SERAPHIM

"The Divine Configuration"

Art and written research by Steelgohst

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Seraphim - attempt #01

Winter 2008 - With the creation of Seraphim or "The Divine Configuration", the goal which Captain Nathan Green had been working towards for nearly 40 years was complete.  

Pyramid-Gallery has recently acquired limited access to Seraphim.  Attempts to document it's surface have proved thus far an impossible task.  All photographs are difficult to make out, returning only images of dazzling light upon the damaged film, even when no such light is apparent to the unaided eye.  

Digital photographs return only blank white images, and attempts by our artists to sketch the box exterior have proved equally fruitless, with the mental image slipping away even as the eye turns to the paper.  On occasion, it has been necessary to shake research artists from an apparent stupor as they gaze blankly with faint smiles at the empty sheet before them.

The box has now been returned to NG Industries, and they assure us that any further discoveries will be shared with us.  Capt. Green himself is of the opinion that Seraphim either does not wish to be copied, or cannot be copied, as "She is the only one of her kind."


  

From the personal journal of Nathan Green :

I feel the need to put down on paper the most frightening and powerful of all my encounters.  It began like this.  

Since completing Seraphim in early February, nothing of any great interest had happened.  I did not know what I expected to happen, but to have nothing felt... disappointing, to say the least.  Then in August, I felt a compulsion to return to England.  So strong was the compulsion, that I was on the plane before I even began to wonder where this sudden need had come from.  But then I don't suppose I had much choice.  

She controls me now, as then, my Divine box... She knows where to go and takes me with her.  I like to imagine that I have some level of control, but I suppose that is little more than fantasy.  Still, she is what I have worked towards all these years and to complain seems childish.  

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Seraphim - attempt #02

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Upon my arrival in the U.K., I was left again without direction, and confused as to why I was here.  In early September, I felt drawn to.... somewhere.  I drove on the motorway, not really knowing where I was going, but with a great surety that I had to go.

Sometime in the early hours, exhausted and frustrated by my lack of direction or progress I pulled into a service station.  I attempted to bolster my flagging alertness with coffee and caffeine tablets purchased at the usual exorbitant motorway prices.

It was then that I saw her, and realized she was the one I had been unknowingly seeking.

My goal sat some three tables across from me in the cafe, she was nursing a paper cup of cold tea.  There was a lost, fearful and uncomprehending look in her red-rimmed eyes.  (I had learned by experience to associate with Lemarchand's damned creations)

My first feeling towards her was one of great compassion, but as I moved forward, her eyes unglazed.  She turned to me with a look I can only describe as... malevolent.  I sensed a mixture of hatred, anger and cruelty so strong it took my breath away.  For a moment, the world spun and my vision closed in like a gray curtain before my eyes as unconsciousness threatened me.  Then just as suddenly, the sensation ceased, and the young woman seemed as vulnerable and afraid as she did before.

She was in her early twenties by my estimate, but the lines etched by stress made her appear older at first glance.  Her hair was just beyond shoulder length, a brown so deep it was almost black.  So unwashed and matted, it was clear to me that she had been in this state for quite some time.  Her clothing was similarly disheveled, she could easily have been mistaken for a vagrant.  I noticed that on her dirty wrist she wore what appeared to be a gold watch with diamonds on the face, and her clothing bore labels I knew to be expensive in the extreme.

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Seraphim - attempt #03

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Gathering my shaken senses, I dusted the food crumbs from the plastic seat opposite and sat down.  Her expression changed again, this time to one of fear mixed with curiosity, but she did not speak.  I smiled gently at her to try and allay her fears and said:

"You don’t know me, but my name is Nathan, and I’ve come here to help you.  I understand that you are afraid, but if I am to help you, you must trust me completely.  I have with me something that will reassure you of my intent."

I reached into my bag and brought out Magdalene's Salvation.  I saw her flinch in the manner of one who has seen such a construct before, and learned to fear it before Magdalene's calming influence started to take hold.  Silently, I slid the box across the table.  She tentatively reached out with a mixture of awe and hope on her dirty, tear stained face.

