Malkuth (Hebrew: מלכות "kingdom")is the furthest emanation from god, not directly spiritual. OF and EMANATING from the physical and unspiritual-- the material world.
Identified as a filter for all other higher SEPHIROT.
REPTILIA, PULVINAR NUCLEI-- filter of sensory information within the human brain. THEME of FILTER?
Featured Characters Edit
Investigative journalist Samuel Barrette attends a class taught by Dr. Peter Dirac, but notices a dirty and unkempt man making repeated attempts to monitor them. After the class, Barrette meets with Dirac in a nearby courtyard and attempts to elicit information regarding Dirac's involvement in projects within the Department of Defense. However, Dirac becomes uncomfortable and leaves soon after. On his way out of the courtyard, Barrette once again spies the disheveled man, who appears to have been attempting to listen to their conversation. As Barrette attempts to approach the man, a black-out hits the area and when the power returns, the man is nowhere to be seen.
That night, Peter Dirac is murdered in his own home.
In the days following, Barrette visits the murder scene and Dirac's funeral service to obtain more information, but his efforts yield little. At an all-night diner, Barrette is approached by the disheveled man from the school grounds, who appears dazed. Barrette voices his suspicions and the man demonstrates an ability to control electric currents, to which Barrette identifies him as a "Manipulator" and accuses him of being Dirac's murderer. The man's response is disjointed and unclear, but he denies the accusation and leaves Barrette with a note wrapped around a USB storage drive.
Later that night, Barrette views the note and the content of the drive. He watches a video depicting a woman in a cell. Peter Dirac's commentary can be heard off camera. The woman in the video appears to sing a bizarre and otherworldly object into existence before the footage degrades. Barrette is utterly horrified and as he attempts to come to terms with what he has seen, he realizes that the murderer has entered his home.
did you ever think it would work? That you could live somewhere, out in the country. Plant some flowers. Watch the seasons change. Die without incident?
I entertained the prospect for a time.
You think you'll change the world with a Facebook post, an internet listicle: top 10 psychically powered spies. Your means are dated, you are outmoded. The life you seek to protect is one of immorality and materialism. No soul can subsist on that, not for long anyway. I offer everyone, a next step, the last step, the final advancement for our species, into something more. Something we determine for ourselves. You reluctance in joining us is only natural selection. Even Christ had his detractors.
Keep quiet. Steady your breath. Get ready.
The moon hangs high in the sky, it is a harvest moon, and during any other night that would have been a welcome omen. Below its silvery illumination, two young women make their way down a steep, slippery cliff face. Above them, around them, Douglas Firs dot the landscape and diffuse the beams of moonlight into less treacherous patches which may be easily avoided. They hold hands, so as to steady themselves, but to also not lose each other in the darkness, as limited as it may now be. Perhaps there is an emotional element as well. Soon, the women are in the hollow of a tree, one reaching out and holding the other close. For warmth. For safety. It is now that we get a decent look at either of them. They are thin, pale, and with shorn heads. Dark rings hang below their eyes.
I remember running. And I remember the cold.
The women continue their journey onwards under the cover of dark. They are running faster now. Wide panning shot of the forrest as the women run towards the viewer. There are lights behind them, closing in on them, carried aloft by but shadows who hold them forward at waist height. There are the sounds of dogs which fill the air, punctuating the soft murmur of gruff men, who are angered to have been bothered with the task of searching for runaways so early in the morning. The light from their torches is perhaps muted, or made all the more ominous, by the rolling banks of fog which had begun to move into the forrest now. They pass over the thickets and leaves and get tangled there, like strands of cotton being pulled apart.
A firebreak appears as the vegetation thins. The smaller, younger woman runs as fast as her torn, bare feet can carry her; the older one stays behind, waiting to ensure the coast is clear. It is not, and a shot rings out across the forest. Branches rattle and shiver as the crack of bullet echoes through the timbers. The older of the pair is down, bleeding into the mud. The younger one covers her mouth for a moment to witness the scene, before turning back down what has become a steep decline. Her legs carry her a few yards further, before they give out and she tumbles down the rest of the way. Still, she is away from the beasts. She is away from the Cult.
