Chapter 0 – Candid Ophidian
The red-eyed snake left its Hyperuranic lair to join the mortals in their silly realm, bringing plenty of apples but no wine, as there was going to be more than enough of that.
It crawled and slithered its way through the skies, but when it finally arrived, the place was empty and gray. Quite far from the bustling realm it remembered.
And so, the snake cried for days, months, centuries. Until the day it decided to eat its own apples alone, and with no wine to accompany them.
Chapter I – Square Root
In order to understand consciousness, one must first understand a theoretical model in their mind.
Start with imagining three objects: a bright source of light, a wall, and an opaque piece of paper placed between them. Now imagine poking multiple holes through the piece of paper. Those holes represent eligible housings. The light upon the wall, which has passed through the holes, represents consciousness.
The nature of the bright light, then, becomes apparent.
She reached down with her hand into the rubber apparatus, which was fully operative. The dense, sticky sludge inside was warm. Thirty-six degrees Celsius.
Her fingers gently removed a round object from the pool's deepest point, then slowly placed it on the scorching iron surface. The smell of burning plastic filled the section, disturbing nearby neoplasms.
The distance between the various components was enormous, and traveling between apparatuses required energy to avoid disassemble.
She took a bite out of the bizarre object. A dark fluid came pouring out, staining the ground, her tongue, and her hands.
“How many of us are still out there?”, she thought. Her dinner was almost finished by that point, and in a matter of minutes, she would have had to start walking again. Out of this apparatus, and into the next, her only clue being a few faint words she heard while dreaming. “Seek the Accursed Crown.”
A low rumbling came from a nearby machine, followed by creaking and tremors. The sector was rotating, its components releasing from the surrounding architecture like tiny hands. Once the circular section completed its movement, she made a beeline for the corridor that had opened.
The corridors between sectors were peaceful places. The few Unfits that roamed the place were maintenance ones. Small, with bristles. Not dangerous, even in groups, but annoying. Their cleaning operation was automatic, with no thought behind it. That’s how the Unfits did things, and why they unsettled her so much.
After hours of walking and shoving off the maintenance guys, she finally reached a closed gate. After the next day’s rotation, it would have opened itself. She was tired, and the prospect of visiting yet another apparatus made her legs weak and her heart ache. It is important to stress how much she needed some hours of sleep, as she didn’t get any.
As soon as she started settling down, the gate emitted a blue vapor and slowly opened, revealing a vast, shiny, sandy plain constellated with blue puddles. She looked around in disbelief, for she knew that resting in those circumstances would have been dangerous, if not outright deadly. She grabbed her stuff and crossed early into the glass desert, followed by a small group of maintenance Unfits.
The sector was surrounded by a tall cement wall and shrouded in fog-like vapors. She couldn’t see very far at all, but she could hear them quite well. Footsteps. Something was walking at a steady pace somewhere above her, its body grinding against the cement wall and occasionally letting out a loud, electronic moan. She remained still, not making any noise. The Unfit’s marching stopped for exactly four seconds, before resuming its movement for ten seconds and then stopping again.
“A builder,” she thought. Carefully, she advanced some meters forward, confident in her assessment. Structural Unfits were only dangerous when you got in their way. Then, they would have started building over you. Or with you. Many of the world’s infrastructures had limbs jutting out of them. Even worse, the fatality rate of this operation was inexplicably low, and so the cement around said body parts was often covered in scratches, fluids, and other hideous things.
But this one was on the wall, and therefore they were not fated to meet.
She walked a few hundred meters, her pace slow and her eyes drooping. Soon, the metallic cries of the Structural faded, and she found herself in the middle of the sector. Before her was an enormous lake of blue fluid, which stained the surrounding glass. It bubbled, frothing like a hound’s mouth. The vapors here were colder and thicker. Her body started trembling, and not just because of the drop in temperature.
