Episode-18: A Voice Inside of My Head
Date: November 25, 3008
Location: Somewhere over the Ocean of Ossyria
I found it kind of funny, yet a little bit sad. That the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. It’s kind of hard to tell you, kind of hard to take. Everyone’s running in circles in a mad world. Nothing’s the same anymore.
And then the world swirled into view once more, and the hammer of a pistol cocked back, piercing my eardrum with a fatal click. My eyes focused forwards, trying to decipher why Lily had a pistol pointed directly at Michael, who had blood dripping out of his mouth. What the hell…
“Stop! Stop!” Maldran’s voice floated into my ears, reaching a new mode of panic. He stepped in front of Lily’s pistol, shielding Michael’s body from her line of fire, “What are you doing?!”
“He’s infected,” Lily stated calmly with a hint of coldness in her tone, “He needs to be terminated before we all become infected.”
“No wait, there must be a cure, there must be something…” Maldran’s voice was pleading.
“The virus has lingered on for almost a millennium,” Mikhail sighed in dismay, “You’d think someone would have found it by now. Yet it rages on…”
“Stop,” I demanded in a hushed voice as I clasped my head in my hands. It hurt like hell as I sat in the dropship. For a moment, everyone turned to me, letting me have a fraction of a second of peace and quiet. I opened my mind; the beast inside was eager to be freed. A flash of lightning reflected off of the portholes, followed by a distant clap of thunder that was drowned out by the dropship engine’s monotonous hum. No need to fear… Damiver is here…
I tried to blink back the tears, but they kept coming, threatening to break the dam. Thinking had become my worst enemy. Promptly, I shut everything else out, returning to my little dark corner in my brain, “Stop.”
“Nova?” Naz’s head jerked up with concern, but I ignored him. Instead, I slowly raised my head. My two blonde bangs were shadowing my teary eyes from view.
“There might be an anti-virus at our destination,” my voice came out in a rush of disguised confidence. “Don’t do anything rash, Lily.” The Shadow Templar looked from me to Maldran to Michael with scornful eyes, but she relented her grasp upon the trigger of her S-2000X. The lengthy silver barrel lowered.
“Nova’s right,” Mikhail replied as my voice faltered, “Michael’s only chance is at our destination, Grid 033/092. Whoever is sending out these broadcasts probably know something about this mess.” Then, without another word, he climbed back up the ladder and jumped into the cockpit, leaving the six of us alone in our own fuming worlds. Pain to the max, you’re killing me…
The cabin was quiet, but my brain was not. Ever since we had landed upon the Osiris, I noticed that the world around me started to appear insignificant. Coupled with this damning voice inside of my head, I wanted to tear my brain apart, neuron by neuron. The rumble of thunder outside stormed into my head like an earthquake. I felt as if everything was shaking.
Just forget about our memories, our possibilities. Just give me myself back. Take all of your faithlessness with you and never come back…
I felt a tear leave my eyelash. In slow motion, I watched its gradual descent onto the metal plating below. A fraction of a second later, which had felt like an hour, it hit the floor and splattered out in a small radius. The imprint of my tear seemed to freeze.
I’m a nightmare, a disaster. I’m not a hero, but a lost cause. No one can help me. Welcome to this world…
I pressed my fists into my eyes, trying to stem the flow of sorrow. These unknown yet familiar voices pounded against the side of my skull like a jackhammer. It tortured me like no other, trying to make me yield to my feet. My legs weakened as I sat there; my arms started to feel frail and bony. They came in regular intervals, laying siege to my mind before retreating back into the shadowy depths of the unknown. Whatever this was, it was killing me.
And then my head exploded in a rabble of hushed voices that seemed to scream at me.
I can’t stand the pain. I can’t make it go away. How could this happen to me? Everything’s turning to ash. I’ve got no where to run, it’s all fading away. I can’t remember your voice, the touch of your skin. Everybody’s screaming. I try to make a sound by not a soul can hear me. I’m cornered at the edge of the cliff. I try to hold onto a time when nothing mattered except for us. Nova. Nova. NOVA!
The next thing I knew, I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I felt something cold and hard against my cheek, and realized I had collapsed onto the floor of the Silver Talon. Panting and sweating profusely, my brain tried to regain control of reality, but I could only see blurry faces of the others struggling back up. Apparently my burst of psionic powers threw them against the ship’s bulkhead. I heard them shouting something, but my ears could not decipher their words.
