Bright Morning Stars



Scene Title Bright Morning Stars
Synopsis Luther takes a moment to reflect on the recent tumultuous events, and his misgivings about them. Song Link
Date March 22, 2018

Tupper Lake, NY

5:18 A.M.

He hadn’t slept well.

That wasn’t unusual now, after years of sleeping in places where he had to be ready for anything, to roll out of a bedroll with either a gun or bludgeoning object or his power at the ready. The nightmare that woke him was already gone from his mind’s eye by the time he pulled himself out of the tangle of sheets on the hotel room floor and wiped the cold sweat from his face. The hot shower though, was a luxury he would never be ungrateful for.

Bright morning stars are rising

Bright morning stars are rising

Bright morning stars are rising

Day is a-breaking in my soul

Grey eyes scan out over the deep purples and blues reflecting off the glassy surface of Tupper Lake. Calm waters lap upon the rock strewn shore upon which Luther sits, legs bent at the knees, arms dangling loose, gloved hands off the peaks of his kneecaps. Snow blankets the shoreline, but where he is seated upon a mound of raised ground, a small, perfect circle of wet dirt surrounds him where the snow has melted from the mild, radiating waves of heat keeping himself warm.

It was one of the reasons she loved laying next to him, especially on the cold nights.

The Norman Rockwell painting that makes up the town nestled in the Adirondacks is only now waking in the hours before the sunrise. When compared to the bustling City That Never Sleeps, once with people, now with the seemingly endless construction for the Safe Zone, a stark contrast. Nearby, the tourist information sign of activities one could do while visiting Tupper Lake shows off happy people, laughing people, excited grins and joyful smiles. Here, it feels like the most recent civil war never touched these people here to only live their lives. Here, civil war is a thing of the past, put well behind. Here, hard won peace settled around protectively, like the blanket of snow covering the town in nature’s embrace.

Trish would have loved this.

The man’s thoughts stir a memory of a woman caught in the throes of humor, her hair a tangle of gold and yellow in the sun’s brightness, her lips framing a perfect pearly white, toothy smile, her sky blue eyes shining in mirth. She looks at him, and fond affection tempers her babbling brook of laughter before she leans in to share a kiss.

Luther’s head bows, knees draw up tighter, eyes half-lidding as he fights the grief that knots his stomach, climbs up into his chest, then clasps his throat to the point his breath shudders in a ragged draw. This time, sorrow doesn’t succeed in claiming his eyes.

When once more composed, he pushes up to a stand. Luther looks out over the lake, turns his back to it, and walks away.

Oh where are our dear fathers

Oh where are our dear fathers

They’re down in the valley a-praying

Day is a-breaking in my soul

Grey eyes scan out to a concrete block three-car garage, settling on the double-wide trailer attached to the building. Walt’s Automotive, the sign he stands beneath proclaims, isn’t going to be open for hours yet. Walter Stockton, though, isn’t yet awake. At least, not from where Luther can see as he stands at the treeline, watching, an old wolf spying upon civilization in wonder.

I don't care what you want!” David shouts at the top of his lungs, voice cracking. “The last time I saw my wife was days after we were married in 1982. Then I was fucking kidnapped by men in black suits and locked in a ten by ten concrete cell for twenty seven fucking years!”

Wariness creeps in about the man he’s waiting to observe. David Cardinal, father to Richard Cardinal. And yet.

“Edward fucking Ray! That piece of shit, broke me out of that hell-hole with some metal monster and dragged me halfway across the country!”

David gets increasingly agitated as he talks, eyes welled up with tears. “He robs me of my fucking gift and throws me away like a piece of garbage!” Hands shaking, David walks away from Kaylee and Luther, takes his hands through his hair and circles back. “My wife wasn't pregnant! I don’t know any Richard Cardinal! I never had a fucking son!”

There didn’t seem to be much physical age difference between David and Luther. He could have been a peer at some point, a juror in the same court of life. But. The disturbing account of being kidnapped by mysterious parties, held prisoner for two, almost three decades, and then having an Evolved ability somehow taken away by Edward Ray… A sour feeling stirs in Luther’s gut. Could the man have lied about this? Why?

What does it mean, to have so much life taken away, and then to suddenly be found out? Paranoia no doubt would haunt David Cardinal like a shadow. Luther understands, knows the feeling of being lost and found. He experienced as much in 2006, 2011, 2013. Dates set in stone for him. Names and faces, for now, still solid in his memories.

But what happens if David Cardinal’s story isn’t real? What if David Cardinal is actually who he says he is? A man who was meant to live a happy life with a happy wife, but then had that life destroyed by a terrible set of circumstances.