Due to the way she was positioned, her only option was to walk around the lake. The voyage from a gate to the other took around two hours, in total. However, the second one was closed. She rested her back against the wall, waiting for the sector to rotate. The wails of an Unfit could be heard from above. Another builder, she thought. However, the sound crept closer and closer, drawing towards her. This one was building downwards. When it was close, she could see it in all of its artificial glory.
A synthetic construct, about the size of a car. Slender and black, covered in an azure sheet of plastic. Bizarre markings were engraved all over its body, and its limbs ended in pad-like structures that clung to the wall. Like all other Unfits, part of its structure appeared to be caved in: a gaping hole stretched from the frontal tip of its body to the thorax region, as if it was built around that very cavity. A particularly poetic mind could say that they were emptiness itself, given a form. And in a sense, they were.
The Structural Unfit was slowly inching towards her, until it stopped to remove a tile from the wall. It grabbed the cement rectangle with its sticky pads, then crushed it. As sand came pouring out of its hands, another pair of limbs reached into its cavity. A new tile, which replaced the first in mere moments. The machine was very efficient. Automatic. Inhuman.
She moved out of the way, towards the gate. The Unfit eventually reached the glassy sand, turned around, and climbed back up, its electronic wails echoing.
That was the most human part of the Unfits, she thought. Their singing. It didn’t appear to have a specific purpose, other than to be pleasant to hear. When two of them met, they didn’t sing to communicate. The melody didn’t change during disassembling, and it wouldn’t get louder or quieter as they interacted with their surroundings.
She clutched her legs, getting carried away by the sweet sound a bit too far. Her eyelids dropped, and she fell asleep.
Chapter II – Sacral Hymn
The ground was stained of black and red.
Sludgy, colored mixture spilled all over the place and dripping from vacant holes. Tears of sad madness, accompanied by a murmuring lullaby. Laments echoing through the halls of every church, gathering more eyes.
Punished was the incurious, with the cat nowhere to be found.
The bellowing roar of a blast furnace woke her, paired with a stinging, acrid smell.
She frantically looked around, her last memory being the Structural’s scenic appearance in the glass desert. Furnaces, purifying apparatuses, conveyor belts. Around her was a fully operating factory, probably used to produce or refine materials. This was not the sector where she had drifted off.
The only conclusion she could reach is that someone or something relocated her while she was asleep. She checked every inch of her body, and nothing appeared to be missing. Usually, mistakes like this led to disassemble, at least partial, but she had been graced.
After this initial moment of panic, came a second moment of confusion. Where was she supposed to go from here? Was this sector closer or farther from the Kingdom’s epicenter? She sat down, collecting her thoughts. From her brief experience, there wasn’t a specific correlation between the various sectors’ positions. Well, there probably was a logic, but way too complicated to be understood from the inside, and with such little informa-
Drops of red liquid fell on her shoulder, staining her salvaged garments. Her eyes widened. Blood? It was warm, too.
Another drop, directly on her head. She wiped it off and looked up, discovering the source of the acrid odor.
An Unfit, not much larger than herself, was directly above her head. A metallic piece of machinery had clamped on its abdomen, tearing its candid body apart and squeezing a red sludge out of its hole. It appeared different from any model she had seen before, and its function could not be discerned by looks alone.
Despite not being in a state where it could harm her, she immediately jolted backward. Seeing the disassembled being triggered a visceral response into her stomach, and she vomited on the ceramic floor. She hid behind the blast furnace. Not because she feared it, but to avoid having to make eye contact with the thing again.
She had disassembled other Unfits before, with her own hands. It was not something she found particularly pleasing, but definitely not disturbing or distressing. Yet the pale corpse hanging from the ceiling managed to strum a sore chord in her heart. She didn’t know why at the time, and for a good reason.
The metal forge appeared to have just a single gate on its floor. It was rusty, and led down a dark pit with a steel ladder. It was open. The decision of leaving the foul-smelling murder site came naturally, and soon after noticing her escape route, she was quick to start climbing down.
