolute black— consumptive disarray that casts the pallor of death over anyone it touches. And it moves of its own accord, independent of the lights that move and flare off and on behind it.

"Dreamers of songs, your time has come," the 'man' says, in a perfectly normal tone of voice. "He is here— your glorious father, to tear down Creation and rebuild it anew. We're going to start over from the beginning. Get it right this time," the man explains, stepping out onto the dreamscape. His footsteps crush the soft grass and leave behind withered husks that collapse into powder in his wake. "I make you the same off I've made to Jeller-Tall, to the dreamers of fire, to the nightmare realms of Hozzagaath. Join me," he urges. "Join our Father's righteous crusade and help rebuild reality, to correct an eternity of mis-steps and mistakes. Or stand before us, and perish like the chaff in a field of wheat."

Kat can't really comprehend what it is she is seeing aside from terrifying and massive and likely to be the death of her no matter what she does. Might as well try to fight it than go out running like a frightened rabbit, right? Well, if she's going to die then there is no point in being afraid of Fenris right now. Wolves aren't dogs and the God-Wolf isn't either but her nature doesn't usually make any distinction between such things. In the face of the Dreadnaught above them however.. her instintive fear is forgotten and she pops up next to Fenris and Astryd, though not atop either of them. Her perching habit forgotten for the moment. "What could have made something so.. so.. " She trails off. Three hundred years of life haven't given her the proper words to describe this horror. A frown crosses her face. Get things right this time? What's wrong with things now? "I didn't leave Japan to join some crazy guy that wants to eat me!" She shakes a tiny fist at the figure.

Fenris steps closer, listening. Whatever is going on is important. He's heard the name Jeller-Tall before but it's not one that has often, if ever, come to his ears. Provided they don't attack or start casting some magic, a bit of conversation isn't bad. First dreams of flight and now dreams of songs. He's going to hollow out the dreamworld at this rate and with it the real one. Where there are no dreams, the people perish, as it is written.

Astryd flanks Fenris, taking up that defensive position, listening intently, a frown marring her brow. "Tis the same … creature… god-wolf from that other plane. Let us evacuate those here and depart." A simple solution for the warrioress.

Some surrender willingly. Others turn to flee. Those that surrender shuffle past the man with a terrified look, though some are eager to embrace his remarkable charisma and unmistakeable force of presence.

And then his eyes turn and alight on Fenris and Astryd and Kat— even from that considerable distance.

"Fenris," the fellow greets. "Happy coincidence, or are you here to try and stop us?" he inquires, souning more curious than afraid. He shifts his attention to Astryd. "And the Asgardian, too. I'm definitely leaning towards stopping us."

Katsuna, however, gets a puzzled look. "And who are you, kitsune? Are you friends with the old Wolf, or just taking shelter beneath his limited reach? I assure you— Asgard's lofty branches can't protect you. Not from me. Not from this," he says, waving vaguely behind him.

Kat is definitely getting that feeling. "If I fight you'll eat me. If I run, you'll eat everything here and just eat me anyway later. I won't join you. My life might suck but its *my* life. It's the only thing I have." She isn't likely Astryd's plan. There are many more beings like her who won't survive if the Astral Plane is devoured. Fleeing will only delay their deaths. She eyes the charismatic figure. Maybe.. maybe she can pop up there and just shove him over the side? She's sure it won't be that easy. Someone must have tried it already but even so, nothing else is coming to mind.

"What do we do?!" She whispers into Fenris's ear. She's floating in the air next to him now, her tails waving madly with fear. The Valkyrie with the armor and weapons gets another look. "Wait!" She has a weapon too. Balls of blue foxfire burst into life at the ends of her tails and Kat flings them up towards the one talking to them. She's still hoping this is a nightmare really.

"Well I'm certainly not pleased." Fenris doesn't make any immediately hostile move though if the runners are chased he may. Rather he draws nearer to the spirits shuffeling forward. "Don't." He's not… a charismatic presence and he'd have to fight or destroy them himself to keep them away. Which is not any better. "I have no idea… Lean, perhaps." Fenris murmurs to Katsuna.

"Why? You've made much of remaking the world but to what?" Astryd gets a nod. It is the same creature.

Astryd remains silent, although her grey eyes flick to the Fox child. She won't admonish her here, not now but she does turn a stern look in her direction - trying to quell the fear she's sensing. She won't answer the figure … there's talking going on. Her job … is to fight or to shepherd.

"The universe, Fenris- not the world," the fellow corrects him, rather meticulously. "I thought I made that pretty clear."

