The Eightfold Path, Part IV



Scene Title The Eightfold Path, Part IV
Synopsis After witnessing an omen, Adam embarks on a journey to ensure the past is still buried.
Date June 23, 1982

A soft chime accompanies a light coming on overhead.

«Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking…»

Slouched into a plush, leather upholstered seat, Adam Monroe stares out the window to the dappling of cloud cover below and the shimmering blue plate of the ocean. Fingers drum on his knee, jaw set tightly.

«…we're beginning our descent to the isle of Honshu, local time is 7:15 am, clear skies and seventy degrees.»

"Excuse me, Sir."

«We'd like to thank you for flying Japan Air, your stewardesses will be coming around to pick up your drinks.»


Adam blinks a look up from the window, then brandishes a half-empty gin and tonic at the stewardess, ice sloshing round in the glass. "How about you give me a fucking minute," his eyes flick down to her nametag then back up again, "Nancy?" She recoils at the tone, lips parted and face flushed red with embarrassment. Stunned, she looks around with a flustered expression and then just moves on to the next first class passenger.

Adam slouches back in his seat, elbow up on the armrest and head in one hand. "Fucking people," he mutters, still not finishing his drink.

Toma Limestone Cavern

Hokkaido, Japan

June 23rd


White ceramic tiles trimmed with algae form a straight path up to the looming cliffs ahead. Both in their mosaic and on the stone walls of the structure built into the cliffside spirals the pattern of a crimson dragon, eyes wild and jaws open. Lush green foliage consumes much of the site, and in the dark of night there are no crowds of tourists coming to sight see. The stone arch outside of the cave and the moasic gives the tresspasser here pause.

Adam steps into the courtyard, and overhead the moon is but a pale sliver against a starry night's sky. As he creeps ahead, he takes in the shape of the arch under the glow of electric lights, the shadow of a metal gate wrapped in chain with a padlock. He balks at the notion, a breathy snort escaping from him as he seems to relax. "Of course it's a bloody tourist site…" comes with a hint of exasperation. But when he looks at the gate again, he notices that the door sets roughly ajar, chain broken, lock dangling.

It hadn't been so a moment ago.

As dread creeps up the back of Adam's neck, he in turn creeps along the dragon-patterned mosaic, up the stone slab steps, and under the arch that leads into the short cave entrance. The metal gates ar eopen just enough for someone to have slipped through, chain's broken, links scattered everywhere, but nothing made so much as a sound. Swallowing back his fear, Adam slips through the open gate with one last look back behind himself, then disappears into the dark.

the cave is silent, save for the echoing sound of Adam's own breathing and the distant trickle of water. A wooden walkway leads through the cave from the entrance, past a tall sign that tells the cave's mythological history. He doesn't dignify it with a glance. Soon, it's too dark to see, and Adam stops in the darkness, with the sound of dripping water all around him.

"Hello?" Adam asks to the darkness. There's no response. Closing his eyes is a wholly pointless maneuver, given the darkness, but the sigh that comes with it is essential to relieve his own worsening stress. When Adam opens his eyes, and sees torches lit and burning in the glistening, watery cave, his heart leaps into his throat.

Scrambling backwards, Adam barks out a laugh of fear and finds his footing slipping. He grasps at the railing, nearly drops to one knee, then feels the world invert as he is hauled up off of the ground as if the entire cave had been flipped upside down. He screams, loudly, and flies toward the rough ceiling glittering with crystals. Slamming into the stone, Adam exhales a ragged breath and tries to see thorugh spotty, blurred vision.

He snaps his arm back into the socket, pushing up off of the ceiling and looking around in the shadows between the stalactites. He sees a pair of skinny, tanned legs a moment too late. He sees the vibrant gold eyes burning in the darkness a moment after that. Adam is dragged forward through the air, right into the awaiting palm of a dark-haired young woman in the posh clothes of a woman enjoying the Japanese night life. Her skirt is frayed at the edges and dirty, likely from being in a cave, and she's forsaken her shoes to walk barefoot. But her lips and nails are painted gold, and that color pops out against her tan skin, contrasts with the vibrant colors of the plastic jewelry on her wrist.

Y-you're alive!" He chokes out the words, and the young woman's hand chokes him with incredible strength. She leans in, face partly hidden by dark hair. Her smile; desiring, toying. His, pained.

Why…»" That smile grows, the hand around Adam's neck tightens. "«Did you think…»" One dark brow raises. "«That I could die?»" He is lifted up by that single, slender arm. Gold nails press into his skin, draw blood. It rains down on the cave floor below them.

I made you.»" The woman proclaims, piercing gold nails deeper into pale skin. "«You are mine»." He can't breathe, can't scream. The thin, tan arm glistens with sweat. She leans in, her dark hair brushing by his blonde. Their lips nearly touching.

"Kensei," She says in a whisper, lips moving to his ear. English, now.

Just once.

"Tell me a story."

Adam's blue eyes are so wide they may pop clear out of his skull. As she tilts her head to the side, the tanned woman reveals her face to him, gold eyes peering into the heart of his very soul. "Tell me the story of Kensei and the Dragon?" He can feel her breath on his skin. He should never have come here. He should have told the others.

"Tell me how you think…" She demands of him.

"…that you ever won."


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