Eastern philosophy applies to all stages of life, from the smallest to the largest parts of the wheel that nature creates.
I do not hail from such a structure, yet find solace within the teachings based on its existence. A paradox I find myself in is only extended by the actions I now find myself to be taking. A balance of two extremes seems to be a common thread found on the pathway of the 'life' I have chosen, or have been thrust upon, depending on your view of the matter. This dynamic has even taken form in the compatriots I now surround myself in. Maximals. Predacons. Decepticons. Autobots even. I chastise myself to no end, finding no solace in the admonitions either. Each night I go offline saying this is the final night I do this, that the next morning will be the day I destroy those so close to me. Each morning I 'awake', forgetting the statements set mere hours before and continuing on as if nothing was said, no conclusion was reached.
I lie to myself daily for selfish reasons.
BEGINNING RECORDING, my other half chants in response to a thought I didn't even vocalize. Plans begin as another instinctive command opens a secure line of communications.
"Go." The other end answers, the voice a construction the same as mine, far from human in nature. I am the only one of us with any form relating to the humans we've found ourselves coexisting with.
"Portion Alpha of Phase one is go, sir. Omega will commence in forty five seconds."
"Send a communication again once Omega's parameters have been met."
No ending comment is required on my part as I turn my focus to the initial results of my scans.
Theta and Beta wave emissions are of an impressive range, but expected. Eldritch and hellfire were also recorded, the latter a little odd, if not for whom the owner of the house I scryed actually was.
Cross-referencing many of the new energy signatures with some of the Terrans' own scientific results had actually proved worthwhile. We now actually had a definition and scope of that which manifested itself within a handful of us so suddenly. I was able to call out and quantify that which I suddenly saw. Clarification such as these were the reason I continued to lie to myself.
I turned the devices area of use into a tighter cone, tunneling past defenses of both the mystical and technological. I almost was forced to smile when three Cybertronian defenses were routed. This one knew what she was doing. A worthy opponent perhaps?
The pool of natural energy surrounding her was unmeasurable. We knew that however, and so I focused even further, bypassing the woman's natural shields as I searched for the facts I was sent to uncover.
The subject of curiosity? Ananym Strange.
The question? Would that not be telling?
DR. STRANGE: MUTF #6
Written By: Alex Cook
The tell-tale signs were there. Noticeable neon fixtures proclaiming the obviousness of the situation.
Surrounded by a canopy of green shades, a monochrome rainbow covered the sky as far as the eye (or optical interface in this case) could see. A triangle of equal tone sailed through and between branches and limbs of bark and wood as it continued to enjoy the view around it.
It was amongst the beauty that Fractyl's sensors started alighting like a Christmas tree as a tendril of mystical energy was found.
"LOCATION BEING SCANNED," Fractyls operational AI chanted, its master transforming in mid-air from his dinosaurian visage into that of a mechinoid. Although largely humanoid in shape and features, Fractyl was in no way recognizable as anything but a machine. "LOCATION FOUND. THREE HUNDRED FEET NORTH BY NORTHWEST."
Fractyl changed one hand back to the pterodactyl claw he loved, and with a flourish started to dig deep into the ground.
"Mistress, the fourth Gem..."
"...has been located." Fractyls comminque said, Ananym always in earshot of her student's words. She didn't respond however, there being no real need and she had other concerns sapping her attention.
Three of the Gems were laid out on the table in front of her, their properties and chemical make ups being displayed on a screen near by. Three different sensor arrays attacked the stones, the dual colleges of thought they searched with fueling each test.
Their nature perplexed the Mistress of Magick.
Ananym was a scientific person at heart, the paradigm of thought being taught to her early on by Department H and its subsidiaries. Applying such processes to her now mystical lifestyle had proved very beneficial, as Fate had seen it fit to grant a few Xenotech, machines of immense size and origins, the gift of Magick, thus drawing them under Ananym's domain. Such was the job description of Sorcerer Supreme.