The foxfire withers and putters out before it can cross the distance and close with the man, dismissed with little more than a glance.

"The multiverse is broken. Fragmented. This … creation was never really meant to be," he says, in patient tones. "Continuity. Causality. Look at how it rebels against itself. Pockets of reality that loop on themselves endlessly. Stories that keep getting retold. I mean, is it any wonder there's never anying good on television?" he says, with a tone that sounds like it might be wry, but lacks any real emotion.

"Before the multiverse, before causality was established, everything simply 'was'. Ideas were hatched before they were formed. People met their grandsires and their descendents in equal measure. I mean… well, we didn't have /people/, per se," he admits, "but you get the idea. Everything was. There wasn't any 'is' or 'will be' or 'used to be'. It was very exciting and much more fun than this endless monotony of nothing happening. We plan to rectify that mistake."

Katsuna is a Kitsune and it isn't in her nature to worry about pleasing others. Astryd's look likely doesn't register with her even if she notices it. "Things happen all of the time. You're crazy. If you don't like it here then go back to where you came from and leave this place alone!" She's getting angry. What gall to think they have the right to change the Universe itself. No one has that right. No one. She might be doubting her purpose in life and a little despairing over the prospect of immortality but that doesn't mean she is ready to give up and die. Kat growls as she tries to figure out what to do. "I'm not old enough for this!" She hisses. Fenris is ages older and he doesn't seem to know what to do either. That is not comforting.

Maybe she can fight fear with fear? But what would this thing be afraid of? Probably not dogs. She keeps throwing balls of fire but mixes illusion in with it. Half of them are fake now. The gleaming silver daggers are illusion too but maybe itll make him jump into the fire by accident. Kat laughs suddenly. Not the amused sort of laughter, rather the hysterical omgi'mgonnadienow kind.

"My mistake, you did." Fenris grumbles. "Unfortunately, that places us at an impasse. After all, all my stuff's here." The God-Wolf starts to grow. "Run, those of you who still can." He'll end the others. He doens't like to but it's coming to that. And while he's not keen to test strength for strength against the Dreadnought or it's Harbinger… he's going to have to eventually. "Go end some other universe."

That's all Astryd had been waiting for and she rises into the air swooping down towards those who are still escaping, intent on giving them cover. "Take Care Destroyer-Wolf." If Fenris devours the sun today, perhaps that for the greater good.

"Eventually, all of them," the figure reassures Fenris. "I'm taking my time. There's no real rush— particularly there won't be one after my Father 'fixes' all that's been made wrong. These ridiculous stories, this idiotic causality. When I was a mortal, I never much had truck with it, did I?" the figure says with a rueful sort of tone. "And things were quite a bit more entertaining."

"But letting you destroy these dreamers… no, Fenris," the man says, shaking his head. "I can't let you do that. Not spill all that blood into the dirt. Running is one thing, but this I can't abide."

He starts walking forward with a purposeful step, looking for all the world like a sallow-faced smoker in cheap shoes and a stained overcoat. "I really wouldn't recommend testing me here. Better to run and hide and fight another day. You're strong, Fenris, but you're ultimately rooted in a causal process. You can't fight honest chaos."

As he closes the gap between Fenris and the kitsune, the man makes a slight gesture with one hand. A great nothing opens and closes like jaws in the air, snatching up that line of screeching blades and sizzling foxfire. The voidbolt flickers at Kitsune like a screaming beast, annihilating everything in its wake.

Katsuna looks confused. Is Fenris telling her to run? What? Why would he eat them, the thing in the sky is the.. Kat is desperately trying to remember what she knows about this deity. Something something, norse, the sun? "I'm never eating mushrooms again!" The Kitsune says to Astryd and only then notices the Valkryie has left. "Oh balls." This situation isn't about to improve is it? "This isn't what I meant! Two things who want to eat everything won't.. wait.. maybe they'll cancel each other out? Oh who am I talking to?! There's no one here but me." Then its coming fo rher and she's gone, reapping behind the man and his voidbolt. She should probably run now, not do what she's about to do. There are a lot of things she should probably do though. Less drugs for one. Kat closes her eyes and focuses her mind on opening a hole above the figure in front of her.

The Astral Plane is a part of her and she of it. This creature needs to go away! The hole she's making opens into the same tiny pocket she'd dropped a bunch of bombs into the other day. With any luck they'll blow him up! Time is what you want it to be here and right now she wants those bombs and wants them exploding him into nothing. "I'm a Trickster you asshole! Suck my chaos! I was born of it!"

