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The Bitter Truth (Dark Aether)

The town hall meeting had gone unexpectedly and thankfully without incident. Kris was relieved for it until he heard the voice of the knight of the Malkuth calling out after Avariel. He found himself jumping up with Stormy, Scald and Cyan to run out of city hall after him to find answers, but no sooner had he gotten out into the snow than other scents assaulted his nose despite the stifling cold as the others ran off down the street, not noticing he wasn’t right behind them.

New flesh, high voltage, the void…  He stopped at the bottom of the steps on the sidewalk, turning his head as his ears took in the sounds around him, the crunch of snow at the other kids stopping down the street, their heartbeats thudding rapidly in their chests along with Sebastian’s, the ticking of Avariel’s inner workings all muted by the muffling snow. And there across the street at one of the hotel’s outdoor tables, the sound of another heartbeat, the smell of new flesh strained by power.

Kris strode across the street, addressing the man in a calm tone “Mr. Jason Moriarty..?”

The man barely glanced up at him “Who wants to know?”


 Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I’m Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein…

Jason Moriarty: hmm i believe we met once before yes?


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Briefly, yes…

Jason Moriarty: at the house of Dagon

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein nods.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I’ve been noticing your apparent health troubles…


 Jason Moriarty: please have a seat

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Thank you

Jason Moriarty: so i have apparent health troubles?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Your body is having trouble coping with the energy you wield, isn’t it…?

Jason Moriarty: this body is not my own

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It shows in the bruising around your eyes, nose and mouth, and I imagine all over your body..

Jason Moriarty: it was created long ago for me

Jason Moriarty: but it is suffficiant enough for the task i was chosen for


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Chosen for… By other forces…? Do you willingly dance to their tune?

Jason Moriarty: none of us are willing

Jason Moriarty: we like to think we do

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I suppose..


 Jason Moriarty: we like to make ourselves feel important, we invent gods and rituals to make us feel worthy of something

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Because we need it to cope and deny the truth… there’s nothing wrong with that..

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It keeps people sane.. or at least the more common definition of it…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: You seem rather calm enough… Can I ask.. when you lashed out at Gadget and Nat… the two urchins… Was it for their own protection?

Jason Moriarty: indeed

Jason Moriarty: and we only go insaine when we deny the truth

Jason Moriarty: you seem like someone who knows the truth, yet you allow yourself to take part in the silly games these towns people play


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I do… and I play the games because it’s a happier life… It’s not always so bad to live the lie…

Jason Moriarty: you know all this will be gone in a week or so you should sit back and just wait

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Do you truly wish this all gone?

Jason Moriarty: wish?

Jason Moriarty: ha ha wish

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Want then…

Jason Moriarty: i once wished to be happy, to be accepted for who i was


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It was taken away from you, wasn’t it…?

Jason Moriarty: and i was given that only for it to be torn away from me again

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein frowns softly.

Jason Moriarty: whats the use of a world that will not allow you to have what you want

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Is that when you turned against the world…? Against the pretty lies…?

Jason Moriarty: i did not turn against the world the world turned against me

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: My heart breaks for you, Moriarty… I’ve been in your position… And I almost find myself slipping into it once again, just barely my toe dipping into the waters to feel the chill…


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: But there has to be some hope for you, isn’t there…?

Jason Moriarty: spare me your pity, and your meer acknoledge of a heart shows you still do not fully grasp the truth of existence

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I hear the whispers… nothing matters… vanitas vanitatum omniam vanitas…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: But it is both truth and a lie…

Jason Moriarty: sitting their with your romantic glazed look


 Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: We do matter because we matter to each other… We matter because we make ourselves matter in this life, in this world…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Humans most of all…

Jason Moriarty: you romantisise the truth and in doing so paint a layer of lies you yourself believe in in order to get by

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: So fragile and weak, but with the biggest dreams to create entirely realities out of…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Mr. Moriarty… Perhaps you aren’t so full of the truth yourself… I wonder if you’ve painted yourself your own lies… to feed and sate your hate and anger at the injustices perpetrated upon you..