Cut to Samuel Barrette, who is interviewing that woman, whose hair has grown back out, whose cheeks have filled back out, whose clothes are now clean and not soiled medical gowns. She is flanked on either side by her mother and father.
Our daughter is a good girl, a good christian girl. She just got caught up in the wrong crowd is all.
I saw them. I saw the men who wait between the walls.
Julia, please, just tell the man what you saw, what they told you-- the people, that cult!
The Tradesmen! The Tradesmen! They laugh at us... They want in! they... they...
I think you better go, Mr. Barrette.
Open on a closed-feed security camera in a dark, sealed concrete room. A tiny LED fickers red on the face of the camera, whose lens stares ominously toward the reader. Slow zoom into the lens-piece as the camera's subject becomes vaguely visible in the reflection on the lens.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): They have kept things from you.
Hidden for years, because they don't think you can handle whatever it is.
It is because they are benevolent, they worry for your mind.
The final shot is so close to the lens that the reflected image takes precedence as the focus of the panel:
Top-down, angled camera shot. We see a figure (Fatima, currently unknown to the reader), seated in the lotus position with an IV dripped connected to her forearm. A series of electrodes dot her body as well.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): ... Your fragile, delicate mind.
Switch to a shot of a surveillance monitor, displaying the camera footage; several peripheral monitors surround it, displaying miscellaneous medical and technical data. A monitor displays the text "... HAS REACHED FINAL SEPHIROT" and then "... HAS ESTABLISHED CONNECTION WITH E.D.I" The focal monitor shows Fatima at chest level, her head slumped downwards. The image starts to slowly zoom in on Fatima , as her head raises.
'BARRETTE (NARRATING): 'We tell ourselves we're ready, we're willing--
that whatever is out there can never possibly change us as much as it they think.
But the truth is...
The shot zooms to the point that the boundaries of the monitor are no longer visible and the footage fills the panels. When it appears as though Fatima is about to speak, otherworldly, spiraling filigree emits from her mouth, and begins to form an object out of thin air. As the filigree and the object coalesce into reality, the quality of the footage degrades, and becomes grainy. Stripes of static tear through the screen, but Fatima and the trans-dimensional object which she has begun to sing into existence remain visible through out.
'BARRETTE (NARRATING): 'Whatever lies beyond here, whatever it is they that they've seen, that we haven't,
it's kept in dark, cold, far off corners for a purpose.
The shot resumes its original position, showing the peripheral monitors as the video footage degrades completely. The lower monitor first blinks out to a screen displaying only the repeating text "TRESPASSER" The upper and focal monitors follow suite until the message is repeated across every screen.
To reason with it,
is to lose reason.
And in the end you'll say--
Cut to a close shot of Peter Dirac in formal dress.
DIRAC: Truth is burden.
The following shot reveals Dirac to be speaking to a large conference of scientists from an elevated stage. There are bright lights all about him, and he seems to enjoy the attention. He is appropriately dressed, wearing a formal black suit and tie. His gesticulations are grandiose.
DIRAC: That is the message I wish each of you to leave with tonight...
but first let me say that I cannot thank you enough for this! Truly it is an honor to be amongst you on such an occasion.
Dirac continues his speech as the camera pans across the banquet room. An older, wizened looking audience is in attendance, seated around large, circular dining tables. They are interested in what Dirac has to say, leaning forward, clapping. Amongst them, though not engaging in the same level of enthusiasm, is Samuel Barrette. Instead, he appears to be more interested in his drink.
DIRAC: To be recognized by such an esteemed group of academics such as yourselves, leaves me truly without words.
You all know the burden of our great work. That burden is truth; it is our duty to the layman, as men and women of science, to bring that truth to the layman.
Meanwhile, Barrette's attention has shifted to a rather disheveled figure ambling about the auditorium. The target of his gaze is an older man, dirty-looking, and inappropriately dressed for the event, thus warranting Barrette's concern. It is Nathan Feynman .
Cut to the outside of the auditorium- a well maintained courtyard at night. Dirac is standing apart, talking to a group of persons who appear to be hanging on his every word. Barrette observes, smoking a cigarette.
