The suicide kings and queens. The internet shaman. Long, thin, lanky. Starved. He didn,t need it anymore. He was more spirit then flesh. But insistent on being called human. Crown of wires trailing throughout the room. Sitting on a harddrive throne. Lotus pose.
The internet was hazardous. No longer safe. Technology was now alive. Every computer home to a sprite, a creature that was temperamental and had to be placated. After all, you don,t want it short circuiting on you, at your hour of need.
Only the gist of it. They, the viruses, wraiths of horror, destroying the minds of the netbrained. Those who had their souls on fleshdrives. Eons of information lost. It was his job, n3t, escaped property of Ferrix Inc, to make the cyber realms safe.
Dealings with the tech spirits, evasions of the viruses, retrieve the remnants of lost recycled souls.
He no longer ate, the information coursing through the internet was the only thing he needed. To sustain himself.
Yogic techniques kept his body in a state of hibernation, his attendants, the other suicide kings and queens, kept him watered and barely fed. Cleaned him as his mind flew through the seas of information.
Suicide kings and queens. I bet it brings visions of finely dressed gothic royalty. With the powers to make others kill themselves, perhaps?
No, no, no, wrong. So very wrong.
I, n3t. escaped. So many years ago from ferrix inc. back then my body worked. I was merely an experiment. A cyborg. From the small town of whiskey hallow, now swallowed up by the fae bordergates of Arkadia Falls.
It was once a nice city. I wonder if D,agni is even still around. Perhaps he is now lost to the circus. There is no information on him archived in the great databanks of the Bleeding Towers. He always did shun technology after Arkata University, subsidiary of Ferrix, Inc, kicked him out. He was one of the first Anomalies…during the Tattering Times, when people started to realize that the walls of reality were getting moldy…and strange powers increased….
I keep them away. I am one of the few who can stand up to them. To all the factions. Or hide. My services are in great demand you see.
What price will you pay?
I can dig up old fleshdrives. Copy them for you. Wear the skin and thoughts of an old dead eldritch. Be what we call, the Masqued. But beware, do not become the mask you wear. We. You all call us.
Monsters. We are not. At least, we still cling to our humanity.
You. Masque one will lose it. We being partly other have lived it with it our entire lives, even when asleep. The fragments, the flashbacks, the mindshifts.
Are you ready?
Close your eyes, my friend.
And get ready.
You will never be the same again.
Where are you, my love.
Soul torn asunder.
Going down under.
My child, my wife, my queen.
Where are you….?
N3t stirred in his hibernation chamber.
A tidal wave of heartbreak washed over him.
The rotting one. The oldest s. King.
Walked out of the wall.
The most alien of the group.
wings rising, as though pulled on mannequin strings.
Lights flashing between the bony wing fingers.
You. Reek. Of. Other.
N3t hyperventilating. Calm.
The king, father of information, watched through Net,s eyes. They, these dissidents.
How they, this, these border children. Spirits cloaked in human skin. Live in such squalor.
His heart ached for them.
The rotting one.
Stared at net.
The rotting one, trafficker of souls.
Freeing human and cloaked ones alike.
All the same to him.
No one should be forced to fight.
No one should be forced to be someone
Who they once was.
The rotting one
Was against forced awakenings.
He turned his back on finery.
Something was wrong with Net.
Net. Claimed he was fine.
What was going on?
The king stared around.
Nobody in his kingdom lived like this, they were all provided for.
The rotting one stepped forward.
N3t,s eyes rolled back. It was time to talk.
He was awake. He was no skinrider,s pupper. His body will not be raped against his will.
Firewalls. Turn on.
The king merely split himself.
One within N3t.
And the rest of him went back.
To his throne.
He needed to provide for his children.
Including these. Little ones.
Nobody will suffer like he once did.
N3t isolated the foreign program.
Making it blind. Quarantining it.
Unknown to him, it still saw.
The rotting one suspected.
He didn,t say anything.
Both of them withdrew.
To sort through memories of the past. And beat them back.
The king sat on his throne.
There was no information on them.
Oddly enough, there were holes. Trails. Dead ends.