Friday, November 22, 2013

Genre Splash #1: These Vitiated Streets [B]

Continued from Wednesday

The widespread creation of Nightwears was the final blow that felled civilization in the last world to be invaded by the Garbage Men. Already in disarray from the machinations of the Garbage Men, the governments of that world totally collapsed beneath the rising tide of more and more Nightwears after they reached the point where each new Nightwear made conditions easier for creating even more of the monsters. A solution was ultimately devised but not in enough time. Instead, two hundred pairs of people were chosen to undergo a series of magical operations. The operations ended with the extraction of one person's soul from each pair and the death of the other person in the process of using their body for raw materials in giving physical form to that soul. The two hundred survivors, who were given the name "Knights," were left semi-soulless and, unexpectedly, unable to use Sparks themselves. Unable to directly oppose the Garbage Men, they opted to continue with the plan as best as they could and follow them to their next target and from there find people to use the Sparks in their place.

The issue turned out to be partly one of age: adults couldn't adapt to the demands of using a Spark, past the point of being hurt by attempting it and into the realm of being physically incapable of even attempting it. Despite their reluctance to do so the Knights found their soldiers in the ranks of the youth (nobody knows as of yet why only females can wield Sparks, but there are also female Knights so this couldn't have been a factor in their inability to use Sparks) and began to operate as best as they could from behind the front lines. Each Knight is concerned- obsessed, even- with the fate of her Spark. It is literally her soul, and it has been made destructible by being made physical. It's destruction would mean that no continuation of personality would be possible after the Knight's death, and also that the last "living" trace of their partner, previously a close friend (even a lover, in many cases), had been destroyed. So long as the Spark remains intact, however, Knights are very difficult to kill. Knights generally fill a support and advisory role but are useless against Nightwears because they lack Sparks of their own to use.

An additional danger present for both the Knights and their young warriors are the nations of the world. Combats between giant monsters and more giant machines do not go unnoticed, especially by paranoid and controlling governments. The CIA has already captured one Knight and will stop at nothing to find out where the rest of his team is. In the USSR a Knight sold out several of her teammates and is working with the secret police to produce more Sparks- placing the power of the Sparks in Russian hands is something that the Knight can live with in order to defeat the Garbage Men. France is more concerned with tracking and eliminating the girls outside its borders than with securing those within. They came across the Garbage Men almost as soon as they noticed the Sparks and recognize both the danger posed by the Garbage Men and the impossibility of killing a Nightwear with conventional weapons (nuclear weapons, they're not too sure about, but for the time being the French are unwilling to test that). In time they may even offer assistance but for now they are watching from the sidelines. Britain cares less about the Sparks than it does about the Garbage Men and is capturing every specimen possible. All sorts of experiments are being performed, from seeing how much punishment one can take before it dies to attempting to replicate their blood and its peculiar properties.

So far the Garbage Men are still working on building a foothold in our world but dozens more come every month. It may not be long before the world at large knows about them and the Nightwears, and what will happen after that is anyone's guess. Even if the Garbage Men are finally destroyed that may not be an end to the problem, if this country learns how to manufacture Sparks or that one has recruited a few girls or even Knights to its cause. The world that is taking shape from  the fragments of the Knight's world will be a very strange one indeed.

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