The Gems were tied to the Transformers use of magick, of this Ananym was sure. Once a Xenotech employed the gifts it had, a certain amount of mana as it was sometimes referred to as could be seen, by those attuned to such things. These Gems radiated the same type of mana Ananym had recorded by the Transformers she'd come across since she'd started as Sorceror Supreme. Yet, they also seemed to be awash in black dots of corruption as well, something prickling at Ananym's core as she took note of them originally.
How the Gems were linked to the Beast, whose banishment and the extreme energies used to bring it about was the cataclyst that started the alien visitors use of magick, remained a mystery.
On a separate table sat the fragment of the Golden Disc as Fractyl had refereed to it as Ananym had recovered. It was still as much of a mystery as the damn Gems, Ananym bristled. Twin code-breaking programs attacked the artifact, slowly reconstructing data files from fragments thousands upon thousands of years old core. How The Thinker had been employing the device was still a mystery, but Ananym knew there was a connection between it and the new Android she had fought.
The young magicians mind was a whirl with the enormous situation before her. Cold, calculated, and in control was Ananym's motto, but she was simply a human being in the end. Sometimes, stress gets to us all.
"ARRRRRGH!!" The Sorcerer Supreme shouted, flinging her hands up in disgust. Her chair followed close behind, tossed from under her as Ananym stalked out of the work area she'd been using in a huff. Manhattan's air welcomed her as she sailed out onto its winds. Try as she might, the old Witchfire couldn't dismiss the thoughts truly bothering her. The Thinkers taunts sent her way as they scuffled. The mere threat of mentioning her ...
Bile rose in Ananym's throat as the chrome around her cheek seemed to ripple in a small measure.
The mere threat mentioning her father's name. Sulfur permeated every memory she had of the demon. The Thinkers jabs had hit home, Ananym forced to lash out in anger rather then thought. He'd even gone so far as to say the Gems were connected to the bastard somehow.
The stars looked down on one of the most powerful occultist on Mother Natures soil as she meandered through the New York City night.
Emotion dictated so little of Ananym's life. She'd long ago stopped herself from being a victim of envy, jealous, fear; for the most part, anyways. Her infection by the Techno-Organic Virus hadn't helped her, only pushing her further away from human contact.
Perhaps that was another reason Fractyl's apprenticeship had worked so well. The Transformer was the farthest thing from a human the sorcerer could find.
Lost in thought, red hair sagged as if in defeat, the dervish came to rest, floating as she was in the middle of the air, thinking further.
"She's gone no further." I remarked silently, my other half transmitting the words in a burst of datapackets.
"You are near the site?" A voice of ice asked in reply.
"Yes, Master." My oriental tones answered, sensors performing a wide sweep of the area the Sorcerer Supreme had suddenly stopped at.
Moving no more, Ananym had come to rest, mere feet off the ground, in a complacent lotus like position. Fingers curled in a cryptic fashion as Ananym calmed her mind and thought through her current traumas. For a second the wizard almost looked like she was going to enter a trance of some sort. Bollocks to that, she finally surmised, to drowned in inner turmoil. Opening her eyes, Ananym looked around her, trying to figure out where she had in fact ended up. Glancing up to the left, down, to the...
The Sorcerer Supreme's senses suddenly went into overdrive. Due to her affinity with computers, Ananym almost saw the lines of mystical inscription in the gravel below her as binary threads of information. They shimmered for her, Ananym reaching for the amulet at her collar bone swiftly.
"Agamatto, show me the truth." Ananym asked the air simply, the pendant's gold covering suddenly irising open. It blinked once before a beam of gold washed the ground Ananym pointed it out.
Black circles appeared, slowly being redrawn on the surface. A circle within a circle design. Ananyms breath caught in her throat, memories slowly rising to the surface as the glyph was finally completed.
Started mere seconds before the Eye's cover was lifted, I hid in the shadows near Ananym's locationwith great care. An illusion that forced any who saw it to see the wall behind me, nothing more. The Agamatto device however would easily see through such parlor tricks, however, as I tensed myself to move if such a problem arose.
