ECHOSIS : SYNOPSIS
Echosis is set in an ancient future, where classical Greece is spliced into an ambient utopia. There is only one city left on earth, Thespiae, a lush oasis surrounded by an endless gradient of grey desert. The Gods are in power, and they dabble in the lives of the mortals via two rival alliances, Mt. Olympus (run by a council of Goddesses) and Underworld (run by Hades and Persephone). Central to life in Thespiae is liquid light, a divine fluid which can manifest the likeness of anything imaginable. There is a dazzling, acrobatic form of ceremonial combat called "dualing" which captivates everyone in the oasis. The two alliances use dualing as a form of proxy warfare to assert their dominance over Thespiae.
We begin at the edge of the gradient desert. Hermes approaches swiftly from the endless horizon, playing a silver harp and singing with haunted certainty. His lithe, mercurial form flickers with potential energy, graceful and restrained. Hinting at the mortal tragedy to come, Hermes retrieves the amphora from his belt and pours out a wave of liquid light. The dancing water transforms into a lush spring marsh, with a gazing pool at it’s center. (“Hermes Intro”)
It is here we first see Narcissus, a radiant young mortal, in the middle of a dual with 3 automatons. They splash wildly in the pool as they take rapid turns attacking and defending. The automotons' mirrored exoskeletons reflect the water into prismic bursts of any-colored droplets. Narcissus is utterly confident, and competes with a casual aggression. He defeats the NPCs with little trouble, at one point even pausing to admire his reflection in mirror of an automoton's surface. (“Dualing”)
Having completed his training for the day, the marshy setting recedes while the pool remains, revealing that Narcissus' is in fact at home at his Megaron, a spacious, minimalist chill-pad. 4 electromagnetic pillars elevate the high ceiling, and a small pool of liquid light is sunk into the floor at the rooms center. There is a 12-sided levitating table for Narcissus’ accessories and sunlight pours in from an open-air oculus overhead. Narcissus begins bathing in the pool as he details his personal philosophy. Absorbed in his self-reflection, Narcissus at first does not notice the nymph Echo as she watches him from the edge of the pool. (“Secret Reason”)
Echo is a nymph, an elemental being made of liquid light. She is shy with a careless, deep heart. With a cursed tongue, Echo can only repeat the words of others, locking her out of mutual time. Narcissus interacts with the nymph dispassionately while he exercises. Echo seems constrained to the pool, while Narcissus commands the room. Hermes details their troubled relationship, as well as the unstoppable nature of the mortal heart. (“The Heartbeat Never Stops”)
The snow-capped cone of Mt. Olympus towers above the oasis. Looking out from it's peak are the high chambers where the Goddesses sit in divine council. The beauty of the three immortal women is unbelievable, almost terrifying. Clothed in bright white with intricate harnesses of golden leather, each Goddess has a small amphora strapped to their waist. Their voices intertwine in effortless harmonies, exuding a synergetic hyper-authority. From Prometheus to the present, they detail the history of liquid light and the amphoras used to control it. (“Behold Amphora!”)
The grand dualing court sits at the edge of the oasis. There are shallows pools of liquid light woven into the courts multi-tiered surfaces. With a dense flurry of ceremony, Narcissus and his rival Adonis enter the tournament grounds. On all sides, the seats are filled to capacity with spectators. The Goddesses of Mt. Olympus observe from opulent box-seats, and even Hades and Persephone watch the live-feed, albeit solemnly, from their subterranean enclave. Adonis makes veiled, flirtatious gestures towards his rival, which Narcissus ignores. Serving as referee, Hermes sings the tournament's opening lines to the approving roar of the massive crowd. The dual then commences with spectacular virtuosity. Adonis' flashy, passionate style is contrasted by Narcissus' cool, unrelenting focus. The pools of liquid light respond to their every movement, and the rivals utilize the living fluid's animate constitution to distract, embellish and amplify their attacks. In the end Narcissus upsets the reigning champion and wins the tournament. The mortal crowd loses it's mind, and even the Goddesses are pleased by the spectacle. Narcissus gloats arrogantly as he receives his trophy, and Adonis makes an esoteric plea to the Gods to punish Narcissus for his hubris. (“The Tournament”)
As the crowd exalts Narcissus, Hermes gives commentary on the mortal's problematic victory (“Hermes Interlude I”).
Victoriously returning to the Megaron, Narcissus begins drinking champagne and celebrating. There he is again visited by Echo. Emboldened by her desire, Echo attempts to seduce Narcissus, but he cruelly rejects her. (“A Ghost Goes”)
As Echo endures the pain of her rejection, Narcissus drinks and amuses himself by watching tournament replays and perusing the comments. Troubled by the sight of the girl’s suffering, the Goddesses summon Echo to Mt. Olympus and attempt to comfort her. Echo's tears trigger a rainstorm which envelops all of Thespiae. (“Echo’s Tesseract”)
Meanwhile, Narcissus begins to drunkenly wanders through Thespiae, contemplating his own meteoric rise to fame. As the downpour continues, Narcissus forcibly enters Mt. Olympus and makes his way to the Goddesses' high chambers. Possessed by delusions of grandeur, Narcissus confronts the Goddesses and threatens their lives, demanding that he be given a seat at Mt. Olympus (“Revenge For Existence”).
