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    The essence carrier

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    Daevron

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2011-01-05

    The essence carrier

    Post  Daevron on Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:22 pm

    please bear in mind that i wrote this years ago, its unfinished, mostly because its in the 3rd person and pretty crappy... but.. oh well.

    The Essence Carrier
    Chapter one Looking back.. I can laugh.
    So much has happened to me that I can scarcely imagine the person I used to be. It's like some kind of crazy before and after picture that doesn't quite seem to match up. Despite the amount of time that has past I still feel a little winded, like part of me is still trying to catch up and adjust to the changes. All the things I've seen, all the people I've met (and lost.), everything I learned, it has all culminated to a moment which not only changed my life but saved countless others. Sitting here now it's easy to imagine the person I used to be: a shallow extroverted little boy who thought that growing up meant giving up and felt that the future was a waste. It's so hard to capture the mindset of how I used to be, mostly due to Terra's love and Zu's honor. I know you have no idea who these people are but I will get to them in time.
    My name is William Jefferson Alania and I am 18 years old. I was born to a wealthy suburban American family and I struggled for very little except attention in my life. My father was a lawyer, a good one to be sure, and my mother was a doctor. Of my sisters, my older sister was working her way through college as a waitress and my little sister has the honored profession of being a pain in my ass and she EXCELLS in that field. I might have been just another spoiled rich kid but my sister was the whiniest, most annoying child in all creation and my parents did nothing to stop her. I used to be bitter about how my parents favored her over me, but now I just feel a vague sort of pity with the association. You see, I used to have another sister but she died when I was very young and it almost destroyed my family. My mother almost committed suicide, my father considered divorce and I was stuck in the middle of two people who seemed to see me as a living extension of their grief. If my little sister had not been born around that time my parents most assuredly would not be together today. This was some kind of cooling factor and while neither of them ever forgot my older sister, it was like they were rewarding my little sister for managing to stay alive. At the time I was too young to understand and by the time I could, I was too bitter to care. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister dearly but it's hard to not feel bitter when your family treats you like an unwanted part. It doesn't matter if they mean to or not. I grew up in this mixture, and I never felt like I could measure up to their expectations. When you get pushed so hard for so long you lose the will to push yourself and I believe that is what happened to me. By the time I reached high school my grades had started to slip and I decided I didn't care anymore, I was just looking for something that could free me from this imaginary prison I thought I was locked in. I had no really good friends, I was shallow and cruel at times, and while I am a good person at heart, I enjoyed it. Much like a little kid sometimes enjoys frying ants with a magnifying glass, or squishing bugs with their feet. This story begins sometime after my 18th birthday during the summer before my senior year, but the history goes back way before I was even born. Every year for the last thirty or so years that my mom and dad have been married, they would pack up all their things and go a summer house for a weeks vacation with other parts of the family that we'd rarely get to see. I never really considered it a vacation if it involved my family however, and I told my father on several occasions that I wouldn't go and he couldn't make me. I was dragged along anyway however and wasted many perfectly good summer vacations listening to the various sections of my family go to war with one another. The trip wasn't long; we always took a plane from O'Hare airport near our home in Chicago to Florida where we rented our summer home. It never changed. Not one aspect of the trip EVER changed. I called it the five F's. (Flight, Food, Family, Fight and Flight) Not even the fights would change; it was like we waited a whole year to start up the same arguments that didn't matter the year before. My Grandma being the Dominant den mother intruding on my mothers territory, my uncle getting drunk and picking fights with my father, the same listless monotone conversations frequently interrupted by a obvious insult or comment. It never changed and I used to get exhausted just watching them. It was at these "special" occasions that I realized that if THIS was all there was to growing up, then I never wanted to. Who wanted to live a life they hated and play a role that never changed? Not me! I swore then that if I grew up to be another crotchety old person, I would shoot myself. It sounds funny but I was dead serious. Life was far from simple but I never believed then (and I still don't now) that my life is up to anything or anyone. No one controls my life but me and I refuse to get into a position where I refuse or can't change. No belief or fact is so set in stone that it can never change. I might be right or I might be wrong but I will approach every situation with an open mind. So, with the unchanging routine in mind, I was shocked to a dumbfounded silence to hear that my father had decided to take a train down to Florida that summer instead of an airplane. He claimed that a train would be more scenic and tranquil, which translated to me as "I-wanna-drag-my-family-on-a- twenty-hour-plus-trip-on-a-tin-can-with-windows-and-bad-shocks-so-I-can- delay-getting-there". I was torn, on one hand I hated trains and on the other I was so happy that my father had made a minuscule change in our itinerary that I expected three wise men to show up at my house to ask about the new holy miracle. So, without warning, without understanding and without a fucking clue, I was thrust on the path of the trueborn essence carrier. A person who's own story I will approach in time. I honestly believe that this is the point where my place was set. Not because of who I was, how I believed or what I knew. The stones just fell into place because my father decided to take a train rather then fly. Though, I do doubt the coincidence of such an event. Maybe its just part of my refusal to believe that such a monumental event would depend on something so trivial as the flip of a coin. I believe now that it may be possible that something guided the events of that day. As an old friend of mine might have said, "There's a fine line between coincidence and fate." Despite the fact that I hated trains with a passion, I didn't protest much, mostly due to the fact that I believed that such protests wouldn't do me any good. I had always hated trains, even before I heard about the one that killed my sister. I used to have dreams where I would run and run but the tracks always seems to spawn just a few feet in front of me, no matter what direction I ran. Just before I was about to be run down I would wake up screaming and scaring the hell out of everyone in my house. After my sister got killed, well. it was much worse. It was like someone threw a hundred gallons of gasoline onto the fire of my childhood phobia and then stood back laughing. I don't like to think much about that period of my life, but I went through several different therapists with just as many treatments and diagnosis. I think one even proscribed Ritalin (which I flat out refused to take) to me for a while. All I know for certain was that dreams got a hundred times worse and that they were a hell of a lot more vivid. The only way I could think to describe it would be to say that dreams like those could make you never want to go to sleep again. This period lasted three years and finally ended when I stopped showing up to the psychological circus that the latest moron of a therapist represented to me. I just got sick of feeling guilty over things I couldn't help and I finally figured out that my therapists were full of shit because they always looked to someone else for the blame. The choice is always yours, no matter what anyone tells you, so you must be willing to accept the blame in any situation involving the effects of your choices. I didn't fully grasp this concept then, mostly I quit seeing my therapist because I felt that she was an uncaring selfish bitch who saw me as the whining son of yet another rich yuppie.
    Which, to give her a modicum of credit, I was. The trip started badly enough, upon arrival at the station we were greeted by a grim faced attendant who said that the train "might" be late. After waiting for a little over two hours I wanted to find the scrawny little bastard and pop his head off like a zit. After that we got on board the thing and were ushered by a tiny little bald man with bad breath to our "cabin". Which, in all fairness, wouldn't have made a decent sized closet.
