A/N: Got a weird idea for a different take on "Girl from our world falls into Albion" story...or a not so different take, I don't know. Anyway, I hope this chapter is an interesting enough start to this little thing. This story will take place a few years after the Crawler attack on Albion in the third game, with my own little twists to things.
AU. A few years after the Crawler attack, a woman shows up outside Brightwall Village, with only a pair of dirty pants, a ripped shirt, and a pistol at her side. This woman is Bryn, who ended up in Albion after being killed from a fall in the world she is originally from. Gifted with the powers of Skill, she tries to find her way. Her first task, finding the other Hero of Skill.
Short Cut, Long Journey
I always thought that I would see my own death coming.
That I would be able to come to terms with it while the last of my strength would fade away, that I would go gently and pass away in my sleep. If it even came down to it, I would die protecting something I loved.
I really should have seen it coming.
All this was supposed to be was a simple family bonding trip, a camping trip in the mountains. There was always the risk with that, of course. The animals that roamed the woods, such as bears and wolves were always something to look out for. The nearest town with a hospital was miles away, though there was some safety in the fact that at least we were in a camp ground.
...I wish I could have seen it coming.
Hiking was always something I enjoyed, I love to climb things and be surrounded by nature. Though, coming down from my hike didn't go as I had planned it, the sun was starting to set and I knew that if I wasn't quick I would have been stranded in the dark at the mercy of whatever would come my way.
So, I had sought out the only shortcut I could think of. It had taken a while to find it, but once I reached it I was so relieved that all I cared about was getting across.
The bridge was rather thin, meant for just one person to cross at the time. The wires looked a little worn, tied to a pair of poles at the other end, keeping the even more worn down wooden planks in place that made up the bridge. As I had gripped the wires, I kept my eyes down on the boards. I stepped carefully on each board, which creaked as the bridge swayed as I slowly started to cross.
Through the gaps between each board, I could see down into the steep drop off that the small bridge stretched across, the fading light making it hard to tell just down far down it was. I tried not to shake as I made my way towards the middle of the bridge, my hands gripping the wires so tightly that I was sure my palms had scratches on them.
I should have seen it coming!
As I took a step on the next wooden board, I heard something on the other side. Snapping my head up, I saw that one of the poles was leaning dangerously forward, looking like it was about to pop out of the soil that it was stuck in. My body locked, all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears and my panicked breaking. All thoughts were gone from my head, a tunnel vision starting to form. All I could see was that pole, leaning ever so slowly towards the edge of the drop off. Suddenly, I started to move forward once again, my legs and arms shaking as I tried to pull myself forward.
With my movement, the pole on the other end gave one last bend before I heard the snap of the wire being released. The bridge dipped harshly to one side, my feet dangling in the air as I started to fall down into the drop off. Scrambling, I reached out and managed to grab at the board, the wooden plank slipping off easily, and I was falling.
I have never experienced the sheer helplessness as I reached out, grasping at air and my legs rising up above my head. If I was going to land on anything, it would be head first. I was still turning during the fall when something hard and solid collided with my chest.
I felt my ribs snap, the pain not quite registering just yet. I slammed my hands on the small edge, raking my nails against the stone, my hands trying to grab onto anything before I slipped off and fell the rest of the way. I screamed my head off, shutting my eyes as I caught glimpse of another ledge coming towards me at an alarming speed.
The impact of my back against stone knocked the air out of my lungs, my head snapping back and slamming against the ground. I felt my teeth slam together as everything stilled. My mouth was open, but I couldn't release a breath. The pain was horrible, my vision blurry and a loud ringing in my ears making it very hard to think.
When I was able to get air of my lungs, it was in the form of an agonizing scream. One that echoed off of the stones and empty spaces. I could taste blood, I couldn't move my legs and one of my arms. The only thing I could really move was my eyes and one of my hands that was shaking uncontrollably. There was liquid building up in my throat. Maybe it was puke, though I am sure that it was blood.
Eventually, the pain started to fade as the world around me started to grow dark around the edges, eating away at my vision until it was all I saw. It was a long time before I didn't feel anything at all.
I had fallen to my death, and had laid there alive until my punctured lungs bleed out and I finally died of blood loss and most likely head trauma.
I should have been smart enough to prevent this from happening.
I felt light, floating on nothing. I could hear my siblings and the conversation they had before I left, telling me about being careful and returning before sundown. I could hear my mother and father singing to a song on the radio on the way to the camp ground.
I heard my own agonizing scream.
"Remember these things dearly, traveller. For your new journey is about to begin."
