A shared dream –
“Vessels. I have failed you… over and over. Forgive me. I know what I need to do now. I have one gift to gift. I didn’t know it … I don’t even know how I came to understand it… but with my final heartbeat, I can give you life, give you your lives back. With that life, you must find the other vessels. By any means necessary. I think that when you have them all together you can stop all this, or , or take us back to the beginning…. or… kill him or I don’t know, believe me, I’ve tried. I’m so tired. It’s your turn now.
Tell her … tell her she was the only bit of goodness and comfort in this dog shit world…. tell her goodbye. I’m sorry. Sorry, I failed you all.”
With that and a jolt of energy, you woke in a pitch dark room.
A voice in the dark spat “Tell yourself, you lazy vagabond!”
Another large man gets up from his bed, trips into the bed next to him and instinctually punches anything near him.
A woman rises from her bed across the room and finds next to her the dead body of Edward Roper, the man from the dream and slaps his cold face.
After a little more fumbling about the man, the large man and the woman find their way outside and find that the dark room they were in is a small wooden cabin in a wood surrounded by wooden spikes.
The man and the woman introduce themselves, Larissa Thorne and Lord Gowersby. Gowersby is haughty and patronising and Larissa, for maybe the first time in her life, finds herself the voice of reason as the large man, who has climbed a tree attempts to take a piss on Gowerby.
A beast, part man, part dog approaches, seen only by the large man, who warns no one and watches as Larissa is attached.
A battle ensues which entailed puppeting dead bodies for distraction, the arrival of an oversized sphinx cat that is fighting on your side and many people running away. As things started to look really bad for the vessels two people turned up.
Malachai and Emmaline Beaufort. Malachai and his ‘boom stick’ quickly helped end the creature (despite being attacked repeatedly by the large man every time his ‘stick’ went ‘boom’) and, in putting out the fire (that Gowerby had started) Emmaline discovers the body of the man she loves in the cabin and is inconsolable.
Malachai, despite his sister’s hysteria, Gowerby’s insufferable personality and the general hostility of the vessels gathered the group and headed to what he called Base Camp.
On the way, he reveals that the year is 2020 (cue Gowerby fainting and needing to be carried the rest of the way. Once he realises that Edward knew a great deal he didn’t share and that the group had been gathered from across time Malachai struggles to even know how to summarise adequately what has happened to the group.
In 2016 he and his Sister were summoned to Boleskine house in Scotland by their parents. On arrival they discovered that their parents had become part of a secret society, made up of some important people and that they were conducting some sort of complicated ritual that involved a number of unconscious bodies. Horrified they immediately went to leave, where they encountered Edward Roper who explained that he was a member of MI5 undercover. However, he no longer seemed to have anyone to contact or report back to after the government had mysteriously collapsed. He saw it as time to drop cover and get as many of the vessels out of Boleskine and to safety. The ritual seemed to be failing so they snatched a body each and ran in the chaos.
By now they were back at base camp which was a primitive but well made permanent encampment with patches of farmland and animals and training grounds. The sat in a mess hall eating food, Malachai working hard to keep his patience. Chops, an enormous man is asked to bring booze and a bottle of eye-watering moonshine is brought to settle the nerves of the vessels.
They are taken to the Collector’s House where they meet Matt a young man who seems to be in charge of equipment and clothing of all kinds. The party are given their belongings back and Malachai takes them to the house that Edward had built them.
It’s also explained that in the four years that they have been unconscious the world is deeply changed. At first, it was mutations in animals and plants. Violence and rioting broke out which led to a strange hybrid of Marshal law and a dictatorship (Theresa May had, as soon as the shit hit the fan, handed over all power to an unknown member of parliament).
Humans have also found themselves at the mercy of mutations. Babies are born with abnormalities but adults are also finding themselves growing mutations, Malachai lists a few with-in the camp as extreme growth from Chops, the cook, gills growing on their resident chemist and another whose eyes are now black.
He promised to tell them as much as possible but he needed to step up now that their leader was gone.
He left the house with the large man looking like he was about to bolt, Gowerby wanting to research the several hundred years he had missed and Larissa wanting a grand tour.