    Then the trip began. Despite the horrid conditions I had to live through, I managed to sit back, relax and zone out my sisters aimless and pointless whines for attention and entertainment. After a few hours of this I was just starting a fine doze, (not to mention the fact that I somehow managed to no longer hear my sister, which is a blessing that I never question) when some little kid the next cabin over started wailing like a banshee and would not let up. I made a few halfhearted attempts to zone out the wailing but I knew that it would do me no good. Perhaps it is no surprise that I decided then that maybe a walk would do me some good. I thought that company other than the yuppie duo and little miss princess would be great too and wanted to go out looking for some. For in my little world, nothing ever made me feel quite so good as that new look of friendship in a person's eyes. The train was quiet, somber and surprisingly empty for a summer ride. At the time I thought nothing of it, I just figured that most of the passengers would be getting on somewhere else down the line. What I didn't know at the time was that the end of the line was going to come a lot sooner than anybody on that train knew, including myself. Walking up the various cars I felt an utterly alien wave of loneliness come over me, sort of an odd prelude to the days and weeks ahead where I would be wandering aimlessly in a beautiful yet empty world. I think this was brought on to me by the seemingly empty and shadowy faces of people sitting in the various cars like a few stray peas at the bottom of the can. These people didn't know me, and I felt no particular urge to get to know or even talk with them. Which is odd for a person like me. I like to talk to everyone. I am, and always will be, a gregarious social animal with an endless appetite for contact with other human beings. I wouldn't even let myself go that far as I had once held an hour-long conversation with my cat once when I got high. (An incident that caused my friends to nickname me kitty litter and one I don't intend to repeat)
    Eventually I made my way to one of the dinning cars. God knows what made me decide to stop there, I think it may have been because I wanted a Pepsi or something of that nature but as I am looking for deeper motives these days I think I might have been pulled there. Much like iron gets pulled to a magnet. If I had known this consciously, I would have rejected it and gone the opposite way just to spite myself, but from the moment I walked into the dinning car to the end of all the events that followed, I was hopelessly entranced by that particular magnet.
    She was of medium height and looked naturally thin. On any other occasion I might have considered flirting with her to pass the time, but something about the way she looked, the way she moved, the way she talked, everything she did held me in a sort of semi-trance. She had long red hair of a shade so light that it seemed to be almost pink, it was hard to tell at the time because the sunlight had struck her in such a way that she almost seemed to be glowing and at that moment I thought her to be the most beautiful girl I had ever seen (or would ever see).
    I have no idea how long I stood there, or would have stood there. It seemed to be an eternity before the train coasted through a tunnel and that entrancing glow faded. I was still entranced by her you could say, but I had come to my senses and decided to sit down before anyone thought me to be a freak or a pervert.
    At was around this time that I noticed a young man that was sitting across from her. ("Her boyfriend" a part of my mind seemed to sigh) He was taller than I was and looked stronger. Everything about him, From the way his dark black hair was cut short, to his immaculately clean (yet odd) style of dress and especially the way his dark green eyes twinkled, suggested to me that this was a man who was quite used to the feel of battle.
    They were talking in hushed tones that I couldn't hear over the noise of the train, but I noticed from their faces that nothing was so calm as they just to make it appear as it was. Both of their faces reflected some unknown fear. The man kept throwing worried glances around, as if he expected something to go totally wrong in the next few seconds and he had no time to prepare. The woman just looked tired and slightly nervous.
    The man just kept getting more jittery as whatever he was waiting for didn't arrive and tried to stand up when the woman put an hand on his shoulder and told him something along the lines of "relax". He gave her a long look, during which he seemed to totally calm down. As he sat down I realized something important about our young friend here: He was not just in love with this girl, he adored her. If I didn't know this before I knew from the deep sigh he had when he sat back down, a guess only a man who has hopelessly fallen in love can fetch a sigh that deep.
    I can't blame him either. There was something amazingly appealing about this woman, something I couldn't pass off to looks or dismiss as physical attraction. It was more like she emitted some kind of aura that no one could see but everyone picked up on.
    The train lurched suddenly and I was thrown out of my seat to the walkway. It distracted me just enough to see the door slide open at the far end of the car and to see an imposing older man walk through and move over to where the woman was sitting. As I sat up I saw their two slightly worried and upset faces light up in a kind of relieved ecstasy, much like I'd expect a person to look when they are pulled out of a shipwreck. It was the face of a person who knows everything is going to be all right because they have a trump card, or a secret weapon.
    Looking at him, I felt waves of revulsion and anger flow through me for no apparent reason at all and a strange thought passed through my head, which totally baffled me at the time. "That man makes essence run red." It seemed to flow out of nothing I thought before and connected to nothing that I thought afterward. It was as if someone had wrenched free some kind of buried thought balloon in the bottom of my mind and then let it run free. It lasted the barest minimum of a second but something about the sheer emotion of that thought stayed with me and affected my opinion towards this man for the rest of my journey.
    The older gentleman looked calm enough, but something in the way he kept looking around made me think that he was waiting on edge for something really big to happen, and that he had to be ready for it.
    A moment later, I found out exactly and in very personal terms, just what he was waiting for.
    I had been trying to sit up when the train lurched again suddenly and I was thrown again. Only forward this time and closer down the isle where those people were sitting. I didn't think anything of the sudden lurching of the train until I heard a loud metal groaning noise that made me think of dying dinosaurs and voices screaming faintly behind me.
    This is the last sane and rational point I can actually attest to. Everything that happened after this could be (and probably will be) dismissed as the raving lunacies of another survivor. I can offer no proof of anything after this, or any sort of scientific evidence to support my claims. I only have my memories, which I am attempting to relate to you through this work.
    Crazy as this sounds, I looked up and saw that beautiful woman with the amazing red hair glow with a soft white light and everything in my now crazed and terrified mind went totally silent in an amazed sort of wonder and reverence. With the exception of an almost silent voice in my head saying "wow," I had what I have dubbed a total sensory overload. It was like so many thoughts, memories and emotions had tried to run through my head at same time that my mind just decided to put up the "back-in-five- minutes" sign and take a breather. I still have a headache thinking about it. In a space of a few seconds I had flashed through some of my greatest accomplishments in life, The time I had saved a woman from getting hit by a car, the time I fought Carter Johnston in the high school parking lot and broke his nose, the time I first had sex my freshman year with majorette Michelle Wolf (I don't know why that popped up, she was a slut and the whole business was embarrassing to say the least) and the trip to Disney world with my family when I was 6. (It was the last time I ever remembered having fun with my family)
    This, however, topped all of those moments. It was unlike any feeling I had ever felt before in my life. It was like I had been searching for something my entire life, didn't know it and was suddenly thrust into the middle of it. I had remembered someone in school talking about a career as a Calling. "A calling," She explained ever so carefully "is the job you can imagine doing for the rest of your life because of some pull inside of you. Many people can go their entire lives and never find their true calling; others fail to reach it because of some personal, economic or outside obstacle. If you are lucky enough to ever find your calling do not let it go." I had remembered spacing out most of her lecture, (after all I couldn't even remember who it was that said it) but something about the idea of a true calling stayed with me. I had found my calling at last. What is a career compared to this? What job in the whole dammed world could ever compared to the feeling of joy that I somehow seemed to catch from her. I suddenly knew who I was and what I had to do. I would follow this woman to the ends of the universe and beyond if the need arose. This was so urgent and powerful yet unspoken that I suddenly became afraid again. Not fear for my life, nor fear for any injuries, but fear that something great was about to unfold and that many decisions would rest upon myself and few others and that I may not be the best choice for such matters. All this flashed through me in what felt like an hour but was probably no more than a minute and the woman began to glow brighter. The light grew so bright that I could not see and I had this feeling of sudden vertigo, like something inside of me was no longer sure which way was up. Then I had this curious pulling sensation that sucked my breath out and left me even more dazed and confused than before. The light suddenly turned very black and I heard screams. Not a few isolated screams but the screaming of millions, suffering some unmentionable horror. It was demanding, loud and frightening beyond reason. I only managed to hold out from panicking by a thin shred of self- possession. That was when I caught a glimpse of the madness that lies between worlds, a horror that I can never relate. It shined brightly out of the darkness for only a second before scaring all rationality and bringing me into the blessed state of unconsciousness

