Fiery Creek Public Service Announcements, 31/08/2016

The following Public Service Announcement has been made public by Town Council on the 31st August 2016. Its aim is to let citizens know that:

  1. Well, this is embarrassing. Once again, a number of townspeople which include Vee have managed to stop the Apocalypse and restore town back to normal. They have even rebuilt the city, and made sure that everything is where it should be, even the teddy bear that you dropped while running out of your house, escaping with your baby from the monsters that were trying to kill you during the Apocalypse. Even worse, as they destroyed most of the creatures that had escaped the Fiery Creek General Hospital, they even destroyed the Hospital itself and have built a nice park in its place. What a bunch of fuckers.
  2. The asphyxiating vine situation is getting quite out of hand. The Council is in dire need of some horticulturist, gardener, or plant expert that could generously help the community by providing their services – and probably, their lives -, to control the vine that acts as a security system for the Council. No payments will be given, but we will thank you profusely – if you survive, that is.
  3. The end of the summer is approaching, and with it the heat wave that always marks the end of this season. The predicted temperature for the following weeks is going to be over 70º C, much higher than usual. We recommend you flee town as soon as possible. No lives will be spared.

Important Sites of Fiery Creek 15: Sloan’s AC Solutions

In the end of the summer, while the last heatwave hits the town and the desert sand becomes literally as hot as the sun, Sloan’s Air Conditioning Solutions is the place to go if you are still in possession of your sanity – not like the people who go to the Fiery Creek Municipal Swimming Pool, those people are out of their minds.

Sloan sells all sort of Air Conditioning machines, from the LG LT1236HNR to the Mitsubishi Ductless system. He has two dozens of machines in the shop to show, all of them on, creating the ideal environment to resist the hellish heat that is the end of the summer in Fiery Creek.

You would expect long queues and lots of people fighting to get into such a place, but, interestingly, there is none of that. Sloan built his shop with an interesting protection mechanism that only lets those interested in buying some air conditioning or air conditioning related services and people who are looking for a calm place to rest in to find and enter the shop. This has demonstrated to be an extremely powerful protection system, as Doris Waters has never managed to penetrate the shop – and, believe me, it’s not like she has not tried. One such attempt started the 10 year War in 2002, in which she took Sloan to court for not letting her inspect his shop. The system could not be taken down, and a few citizens like myself found a shelter in his shop during those 10 bloody years.

So, if you just want to stroll down the aisle enjoying the fresh air, or you just want to bring a book and silently read next to the newest portable LG air conditioning machine, go to Sloan’s AC Solutions. He will even provide the chair for you to sit there! One warning though: some buyers may think that you are an AC machine, so make sure that you say a few words and look human from time to time. You wouldn’t be the first person to be sold by mistake at Sloan’s.

History of Fiery Creek 15: Mary Clark comes back

Mary Clark came back to town on Christmas Eve. She had finally had her holiday, and felt like she had regained all of her strength. She was ready to hear all of the complaints that the citizens were going to have when she got to town. What she found was quite unexpected.

What now is Fiery Creek Old Town was all surrounded by an enormous wall, with several giant sections around it created for forests and food production. Several new neighbourhoods had grown around the walls of Fiery Creek, and it now looked more like a city than a small town. Mary walked to the Caliph’s Palace, where she found Ba’al at work, answering to some complaints.

“Hello?” she asked.

He seemed surprised. “Mary…?”

“What’s going on? What happened in town? It’s so… different“.

“You have been away for five years! The town has boomed in that time” Ba’al explained.

“Five years? But how could that… Oh, wait, I think I know. I took this nap that felt longer than usual. So, if it felt like I had been away for a month to me… That must mean… That I slept for five years” Mary calculated.

“I mean, you probably needed some rest. You did use a lot of energy when fighting against the Kitties…” Ba’al estimated. “It’s still weird, though”.

A new voice joined the conversation. “Mary? You look the same as five years ago!”

Mary turned around and saw Diane. She was a young, 15 year old teenage girl now. She had grown as tall a Mary herself, and she kept her long hair loose on her back. She was smiling at the Mayor. Mary covered her mouth in surprise.

“Oh my God, Diane! You’ve grown… Wow!” Mary hugged the girl.

“It’s been a long five years” Ba’al said, standing up from the chair and hugging Mary, too.

“You need to update me on everything. And we need to announce that I’m back” Mary said.

“It’s Christmas’ Eve. How about we wait until we’ve celebrated Christmas? You can join us on the dinner table” Ba’al offered.

“Oh, no, I wouldn’t want to bother a family celebration…” Mary said.

Diane interrupted Mary’s excuses. “Mary, we’ve celebrated Christmas together, with friends and neighbours, ever since my mother died. One more person in the dinner table will not bother any of us”.

