Noble Beaumont sat in his reading room slumped over himself in his leather-bound chair; his pure white dress shirt heavily wrinkled and his black slacks rising above his ankles from the posture he was sitting in. His arms pressing his upper body's weight into his legs; his hands locked firmly together with a grip stronger than chains that hold a bastille from a consortium of sieging marauders. The rain beating down drop-by-drop, then barrage upon barrage, on the stained-glass windows decorated and faithfully arranged to form the visage of an angel; its luminous hues of yellow, white, and blue casting the moon's umbral light onto him. Tempest winds guide the clouds to take that light away and to seize the angel's grace, once again shrouding him in darkness.
The deep silence of the room is torn asunder by the raucous squall outside and the prayers for his daughter to be safe in his arms once more. Beamont prayed and prayed again under his breath, resisting the storms' attempts to divert his mind into a different sense of dread, yet one that is still lesser than the one he feels in that seat. As soon as it seemed the gods would not come to give him solace and answer his prayers, a knock that barely made the door move a centimeter on its hinges had come to save Beaumont from his grim solitude.
Beaumont shot up from his slump, onto his feet, faster than the shutter of a camera. He snapped his head towards the door and watched it slowly creep open to reveal Magdelene, the pink-haired detective sent to find Christine; her clothes soaked in rain.
She appeared to be a meek girl on the surface but truly a steadfast woman at heart, bound to the city after her parents had fallen ill and died on their farm. The only family she still has is her brother, Cain, who was forced to become an urchin to ensure he and his sister survived. She remains indebted to Beaumont for taking him in under his roof and now that debt is soon to be repaid.
Beaumont pleads to Magdelene as she slips through the door, “Did you find her? Please, I beg of you.” Magdelene walks a few feet in front of Beaumont as she develops a contemplative look to her eyes and looks down, figuring out how she’s going to tell him about his daughter’s condition, "I did but... she isn’t responding to anything I ask of her. I’m so sorry to tell you this. It’s like whatever behind her eyes has gone dull. She can still walk and follow instructions but that’s the most I’ve been able get her to do. I’ve taken her to her room already and helped her dry off, to make sure her first moments back that she can rest in her own bed comfortably as one in her situation can.”
Beaumont and Magdelene lock eyes as she lifts her head back up, he tries to put on the calmest demeanor he can muster, trying to remain strong in the face of the greatest fear he has ever felt within his heart, "Take me to her.”\
The two walked to Christine’s room with Beaumont having the heavy trepidation of fatherhood looming, hanging over him like an executioners sharpened axe waiting for its wielder to put everything they have into a laboring swing. Through the halls decorated with the rich history and portraits of the Beaumont family, Beaumont thought to himself how a lineage of Sariel military officers could fall so far. He thought to himself how the capital of a nation, its buildings decorated in intricate patterns of gold, its electricity flowing through the air connecting everything and everyone, can harbor such wretched plots and tragedies. Through the clacking echos of Beaumont's dress shoes against the hardwood they reached Christine's door. Magdelene quietly opened the door for Noble Beaumont and stepped aside, next to the door frame, and gestured for him to go inside.
Beaumont entered the room and looked upon his daughter, his eyes widened, and shocks were sent all the way to the back of his mind. On the bed laid Christine, a young woman no older than 15, with what use to be beautifully golden and tended to hair now appeared a pale blond and cut short to the middle of her neck. Her body's muscle mass had seemed to partially fade away with the one year and six months she disappeared.
Magdelene, now in the door frame, explained the rest of how she was found, “I found her in an empty photography studio, we’re lucky that none of the monsters that did this were lingering in the shadows. Through the storm we both persisted, she’s a strong girl, the strongest I’ve ever met. I did my research on the studio, and it has links to-”
Noble Beaumont could not stand by any longer and rushed to Christine, kneeled next to the bed, and took her right hand into his. Christine’s eyes pulled themselves open with the fatigue of months of toil. The noble had asked his daughter question after question, but to no avail. Tears started to well up in his eyes as she lay there, with her lips sealed. Is my only child in this world really gone? He thought, Is this the end of my life's blood? Magdelene had fully entered the room from behind Beaumont and took a seat next to the bed, a small lamp on the nightstand shining a warm orange aura on their faces.
Magdelene put a hand on his shoulder with three simple words but with entire worlds of significance, “Don’t give up.” Those words graced Christine’s ears, she used all the strength she had left in her to grasp her father's hand, she looked down at him and opened her mouth to let out a wisp of words with long pauses between them.
Her vocal cords strained themselves, “Under the spotlight...”
Christine then fully sank into the bed, falling into a deep rest, her chest barely rising with her breath. Magdelene and Beaumont turned towards each other with silence filling the room once more. The torrent outside had ended, all that is left is more questions than answers. In the woven threads of Magdelene’s fate, this is far from over.
The events soon to befall her will sway the tides, not just in the history books of Sariel, but how the gods’ divine intervention can forever change the world. She could not get onto her feet until, age 15, Magdelene had gotten a job at a café, the owner, Venus had given her a place to stay right in the rooms above. Her brother, meanwhile, was taken in by Noble Beaumont as an assistant after being given amnesty; additionally, a way to repent for his crimes as an adolescent. Years passed as Magdelene’s sense of empathy and justice grew; she was given the opportunity to fulfil her life's purpose. She becomes a private investigator as the police of Sariel better serve as soldiers of The Golden Spire in the middle of the city rather than to enforce justice. As news spread of the disappearance of Beaumont’s daughter, Magdelene's heart forced her hand to delve into the grief laden rabbit hole that calls to her like an iron maiden with open arms.
Dayton was born in the college town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Throughout childhood, he was always alienated for things out of his control, but through the pain and strife, a child-like sense of creativity and the enthusiasm behind it flourished. Now 17 years old he spends his time writing universes and weaving together compelling ideas for the world to see.
After one year and six months of being missing, Noble's daughter is finally returned to him by one of the only honest people left in the city, a private investigator. Whether or not she knows the events she is about to set in motion, her unwavering sense of justice has no choice but to prevail.