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the chosen prophet

[Multiple Locks]

[Locked to Wanderers]

You don't know me, and you have no reason to believe me. I'm just one man, with my beliefs and a few like-minded individuals, but this is something which concerns you all. It's my earnest hope that you'll give me a few minutes of your time, to read my words and to consider them.


This was not an accident. Your presence here, the gifts you've received... None of these happened by chance.

Every universe that ever was or could be is affected by the Rift. From every possible world, you've been brought, and you've been changed. I believe there is a consciousness in the Rift, a purpose, and each and every one of you has a part to play in that grand design.

Look at the gifts you've been given, the abilities you never had before. Look around at those who have come with you, the warriors and healers and men of wisdom. How can you think this was an accident?

You were chosen. You are special. You are holy. You belong here.

You are the hope of this world. I most sincerely believe that.

As for myself... I have a deeper understanding of the Rift than most, but other than that, what matters is the message, not the messenger. I'm here to act as a guide, to help where I can.

To that end, I and several others have established another shelter for all those that have come through the Rift, independent of political affiliation, outside the wars of angels and demons. We offer shelter, food, and clothing for those who need it.

I don't ask for your belief -- only those who lack conviction in their own creed make aid contingent on acceptance of it. All I ask is that you listen, consider my words, and do as your heart dictates. We want nothing more than to help you, and to guide you, but it's not my place to force either upon you.

If you have need, or even if you're merely curious, you're welcome to visit us.


[Locked to Elashte]

It seems I've arrived.

You've done quite well for yourself here, you know.


My old friend! I was wondering where fortune would toss you in our direction. Really, I'm surprised you didn't come earlier. (Though I imagine coming mush earlier would have placed you on Romana's warpath. She was not, I hear, much one for Riftcomers.)

We should have dinner sometime. Where are you staying?
Not one for Riftcomers, and, I would imagine, not one for Nephilim, either. Archangels, past and present, rarely are.

Even so, I'd have been here much sooner, but for certain complications. The spirit was willing but the flesh... Well. Some things are unavoidable.

Dinner would be very welcome, indeed. We've acquired a small building for the time being, at [address, not in the best part of town, but not horrific, either].

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the fact that a demon has not only proven more sympathetic than I could have imagined, but has come to power while still championing reason...

That gives me hope, old friend. Thank you for that.
I can promise you the Rift isn't conscious. It's a hole in space and time and the walls between universes.

Who are you? And you can forget the "just a messenger" thing, I mean... really.
Oh, can you, Doctor? With your machines and your hypotheses, your 'Rift manipulator' built from the scraps the Rift itself gave you, have you ever truly felt the Rift? Have you had every flare and flicker write itself in fire on your nerves? Have you looked through it to see the worlds it touches, felt it reach out and take someone and bring them here, to this place, out of every other world it borders?

I have.

Angels and demons, two imperfect halves of a whole, and I myself am a product of a flawed union between them. My kind are the Nephilim, in a species sense, and I'm one of the Emim, if you'd like to get down to sub-types. We're attuned to the Rift. More than what we do, it's part of what we are. This isn't to say all of us share the same opinions. I am, as far as I know, unique in the extent of my study of the Rift, and my attempts to understand it.

But everything I have seen, everything I have felt in the past thirty-eight years of study (and oh, I know that's nothing to someone ancient as yourself, but the rest of us have to make do with the time we're given) leads me to that one conclusion: there is a consciousness and a purpose in the Rift.

Your understanding eclipses mine in so many things, Doctor, but not, I think, in this.

I don't blame you for your skepticism, and I bear you no ill-will. How could I? Of all the people the Rift has brought us, who has more capacity to change the world than you do?

Consider that, Doctor. You and your companions, brought here. You, who've irreversibly altered the course of worlds, of galaxies, and those closest to you. Do you really think that's a coincidence?

I'm holy?
It's difficult to believe, I know.

But even the most seemingly trivial of abilities, or the most ordinary of people, is part of a greater purpose. Your actions here, no matter how small, have the potential to change so much about this world.
Yeah, I've heard the whole "chosen" speech before. Been there, done that, pretty much over it.
I'm very sorry if that called up unpleasant associations. That wasn't my intent in the slightest.

If it's any consolation, I have no intention of pushing you into a destiny you don't want. I may believe that destiny exists, but I see no reason to force anyone into carrying it out.

I'm here to smooth the path, Ms. Summers. The choice whether to walk it or not is yours, as much as it's anyone's.


