SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem: Origins
Resurrection of the Mad Goddess
Disclaimers: I do not own, nor do I claim to own, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, nor do I own any random copyrights that happen to pop up over the course of the fic(i.e., M&M's, Starbucks, The Matrix, etc.). Once I've finished my army of robots and taken over the world, I *will* own them. But, until then, you're going to have to put up with these disclaimers. Sorry.
Notes: Takes place after the end of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. I know nothing about the possible sequel (Sanity's Redemption), so if the sequel rolls around and proves everything in the fanfic to be totally wrong, I apologize in advance. Oh, yeah, rated PG-13 for violence, profanity, a few sorry attempts to be as freaky as the game, and, for those of you who haven't beat the game all three times, spoilers. Rating may go up in future chapters.Prologue
And so it has come to pass. Of the three Ancients, nothing remains. In their never-ending quest for dominance, the three destroyed one another, and now they and their abominable servants are gone from this world.
Mantorok, the Keeper, lies slowly dying in his own temple, able to do nothing but live out his days, watching...plotting...
The Liche, the once-mortal servant of the Ancients, is dead at the hands of the Guardian of Light, and has taken his place in the Chamber where the enchanted book once resided. The souls of those who gave their lives to halt the advance of the Ancients are finally at peace.
As I write these words, looking out on the ruins of Ehn'gah, my mind turns to the chaos of the future. After all, the death of the Liche was only the beginning...
Who I am, or what I am, is no longer of any importance. This is not my story, after all. What is more important is what became of the Guardian of Light...
Back to Reality...?
After the "incidents" at Roivas manor-after the fall of the Ancients-Alexandra Roivas returned to D.C. to continue her studies. It was a relief, leaving behind the madness and the chaos of her own dark destiny and going back to being what she was before-a normal college student with a hyperactive roommate and a steady boyfriend. Life had returned to an almost normal state of affairs, although her brush with insanity had left her a bit more wary than before. She had taken the Tome with her-it was not safe to leave it alone-but as she left she had locked the doors of the manor-possibly forever. If there was one thing she didn't need, it was to return to the memories of that haunted house...
Alex Roivas rolled over, stubbornly refusing to wake up. It couldn't be morning yet. It wasn't light enough outside. Besides, she was having a very interesting dream involving Colin and a lot of whipped cream, and she refused to have it interrupted.
She pulled the pillow over her head and muttered something like "Mnrrrm."
"Alex!" Her roommate yanked the pillow away. "What's wrong with you? You're missing the best part of the day!"
"Jen, go away. I was up till two typing my essay. I don't want to get up right now." And she pulled the pillow back.
"C'mon, the fraternity boys just got the freshmen to run around the campus buck naked. Isn't that worth getting up to see?"
"Jen, they did that last year *and* the year before that. It's not funny anymore." She pulled the covers back over her head.
Jen insistently pulled off the bed sheets. "Alexandra Roivas, you are getting out of bed right now whether you like it or not. Now go!"
"You sound like my grandpa."
"So..." Alex slipped into a comfortable T-shirt. "What is it that you so desperately wanted me to get up for? Aside from the streaking freshmen, I mean, because that kinda loses it's humor after the second time." She checked the mirror to fix her hair-and let out a gasp of shock.
The reflection in the mirror wasn't hers. Looking back at her was someone who couldn't have been much older than she was. Someone with wide, dark eyes and sun-bronzed skin.
She was staring in the mirror, and Ellia was staring back.
"Alex?" Jen peeked in the mirror. "Alex, what's wrong? You okay?"
Alex shook her head. "Nothing. It's nothing. So where do we go now?"
Her roommate shrugged. I dunno. Let's go bother Colin, he's usually up about this time."
How very like Jen, she thought. She gets me out of bed for no reason at all and doesn't even know what she wants to do with the day. "Sure, whatever."
She began to exit the room, but before she left, she took another peek in the mirror. Ellia was gone, and the glass showed only her own reflection.
"So, Alex," Colin leaned back in his chair, taking a bite of his pizza. "Why did you fly up to Rhode Island all of a sudden? What was the big hurry?"
"Colin, I wish you would stop eating pizza for breakfast." Jen sipped her mocha-chino. "It's so disgusting. It's like, why don't you just open up an artery and stuff it with fat?"
"Pizza doesn't clog your arteries."
"Yes it does."
"Are you a doctor?"
"Then stop telling me what to eat. So what was that all about, Alex?"
Alex looked away. What was she supposed to tell them-that she had discovered a book made of human flesh that told the chronicle of an Ancient evil, and that she had become the last in a line of chosen many to combat the Ancients face-to-face? Yeah, they'd believe that. "My...my grandpa was murdered. They needed me to identify the body."
Colin put down his pizza and put an arm around Alex's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Alex. I didn't mean to bring it up."
"It's okay. You didn't know." She turned back to Colin and got her second nasty surprise of the day.
