5th June 2017

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Prologue: Backward Message In Circuit

Sunder…

Alsimeyr Continent…

Fetid Meyr, once untamed and toxic…

The smouldering land of Zomah…

The city, Smogpolis…

A ‘closet’ apartment complex…

One of the ‘closets’…

Late Myriad Era…

Living up to its name, it wasn’t much larger than a closet. There wasn’t even a sink, let alone a bathroom, but the apartment complex had several communal bathrooms, common rooms and even kitchens (your own padlocked fridge available, just for a small extra sum), so it wasn’t quite as grim as it sounded. The globe-shaped light in the ceiling was off, but that doesn’t stop descriptive narration.

Given that the walls didn’t have things growing on them, the complex was one of the better ones. The rent was still cheap though, and the owner of the room liked that just fine. It was clear the owner had other things in mind to spend money on. It was said earlier that the walls didn’t have things growing on them, but unless someone told you, you’d not know the state of the walls, hidden as they were behind bookcases, an expensive mirror screen, posters and various memorabilia from a staggering amount of animated shows, books, games and who knows what else.

An avid if unconventional consumer for sure, the uncomprehending would question ‘what’s all this Alsi elven cartoon junk?’. Had the owner cared about the opinion of such ‘normies’ he would have explained that first, it was animoo (as it is called in Alsi) not cartoons. Second, not all the stuff is animoo related. Third, animoo’s Godfather was actually a Huldre, not an elf. Fourth, get out of my hovel you filthy regular.

Had this person been a bit less magitech savvy you would have heard the hum of the latest and oldest in computer and games magitech. As it was everything was turned off, well and truly isolated from the power-grids of the crystal furnaces, and utterly disconnected from the ethernet.

The posters were for movies, MS (mirror screen) series and even plays, but by far the most common kind of poster was for the live concerts of bands. There was a lot of all girl bands, and they were of varying kinds of beings. Clearly the owner was a man who appreciated beauty regardless of it being covered in scales or having bark-like skin. Most prominent of these posters was a new poster featuring a trio of quite fetching lizard demihumans, each girl dressed in crazy feathered outfits with metallic beak-like masks. Emblazoned on this poster, apart form the details of time and place, were the words; Flambirdge. Standing proud, wings raised was a graphic of a flamingo with a great sword for a beak.

So, at first glance, just the dream home of a lover of certain flavours of media. Something however was a bit amiss. For a start, the whole contents of the room were arranged in a spiral, such that if you looked at it from above, it would give a disturbing impression to the eye, presenting several optical illusions.

Next, there were the newspaper clippings, with such topics as the actions of terrorist groups, merchant groups, political non-governmental organizations and other bodies of power. A lot of clippings were not newspaper, but printed paper, and some were written by hand. Some fresher ones were about something called ‘the Alterworld’

Lines of thread in many different colours were tacked onto these and formed a lunatic spiderweb connecting everything. Everything was arranged as if in a magic sigil, but since the world we are talking about is Sunder, perhaps calling it a magic circuit would be more accurate.

In the centre of this swirl of clear bright fiction and murky dark reality, was the bed of the owner of this space. It was more of a nest than a bed. Like a recreation of an egg in cloth and quilt. This nest itself spiralled, having an opening at the top like a chimney. It wasn’t clear if the bed was occupied or unoccupied.

There was a click and a whirr and one of the machines turned on from a timer set earlier.

A woman’s hissing voice spoke out from the machine.

You have one new message master~”

A clicking sound, the machine was far older than a number of its brethren around it. A new voice sounded out from the machine, this time, a young man’s rasping voice, his words skipping confidently over his forked tongue.

Hey, Picky, concert’s starting tomorrow, we’re meeting outside Luca’s gym. If you aren’t there, we’ll hold the funeral after the concert, since you’d have to be dead to miss this. It’s going to be out of this world man.”

A boop signalled the end of the message and with a whirr and a click, the machine was automatically turned off.