Lights. Incredibly cliche, but nonetheless what I wake up to after supposedly falling to death. Oh, too soon? Fine, I'll tell you how I died.
15 minutes before I died
"Have I mentioned how much I hate heights?" I ask. "Yes, now shut up start climbing." Answers my older sister Josselin. "Come on Pavel, it's not that bad." Says my mother. "Easy for you to say! You're not scared of heights!" I reply, unhappy that I have to climb the stair steps to the top of the lighthouse with them.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Pavel Williams, I'm 18 years old. I stand at a height of 6'1, the tallest so far in my family. I have Blue/Grey eyes often obscured by my glasses, curly brown hair with a few blond streaks, and a brown/blond mustache. I'm a gamer and a massive bookworm. My favorite game series though is Mass Effect. Its just the sheer size and scope of the game, as well as the possible choices and the effects that they could have is amazing. Like how doing this one mission can save another's life, or helping this person lead to them helping you in the future.
I'm currently climbing the lighthouse on Tybee Island in Georgia. The reason I'm here is because my mother loves lighthouses and she hasn't climbed this one yet. Just my luck she picked the 16th tallest lighthouse in the world.
I snap out of my reverie just as we reach the top steps of the tower. I hesitantly continue up and out onto the balcony and look towards the ocean. My mother had gotten us and after hours tour so we could see the sunset. Even I have to say that the sight was beautiful as the sun was falling to the horizon. I walked around on the balcony to admire the rest of the sight. It's during those few steps around the balcony that it happens. Someone or something kicked me in the back with enough force to push me over the rail. Time feels as if it slows down as thoughts start running through my head. What just happened, Why am I falling, I hate Heights, I'm scared. It reminds me of a saying that is ironic even as I fall, "Gravity's a bitch" These are my thoughts just before I hit the ground, effectively ending my life as I knew it.
Temple of Athame, Thessia, 1618 CE
It was a normal day in the Temple of Athame. It was a day the temple was closed though as the military was studying the technology hidden there. All of a sudden a void opened up just in front of the statue. Out of the void came a curious being. It looked just like the Asari except for, it, well, was pink. The being also seemed to have some sort of fur on its head just like the Quarians yet it wasn't a Quarian. Upon further inspection the could tell it was a male of whatever species it was.
The oldest Asari in the temple, a matron named Lidanya, quickly takes control and has the specimen taken to a room in the temple to get it out of the spotlight. She immediately contacts the councilor and the matriarchs about this new being. Its less than 24 hours before several highly skilled Asari scientists and doctors are there and examining the being. To their relief, and increasing curiosity, the being is also a levo-amino acid based organism and thus can sustain its life without much trouble.
Temple of Athame, 1625 CE
After examining the comatose being for seven years and going through intense debate about it. The Matriarchs decided to have someone who saw the being appear meld with it. The Matriarchs then had trouble deciding who to send. Eventually one volunteered.
Lidanya had been puzzled by this new being, or Grey she called him, since he appeared out of the void as if sent by the Goddess Athame. She was even more curious than the others due to have the earliest contact with him. "Alright, is everyone ready and monitoring their respective monitors?" "Yes ma'am, ready when you are." "Okay, I'm starting the meld now, Embrace eternity" she said as she entered Grey's mind.
Pavel's mind, Just before the meld.
Darkness. Confusion. I feel tired, and confused. Nothing has made any sense since I fell, everything is the same. 'Darkness EVERYWHERE! Is this heaven? Is this hell? Where am I! How long have I been here'
I grow tired again. Everything is the same, nothing changes. I begin to fall back to sleep. But I cannot sleep, there is something here, something new. Ill think on it later. I'll sleep now. The new thing bothers me. Music comes from it that I do not want to hear. I growl at it. As if I was a beast. 'Am I a beast?' My thoughts grow peaceful as I go back to my reverie.
It bothers me again. I change, assuming the form of an ancient creature. My skin grows old and hangs tightly to my bones. I grow taller, Topping at 8 feet. The armor of the ancient vikings appears all around me. A sword covered in ancient runes materializes in my right hand, and a shield appeared in my left, covered in ancient runes as well. My face is obscured by a black helmet. Any Norseman worth his salt, or even a fan of skyrim would recognize this creature on sight. I had transformed into a Draugr.