BARETTE: His name is Peter Dirac-- a scientist with the lofty title of entheobotanist, and too many degrees to count. He's a private man, but tonight he makes an exception. Tonight he drinks in their praises like some kind of malnourished animal.
DIRAC: Ah yes, the reporter. You had some questions for me didn't you?
Barrette lights another cigarette as they walk.
DIRAC: It was a subject close to home, you see-- There are persons within my own family who suffered with the disease for years.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): Perhaps he was sincere, this time. Perhaps he wasn't.
Continued in the courtyard. Barette pulls a digital audio recorder from his coat pocket.
DIRAC: That is true. I've worked with them extensively throughout my career.
DIRAC: I contributed to some Defense projects during that time, but the bureaucracy of it all still keeps me from talking too much about it.
BARRETTE: It didn't keep you from talking to a Senate fact finding committee in 1988.
Dirac has generally managed to conceal his mounting alarm thus far through the conversation, but is clearly shaken at this point. He stands silently for a moment, his back to Barrette, before reluctantly turning.
DIRAC: I suppose that's what you really came to talk about then, and not the award ceremony?
Shot of Dirac, he removes his glasses, and pinches the bridge of his nose. The energy required to tell the story to follow is clearly too much for him. He looks up only briefly to look at Barrette, as if to examine his trustworthiness.
DIRAC: If you came all this way to hear about the past, then I suppose I will oblige...
Next panel shows Dirac's face in the exact same position, but he is decades younger and his image is framed within a concentric rectangle. Details surrounding the face reveal the shot to be a close-up of a medical ID card with security clearance.
DIRAC (NARRATING): During those years...
Zoom out to show young Dirac, his ID card suspended at his chest by a lanyard. He is receiving a dossier, embossed with the title, PANTHEON, from an unseen courier.
DIRAC (NARRATING): I was involved in a particular line of research...
Cut to shots of young Dirac as he begins his time with PANTHEON, observing an experimental dosing of a subject, and the subject's violent reaction.
DIRAC (NARRATING): ...of whose efficacy and morality...
Zoom in on the face of Dirac as he witnesses this-- He enjoys the misery.
DIRAC (NARRATING): ... I am still not entirely sure.
DIRAC (NARRATING): It was a time of desperation--
When all other aspects of the world had been explored, conquered and militarized
Shot of a young Jude Fourier, unknown to us for now, shaved and bald, seated in the lotus position, as dozens of wires and electrodes dot his body, like a sort of constricting, sterile spiderweb.
DIRAC (NARRATING): The final domain, we found, was not space...
DIRAC (NARRATING): ... but the Mind.
Zoom continues, as the bud takes form; as though the camera is boring straight into his skull,
DIRAC (NARRATING): Hundreds of the brightest scientists gathered under this auspice to explore a new frontier--
At this point, the bud fills the panel and appears potent, ready to burst
DIRAC (NARRATING): How could we push the human mind into inhuman territory?
DIRAC (NARRATING): Our questions were pure... but the answers were perilous.
The shot zooms into the portal and for a moment, we catch a vague glimpse of a swirling, shifting Tradesman.
DIRAC (NARRATING): What we found was never intended for man.
The shot then zooms back out and exits through a human iris.
DIRAC (NARRATING): Those who returned from their... education, were changed. Different.
Pulling back even further, we see this eye belongs to Maria (unknown to the reader at this point). And indeed, it does appear very distant and cold. Expressionless, and dressed in hospital garments, she weakly presses a hand against the glass of a windowpane which looks into her hospital room.
DIRAC (NARRATING): Those who returned from their... education, were changed. Different. You could see it in their eyes, and you felt it in their souls.
DIRAC: We thought that-- We... Perhaps this would be best left for another time. I was rather hoping to enjoy my night.
BARRETTE: Perhaps another time.
Dirac is walking away. He looks back at Barrette, acknowledging his words. Dirac then looks downward again, he appears more sullen than ever. Low angle shot of Barrette watching the departing Dirac, who is cast in shadow, while Barrette is caught in the light of a lamp post in the garden. A fresh cigarette butt smolders at his feet
Three panels, focused on Barrette's dated cell phone, displaying an exchange of text messages:
- Sent Message: "SAME AS LAST TIME"
- Message received from JACK
- KEEP TRYING
Barrette turns away, lights another cigarette, and looks to depart the area. A few meters ahead along the stone path that runs through the courtyard, Nathan Feynman, still disheveled and still unwelcome, lingers in a border between light and shadow. Barrette and Feynman make eye contact for a moment--
The lamps lighting the courtyard flicker for a moment before going out completely, casting the scene in darkness. Just a moment later, power is restored, but Barrette now finds himself alone.
