I remember the day I awoke. Awoke from the facade. A nightmarish image staring at me. In the mirror. Standing before me, was me. I was looking at myself, but it was not the person I knew. It was another person. Old. Ragged. Worn. Graying hair. Weathered skin. The man I knew was not this one. Not the one staring back at me. In the mirror. In the reflection, standing, right there in front of me.
At first, I thought it was the glasses. A trick pair that had been developed for joke shops. The shops of old designed to entice people in with tricks and comedy, fun games to play within oneself, or on, others. I had read about these, joke shops, in the Chronicles of Edward and Eduardo: twins in union, not in stature. So the mere discovery, initially, gave me a laugh. A pause on reflection, wondering how my brothers and sisters of old had developed such a gag. Why anyone would want to stare at an average person. Take normal, beautiful looking soul and turn him, or her, into, well, a banal visage not worthy of even living in Town.
Soon thereafter, the laughter soon turned sour. Turned bitter by the reality that the glasses were not a joke. Were not some kind of trick. The glasses bore truth. Truth from the beauty I had come to know. Come to accept. Blindly, in all the years of my life. In all the years I had spent uncovering truth. I had fallen victim to illusion. Breathing it in. Digesting it. Just like everyone else. Me, Argus Grimsby, man who uncovers mystery, felled by the light. A trick, a clever trick, but one I should have been on my guards to defend against. One that I should have been more prepared to see. But without the glasses, the illusion was reality. The touch. The movement. There was nothing to see in the deception. It was too perfect. Too real. And for this, I must forgive myself. Forgive myself for not truly seeing, what was right there, in front of me.
This was a true mystery. More so than I had ever encountered. I knew then, I must uncover the truth. Discover why, beauty had been hidden in youthful good looks. Supple, soft skin. Curvaceous bodies. Staying eternal in the years gone by. This was a mystery, that needed a true reply, from one such a man as me. Argus Nonchance Grimsby would not be held back. Not be restrained from finding, the truth in this mystery.
And so it was, when I put on the glasses, I could see. See past the facades. The way the light was being bent. To disguise the truth. To reveal a beauty unseen. In our eyes, the way the light changed us. Convinced us. In both appearance and physicality.
The year is 4045. My name is Argus Grimsby and I am man who uncovers mystery. I have come across an ancient tomb. In the bowels of the Rainy Avenue. We had blasted our way through the old coffee cliffs. Those jagged, caffeine infected creations that first appeared after a chemical bomb had collided with one of the Rainy Avenue's best known coffee breweries. During the explosion, as detailed by Sir William Honorus in his benediction to the Rainy Avenue, the chemicals in the chemical bomb combined with the secret coffee ingredients, resulting in a vast explosion. That through crystalline growth, grew into the manmade, geological phenomenon known as the coffeeracious subglactoriuos, or coffee glaciers.
This all transpired during the last great war of Town in 2095. The story of this war is for another time. For a true teller of tales. A historian. One who reveals the stories in time. Like the radical nature of the rogue time machine. Not one such as me, a man, Argus Grimsby, who does find truth from mystery.
With the discovery of the glasses. With the stark realization that followed. It became a mystery of the beauty, the beast, and what we would discover to be, the geek.
In a secret opening that ran down the neck of one the coffee glaciers most jagged edges, we discovered an opening. In the ground. Where the coffee has run, worn away the earth, before it had turned into a stone like mass with the chemical explosion, and the bomb's vicious blast.
The opening lead us down into the earth. Down into the depths, where light escapes all reason. In time or season, the cavern ran on. Into a secret labyrinth. Into a darkened dawn, filled with chambers. With treasures. With archaic papers, filled with hieroglyphs that we would come to discover were called, comic books. Books that had drawings. Stories. Detailing a woman's plight for justice. A Valkyrie. A warrior. A princess reborn in light.
All the comics, found in near mint condition. Sealed in some plastic sheaths. Plastic that kept acid from burning the pages. Kept the ages at bay. Waiting for the day that they would be once again discovered. Opened.
Carefully, we opened the comics. In labs, designed to help preserve the comic pages. We opened them up. Copied them. Read them. Began to understand the struggle of this Valkyrie. A warrior born into flight. Her golden shield. Her golden armor, sturdy, strong. Ever vigilant. Fighting for revenge in a world full of death. Destruction. Trying to find her slayers. Those who had brought her to her first death. The Astral Knights. The iron clad raiders who brought doom to the lands. Who sought treasure. Riches. Women. The Astral Knights, who had come from the stars long ago. Bringing with them new weapons. A new kind of death that plagued the world. And their destruction had brought the Valkyrie to her end. Sent her to the depths of a hell, when the world still had such places to go. The Astral Knights raped and murdered her, her tribe. Her town. Sent her to the depths of a fiery pit and to the monsters who roamed in these incendiary lands. But she fought back. She won back her life. She found her trusted steed. And into the skies, she took. Fighting for justice. Fighting for truth.