With her previous tight expression gone, I saw that beneath the dirt hidden was a very beautiful woman.  As she touched the box, I saw the now familiar to me flurry of expressions as it's effects took hold and soothed her soul.  Then with a suddenness that startled me, her expression turned to one of rage.  She recoiled from my creation as if it's touch had burned her, and let out a scream that chilled me to the bone.  The anger slipped slowly away, and her expression reverted back to the distant expression she had worn when I first saw her.

This was completely beyond my experience.  Magdalene's Salvation was usually more than enough to help those in need of helping back to a place where they could begin to rebuild their shattered lives.  I had never before seen a reaction like this - for the first time in many years I was afraid.

As I sat staring at her, like an animal caught in the headlights of their approaching demise, her eyes flickered upwards so that only the whites could be seen.  As they rolled back down, the beginnings of understanding began to dawn.

Her eyes had been a pure bright green, seeming even brighter for the bloodshot redness of her whites.  Now they appeared a dirty yellow, no pupil was visible in the putrid filth that was now her gaze.  Indeed it now seemed her eyes were no more than fetid balls of puss in her sockets, and I felt a wave of nausea at the sight... not just at the vileness of the transformation, but because I had seen those eyes before.

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"Abomination"  by Steelgohst

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Her entire face relaxed as the eyes rolled down.  Like the face of the dead, her flesh hung from the bone before control returned.  The mouth spread into a smile so wide her lips began to split, and a thin trail of vividly red blood trickled down her chin.  Her head tilted languidly to one side.  In a voice like warm honey, now unnatural and horrific, she spoke.

"AAAAAAAHHH… AT LAST.... MY CAPTAIN.. "

She giggled softly, moaning gently in pleasure as her lips tore further and the blood flowed afresh.

"IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME BUT I KNEW YOU WOULD RETURN TO US. TO... ME"

Even though this face was new to me, I knew that voice.  It was a sound like ecstasy - rose petals dipped in cyanide, beautiful and lethal.  The last time I heard that voice I had been a young man with a promising military career.  I had been on war exercises in Syria when I had, quite literally, stumbled over Magdalene's Undoing half buried in the desolate sands.  

Fascinated by it's intricate design, I had spent hours studying and pawing at it's fine detail.  I marveled at how it's indeterminate amount of time in the desert sands had not managed to mar it's perfection.  Suddenly and inexplicably, the box began to move of it's own volition.  

I remember my fascination as it seemed to unfold like a flower.  It's petals began to spin gracefully and re-arrange themselves whilst playing the most beautiful tune I had ever heard, one which I have never been able to remember a single note of since that night.  I remember the petals closing again to reveal the box - the flickering red light that lit the black smoke which seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere.  I remember my fear as the torn and shredded figure crawled from the light before raising itself up with a regal bearing that belied its physical agony.  I remember the way the chains, wires and nails that held open its myriad of gaping wounds glittered in the hellish light.  How it's moans of ecstasy and giggles of mad pleasure had subsided as it grew close to my frozen form.  

In it's beautiful voice it had made me it's offer, and struck with me a deal for my soul.

It had sensed in me a skill I did not know I possessed; I was to be the new Lemarchand and create boxes for this beast and it's brethren so that they might sow their ecstasies amongst mankind again.  My reward would be power, wealth beyond imagining, and a place amongst their ranks when the end time came…

As it spoke to me that night, I knew it believed itself to be bestowing great honors.  I also knew with a crystalline clarity I had never experienced before that if I survived that night, I would devote my life to the downfall of this demon and all it's siblings.

Now, in the innocuous setting of a motorway cafe on a cold winter's night, a moment I hoped would never come had arrived.

" YOU FAILED US.  YOU BETRAYED US.  WE HAD SUCH PLEASURES TO GIVE YOU AND YET YOU TURNED FROM OUR GIFTS AND TRIED TO DESTROY US.  SURELY YOU MUST REALIZE BY NOW THAT WE CANNOT BE UNDONE.  OUR'S IS THE WORLD AND THE SKY AND THE SOULS OF THE CREATURES THAT SWARM ARE BUT PLAYTHINGS FOR OUR AMUSEMENT.  YOU COULD HAVE BEEN ONE WITH US, TASTED OUR DELIGHTS, FELT THE RAPTURE OF OUR AGONIES.  WHY WOULD YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON SUCH A WONDROUS GIFT?"