Rolling over, I stared at the black floor of the level above me. The drop chamber seemed to drop a hundred degrees. The others rushed towards me, and I could see their vague faces hover over me like lights. But then, everything dimmed, and I could see nothing at all. I was falling.
Where am I?
My eyes met with blankness in front of me, nothing stood out. Everything was on one plane of the mundane, a 2-D image of nothingness.
Then he appeared in front of me, seemingly appearing right out of the whiteness. His messy brown hair waved lazily in an unknown wind. His eyes burned with a fiery passion as they bore into me. He drew closer; every footstep seemed to reverberate off of the unperceivable walls infinitely.
I know I’ll never trust a single thing you say. You knew your lies would split us apart, but you lied anyways. And now your thoughts are floating up above us all. But what goes up has got to fall…
Remember those days when I first found you? We were perfect for each other. From snow to sun, we stuck together. Then they took me, lodge a bullet into my brain, and I was lost without you. You’re face, it’s so beautiful…
What are you talking about?
They’re gonna clean up your looks, with all the rules in the books, to make perfection out of you. Because they always have an eye on you, no privacy whatsoever. Your aspirations will be ripped up to shreds. You’re another cog in the murder machine…
Damiver… Please, what are you talking about?
What’s with all the negativity? Can’t you just look me in the eye and tell me? Your eyes used to be so tender and loving, but now they are nothing more than a pair of accusatory figures. They haunt me when you look at me…
Damiver… you… you’re scaring me…
I tried to touch his arm, tried to reassure him that everything was going to be ok, that wherever he was, we were going to get him the hell out of there. My hand reached forwards towards his. Then, I felt his tough skin beneath my fingertips.
Suddenly, Damiver’s skin blackened with an extreme rate. Blisters and cuts split open everywhere as his epidermis continued to decay rapidly. Yet, I couldn’t let go. My fingers were burning, but everything was icy cold. Then, I could see his face for the first time, and I realized there were no eyes. A pair of glistening fangs dripping with black blood met my horrified gaze.
Sweet revenge. So sweet, so delicious…
Damiver sank his teeth into my neck, and I felt a dying scream escape from my throat. Everything went dark.
I groaned in agony as my head continued to pound. My eyelids fluttered open, revealing dark shapes circling up ahead like a flock of vultures.
Someone was saying something, but I did not know what. They’re faces were distorted shapes in my emerald eyes. I felt tears make their way down my face as I laid on my back on the steel plated floor. A monotonous droning met my ears, temporarily blocking out the calling voices.
My spine suddenly snapped up, bringing me to a sitting position. Their faces focused into view, and I could feel someone holding my shoulders. “Get off…”
“Nova, what happened?” Maldran asked in a fearful astonishment. His arms were supporting Michael up, whose head was hanging low. I felt something animalistic tear around inside of his brain for a brief second.
I staggered up to my feet, but my legs gave way and I fell back onto my seat. Resting my head upon the porthole, I could almost feel the freezing rain pelting the glass behind me. As a bolt of lightning streaked through the air, I felt a sudden surge of calmness take over me. Though the people around me were still talking, my mind decided to tune them out and instead, focused on the weather still raging outside.
The storm had seemed to go on for an eternity, threatening to cover the entire world in shadow and despair. But that was ok for me. I just needed my peace and quiet. To hell with the world…
“We’re coming up to our destination,” Mikhail’s voice suddenly penetrated my thoughts like a hot iron spike. The intercom clicked off, and reality consumed me once more. I hated it.
Looking out the window, I could barely make out a small ocean-borne platform as we swooped down towards it. It had a landing pad that seemed to have been abandoned a long time ago. It was a surprise anything from back then could have survived this long. But then again, the ocean has many secrets of its own. My mind thought back to the creature that laid siege to New Leaf City. I could almost hear its colossal and terrible roar.
As we neared the platform, I could hear the pneumonic whir as the Silver Talon’s landing gear extracted itself from within the chassis. A small bump told me we had touched down. I grabbed my S-36X2 and locked and loaded. The voices were still swirling around in my head, but I finally managed to surpress most of them.
“Let’s go,” Mikhail grunted as he jumped down the shaft into the drop bay. He punched a sequence into the landing ramp’s control panel and it slid down with a hydraulic hiss. Instantly, my face was blasted with icy cold air as rain pelted down. A flash of lightning accompanied immediately by a stroke of thunder reflected off of my eyes. There was something out there; I could feel it. Taking a deep breath, I walked down into the frenzy. The ramp sealed shut behind me, leaving me to wander in the shadows of the world.