"Luther." Richard glances up, over the edge of his shades, hazel eyes seriously, "Since you signed on with me you've never asked any questions, not really. You've even gone into what was probably your worst nightmare because I asked… and you never questioned it. You came back as soon as we found you. I'll be honest, I think you're the one person I can trust the most right now. So given that, don't fucking repeat anything I'm about to tell you."

And. What if… Richard Ray isn’t who he says he is… Would he lie? And why? To protect. Shaking his head again to try and clear off the misgivings, Luther retreats from the trees and heads down snow drift blanketed roads.

Oh where are our dear mothers

Oh where are our dear mothers

They’ve gone to heaven a-shouting

Day is a-breaking in my soul

Grey eyes scan over the photographs in the file where a young David Cardinal is standing with a blonde woman, Michelle LeRoux. Fingers slide over the words in the report, but Luther isn’t focused upon them.

“Luther. There is so much going on out there. Time travel, secret societies, good versus evil.” That she gives him a bland smile. “So much below the surface… what happen with the war, was all that suddenly coming to the surface.”

Her head turns to look out the window, though it looks like she is viewing the snow covered landscape, Kaylee is actually looking at her own reflection. “Have you heard of the concept of multiverses? The idea that every major decision we make creates a split. A split for every choice?”

The blonde in the photograph flashes a picture of a different encounter in his mind. The RayTech receptionist, Sera Lang, and one Desdemona Desjardins. One day, it was simply chance that he looked Sera in the face and saw what might have been. A ghost from his past. Or rather, a past. That Luther was now a part of, and…

Luther narrows his eyes, takes a deep breath and slowly releases, willing back the calm steadiness and clear mind. Time is a funny thing. So are people.

Two fries are popped in her mouth and consumed with enthusiasm before she continues, “However, I have seen a photo my father gave Richard, of his parents.” She motions in a vague directions towards David Cardinal. “And his mom is pregnant in the photo.” A hand — with finger and thumb holding onto another fry destined to be eat — is held up. She isn’t done, yet. “However, that might be from one of those splits I mentioned.” Her hand turns with palm up as if uncertain.

Memories could be locked away. Manipulated. By someone with such power, or simply by time. People make up their own stories, push a narrative to fit their needs. Luther frowns, scratches at the grey-flecked stubble on the side of his jaw. “Ridiculous,” he utters as he shuts the file and steps to the sink in the hotel bathroom. His mind struggles with the tangled web of facts-but-maybe-not-truths, caught in its negative space, mental limbs twisted up in its knots.

“I can say that I have seen in his head… like a giant spider web of events, twisting and crossing… as far as I could see.”

What did it all mean? What had he gotten himself into? A spider’s web hidden in a rabbit’s hole, with a monster at the end of the book.

“I can use my ability to manipulate memories… I can make you think things that you might not normally, even turn you against your allies. I can make you remember clearly the things you forgot or I can fade them away so that they are not so easy to remember…”

The man frowns deeper, planting his hands on the white porcelain sink, leaning to stare hard into world-weary face reflected in the mirror. A different battle churns.

Memory was all he had left to him. Photographs, long gone. His past stays there solidly, though brought fresh into his mind every night. Dreams. Nightmares. At least he knows who he is, at least he thinks he does. What would happen if that was taken away? And as for the others…

He’s just a janitor. Why is he going to bat for them? Kaylee had said memory could be locked away and or manipulated. Who was to say his too wouldn’t be locked away or manipulated too when this was all done? For what secrets would be uncovered with this, what skeletons will come tumbling from the darkest confines? They’re already harboring a fugitive of the law in their midst. What more could be buried at Raytech? How far would they go? How far would they make him go?

“It’s my legacy to keep going down that rabbit hole, you — sir — get a choice.” It is a little odd, but here she chuckles. No humor to it, no amusement… just a sound of a person resigned to her fate. “Life around us is never boring though.”

Luther’s breath hitches again, and he grits his teeth with a tightening of his jawline. The man closes his eyes, pushing down the paranoia, flushing away the fear of a giant conspiracy. The man clenches and unclenches a fist, feeling the heat that rises from his palm and fingertips, then focuses it down.

There’s always time. And answers, they will come.

The sounds of families, people waking in the other rooms, permeates through the drywall. On the other side of the bathroom mirror, a shower runs.

Luther pushes away from the mirror, moves to grab his coat and slips into it before stepping out into the hall. A last glance at the note he leaves behind for Richard on the hotel stationery tells of his destination: Nite Owl diner.

Bright morning stars are rising

Bright morning stars are rising

Bright morning stars are rising

Day is a-breaking in my soul

Behind him, the hotel door shuts with a soft click.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License