Ch.4 Something not quite right.
Daniel pushed forward, watching as creatures and people fought. In the distance the Storm Giants rose up like a thunderhead on the horizon. Men and creatures alike fell around him, in silent blue imitations of the real event. I felt a tugging on me and smiled. It felt familiar, almost like when I was with Shift.
Then a shudder wracked my body and everything... fell apart for a moment. I frowned and looked around. More memories flooded my mind. Finding shards in a desert, battles that were much harsher then this one. "NO!" I yelled loudly. Something wasn't right here. It all felt... fake.
Then, Connie and Shift flashed into my memory. 'Did you push him back!' she yelled. My eyes went fuzzy but the images were clear. A slight mist coming from my hand, then light flashing and ruining them both, descending into darkness.
But, Connie was old there. In fact, twenty years older to be precise. There was something else wrong as well. Her eyes, distinctly different, were switched. It was like looking into a mirror. Daniel pushed at himself, but all the creatures with him were still there. It was just the battle and memories that were fading.
"They aren't real!" he shouted, pushing out his chest. "The memories are all fake, Kullervo!"
"Oh, are they now?" came a hissing voice. Daniel turned and watched the blue puddle lift and reach into a bipedal form. "Still, you have to admit they were masterfully done. In fact, I had to take your form to get out of that little cage that you tried to catch me in. It has... slackened my hatred, I admit, but I am still strong enough to escape and take you down."
Daniel crouched, hands sideways in front of him. The creatures around him hugged tight, letting him feel their presence. "I won't lose to you here Kullervo. Not when I have the ability to take your strength from you!"
"Oh ho! You truly think that so few creatures can stand up to me?" he asked, voice smooth, lulling. Daniel however saw through it. He held his arm out to the right then flicked his hand forward. A dagger stabbed directly into Kullervo. He looked horrified for a second then smiled, dissolving into the blue.
Daniel sighed and looked around, the press of Kullervo's mind leaving him.
"He ran away." he said, sitting and staring at the silver stars above, hand sloshing the blue liquid.
"He's getting reinforcements." The Ouroboros hissed. All of the creatures faded from him then pressed in, back to their original forms. "Don't give up, please."
"I'm not giving up." Daniel replied, staring at the sky and zoning on the stars. "It just doesn't feel real. It feels like the fake memories. Solid at first and then loose afterwords. It's like Kullervo is faking it all and nothing here is actually blue. Just look at the stars. It's almost as if I could reach out and touch them, and everything would be bright again."
To demonstrate his point he lifted his hand to the sky.
"DANIEL! HOLD ON TIGHT!" Connie screamed to him. He blinked, surprised as a shiver wracked his body. "Oh, thank god you're awake!"
"Wh-where?" Daniel wheezed out, body spasming. The walls were like a hospital. Clean, bright, and white. There was no blue to be seen.
"Kullervo got into you, remember?" Connie asked, squeezing his hand tight. "I've been trying for hours to break in. He was twisting you up."
"He m-made me see you die. Shift too." Daniel wheezed again, chest feeling full of something.
"None of it's real there. All you have to do is touch him to see he's fake. I'm fighting him off. Just remember! It's all fake!"
Daniel nodded then the stars were above him again, with the creatures pressing into his back.
"It is all fake." he muttered, turning to them. "Kullervo is just trapping me here... but that also means I don't know if you are real."
"We are real!" the ouroboros insisted. The rest of the creatures nodded, giving off a silver glow. Daniel nodded and pulled them all close.
"All we have to do is stay still until Connie helps. She's a Universal. She can do anything." And he truly believed that.
It was almost a month before Daniel could breath right again, but he didn't mind. The memories that Kullervo had given him still replayed a sense of Deja vu, but they were now dreams. Life had resumed as normal in Hescombe, or as normal as it could get on Shaker Row.
Daniel was in a haze most of the time, chatting with the creatures he had stolen from Kullervo. Kullervo himself had fled away after Connie had fought him off. No doubt it would be easy for him to work with all the creatures he still had but now those six species at least were safe.
A/N: Anti-climactic ending, I know. But not all things in life have epic twists and turns. Sometimes they fade away like a dream, driven by the light of day.