Testovací Sandbox Modular
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Ležel jsem ve sněhovém příkopu, krvácejíc. Mé srdce z posledních sil tlouklo, zoufale se snažíc přívést mé tělo zpět k životu. Žhavé uhlíky pomalu hasnou a prskají, přičemž se temnota vkrádá do okrajů zorného pole. Modročerný soumrak se dusivě snáší na mé hříchy, ach, jaký samolibý mravokarce jsem tehdy byl, že jsem skrz kouř neviděl hvězdy. Zaplňuje mé plíce a ty mezitím, ochablé a vyčerpané, zpomalují - jako já sám, věc, která bývala mužem, avšak nyní je přeměněna na umírající maso a stoupající kouř.

Matko, vidíš to místo, kde ležím? Vidíš tu krev, jež se nasává do mého trička?

Ale uhlíky rozpalují oheň a když zakašlu, tak ze mě vyjde krev, žluč a vzduch. Mé plíce jsou plné ledového vzduchu a já jsem naživu. Převaluju a plazím se, abych našel něco pevného k mému opětovnému zpřímení a s mučivou bolestí trhnu svým tělem směrem nahoru, čímž se postavím, hmatajíc po buku kvůli podpěře. Mé oči se přizpůsobí tmě - svou bodavou bolestí mi připomínají pot, krev a kouř z mého vlastního spáleného masa, ale nakonec, skrze noční klid, vidím.

I když jsem ušel pouze pár kroků, tak už teď vidím, kde jsem stál, než jsem byl vržen zpátky dovnitř. Kráter, dlouhý, co bych kamenem dohodil, a hluboký jako bazén, byl nyní naplněn hlínou a pohlcen ohněm. Postavil jsem se proti němu, přičemž se mé dýchání mnohem ulehčilo, a pozastavil jsem se nad nohou něčeho, co původně byl člověk. Jeho jméno - kde je jeho jméno? Moment, to se mi určitě taky vrátí - Morehead, žoldák najatý členem Rady, byl nyní zmenšen do něčeho menšího, než jsou vnitřnosti - jeho morbidní výraz bude navždy vyryt do toho, co dříve bylo maso na jeho obličeji.

Co je to ctnost? Odkud se bere? Je snad písmo ctnosti tak jednoduše poškozitelné? Jsou její základy tak moc rozpadlé?

Muž má pána a ten existuje v závislosti na pánově rozmaru. Jednoho dne se muž připlížil k pánovi a zeptal se ho, proč musí pánovi otročit. Pán neřekl nic. Znepokojen tím, jednoho dne muž na pána narazil, když zrovna spal, a zlomil ho. Pokud může být pán zlomen, byl muž opravdu otrokem?

Prošel jsem kolem pár ohořelých a doutnajících těl, přičemž se některá z nich stále domáhají života, jenž je opustil. Jeden po mně chmátl, chytíc se mé ponožky jeho rozpadlou rukou. Bazény krve v mužově puse a slzy rychle stékali po jeho tvářích. Jeho oči byly roztažené.

Prosím, prosil mne. Prosím, Bože, neopouštěj mě.

Bože? Kde je Bůh? Kouřící kráter a rozpadlí muži - je to snad ten Bůh, pro kterého se tento muž modlí? Zastavil jsem se a chvíli jsem na něj hleděl, jak se zoufale pokouší držet mé nohy. Kloktal a kašlal, dusíc se krví a následky jeho činů. Jeho vyděšené oči se naposledy setkaly s mými, načež se jeho pohled ustálil. Jeho modlitby nebyly vyslyšeny - ale ne kvůli lhostejnosti. Bůh, ke kterému se modlil byl mrtev.

