Après la PLS violente infligée par l’épisode 16 de Reflets d’Acide, j’avais envie de poster ça. Comme je l’ai commencé il y a un moment, le scénario s’écarte de l’oeuvre originale à partir de l’épisode 15 (duh…)
He blinked. His hazy mind couldn’t quite comprehend what was happening, but he somehow knew something wasn’t right. The morning sun was casting its light on the fluffy clouds above him, coloring them in patches of pink and gold. It was nice.
A warm breeze caressed his tanned face, fluttering his eyelashes, tickling his nose. A metallic stench filled his nostrils. Why did it smell like blood? Did it even matter?
He blinked again. Something was wrong. What was it? What was happening?
The inside of his chest felt cold. Too cold to his liking.
He remembered fear. He knew fear. Fear was what kept him alive for so long. But what was he afraid of?
There were noises. A lot of noises. Drowned out in the fog surrounding his mind. Lots of things. Lots. Monsters. Dark. Death. Why?
He was after him. For a long time. But who was “he”? The darkness was calling to him again.
That’s right. That was the name. But he was safe now, wasn’t he? Wasn’t Mortis dead?
He couldn’t keep his eyes open.
Wasn’t Mortis dead?
…yeah, he WAS dead.
A spasm ran through Wrandrall’s body, taking a panicked gasp from his dry throat. His emerald eyes widened at the excruciating pain that flared through his midsection, hands flailing uselessly in front of him.
He hated pain. He couldn’t stand it. He wanted it to stop! What wouldn’t the pain stop?
Someone was screaming. Or was it several people? He couldn’t tell over the sound of his flesh being cut open. He felt lightheaded. Was he falling?
He hit the ground, hard. The pain was still here, burning every nerve of his battered body. Unable to form the beginning of a coherent thought, he let out a pained whine and curled up on himself, clawing madly at his chest armor. It hurt. He didn’t know why and he didn’t care, he just wanted to stop hurting so bad.
“You’re pathetic. Look at you, writhing in the dirt like a worm. I can’t fathom how you, half-demon of my blood, could have become such a sad sight.”
As blood stained his hands and dust filled his mouth, the deep, rumbling voiced filled his head with unspeakable terror. The fog blocking his thoughts cleared, and he knew.
Bélial stood above him, in all his demonic glory. A feral smile stretching his lips, his black sword at his side. Cursed sword. Wrandrall’s sword, covered in blood.
That’s what was wrong. He’d been stabbed by his demon of a father. And he was probably dying.
The thought made him dizzy, or maybe that was because his veins were emptying.
He was dying. He was going to die here.
He couldn’t even hear the sound of his friends, his companions, fighting off his father a few meters away. All he heard was the frantic thumping of his heart, each thump sending a sharp pain to his chest. He started to panic, his lips open on a silent whimper. Oh gods, he didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to. He was scared, so scared, so afraid of the darkness threatening to engulf him.
He tried to run. He wanted to run. But his legs wouldn’t obey him, so he clawed at the dirt beneath him, trying to get away from his fate.
The dirt was warm and sticky. More blood that anything else. Oh gods, there was blood everywhere, in his mouth, in his armor, in his eyes, he couldn’t see, he couldn’t-
He couldn’t flee. He was too weak to get away, and he couldn’t teleport without his sight. He was trapped.
This was too much. Too much. The pain was still there, but everything was getting numb. Dark. Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t-
You’re so useless.
You should just die.
The sound of metal against metal. Screams of rage. The pressure of ancient magic filling the air. And the wind still howling.
He stopped struggling. Getting tired. He hugged his aching chest tightly, trying to keep out the cold seeping into his heart. Gave in to despair, fat tears rolling on his bloodied face.
He opened his eyes, reddened by all the crying. He couldn’t move, could barely feel his body shivering. But he could see again.
Something was covering him. Something soft and dark and so warm.
He looked up feverishly; the Genasi was gently holding him, sitting on the ground and, by the sound of it, talking to someone. His vision was still hazy, but he could hear just fine.
“- Yanosh, can’t you do something?
– I told you already, we used all our remaining magic to seal Bélial.
– But don’t you have a potion or a scroll, anything?! You’re Ilo’s priest for Fire’s sake!
– He was struck down by the most powerful demon that ever was. Even the best priest in the world couldn’t do anything about that. That’s something you don’t recover from, period.”
Zéhir had yet to see Wrandrall looking up at him. He gritted his teeth in anger.
“- Seriously? NONE of you can save him?! Then what is the point of you!
– I can’t help you. Excuse me, I have to join the other priests. There are still a lot of people here who are actually worth helping.
– Yeah, that’s right, go away. Zéhir, please, you need to let it go. He’s done for, there is nothing we could have done.
– Shut up Enoriel! Of course you’d say that, you already let dozens of your companions die, what’s another one after all!”
He let out a frustrated growl and slammed his fist on the ground, making the dying cambion moan in discomfort.