"LET ME HAVE MY REST AND LEAVE ME BE YOU ANNOYING PEST. LEST I SQUASH YOU LIKE A BUG UNDER MY SHOE! NOW GET OUT!" I thunder, somehow ejecting the being. 'Good riddance' I think to myself as I revert to normal and start to fall asleep. Unaware of what I really just did.
"HOLY SHIT!" I yell as I'm ejected from his mind. I'm sent reeling and fall on my ass due to the sheer terror of that creature I saw in Grey's mind. I realize that I'm sweating and breathing hard. That image, that creature was scarier than a Krogan warlord. "Are you okay?" Asks one of the scientists beside me. I could detect a subtle hint of urgency in her voice."Uh, yeah, yeah I'm fine. But no way am I going back in there!" I reply, still wondering what the hell just happened. I mean, Grey turned into something that was scarier than a Krogan. A FUCKING KROGAN! I got up and started walking around so as to shake away my fear of this being. "Shit." I say as I realize something, "I have to tell the Matriarchs about this and it WILL not be pretty."
Temple of Athame, 1650 CE
It had been twenty-five years since the Asari had first tried melding with the being. Since the first failed attempt they had tried again twice. Both times ended with two scared Asari, but the difference between those two and the first was that the last two encountered nothing in the void that was the beings mind. Try as they might they could find nothing in the void, but they could feel something was there. They could feel that something was watching them, observing them. This scared them, to think a predator was watching them, sizing them up. This was why the Asari had not sent any others in and had made it volunteer only.
Luckily for them someone volunteered...
Aria T'loak was one of the best commandos Thessia had. Yet she was probably also the hardest to control. Her ability to think ahead consider many possible outcomes had made her a dangerous foe to all. Though it surprised her superiors and colleagues when she volunteered to meld with the unknown being. None were more surprised though than her squad leader Lidanya. Lidanya had told Aria of her encounter in the mind and how it scared the shit out of her. Little did she know this made Aria all the more eager to get in its head.
"Aria you really should reconsider your decision on this matter. No one has had an encounter that went even remotely well with Gre-this being" Lidanya says to me, correcting herself as she almost says her pet name for the being. "And I TOLD you. No! I will go into the mind of this man and find out what the hell it is doing here. You're not stopping me here Li." I reply confidently as I enter the room where the man sleeps. I signal to the waiting scientists, all of them the same ones who first saw him appear, that I was ready to begin. "Aria, I order you not to do this!" Lidanya says quickly, knowing this would not turn out well. I stop, feeling anger well up, but no, I can't be angry right now. I force myself to calm down and turn to face my squad leader. "Lidanya, you are trying to go against the will of the matriarchs, which is borderline treason. Are you sure you want to go there?" I ask, unable to stop the venom from leaking into my voice. Regardless, my bluff, although highly likely to be real, works like a charm and she backs off. I turn back to the man, and begin the meld. "Embrace Eternity."
My mind, Just before the meld. Pavel POV
In the years since the first meld, I had become even more aware of what I could do. I had discovered I could manipulate the water molecules in the air and transform them into ice as well as move objects with my mind. Being the logical person I am, I started calling the abilities cryokinesis and telekinesis respectively. The final thing I had discovered was that I could alter the space and have it take any form I wished. My current favorite was Omega, under Aria's rule of course. It seemed like an appropriate place for my alternate form. Another thing that I had discovered was how to transform into The Draugr. At first I had been puzzled by how I gained this ability, but I later began to attribute it to my heritage. My ancestry on my father's side was form the British Isles all the way, while my mother's side came from Sweden and other parts of northern Europe.
I was broken out of my thoughts as I felt another presence enter the void. I made sure to hide myself as the newest Asari appeared in the dock area. I smirk as I realize who the newcomer is.