“I’m sorry to hear about your mother…” Mary said.

“Don’t be. I told her not to go to the market that day, that she would get hit by a falling meteorite. She didn’t listen” Diane explained.

“Oh”.

Ba’al intervened, trying to change the path of the conversation. “Also, it’s been some time since we last saw each other, and you are an old family friend, so…”

“OK” Mary acceded. “But who is going?”

“This year it’s just going to be a few of us. My friend Erin Pyp is coming” Diane explained.

“Erin Pyp? Who is that?” Mary asked.

“She is the new Fiery Creek librarian” Ba’al explained. “She’s bringing her new boyfriend, right?”

“Yes, she’s coming with John” Diane confirmed.

“You have a lot to update me on” Mary commented.

They all walked to Ba’al’s home early.

 

Epilogue to the Apocalypse

The Horseman of Death rode through the desert, past cities and towns, across fields and through oceans. It rode the entire world, the entire realm, doing what it had been placed in this world to do: reap the souls of the dying, send them out of the realm and into a future that Death itself did not care about.

Death then crossed out of the human realm, out of that particular universe. It rode through the worlds, looking for the entrance to a place that it had not visited in a long time. The Horseman of Death was going back to the cavern where it had been born. Death needed to go to the place where they all had been born.

The Horseman finally reached that place, a secret hideout that nobody else in the known universe could access. Death transformed into a bipedal, human looking face. It took off the armour, and walked, just wearing a robe, into the depths of the cave, following a straight tunnel that went down.

Death opened the door – Death had always been the one to open the door, in previous occasions too -, and let the light flood the cavern. There they were, four cradles, disposed beautifully. One of them was empty, the same way it had been for millions of years now. Death went past what had been its cradle and looked at them.

The new Horsemen looked healthy.

End of the Apocalypse

The final battle was taking place between Laurel and Death. The Horseman was having trouble keeping up with her rhythm, and had even transformed into its “hovering skeleton with a scythe and a cape” form, just because it was impractical to fight such an opponent on horseback. Each time the scythe and the katana met, powerful blasts destroyed the buildings around them.

Death flew high up, trying to escape from a powerful katana blow which brought down half a neighbourhood to ground level. Mary Clark rolled in her tomb, still feeling the destruction to the public property that those two powerful fighters were creating all around town. It had been a long time since the town had been brought down to ruins, and she had grown used to the comfort of not feeling the destruction.

Laurel jumped high up, and kept fighting against Death. The wind around started to get hot and to turn at great speeds, sending tornadoes in all directions. The sandstorms travelled at great speed, away from Fiery Creek, gigantic masses of destruction that made it feel like the Oklahoma Dust Bowl had been child’s play in comparison. Most of the survivors just observed the fighters from the hole that had been opened in the Library.

Meanwhile, Ba’al, Vee and Amanda had finished off the last beast in town, using the sword that they had retrieved from the Registry of Lost and Found. Another bright cross illuminated the place where the monster had been slain. Amanda looked at the dozens of crosses that had been left behind only in that street, and could not help asking.

“Ba’al, you might be a fallen angel, but you are an angel anyway…”

“Yes” he confirmed.

“So, do you know how long these crosses will take to disappear?” she pointed all around them.

“Never” Ba’al responded, in a tone that left no doubt.

“Oh. That might be an inconvenience” she commented.

Vee thought about it. “I mean, it does solve the problem of lighting the streets at night…”

“Guess you are right” she answered. “It looks… very festive” Amanda added, trying to look for the advantages of having hundreds of giant light crosses all around town.

“We will get used to it” Ba’al said.

As they started to clean themselves up, Anne appeared running from a small side street. She looked quite worn out, and dropped right next to Vee.

“Hey! Are you OK?” Vee asked, as he held her.

“I’m just… so tired” she responded. “The Horseman of War had been chasing me, and I finally got rid of him. And then…”

“You do look tired. Let me prepare a herbal tea” Amanda said.

They all sat down in a corner of the street. Amanda soon had all four teas ready – she was always ready for a herbal tea -, and gave one cup to each of them. Their energy levels started to recover.

“What’s in this?” Ba’al asked.

“It’s my special mix. It has some camomile, and several other herbs from my mother’s home town”.

“It has a very… African kind of flavour” Anne commented.

“My mother is from Des Moines, Iowa” Amanda responded.

“Ah. Sorry”.

“It’s OK, not like I would get offended that easily” Amanda smiled. “This herbal tea is good to recover the energy”.

“Anyway”, Ba’al interrupted, “you were about to say something”.

“Oh, yes, so I managed to get rid of the Horseman of War, but then Doris somehow appeared, which was weird, because I thought I had killed her back in an incident in the Library, and she started to stalk me, and I have been escaping from her ever since”.

