"Brief Lives part 4": Somewhere in the North of Scandinavia, a Lapp Alderman named Leib Olmai senses trouble after watching the Northern Lights. He checks the traps he set in each of the four directions, and finds that the trap in the south ha
- As I say, it might be simple accident that Ruby's room was where the fire started. As it might be coiincidence that our first quarry chose yesterday to be hit by a falling building. Reason was never an important part of my dominion. But certain conclusions become inescapable.
- — Dream
Appearing in "Brief Lives part 4"
- Dream (Flashback and main story)
- The Corinthian (Flashback only)
- Alder Man
- Ruby Elisabeth DeLonge (Dies)
- Danny Capax (Single appearance)
- Tiffany Calhoun
- Dickon Hawksthorne (Single appearance) (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Brief Lives part 4"
Somewhere in the North of Scandinavia, a Lapp Alderman named Leib Olmai senses trouble after watching the Northern Lights. He checks the traps he set in each of the four directions, and finds that the trap in the south has been triggered. He transforms himself into a bear, and sends his shadow to return home in his place.
Meanwhile, Dream and Delirium arrive at the home of Bernie Capax, who was once a known acquaintance of their missing brother Destruction. However, they find that he was killed just the day before by a collapsed building. His son Danny was so disturbed by what he found in his father's locked office that he took to drinking, and is already quite drunk. He leads the pair down to the office to show them that his father apparently lived a life that would rival that of a spy or thief. He does not know that his father had been alive for nearly 1500 years prior.
With Bernie dead, they decide to see the next person on the list. Her name is Etain, and she lives in Ohio. Their driver Ruby refuses to go the whole 15 hour drive over night, and so they go to a motel. She gets them three connecting rooms, though their eccentricity is growing tiresome for her.
Delirium tries to think of the people on her list, and she reaches out. She finds that Bernie Capax is certainly dead, as there is nothing but darkness in his space. Etain has moved from her original location. She has taken refuge somewhere. She considers that some old power may be blocking her from knowing exactly where Etain is. There is something strange and different about the familiar impression of Lieb-Olmai, but she moves on. She senses the dancing woman, a stripper. Reaching out, she appears to the dancer and warns her that they'll be seeing each other soon.
In his room, Dream contacts Lucien in the Dreaming. Despite having no wish to find his brother, Dream senses that there seems to be a force that is attempting to prevent them from finding him. He asks Lucien to have someone look into that for him. Lucien comments that he hopes that they do find Destruction, as he was a well-liked and respected man.
Dream recalls having long ago spoken to his brother. He had been walking the streets with the Corinthian when he was accosted by Destruction. Suddenly, Dream caught a pickpocket by the arm and demanded his Dreamstone be returned to him. The pickpocket professed no knowledge of the item, so Dream warned that until the day that the man is hanged, he will have nothing but nightmares of the event, and his future would be coloured by images of his own death. Finally, the man gave up the stone.
Destruction commented that the threats were unnecessary in recovering the stone, adding that times are changing. To demonstrate this, he took Dream to a college where scholars were depending more and more upon reason and science. In this particular college a scientist was performing a vivisection on an orangutan. Destruction explained that soon, there would be a shift in the thinking of man that would put reason at the forefront, and the chaos of destruction would no longer be needed. In this way he foreshadowed his own abandonment of his post.
Dream returns from his reverie to find that the room he is in is on fire. As it turns out, Ruby fell asleep with a lit cigarette in her mouth, and set her self and her room on fire. He heads out into the parking lot, where he finds his younger sister waiting. He explains that Ruby has died, and suggests that the deaths of those who are supposed to be helping them suggests that something is trying to prevent them from succeeding. Delirium only takes from this the fact that she is now free to drive their car.
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