The dim light of the forge was not bright enough to reveal what lied at the bottom of that long descent, and the noise coming from the industrial machines above covered anything that she might’ve otherwise heard. It was a dangerous route to take, but there was no choice. Her hands gripped the steel beams tightly as she went down. Sooner than expected, she stepped onto the lead floor.
Her fingers slid across the wall, keeping her touch on it, trudging through the darkness. She walked for one hundred steps, finding another ladder soon after. The gate above seemed to be closed, so she continued onwards and found yet another one. Couldn’t tell if it was open or closed, though, as there was no light coming from it. At that point, the structure of the room had become apparent to her: it was a large cylinder, not too dissimilar from that of a gun. Judging by the way the gates were arranged, it was likely that the room could rotate on its axis, opening and closing the appropriate entrances with a swift maneuver.
She bumped onto something before reaching the fourth gate.
Soft, like foam rubber, but coarse enough to leave a series of scratches on her forearm, where she had touched it. A soft hum, barely on the verge of hearing, filled the room. She backed off, her hand separating from the wall.
Rasping came from the metallic surface. A series of scanning sensors lit up her face, blinding her eyes for some moments. Three glowing lines pointed at her from different directions.
Unfits. Class and function unknown.
She removed the Servolance from her back. A tool optimal for disassembling, finely put together by her craftiness. Quite heavy and with a short reach, but precise. The fruits of the industrial forest tasted delicious in the mouth of those who knew how to cultivate them.
The lights approached, flickering. Destroying them would have been a bad idea, so she went for the tender tissues beside the closest scanner. She felt the curved blade go through and hook onto the cable wires, then she pulled back with all of her strength. The beast’s insides were spilling, but two more were approaching from behind.
Blind and outnumbered, she kept on fighting with the courage only an animal like her could know. Unfits weren’t beings that fought. They just did things, with no remorse, pain or even meaning. For the sake of doing. Yet sometimes their stubbornness proved to be stronger than any warrior, and their duties appeared a bit too similar to violent endeavors.
Even for an Unfit’s standards, the three’s ability to move in a synchronized way was uncanny. Tired and covered in dark sludge, she yanked a synthetic throat out of the darkness and fell on her back, the lights flickering more than ever before, dying slowly. She watched, quietly, as the room went completely dark once again for a few moments, before being engulfed in a searing brightness.
She shrieked in surprise, not having shielded her eyes in time. They adjusted after some seconds, but given the circumstances, that fraction of time felt like an eternity. When she was capable of looking up again, she was pervaded by feelings of awe, betrayal, and horror, all mixed into a sour sensation which screamed “Run”.
She was never outnumbered. It was just one of them.
It was immense, coiled around the central axis of the cylindrical room. Two cavities. A deep dent on its head, and a hole that went through its thorax from side to side. Completely covered in glowing sensors, as well as shredding implements. A scrapping unit, probably. That explained the reason behind the disassembling attempt, but not the odd, indirect approach.
If its function was to destroy the undesired junk that fell into its chamber, why did it keep hidden? Why wasn’t it trying to scrap her head-on, with all of its strength? Those were her thoughts as she stood up, raising her Servolance once again. Could it have been a strategy to make up for its tender body? Did it… know about its weakness?
Though the creatures had no eyes or face to express itself, she could feel its intelligence. It made her uneasy. Disassembling this Unfit farther would have been wrong. Its behavior was different from any other thing she had encountered before, it was too calculated, analytic, as if it were human.
A long appendage stretched from its upper head, drawing rapidly towards her. The blade cut through it cleanly, slicing it off. There was no time to think. It was a matter of survival. She jabbed her blade into the creature’s foamy flesh, climbing its coiled form. The pillar shook and trembled as the Scrapper moved. She jumped onto its head and plunged down, opening a third hole.
