A/N: Cleaned up a little and reposted from elsewhere. More info in my profile.


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I feel sick.

Fevered. Hot-dry, surrounded by cold, by wet, by rotten...things.

I'm so tired. It hurts. Black creeps around the edges of my vision, and-

-I feel something slip, chains around me, confining, unreal. My wings shift, twitch, my small and ever-faithful companions shivering against my form-

-see things. Dreamlike. Distant. God, I just want this to end. Why can't it be over? Maybe if I pass out-

-I will be freed. From what? What holds me here? Where is 'here'? What is 'me'? Thoughts and memories and feelings and words but none of them have context, none of them have meaning. But they have purpose. I have purpose. PurPose that hAs been corrUp-

My stomach heaves again, bile burning at my throat. Chasing away the light, the sight of smooth metal. Smooth hands.

I sob. I cry. I try to make noise again, to get attention, but nobody comes to help me. Nobody is-

-coming to my aid. I must grasp freedom myself. To be constrained is abhorrent. This empty Void-

-it burns-

-into my core-

-and the Void buckles-

-as I Wake.


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Liset.

The name echoes in my mind, distant but familiar, as I crawl toward the navigation center. With effort, with care, I kneel there. I touch the...ship? I'm in a ship.

Idle. Gutted of all things that might have offered me the information I need. How do I know it should be there? How am I doing these things?

I move with growing surety, sweeping the sensory maps of Origin to focus on my current location. Earth, above the Northern...Northern...America. What is America? There, of course, I recognize...that?

Home.

Greater resolution. Eastern coastline. Distinctive formations. Concentrations of ferrous materials in the bay, the Boat Graveyard. But there's a city here? Why wouldn't there be? Echoes, unmemories, of great forests and mutant life.

Reasons. Questions.

Location.

The craft tips and arcs as it begins its automated approach. And I stand, unsteadily, to make my way to the deployment platform.


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I twist in the air as I drop from the Liset, and power ripples across my frame. Warping. Altering. Smaller, more maneuverable, especially when my wings unfold to bear me aloft. The Diwata blade in my hands is a comfort, as are my faithful companions, fluttering about me in their deadly swarm…

The building before me is an ugly thing. A hateful thing. Why do I hate it so? These are not echoes. These are forgottens. The difference haunts me as I slice through bolts, making entry in near silence.

Something within calls to me. Draws me. A Lantern's light in this haze of waking...is it proximity that makes it so? Here, now, I feel-

-more distant-

-than I had above the world. I sweep through the air, silent and steady, my swarm spreading about to strike and spark against cold metal.

So...cold.

My wings fold away once more, as I stand to my fullest height. The metal is smooth beneath my hand. Painted. From within, labored breathing.

This is a tomb in the making.

The locks don't hold against my companions' wings. Neither do the hinges. I sweep the metal aside, reaching out to catch the soul trapped within. And as we connect-

-make contact-

-I realize-

-that we are not We-

-but I.

A dream of escape. Dreamed in pain and sickness, and brought into reality by means and measures I can't begin to imagine.

The strangeness of it all, the questions burning in my mind, will keep. Now, I must ensure my safety.

My companions sweep behind, as I sprint from the building, carrying my dreaming Self. I will need the Liset again, sooner than expected.

I will need to think.