Noc je zcela tichá, krom praskání ohně a větru, avšak všechen zvuk je brán směrem na cestu. Drsné chichotání muže znělo jako štěkot šíleného psa. Spatřil jsem ho, načež jsem se k němu vydal - byl nabodnut na stromě skrze jeho žaludek přibližně deset stop ve vzduchu. Uviděl mě, jak se přibližuji a jeho smích nabralo na intenzitě. Jeho jméno ke mně přišlo stejně, jako jeho pazvuky - Alderman, pravděpodobně vůdce bývalé skupinky okultistů. On, jako ten druhý, byl už mrtvý - avšak smrt ho pouze podivuhodně vítala. Jeho oči byly divoké, ale postrádaly ten strach, jenž byl v očích toho muže na zemi.

“Zdravíčko!” vykřikl na mě. “Zdravím a přeji ti hezký den, bratře! Vidím, že jsi to zvládl bez překážek! Jenom pár lidí může říct to samé. Ty a já, i přes to, jsme to přežili. Oba jsme se dostali na druhou stranu.”

“Co že jsme to přežili?” Zeptal jsem se ho.

“Konec světa, chlapče!” Znovu se zachichotal, jeho čelisti se třásly jako roztřesená vrána. “Viděli jsme samotný svět, jenž nebyl zcela dokončen, a poté se stal znovu celistvým - Nový Jeruzalém, ve kterém právě teď stojíme. Svět osvobozený od zázraků.”

Zatřásl jsem se zimou. Jeho hlas byl tak zvučný a jasný, i když krev stále kape z jeho propíchnutého těla.

“Nejsem si jist, že jste to zvládl vy, pane,” řekl jsem mu. “Ale nejsem doktor, pouze výzkumník.

Zvedl ruku z větve aby mi naznačil opak - použil obě ruce, aby se dokázal nadzvednout. Až to udělal, tak se jeho tělo lehce sneslo dolů, přičemž vydával zvuky podobné trhání mokrého kusu látky. Zavrčel, ale i přesto z jeho tváře smích nezmizel.

“Nesmysl.Už jsem to dokázal, jsem tady-” gestikuloval oběma svýma rukama, zatímco se jeho trup trhal pod svou vlastní váhou. “Oba jsme teď tady, ty a já jsme první děťi nového znovuvytvořeného světa. Jak velkolepé. TJenom to pomyšlení na to, že to došlo tak daleko.”

Jeho dech se náhle zasekl v hrudi, když se jeho oči protočili směrem k nebi, a na moment jsem si myslel, že jsem ho právě viděl umřít. Poté však jeho oční víčka znovu zamrkala a zakašlal, přičemž z jeho rtů vyšly sliny a krev..

“Jak se jmenuješ, chapče?” zavolal na mě dolů. “S kým jsi byl?”

Zaváhal jsem.

“Robert,” řekl jsem mu. “Byl jsem s Aldermenovými muži.”

Ušklebil se. “Ach. Předtím jsi byl jeden z mých, není-li pravda?”

“To byl, pane”

Na chvíli se zastavil. “Zapamatuj si to, Roberte. Zapamatuj si tento pocit. Och, ten pocit. Je jto extáze.”

NA další moment se zastavil, lehce zalapal po dechu a zemřel. Nějakou chvíli jsem u jeho těla postával, dokud mě chlad nedonutil si pevně utáhnout plášť okolo mého krku. Hledal jsem cestu skrze lesy, přes kterou jsme se na mýtinu dostali, a započal jsem svou túru k vesnici. Chvíli jsem přemýšlel nad Aldermanem. Přemýšlel jsem nad jeho tváří, osvícenou poskytnutým božstvím, křikem, svíjením a smíchem, jenž vypadala jako zvířete hozené do ohně. Přemýšlel jsem nad jeho slovy a nad pocitem, co mnou procházel v ten moment.

Měl pravdu. Byla to extáze.


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Při dlouhé cestě zpátky lesem začalo sněžit.

Osvětleny pouze úplňkem měsíce nade mnou, vločky sněhu tancovali kolem mě do rytmu nespatřeného bubeníka, jenž hrál pro tichou kapelu. Každá z nich byla na mé spálené tváři jako milosrdenctví, malá úleva před mými puchýři. Malá úleva od utrpení mé existence. Muž narozen do utrpení, rozjímal jsem, a samotný bojoval proti těm řetězům, do kterých ho jeho pán zamotal, aby dosáhl alespoň toho malého konfortu.