This woman. This Valkyrie had true beauty. That resonated throughout her. In her hair. In her body. Her glare as she bore down on those who sought to prey on the weak. Her flaming sword. Powerful. Victorious. She surrendered her feelings for love. For Arkick, the valiant warrior prince, who often fought by her side. Revenge was the only thing she had time for. Seeking truth through her victories, was the only thing that drove her on. Arkick's love, she would always hold in her heart. But the Astral Knights could not go on living. Could not go on breathing. Not while she still had strength yet to fight. And find a way to break them. To smash them. To send them to their deaths. And so the Valkyrie fought on. Leaving the feelings of love. Of passion. Behind. Revenge was the blood, that ran through her body, her soul and mind.
I see this Valkyrie in my dreams. Through random images seen throughout the labyrinth we found. Under the ground of the great coffee mounds. Her image etched on the walls. A shrine to her strength. A monument to her beauty.
In one of the inner most chambers, we found a room, empty with the exception of a single book. A book entitled "All that is good, can be lost." The book, by Jimmy Newton. Until we discovered this book, none of us. None of my archeological team had any notion who Jimmy Newton was. But now we know, just who he is. His name is etched in these underground passageways. His essence burned into the making of these tombs. These chambers. Yes, Newton. A man. A man possessed with a plan to deceive all of Town. To leave us with beauty. To hide from us, a truth, of our very existence. Yes, it is Newton that created our world. Created these dreams, we call, reality.
Until then, until we read this book by Jimmy Newton, the glasses remained a joke. A disturbing joke, but jest nonetheless. For some of us put the glasses on. To look at ourselves. At one another. Seeing our flawed images with the glasses. Laughing, what flaws looked like. How ugly each of us looked through these strange lenses.
In the book, we found a piece of the truth. A piece of the great puzzle. Equations. Maps. Detailing Newton's plans. How he sought to use the light. To bend the truth, to make the world seem right in beauty. For all of us would be beautiful. Woman, man. Women especially blessed, with larger breasts. Thick, flowing hair. Waking from slumber, as if they had spent hours preparing their faces, their clothes. Immaculate. Netwton, yes, he documented the details. Revealed his plans. Showed us how to use the glasses to see ourselves. As we truly are. He showed us the proofs, the theorems. The equations that let him weave this facade.
All through the book, Newton described the hows. But no reasons did he reveal. Only his plans. His schemes on how the Illusion Simulator Creator Transmogrificator works. On how to see the truth. With the glasses of youth. The glasses that revealed the secrets of light. Of time displaced in the caverns of the night. Newton created an illusion. A world full of beauty. A world devoid of reason enough to question why very few looked average. Why so few looked anything but beautiful.
I write down a passage from his book. In my journal, so that I might reflect on his genius. His madness, that tore truth from us living in the town of Town.
"From beauty, comes truth. Never let the truth be hidden from those who dare to see."
I do dare to see now Newton. Yes, I do dare to see it all. And I will find reason. I will find reason.
Until reading this book. I knew only a few constants. One is where I live. And I live in Town. Town, is unlike any other town. Full of strange phenomena. Strange goings on. For sure. But nothing prepared me for the awakening. This brutal realization that I am not the man I know. Not the good looking, handsome man I have known all my life. No, I am not. None of us are. Not when I put on the glasses and see the truth of the light.
Years past. Studying the glasses. The properties. How the glasses bent the light back. With the slight twist of the wearer's head. The glasses revealed the truth. Revealed what the light had hidden. What the lenses and mirrors concealed. Tricked our minds into seeing. Into feeling. Into believing. We could test with chemistry. With biology. The physical principles, the mathematical equations. Finding support with neurological photon mapping techniques, we saw how the brain had changed. How altered neuronal pathways had taught our minds to see a facade in the light. The light bent in the lenses. In the mind's eye, the light saw beauty, where there was none to see. And our brains believed, this lie. Lies became truth, for there was none to dispute what our eyes saw. What our bodies felt.
Every day, I sink deeper into this mystery. Reading. Re-reading the, comic books. The pages, that had survived all these generations. All these years. In some sort bag of plastic that help drain the acid from the paper on which they were printed. Fitting that these bags stopped the, comic books, themselves from aging. Newton, himself, had found a way to do the same. All with a trick of the light.
I re-live now, those events that took place. In my journal, I search for something I've missed. Something I could have misplaced. Something that might me better discover, uncover, this most mysterious of mysteries.
Newton's genius, our lives, entwined in some plot, to trick our minds. Our acceptance of a truth that we saw, that we felt, but never truly had. Not within the metaphysical grasp of our souls. Not within the energy that defines us. The chemistry that makes us. The chemistry that builds us. A simple trick of the light. The giant lenses built, to bend the light ever so right as to trick our minds. Into trick our senses. Into leading us into a madness we thought was truth.