I remember that as it spoke, my mind was a turmoil of ridiculous musings.  Was I to die here, in a motorway service station beneath the strip lights surrounded by half empty cups of cold tea?  I remember noticing how the other people in the room did not seem to notice that one of Leviathan's servants was amongst them, possessing the body of this fragile young woman.  Indeed they seemed to me to be moving with incredible slowness, as if space time itself was under the influence of the obscenity sitting across from me.  Perhaps it was.  Never before had I even heard rumor of such a thing as now sat before me; the possessing of a human host?  Unheard of! Ridiculous!

I managed to regain some control over my tongue and managed to rasp a question.

"How?"

Not much of a question, my intellect was working at a much reduced capacity at this point, but it seemed to understand.

"I REQUIRED A MEANS TO SEEK YOU OUT, AND YOU KNOW THAT MY MEANS ARE RESTRICTED BY LEMARCHAND'S CONFIGURATIONS..."

Again she smiled the unnaturally wide tearing smile and new blood flowed.

"THIS BEAST OF BURDEN GAVE ME SUCCOR.  SHE IS THE ANIMAL ON WHICH I RIDE FORTH TO SEEK YOU OUT; BUT YOU INSTEAD HAVE COME TO ME AND I AM GRATEFUL.  YOU MAY NOT SIT AT MY SIDE , BUT I AM FORGIVING AND WILL GIVE YOU A TASTE OF MY ECSTASIES BEFORE YOU DEPART THE MORTAL WORLD."

At my feet my bag began to glow as Seraphim made her displeasure known.

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Seraphim - attempt #04

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Up until this moment, I had known that Seraphim was special amongst my constructs, but I had never realized by just how much.  All the boxes that had come before had been results of meticulous planning and reverse engineering of Lemarchand Configurations, months in the planning and execution.

Seraphim had come to me in a dream.

I had awoken with every detail clear in my mind.  A box of such immense complexity that it was beyond my understanding, even as I built her.  Her parts moved in more dimensions than just three or four, in fact I was left with the dizzying impression that infinite dimensions turned and twisted with each movement of the box in our world, that what we saw as a box was not just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, but the tip of infinite universes.  Every soul that had ever existed sang as each part of the box turned, and reality was unmade and recreated at her whim.

The bloody smile of the Cenobite seemed to fade, and the puss filled eyes portrayed confusion....

"WHAT IS...."

The bleeding smile returned.

"AAAHH..  ONE OF YOUR PRETTY CONSTRUCTS.  YOU MUST KNOW THAT THEY HAVE NO REAL POWER.  THE ONLY REAL POWER GIVEN BY LEVIATHAN IS FEAR.  FEAR IS ENEMY TO MANY, BUT FRIEND TO US.  FEAR MAKES THE SWARM DO OUR BIDDING.  FEAR GIVES US OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE IN CREATION.  FEAR IS, NOW AND FOREVER, SERVANT TO US...  AS ARE YOU."

And reality came to an end.

I cannot write here with any clarity what happened next, because I don't really understand what happened next.
I will write what I remember.



Light.



Brighter that a thousand suns, but without heat.  Blinding, yet I could see.  In it's painless glare, I saw something I had not thought possible; across from me the bleeding smile was replaced by a great gaping ‘O’ like a chasm as the yellow pupil-less eyes stared at something behind me, something I sensed of infinite grace, compassion and power.  I felt consumed by a howling storm that could destroy me in an instant, but felt nothing.  A sound unlike any ever heard by mortal ears screamed in the silence and left no echoes or pain in its wake.  Peace flowed like blood from a vein from the dizzying occurrence, pulsing and full of the promise of life and happiness to come.


Then it was gone.


Across from me, a beautiful woman in filthy clothes asked me where she was, inquired if she knew me.
I smiled shakily and in a voice that cracked slightly despite my best efforts, told her that I just came in for a coffee.



 


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