In Memoriam

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Aynhaven

Her eyes subtly widened, but only in a way that confirmed what he had already known, that she had been expecting him and his returning memory.

He felt a strange sense of relief, but he wasn't completely sure why. She put her hands over her heart, and with the smoke like dress enveloping them, she cupped them as if holding her center within. He knew this action, he knew what it signified. Again, a memory danced on the periphery of his mind, one that had no origin or genesis in his recollection. Watching closely, a faint light glowed within her hands, followed by a soft humming. The sound seemed reminiscent of the eerie and distant tones he heard among the glass machine, around the The Hydra, spinning and exploding through the air in a harmonic dissonance that made his heart churn and fold. It made him feel strangely at ease though, and he briefly noticed he'd fallen to his knees into the grass before once again locking on to the phenomenon taking place before him. As the sound grew so did the light; her face and details disappearing behind a bright wall of shining whispers. This was The Procession, an act of creation by Persephone. He wasn't sure how he knew that, but he was certain it was true.

"How did I –" he whispered to himself, stopping as large wings of shimmering gold grew out from behind her. Large bronze gears followed by bizarre streams of oddly colored light shot out and contorted around themselves, and in his mind he heard a gentle voice whisper:

Machine.

It was that same dense utterance, but not in the chorus of thousands like from The Hydra; this was more singular, more calm, more feminine, and certainly more comforting. It was a voice that sounded wise in the eons, and as caring as a mother could ever be. He began to nod, not even fully understanding why.

Function as one. Function as a whole.

He knew her mouth wasn't moving, he knew she was in his head, behind that mass of white and loud light. She was committing an act of a God and giving form, absolute form – yet to what he wasn't sure. He finally found his foundation and wanted to choke out a confused response, but he knew she was still speaking, or at least wanting to continue her methodical and abstract creation.

Follow Aynhaven.

Suddenly there was silence, peace, nothingness. He was still frozen in place, on his knees in the grass. Persephone was gone, dissipated into the nothingness, in a space between spaces, or so he imagined.

What had she created? What did she do?

He looked over to the distant mountains as a loud and crackling sound began echoing from beyond their towering heights, deep in the emptiness of their foggy clouds and the sky's constellations above. It was surreal, as if they were calling out to him, as if they were reconfirming what Persephone had done. Glancing over at the meadow path, he realized the metaphorical and literal act of The Procession; the path leading down into the mountain's shadow led to a potential new world, one that Persephone may have created just for him. He knew she'd made this meadow for herself. The world beyond the mountains he could only imagine was made for him, created right in front of him even, potentially even more curious in its beauty and surrealism then these magical grasslands.

He got up, scanning his periphery once more, checking for Persephone anywhere in the distance. Her absence continued. Yet, along the dancing flowers and their caressing breeze, he knew she was still very present, even being out there beyond the mountains perhaps. This thought in mind, he made his way over to the path, stopping on it and staring down its way.

Aynhaven.

The mysterious word danced in his head. Was this the path to salvation? Or maybe an escape from this dreamy paradise?

He was somewhat uncertain if this was the right thing, yet staying here with the tree overlooking the meadow for eternity didn't feel right with his curiosity piquing what was inside and beyond the fog. He had to see the land down there, he had to see what was outside this mysterious world. He somewhat wondered if he'd be brought back to the darkness below the glass machine and The Hydra. Maybe he'd be brought back to the top of this hill below the tree again, or maybe he'd be wiped out of existence altogether. The possibilities were truly endless. He loved that detail; that there were near infinite outcomes, that anything could happen. It was something of an adventurous feeling, and with that in mind, he began slowly working his way down the path. The breeze remained as gentle as could be, and he took in the meadow's sweet scent with every breath as he came closer and closer to the blanket of fog reaching out to the path and out to the grass and its flowers, pulling space into the mountains, into the infinite. He could feel a certain nervousness, an uncertainty weighing on his heart or what he believed his heart was. As he approached and the mysterious fog began to consume everything around him, he glanced up at the sky, at the atmosphere above the mountains. He suddenly began to notice faint, shimmering gears turning and rotating, ghostly working the world's machinations from an ascendant perspective – a true instrumentation of a God, or perhaps an implement of Persephone, or maybe even The Hydra. They must have been the machine-works, the things running the story. A part of him wished he had noticed them earlier so he'd have had the time to observe them and really take in their alluring and curious charm. It was too late now, and soon he was completely enveloped in the fog, this - Aynhaven barely visible below his feet.

There was no doubt now, he was in too deep and he couldn't turn back. Whatever Persephone had made back in the meadow was out here. He was walking into a new world that he could only speculate about. All the same, something made by Persephone's hands could only be as serene as the meadow he imagined, and with that in mind he smiled, pulling forward, awaiting the strange land ahead.



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