Kris paused for a moment, his head turning towards the street as the sound of footsteps reached his ears, the wind carrying the scents of his three previous companions, the air flow confirming their shapes to him as Stormy darted around behind the wall, shortly followed by Scald and Cyan. His attention quickly returned to Moriarty as he spoke again.


Jason Moriarty: ha ha ha, i paint lies, i’ve learnt the art, but for whats t come, i need do nothing except just be what i am

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: A destroyer?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: And what then?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: When they are done with you…

Jason Moriarty: the bringer of truth

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein shivers, closing his eyes.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: But the truth is void..

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It is as meaningless as it’s message.

Jason Moriarty: oh so you do understand

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: What Will you do when it’s done with you…? Cease? Simply let it end you too?

Jason Moriarty: i will do nothing, i will be free

Jason Moriarty: the walls that confine me and hate me will be stripped away and i shall be layed bare and my existence will be void but free

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: You never have any desire to return to the lie…?


 Jason Moriarty: understand this, i have not chosen this path, i resited at first, but soon i became aware that all this was chosen for me, at least i have a purpose, even if not chosen

Jason Moriarty: the lie i lived was destroyed there is no way of returning to that lie

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: You would rather that than a self given purpose of your own choosing…?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: No, but there are always new ones…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Some that can heal the pain…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: At least in part.

Cyan Rayna whispers to Stormy “It seems odd that Jason is having a civil conversation.”

Jason Moriarty: but you dont have a choice, you make it up, you dont have a choice, what you believe you choose is a lie, you donteven matter

Stormy Stillwater just nods and says nothing


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: There is always a choice, Moriarty…!

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Even if it is a lie!

Jason Moriarty: if you believe that then you are as dellusded as those urchins hiding behind the wall

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It is still a choice… and we can choose to ignore the truth and it’s horrible whisperings.

Scald flailed his arms a little in panic beside Stormy, moving closer.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein smirks softly.


Stormy Stillwater shouts: I’m not an urchin, ya pasty faced twit!!

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: My beloved, my son and a friend…

Jason Moriarty: they will die

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Everyone dies eventually.


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: That’s when the truth gets to have us… Why rush it?

Jason Moriarty: they will die painfully screaming


Jason Moriarty: trying to keep hold of their deluded lives to the bitter end


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: And what if someone kills you before you fulfill your purpose?

Jason Moriarty: people have tried this before

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: There are so many in this town who wish to see you dead… Moriarty… I don’t want to see that happen…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Tried and failed, but sometimes people get lucky.

Jason Moriarty: i am byond that

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: No one is…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I’m beginning to think the truth is lying to you… chosen? Why would it choose anyone at all?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: We’re all pawns to it.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Things to use and discard so easily so it can have it all.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Aren’t we?


Jason Moriarty: indeed

Stormy Stillwater Smirks

Jason Moriarty: i have died twice before

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Being chosen is just as much a lie as our own little happy lives…

Jason Moriarty: and they keep bringing me back, and each time i am closer to what they desire of me

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: That doesn’t mean they will win…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: There is a reason people fight for the lies, Moriarty…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I firmly believe if everyone in New Babbage knew the truth… they would still fight wholeheartedly for the lies…

Jason Moriarty: when you have been where i have been and seen what i have seen, when all is stripped away to the bare canvas.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I have… And I still decided to come back, Moriarty…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It’s never too late…


Jason Moriarty: we shall see as i will be peeling back the covers for everyone to see the truth and we shall see wether the people choose to fight or simply crumble at the knowlage presented to them about their existence and society

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: You’ve read the writer’s book, yes…? What do you think?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein smiles softly.

Jason Moriarty: makes no difference, reading the future or the past, makes no difference, what is to happen will happen

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: You are about to go through so much pain, Moriarty… And while you may kill many of us… We won’t let this city fall..