A heavy silence followed. In mere seconds, the half-devil was surrounded in many familiar faces.
“- No way! He’s still alive?
– Get back! Don’t touch him!
– Hey there buddy! How was limbo?
– Wrandrall…? Are you in pain?”
Enoriel. Zarakaï. Even Trichelieu, the one he wanted to punch so often. They were here, alive for once. Had they won?
He slowly turned his head to face Zéhir. His fiery companion was looking down at him, his visage torn between exhaustion, concern and relief. The dark-haired hybrid feebly grabbed Zéhir’s tunic, green eyes filling with confusion and worry. His throat hurt so much, but he didn’t remember having screamed. Maybe when Bélial had first pierced his flesh? Whatever the reason, he really didn’t feel like talking right now.
Because, you know. He was dying and stuff.
Somehow, Zehir understood his inner turmoil. “We sealed him. Bélial. All of us did. Powerful sealing spell, took a lot out of us.”
So his father was gone. That was good. But he was still going to die. With a hole in his chest. While crying like an infant.
That thought alone was enough to send him over the edge again. He slowly put a hand over his eyes, tears burning and falling as he tried so hard to stay silent. Gods, he was pathetic. Couldn’t even die with dignity. He almost couldn’t feel pain anymore, his body becoming more and more numb. He coughed, and blood dribbled down his chin. He was staining Zéhir’s cape.
He was such a nuisance to everyone. He should’ve died long ago. If he did, none of this mess would’ve happened. All this pain and devastation… it was on him. His fault.
A warm hand teared his hand from his face. The fire elemental stared at him sadly.
“It’s not you fault. Please don’t put all the blame on yourself. If you hadn’t done it, someone else would have before long. You know that, right?”
No, he didn’t.
“… I’m sorry. We,” he turned around to cast a severe glare at the others, who looked away bashfully, “are sorry. Sorry we didn’t prevent this. Sorry we can’t-” He gritted his teeth again. “We can’t… save you.”
Did Wrandrall even want to be saved?
He hated himself for what he did. What he caused. He had spent his life running away from everything, including himself. How long did he run?
How old was he again? Nineteen, right ? His twentieth spring was coming up. And he wasn’t ever going to see it.
He’d never see the others again. His consciousness will fade into nothing, because he was never a fierce believer of the afterlife. Pretty sure he would go to hell anyway. Fitting.
And he was terrified. Terrified of this great unknown, of not feeling or knowing anything ever again. He wanted to spend more time in this world. Get to know the others properly, without the threat of imminent doom hovering over them. Give a big ole hug to Moumoune, the fierce but caring, motherly bartender.
Ha. He never though “motherly” would suit her. But it did, now that he thought about it. She would make such a good mom.
He didn’t want to die. He really, truly didn’t. And yet, here he was. Darkness crawling up his mind, at the edges of his vision.
His pride all gone, he freed his hands and clutched Zéhir’s tunic in his fists again, pulling him closer.
The Genasi appeared confused for a second, before seeing the fading glimmer in Wrandrall’s eyes; something so fragile, needy, almost pure. And then he saw the cambion for what he really was: a wounded, lost child who had to grow up too fast to survive.
Something soft crossed his features. He sighted, and brought the hybrid close against his chest, big, strong hands holding him carefully. He knew what it looked like, and he didn’t care. If his dying companion needed comfort, he would gladly give it to him. That was the least he could do for failing him. Failing his family. Because even thought he only knew him for a few days, he had become attached to the cowardly cambion. He was family to him, just like Zarakaï, Enoriel, Moumoune and Roger.
Trichelieu… was still a work in progress.
Said family sat close as he cradled his friend, some whispering soothing words to the hybrid, some keeping to themselves in respectful silence. Silence that was broken by the sound of wings flapping and boots hitting the ground.
“I can help.”
The sweet, feminine voice cut through the air like a blade. Every head turned to Alia-Aenor, the she-dragon coming closer with every step. Her jet black hair dancing in the wind, green and golden eyes shining with something indescribable.
Zéhir frowned, pulling the cambion even closer. “How? And why should we trust you?”
She stopped a few feet away, a deadpan look on her face. “I haven’t put him out of his misery yet, I figure that’s enough of a proof for you.”
The black dragon in disguise knelt in front of the leader, a calculating grin stretching her lips. “My master Mortis taught me some very, very rare and interesting magic. I should be able to steal the cambion from Death’s grip, but it will not come without a price.”
Zéhir’s eyes widened, hopeful, as Zarakaï let out an incredulous “Really?”.
Enoriel squinted and eyed Alia suspiciously. If he had learned on thing in his inhumanely long life, it was that dragons couldn’t be trusted. Usually. “What do you want?” he hissed. He couldn’t believe that they were actually considering this. But damn it, he did care for the little freak of nature. Just a little.
The beast eyed the Elf distastefully. “Nothing from you, dear sir Enoriel. This concerns the cambion, and him only.”
