Monday, August 26, 2013

Insert Internal Backlash Here

It was that day I lived…
That day I breathed…
That day, for the first time, I met you.
You who are so different from me and yet so similar.


A knife was being held to her throat.

"Don't move."

A deep breath.

She tried to push herself away with ice; it only shattered. The knife pressed against her flesh…

"I said…don't move."

Then there was a sharp blow to her head and -


She woke up in a daze. When she properly came to, she realized she was in a lot of pain. She was strapped to a table, cold and hard-pressed. There was a clamp against her body; it was so tight that she could feel it whenever she moved (and since there were always small involuntary movements, she could always feel it).

"Clean out subject..." Runoa was next to her, and obviously not paying much attention to Aster herself. She then stuffed a tube into Aster's mouth. Aster felt like something was being sucked out of her - she didn't know what, or whether it was some substance...

Runoa removed the tube.

"What are you doing?" said Aster.

Runoa did not face Aster, but replied. "Disinfecting and preparing the subject, of course. Can't have things clogging the magical uplink."

She placed a long, thin strip over Aster's right arm, and suddenly Aster stopped moving. She was paralyzed - no, she had lost all of her physical strength, and was too weak to even move a centimeter.

"You - you're not going to kill me. I won't let you."

"I have no intention of killing you, although that is likely how you will end up," said Runoa.

"You're horrible. I - I hate you."

At this, Runoa put down the flask of liquid she was holding and laughed.

"You say that, you make all of the actions of being that way, you have the same reactions, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Would you like to know, soulless one? Would you like to hate me? Would you like to see all of the things I have felt for so long?"

She put her hand on Aster's head and -

Pain, fear, sadness, loneliness, anger, jealousy, of course Aster, Aster knows how to react to that but feeling it, oh, wanting to scream, explode, cry, a thump inside the heart for whiny Aster, hated Aster, useless Aster, the one nobody cares about, the one who ruins everything, the one who upsets all of the plans and annoys anyone, why would anyone ever like her except for pity, a girl who can't do anything right, a girl who's not wanted -

Runoa lifted her hand. The pain stopped, the scars remained.

Aster did nothing, said nothing, only breathed heavily and tried to shake it off - but doing that only made it worse.

"So you were wrong, and I was right. A pity. I would have liked a good argument."

Aster could not muster up any kind of feeling to do anything anymore.

Runoa picked up the flask and threw the liquid on Aster's face. Some of it went into Aster's nose and mouth, which was probably the point, as the little resistance she had left was crumbling and dying.

"Good..." said Runoa. "At last."

She sat down on a chair next to Aster.

"The process will be much easier if you know what I'm doing. You have the powers of a goddess. On top of that you have a link to an infinite number of universes through alternate versions of you. If I can discharge this power through all of these universes, I can destroy them. A clean slate to work with." She smiled. "Like, say, a time bomb."

She put on a pair of gloves and pulled out a syringe. Slowly, she injected a clear liquid into Aster's right arm vein...

"This will be invasive."

And it was.

The memories of all those Asters flooded in at once. She was living one second before, one second after, the millions billions trillions of universes exactly the same as hers just backwards or forwards in time so the pain of invasion just doubled tripled quadrupled up and those others that had nothing to do with her. One who was evil and was ruling as a dictator, thinking thoughts nobody should think, and Aster saw it. One who was a little girl and was run over by a truck, and Aster felt it. One who was possessed by a demon and was rampaging, one who had never been switched with a girl in the first place and watched while Nephelo Helios met Chrys and searched for a soul. All at once.

Two days ago, she ate ramen, she helped uncover a secret underground mission, she murdered and betrayed five people in cold blood, she pushed Akai off a cliff, she kissed a boy, she planted a large tree, all at the same minute. Her skull was smashed and the pain surged and she was healed by a doctor and the anesthesia took effect and she was dying, no, she was already dead -

And suddenly, a discharge.

Power leaving her body at so many kilometers miles inches feet yards centimeters per hour, boom, boom, boom. Explosions. And suddenly, an addition to the many Asters who were dying...


...Oh, I've finally found it...

Pain, doubling up in pain. She was dead, she had died, she was dying, she was going to die -

...The link. You have to find him. You have to tell him...

It was slowing down, and suddenly she wasn't thinking as much, so maybe she wouldn't die - no, she was going to die.


The clamp binding her had been destroyed. Everything had been destroyed. She couldn't see that woman anywhere. But there was physical pain - her body, bleeding.

...It's a simple message. Please tell him. He'll understand...

She was next to a wall. Her left hand moved to a large opening in her leg. The blood was coming out unusually quickly. Her left hand dipped into the blood and sloppily, of its own accord, moved around on that wall.

...Please tell him...

It finished writing and fell back to where she was lying.

...Thank you...


Everything was fading and dissolving and things were leaving her sight - so this is what it was like to die.

Someone was rotating her head and yelling her name. Aster did not comply or resist. She had lost all ability to do so. The voice was distant. The person in front of her was a blur. White...and purple. Vivid, vivid purple eyes...

"...It's you... such a hero..." Her voice was soft and it was likely he couldn't hear her. "Saving people... like me... like always... always you, there for me..." Her vocal chords were dying and she was now whispering. "...Keep doing that... when I'm gone..."

And she couldn't think anymore.

There was another person, no two. One of them was female. Her voice quickly identified the blood as flowing too fast, so it wasn't capillary bleeding, it was from the vein and had to be taken care of immediately. Something cold was pressed against her arm and it was wrapped tightly. Aster couldn't move her head and so everything was restricted to that small field of vision...

The one whom she'd called a hero was in a rage, rushing at that woman (who'd come back), saying that she'd hurt and maimed an innocent and as long as he was alive again he'd ruin that woman for sure...there were sparks everywhere and the pain was coming back to Aster. The two females were now rushing at him getting him to stop. And now Aster was blacking out, losing patches of time.

Swords clashing... magic... glowing... yelling to stop... pulling back... emotional things in the air... power... stop... everything... done.

And everything was silent and the woman was gone and now there were only the three in front of her and he was picking her up and telling her that she was going to go to bed and rest and heal and she'd survive and he almost started back at the bloody writing on the wall but he continued picking her up and they were carrying her somewhere -

- and then everything went black.


I wanted to ask…
But I think you know me better than I know you.

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