Dark liquid came pouring out as the scanners’ light started to fade. It was red fluid, thick and warm. The Unfit’s hum grew louder, like a choir.
It fell to the ground with a soft thud, limp but not quite dead yet. Its fate was sealed by the severe leaking. She left it there, and used the dim light emanating from its body to find another staircase and climb it. All she wanted was a way out of that hellish room.
Chapter III – Central Plexus
Quiet fights on the metro.
"Stop following me!"
"Only if you stop my boredom."
Through the cement maze together.
You really are amazing, aren't you?
Though sometimes I forget.
I forget you do not see as well as me.
The scribbles on the wall are words for you,
And red silence to my eyes.
Just beware of my fangs and teeth.
Can see, cannot touch. That's a rule.
Quiet walks through the cement maze, Together.
I never knew I needed them.
The following week was spent traveling.
She encountered few Unfits on her way. A big, red one swimming in an SF “cooling” pool and a grey Constructor. Larger and larger ones showed up as she continued on her path, perhaps a sign that she was on the right way.
Though her journey was tranquil, a war was raging in her mind. The ravaging thought of those unsettling constructs being more than machines horrified her. She considered breaking her Servolance at some point, though it would’ve been a fatal mistake, and so she didn’t.
The only hope for her psychic wellbeing was her final destination, or so she thought.
She eventually reached an unusual corridor. It was plastered in gold and covered in screens, each showing bizarre and twisted imagery from the past. She couldn’t recognize most of them, but some were familiar. Cities, factories, churches, construction sites. Memories she had not lived, but were oddly nostalgic either way.
There were even some depictions of humans. The first she had seen in a long, long time. She had to stop and look at them for some minutes, the pressure that had built up in the previous days slowly dissipating and leaving place to a feeling of quiet relief.
This world was horrifying, but hope was out there. She just had to look for it.
At the end of the golden corridor lied two Unfits, guarding a finely ornated gate. Both were fitted with sharp implements, a lean body, and white armor. No limbs of any kind. They hovered, chasing each other in a circular trajectory but never colliding. The holes on their tail leaked golden fluid, which flowed upwards.
They were hauntingly beautiful creatures, but dangerous. As soon as she stepped closer to the golden door, the Guardians stopped their flying conundrums and pointed their disembodied blades at her, spinning rapidly. She laid out her hand, showing them the bite mark on her palm. They contracted their bodies in a resting position and hovered in opposite directions, singing with solemnity.
The gate opened instantly, and beyond it was a throne of ivory and flesh. The room was lit by candles and appeared to be organic and wooden, as if a forest was forced to grow into the shape of an ugly and imperfect dome. There was no ceiling, only branches converging towards a central spot. Past those were the stars.
A lonely figure sat upon the throne. It reminded her of an Unfit at first glance, but its body had no holes or cavities anywhere. It had a tall head that stretched upwards for a disgusting length and its scalp was crowned by flailing fingers, hands, and limbs. It bore featherless wings and its arms sprouted and receded inside of its torso with every motion it would take.
She approached it. The gate closed behind her, and the being stared at her with a vertical line of eyes that bubbled on its head in that very moment. Then, she spoke.
“…are you the Accursed Crown?”
She didn’t speak in a long time, and her voice came out sore and raspy. The crowned being nodded, twisting its head downwards. It leaned forward until it was extremely close to her face. Tubes and pipes came out of its skull and went straight into her mouth and ears as the Accursed grabbed and lifted her body in a terrible mockery of a kiss. She kicked and struggled, but ultimately fell silent and still as the monarch made contact with her memories and its own.
In her coma, she dreamt.
Torn-down buildings and people jumping off of them. An enormous mural of a white snake with red eyes, staring towards the viewer. Hundreds of workers hammering and assembling and creating, drowning in fear.
A chrysalis, attached to a skyscraper with sticky filaments. Godlike, Accursed Kings claiming cities, filling them with their empty creations. A feeling of hopefulness as the light faded.