The Goddesses call-out Narcissus for his ignorance and try to warn him of the consequences if he continues his spiral inward. Narcissus blacks out, intoxicated and exhausted (“Pay In Blood”).
Act II opens back at Narcissus' Megaron. Narcissus is passed out in the corner, and the Goddesses stand around Echo in a ritualistic formation. Hermes provides commentary as the Goddesses pour a triple-helix of liquid light onto Echo, transforming her into Echosis, the spitting image of Narcissus. Echosis is calm and comfortable in her new form, but her tongue is still cursed. (“Hermes Interlude II”)
Narcissus awakens from his stupor to find Echosis standing before him. Awestruck, he approaches his likeness with reverence. Never breaking eye contact, Narcissus and Echosis fall in love in perfect duet. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the lovers, the three Goddesses merge into a single being: Nemesis the inescapable, clothed in blood red robes with trembling wings of liquid light. At the peak of their passion, Narcissus and Echosis reach out to embrace. But, just before they touch, Nemesis rips the plug from the pool's drain. Echosis is pulled steadily by the whirlpool and beings to scream. Narcissus panics as Nemesis informs him that he has been cut off from liquid light. After a desperate struggle, Echosis disappears down the drain. (“Face Of Love”)
Lost in his isolation, Narcissus reflects on the fragility of his self-love. His sorrow is childish, and he has no ability to escape his pain. Narcissus shatters his hand-mirror and, while wailing "goodbye", uses a mirrored shard to end his life. His blood slowly spills into the drain, as if chasing after his love Echosis. (“The Mirror Breaks”)
Stunned from her fall, Echosis lies on her back in a liminal drainage-room beneath the floor of the Megaron. The sound of Narcissus' final "goodbye" echoes endlessly around her. A dark opening looms at one end of the room, and an aperiodic trickle of Narcissus' blood drips onto her forehead from the drain above. Waking gradually, it takes Echosis a moment to realize that the blood belongs to Narcissus, and that he is dead. Repeating Narcissus' last word over and over ( the "I" sound of his "goodbye") Echosis then has her own mirrored moment of anguished self-reflection. However, her will is stronger than that of Narcissus, and Echosis' pain becomes the impetus for an awakening. The curse on her tongue suddenly melts away, and with a fully lucid agency, she vows to recover the soul of Narcissus from The Underworld. (“Lamdaath”)
Without hesitation, Echosis enters the dark opening and finds herself on a grand circular ramp, spiraling downwards towards The Underworld. As Echosis descends, she passes the ascending Sisyphus, who is rolling a massive stone up the same slope. The noise from dead man's unholy boulder is harsh and deafening, and Sisyphus does not look up from his eternal task. Upon arriving at the gates of The Underworld, Echosis is met by Cerberus, the sleek, horrific, dog-headed guardians of that deathly realm. They begin to dual, and although Echosis fights with purpose, she is overwhelmed by the merciless hounds. Defeated, Cerberus pull Echosis through the gates towards the throne room of Hades and Persephone. (“The Descent”)
Passing through the gates, the dogs drag Echosis along a narrow walkway which reaches across a still lake of liquid light. At the center of the lake, the monolithic thrones of Hades and Persephone rest upon a small island of ashen marble. Hades is seated in power, looming like a bearded demon, unassailably ancient, in stark contrast to Persephone's gentle elegance. Although she wears the dark and somber robes of The Underworld, Persephone's golden harness bears an amphora just like the Goddesses of Mt. Olympus. Thrown at the feet of the two shadowed Gods, Echosis attempts to negotiate, imploring Hades and Persephone to release the soul of Narcissus. Hades is unmoved, but Persephone's heart is touched by Echosis' pleas, and she convinces Hades to allow the reunion. Hades' agreement comes with a condition; Echosis must stay in the Underworld forever. As Echosis agrees to Hades terms, Persephone takes the amphora from her waist, and after dipping it's mouth into the lake of light, pours forth Narcissus like a fish from bucket. (“So Be It”)
At first the moment of reconciliation seems sublime, but confronted with Narcissus and his possessive, immature affections, Echosis suddenly realizes her mistake. Wiping the liquid light from her face, Echosis reveals her true identity to Narcissus, who is abruptly shaken from the bliss of love. The mortals' romance implodes and they stand facing each other, frozen in stasis. (“Wait Always”)
Hermes returns for a final moment of reflection on the hopelessness of mortal love (“Hermes Finale”).