brief introductory scene for CLASH!
|Mae blinked her eyes vaguely she recalled a nightmare. Her eyes slowly found focus again. Everyone in her office had fallen unconscious in place. For many that meant they literally fell to the floor. Mae had been seated at the conference table when whatever this was, happened. She could sense a blanket of fear as large as the population of Sanctuary. Everyone seemed to be unconscious and tied up in a knot of fear.
Their worst nightmares played across their minds. Mae rose unsteadily to her feet and proceeded to ease her staff into physically more comfortable positions. Psychically she didn't know what to do for them. She also didn't know what had spared her. Or had it spared her, her worst fear was watching the people she led fall prey to something she couldn't protect them from. Mae pinched herself. No, she was wide awake, whatever had caused all of this knew that leaving her conscious with no way to help was the worst thing they could do to her. She was cursed with empathy and telepathy, the strongest of all of her people. She reached her mind out to see how far this effect extended.
All of Sanctuary was definitely affected. She reached beyond the planetary core where Sanctuary existed as corridors and artificial caves. All of the worlds she could reach with her mind seemed to be affected as well. There were a few other conscious minds scattered in the billions of terror-stricken sleepers. Mae tried to reach their minds but they were too focused on the unconscious terror they were experiencing. They also seemed to be psychically much weaker than she was.
Mae went to the display wall and checked the readings. There was no scientific explanation of this event, but she had learned in her long life that not everything followed natural rules. Her people, the factors, were in open conflict with the literal devil. Magic was not an impossible explanation. Somehow this felt like some kind of curse. She didn't know how it had happened but she guessed that the source of the attack would not be found within the Preserve. She focused her mind and folded space, stepping out into the separate omniverse outside of the Preserve.
She recognized the park which was the usual arrival point for people exiting the Preserve. She turned to greet Alexander, the honorary gatekeeper, only to find him lying unconscious on the ground in front of his favorite park bench. She brushed against his mind. He too existed in a state of total terror. She checked his pulse, for now, his fear wasn't too much of a threat to his heart condition, but who knew how long that mercy would last. Mae knew she had a ticking clock. The fate of Alexander and possibly all of creation hung in the balance of whether or not she could break this curse.