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    Daevron

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    death and another world..

    Post  Daevron on Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:24 pm

    continued...


    Chapter Two
    The Essence Carrier
    Waking up from unconsciousness is an odd thing. It starts as a feeling that you are on one side of a tunnel searching for the light, and ends up with a feeling like swimming to the surface of some body of water. Given all of what I had just seen, I was afraid to open my eyes when I finally did wake up. I was totally sure that I would be lying in a broken heap next to the wreckage of my train. How else could I be lying on grass? I can't say how I knew that my train had crashed, but I did know. Just like I seemed to know at that moment that if I still thought I was even close to where I just was then I was just fooling myself. I quickly began an assessment of the situation: no pain, almost total quiet except for the wind blowing softly across the grass and that odd feeling of loneliness again. So, with a bravery I didn't quite feel, I opened my eyes and looked upon an amazingly blue sky with large puffs of white clouds floating here and there in the vastness. I was lying in the middle of a large grassy field that looked like it had never had the pleasure of being acquainted with a lawnmower of any kind. The wind was a strong spring gale to it that felt tremendously good against my skin as I continued to lie there. You have no idea how amazing it is to go from a hot and stuffy train to the middle of a cool dewy field while a strong breeze blows over you. It was the kind of place that lovers had picnics at and families had Easter egg hunts at. It would have made an amazing park, and my rational reasoning mind tried to assure me that I had somehow ended up in one. Never mind the how. For being the rational reasoning part of my mind I thought it funny that it didn't even want to consider the how. As I sat up all of that logic went down the toilet and I realized that I was much farther away from home than I had ever dreamed of. It's really hard for me to say just exactly how I knew that I was no longer anywhere I knew, but I did know the moment I sat up and got a good look around. The entire landscape seemed to have that same wild and untamed look that the glade had and I felt that this is how my country must have looked before people spoiled the countryside. Everything felt different, the grass had a soft spongy feel that made it almost tempting to walk on with no shoes, the air felt so cool and fresh that I felt I must have died and gone to heaven. But it was the scenery that really caught my attention. The glade I was sitting in was only the start of a much bigger meadow that stretched north for as far as the eye could see. A few amazingly healthy looking trees sprouted here and there among the wild flowers and grasses. I couldn't actually see very much of the meadow from where I was sitting, mostly because I was lying down at the bottom of a small hill. As matter of fact I was lying underneath a tree that seemed to be the last vestiges of a grand forest that stretched endlessly to what I figured must be the south. I was dumbfounded by the way all this seemed to flow so well among the various rolling hills that I simply thumped back down onto the grass with the assumption that none of it was real and that I was having some sort of extremely vivid hallucination. After the suddenness of everything that happened to me I was not in any state to except any sort of explanation that defied any rationalistic ideas. I think many people build these set rules so that when the unthinkable does happen they can fall back on them, but what happens when rationalism fails? What happens when one plus one does not equal two? They invent all kinds of rational excuses and deny the very thing they see in front of them. Almost like the way a small child will hide under the blankets with a flashlight and deny the darkness. And much the same happened to me. I knew what it meant, but I couldn't accept it. My mind kept trying to find a sane logical explanation and kept hitting that same wall again. I was on a train but now I was lying perfectly healthy in a place I had never seen before. I was certainly not having an "episode"; only a fool would continue to refuse what their senses are trying to tell them. "But what if I'm dead?" a soft, almost unknown voice whispered in my mind. I dismissed this prospect almost immediately due to the fact that I was still bound by several physical needs. (I was starting to get hungry) So what did that leave? What other possibilities were there? I started to laugh as a thought raced through my head and got cut off suddenly. " Ha! Here I am in the middle of the beautiful alien landscape and.." That was it. That one word somehow managed to be the exact fit for what my senses were telling me. It had the psychological effect of a slap to the face and I sat up with a horrible realization that seemed to scream in my mind. All of my nerves seemed to be on fire with that one idea that, from the moment it popped into my head, I knew was the one and only truth I would need to hear. I was on another world, never mind the how, and I was totally alone. I can't say how I knew for sure, but I did. If I had to hazard a guess, I might say that it was brought on by the essential strangeness of the place and a strange dizzying sensation that pervaded the air here. It left me feeling breathless and pumped up at the same time while somehow giving the air a clean fragrant quality that left me feeling refreshed just sitting facing the wind. Wherever this place was, I knew it was not home because the air was way too clean. This place, this world, was untouched and pristine, at least what little of it I saw. Little by little I managed to gain the will to stand up. It wasn't a hard thing to do, I was slowly getting over the shock and I was tired of sitting still wondering where I was. In all my life I have been a person who could never sit still for long. In fact, one of my earliest memories involves the destruction of a doctor's office while running away from my parents and knocking random things over in the nurse's station. I had been told to sit still and be quiet, and I suppose I was for awhile, but I got tired of waiting and had gone exploring while my parents weren't looking. (I couldn't have been older than four) I suppose that's the way I've always been. Whenever someone who has more good sense than fun tries to give me advice or order me around I balk and do things my own way, even if they were right. I honestly don't know if that's a good or a bad thing but it's become such an essential part of me that I do not see a point in ever trying to change. Walking up the hill was quite pleasant and reminded me of times past when I used to go camping with my friends. The cool, crisp, clean air of the wild outdoors held an irresistible attraction that never quite left me as I grew older. Any great testament to the great outdoors or to the awesome and majestic power somehow spoke to me in a way that nothing else in life ever did. It was sort of like looking through heavens backdoor; having only the vaguest idea