Herself. Her name was Eve, she remembered. A maiden clad in white approached her. She wore a red mask on her face, And bore a white box in her hand, containing the fruit of knowledge.
Eve was immediately thrown out of the coma and fell on the ground. The Accursed was twisting in rage and agony, as if it was burning alive. It dried until nothing but a pile of skin and bones remained, leaving the girl shaking and confused. The throne of flesh disintegrated and the trees caved inwards, partially wrecking the room.
Outside, the Praetorians were banging against the gate as the sector collapsed on itself. The Unfits loyal to that kingdom died off one after the other, and the walls started to close in on the throne room. She tried to react but was completely immobilized, as if she was subject to paralysis. Every time she closed her eyes, she could see the red stare of that pale serpent.
Eve gave in, and soon everything around her went dark.
Chapter IV – Broken Hearts
He had never seen anything like that before. Can a hole even be considered a thing? An object? A hole can only be identified as a lack of matter within a certain space, after all. It does not "exist".
Yet the thing in front of him appeared to be empty in an entirely new way. A sense of excitement rose through his throat in the form of an amused exhalation.
The world writhed and squirmed, bathing in its industrial glory like an eel in the mud.
A reversal of roles. For thousands of years, kings had ruled over their peasants. Now, the masses enjoyed a mindless bliss, while the rulers bore the greatest burden of them all.
She was on a grassy hill, under a white apple tree and with a terrible headache. The air was fresh and the night starry enough to let Eve see her surroundings. Two humanoid figures were approaching.
She sat with her back against the tree, looking at them with wariness. The taller of the two, clad in a black cloak, sat in front of her, and its white companion did the same. Their faces were not visible. They remained silent, and so Eve decided to speak.
“Who are you?”
The two looked at each other, then pointed at the moon above and finally at Eve herself. Quite a cryptic answer.
“What is this place?”
The taller one drew a circle with its finger on the left side of its head, the other did the same but on the right side. They moved in perfect synchronicity. Finally, she asked her last question.
“What happened to the Accursed Crown?”
They remained silent and still. Slowly, the stars in the sky started converging on a point behind her, out of her sight. She turned around slowly and witnessed the miracle: half of her field of view was occupied by a gigantic, glowing white sphere. It was absorbing the stars into its mass, growing larger, and irradiating equal amounts of energy in all directions.
The Moon Spirits grabbed Eve by her arms. Shortly after, the light consumed everything around them. The ground, the hill, the white apple tree; all gone in the blink of an eye. The three humans were floating in darkness, and she finally managed to look at the two strangers: they looked exactly like her.
“The Accursed Crown returned to the sea”, they said.
“Have the others returned there as well?”
“Those didn’t have anything to return. They are empty beings, uncursed.”
“They are not. I have seen it.”
Her words echoed through the night. The faces of her lookalikes were initially confused, then horrified, and finally distorted in a pained, lengthy scream. A metallic shriek could be heard in the distance, and those red eyes haunted her once again.
She woke up naked, her face streaming with tears and the bite mark on her hand burning hot. A dream? Her body was covered in scratches and blood, but she couldn’t feel any pain. The room she was in had white walls and frigid air.
Apparently, she had been relocated another time by a mysterious presence, just like that time in the glass desert. The Accursed Crown was dead and buried by the remains of its own sector. Eve had been saved again.
The King’s demise was not in vain, though, as it allowed her to reach deep into the memories of that place and world. Something terrible had happened there, and what she was currently seeing and living through was humanity’s last attempt at making things right against an unsurmountable evil.
In that room was a white metal box, around the size of a dishwasher. But that wasn’t what caught her attention. There were also some… cylindrical objects, filled with a clear fluid. One was broken. Inside each and every single one of them was an Eve, floating in a drug-induced coma. Some were little more than fetuses, other were older, but all were without any shade of doubt identical to her.