Either her vision was going or she was finally losing it. The world appeared to be in monochrome-everything was shrouded in light gray. Color and hue had been reduced to different shades of gray.
"Alex? Hey, Alex, is something wrong?"
Alex blinked hard and rubbed her eyes, but the world didn't return to normal. She tried again. Everything was still in black and white and grey. She looked down at her arm. Even her own body was colorless.
She squinted. "Yeah, I guess. I must be getting old, though, I think my vision's going."
"Alex, you're not getting old. Maybe you just stared into the sun and got phazed or something." Her ever-unconcerned roommate took another sip of her coffee. "Happens to me all the time."
"If you say so." Alex said uneasily, unable to shrug off the strange occurrence as easily as her roommate could. "Guys, I think I'll go back up to my dorm. I don't feel so great all of a sudden."
"You sick?" Colin asked.
"No, no, I don't think I'm sick." Alex avoided meeting his eyes. "I just don't feel well, okay? I'll feel better as soon as I go lay down. I'm sure I'll be back down in a minute."
The stairs back up to her dorm room felt longer than usual today. Perhaps she had just been walking slower, or maybe she had paused to take in the sights around her. Either way.
Even her room was covered in the thin grey film, and nothing would make it go away. By this point Alex was fairly sure she wasn't dreaming, and she knew she wasn't sick. There was no logical explanation for the sudden lack of all color.
She reached out to touch the desk, just on the off chance that what she suspected was true. It was smooth, and felt like silk. She pulled upward, and saw that she was holding what looked like a thin sheet of fabric, with the color and image of the monochrome desk still printed on it like a design. She poked it with her finger, and it wrinkled under her touch like a curtain.
The suspicion was beginning to grow stronger. Praying she was wrong, Alex grabbed a pocketknife from her desk drawer-she had kept one there since she returned, just to be safe-and stabbed at the material in her hands.
The blade of the knife sank into the material but did not penetrate it, and the image of the knife, buried up to the handle in the desk, appeared on the piece that she held in her hands.
"That which is within the Veil cannot penetrate the Veil, Alex. I should think you would know that."
Alex whirled around. Sitting calmly on her bed, as though this was perfectly normal, was herself.
"The desk and the knife both lie within the Veil." The other her went on explaining. "Therefore, if you try to pierce the Veil with something that is already within it, all it will do is shift position." She casually crossed her legs, and Alex noticed that, unlike everything else, she was in full, normal color.
"Besides," she went on, "You wouldn't want to penetrate the Veil, would you? You wouldn't want to see beyond...your very own ancestor warned you of that, Alex."
Alex backed away from the figure of herself, glancing at the material she held in her hands. "You mean this-this, all around me-this is the Veil? This is Reality?"
"Bingo." The other her lay down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. "This is Reality, all around you. This is what the Ancients might see if they ever entered the world-everything that we consider real draped in the Veil, and themselves in full, glorious color. Only, of course, they would be able to tear it apart whenever they chose to...
"So," She turned to face Alex. "You've figured out what that is. Three guesses who I am."
The figure grinned. "Wrong."
But before she could ask her any more, Colin and Jen burst into the room.
"Alex, are you sure you're okay ?" Jen walked in. "We heard...Oh my god." She caught sight of the knife in the desk. "Alex, how did that get here? What happened?"
"I...I don't know." Alex lied. "It was there when I came up." She hurriedly glanced toward her bed. The other her was still sitting there, smiling at her.
What's wrong with them? Can't they tell there's another me sitting right there? She thought, panicked. Then it occurred to her. They couldn't. The other her was beyond the Veil-beyond their vision. They couldn't see or hear her, or even realize she was there.
Then why can I?
"Are you sure you're alright, Alex?" Colin enquired. "You look awfully pale. Here, sit down." He motioned toward the bed, and the figure sitting there laughed in amusement.
"No! I mean, no, really, I'm fine. Just a little shaken....by that knife in the desk. Okay? Really, I'm alright. I just need to lie down for a minute."
Colin sighed. "If you say so. Call us if anything's wrong, okay?"
"Yeah, I will. Thanks."
"See?" The Alex on the bed asked. "Neither of them even know I'm here-because I'm not within the Veil."
"Then why can I?"
'Alex' tilted her head, as though she didn't understand. "Excuse me?"
"If you're beyond the Veil, and those within it can't see you, then why can I?"
She laughed, then got up off the bed. "Let's just say, you were partly right. Not by much, but partly. I'm leaving for a moment, but I'll be back. See you soon, Alex." She laughed and walked out the door.
"Why won't you tell me who you are?" Alex ran to the doorframe as the image of her walked down the stairs.
The other her turned around, calling over her shoulder as she walked. "Because I think you already know."
'I think you already know'...But I don't.
Alex was staring at the monochrome ceiling, trying to make sense of what her double had said. She didn't 'already know' anything-anything that was of any use, at least. Nothing that could do this.
Someone was fiddling with her safe.
