There is an Artifact known as the Heart Stone. But the Heart Stone is not some corny plastic bead glued to a ring that youd find in a cereal box. It wont offer sloppy kisses to lovelorn teenagers wearing black nail polish or bring pink teddy bears stuffed with Chiclets to children in the Pediatric Leukemia ward at Sloan-Kettering. It wont even inspire disaffected Gen-Xers to recycle via a thirty minute Saturday morning cartoon show. It is the key to reading the currency of our souls. But despite that vague power, what alarms me is that the Heart Stone seems to be the Artifact the CIA has most aggressively zeroed in on obtaining. The government spooks have guaranteed that the Heart Stone has the least amount of recorded even rumored information circulating about it.
Who remembers Lieutenant Commander John Francis Dante? Dante was a highly regarded Navy SEAL, decorated with the Bronze Star, the Navy Good Conduct Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal, to name a few. But in a story fit for Dateline, the rape and murder of Dantes wife and daughter during one of his deployments drove him to commit double murder.
Several years back, Dante was a regular headline on the evening news. After hunting down and abducting one of his wife and daughters murderers in Atlantic, Dante beat him within an inch of his life. He stopped just short of killing him to guarantee that he wouldnt be dead by the time he made it through the Holland Tunnel where he ultimately cut the mans throat in front of the New York security checkpoint. The federal punishment he received for carrying a man across state lines to kill him only enabled Dante access to another of his wifes murderers: Pauly Rupe, who was serving time at Wilson P. Underwood State Penitentiary for a failed armed robbery. Pauly was dead within a week of Dantes transfer to the facility, his body discovered hanging from the exposed piping in a laundry supply closet from the elastic torn from his inmate uniform.
Dante exhibited himself as a man of no remorse and was destined to idle the remaining years of a bitter life on Death Row. But then he disappeared.
Anamnesis is the loss of forgetfulness. It is also defined as the remembrance of events from a previous life. As much as the world is starting to groggily rub its eyes and glance at the fire it has surrounded itself with, the world is not waking up fast enough. Perhaps the ultimate gesture of love and devotion Dante displayed to his wife was his black heart. He was a man who so ruthlessly refused to move past the murder of his family that he destroyed his own life. And that is where things begin to get interesting.
Thanks to Freedom of Information, most of the declassified documents with Dantes name not blacked out in them are completely blacked out everywhere else. But rumor among the inmate population at Underwood is of the general consensus that Dante was literally sent on a mission to Hell. Convenient, because readers following my previous articles already know Hell seems to be the place where the universe stores all of the mystic Artifacts. Whether or not Dante was actually deployed to Hell remains a mystery. All we know is he never made it back, wherever he went.
Lucky for me, I can guess what Dante was sent to look for: the Heart Stone. Reoccurring mention of the Jerusalem Portal, Mr. Black, key, and Heart Stone in the fragmented declassified files on Dante give me enough information to run with.
I doubt I would have even heard of the Heart Stone had Dantes name not come up through my research into the Rapture Artifact. While the Rapture is responsible for granting hope or bringing despair, the Heart Stone is noted to work as an accessory, bringing its wielder the ability to reveal true character. I know, it sounds just like a variation on Lynda Carters Lasso of Truth. But to wield the Rapture without having the ability to see if the true character of mankind is worthy of salvation is to leave the fate of mankind up to the indiscriminant whims of any flawed and myopic individual. Again, all doom and gloom scenarios here. But since less is known about the Heart Stone than what is understood about the Rapture, I wouldnt be so sure to declare the Heart Stone an accessory to the Rapture so much as it is its antithesis.
Be wary of where you place your allegiances, readers.