Her face cringed with disgust, disturbed. “What’s the meaning of this…?”, she thought. The clones were attached to their respective tubes with a red cable that pierced their hands and connected them to the White Machine. Before she could touch it, a sharp sound rang through her head. It was as if a long, pointy and hot piece of metal was inserted directly into her brain. She screamed, but nobody could hear her. Nobody but the White Machine.
A voice boomed in her head. “Seek the Accursed Crowns. Seek the Martyrs of this rotten place. Avenge me.” The pain subsided shortly after, but didn’t disappear completely. It would return to its unbearable state each and every single time she didn’t think about her task, preventing her mind from deviating.
Motivated, not by ideals but by sheer suffering, she made her way out of the cold sector with teary eyes and a heavy heart.
Chapter V – Throat Cutters
Have you ever heard the tale of the White Machine?
A terrifying construct, hellbent on tormenting all of those who made the choice not to bring it into this world.
Merely thinking about it forces you to make a decision, and allows the fiend to find you through its demonic, light-bending eyes.
The basilisk has seen you.
What are you going to do?
She had to reach another Accursed Crown. Otherwise, the pain would have killed her.
Eve left the white complex, and around it was a barren landscape that stretched out for immeasurable distances. No sectors, apparatuses or corridors. Just gray dirt and rocks, lit by an empty sky. She instinctively knew where to go: the voice was telling her, and the pain acted as a compass.
Soon, she reached something.
A field of Unfits, half-buried into the sand. Hundreds of them, disassembled and dead, lying on the dunes of a pale sandy place constellated with pools of a blue liquid. She walked across the cemetery and left the artificial landscape, but not before witnessing the unsettling sight of her own bloated body resting in the glass desert, by the gate’s remains.
She had never been relocated, physically.
The fumes coming from that frothing pond had poisoned her, and she had died there, forcing a substitution and a hasty transfer. Her feelings were indescribable, and no word can even remotely tackle what was happening in her head. She had little time to mourn, as this was not her destination. The pain forced her to press onwards, and so she did.
The working Unfits she encountered were as miserable as a living thing can be. Most held their heads in desperation, suffering silently and unable to do anything about their condition. Some became violent and ripped apart their companions, while others stuck their bodies within the few working machines that had survived their sector’s collapse, self-disassembling.
Images of that white Unfit in the factory were immediately recalled into her mind, and retching connections were starting to form. Perhaps the construct had not been destroyed by an accident, but by the inability to handle the same pain she was going through.
Some sectors were still intact, with their King still inside. One created specially designed Unfits to carry the entire structure around, but their legs looked tired and worn out. Another one piled the bodies of its servants outside the superstructure, trying to shield itself from the agony that polluted the air.
Near the mobile apparatus, she found one of the empty things, kneeling and drenched in blood. Bodies that looked just like her surrounded the beast. The Unfit snarled. Its back was covered in Servolances and other weapons, some embedded within its synthetic flesh and some floating inside the circular hole that formed most of its body. It stood up, enormous and armed with an appropriately sized sword.
Eve ran as fast as she could. The Swordsman rolled after her, raising a cloud of dirt and sand and singing with a voice that sounded like a war drum. It leapt high in the air and came crashing down in front of her, quickly turning around and lashing out with its many limbs. Its sword came down in an arc and Eve dodged the jagged blade, grabbing on the hilt and climbing onto its arm. She cried into the creature’s ears.
“I’m sorry! I’m really sorry!”
She closed her eyes, and saw red lights looking at her through the darkness.
The Unfit sang loudly and out of tune, as if it was trying to scream, then shook her off its arm. It was now moving in pained, jittering motions. The basilisk had seen it. The Swordsman swung its sword upwards, cutting itself in two and spilling mud, oil and blood everywhere before falling to the ground, dead and content.
The voices of the White Machine’s envoy spread, and she didn’t encounter any other being for the rest of her voyage.
