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    Inside The Mind of Quartz - Loss

    --September 21st, 2022 | 11:14am--

    The pouring rain slams against the driver seat window of a slow moving vehicle. The view turns slowly to see the squinted right eye of Inness Quartz. As it continues to turn, there are several vehicles moving slowly down the road.

    Quartz stares straight ahead as the car continues to drive, listening to nothing but the ticking of raindrops landing and the screeching of the windshield wipers brushing them aside.

    ???:
    Familiar, isn't it, 'bub?

    Quartz is not startled by the break in the silence, instead staring straight ahead while delivering his response.

    Inness Quartz:
    You could say that.

    As the view continues to pan. It reveals Ijitu Quartz sitting in the passenger seat, also staring ahead.

    Ijitu:
    You know... I've always wondered.

    Ijitu peers out of the passenger seat window, watching the rain fall from above.

    Ijitu:
    Why does it always rain when this happens?

    Inness: You tell me, Mr. 'New Storm'.

    Ijitu Quartz snickers quietly as he turns back to Inness.

    Ijitu:
    Oh, we got a funny man in control now?

    Inness offers a small smirk before returning to his somber, straight-faced demeanor.

    The rain continues to fall as the cars ahead of Quartz all turn left, through large gates.

    Philadelphia National Cemetery

    Inness peers at the gates briefly before turning the wheel left, following the parade of black vehicles.

    As they approach the gates, the dead trees just behind the gate slowly shift to full, green trees...


    --May 9th, 2015 | 12:55pm--

    Ijitu: Great. Now this one?

    The view returns to the interior of the vehicle, with Ijitu shaking his head and straightening his shoulders.

    Inness continues to drive forward, the sleek black design of the cars reverting to a few older models in front of him.

    Inness:
    ...

    Ijitu: I don't need your judgy silence, "soldier".

    Inness: I am not judging anyone right now. I am just driving.

    Ijitu: Heh. Right. I'm surprised they didn't toss you out when you offered to be there for him.

    Inness: These people, Ijitu. They don't know what really goes on with us - with you.

    Inness: Uncle Nik didn't know. Nobody really does... Except us.

    The camera continues spinning as Ijitu looks annoyed, staring out of the passenger seat window. As it faces the two men, we can see Intell Quartz sitting in the back, sifting through a large book.

    He peeks up at the mention, but says nothing, instead opting to adjust his reading glasses and returning to the pages.

    Inness:
    They forgave you. They forgave us. I just wish you could forgive yourself.

    Ijitu: Hey - I warned him. It's not like I killed him.

    As the cars start to slow down, Inness flicks off his windshield wipers and turns the key slowly, turning off the car's engine.

    Just as he does, the trees begin to wither slightly as the men travel further back...


    --June 29th, 2002 | 1:11pm--

    Inness nods, recognizing the surroundings, and steps out of his car. Intell and Ijitu do as well.

    Ijitu:
    It's just as depressing as I remembered. Yeesh. These people really know how to kill the mood.

    Inness throws Ijitu an irritated glare, but before he can respond to the remark, a young man walks through him.

    He does not bump into Inness, rather phases directly through him. The young man has a familiar annoyed look on his face, with his hands behind his head in a carefree manner. His blue hair can be seen sticking out inbetween his fingers behind his head.

    Inness watches the young man continue to approach the service alone, as he looks back to Ijitu.

    Ijitu:
    Looks like the kid agrees.

    Inness: I can only imagine the immense sadness and confusion going through their minds when they see... you.

    Ijitu leans against the car, staring at the 16-year old Quartz, looking on proudly.

    Ijitu:
    Pshh. I see a boy with the confidence to stand on his own two feet while the rest of these depressing people are selfishly hanging onto others with tears in their eyes.

    Intell holds his hand up, seemingly clutching something. As he does, a black umbrella fades in from top to bottom, landing in his outstretched hand.

    Intell:
    So much time has passed and yet you two play this game every time we enter the mind.

    Intell: Symbiosis seems to be further from your grasp than ever.

    Ijitu: Can it, nerd. Since when have you ever contributed around here? When's the last time you were in control?

    Intell simply smiles and shakes his head.

    Intell:
    We should follow them.

    The three minds of Quartz continue forward, following the mass to a funeral service. An awning has been set up to protect the coffin from the pouring rain. They notice a picture of a smiling man on top of the coffin.

    As they approach, the leaves begin to blow forward, the green of the trees once again disintegrating from blueish green to an empty branch, shaking in the wind. The color of the awning changes from grey to black, and hovers over a new coffin. The photo of the man has changed, showing instead a brunette woman, smiling wide.

    Ijitu, Inness, and Intell all stop in their tracks, watching the reverse passage of time. The brash, arrogant young man we know to be a 16-year old Quartz is seen standing by himself near the back of the service. He slowly changes into a younger boy, standing with his head down, crying...


    --October 17th, 2000 | 10:43am--

    Leaning down to comfort the crying boy, the man from the photo on the previous coffin pulls him into a big hug.

    Intell:
    ...Through everything the past 20 years. The three of us know why we're here.

    Intell: Bickering, fighting, control... None of it matters if it's done without that boy in mind.

    Inness and Ijitu continue staring at the crying boy.

    Intell:
    You both have accomplished monumental success in your own ways.

    The camera focuses on Ijitu while Intell continues to speak.

    Intell:
    Arrogance, paranoia, selfishness, greed... Strength. For him.

    The camera fades to Inness.

    Intell:
    Attentiveness, patience, pride, loyalty... Strength. For him.

    The view shifts back to Intell as he looks on...

    Intell:
    I fear we'll never truly reach symbiosis... but as long as you two never forget why we're here and who we're representing each and every day, then I can say nothing of the results. Come. Pay your respects.

    The three walk towards the front, phasing through the crowd, who do not acknowledge their presence. They reach the front of the coffin and look into the picture. Ijitu and Intell stand on each side of Inness.

    Intell:
    Mother.

    Time flashes forward to the next service, rain continuing to come down on the families in attendance.

    Intell:
    Father.

    Again, time flashes forward. Inness passes a knowing look to Ijitu, who returns the favor before looking back at the 16-year old Quartz, who refuses to show an ounce of emotion towards the service.

    Intell:
    Uncle.

    A final passage of time forward leaves Inness standing alone in the present day. He looks to his left and right, seeing that he's no longer inside the mind, but standing in the front of the service.

    He nods and turns to the crowd.

    Inness:
    Aunt.

    Inness: Those we love never truly leave us. There are some things death cannot touch. We'll miss you, Mar'.

    The champion's blood shot eyes share a few blinks with those in attendance, a far smaller crowd than those in the previous memories.

    Inness:
    Be well, everyone.

    Quartz steps forward and nods to several family members, shaking their hands and embracing as the scene fades.
    Last edited by Quartz; 1 Week Ago at 12:40 PM.

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