Gifts

Mike Lane

The dark is generous.

In a world bereft of joy, empathy, or the power of the human spirit, the darkness always provides for its own. Just as the Tap Room is besieged by infection and decay threatening to burst forth, so is the Shadow beset upon all sides by powers that many could never understand. But that’s the folly of those who are too blind to see.

For the gifts of darkness have already been bestowed upon its avatar.

Its first gift is concealment. Our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from us the truths of others. Mother has existed for time untold, forever penetrating the hearts of mankind. That she has come forward in recent years is a credit to the dark, for it has concealed her and her creatures for so long. The dark protects us from what we dare not know.

But the Shadow knows.

The second gift of the dark is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night’s embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in day’s harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that the dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it is day that is temporary. That is the nature of a Virus, isn’t it? All one has to do is wait it out. As long as one survives its onslaught, then it will eventually be destroyed by the body it fights within.

Because day is the illusion. The darkness only endures its stay.

The third gift of the dark is the light itself. Days are defined by the nights that divide them. Stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel. Because the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the center of its own self. Lux Bellator shines brighter than all, but his light is defined by the darkness that he steps within, whether it be his father, Solomon Rhodes, or now Noah. The truth is that Lux Bellator is a stain on the true order of things, his existence an abomination in the eyes that created him.

Because with each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins.

And that holds true each and every day. These three creatures believe that they fight for something, they believe that their cause is just. DTR fights for family. Lux Bellator fights for God. Mother fights for vengeance. Yet they are nothing more than the passing day, a setting sun on the eve of a new world. Because just as the dark conceals, fights off infection, and outlasts the day, it also refuses to cease doing what it has always done.

The darkness has raised its avatar. The Shadow has risen, and power is my passion. War is my way. Three faceless lights rise out of the abyss, and before them rests the Shadow, and it will do what it has done every single day for time untold.

Endure.