of what is inside but feeling that whatever is in there must be something akin to eternal, especially when compared against yourself. How small, how pathetic we must seem when compared against the eternal. We live and die in the blink of an eye and pursue fruitless pursuits while all the while claiming ourselves lords of all creation. I don't quite remember what I was thinking at the time but I will always remember the very first thing I thought as the entire meadow came into view at the top of the hill. Words, that coincidentally happened to be spoken aloud in a tone of utter shock and confusion. " Oh my god. They're all dead.." Not far away from where I was standing (it couldn't have been more than a mile or so) there were at least a dozen blue robed bodies lying on the ground. Even from this point I could see the blood seeping into the grass and the deep stains on their robes. None of them appeared to be moving. Being in a culture like mine allows one to become intimately acquainted through blood and gore through movies and television but nothing I ever saw compared to the horrific sight that was this. These men were not just dead, but many of them looked as though they had been slashed to hell and back: as though some horrible entity took a delight in killing them. Then one of them moved. I don't know how I noticed from this distance but I did. He was very slowly crawling away from the desolation of the larger group. He was going so slow and moving in such a way that I figured he must be hurt badly. I didn't know who he was or even if I could help, but at that moment I was swept up in a wave of intense pity and began to hurry towards him in a run. I still don't fully understand why I did this. I wasn't being very cautious and I certainly was not worried that whoever (or whatever) killed these people was still out there. I just wanted to help and let the consequences be dammed. Not only were they unimportant but they were also meaningless. Anyone who sits back and allows someone to be hurt or die when they could have done something about it is just as guilty as the one who committed the crime in the first place. As I approached I saw it. It was about 50 feet long, covered with scales and sitting coiled in the middle of the battlefield not far from where I was standing. Somehow, I had come across a gigantic snake that looked as though it could swallow a man whole. It turned towards me as I approached, turned its head towards me with a slight hiss and stared me right into the eyes with its own bright orange eyes. All of I sudden I felt a wave of terror flash through me and I felt every muscle of my body freeze up. The depth of terror that possessed me was even afraid to have me move. It was like discovering that all of the muscles in my legs had gone to jelly and all I suddenly wanted to do was lay down and curl up. I was even afraid to breathe. " Whatever you do. Do not move. The Crishnark can only sense you if you move." Came a hoarse yet strong voice from somewhere off to my left. I turned my head slowly in that direction and saw the man I had been running to lying on his back and gazing in my direction. He did look rather pale but apparently I had over estimated his injuries because he didn't seem to have any obvious wounds nor was he nursing any muscles. " If you want to live you must listen very carefully to what I saw and follow all of directions to the letter. Do you understand? Don't speak just nod your head ever so slightly if you understand" He had purposely pitched his voice low this time so that the snake wouldn't turn towards him but there was also a tone of anger in his voice. "The first thing I want you to do is look away from it. The Crishnark has the power to terrify the senses if you get a look at its eyes. Do not look at them!" Very slowly, and very purposely I managed to move my head away from that great towering and venomous face and looked towards the ground. It helped quite a bit actually now that I wasn't staring at that face anymore. I felt this sort of hysterical giggle bubbling up inside me waiting to get out and it took every ounce of will I had to keep that inside. A few minutes passed in silence while I awaited more instructions but nothing happened. I had gotten slightly worried that my guide had abandoned me when his voice came across the plain again, but this time there was surprise in his voice as well. " Alright. Now I guess you should slowly move yourself to the ground so that you are lying on your stomach. When you get there, pause for a few moments and very slowly start crawling in my direction. Don't move too fast and don't look back." But I was still very much afraid, and as I was slowly lowering myself to the ground I couldn't help but look up at the face of my incipient attacker. From the very moment I lifted my head I thought I had made a mistake, but when my legs turned to jelly, my heart froze and my lungs stopped working, I KNEW it.
    The Gigantic snake, which was feet away the last time I had looked, was now just above me, hovering motionless. I had not heard or saw this thing approach and now that I was looking at it, I was deeply shocked that it had gotten so close. The terror boiling inside me was screaming for me to run, which I knew was a foolish mistake, but only the fact that my legs were unresponsive made me stand quite still. However, It wasn't the fact that the snake had gotten so close that scared me out of my wits, it was its eyes. Eyes that were blackish green pits of nothing that seemed to swallow every once of self-possession and control that I had in my body. Eyes that seemed to remind me of every dammed thing I've ever done that made me miserable and were trying to convince me that life was a pathetic illusion. I can't say what I would have done next, I was deep in this trance of misery, but I know what I DID do. What got me out of my trance was the dawning realization that I hadn't heard from my new "Friend" for a long while and that said friend had probably given me up for dead and was crawling away as fast as he could. That angered me and brought me to my senses in such a way that all my previous attempts had not. All my fear, all my confused jumble of emotions, Everything I was feeling at that moment: It all just seemed to melt away at the face of this strange, icy-cold anger. It was like someone had cut open my chest, ripped out my heart and replaced it with a computer, something that saw and reacted, but ultimately felt nothing. Bravely (Or stupidly, one could argue) I managed to look that thing right into the center of its huge bulbous eyes and felt nothing but that cold anger running through my veins. "Bring it on you ugly son of a bitch." I said in a low, determined voice. I hadn't been aware that I was going to say anything and this feeling was starting to creep me out on some level. It was too much like the time I beat the hell out of my best friend Carter Johnston back during my freshman year of high school. Back when one stupid little thing he said infuriated me to the point where I actually hit him.
    Back to a time that seems so long ago now but probably isn't. Back to the days that were probably the happiest times of my life, where I was so sure of who I was. Back to.
    Back to.
    Back to.

