Beyond The Holders
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Be sure to read Venaliter before this.
I touch down amidst the corpses strewn about the ancient ruins. One man crawls toward me, pulling himself along on his remaining arm. He sputters something I cannot make out before I bring the Black King’s Sword down, silencing him permanently. I take a step forward; the energy I feel here is unlike any other. I tracked it from the Void, entranced by its power and its… familiarity. Something about it warned me that I should not inform Edo Edi Essum of my excursion. Eventually, the protesting of my better judgment was struck down by my sense of curiosity, as well as something else I still cannot place, and I came to these ruins.
I keep walking, eventually coming to the source of what I felt. It is just a pulse, just a small ripple in the energy of this place, but it is there. And its presence, for reasons I do not know of, fascinates me. I walk toward it, and I feel it growing more powerful. It almost feels as if it is reaching out to touch me. I make contact with it, and a scene, a vision, thoughts, flood my mind-
The moonlight dances off the Spike of Enervation. I stroke it idly, the tips of my fingers brushing across it just enough to feel the energy, like caged fire and lightning, coursing inside of it. No matter how many Objects I obtain, I am always shocked by the power inside of them. My mind returns to this Object’s Holder, to the Holder of Enervation, of the answer when I asked it, “What can weaken Them?” My mind wanders, and I think about all I have done in my twisted, abnormally long life. My eyes return to the Spike, and they stay there for a moment, losing themselves in it, losing themselves in this, my thousandth Object.
A soft sound shatters my reverie, and I look up. A cat is standing on the stone wall by my house, watching me. It is graceful as it regards me for a moment before jumping down, landing next to me. I reach out to it, but it shies away. For a reason I do not know, I feel a twinge of sadness, and I realize that I had used the hand that was made of mercury. I reach out with my other hand, and it tentatively takes a few steps toward me. For a moment, I am tempted to speak to it in the language of cats, for I have the Secret, but something tells me to think better of it. I feel as if it would shatter this moment, which for some reason seems so fragile.
Gaining confidence, the cat moves closer to me. Now that I can see it clearly, I can make out the grey stripes that run across it. I can see a few flecks of blood upon its fur. I close my Marked eye, not wanting to see anything but the cat itself, not wanting to taint this experience with the Objects. The cat moves past my outstretched arm, brushing against my side. It circles around, and I put up my normal hand to stroke it. It purrs as my fingers run through its soft fur, and I feel a spark of happiness inside of me. Not the depraved joy that comes with acquiring an Object, the feeling that has been the engine of my mad quest, but true, genuine happiness. The cat meows softly, and I feel myself smile. It has been so long that the muscles of my face ache and protest. As the cat winds around me, I start to shed the horrors that had previously pervaded my mind. How twisted I’ve become, how I can feel the Objects taking over my life, the Seeker I must soon face-the only one to rival me in the amount of Objects he’s collected-and many other things. The cat’s tail brushes the side of my arm, bringing me back to the present. I-
-snap from the scene suddenly, shocked. I take a few steps back, attempting to comprehend what has just happened. It seems as if an experience, a memory, was somehow preserved in these ruins, probably due to the power of the one who brought it about. And yet, I cannot shake the feeling of familiarity with this individual. The experience is so vivid, so intense, so familiar, I cannot help but feel taken aback. And deeper within my initial shock… something I cannot remember having felt before. I can feel a spark of warmth inside me, although I did not realize I was cold. Relief, yet I did not know I was in agony. I feel a light, although I was unaware that I am consumed with darkness. I can feel the corruption of Edo Edi Essum inside of me, and I can feel something else… something fighting back. I can feel a spark of light, of happiness, fighting against the darkness and agony. This memory, this experience that feels so familiar in a way I cannot place, it has awakened me. I feel as if my eyes have been opened-
A surge of darkness courses through me. I extinguish the spark, the joy, the light. It will only weaken me. There is only darkness. There is only Edo Edi Essum. I can feel the darkness deepen, and I grow happy. Light is pitiful. Pathetic. And now, I feel something else-Yochanan, and another I cannot recognize. Instinctively, I can tell what they are coming for.
I extend the fingers of my right hand, and wave it to the side. Cracks blossom across the stone ruins. A remaining wall of the house explodes. Soon, the rest of the structure follows suit, destroying itself until only dust remains. Satisfied that I have completely razed this place, I turn away.
I take my leave.
To be continued in Cassus Phasmatis.
Part of the series Ieiunitas, Infectus, Talius.
|Last modified on 2009-05-23 19:38:46Viewed 6018 times|