View Full Version : All in Caliban's noggin.
10-23-2006, 09:07 PM
It shouldn't be said that the scene didn't unfold with a palpable sense of familiarity that threatened to clench his heart. Caliban, even now, felt the wrinkling of his flesh as though it may shudder free of his back. Skin bristling its needle points along his brow.
Any colour in the space before him bottomed out and that absence loomed so inescapably big that it drew Caliban's vision in along with it. He stood in sickly fascination. Blood welled in its vessels and ticked like minute clocks.
Something squeezed his leg and trembled. A friend looking to him for comfort.
The scream that would follow; didn't.
The Alley remained about him and many a cadaver could only wait to be seen. Not all would have been friends, but they had all shared the same fears that had brought them to this place together. Now that sense of worthlessness was compounded. Caliban would survive while others would not and the reason for this massacre would live on in him. Somebody, somewhere had decided that he was among the worthless, the unnecessary.
So it returned to this; his greatest achievement of powerlessness.
The scream followed and a fresh panic set about him. He kicked off the body now flailing for his leg. It clung to his foot instead and echoed the rattle that swelled up out of the dark tunnels.
He had expected it and what should have been a revelation was not a revelation to him at all. Caliban faced himself, the smaller version battling for purchase. Pained, yellow eyes beseeched him.
Instead the revelation was that he was no longer the same Morlock that had escaped from this massacre years before. Struggling for escape now was that monster of Apocalypse's and what followed was shame and bitter rage.
10-26-2006, 09:50 PM
<Cue theme music>
She picked the other Caliban up as he continued to sob and mewl his little heart away. He was teething now and such racket was getting to be commonplace. Kitty Pryde gathered the child-like creature to her showing she had the knack for calming those little tantrums.
'He's making it up now after being quiet for all those months. just when I was beginning to think we'd get away with it.' Kitty chuckled. the little Morlock belched as if in disagreement.
'How was work, did you propose that idea we'd discussed?'
The scene had morphed without jarring the momentum. This quaint domestic display lay plastered over the Alley's walls. Lamp stands, upholstered furniture and happy-go-smiling family portraits related to him a life, not familiar but somehow his own. One baroque framed photograph was of himself, pale of face and craggy brow relaxed in smiles with his young wife and sixth-month child. The latter was apparently himself as well, the same peered out over Kitty's shoulder and had been the creature that had scrabbled for safety moments before. The scene went on with its pseudo-social veneer.
Caliban sat, discarded his briefcase then loosened his tie.
'Oh just fine Honey, just fine.' He beamed. 'You know, Caliban did just like we discussed and guess what, the Master promoted him.' Kitty Pryde bounced in joyful acknowledgement. 'Caliban has an office now, with sun-light and everything.'
'So, you'll be able to finally get that revenge you've always dreamt of. Oh, Honey I'm so proud of you. Mr Apocalypse will finally see how indispensable you can be to the company.' Kitty kissed Caliban on the cheek, <smeck>.
The atmosphere cooled off, even the colour of the room bleached a little to aid in the gravitas. 'What's wrong Caliban, Honey?'
'Caliban, he had to invite Mr Apoc... Master, here, for dinner tonight.' She returned a glance from beneath a knotted brow. Little Caliban, still in Kitty's arms, cried. 'Caliban knows how the Kitty-Pryde dislikes Master but he has helped Caliban and he must thank him for his generosity.'
There was a tone at the door.
10-29-2006, 05:57 PM
The room had expanded, stretched by an unperceived gravity that now encompassed a well-appointed dining room. At the far end of the hall was the lurking abyss. This was what passed for the door.
The tone issued again with certain impatience. If it were to be compared to a substance the door wrapped itself about the incoming guest like an opaque film, vacuum formed. Apocalypse was present. The scale of him was indecipherable, for some moments he seemed to be of a vast architectural size. Caliban felt the need to crane his neck to acknowledge him, however his master’s presence did little to dwarf his surroundings and the scene still meandered on an intimate level.
‘Caliban offers his greetings to you Master, Apocalypse must make himself at home.’
‘Comfort offers but small trial, I, like the strong will sit and test myself with the floor.’ Apocalypse sat at the table regardless of his statement.