    Back to the old high school parking lot, where drifting piles of beach sand, broken glass and stagnant puddles seems so much a part of the scenery that after awhile none of us really noticed it anymore.
    I was sitting calmly on the hood of Carters car, listening to him bitch endlessly about his girlfriend Kiersten. She apparently got pissed at him for one reason for another and refused to talk to him until he figured out why and apologized. He, being the kind, sensitive 90's male, decided to accuse her of cheating on him and HE refused to talk to HER.
    That was all well and good, I really didn't care much one way or another, but he wouldn't stop talking about her in our free time. We would go out to smoke and he would start up the same conversation the exact same way every time.
    "Did you hear what the bitch said about me today?"
    I consider myself a basically patient person but after a certain period of time I just wanted to grab Carter by his crew cut and beat the ever-living fuck out of him until he decided that apology was the best answer, But since he was my best friend, that wasn't an option. It wasn't until much later that I learned he was afraid he'd gotten her pregnant (Thank god she wasn't. Men like Carter should never breed, but usually end up having 6 kids by the time they are 40) and wanted to put the blame on someone else.
    So that's why, on a sunny Friday afternoon in May, I was sitting on Carters car and zoning out every word he said, nodding in all the right places. I was thinking about this girl from band I had asked out and had almost totally fallen out of the conversation, when Carter said the one phrase that brought that anger one me.
    One phrase that ruined a childhood friendship and changed my perspective on my so-called friends. One Phrase That created a moment that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life.
    Yet, It's not just the phrase, or the actions that were inspired by it I remember vividly. I remember that shocked look on Carters face as my right fist connected with his face and knocked him off the hood of his own car onto the cement. I Remember how surprised I was, and how, later on, he wouldn't accept my apology. He accused me of having an affair with Kiersten and of using him.
    One phrase. A phrase that is often repeated in my dreams and a phrase that seems to haunt my current life.
    "I don't decide my life. Maybe god or whatever divine entity that's up there decided that I just shouldn't be with her. My Feelings just don't enter into it."
    I had plenty of time to reflect on the half-seriousness and weak excuses of this lame statement during my 10-day suspension from school for the fight and I couldn't figure out why I had hit him over such a moronic statement that no one needed to be told. It was like he was just trying to convince himself of a statement that everyone, including himself, knew was full of shit.
    Just like that I had ended a 10-year friendship without a look back or a moment of hesitation. He was normal and tolerable to me for all ten years of our friendship but after that moment I could no longer stand him. Every time I had a feeling that was close to missing him I felt a trace of that anger and the feeling would vanish.
    The truth was, I simply didn't care anymore about him.

    So, with a resolve that made ma almost want to faint, I stood up straight and stared this snake right in its giant bulbous eyes. There was No fear this time, No worry, no thought. No anything any at all except for a resurgence of that anger that had run through me before and a growing certainty that whatever this thing was, It could not be a part of any natural order.
    That was when I realized that thing was well aware that I was here and was waiting for me to make a mistake so it could strike out at me and kill me. The though of how, earlier, I had very nearly crewed up and played into its plans made me feel almost sick. Even though I realized that I had probably cheated death, the full force of the epiphany did not hit me until later, when I was getting ready to sleep, Trembling so bad that I thought I was going to have a seizure or something.
    At that moment however, I dismissed the thought. It was hard enough to try to think of a way to get away from this thing without worrying about how I might have already made mistakes. I might have ALMOST died before, but if I didn't think of something real quick I was most certainly GOING to die.
    So I stood there, stock still, as I tried to form a plan, staring this thing right in its brownish green eyes. I wasn't sure of what I could do, so I started making a mental reminder of my surrounding environment.
    I was standing in the middle of a large field, in the midst of a group of dead guys in a situation that would probably make the greatest of daredevils shit themselves. The field was of no help to me, if I decided to run it would just mean that the snake had no obstruction to catching me.
    The group of dead guys however was very different. I figured in my minds eye (because I had no real way of looking) that these weird guys had to have carried SOME sort of weapons with them. It seemed only reasonable to hope, I mean, these guys looked as though they had died fighting, not running, which is what I most defiantly would have done if I'd actually seen this snake before I got close to it. I also thought I'd remember seeing Glittering objects on the ground as I was running forward, but at that I could not be sure and was worried that I was about to risk my life on Wishful thinking.
    I would only have one chance. One chance to maybe succeed and live awhile longer or one chance to fail miserably and probably die before I had the chance to realize I was dead. One chance before this snake thing caught on to my developing plan, which involved a great deal of dumb luck, and killed me anyway. Just one chance.
    My plan, which wasn't all that great of a plan I now admit, was to wait for the one moment when the snake decided to just attack me, and dive off to the side reaching for whatever weapon/object I could get my hands on, (as long as it had a pointy end, I was set) the I would swing my thereto unknown object and stab or slash or hit the snake with it. I wasn't thinking about what would happen if I couldn't find something that would actually hurt the thing, or weither or not I would actually have time to use it IF I managed to grab a hold of something. My plan had holes so big that you could drive through it, but I was set and I was going to try this come hell or high water.
    Hopeful, in the near-final stages of my elaborate and amazing plan, the snake would over-reach itself in the attack and I would be able to beat on its unprotected neck. If this managed to succeed I would have just one shot to either seriously wound this creature, or to kill it and be done with it. One clean shot to a creature that was at least three times bigger than I was and tough enough to take out a group of people with little or no harm to itself.
    Perhaps it was no wonder that I felt I had been pushed to a desperate act like this, but this was the only plan I had and it was most likely the best chance I had to come out of this alive.
    So I stood there, concentrating as hard as I could until it felt like every fiber of my being was being forced into this one brief moment in time. This one last moment that I was sure of my mortality, the moment where my entire life would be decided in a flurry of movement and blood like the crest on a mountain, where I could easily totter either way. Only this was no mountain and if I fell one way I would be facing the oblivion of my own imminent death. This moment I was practically living for, this face-off, this contest of wills, this rebellion against the seemingly inevitable fact of my own death.
    I would not, cannot and shall not ever give up just because I'm afraid of the consequences; it is simply not in my nature to so.
    "Make your move ugly. I haven't got all damn day." I managed to say in a rather calm voice that surprised even me, and managed to illicit a gasp of surprise from my "Friend", who was some distance away by now. I supposed he had figured that I had died of fright or something because of the long period of silence, but I wasn't too concerned about him at the time.
    So I concentrated even harder than I had before and I slowly became aware of a slight humming that was coming from the snake. This humming seemed to be very low key and I was lucky I managed to hear it all with the wind blowing somewhat loudly through the tall grass. The humming however allowed me to catch sight of something else I hadn't seen before, a miniscule movement in the snakes upper torso that looked as though the snake was shifting it's weight back on forth on either side of it's body. This confused me at first but then I remembered something I learned from a boozing instructor once; he told me that muscle movements in the chest and arms could foretell any attack or movement. Someone who is skilled at this technique can literally predict what attack that is going to be used on them and can counter accordingly and it could even be used to detect a feint.
    Even though this snake was not a human, I figured that the concept was still the same. The snake was shifting it's weight back and forth because it was still deciding where it should attack me from and I had to pay attention because I would only have an instant to judge where the attack was coming from and be able to dive off to the other side.
    To make matters worse, I had a sense that the snake was well aware that I planned to dodge it when it attacked me and was trying to lure me into a trap by feinting me to dive into the direction it was going to lunge at. I cannot say how I knew this but I was defiantly certain of it. Maybe it was in the way the corners of its over-large mouth were slightly turned up at the end, in the sly and sadistic grin of a movie villain. Maybe it was the feeling of dismissal and pride that this thing seemed to emanate out of it's pours like some sort of bad perfume mixed with B.O. Whatever the hell it was, It helped me to realize that this thing knew what I was planning and simply didn't consider it worth worrying over.
    God may know how long I stood there, sweat dripping down my face and making my eyes sting, but I certainly do not. Time had literally stood still for me and the only thing that mattered to me was to come out of this alive. Everything seemed trivial, pointless, compared to the looming threat to my life. I wasn't acting out of fear mind you, more like a desperate urge that I must not die like this; alone, beaten and ignorant of the world around me.
    I was focused and pissed as hell, so when the thing finally did decide to lunge at me I was able to foresee it in time. I quickly dodged to my left while the snake shot past the spot where my head had been only moment before. My hands fumbled on the ground while I looked straight upward at the snake's face, which expressed a combination of rage and surprise, before my hands managed to grab hold of a wooden shaft lying near the ground. I had turned by hand to thrust it upwards just as the snake turned towards my prone form and was opening its jaws wide.
    Other than the fact it was wooden and circular, I had no idea what I had grabbed. So it came as a complete surprise to me when the snake let out a blood curdling high pitched roar and rear back on its tail, A long spear jutting out of one of it's great and fear-inspiring eyes. A strange combination of blood and an odd jelly substance trickled out of the hole where it's eye had been and in the briefest of moments I had to look, it turned it's other eye towards me and gave me a pleading painful look, The it reared up again, creamed once more and began to fall heavily forward. I barely managed to get out of the way in time.
    It died there soon after, Writhing and squirming on the ground. I watched with a dark fascination every second of this creatures demise. The moment I was absolutely sure it had died that cold anger suddenly flew out of me and I was left feeling hot, sweaty and exhausted. Every fiber of my being seemed to be shaking like mad and nothing I could do would make it stop. I was on the verge of passing on.
    I heard a scramble of movement behind me that made me cry out and jump about a foot off the ground. When I turned to look I saw that it was my new "friend" and he was staring at me stupidly with a look of shock that I have yet to see another human being duplicate.
    "How.. how.. How did you." But that was all I heard. I was swimming once more into darkness and this time I was welcoming it with open arms

