Dragons: Hell: Struggle! I Choose You!

Eternal Berg, BSTF, January 25th, 2010

“Oh no, not you...” 

Fuschia was panting heavily. She had been running through the streets of Attara for several hours, or at least it seemed like it, avoiding what she surmised to be a fairly rudimentary set of psychological manifestations. Family members were chiding her, she was seeing hallucinations of moments of personal failure, all in all a fairly bland set of visions. Now, standing before her, was her mother. It was about the lowest point she could reach – being predictable.

“Please.. please let this be a manifestation of my fear of being boring...”

- - - 

“Well, this is bleak.”

Vermil was staring at a void. At least, he believed he was. There was nothing around him. No light, no darkness, simply nothing. He could not see his own body, but he could move. He could feel his body, that sixth sense of self-perception working overtime to compensate for the lack of... what it was, Vermil couldn't put his finger on it. It wasn't that the world was missing, it was as though...

“This world has ceased to be.” 

A voice spoke to him.

“This world is one of three possibilities. You have seen two, now. This is the world had I not intervened and introduced you as a player. The other is the world of ruin that was shown you by Daebi. Neither of these worlds will exist if you fulfill the role I intended for you.”

“Who are you?”

“We have not yet met, and I am but a messenger. No, not a messenger... a servant. I serve a higher power, one you have already encountered, but not for my own personal gain.”

“Cryptic. As usual, nothing around here is willing to give me a straight answer.”

“You will die.”

Vermil found himself suddenly cold. It was not the void, it was the words of the voice that chilled him. 

“Why should I believe you?”

“Because I am an agent of those that wish to save this world.” 

Vermil remained silent.

“You have already been told that you are instrumental in this world's destruction, even if you have not realised or accepted it yet. What you will come to understand is that fate is a fragile thing. You have three options now, to survive, to die or to struggle.”

“Does each of these lead to a different future?”

The voice did not respond.

“I choose... to struggle!”

The void suddenly grew bright, far brighter than Vermil's eyes could handle...

And his blinking eyes barely betrayed that he was in an office.

“Hello! Nice of you to drop in! In fact, I was just talking about you.”

- - -

Polaris was in a room with a million easels, and none of them could hold paint.

It was truly hell, but he was beginning to doubt whether it was his own personal hell, or that of someone who did not know him very well.

- - -

Rust and metal were the order of the day. Max was traversing a shaky scaffold of slowly rotting metal, pausing occasionally to find himself about to fall where a step had fallen through. He had to pick up his pace, descending the stairs in leaps and bounds. His logic was that careful steps led to slower reflexes should he fall, but keeping momentum meant a greater chance to save himself. It was working, a fact he relished when the entire scaffold gave way, forcing him to leap across to another such construction. There were many stairways, each interlocked in maddening and varied ways, and each was slowly beginning to fall away. There was no future for him here unless he could reach the bottom. The bottom was clearly visible – it was seemingly made of sheet metal, but it was stained by blood and he knew exactly whose blood it was. This whole nightmare had been reminding him of who he once was – before Eev came along and he found himself genuinely considering consequence.

With a loud thud he landed on the metal. It was moving, as if the whole structure beneath him was rising upwards. 

“Well I'll be damned.” He said, looking down, seeing the structure separate from the land below.

He was on a spaceship. 

It wasn't part of his memory. 

- - -

Hari was angry. He could not understand why he was seeing what he was seeing, but his mind was fighting back now. It was attempting to repel the visions by working against them. He saw a man, bitter and sullen before him. He spoke as his mind felt best.

"I want to be on the ships daddy."

The man looked at him scornfully. There was contempt in his eyes that he couldn't understand. "No! You will BE KILL BY DEMONS"

Hari was more grateful for his mind than ever. It was effectively running an anti-virus, expelling the unwanted images by reducing them to something Hari couldn't help but laugh at.

"This is Sepia", a Radio spoke. It was the man before him, but his mouth had now changed to a loudspeaker. "Bit of trouble with the whole Palkia incident, but its up to you now. You must fight the demons!"

Hari began to run. He was separating reality and fantasy, but it wasn't enough. He needed to distance himself – wherever he was, it was still a real place. What he was seeing, however, wasn't necessarily.

"HE GOING TO KILL US", screamed the man. He was separating out into pieces – fragments of himself that were more easily removed him Hari's mind.

"I will shoot at him", a piece yelled, but it dissolved. It was working. The world, however, was reacting to Hari's tampering. The real world was connected to his mental state, and it was falling apart. He found himself trapped as buildings began to fall around him, leaving him with nowhere to run.

"No! I must kill the demons" He shouted.

The last remnants of the man replied, "No, Hari. You are the demons"

And then Hari was in an office.

The End

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