Red City floated like a bloated balloon from one locale to another, shifting like desert sand, wavering like a mirage. In the beginning Red City was a backwater town left behind like the set from a cheap movie about the old west and haunted by fading TV actors. Even before it could be called a town, Billy was there playing with the controller from a game console. Dr. Sam Evanstox was also there hiding in the shadows, manipulating events on a quantum level (story: Level 1).
The old west is often glorified in movies, but Red City had no glory. People lived in shabby lean-tos on a diet of dust. Water was scarce, but liquor flowed freely. Red City was named after a dried up creek. Calling the place a “city” was a misnomer thought up by men effected by heat stroke who were overly optimistic and confused. The place had one saloon, a make-shift general store, and a smattering of shacks. The Doc was also Mayor, barber, and sheriff. On occasion, Doc was also a blacksmith. Nothing changed in Red City. The saloon was the hub of activity. People from far outside of town came to drink, gamble, and pay for sex. The only women in town worked at the saloon. Miners, mostly old men, could register claims with the bartender. Lately there were no new claims. Some men still had enough silver to purchase a night of revelry. Most people just scratched the dirt hoping for something to grow that was edible.
One man always sits at the bar, “My name is Marvin Naivan (story: Fatal Attraction) and I don’t belong here. I keep seeing pictures in my mind… images of some other place… images of space. I’m an astronaut — I landed in this place by mistake. I remember lying in a decontamination chamber — sick. I brought something back, debris from an exploding star — it must have carried the infection. I don’t know how I came to Red City, but I don’t belong. Nothing ever changes here. I drink, but don’t get drunk. I can’t seem to leave this bar. The Doc tells me I’m lucky to be alive. An Angel saved me… but it’s always the same, repeated in the same way every day.”
Miss Harlequin wears back-and-white. She serves drinks and offers sex for the right price. She came from a large city in the east where she managed a computer company. Sometimes she sings and dances to her own music, haunting songs that never end. Miss Harlequin doesn’t know where the music comes from — she never had musical talent. She was always filled with remorse, but now she feels transcendent. Sometimes she vibrates with frantic rhythm like a drum.
The future of Red City lies behind a firewall. The future exists in the Cloud –holographic and solid. Sindhar Golgol knows this because he designed the firewall and he is responsible for renaming everything in existence. First he had to break Reality; then, he isolated worlds from one another to keep them safe from collision. Sindhar works obsessively to maintain balance and Dimensional Cohesion, but he can’t control the actions of other Avatars who conspire to dominate the world. Reality will be broken many times before and after Sindhar’s accomplishments (story: Stone #6).
A cabal of scientists and alchemists is hidden in the crevices and folds generated by the far future. They will create a self fulfilling prophesy to become the Illuminati whose purpose is to guide and control human destiny. Their intention will be to build a God Machine. Their ministrations will send echoes down the time line to the past, changing reality to fit their agenda. It has already occurred. A black cube (measuring 120 feet on a side) was sent to the birthplace of Red City. The Cube was designed to bury the town and its’ inhabitants, but Chaos intervened. Red City was reborn like a ravenous beast. Some of the people were devoured while others became heroes.
(to be continued) (search for referenced stories – search icon at the top of page in the right corner)