    avatar
    Daevron

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2011-01-05

    will passes out AGAIN!

    Post  Daevron on Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:26 pm

    The Essence Carrier
    Chapter Three
    Jealousy and Aggravation.
    Everything was spinning. Not that I could really see anything with my eyes closed, but everything was spinning none-the-less. You know that feeling you used to get as a child when you would spin around in circles a lot, that feeling of nausea and the way things seemed to keep moving even though you've stopped? This feeling was like that: only coupled with tumult of sounds and a damp chill that seemed to work it's way into my very bones.
    I wasn't entirely awake yet, I guess a part of me really didn't want to wake up, but I was aware of these things. The sounds came from some sort of gushing water nearby and a group of voices talking not very far from where I was laying. The importance of this fact didn't hit me right away and during the first few moments of consciousness all I was able to do was to lie there and listen to the up-down rhythm of those voices.
    I was awake by then but I was feeling so nauseas I was afraid that if I opened my eyes I would most likely puke. In addition, I felt shaky all over with waves of heat and cold rushing over my body like someone who is in the grip of the flu or some other similar sickness. Sick was how I felt but I guess some part of me knew that it wasn't a serious thing because I made no effort to try and go back to sleep and that seasick/spinning sensation slowly began to fade.
    Presently, I was able to start making sense of some of the voices around me.
    "You were foolish to bring him here." A mans rough voice said. His words were reproachful but his tone was indifferent as if he didn't care much one way or the other and yet there was something underneath his voice, something that is very hard to describe. He sounded indifferent but there was something else in that tone, some sort of tremor or warble that SAID one thing but seemed to suggest a half dozen others. It's sort of ironic that I only noticed it then, recovering from whatever sickness had taken me, then later when I was actively a part of their group.
    "I couldn't just leave him there to die, he kinda saved my life." Another mans voice said slightly defensively. He sounded young, and nervous as if he wasn't sure he had done the right thing.
    There was silence for a minute, Intense, reproachful silence, as if the first man had decided to punish the second by simply looking at him as my own father used to sometimes to do me when I was much younger. It's a stare that I think most parents or other individuals in a position to teach learn. It's a look that seems to say, "Go ahead. Quail before me. Cry and whine and admit every mistake you've ever made. Say your wrong and say your sorry because we both know you are." It never mattered if you WERE wrong or not, this look was the ultimate test of guilt. If you trembled or shook or cried. then you were guilty, end of story.
    It was during this silence that I opened my eyes and got my first look around at the place I was laying. I was no longer in the fields, that gentle, warming breeze had vanished seemingly without my ever knowing it was gone, and instead of a bright blue sky smiling at me I was facing a sort of rough ceiling made out of a strange red material. Looking over towards the direction that the voices were coming from I saw several things at once: one was that was laying in some sort of cave and the ceiling wasn't really red it just looked red because of the light outside, and two, the two men who were discussing me were the same two men I had seen on the train right before everything had gone straight to hell. The older man had his arms crossed and was looking darkly at the younger one. Finally, he waved his hand contemptuously and said, "Fine, keep your toy around." Then he turned and started walking towards the cave entrance. The younger man stared after him with his cheeks flushed, every muscle in his body tense and didn't even make an effort to relax until he was gone. The he sighed deeply and allowed himself to relax, drooping his shoulders slightly. (Not that men like him ever allow themselves to droop much more than that. It is simply beneath their nature.) He looked around distractedly and this time he noticed that I was awake. He didn't say anything at first, I guess the way his eyes widened and his expression darkened slightly kinda said what needed to be said, but when he did speak, it was low, light and pleasant. "How long have you been awake?" he asked quickly with that slightly defensive tone again but before I could even think up an answer he was cutting me off. "Never mind. Don't answer that. If you try to talk right now your throat'll feel like you just swallowed a bag full of broken glass." Still feeling sick, I wasn't inclined to argue. So instead I lifted one arm weakly, waved it around and shrugged, looking up at him pointedly. He looked at me with a confused expression for minute before finally saying, "Huh?" I grinned slightly in a sort of I'm-not-amused look and repeated the same gesture, only this time my movements were more agitated. "I'm not following you." He said lamely, putting his right arm on the back of his neck and rubbing it. I smacked my forehead in frustration and tried to say something very forcefully but it only came out in sort of a hoarse whisper, "Where Am I?" I managed weakly before my throat closed up almost completely and by god did those three words hurt. It was almost exactly like he said, like swallowing a bag full of broken glass, only this bag would have had battery acid and a thousand other nasty painful things. To make matters worse, as if the pain wasn't bad enough, the spinning/seasick feeling was coming back and I had to close my eyes to keep from wanting to throw up. I was so preoccupied with the way I was feeling that I didn't notice how long it took him to answer, which had to have been a couple of minutes, maybe he was just waiting to see if I'd fallen asleep I dunno, but I believe he was stalling to think up a way to avoid the answer. "I understand you have a lot of questions but now is really not the time and I don't really have any answers for you. I suggest you catch some sleep. Sleep and everything will be better when you wake up." If I had any energy left to respond with after my last bout and if I had a chance before I fell asleep again, I would have told him, "I doubt that. I doubt that very much."