A delicious banquet presented itself and a multitude of previously unacknowledged guests were partaking of the foods and extravagant deep red wines. With only a vague sense of importance attached to them, Caliban recognised many from among the partygoers. Perhaps they were X-Men or old, long dead Morlocks.
The revel appeared ignorant of Apocalypse’s presence, or cared little for it. Caliban noted that his Master’s attention was focused solely on himself.
‘At last my Hellhound, the stage is set. This dish here…’ Apocalypse gestured to the array of roasted meats. ‘Will weed the weak from the mighty, all that remains is for you to pass me the salt.’
Kitty’s hand fell across Caliban’s shoulder.
‘You mustn’t, Caliban, Honey, please we’re your friends. We can help you!’
Caliban, perplexed, felt the air of nervousness usher in; the weight of a momentous decision lay on him. He was ignorant of its ramifications. The salt after all was there within the reach of everyone, even Apocalypse.
11-05-2006, 08:50 PM
‘The salt if you please.’
Apocalypse wore a long and practised smile. Caliban hesitated, aware of Kitty Pryde’s warning but at the same time he couldn’t find a reason not to grace his Master with the simple task he had asked for. Caliban picked up the shaker and made the move to offer it to Apocalypse.
‘Good, you please me, my Hellhound. For this you may eat from your master’s plate.’
It was the smaller Caliban that made his reappearance. Disgustedly, Caliban watched his younger self eat from Apocalypse’s food, smearing his wretched face in gravy as he attempted to pick a tasty morsel from off of the plate.
Apocalypse laughed. Hollow, like the rushing of air into a vacuum. His master cut a new slice and then another as the little Caliban wolfed through the proffered meat. With each offering Apocalypse added a sprinkling of the salt that had been handed to him. During this exhibition Apocalypse had not taken his eyes off Caliban, he offered no words but just continued to laugh a creeping horror that filled the lengthened room.
There was a terrible pause.
Many of the guests retched or those that didn’t; fingered chewed food from their open mouths or spat it back out onto their plates. Kitty Pryde choked and pointed a trembling hand to what Caliban had missed for his Master’s display.
Somebody or bodies had reached improbable lengths to prepare this banquet, quite literally. And Caliban’s younger self continued, with delight and apparent ignorance, to snap his jaws at his fellow roast-Morlocks.
11-16-2006, 12:10 PM
Caliban tensed, his heart pounded terribly that his body shuddered visibly and uncontrollably. The confrontation that had arisen between himself and this image of Apocalypse’s, taunting him so brazenly…
* * *
Caliban’s pummelling heart rate had metabolised a sensation that all about him had become fancifully unreal and where events would seem to bend to efforts of will. Yet its participants appeared so vivid that Caliban would neither discern between the fiction and the waking dream.
* * *
The Morlock forced his arm; it swung violently connecting with his Master’s own. The saltshaker, free to fall, shattered against the far wall and spilled its contents in an unusually profound manner.
Apocalypse’s retribution was without delay. The size of him, as terrible as it had been, pushed up against the roof of the Alley. The walls were now cold and metallic but buckled against the strain Apocalypse was putting on them. Debris fell. The partygoers screamed and made to affect their own separate escapes. The roar and clamour was tremendous.
Little Caliban was no longer present that was certain. No, it was himself that felt as vulnerable. Not without effort did Caliban attempt to float from danger. However the debris was rife, seeming to cover all routes out or manoeuvring itself to block his path.
With a cough Caliban raked at the dust in his throat. He coughed again and it felt unusually loud in comparison to his surroundings. In the ensuing silence of the tunnels, he heard only the creak and beat of his own body and the vessels as they pounded at the temples providing him with one powerfully lopsided headache.
‘Why does Caliban cough; there is no dust. The Alley here is not dusty.’
The Alley, cool and sterile was awash in faint blue light. With little importance attached to it Caliban noticed that along each of the tunnel walls was some form of bench or bunk. Caliban was on his back in one of them.
His friends who were at the meal in Apocalypse’s honour were behind him in the collapsed tunnels but Caliban could no longer sense them. Their mutant auras; that would have played like dancing lights to his mind, were blocked or perhaps a fate worse than his had befallen them. The Alley was once again empty of friends and family, the only creature that dwelt here was his own miserable self.
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