The Fine Balance Posted August 22, 2008 Share Posted August 22, 2008 Wind wherein seas and stars are shakenShall shake them, and they shall not waken; None that has lain down shall arise; The stones are sealed across their places; One shadow is shed on all their faces, One blindness cast on all their eyes.In the morning the city woke. The wind started blowing.Swansea was a Modern Marvel, a Triumph, a Social Experiment (well, not really) that had come into full fruition. It was a city where crime had been all but elimited. The reason for this was simple, obvious, and very strange: Swansea had more metas than any city in Washington state; hell, in the world! Why?If anybody knew, he, she, it, they, hit, ey, e, or we are not telling, and it seemed that nobody did. Those metas spoken to could really give no rational explanation for their presence in the city. When had anything about metas ever been rational?Is there something in particular they wanted? Sure, but most of the time it was a personal sort of thing that would not appeal to metakind as a whole. Ones geriatric relatives, while doubtless worth a king's ransom to you, are not a big draw to crime-fighting superheros and other related wannabes.Was there something very agreeable about the city from a meta point of view? Well, it did have some of the laxest power-related laws in all of the increasingly-less-centrist United States, but that could be an effect of the high meta population as much as a cause.Did they feel some strange calling to the city? No. No, they didn't. And the issue remained an intriguing but ultimately frustrating mystery.And so on August 12, 2008, in the city of Swansea, at about five o'clock in the morning, something very amazing happened. Or a series of very amazing somethings amazingly happened around something like five o'clock. Or something.The first thing was this: at precisely 4:59 a.m. twelve glowing squares appeared directly over the Alms Building, the headquarters of a semi-prominent charity, hovered for 26 seconds and then disappeared in a flash of light and an audible buzz. This was not without precedent, of course; strange unidentified lights in the sky were a pretty well-documented phenomenon with all sorts of explanations of varying believability. What made this different was that the squares appeared about twenty feet above the roof and actually warped the glass windows of the building and blackened the roof with the intense heat. Later radiation tests revealed an unhealthy number of gamma rays having been shed. Creepy.The media had all sorts of fun with it, of course, as fast as they were able, and by about 6:00 they were offering many elaborate, unconvincing explanations. This was pretty clearly Fortean phenomenon.And that was just the beginning.From 5:00 to 5:10 it rained fish. Goldfish, to be precise. Silver ones. They didn't seem to mind, and thoughtfully did not splatter on anyone. A few hours later they vanished.From 5:00 to 5:05 geometry stopped working for a small family of carnivorous mutant fungi in the subway, but nobody really noticed until several days later, when an outbreak of allergy-causing shadows on the walls resulted in a purge of all fungi and bacteria by the local vitakinetic and computer nerd, Symbiosysop.From 5:15 to 5:45 the sun turned a very unbecoming shade of puke green.From 5:20 onward the city's boundaries curved in on each other...the rest of the good ol' US of A seemed to vanish. Travel through one end of the city and you end up at the other end of the city. Pretty inconvenient.And from 5:30 to the rest of the day people were rather concerned. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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