God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. -Friedrich Nietzsche April 3, 2012 New Orleans, LA A man stood at the foot of a statue in a park, looking out upon the river and watching the clouds kiss the horizon. Passers-by would likely tell you that he was a very ordinary-looking man, with same-ish features and typical hair and boring, perfectly commonplace, ordinary clothes- that is, if they noticed him in the first place. What they wouldn't tell you and what they couldn't know was that this man was not a man at all. He was something else entirely. And he was waiting. His hand smoothed over the base of the monument, tracing the clean ridges hewn into the side. It was not an old statue at all, as statues go, and the few years that it had been standing there had not yet begun to visibly wear at the surface. This was simply a new thing in an old place, representing old events and old ideas for a new generation. "Why here?" a voice asked from behind him, and he turned to give the querent an indulgent smile. "This statue is beautiful," the man answered, pointing up at the sculpture. "It represents many of the best aspects of humanity. Willpower and endurance in the face of so much adversity. Family. Dreams. The completion of great journey, both in terms of a lifetime and a physical distance." His words did not seem to impress his companion, if the look he received was any indication. The reply followed suit. "It could also be said to represent greed, suffering, and capitalism. Look at their faces. Do they seem happy? Hopeful? And the other figure, the one reaching up to the heavens. She's turned her back on them." "You're mistaken," the man informed the other mildly, shaking his head. "She's what they're looking up to." A breeze blew in from the water and past the pair as they contemplated the statue together in silence. It did not touch them, did not muss their clothing or catch at their hair. "...I never understood you," the second comer spoke at last. "I know." "Do you also know why I've come?" A step, and the distance between them lessened, but the man did not move to recover any ground. His arms remained loose at his sides, and he simply met his companion's gaze with a measure of expectancy. "Of course I know," was all he said. "Then you know what comes next, too." Another step, and then another. They were close enough now that it was intimate, in a way that only family or lovers would dare to approach. The man laughed under his breath as he remembered something he'd heard once about what it meant when someone held eye contact for more than six seconds. But he doubted that his amusement would be shared. "No one knows what comes next when they're involved," he said instead. "They're full of surprises. You don't know what you're up against." "You can't talk me out of this. It's already begun." The note of regret was there, as the man had suspected it would be, and his smile turned wistful. "It began a long, long time ago. The only question is and always has been this..." The man lifted his eyes to the stone figures framed against the blue sky, to the star in the outstretched arm of the lone woman. "How will it end?" A Few Days Earlier Abraham Savage was going to kill his sister. "Fuck!" he swore with feeling, scrubbing at his scalp and blinking away the black, viscous goo which was even now dripping in globs down his face and gunking up his eyelashes. Unfortunately, the only thing that the expletive got him was that some of the tarry stuff splattered into his mouth. Face screwing up, he spat violently into the sink of the motel bathroom and prayed to God that whatever this stuff was turned out to be non-toxic. Not that Abe particularly believed that God was listening. "Next time we go with my plan, Moriah!" he yelled, tossing his stained t-shirt in the direction of the bathroom door. "The one where, you know, no one ends up getting slimed by a surprised and literally explosive monster."