Jason Moriarty chuckles

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: That power you wield is eating up your insides… and soon it will consume your body as you blindly march in to fulfill your purpose…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein sighs softly.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It’s not too late to stop it…

Jason Moriarty: you speak of choice, but once you are shown that you do not have a choice, then you will not choose to stop anything

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: We could help you…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I can’t be the only one in this town who wishes to save you….

Jason Moriarty: your disgusting feelings are misplaced

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I don’t care that they are, Moriarty.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I’ve heard stories of your past… you held so much promise… and love…

Jason Moriarty: i will kill your son


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein’s ears tip back.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I won’t allow it…

Scald swallows hard, clinging to Stormy’s arm.

Jason Moriarty: it’s going to happen, and you know this

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I know that the future is never set in stone.

Jason Moriarty: yet you sit here talking to me about caring and wanting to help me?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I have seen events almost identical to what’s been unfolding here.

Stormy Stillwater puts an arm around Scald and shakes his head

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I chose to become a healer for a reason, Moriarty…

Jason Moriarty: a mis guided decision im sure

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I once stood in your shoes…

Jason got up from his chair and strode to the corner of the building where the three youths had been listening in.

Jason Moriarty: which one of you is his son?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein growled, springing up from his chair to dash after Moriarty, almost slipping in the snow as he stopped between him and his family and friend.

Jason Moriarty: step forward so i can show your father the truth of what is to happen


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I won’t let you near them, Moriarty!

Stormy Stillwater looks to Moiarty and steps infront of Kristos

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Stormy, get out of the way…

Jason Moriarty: then you are as much devoted to the lies as anyone else here

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein pulls him back.

Stormy Stillwater hisses as Moriarty walks away

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein sinks to his knees, shaking.

Scald leans down to hug Kris.


Stormy Stillwater places a hand on Kristos and kneels down with him “It’s alright, it’s alright.. He’s gone..”

Cyan Rayna feels awkward listening in on the conversation

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein rests a hand on both Scald and Stormy’s. “Stormy… if he had zapped me… I wouldn’t have been able to stop him from hurting any of you…”

Stormy Stillwater Shook his head “I would never let him hurt Scald. .you know that..”

Cyan Rayna: Neither would I.

Scald blushes a deeper shade of green.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: But I couldn’t let him harm either of you either..!


Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein picks himself back up from the ground.

Cyan Rayna: Yes but we choose to protect him… just like you did.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I wish you three hadn’t come so close…

Cyan Rayna: And I think that’s what Jason will never understand.

Stormy Stillwater: Kristos.. What did you expect me to do?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: No… he’s given up on it it seems…

Stormy Stillwater Nods “Just as well. .he’s not even human anymore..”

Cyan Rayna: We actually didn’t know what was going on at first, just knew you didn’t follow us.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein squeezes Stormy’s shoulder. “That’ never stopped me…”

 Stormy Stillwater: Your more of a man than he ever was…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein shakes his head softly.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I wish we could convince him he doesn’t have to do this… He had a good heart once, I’m sure of it…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Pain drove him to this…


Stormy Stillwater: That’s no excuse…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein sighs heavily.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: It is all the excuse he needs…

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Did you manage to catch up to Sebastian?

Stormy Stillwater: He’s become a monster because he didn’t have the will, or the drive to stay human.

Stormy Stillwater: Yes..

Stormy Stillwater: but it was less informitive than we hoped

Stormy Stillwater: He seemes to of set up a meetign with Miss Falcon.

Stormy Stillwater: That’s al lwe know

Cyan Rayna: He was worried the crab monsters might be listening though… WHich I didn’t know they had ears.

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: When?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: And where?

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Mm, you don’t need ears to hear.

Cyan Rayna: Just before he left Ms. Avariel

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: Just as I don’t need eyes to see


Stormy Stillwater: The power station. .thsi time tomorrow,

Cyan Rayna: Well at 2 tomorrow.

Cyan Rayna: Or maybe 2:30

Dr. Kristos Sonnerstein: I think we should make an effort to be there then…

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