I was confused, this was not the void that the others saw. This was Omega, yet it was different than the Omega that I knew. The Omega that I knew did not have any of these pink beings. The Omega that I knew was chaotic and unsafe for even a skilled mercenary. Yet here was an Omega where crime was controlled. Where you could actually raise a family. I felt impelled to go see what changed with the warlord, why he had changed his policies and actually took command. I ran to Afterlife, the warlord's favorite hangout, past the bouncer, through the hall, around the bar, up the steps and what I saw took my breath away. What I saw... Who I saw... Was me, an older, wiser, more powerful me but it was still me. This was a woman that you did not fuck with. This was a woman who was an ultimate badass and able to control Omega. This was me.
"Amazing isn't it? She worked to get where she is. She planned far ahead and took down the previous ruler. Now he stays here, disgraced and is now called by a name this woman gave him, Patriarch." I jump as I hear the voice speak, and there stands the creature Lidanya saw. The Draugr stood there, amused by the irony of the situation, He had chosen to sculpt the void in Omega's image and the queen, or at least queen-ling chooses to visit. "Wha-What is this?" I ask, fumbling for words to speak after seeing this awe-inspiring sight. "There is a question my race sometimes asks those coming to adulthood. The question is where do you see yourself in ten years. Naturally 10 years is to short for an Asari to accomplish things, but let me ask you in a way you can sympathize with. Where do you see yourself in 400 years? There are many possible outcomes for the various choices in life. This is one of them." The giant says as he indicates the older Aria. "You mean, this sexy badass right here is me?" I say, admiring my sexy, older self. "I did not say it was you, only that it could be. It is by your choice that you can become this person, or someone else. Please do keep all of this a secret. Say you saw the black void or something. Just know that I will repay you later on in life. Have a nice day Ms. T'loak" The Draugr says. I could hear the grin in his voice and then I realize why he said that as I am forcefully ejected from his mind.
Outside the meld. General POV
"I'm worried. She's been in there a long time" Lidanya says to no one in particular. Aria had been in the meld for the longest amount of time yet. All of a sudden Aria takes a deep breath, signifying that she was forcefully ejected from Pavel's mind. "Are you alright Aria" Lidanya and one of the scientists asks. "What did you see?" another scientists asks. "I saw nothing, just a fucking void and no armored creatures. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go tender my resignation and begin planning." She says as she starts walking away, then quietly mutters asshole after she walks a few feet. "Okay then. WAIT WHAT?!"
Temple of Athame, 1961 CE Pavel's POV
It had been several hundred years since the meld with Aria, not that I could tell of course. Time was irrelevant to me. At least 50 more Asari attempted to gain information about me. All 50 of them failed. I had changed my mindscape again, this time it was the bar on Ilium. I was working as the bartender and serving drinks to phantoms and other illusions. But something new happened and a clear Asari appeared and sat down. She was high-def compared to all the other beings here, and I had a feeling I was about to find out why.
"So what can I get for ya?" I ask, already guessing what she'd ask for and walking towards the Ryncol.
"I'll have a Ryncol on the rocks my good sir." The Asari replies as I move to the cups with Ryncol in hand. I set in down in front of her and go to collect and clean the glasses. The phantoms start filtering out and in that time the Asari went through two more glasses of Ryncol before the bar is empty.
"So." The Asari begins, "You got a name?"
"Hasn't anyone ever told you that it's rude to ask someone's name without introducing yourself first?" I shoot back, knowing I would probably enjoy this conversation.
She chuckles "The names Aethyta kid, and yours is?"
"Pavel Williams, and to answer the next question I am a Human, just like you are an Asari." I say as I walk around the bar and take a seat next to her.
"Funny, I was actually going to ask if you knew the date." She says, catching me off guard. Now I knew I would enjoy the conversation.
"Actually I don't know that one. The last I knew it was the year 2013. But it could be different considering I fell to my death and ended up here." I said, indicating the surroundings.
"Well shit, looks like you've got a story to tell. Good thing we got plenty of time." Aethyta replies, already figuring out how to conjure things up.
"You gonna tell me the date first? It would make the story better." I ask her, curious and happy that I would finally know what the date was.
"Well the year is 1961, and you got here in 1618." She says before seeing shock appear on my face, "What? Something wrong?"
"Are you sure that's right?" I ask, disbelief written all over my face.
"Yep, pretty sure, I didn't become a matriarch without knowing how time works y'know." Aethyta tells me.