Uh, not to impugn your faith or anything, but have you noticed that every once in a while you get a wanderer who's basically the scum of the earth? I mean, I know some great guys, but we're still a mixed bag and every once in a while you get one bad dirty bomb spoiling the bunch.

Or as the Beeblebrox might say, we're just zese guys, you know?


No mythology is made up entirely of beings of good, Ms. Lang. I don't expect every Riftcomer to be be a paragon of saintly virtue. I do believe that everyone that's come has had an effect, however, which serves a greater pattern. Ripples in the pond, to borrow an analogy.

I'm not going to wholeheartedly approve of any action by those who've crossed over, by any means. But the sudden drastic increase in Riftcomers is, I believe, a symbol of a greater change that's taking place, and there is a reason for that change.
Really? Well, gosh Mr. Disembodied Journal Man, you've certainly opened my eyes. And here I thought we were just the wayward buggered of some pandimensional fuckery, but we're chosen now?

Okay, Oh Anointed One. I'll humor you for about four seconds. What're we chosen for exactly? Are we going to lead our people out of Chicago into a land of milk and honey? You want I should stand on the tallest building in the city with a couple of pretty engraved rocks with a message from the Rift? What? Look, we're just a bunch of displaced people with freakish alterations to our biology trying to survive. Nothing more, nothing less.
"A bunch of displaced people", as you put it, who have thus far led to the downfall of a Neqa'el, completely changed the supernatural political landscape in Chicago, caused quite a bit of a commotion in Rome, stopped a plague, dealt with pollution of the Chicago sewer system... I could go on.

I have no guidebooks, Mr. Descant, and no holy destiny for any of you save that which you're already fulfilling by being here and acting according to your natures. And I'm hardly an anointed anything.

What I am is a man who sees patterns in these events, and who feels the Riftcomers should have options other than acting as pawns in a match between angels and demons. All of you have a great deal of potential, and are being treated, more often than not, as pawns in one political game or another.

I'm offering another option, and what support I and those who agree with me can lend.
Wow, how original of you.
I don't blame you for your scepticism.

From the tone of that response, it seems likely you're not interested in discussing the matter further, but if there are any specific issues you'd like me to address, I'm more than happy to speak with you about them at your leisure.
Um, no offence? But I don't think that anything that, y'know, thinks would take some kid away from their family and their life at home and dump them in someone's fireplace in a different universe.

Just saying.
And if the need was greater than that of one child, one family? What then?

It's not an easy thing to accept, and I have only my own belief and the events that have unfolded thus far to provide support for it. But given the extent to which Riftcomers have changed the current situation in Chicago, and those events will, slowly but inevitably, change the world.

And I most sincerely believe that if you're here, it's because you were needed. The reasons may not seem evident at first, but they are there. And they will continue to be there regardless of whether or not you accept any of what I have to say.

Necessity is not often a kind thing. But just because something is not pleasant doesn't always mean it's not good.

All the same, I know that separation from your family and friends must be painful for you. I didn't choose this for you, and I wouldn't wish it upon you.

I am sorry, Ms. Jackson. For me, the idea that there's a higher purpose in all the suffering that has come about is a comfort; I can take some solace in the thought that there is something better that will come out of this. You may disagree, and I can't fault you for that. But simply because I take comfort in this, it doesn't mean I'm blind to the pain that this causes.

Look I think it's great that there's another place for Wanderers to go to that is, as you put it, independent of political affiliation. I think many times Wanderers have been stuck in the middle, not sure what to believe or who.

I'm not sure that informing them that they're chosen and special is the best idea. It sounds... creepy and a tad bit insane the way you put it. I mean, how exactly are you planning to help them? Or anyone for that matter? Beyond the place to stay?

Are you a Nephilim? I've met two before. Don't know much about the kind though, except what I heard from Brando.


Yes, I am a Nephilim. Emim, to be specific. I'd be happy to tell you more about us, and fill in the gaps in what you may have heard, if you like.

And the crux of the matter, Dr. Jones, is that, as insane as my beliefs sound to you, I do believe them, wholeheartedly. And I find it far better to be as open and honest about that as possible, before I offer any form of aid. Better an openly acknowledged lunatic than a shadowy figure with a hidden agenda.

You can see the responses this has garnered already, and they're far from overwhelmingly positive. Anyone coming to us will have to take that into account, and I think it better that they do.

I've no intention of winning blind converts, or manipulating anyone to my side, Dr. Jones. If there's truth in what I believe, it will be self-evident in the fruits of that belief, in my behaviour and that of those who agree with me.