Vidíš mě, matko? Vidíš ty stopy, které jsem do hlubokého sněhu udělal? Cítíš ten dotek chladné zimy na mém krku?

Pamatuji si ten den, jako kdyby se udál ještě před pár okamžiky - jak mi došlo před pár hodinami psaní až do mé kanceláře ve městě a jak mě kočár svižně dovezl až do domova, kde jsem vyrůstal. Lituji toho, že jsem byl poslední, kdo přijel, takže jsem měl nejméně času, který bych strávil po tvém boku, abych slyšel tvé lapání po dechu, tvůj pláč a tvé poslední momenty před tím, než to všechno ustane. Viděla jsi mne v těch chvílích? Cítila jsi teplo mé ruky na té tvé?

For mine, the memory is seared into me as if by a hot iron. Your eyes fixed on mine, a moment of peace, a final breath, and then silence. Me, in desperation, shaking your body and begging for a response. The horror of that moment, mixed with the humidity of sickness in a musty room. The salt of my own tears, the last gasp of air leaving your breast - these all are now just as much a part of me as my own eyes, my own hands, my own skin.

And yet, in that moment of your passing I felt something burning within me. This feeling, rising and falling and rising again, cracking like lightning against my soul. What is it? The passing knowledge that life is fleeting and that all men die, played now before me at my mother’s side? What was it I felt when you slipped into that dark unknowingness, the power and rage and ecstasy of that moment? A life lost - the energy of the soul dispersed over the ether like water into vapor on a hot plate.

Now I am teleported to the moment it happened, standing in this dark forest outside of the village with naught but the moon overhead and the sound of wind and swaying branches. Concentric circles carved into the snow-soaked earth, scorched by the fire of incantation and sopping with the blood of sacrifice. A curved steel blade in the hand of the Alderman, his steps hesitant but his eyes wild with delight. There, bound in the center and moments from its death, a power - wretched and writhing - but held by these four arcana - blood, ice, moonlight, and steel.

[[imagehttp://scp-wiki.wdfiles.com/local—files/the-four-arcana/parchment.png]]

As the blade is brought down, I see your own bloodstained eyes looking back at me, mother. I see your grasping hands and feel the sweat of your failing body. I feel the power, rising and falling and rising again - this great and terrible momentum as the pendulum swings towards disorder. Oh, to break a body - this is a feeling without control or consideration; a horrid, wonderful, smothering feeling. Power - power to break, and power to be broken. This god upon the pyre, burning over the flames of blasphemy and want, screaming as it is made manifest for only the moment needed for it to be sundered and broken and then yes - the feeling. Oh, the feeling, the synergy of death and the soul. It is everything at once, a vampyric avalanche of heat that inflames the spirit.

I come through the trees and see the lights of the village closely now, and as I walk onto the street I see illuminated across the way a young woman, wrapped tightly against the cold and shuffling away. Her eyes catch my own and then I act - like an animal, uncontrollable as a primal desire seizes me again. Here under the moon, against the fallen snow, with her blood as the circle and my own long knife as the key I break her body. I bring the knife down into her, again and again, staining the snow and my own flesh in her lifeblood and completing the incantation. Yes - the moments before your death mother, and the circle in the forest. It is all connected. These moments are all the same.

And then - uncertainty. The power is there, the rising warmth along the skin and the damp heat of the breath mixed with her blood and viscera, the power of a beast of prey - but it suffices for a fleeting second. It is weak, and it sputters, and in that moment the primal desire turns into abject terror. This power, this ticking mechanism that I have fallen into and become wedged between its wheels is nothing compared to the grinding iron and blistering steel of that engine of creation and destruction that was obliterated in the forest. It is little more than gasping through a reed, clinging to a twig in a storm. I will drown in this fear if I cannot seize once again the ecstasy of that great rending.