Enoriel scrunched up his nose in annoyance. He stood up and went to sit further away, turning his back on the others. “Whatever.”
Zarakaï groaned at the elf’s childish reaction, then turned his gaze on Alia again. “So, you can save him. That’s good! What are we waiting for then, Zéhir?”
The Zorlim looked unsure, glancing worryingly at the cambion; his usually bright green eyes were clouded and unfocused, still red from crying, heartbeat slowing down to a few desperate thumps, few and far between. He wouldn’t last much longer.
“-I… I’m not sure about this. Shouldn’t he get to decide, or at least know what he’d be getting into?
-Zeh, I’ll be honest here. This lad right here doesn’t look like he can understand what’s going on anymore, let alone speak his opinion on the matter.”
A short silence ensued, broken by the fire elemental’s sigh. Well, he sure hoped it wasn’t a trick.
“Alright. We’ll bite, Alia-Aenor. Please save him.”
Dark yet darker
The darkness keeps growing
There’s nothing nothing at all
Gods are lies
What is a god
What is I
Am I an I
I am nothing
Was I ever something
Dark dark dark and cold nothing
No thoughts left to spare no
In cold and darkdarkdark so dark
What is not dark
Light isn’t dark light isn’t cold isn’t nothing
Light is good light is
Light like a sun
N e e d i t
I w a n t t o s e e t h e s u n a g a i n
Nature, and the universe in general, doesn’t like vacuums.
It hates them, despises them, loathes them with unspeakable force.
Nothing can come from nothing. Nothing can disappear into nothing. Matter, magic, energy, it all came in this wold in certain quantities. Always shifting, morphing, being passed around by playful gods and fleeting mortals. Birth was Nature giving a bit of this energy, this liveforce, to a being. Death was Her taking it back, only to give it to another. An endless, perfect cycle, without anything being lost along the way.
Until some reckless mortal broke it on a whim.
Somehow, somewhere, energy wasn’t returned when it was supposed to. It left a gaping void in the fabric of the universe, begging to be filled again. The sheer wrongness of its existence echoed in all planes, making mortals and immortals shudder inexplicably.
So, as She always did when Her rules were broken, She fixed the glitch. Took the lifeforce out of a birthing infant, somewhere. Without it, it would be but an empty shell, barely more than a corpse. Its mother would suffer greatly. But the gap was filled, and the universe didn’t collapse on itself.
And as the planes became at rest once again, Hesindée cursed under her mighty breath.
Maybe giving magic to the mortals was a mistake after all.
He could think again. And feel, if the lingering pain in his abdomen was anything to go by.
Either Hell wasn’t so bad after all, if a bit blurry, or he was somehow still alive.
He blinked. Above him was a wooden ceiling, dark and oddly familiar. It creaked every now and then.
He didn’t understand. He couldn’t. How was he not dead? Not that he’d complain but-
W R O N G
A wave of nausea hit him hard, making him gag and curl up on himself. He should be dead. He absolutely, definitely should have died, but he didn’t. And it felt wrong so wrongwrongwrongwrong-
His back hit something. It hurt, but he embraced the sensation, desperately trying to anchor himself into reality. It was like everything in existence were screaming at him, the anomaly. He felt like scattering into a million burning pieces.
Then the feeling was gone.
Wrandrall was left on a cold floor, trembling, gasping for air. His brain was a mess, overflowing with confusion and panic. The cambion clutched at his chest – bandages, he felt bandages – and let out a whine; that hurt. Of course it did, that was where his father had stabbed him with a giant sword.
His breathing evened, heartbeat slowing down – oh gods his heart was still here – and head clearing a bit.
He was okay. Apart from the probably hideous wound hidden behind the bandages, he was okay. He was alive. And he had pants on, hooray.
Wrandrall closed his eyes. Deep breaths. He pushed himself up, sitting down against the foot of the bed. That was a bed, right? Where was he anyway?
He reopened his green eyes, taking in the scenery: yep, that was a bedroom. Neat and clean, a large window letting in the evening light. Rays of orange and red fell against his tan skin, warming up his core a little. That felt nice.
He could hear a rumble coming from below. Laughter, footsteps, clanking glasses, and-
“- What did you just call me?!
– Wait, no I-”
“Welp, Moumoune’s not kidding around.”
… Moumoune? He was in the Voyager’s Tavern?
He slowly stood up, long legs wobbling and threatening to collapse. Wow, everything was spinning. Better sit back on the bed. There we go.
The hybrid stared at his hands in bewilderment, taking everything in. He… he had to find the others. Surely they knew what happened.
He got up again, more successfully this time, and stumbled to the door. He reached out to it…
…just as it was opened suddenly, colliding with his face and knocking him back with a surprised yelp. He fell to the floor, again, groaning and holding his bruised forehead. Bazar, that was getting annoying.
The cambion looked up with a gasp. Zéhir was standing right in front of him, looking very much surprised. And relieved.