    Over the next few days, I woke up, got something to drink and some food that was mostly liquid and I suffered through whatever I had with very little change. I didn't see anyone other than the younger man and that was when he came in to give me food, and he always resisted my attempts at conversation or questioning. The older man, as far as I saw, didn't come back and several times I woke up, I saw the younger man at the cave entrance staring out over the scenery with worry.
    On about, what had to be the third day, when I woke up I was feeling slightly better, that feeling of spinning had left me completely and I didn't feel quite so hot all over. In addition, I tentatively tried clearing my throat a couple times and found it didn't hurt quite so much. I sat up and put my back against the cave wall and stretched out my legs, disliking the rubbery feeling that came from my limbs. Stretching out my whole body slightly, I looked around and was surprised to see the younger man leaning against the cave wall not very far from me with an expression on his face that said he was daydreaming and worrying. I suspected it then and later on I was proved to be right, but I thought that this man must be perpetually worried, even when everything is ok, he would probably still be worrying. "Don't you EVER smile?" I asked with a glint of humor in my voice, surprised at how much different my voice sounded from just a couple of days ago. The man jumped suddenly, as if surprised and for a moment his face showed the unguarded agitation he was undoubtedly feeling before his expression became neutral again and he looked over at me. He looked at me like I was making fun of him and he was desperately trying to think up something to cut me back with.
    I smiled slightly and continued before he had the chance.
    "Don't get me wrong Mister..uhhh," it was then I realized that I had never caught his name. Shrugging I continued on, "It's just that you seem a little upset over something."
    With a sigh he walked forward away from the wall, walked over to me and hunkered how in front of me. His expression was neutral but his eyes were quick and unsure, he honestly didn't know what to make of me.
    "My name is Zu Edwards. And I am upset."
    I nodded at him politely, taking in what he said. "I'm Will Alania." At that he smirked and his expression relaxed somewhat. I thought about asking him what that mean but thought better of it. There's no need to antagonize the guy who's been taking care of you for a while, not when you have no idea where you are and lack the strength to find out.
    There was a short pause in which I waited for him to say something, anything really, but he didn't. Instead, he just seemed to fall back into that daydreaming, worried look that somehow fit his face perfectly. He was looking in my direction, but not looking AT me. It felt like he was looking past me, and it annoyed me slightly. It was like the look I would give the teachers at high school when they would yell at me for falling asleep in class or not paying attention. It was a look that said, "yeah, of course I'm listening" but when you really weren't and didn't care to. Feeling somewhat impatient, (and having a bizarre and remote sympathy for my old teachers.) I opened my mouth to maybe ask a few questions, maybe to be annoying I dunno, When my mouth starts running I really don't have any idea where it will end up, but before I could even utter the first syllable of what it was I was going to saw he cut me off and spoke, "How did you do it?" His question was so sudden, so confusing and so unexpected that it caught me completely off guard. All I could do was stare dumbly at him for a second before I could say, "Huh?" "Before, when we were out on the field and you were caught by the Creature, How did you manage to beat it?" he sounded annoyed now. Understanding what he meant I looked away from him and thought about the answer. It wasn't as if I was out hunting the creature, I had really just stumbled over it while trying to be the hero. "I honestly don't know. The whole time I was there I felt like I was going to die. It was horrible but I guess I just let my instincts take over and somehow they kept me alive. What the hell was that thing anyway?" I had looked back at him just in time to see his expression darken even more so than it already was. He stood up straight and turned his back on me then and answered my question slowly, without much emotion other than a tinge of bitterness and something else that I couldn't really identify at the time. Looking back now, I'm pretty sure it was jealousy. I had somehow managed to do something that he could not and he hated it. Skinny me had beaten a giant snake that I knew nothing about while the trained warrior was laying down on the grass fifty feet away afraid. He told me quite a bit then about what had happened after I had passed out and about that giant snake thing I had managed to beat. It was called a chrisnark and on this world it was the top of the food chain. ("No duh. Anything that fucking big can eat anything it wants." was my not so polite remark, to which Zu just stared at me blankly before continuing.) In normal times they would live off larger animals like horses or sheep but during times of war among the various human people on this world ("this world?" I asked, trying to get Zu to tell me SOMETHING about how I had ended up on another world, but he just continued on) they fed on the bodies left at the battle ground because they despised fighting humans and yet they enjoyed eating humans over anything else in their normal diets. You see, these creatures, while being gigantic in size, had weak hides and were an easy target to any human with a weapon, so they fed off the weak, the solitary and the dead, where their own natural defensives would protect them and make it easy to feed. It's eyes were one way it did this and I know because it did it to me, when the Chrisnark focuses it's eyes on it's intended victim the animal ( or person) freezes up with a fear so intense that it makes it impossible to think or do much of anything. With the animal (or person) frozen with fear the chrisnark can eat them with fear of reprisals. If the intended victim somehow recovers from the fear effect they have to worry about something secondary that doesn't come into play for a while that was caused by the initial fear. It was the reason I became sick and while I was mildly interested in what zu was telling me, he wasn't entirely sure how to explain it. "Well." This was the first time his tone actually changed the entire conversation and hearing that was like seeing sunshine break through the clouds or a gust of wind one a dead summer day,. It was refreshing if you get me and I suddenly sat up more and started to pay better attention, even though it was only a change from on-the-verge coldness to a confused sort of wonder. "The way it was explained to me is that there is this little demon in the snakes gaze and when you get afraid it freezes you up. But if you somehow get free this demon gets all pissed like and climbs into your body to make you sick and kill you. Only.." He paused and his expression became neutral this time. No anger no jealousy, not even a sign of confusion. "You were the first one I ever seen recover." I absorbed all this information silently confused on how much of it I should believe. On any day before that one I would have laughed at this sort of explanation but being attacked by a giant snake and being hurled into another world kinda has a way of making you take a second look at your long held beliefs.