My eyes opened, something I was sure I would never be able to do again. I blinked, realizing that I was standing on solid ground. I glanced down at myself, my arms and legs were bare, my bones firmly inside my skin. I swallowed, glancing up to see a cloaked figure standing a few steps away from me. Her red hood covered most of her face, though I could faintly see white eyes peering out from under the hood. Carefully, I walked towards her and paused within arms distance of her.
A small smile formed on her lips, "Welcome, traveller."
I stared at her for a few moments, swallowing thickly as the question I really wanted to ask found its way to my lips.
"You are, yet you are not," she confirmed, my heart sinking to my stomach as I stared at her wide eyed.
"What do you mean?"
"Where one life ends, another begins. You cannot return to your world, for there is nothing for you to return to. In this world, you have yet to begin your true journey. My name is Theresa, The Seer of The Spire."
"Theresa?" I asked, blinking, "you mean...the blind seer from Fable? A video game?"
"What may be a game in your world is something completely different in this world," Theresa said, her hands folded out in front of her.
I didn't want to believe it. I wanted to believe that this was just some sort of side effect to the damage my head took upon hitting the rock. I wanted to believe that I was still laying on that ledge, slowly dying and waiting for someone to discover me.
"No..." I started, shaking my head, "I don't..."
"Yet, you know it to be true. You relieved your death before arriving here, you know that you are dead."
Was that what that was? I did see myself fall from the bridge, felt the pain, and yet my thoughts seemed to...know. I stared at Theresa, my eyes starting to sting slightly from not blinking. A shiver ran up my spine, a longing for my family and the safety of my home started to build up in my chest.
"In time," Theresa said, "you will find that Albion will become a home to you as well. What is your name, traveller?"
"...B-Bryn," I stated, nodding my head, "my name is Bryn."
Theresa nodded her head, turning and started to walk down a path. I started to follow her, watching as a whole path seemed to open up in front of us. A few gates lined up, one after another, until the path seemed to split into two. Theresa stopped in front of the first gate, turning to face me once again.
"Each gate represents a goal that you must complete until you finally reach a choice you must make," she explained, my eyes looking around me in some sort of wonder. I was in awe, yet scared out of my mind at the same time. This layout seemed familiar to me, though I had never played the game myself, I had watched my older brother play through it once.
"But, first, we must start you on your path," Theresa said, breaking me out of my train of thought, "you have a purpose here, which will eventually be revealed in time. For now, you must take this."
She held her hands out, an object appearing in her hands. I frowned down at it, noticing the small pistol resting in her hands. It looked old, rusted, but there was something about it that made my fingers tingle as I reached out towards it.
As I grabbed the leather wrapped handle of the pistol, I felt something shoot up my arms and made me cry out in pain. The pistol seemed to become part of me, fitting perfectly in my hands as the pain subsided and I held it in my hands. I had never really handled a gun before, I never really liked them in the first place. Yet, there was part of me that felt like I knew how to use this.
"What did you do to me?" I asked, glancing up at her. Theresa stepped aside, a large portal opening outside the first gate.
"I have made a Hero out of you, something I have never done with your family members when they would travel here after their deaths. It has not happened for a long time, but I knew that you would be the right choice to do this. You are now a Hero of Skill."
I paused, looking down at the gun, "you shouldn't have done this. I don't belong here."
"You do," Theresa said, gesturing towards the portal, "in time you will see. Now, you must enter into this world."
"Hold on," I said quickly, recalling something my brother had said to me about the game once, "don't you already have a Hero of Skill? Wasn't he a..." I trailed off, waving my hand as I tried to remember the character I was talking about, "pirate...business man...or something?"
"He was one, and is still the other," Theresa said, "he will play a part in your journey rather early on, and if you are successful, he will become a very valuable ally."
I nodded my head, turning to look at the portal. This still all felt like some dream, and I couldn't help but wonder what will happen to me once I step through the portal. I didn't really play or watch the game enough to know these characters or anything else about the game, really. Now, I was supposed to be a...Hero of Skill, whatever that meant. Still, I wanted death now, to start the afterlife and not start a whole other life. Not to mention that memories and experiences from my old life were still fresh in my mind.
Still, I found myself walking towards the portal, stopping in front of it and peered into it to see if I could see anything. All I saw was a vortex of white and grey, nothing telling me of what waited on the other side. I was afraid.
I was no hero.
I couldn't even save myself from death.
...None the less, if I needed to be this Hero to work towards finally resting in peace, then I would be whatever Theresa needed me to be.
I would play along for now.