But I am small, and weak, and do not have that knowledge of authority possessed by the Alderman and his occultists. There is no god that would answer to my cry for release, no primal deity that I could bind with my own hands. I am alone, and I am afraid.

Oh, mother. Did you know, in those final moments? Did you look into my eyes as your body faltered and see the piles of corpses in the dark beneath my father’s mill? Did you hear the screams of mothers and the cries of fathers as their children were dragged into those side streets and into the gloom of my horrible domain, and did you know the silence that would follow when those mothers and fathers are brought below as well? I cannot kill a god, mother - no more than I could save your life as it slipped through my fingers. But I can make due.

The door opens, and the screaming begins. One by one they are pulled from the pit I keep them in and dragged into the next room. Bound to this altar under the light of the moon, and through the frigid air comes I, the new harbinger, having traded my long knife for the great steel gear of my father's mill. They plead and beg and shriek, but the wheel spins and the wheel descends. I watch as it meets their bodies, as flesh is torn from muscle and muscle from bone. Man reduces to meat. Meat reduced to red mist.

I am no great student of mysticism, and I do not have their powerful incantations - but I have the spinning wheel of this dread machine, and the machine feeds me. Each new body broken upon my machine is like electricity in my blood, but still it pales in comparison. I am treading water, true, but my endurance has limits and the shoreline is so far away. The screams become muted and dull. The smell of blood becomes commonplace. The fear in their eyes means nothing. None of it can compare to the power of that moment in the woods.

I sit in the dark, alone. There are only so many bodies, and I have nearly exhausted this village. I could continue, but for what? I am digging up molehills and begging for them to become mountains. I weep, not just for myself - but for you, mother. I weep that your lessons were lost on me. We would sit in the church and you would take my hand in yours, strong and warm, and tell me to trust in God. Even now, cold and empty, I feel your dead hand on my own. Trust in God.

I look to the wheel, the great spinning gear of my father’s mill. His last, wretched gift to me. Caked in blood and gore, glimmering under the light of the moon. The wheel. Trust in God.

There is one child left among this group, one who prays every night and asks God to save her. She is small, and whatever minor relief from this agony of separation I would feel from putting her against the wheel would be fleeting, but I hear your words in my ear, mother. Trust in God. Could she be my deliverance? I have set her aside these many long months to languish in the cold and see if her faith could be broken - if she can be spoiled.

I keep her, bound and gagged in a small corner of the cellar pit for hope that her faith will be strong enough. Strong enough to fuel what must happen next. I have thought it over now for some time, and I cannot get the image out of my mind. I have been so preoccupied with the fleeting elation of breaking a person that I have not considered my wastefulness. In the darkness of my butchery an obsession forms, latching onto my mind like a parasite.

After all, if the ecstasy of breaking a body is so strong, and so intensely captivating to my soul, then what of the joy that comes with breaking a body twice?

I gather what I can from the Alderman’s books, and slowly I begin piecing back together those fractured peoples. The arm of the butcher. The hands of the smith. The eyes of the librarian. The legs of the constable. Piece by piece, until they are all together and all as one. The smell, mother - you would not believe the smell! It almost makes me sick, but I am too giddy to feel any unease. This thing I have built, this unbroken mass of meat and man, this is my deliverance. How many bodies are stitched together here? How many chopped and splattered faces staring back at me with those horrified grins? Enough, I believe. I believe it will be enough.

My faith alone will not be sufficient, no. I am not the pillar of virtue that you were, mother. I cannot reach out my hands and give this being a new life. But the belief of a child - this pure, unadulterated child, perhaps her belief can work my miracle.

I bring her into the room, under the light of the moon and in the chill of winter. She prays, as you prayed - and her face is filled not with fear, but determination. She believes more strongly than anything in the world that she will be delivered. I lay her on the table, under my grim machine, and for a moment I am overcome with her serenity. Then, as a cloud passes and the room is illuminated, she opens her eyes. For a moment, she looks at me and we are locked together - my hand on the lever but unable to throw it. Then she looks to the corner, where the mangled mass of my new messiah rests against the masonry, and I see a split second of panic.