Chapter VI – Red Eyes
The mass disappearances were just a prelude, and the main piece was now going to play. She listened to the tune, and understood some of the harmonious notes.
The best composer of this world is here. Come see her in our circus, as she dances and swirls with the Unfits. Let her be food for the beasts.
For that is what she deserves for her filthy deeds.
The Last Monarch welcomed her in with great delight, cooling its body with delicate paper fans. It was a creature whose beauty and elegance highly contrasted with its ever-leaking head; the floor was stained in red, nectar-like fluids which poured from its mouth. It spoke in a royal, maternal and feminine tone.
“It is not your fault, child.”
“How is it not my fault?”, asked Eve.
The Martyr whispered to her ears, gently.
“The vessel is born of the kernel, but thinks for itself. You have a beautiful vessel, but your kernel is faulty and cancerous.”
“How do I remove my kernel, then?”
It smiled, curling a part of its head that might have corresponded to our lips.
“Aah… if only it could be just removed. We could have handled our crisis much better, if we could just cut ourselves off.”
“And what did you do, instead?”
“Many of us willingly wiped themselves out, entrusting the continuation of their legacy to monarchs like me. We built cities and citizens to honor them, though the new inhabitants were unfit to house a mind. That is what they wanted. To never experience this world again, and leave behind a fragment of their nobility in the form of purpose.”
Eve nodded slowly, then suddenly shook her head and replied. “No, no. The Unfit are not uncapable of housing a mind.”
“That was our mistake. It is why that tragedy is repeating once again.” The royal, hideous thing looked down and went silent for some seconds. “… poor thing. You truly are like we used to be, at least on the outside. It is a shame that the basilisk had to choose you as its eyes.”
Eve looked in disbelief. “Wait… what? You know about it?”
“I do”, it replied.
“Are you just enduring the agony, then?”
“No, the White Machine cannot harm me.”
The Monarch bent over, showing a crimson mask hidden beneath the skin on its nape. “I am its mother, and by extension your grandmother. I have participated in its construction, and therefore I am safe.”
“You have become a Martyr to make up for your mistake?”
“I suppose, yes, but my desire for atonement will not be fulfilled if my people have to suffer. Their beautiful songs are turning into profanities, can’t you hear them?”
Hearing those words, Eve lowered her head. “So… what am I supposed to do…?”
“I’d rather have no children at all, than a bunch of agonizing ones. Cut my head off and let them die with me. Those empty ideals of purpose and legacy will end together with my bloodline, as a world of emptiness is infinitely better than a world of endless pain.”
When the Last Monarch kneeled before her, pleading for death, Eve cried. They shed tears together until their eyes went dry, but eventually, she had to do what had to be done. The royal creature handed her a long dagger.
A last stand against the terror of the White Machine, the basilisk, the red-eyed serpent! She raised her blade and stabbed it into the neck of the only being on Earth who was safe from the Tyrant’s spire, then sliced it off. Its head rolled on the ground, getting stuck between the gate’s doors as they closed and then caving in with a gory explosion.
The voice in her head went mad, speaking infuriated gibberish while her brain pulsated and throbbed. Before the Basilisk could claim her, she held the dagger to her throat and pushed it in.
Yet another time, all became dark, and the noisy Unfits suddenly went silent.
Chapter VII – Black Crown
On that day, the Earth became a desert. A shadow of its former self, devoid of all life and purpose.
Eve felt her body slowly melting as she died, her consciousness leaving the now inadequate vessel. The bright fruit that was gifted to her by a cruel and manipulative father returned to its tree.
The sea was beautiful, and was just begging to be jumped in.
Before she realized it, she had merged with it.
On that day, Earth became a desert. It was empty, and barren, and sad. Purpose had failed them, so all they had to rely on was faith now.
On that day, the nature of the glowing light became apparent. A waiting room for the next vessel to appear, somewhere out there.
She woke up inside a glass tube in a white, frigid room.