Flashback! Notes From the Abyss Part 3 Chapter 1

June 28, 2012

So, today I’m posting the beginning of the first draft of part 3 of Notes From the Abyss. This one’s a flashback about the thing that caused the Cataclysm and set up the Macguffin that the whole series so far rests on. So.

Anyway. I hope you like it!


Notes From the Abyss Part 3 – Cyclical Times

Hunter took the helm and lifted the ship slowly through the break in the electrical storm and set the ship on a path toward the black hole. The Mori, Jarvis, and Jennifer were seated around him and, as soon as the ship started moving into the galaxy, Mori began to speak.

“Close Your eyes, Jarvis, Jennifer, and Hunter. Listen to my voice and be carried away into my memories. Six-hundred and eighty years ago, on Earth before the Cataclysm, the True Ways of Occult Truth were discovered simultaneously in the cities San Francisco, London, and Mumbai. The great magicians who first found the methods and means of invoking the Spirits, the Sorceries, and the Secrets funneled their power into one of those three in the very beginning. Mumbai laid down the Secrets in The Fundamental Order of the Mysteries. San Francisco laid down the Sorceries in Methods and Means to Control the Natural World With Quantum Willpower. London laid down the Spirits in The True Names of God and the Djinn. These secret societies of magicians and willworkers quickly shared their secrets, something that had never been done before. There, they first laid down the rules that they would follow. In San Francisco, the McCallisters fought for the independence of willworkers from any secret society. In Mumbai the Vayarajas fought to make a code of ethics that Bound through the Secrets any willworker who practiced the Arts, the same Binding that every magician follows today. And in London, the Mirani laid down the Names that the Spirits use to speak to the willworkers and the Names the willworkers use for themselves. In the research of the three Great Families, however, they discovered a dark power, a secret power, that could bring the world to ruin. Listen and live again through the eyes of those who came before you to learn the fate of the Cask, the Seals that keep it contained, and the Spirit of Fire that lives within.”

As Mori spoke, the minds of the three on the ship dimmed and faded until they felt themselves moved through time and space to the Earth That Was, seeing the tale unfold before them as it had come before. For Mori, time was a cycle, constantly churning through the same events, and he lifted the linear, limited understanding of the three mortals into his Plane to show them what he has seen and will see again.

He showed them the story of Horristax, the being of Rime and Fire. The Beginning and the End. The Final Power that was Sealed by the Great Families many years ago for the price they paid and the Cataclysm that was brought upon them by their folly.


Martha McCallister sighed heavily as she dragged her feet getting out of bed. She dragged her feet walking downstairs, dragged her feet to work, and even dragged her feet to kissing her girlfriend on the cheek as she came in. It was over a hundred degrees outside and there hadn’t be a cloud in four weeks. And it was February. In San Francisco.
“I can’t believe the gasbags in Sacremento still say there’s no warming going on! The city had to build walls around the peninsula and there’s still no warming! What the hell do they think all of this is!” Martha pulled her apron on and tied it gruffly then looked around her cafe. It was a small, out of the way place tucked into the Mission across the street from the Secular Organization for American Politics. After the class riots in 2108, the Mission was rebuilt for college graduates that didn’t have a home to go back to. Martha was lucky enough to be given a grant to open the Bangers y Maiz with her girlfriend Callista. Most days she loved getting up and meeting her there, getting the front ready to open while Callista prepared the bread and coffee in the back, but today felt awful. Today felt hot. Today felt wrong.

Callista Martinez sighed and reached over the counter and gently rubbed Martha’s back. “Sush there, now, the AC will kick on soon and you’ll be nice and cool in here, my Irish flower.”Callista turned around to make it easier to suppress her growing smile. “I’m sure when the tar starts melting on one of their summer homes in Greenland they’ll consider installing pollution controls on cars again.”

Martha sighed and started putting out the little table tents that projected menus on the tables. “You’re making fun of me again, Cally.”

Callista clicked her tongue. “Perish the thought, love. I’d never do something as baseless and mean as making fun of you for going on and on about the same thing every day when you don’t know what it’s like to live in a real desert where it’s never less than a hundred and ten and the air’s dryer than jerky.”

Martha sighed. “Okay. Different subject. This weekend we’re still meeting with the rest of the applied philosophy people, right? Sarah and Collin are in town and they said they’ve figured out something crazy about Silverman’s theory of mystic experiences. Collin flew all the way over from Tokyo since there’s a magnetic interference zone here in San Francisco.”

Cally nodded to herself for a second then agreed. “Yeah, I’ve been wanting to test a few things anyway and there isn’t enough information on this. It’s still really exciting, too, to be researching applied philosophy. Who could have predicted that someone would discover honest to goodness magic? And that it’d be a scientific system. It’s amazing, it’s why I went to college to begin with.”

Martha grabbed a big stack of napkins wrapped around flatware from behind the bar and started setting up the tables. “Good, I’ll book the place later this afternoon, then. I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks myself, especially since it’s kind of why we met in the first place.”

Cally chuckled from the kitchen. “Looking forward to maybe rekindling the craziness that was our first date?


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