I throw the lever, and she is broken under my horrible wheel.

The earth shakes and the mill groans, and once more I am standing beside you, mother, as the universe comes apart at the seams. I see grinding gears and bright shards of flaming metal - pistons and pulleys in an endless dance across time and space. Smoke and fire fills my lungs, and I am alight in an oil black sea that fills me until I nearly burst. I see the clearing, and the cackling Alderman, and in the center of the crater I see my wheel, embedded into the ruined body of a little girl. The ruined body of my mother. The ruined body of God.

Mother, do you see the place I am lying? Do you see the blood soaking through my shirt?

I stand, and I am no longer alone. My child - this daughter of my heresy, releases a pitiable moan. It grasps at itself, seeking answers it could not possibly comprehend, looking for some escape from this thing it has become. Mouth open and limp tongues roll out of them, eyes swivel back and forth in its skulls. Oh, my blessed child. My sweet and precious child.

I drop my wheel on it, and it is broken again.

Yes, mother. Yes, the feeling was there. Oh, and strong - stronger than any of them alone, and more than I had ever dreamed of all together. But greater than the power and wonder of that moment was that obsession that had been lingering in the back of my mind, ever since I first imagined my reformed child and first began to stitch its body back together. The parasite swells and roars, and this dream - this realized truth - is now the only truth that matters. It is the only truth that ever mattered.

Broken things can be remade, and broken things can be broken again.

Those few who remain are the first disciples of my new church - the apostles of an iron faith. They were the captive audience, converted by the authority of the breaking wheel and intoxicated by the deification of man's dominion over man. They leave the mill to spread the word of the new gospel, and before long more have joined our flock. They join me in the millroom, swaying and calling out as new sacrifices are brought beneath the glistening gear of the wheel and are shredded like pulled meat. They feel that power, and in their eyes I see the eyes of the Alderman, wild and alive.

Then - astonishingly - one of them produces a miracle of their own. A young man produces a piston that moves by itself, an autonomous machine, devoid of human intervention. He found it in a field near his home, and cannot explain where it came from or how it moves independently from any outside action. The congregation sees a strange piston, but their sight is limited. I look at the piston, dutifully pushing and pulling within its casing, and I see the twitching of a severed finger - a smaller part of the whole, a piece of something fractured. We worship it.

I give my decree, to go into the world and find these broken pieces and bring them back to me. There are no doubt a great very many, and we will need many more hands to carry the weight. The congregation is fervent and their zealotry is absolute. They return with other mechanical wonders - machines that should not work, gears that should not spin, yet are all driven by the same inexorable force. I surround myself with them, bathe in them, and the music of their mechanisms sings me to sleep.




























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I am adrift in an ocean of oil and fire, and above me hangs a spinning wheel.
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I sit in a dark room within my father’s mill. When he died, I buried him beneath the basement so his grave would never see the light of the sun again. In my arms is my son - the child of my union with one of the apostles - a cultist named Hedwig. Our son will not carry my father’s name. His name is buried beneath the basement.

My son will carry your name, mother. Bumaro. He will have children of his own, and his children will have children, and one day my bloodline will produce a child of such pure and authentic belief in this new god, this machine god, it will be unrivaled anywhere else in the world. Of this, my prophets assure me.

On that day, when that child becomes truly realized in its belief, my church will break its body on the wheel and resurrect it here, with me. On that day, we will bring that broken child out of the dirt and break it on the wheel again, and by consuming its perfect faith we will have the catalyst needed to undo the work done by the Alderman and his occultists in that forest. On that day, beneath the full moon and winter's chill, within a circle of blood and atop our steel altar, we will rebuild our Broken God.

And then bathed in the light and rapture of those four arcana I, Robert Bumaro, will break it again.

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