Log:No Longer Nolan

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No Longer Nolan
Characters  •   The Pedagogue  •
Location  •  The Pedagogue's Room - The Facility
Date  •  2018-12-10
Summary  •  The Pedagogue wakes in the Facility after his third death. It's harder this time, to shake his most recent life.

Satisfaction. It’s the last thing Nolan McTavish felt as he was dying beside the fallen form of his beloved Bella, on the cold, damp ground of the old mining camp he and his best friend, his cousin, had played in as children. The camp that concealed the mouth to Hell, the source of all that had gone right and wrong in Prosperity.

Leviathan was done, banished, sent back to the likely unpleasant comforts of her father’s realm. But she did not go lightly, or without taking her pound of flesh. But he took his own. Although Barbas did the mortal damage, he dealt himself a final blow, using his own blood to summon Vie’s incorporeal energies to be vanquished.

As the last vestiges of his life seeped out into the tainted soil of his ancestors’ sins, he looked into the eyes of the woman who had stood beside him, despite his illness, despite his eccentricities, and despite knowing his story would end much sooner than hers. Yet here she was, dying beside him, having let the Sisters, her demonic pistols, devour her lifeforce to protect those banishing his family’s demonic benefactor. He would reach for her if he could, but his limbs are too heavy, too cold. He refuses to close his eyes, just wanting to see her face for every last moment he has.

His eyes open to darkness. Instinctively he reaches out for Bella, for where she had been on the ground beside him but finds nothing but expensive sheets and lights rising in his room at the Facility, triggered by the motion. There is momentary panic, not understanding. Is this Hell? Heaven? Where is she!? Then slowly it seeps in. The prison, as that is what he’s come to think of the Facility as.

A hand moves to his chest, pressing there to feel the expansion of his healthy lungs with the deepest breath he can take. The squeezing, aching, itching weight of the consumption is absent. He’s no longer dying of a disease that is easily fixed in this day and age. He sits up, looking at his perfect arms, no blood, no charred flesh, no bone and muscle peeking through the ruin of his hellfire burned body.

He spends long moments sitting there, just breathing, painlessly, in a way he had missed so deeply while in the old west. If he was ever really in the old west. He believes he was, in some manner, because those sensations are real in his memory. Not like Nolan’s time in New York, which is just like reading passages from a book. He has the information, the descriptions, but no feelings or senses attached to those memories.

Finally he gets up, shivering from the wealth of feelings that sweep over him. Love and hate, anger and joy, all culminating in that pyrrhic victory over Leviathan on the plateau high above Prosperity. Feelings well for people who are strangers and unknowns here in the Facility, but who were family of blood and of choice in this last lifetime. It’s different, this time. Nolan’s spectre clings to him more than Declan or Ethan before. His eyes fall on the wall with the mementos, and there is a third one now, the page from Key of Solomon, the Claviculus Salomonis, with the mystical circle and triangle inscribed on it.

He moves through the closet into the bathroom, where he glances at the mirror to confirm he is again a 30-ish, healthy, cleanshaven version of himself. He is not the gaunt and wasting man he still feels like inside. He showers for what feels like an age, in remembrance of the grit and grime and sweat of the Old West, clinging to him like a phantom. Then he dries himself and dresses. He has to see her. She has to be here. Others have failed to return before and the idea of Bella...Ramona...the creepy little waif with fire in her soul... not being here with him is frightening. He dashes out his door, to find the one down the hall that disturbs most who lay eyes on it.