BB9 comp

The Dragon Box, Cnr of Nerang and Davenport St

The Dragon Box stands on the corner of Davenport and Nerang and you slam up against it in your haste. Bartleby the Red is so close behind you can almost feel his breath. As soon as you come into contact with the power node, time seems to slow and crawl. You stare down at your hands, limned with a white glow that spreads up your arms and across your body. As the light spreads you feel a connection to every individual cell in your body, every function and reflex. Your breath, your heartbeat, the processes of your organs all come under your direct control.

Still touching the power node, you turn around to examine Bartleby. He is frozen in time, reaching towards you with an outstretched claw. Everything has stopped. There is absolute silence, absolute stillness. This is what being on the moon must sound like. You conduct an audit of your cells, find a nascent melanoma and eradicate it. This is what power feels like. With the book and the node, there is nothing beyond your reach, no wonder you cannot achieve.

Bartleby seems so small, so mortal. You wonder why you were ever concerned. With an absent flick of the wrist you move him down the street, depositing him in the path of an oncoming tram, likewise held in place as time holds still around you. With that bother taken care of, you turn back inward, examining yourself for flaws to correct, for ways to optimize your frail biology.

You catch your reflection in a window and frown. That will never do. Not nearly impressive enough for your new standard. You step towards the window to scrutinize yourself and the instant the connection breaks, time reasserts itself.

You slump to your knees, your link to the godlike power of the node severed. You gasp for air as your body returns to normal and you turn at the sound of a splintering crash and squealing metal. Bartleby the Red is shattered on the road, the speeding tram has collided with him and careened off the rails, smashing into a wall and overturning. Smoke is pouring from the ruined tram, groans and screams coming from inside.

As you watch, survivors scramble out of the wreck and people run to aid them. You look down at the book in your hand, and at the node. You realize now why Abramelin wanted so badly to keep the grimoire safe, and out of the hands of those who would use it. It’s too much power for any person, or even group to hold.

You have protected Ackerman’s great work and defeated the man who would have ruled the world, but at terrible cost. Too many innocent lives have been lost to ambition and lust for power. You must carry on Abramelin’s work, take the book where it will never be found, and guard it for the rest of your life. Perhaps then you will atone for what you have done today.