UN-kindness OF One

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    In the Dreaming, in Eve's cave, Matthew is having a nightmare when he is dragged by a slimy creature into the back of the cave where he disappears. Picking up from events of the Souvenirs story arc, Echo has been depressed and living in a big house as a servant for a creature claiming to be Anton Arcane. Arcane forces Echo to perform a ritual supposedly intended to summon The Corinthian to the waking world. However, when the smoke clears, the only thing that has been summoned into the room with Echo is a raven-black stone.

    In actuality, the ritual was meant to summon Matthew back to life in a human body in the waking world. Matthew is found, naked and stumbling through the streets, and is brought to a police station where they notify his former wife Abby Holland. When she insists that her husband is dead, and Matthew behaves erratically, he is committed to a mental ward.

    Eve, desperate to feel the company of her raven again, insists on traveling to the waking world to retrieve Matthew. Lucien, a former raven himself, refuses to let Eve go alone and returns to the body of a raven to accompany her on her journey.

    Abby eventually agrees to meet Matt at the hospital. He tries to get his life back to the way it was before his death, but Abby explains that she's moved on in the many years he's been gone. He still feels a need to save her from the threats she faced before he died, while she insists that he already saved her years ago. It's now that Anton Arcane leaves the house and descends upon Matt's hospital room.

    Eve calls in an ancient favor from the bird's of the city, and summons the souls of her former ravens and asks that they aid her in tracking Matthew. The birds bring her to the house where Echo is residing, because they are attracted to the black stone that was summoned in the ritual. Echo mistakes Lucien in his raven form for Matthew, who she holds a grudge against for being an associate of The Corinthian. Refusing to relinquish the stone and intent on killing Lucien, Eve is forced to attack Echo and leaves her for the birds to pick at. Lucien then takes the stone and flies to Matt in the hospital.

    Under attack by Anton Arcane, Abby explains that this can't be her Uncle Anton because he had reformed years ago. They realize that in truth, this being was just a manifestation of Matthew's nightmares. His fear of having failed Abby and needing to save her, and his anxiety over never being a man again brought to life through the power of the Dreaming or maybe Eve's cave of nightmares. Matthew's nightmare crossed over into the waking world, where it manifested as a villain that had previously threatened his wife, which then summoned Matthew back to life so he could live out his anxieties. Presumably the nightmare sought out Echo due to his grudge and his recent proximity to a breach in the Dreaming.

    Matthew accepts that his life as a man came to a close and accepts the black rock, which was the manifestation of his discarded raven body. Returned to his bird body, he, Lucien, and Eve return to the Dreaming where Matthew can sleep once more, content, in Eve's cave.


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