“Wow, that’s a lot of stuff” Vee commented.

“It is” a voice commented above them.

They all looked up to see Doris standing next to them. For some reason, she looked more sinister than usual, but, at the same time, she also looked ditzier, like something was wrong with her.

“I need to make sure that you are all fulfilling the town regulations” she suddenly commented, in a grave tone.

Vee shot her in the forehead. The bullet went through her skull, perforating a whole from one side of the head to the other, and Doris dropped dead at the spot. They all breathed in a relieved way.

“Thank you” Ba’al managed to say.

Amanda noticed something. “I didn’t know that Doris had a tattoo. I thought that she had always been against such a thing, because ‘only criminals get them'”.

“True” Vee conceded, looking at the ‘2’ tattooed in Doris’ neck.

“Now that you mention it…”

All three of them looked at Anne.

“The one I ‘killed’ in the Library… I think she had a number, too. A 9, maybe, or a 6” you explained.

“What could this mean?” Vee wondered.

“I don’t know” Ba’al said. “All I know is that we still need to stop the Apocalypse. And now that we have the sword and we have Anne, we can do it”.

“What do you mean?” Amanda asked.

Vee held Anne tight. “I don’t like the tone of those words. If any harm…”

Anne interrupted softly. “It’s OK, Vee. Don’t worry. It’s because of my ‘ability'”.

Both Amanda and Vee were surprised to hear this. “What ability?” they asked.

“Anne is not a very proficient magic user. She does, however, have the ability to use the magic in other people and things. She can use the other person’s magic to help them, or against them. I discovered this when she burnt Paula Gwynn, the secretary of the Fiery Creek School for Adults. She had not used her own power, she used Paula’s power to burn her” Ba’al explained.

“So, how can we use that to stop the Apocalypse?” Vee asked.

“It’s simple, really. With the sword and my help, we can amplify her power. The Apocalypse is a process that has so much magical power that we will be able to stop it. Then Laurel can let Death go. If Death is destroyed, we are probably going to have a lot of problems” Ba’al continued.

Anne took the sword, and, as Ba’al indicated, she sunk it a few centimetres into the earth. She kept holding it and concentrated on the giant magical swirl that was destroying the multiverse. She started to reverse its power, and, with Ba’al’s help, soon started to feel how the magic decelerated and finally went back to a normal state. It had all ended.

Laurel felt it, and stopped attacking Death. She floated in the air, using a technique that she had learnt in an ancient Indian temple.

“Have you felt it?” she asked Death.

“What?” it asked, almost out of breath – which was quite an interesting thing to see in a being that was literally all bones.

“The Apocalypse has been averted. Someone has reversed the process”.

Death concentrated, and felt it. “How could this be?”

“I don’t know, either. But this means we don’t need to fight any more. I am not interested in destroying you, and you definitely cannot destroy me. So I’d recommend you leave”.

Death understood. It turned back into its Horseman form, and rode into the desert. It was soon not visible at all. Laurel went down to Main Square and joined a group of nuns that had gathered to drink the lemon juice from the Sacred tree.

Erin and John had been together for quite some time when she felt it. He was kissing her in the neck, and she suddenly stood up.

“John, the Apocalypse has somehow been stopped!” she said, happily.

“It’s OK” he said, kissing her once more. “But let’s stay here for a bit more”.

“She smiled. “Of course”. She kissed him in the lips.

Looking at the blue sky and the sun, Mamma Luca and A. looked at Fiery Creek, at all of the people that had gone through this test. They had been successful.

“What now?” A. asked.

“Let’s see what comes. But we need to do a lot of memory wiping and strange event reversal outside Fiery Creek” Mamma Luca answered.

“That’s going to take quite a while, so let’s get to it”.

Hundreds of kilometres above them, the International Space Station got hijacked by an alien ship.

Fragments of the Apocalypse

The Horseman of Death felt the presence of the Horseman of War disappearing, and Death understood. War had been annihilated.

Death’s power, which had already been surging before, now peaked higher than ever. It had been that girl. The Horseman knew, it had felt her energy coming from the same direction before War had been destroyed. Death rode, looking for her, destroying the houses that it found in its way.

The Horseman soon found the disappearing corpse of its friend. The girl was kneeling next to it, examining it, looking at something. Her brown hair was untied, and she did not seem to be carrying any weapons with her. When she stood up, Death charged against her with all of its power.

“You woman!” Death screamed, rising its scythe with a surge of red power.

Death threw a powerful blow against her. The ground around them exploded and went in every direction, the air created gigantic whirlwinds that travelled hundreds of kilometres away, and several structures around them were destroyed.

Yet the woman was completely intact. She had stopped the scythe with a katana. The Lion turned around with a fierce look that pierced through Death.