Shots of Barrette driving, presumably away from the event. Sickly orange fluorescent street light glazes over him and the vehicle, as he speeds away.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): I could have written about anything else. I could have been a travel writer-- I could have been a literature critic. Something benign, something safe. But I chose to write about this, for reasons I still cannot understand.
Shot of Barrette peering through his fingers, as he rests his weary head against his hand. There are bags under his eyes.
Cut to Dirac returning home and opening the door that night. He is stands in the doorway, and hangs his coat upon the hanger there.
A shot of a cup of tea on the stand near Dirac's recliner, it is still steaming.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): In his final moments, he savored the things he had always enjoyed. His earl grey.
Shot from behind Dirac as he sits, as though the viewer is coming around the corner.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): In the end, he did not face death, but he did patiently await it
The shadow approaches, we see it in the doorframe; Dirac is apparently oblivious to his intrusion.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): That night, over a half century of secrets followed him home.
PAGE 14 - PAGE 15 (SPLASH)
Profile shot of Dirac and his killer (who is, of course, Jupiter Black); we see only silhouettes of both of them and only the murderer's arm and body are visible. Jupiter has shot Dirac in the back of the head, from behind the recliner. Dirac's hands are curled at the wrists, fingers out stretched, death has surprised him, his book has tumbled from his hands-- the impact of the gunshot crumpling his posture. In the cone-shaped spray of blood which issues forth from the front of his skull, we interpret signs and runes of ancient and forbidden knowledge.
Wide shot of Barrette watching the police scene at the estate of Dr. Dirac. It is day time now. We see first Barrette from behind, as he observes the police crews move about the victorian styled home.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): In the days following his untimely demise, I felt a disconcerting pressure placed upon my work.
Crime scene tape is being unfurled around the property.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): A great deal of this man's career had been so secretive, so classified, that every second that elapsed past his death, sent the truth of the PANTHEON Project deeper into obscurity.
Shot of Dirac's body, sealed within a body bag, being wheeled from the home.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): The friends this man made, the enemies-- all equal targets for the invisible hand which sought to snuff out his legacy.
Top down shot of the burial of Dirac. From above, we see dots for family members and friends, the actual grave, and the rows of tombstones around them. We pan across the faces in attendance, to include General Graves, along with Barrette. A priest is at the forefront of the congregation here. Finally, we see a shot of his two sons as they look upon the coffin.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): There were the usual avenues for this research-- the family members. The coworkers, the associates. It somehow felt in poor taste to interview his sons so soon after the passing of their father.
Angled shot, looking downward into the grave. We see the crowd line the sight. Close up on Barrette as he himself scans the people around him.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): Yet when it came time for the man, or at least what was left of him, to be put into the ground, the crowd that amassed was a sea of curious faces. So large was it, that I doubted this cold scientist could have amassed such an immense collection of friends, even in a life as long as his.
Bottom-up-shot of the priest as he opens his sermon.
PRIEST: By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
BARRETTE (NARRATING): And so the question formed: Were they here to mourn the man, or his work?
Shot of what appears to be General Graves (unknown to the reader) paying his respect to Dirac's coffin. He looks first at the coffin, then at Barrette, as Barrette makes his way away from the ceremony.
Wide, scene establishing shot of a late-night diner. There are only a handful of patrons, including Barrete, whom we can see hunched over at a booth; a waitress in the background.
Cut to a shot from above of Barrette's table, strewn with various notes and papers, pockmarked by coffee rings; an ashtray sits full. Upon the paper are various scribblings related to the PANTHEON project. Of particular concern is the word "FUNDING", which has been heavily circled in black ink pen, and christened with a question mark. Around the rest of the paper, from what we can see through the coffee rings and crumbs, it is a loose line diagram of the structure of the Pantheon project organization: [S.A.D]--MK??--LOGISTICS--OPERATIONS--RESEARCH DIREC--
A newspaper nearby advertises the GLOCKNER Medical group, however this may be partially obscured.