I find the woman very intriguing as of now. Suddenly, the chess piece has become aware of the game she is in. I wonder what reaction she will have. Will it be honorable? Or in the end, will she be as unhonorable as I have proven to be?
My pondering's are brought to a halt as my sensors alert me to a slight anomaly along one edge of the drawing.
The drawing chilled Ananym to her core. Why was he suddenly returning to her life? The ill portents and odd feelings of fear Ananym had been feeling plagued her as she was confronted with the facts in such an abrupt manner. The normally sure dervish was convinced she was through with the bastard. The recent chain of events proved she was much more involved with him then Ananym ever wished to realize. The side of her upholding a mantle of importance bristled, the woman retreating as the Sorcerer Supreme took over. Ananym, looking closer, took in all she could, using the Eyes brilliant light to uncover any secrets to be found.
Ananym had her suspicions about the gems Fractyl had been collecting, but something never quite clicked. She knew they were connected to a dark power, but now Ananym knew where the Bloodstones as they were called in fact came from.
In her fury, Ananym almost missed something. The Eye showed her the energies swirling around the glyph, tainted and dark themselves. Ananym had studied similar readings since she had accepted her task. In fact, memory crystalized suddenly as a passage she had viewed recently became pertinant. Pieces clicked together as the grand design finally seemed to show itself to the feminine mystic. All of it was connected, Ananym breathlessly realized, blood pulsing hotly in her veins.
The Transformers and their abilities. Stephan's banishment of the Beast. Her father. All the threads were in fact part of a whole, a tapestry Ananym had missed completely. Until now, the calculating side of her personality chimed in, offering assurance in the light of all the horrible information Ananym had uncovered in her random wanderings.
Fate lead its warriors to the battles that needed to be fought, someone in Department H had once told her. Ananym had taken those, and other teachings of the Secret Service Agency to heart.
Belasco be damned the day he crossed Ananym Strange's path, the soldier in her resolved.
Ananym felt the clouds of dispair lessen as her mind noticed something small and obscure. Her eye widened as a new twist presented itself.
Out loud, Ananym noted a massive fact that could change everything. "The Beast's being summoned again. But it's pathway..."
"... has changed." I challenged my Master, relaying the readings I'd catalogued to him quickly. The Sorcerer Supreme floated into the air vertically, her head to the stars as a look of determination set on her face. "The woman has figured it out as well."
"Sooner then expected. Very well. Omega is completed, return home." The voice akin to the tones generated by ice crushing replied.
It was as the girl had expected, wishing she could have placed money somewhere on her hunch. As soon as Ananym had floated upwards, the Xenotech who'd been following her bolted away. More proof of the theory forming inside her head. There was a reason that the Transformers she had uncovered had taken such an interest in her. At first Ananym had missed the glyph the magickal embedded technology had been using. Now she knew her father was some how involved in all of this, and the reason for their sudden interest. Following the Samurai garbed Transformer from above, Ananym noted the node of energy it ran toward. Was this the lair of her watchers?
Ananym decided it was time to have a little surveillance session of her own.
Surveillance and awareness were two pillars of thought Ananym preached. Fractyl employed neither as the darkness gripped his Matrix.
The wind of the jungle still carried the electronically created words that had magickally forced the Xenotech offline. Fractyls receivers barely registered it, no longer working before his multi-ton frame crumpled to the floor.
Not a few feet from him, the Bloodstone the mystic who still stood had been sent to recover sat, peacefull as a rage of stormy colors danced along its surface. Fingers of leopard skin, metallic fur growing chaotically along the 'skin', grasped the stone, holding it gently.
"Bantor reporting. The Bloodstone is secure."
NEXT ISSUE: Tangents spin together as we enter the finall few issues before the conclusion of the.matrix.grimore .
I got this issue out a little easier this time around, but I've made some small errors throughout that I'm gonna have to fix next issue(part of reason there was a delay, I had to figure out HOW to save my ass). THEN I get to wrap it all up to close this series out at number ten. This has always been a limited series, and now that this issue is done, I can get to telling the answers to all the questions posed.