I have no ultimate answers. My belief that the Rift has a purpose and plan doesn't give me any great insight into what that plan is. But I believe that this world is broken, that angels and demons both have become too bound up in their callings to acknowledge the good of all. My own kind have been hunted and persecuted, for being neither one nor the other. Riftcomers such as yourselves are shuffled between sides and used as pawns. This seems wrong to me. Deeply, terribly wrong.

I do believe, however, that it's possible to change that. And the first step is giving those of you who have come a place where they can stand on their own. Whatever purpose there is, it's unfolding with or without my help, but I believe by rendering aid to Riftcomers, by providing not just basic necessities, but people who are familiar with this world and willing to act as guides both to the political undercurrents and the actions of the Rift, I might help events transpire more smoothly. That won't be accomplished by manipulation, or by blind fanaticism, but by being as open as possible, and encouraging people to question, draw their own conclusions, and find their own definition of their purpose here.
I may be a 'saint', but I make no pretensions to holiness. There's a difference between divine and forgiven, after all.

As for the Rift...

I haven't changed. Not one bit. I had a gift, but I lost it quite a while ago. There's nothing an ordinary man can really do, bound as he is by so many limitations, not to more than just his immediate acquaintances. And...it isn't enough to save the world one policy at a time.

I appreciate your generosity towards all the newcomers, but I'm afraid I can't see your message as anything more than that. I kinda wish I could.
The Rift changes everyone. I've yet to encounter an exception. However, the changes aren't always immediately evident. You may not be in a position to believe this yet, but I have every confidence that, eventually, you'll discover exactly what it's given you.

Likewise, although it's difficult to come to terms with being seemingly ordinary after having had abilities most humans don't... One word at the right time can change a world. Everything's ripples in the pond.

But I'm not looking for blind faith, or unthinking conversion, and polite, honest dissent is more valuable to me than either.

Thank you for saying your piece, and I'm always happy to speak further with you, if you'd like.
Not everyone has been changed, not everyone for the better, and not everyone has received gifts. I would think someone who claims intimate knowledge of the Rift would know better than to extoll the virtues of those lucky enough to be changed, lucky enough to be gifted, and lucky enough to be fundamentally good in the first place without also having something to say about the other end of the spectrum.

So for the sake of playing the skeptic, though many already have: I'm wondering what help you would have for those who don't follow this particular vein of chosen. Other than that this was all part of a plan, or everything happens for a reason, or any other blanket variation religion has been spouting for centuries.
So, in short, you're asking for religion not to behave as religion? That's something of a tall order.

I won't insult you by repeating myself -- you've read my reasoning already, and the fact that I do believe that even those who don't necessarily qualify as 'good' are part of a greater purpose will neither reassure nor impress you, I know. But as far as what help I would have...

We offer food, shelter, clothing, and medical aid for any Riftcomers that need them, as well as what guidance we can give in coping with and making the best possible use of the changes the Rift has made. All I, or any of my followers, ask in return is that violence and grudges (personal or political) be left outside our home.
I'll admit to skepticism, so just tell me one thing: just how much do you know about what's going on here, about how and why I got here?

I've been chosen before. Been told I was special and unique and a foretold guardian. It ended in nothing but pain and suffering, not my own, but others at my hands. You can understand why I'm not excited at the possibility of doing it all over again.

I've already been changed too much in my life without my knowledge or consent. I don't enjoy being told it's happening again.


I am not holy, Shepherd.

If anything, I am profane.

I wish you luck.


I truly believe you don't give yourself enough credit.

But I appreciate the well-wishes, all the same. Thank you, Ms. Sark.
It's a dangerous thing to feed a man stories of his own holiness.

I commend your faith -- it seems to be in short supply these days -- but my own tells me I'm no more holy than any other man, and less so than most of them.

I'll leave the hostility to those who are better at it, but I am concerned.
I understand your concern, Shepherd. But I want to make it clear that I'm not interested in exalting Riftcomers as some sort of master race. But there is a purpose to your presence here, that much I'm sure of. And amidst all the voices that say that Riftcomers are inconveniences, charity cases, or pawns, there should be one that says that you're special, that you're capable of changing the world, and what's more, that you already have.

I have no master plan of my own, Shepherd. Merely the need to see the Rift's will done, and to try and make this world a little better. Changes will come with or without my interference, or belief in my message, but I'd like to see those changes come with a little less pain for all involved.

We're not so different, you and I, for all that we give reverence to different names.