Managing to brush aside her confusion, she made her way to the wall where the roommate's safe was kept. Someone was speaking-someone she couldn't see.
"Damn fool," the voice was muttering. "Damn fool, why did you keep it? Why didn't you get rid of it? Why didn't you take that damned thing away from this world?"
The voice was very, very familiar.
"Should have burned it–should have got rid of it–should have *killed* it, cursed thing!" There was no sound from the safe-no jiggling of the lock, no clicking from the door, nothing-nothing except a banging on the door.
"You knew-you could see-and you kept it in this world! Kept this thing from beyond the Veil!"
Already sure of who she would see, Alex turned the corner and came face to face with exactly who she expected to.
The ethereal ghost of her ancestor turned to her, stared for a moment in anger-or was it confusion?-and vanished in an instant.
He was right. I should've got rid of it. Alex thought, lying down on her bed, shutting her eyes to close out the black and white. Why did I keep it anyway? It's no use to me. And it's not like I need a memento...
Without even opening her eyes, Alex knew who was present. "Hey, Colin."
"Jen and I were just thinking. If you're feeling better, you want to go see a movie? On me..."
Alex shrugged. "Why not. Sure. I'll be down in a minute." Of course the whole thing will be in black-and-white...
Colin smiled. "Glad you're feeling better. 'Kay, Jenny, she says she can come."
"Great. Can I come up there for just a minute? There's something I want to get before we go."
Alex sat up and was about to go out the door when she was greeted, not by Jenny, but by a walking cadaver, in full living color. Out of sheer surprise she took a step back, fumbling for her dresser drawer where she kept her pistol.
How did they follow me here?
The next moment it was gone, replaced by Jenny, looking confused, in black and white.
"Something wrong, Alex?" Jen asked. "What is it? Why are you staring? Have I got something on my face? Alex?"
Alex shook her head in apology. "Nothing. Sorry. Just got a bit of a headache. Come on, we'll miss the movie if we stand around here waiting."
Colin and Jen nodded and left the room. Alex held back a moment, reached into her dresser drawer, and slipped her pistol into her pocket.
Just in case.
"I'm glad you felt up to going to the movies, Alex. Did you like it?" Colin asked, flopping down on a couch.
"Yeah. Yeah, it was pretty good." Alex replied, looking around. "Hey, where'd Jenny go?"
"Up to your dorm. Said she needed to do something. What do you think's up with her?"
"Your guess's as good as mine." She turned her eyes to her dorm room door.
Slowly but deliberately, a Bonethief was advancing up the stairway, step by predatory step.
"So what did you think of–Alex?"
It had reached the landing--
"Alex, is something wrong?"
Claws outstretched, it burst through the door–
"Alex, what's going on?"
A scream rang out from the dormitory–
"Jenny!" Alex bolted up the stairs as fast as she could go, hoping against hope that her friend's mind was still her own when she got there.
"Alex, calm down!"
She stepped through what was left of the door–Jen was simply standing there, barely registering her presence–
Just standing there–the Bonethief had her–Jen was one of the Possessed–
"Alex, answer me!"
Or maybe she had never been human–maybe it was merely a facade–one that she had been able to see through, if only for an instant–
"What's wrong with you?"
She wasn't human–not anymore, if she had ever been–Alex had no choice–
"Alex, for God's sake, put down that gun!"
The sound of the gunshot rang out, drowning out everything around it–Jenny, or what was pretending to be Jenny, screamed with shock–
"Alex, what the hell are you doing?" Colin was standing in the doorway, shocked and confused. Jenny had backed against a wall, terrified, blood dripping from where the bullet had grazed her shoulder. "What's wrong with you?"
What's wrong with me...?
"I don't know..."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
I don't know what's wrong with me...
"Why did you shoot at Jenny?"
It wasn't real...none of it was real...My God, I'm going mad...
"Answer me, Alex!"
They're not safe around me...I'm not safe around me...
"Alex..." Jenny, for once, was quiet, looking, pleading, up at Alex.
I have to run away...
Alex raised her gun again, and she could see Jenny flinch in the corner of her eye. One bullet was all it took to shatter the window. She dropped the gun and dived.
"What are you doing?! Alex!!"
Falling...it could only have been a few seconds, but it seemed like hours...the concrete below was cold and unyielding...
There was someone standing above her. Jenny? Colin? No, it couldn't be. Three faces, staring down at her, three troubled faces, each only nodding in acknowledgment when Alex met their eyes.
All of them so familiar...
"Mom? Dad? Grandpa?"
Unconsciousness drowned out any answer.
"Alex!!" Colin pushed open the door and ran to the spot where Alex had fallen. "Alex, are you alright? Where are--" He stopped.
Alex was unconscious, being carried in the arms of...someone. He couldn't tell whom. He thought he could discern a tall, elderly man, but the figure was so faint as to be almost phantasmal. Without a word, the man turned and walked away. He almost seemed to be fading...no, that couldn't be. That was impossible...End Chapter 1