"Wellll. Shit. I'm now a time traveler and the oldest person alive among humans. Seriously, humans have a lifespan equal to that of Turians. Though all I need to know now is just where the fuck this place is. I mean seriously, I've been stuck in this place for 343 years and only Asari have been able to get here and Oh..." I stop talking and face-palm once I realize where I am. "Wow, You have no idea how stupid I feel right now." I say, feeling incredibly dumb and silently cursing my blond roots.
"If it makes you feel better, I know the feeling. Just I experienced it a little differently." She says, trying to comfort me and at the same time recalling an embarrassing moment.
"What? Did Benezia catch you staring at her tits or something?" I ask, meaning for it to be a joke, but then I saw her cheeks turn purple and I immediately felt the need to tease her about it. "HOLY SHIT I WAS RIGHT?! I meant that as a joke. But really? Why don't you just ask her out? It's not like she going to laugh at you just for asking. I can tell you now that you have a higher chance of being with her than I have a chance of being with a Quarian. Even if the female Quarians are better looking than the Asari. Don't give me that look, have you ever seen a Quarian without their face-mask?" I ask her and she shakes her head no. "Let me tell you this, If the Quarians could live without their suits, then the females would be the picture of elegance. Wait a minute, I could just show you the only picture I've ever seen of a Quarian without her mask." As I say this, I conjure up the memory and the picture of Tali appears in my hand. I show it to Aethyta and chuckle as her cheeks turn purple again. "So." I begin, "am I right, or am I right? Just don't start a Quarian fan club on me alright." She nods as she gets back her composure.
"I may not start one, but I know a gal who will. And hell yes you were right. If I weren't set for Benezia, I would be adding another species to my list of kids."
"Okaaaay, moving on!" I quickly say as I wanted to avoid that topic. "So, since I'm in my mind, where is my body? And how exactly did you get in my head without alerting me." I ask, curious about where I ended up.
"Well you are currently in the Temple of Athame on Thessia, and for the second question..." She trails off, scratching her cheek. "You know how Asari normally meld right?" I nod. "Well I'm not doing that. I'm lying on top of you. My pelvic area is resting on yours and our lips are touching." My cheeks turn red as I realize what she's doing and I look away to hide my blush. She realizes that I'm embarrassed and decides to tease me. "Awww, is poor Pavel embarrassed?"
"Of course I am, I died a virgin and suddenly there's an Asari kissing me while pressing her best assets up against me. How else would a guy act?" I say, still blushing up a storm and somewhat weirded out that LIARA'S DAD was my first kiss.
"Well shit, that sucks. Seriously, I think you're the galaxy's oldest virgin. I mean even Councilor Tevos has gotten laid, what with the stick up her ass and all." She says bluntly.
"If I have a chance then I will try to remove. that stick. If its still up her ass by the time shit gets started then I will consider her a hopeless failure. But anyways, I really think you should try asking Benezia out. If you start having trouble. Just wing it. You should be fine. Now If you'll excuse me, I need to go find the connection between my mind and my body. I'd appreciate it though if I didn't have any more visits before I woke up. Good luck Aethyta." I smile at her, enjoying the view as I boot her from my mind.
"Now, where the fuck is that connection dammit."
Temple of Athame, Thessia, July 21, 1969, 10:56 EST
I open my eyes for the first time in 351 to the sight of ceiling lights. There is no one else in the room that I can see. I start testing out my body, twitching fingers, wiggling my toes, bending the joints. It dawns of me that whatever extended my life also gave me a more muscular body. It did not help with my eyesight though. I slowly sit up and take stock of the room. Its rather large for just being my bedroom. I spot my glasses on a night stand and put them on. It is after I do this that I notice the room has a balcony. I get up, noticing that they had not changed my clothes, a pair of jeans and a polo shirt, and walk to the balcony. Once I get there I thank the Lady Luck for allowing me to see Thessia in all her glory without reapers attacking the place. I must have spent 5 minutes looking at the view before I hear the door open. It was the first Asari that melded with me. "Hello" I say with a smile, somewhat excited to meet an Asari in person. But what happens next just destroys my good mood.
"Aw irrumabo, obliti lingua obice." The woman says.
"Aw FUCK!" I exclaim, face-palming.