CURSE THIS NEWTON. I have so often cried. For tricking me. Tricking me all this time. For deceiving all of us. Throughout the generations. Through every life. The deception complete. And this makes the discover, all the more bitter to swallow. To digest. That this man. Completely unknown before this time, could have single handed created one of Town's best plots. Had beat us all. Without even breaking a sweat.
The careful placement of mirrors. Lenses to harness the light. To position the light, just right. Positioned carefully so not to be seen. In the sky, hidden in the stars. In the night, hidden by shadows. The lenses themselves, eternal, born from a crystalline substance, unknown to man.
And with the light, so the world was transformed. The Illusion Simulator Creator Transmogrificator was born. But for what reason? There is always a reason to such elaborate schemes. Some meaning behind it all. What... What?
We continued into the depths of these cavernous caves. Onward seeking some new clue. New evidence to discover why Newton had created the ISCT, to hide truth from reality.
During our search, I often marveled how it seemed like it must have taken a lifetime to carve out all the tunnels. The opening, hallways. Intricate passageways, hiding his secrets within the rocky mass. Newton's underground kingdom itself concealed by the coffee glaciers above. And before that, Rainy Avenue, which is detailed with such accurate precision by Sir William Honorus, that I myself feel, like I have been there. In its coffee shops. Poetry slams. And hippie seminars. The pageantry of slackerhood. The tapestry of sloth. Artists, beatniks, musicians and groupies. All living, under Town's only cloudy skies.
But I digress. The secret is still there. Here, in these caves. I feel it. I know it. My instincts are seldom ever wrong.
The search goes on and on.
Despair has a way of finding those seeking a truth. I must be vigilant, must move on and find this truth. Remind myself, in moments when all seems lost, to picture the Valkyrie. Her beauty, so stunning, that words cannot describe. Her essence on the page, comes alive, and I find myself wanting to reach out, to touch her. To feel her strength next to me. Though it cannot be, I do see what understand why Newton build the shrine we found in one of the inner most tombs. A shrine to this goddess. Complete with a marble statue. Erect and complete, in every detail. Her chaliced lips, her sturdy hips, all outlined in pristine marble stone.
Beauty does have a way of lifting despair from the heart. Tearing the walls of sadness down, resurrecting the most sullen of hearts. I must confess personally, in my journal now, that I so often find myself wishing I never put the glasses on. That I discarded them. That a cave in would have sealed their resting place. That the Room of Discovery, as it is now know, would have been lost in time. Collapsed by the explosion that brought the end to Rainy Avenue, that injected life into the coffee glaciers.
No, then a truth would have gone unnoticed. Would have been lost in a dream of a mad young boy. Newton and his Illusion Simulator Creator Transmogificator. And it is for this mystery, I must push such thoughts from my mind. Return to the task before me. To the task that awaits me. A task, that in of itself, might break me, but I must fight on. Like the Valkyrie, and the revenge she sought every dawn. Seeking the Astral Knights, and their starry rage. The gilded Knights, that had stolen her life, took her last breath, left her for dead on the night she watched her family die. Butchered by the silver swords, swung down from the iron clad fights of doom.
When ever I think of the Knight, a shiver goes down my spine. From the depictions of the Astral Knights, in the pages we have retrieved, such an image is etched in my mind.
An image of the Knights, galloping on their firebrand horses. The horses coats, red. Burning with the air around them. Flames from their nostrils steamed. As the Knights grasped the reigns tighter, urging their horses on, the world around them froze. As if the fire that swarmed around their breath, seemed to suck the very warmth from the world around. The coldness followed their fires. Freezing the world, they had destroyed, behind them. The Knights took what they wanted. Took everything, including the young Valkyrie's life. From the stars they had come. Down from the heavens unknown. Seeking a world to plunder. Seeking the weak, to call their own. And in the depths of the day,the light was their guide, for each of us could stay, for only a moment in their gaze, before completely surrendering to their will.
But the Valkyrie had been born anew, with the power of the gods. A light in the dark.
I underline this part. Highlight it in my journal:
"The light, in the night."
This is a clue. I know it. It's meaning, though, remains, a mystery.
And there are so little clues now. So little on which to go. The light taught our minds to feel what was not there. Replace physical with an illusion, that in time became a mystery. For in our brains, the light plays the deepest trick. Turning synapse against synapse. Turning neurons against our very will. Our brain chemistry is tricked, into thinking the beauty is really real.
The reality of it. How does the Valkyrie fit in? Why did Newton change the world we all live in?
The truth? I cannot be certain. I cannot be sure. All I know now, is that there is a mystery that needs to be solved. And Newton holds the key to solving the puzzle, that for the moment, consumes, all of me. And so I must search, I must find truth, for somewhere in these caves, hides a light. And this light, mixes into the mystery, of a woman born into flight.