Cut to side shot. Barrette appears frustrated with the research here. The waitress approaches him.
WAITRESS: Need a warm-up, sir?
BARRETTE: Yeah, sure--
The waitress reaches across to pour the coffee. Barrette gazes tired and absentmindedly at the coffee pot, chin in hand.
Next shot from Barrette's perspective. In the black glass bubble of the coffee pot, he sees his own warped reflection, and behind him, an ominous silhouetted figure
Cut to Barrette spinning in his booth, perhaps fearful, certainly alert
Feynman approaches Barrette, and takes a seat opposite from him in the booth. He has a somewhat absent air about him.
FEYNMAN: I've been meaning to speak to you for sometime now.
BARRETTE: You've had plenty of opportunities. I believe I saw you at Dirac's award ceremony. Why not there?
FEYNMAN: Because I knew more then than I did now.
BARRETTE: So you know... less now? I guess that puts us in the same position then, if you're what I think you are...
We catch a moment of clever clarity in Feynman's mind as he smiles coyly before casually picking up a metal fork and knife from the tableware before him. He holds them parallel at chest level for a moment and suddenly, a small arc of electric current flashes between them.
Cut to Barrette, his face a mix of surprise and grim satisfaction. The lenses of his spectacles reflect the flash of the spark.
BARRETTE: A manipulator!
Barrette leans close, eyes narrowed
BARRETTE: Are you the one? You killed Dirac, didn't you?
FEYNMAN: No... Not... me... That is not how Mr. Fourier would like it.
BARRETTE: Mr. Fourier?
FEYNMAN: He... He is the one who keeps us. He speaks... to the men between walls. I know you must think I'm crazy--- I think that too. Look, I... I can only say or do so much to you to prove myself. Just watch this. Please.
Feynman's dirty hand slides to Barrette across the table a note wrapped around a small object. It rests amongst the table wear and coffee set upon the table. Focus on the object-- we sense its importance.
Cut to Barrette, sitting on his couch. He is examining the thumb drive Feynman passed to him. There is a sense of ominousness to the small plastic and metal bit, as it sits amongst the refuse of Barrette's bachelor quarters, along with the note Feynman had wrapped it in. Shot of Barrette lording over the object, perhaps from below.
Barrette loads the thumb drive into his computer.
Alternating shots of what is being played on screen and Barrette's reactions.We see that a video player has popped up on Barrette's screen. The grainy images of Fatima at the beginning of the issue are recalled. This time, with a bit more clarity. Barrette smokes, observing with mild scrutiny.
We clearly see Fatima, but the camera moves closer to her and the chrysalis she is singing into reality. As the cosmic filigree emerges from her mouth, Barrette's interest is immediately piqued.
DIRAC (AUDIO): Subject has initiated what appears to be--
Grainy, digitized close up of Fatima's mouth and the churning, spiraling, crystalline nub of the Tradesmen which is emerging from it. At this point, Barrette is gasping in shock; his forehead beads with sweat and the cigarette falls from his lips as his jaw drops in awe of something truly unexpected
DIRAC (AUDIO): ... a sustained Bridging Event!
The shot of the footage is so close that the image becomes vague and abstract. Barrette's concern has intensified into horror as he tries to comes to terms with what he is seeing. A slender spiral of smoke still rises from below as the fallen cigarette burns into the carpet.
In the final panel the footage has degraded into digital static as the video ends
Barrette is sitting on the couch still. The unfolded note is in his hand. He is hunched over, and a pained expression is on his face. Perhaps he may cry. An ominous silhouette has appeaed in the doorway. Cut to shot from the intruder's point of view. We see it is approaching Barrette, bearing down upon him like an apex predator. Barrette turns from the note to look at the presence. Tears are welling now. Barrette wishes to plead with the presence.
BARRETTE: I didn't want to know... Please, I'm sorry. I didn't want to know.
But if the party's over, If the fun has to end,
Could you do this for me my friend,
Would you just Please bury me with it
END ISSUE ONE