    "Ok. That's why I was sick. But where am I?." I quickly blurted out as soon as he was done speaking. My patience was nearing its end at Zu's calm It-Doesn't-Matter attitude and the cold way he had of ignoring me (not the mention the colder way he had of talking to me.)
    Zu, however, just shook his head as if he had expected my outburst and didn't think to highly of it. He then turned around to face me and hunkered down again.
    "You're in a cave." Zu answered me with a glint of humor in his voice but I'll tell you that at the time I saw nothing funny at that remark at all and if I had the strength at that time I would have tried to hit him. When your world gets turned upside down and no one wants to tell you anything it would make you mad as well. No, I defiantly did not see anything funny at that time.
    Keeping the anger out of my voice I managed to reply, "ok. So where IS this cave?"
    At this, Zu smiled for the first time I had known him and I was taken aback. When he smiled he seemed so much different from the guy who seemed a trifle bit snobbish towards me. I realized then that my first impression HAD to be a trifle bit unfair if he could genuinely smile that openly to people. Her was a man who seemed a good deal older than me when I saw him on the train but when he smiled he seemed so much younger, as if I was the one too-serious and growing old and HE was the happy-go-lucky teenager.
    "This cave is not very far From the city of Tetra-Risci. I took you here after you passed out in the fields. As for how you got THERE, I am not sure. You must have gotten sucked along with us when we jumped from your world. Terra could tell you so much better but we were all separated when we jumped."
    I stared at him for a minute, thinking I knew what he worried about.
    "What are you talking about?"
    Zu looked at me quizzically for a minute and then he smiled again.
    "Oh, that's right. Terra said that your people don't portal-jump. I can't imagine it myself, but never mind that. To portal jump is to use the energy from some sort of powerful even to open up a portal between worlds and travel. It's really dangerous and hardly anybody can do it but Terra knows how."
    I was more confused than ever. Other worlds? Did he mean like star- wars other worlds or like the parallel universe crap that almost every cartoon show had at least one episode of when I was a kid where everybody had an evil version of themselves and the evil versions usually had beards.
    Seeing the confusion on my face Zu explained as best he could.
    To the best of his understanding their were countless billions of other worlds all arranged on top of each other in the universe, constantly being pushed together but separate and unreachable, and they made this sort of maze that spiraled outward in ever expanding circles from the center where just about every world touched each other in some way, to the outer rim of the universe.
    "But you mustn't get the impression that these are different PLANETS like the other ones around you sun these are different WORLDS and if you traveled from one end of space to the other you would never find another one." He explained to me. "But all these worlds are different you see, some very different, some not so. But each and every single one of them has something in common."
    Feeling like I had fallen into someone else's dream (because I certainly don't dream up shit like this.) and that everything he was telling me was too weird to be real, I asked, " and what is that?"
    Zu leaned in towards me and whispered confidentially, "Essence."
    Expecting something much grander for the setup up, I sarcastically responded, "Essence of what?"
    The grin fell off his face and he gave me one quiet searching look, as if he felt I were having him on before he responded.
    " Let me ask you this, will. Do you have a soul?"
    Again, I was rather taken aback by his question and I quickly stammered out a yes before I could really put any serious thought into the question.
    "Well what happens when you die? Your body of course is usually buried into the ground where it rots and helps produce new life, but what about your soul? That little nagging piece of consciousness that contains all you memories, your hopes and dreams, what about it?"
    This question, however I DID hesitate to give an answer to. You see, I have never been much of a religious person and have found much of that to be hollow. I have always been afraid that religion was just a way for people to be less afraid of the one thing that everyone fears will happen when we die. Oblivion.
    "I don't really know." That seemed the most honest way to answer him.
    He nodded again at me and there was maybe an instant of surprise from him as if he hadn't expected that particular answer from me.
    "Well when any living thing dies. Their life force, their essence, their "soul" also helps produce new life. Only with this it returns to the Source, the well spring of all life, The Essence Pool at the center of the Maze." At this last sentence his expression and tone became almost reverent as if he were speaking of something holy. I started to have my doubts then and I still have them now that this was just another religious idea to hide some truth from the people's eyes, but at the time I dismissed the idea and lay back down on my pillow. "But what does that mean? What does it have to do with me?" I yawned and continued on before he could respond. "I don't understand." Zu sat down next to me and spoke very quietly and hesitantly to me as if he wasn't sure how much he could tell me. I laid their patiently and heard him out without interruption and by the end I felt like I had been sucked into some sort of fractured fairytale Where the Princess has to go beat the knights to save the dragon. "Essence is running out. We don't know why, but it has been running out for thousands of years. Do you know what that means? It means that all the life in all our worlds is slowly coming to an end, either that or even worse, a universe of worlds without consciousness or feeling." He took a deep breath and looked away from me then He shifted his weight slightly and sat down on a bedroll next to me. "Luckily, there have always been a few individuals with the power to restore some of the lost essence. They are called carriers because they can actually PRODUCE essence throughout their lives AND they can use it whenever they wish. Before now, When ever the essence was getting low again an Essence Carrier was summoned to the Pool at the center of the Maze to give up their stored essence to replenish the pool. The way is never easy and it is always long because the maze is forever changing and only the carrier knows the way and have the ability to get there." He looked over at me again as if expecting me to interrupt, when I didn't he sighed and continued. "I say before now, because Peter and I Believe that Terra is the last. She is very strong, very kind and very willful. Peter and I are her guardians. We are going to protect her on her pilgrimage because if she dies, then so does the Essence." "Without her. Everything dies." Zu fell strangely silent after that and I was left to stew in my own thoughts. My head was swimming and my stomach was tossing. Was Terra the woman I had seen on the train? What did he mean by 'Give up their stored essence'? I seemed to have a hundred thousand questions but I was so damned tired again. I felt like had been talking for days instead of the hour or so we were. I became so lost in my thoughts that I even failed to notice when I slipped from the waking world into the dreaming world.


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