Kat is young as Kitsune go and she has a temper problem. When she loses control of her emotions, the wisdom that is also a part of her tends to fail. Wisdom that would be telling her to run and hide. From both of these figures. Not stand here trying to blow one or perhaps both of them up and possibly herself along with them.

Fenris smiles. "Mmmm, yes, Chaos. I remember it. Or those who professed to be it. You're right, of course. I'm rooted in things that are causing things that will be. But which is more powerful? The void? Or the story?" The god-wolf closes his eyes and lets himself go. He seems to grow, grow, grow to epic proportions even as his fur darkens so much that it seems to absorb light rather than simply being black. "As I said before, if there's to be any ending, I really prefer to be the one who does it."

But he doesn't attack the Dreadnought, nor 'John'. No, he's not ready for that test of power. Instead he simply lashes out at the essence of those about to give themselves to nothing anyway. If he can banish them fine, if it destroys them, fine. Better that than what would follow. "Astryd, watch out for the Kitsune."

"You could just end it, Destroyer-Wolf" Astryd speaks from above the group and she casts a look down at Kat. Nine tails and this creature acts like a child. "If you insist, Fenris." she lights on the ground next to the Fox child ready to pull her away when ready.

Time is indeed what someone wants it to be. And the Astral plane responds to willpower. The stronger the will— the stronger the imagination driving itt- the more powerfully the plane responds.

"Inventive," the man says, even as he vanishes into that hole full of explosions. He's abruptly a short distance from the kitsune, watching his own 'demise'. "Not that it would have destroyed me. They're just bombs," he points out. "There's no such thing as kinetics here, and you… well, you just don't have it in you to wish me to death." He smiles almost apologetically. "But a good try. I'd stay and chat, but Fenris really does require more of my attention than you do."

A crystal on the voidship abruptly detaches itself and flies at Fenris. There's a sense of phenomenal inertia about it, despite the relative lack of mass on the Astral plane, and it aims right for the Godwolf, moving with speeds that make mockery of even the rules of this bizarre landscape.

The figure waves absently at Astryd and Kit, and a seemingly endless wall of voidspace erupts between them and his position, going in all directions at once and seeming to bisect the reality of the dreamscape.

He might be right about the not having it in her to wish him to death part. She's never killed anything beyond animals before and isn't yet sure this is real despite it all. Kat has to something though, she hadn't really expected that to work. Nothing is ever that easy in this kind of story or dream or whatever it is. Fenris is scaring the hell out of her, but less so than the man with the giant warship so she moves to him without really thinking about it, just intent on the thought of getting them away from those voidbolts. They are fast, weirdly so, but so is she. Faster than even normal because for her this is still most likely a dream and in a dream you can do what you want. She wants to get them out of the way. And you know, also not be eaten if that is at all possible.

Fenris is going to take a hit. A big hit. But then he expected to.

That doesn't make it hurt any less though. There may be a sense of the rather formidable will of the God-Wolf. Not enough to prevent him from getting 'run over' and 'hurt' at least as such things apply here. Not enough to take his form from taking some damage. But he fares better certainly than the other two would have.

He also has no intention of staying. Again, he is not prepared to test his will and power in this fashion. Not yet. Instead he latches onto the other two dream forms and flees back toward the waking world. For now, at least, he's confident that the Dreadnaught won't follow. He's done what he could here.

Astryd would have no qualms about ending the creature but she also knows that she should bide her time…

As the voidspace goes up between them, Astryd shakes her head at the Fox child "Peace Kitsune… just wait…" and there it is, yanked from her location along with Kat, the Goddess flees back to the waking world.

The man frowns at Fenris takes that hit from the red crystal, sending it careening off into infinity. "Stronger than I thought," he remarks, as Fenris seizes the two women and vanishes. "Very strong."

"You can hear me yet, God-Wolf," the man says, casting his words into the infinity of the aether. "I'd prefer not to destroy you, but I shan't stay my hand again. You can only fight a delaying action here, you know. Give up, old wolf," he suggests. "Take the females. Run, if you like— it'll keep you alive for a time, at least, as important as time seems to be to you. What value are dreams anyway? Let me consume them while you fritter away the centuries. Oppose my will again, and I swear, I will find the Golden Marches of Valhalla. Uncounted Asgardian souls revelling in feast will be subsumed for my Father's purpose, to be born anew as part of the restored Creation."

"Keep running, Fenris. And never, ever stop."

Katsuna abruptly finds herself back in the waking world with a Valkyrie and a Giant God-Wolf. She does the only thing she can at this point. "That wasn't a dream was it? Oh balls." She exclaims before falling over in a complete faint.

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