Hi everyone! This week’s story is a sequel to the one from last week. I came up with the idea shortly after finishing Overcharge but wasn’t sure if it was worth pursuing. I pursued it anyway because I don’t often do sequels to the stories I write and wanted to see how it would turn out. Think it turned out quite well, though it is a very different sort of Sci-Fi story compared to Overcharge. I might yet write another part to follow on from this one, but we’ll have to see. Anyway, think that is enough blabbing from me. Hope you enjoy Fragmented Friends!
The pain flowing through Warren as he disintegrates is excruciating. To make matters worse it is happening at a snail’s pace. Something tells him this isn’t the first time. He can’t say as to why he believes that other than to say that he does. He doesn’t remember his name in these moments, or what he looks like. All he can think and feel relates back to the pain that is consuming him.
He has hold of another. Their face, that grotesque rotting visage of shudder inducing sickness, is both familiar and unfamiliar in the same breath. Warren feels he should know who they are. Why they are stood here like this and yet he does not. A part of him demands he turn and so he does. In doing so the being he has a hold of, he can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman, begins to wail. The shriek of the other is ear-splitting. Warren wants to cover his ears. He begs his hands and arms to move to shield them but they refuse. Fear strikes him. For the first time in, he doesn’t have an answer as to how long but in however long it has been he is no longer focused on the agony. It’s refreshing and yet to say that the burning sensation mixed with that of being torn apart is gone would be fallacy. It’s still there. Remains as it always has, just below the thin surface of what he wonders now as he demands other parts of his body move. They too reject his demands. It is as if he has no control over his body. He wonders if this is pre-determined fate.
Suddenly, his mind is brought back to the moment. To the excruciating agony of his body being consumed and so as a result has already forgotten about his inability to move like he would wish. Rather, he stands there, in his shifted position with his hands still holding onto the monster before him and in that position he waits. Feeling is gone from much of his body. That should scare him and yet he cannot locate an ounce of fear. His brow furrows while the monster he has hold of continues to raw. They too are partially consumed. Warren had not noticed that previously. Now that he has he cannot take his eyes off the sight of pixels floating away from the mass. He concludes what he is glimpsing must also be happening to himself. He tries to look down, away from the monster and toward where his legs should and once were. His head refuses as do his eyes. Again he becomes aware of his inability to move; to adjust his position and perhaps change his fate. Then something in his head calls that this moment is written. It cannot be changed or altered. It is a ripple; a reflection of an event already past. That makes no sense to Warren, which is why he denies its ability to be true. His denial changes nothing and before he can think anymore he and the monster are consumed. Though, not before the monster lets out one final sound, a choked and desperate cry of anger, misery and pain.
In contrast Warren lets out no sound while his mind continued to search. Now that it is over there are no thoughts. There is nothing but empty space. A long silent pause married with copious amounts of light. In truth, far more light than anyone would imagine there should be at the end. Then everything resets.
Warren can feel the pain again; his body being consumed. He remembers nothing of the previous time. At least he remembers nothing in detail. He gets the feeling that this has happened previously and that it is far from the first time. Could it be the thousandth? The notion crosses his mind but lasts not even a blink. He doesn’t recall his name, his face, his purpose, anything. It is as if his mind has been wiped clean. Yet, something tells him this moment is important. He wishes he knew why. The detail as to what is going on and who…
He sees the face of the thing before him. It is a twisted mangled mess of a face. In place of its eyes are large black voids and below them is a too wide smile filled with more teeth than he thinks any one being should possess. His heart flutters fear. It disappears. He does not recall the emotion. He notes he has hold of the thing as if he is the victor. He doesn’t feel like a victor. He feels like he’s dying. He becomes aware of the pain again only to wish it would be gone once more. This time it refuses. Warren does not remember that he was without pain such a short time ago. He moves, on instinct. He feels as if that would be the best way to term it. His body complies effortlessly. Warren never knew he possessed the ability to move with such grace. He tries to move again only to be met with refusal. His brow furrows leaving him to issue questions as to why his body does not comply. There is no response. He is met with only silence. The world around him slides into his eyes. It is a city. He recognises it but not in a knowing kind of way. Instead, it sparks something inside of him as if he glimpsed it in another life. That isn’t possible. The thought strikes akin to lightning and then just like lightning it is gone. Somehow he perceives the arrival of the thought and its loss but not the content. He knows something is very wrong due to that. Searches are attempted of his mind to see if he can conclude anything. He can’t. The response is swift and to be honest he finds that alone suspicious, which is why he ignores it and forges onward with his search. To his surprise he really finds nothing, as if his mind is empty. That isn’t possible he knows. Then the thoughts are gone. He is back in the moment because of the sound of the thing screaming.
It sounds like a wounded animal but worse. The noise is wrong, so wrong he feels, but at the same time it feels right. That worries him. He wonders he if is the monster. He can’t be. Why? He doesn’t have an answer other than a feeling that assures him he is not.
I need to dig in, to find what is going… The thought is lost. The continued screaming, this time including his own, wrenched him from what he felt it was important to consider. Sadly, there is no recollection of what the thought was only that there was one present. Then Warren spies the pixels breaking free of the monster. His eyes go wide. He wishes he knew there colour, there appearance, but he does not. Again his surroundings slide into his conscious and he becomes aware of what surrounds him, a city. It strikes him that he glimpsed it very recently, except this time the buildings are warped and twisted. Everything feels and looks like a dream, a nightmare but…
His mind snaps back to the now. He feels the last of his body consumed by the pain and then he, the monster and the city around them are gone. All that remains is a mass of brilliant white light. An echo reverberates around and around. It could be a scream. Whether from Warren or the monster that was in his grasp there is no way of knowing.
Everything is back as it was with Warren feeling the bite of whatever is killing him slowly. He has hold of a monster. A name is on the tip of his tongue. He can taste it, feel it and yet cannot bring himself to speak it. He thinks this situation is familiar and manages to take in the twisted appearance of… Karadise. The name feels wrong as he mouths it but something tells him that this is the name it held but didn’t. He’s confused by that and still cannot recall who he is or why he is here, wherever Karadise is. Surely it could not truly look like this? No buildings can twist along both their horizontal and vertical axis to form misshapen masses in the real world. Then where am I? A burst of agony pulls him from his thoughts. He forgets what he was focused upon in the moment previously. Frustration fills his chest. Then he realises his arms are outstretched. No, he knew they were outstretched, he simply re-remembers. He asks himself how he could have forgotten. He hasn’t an answer. There is something akin to a memory in the back of his head. He can’t reach it. He wants to more than anything but the more he tries the further it seems to retreat into a distant and detached recess. That isn’t possible; he thinks and then hears the screams of the thing. His eyes are drawn to it.
They had been gazing in its direction but had not taken in the sight of it. Rather, they had been staring through the twisted, gaunt face with its nose where a forehead should be, the mouth in the middle of a cheek and eyes on almost the sides. The sight of the thing, whatever it is supposed to be, sickens Warren. He feels the bile burble in his gut. The feeling does not get further than that for he turns. He wonders as to why he turns. He hadn’t issued the order to his body. He searches for an answer but is afforded none. Then there is a scream. Warren is adamant it is the thing and pays attention to it once more.
They are both almost gone, consumed by whatever is doing this. It feels like a dream except for the pain. It is back now and makes it evident that this cannot be a dream. In dreams there is no pain, at least not for Warren. He is sure such a thing is not possible. The something consumes both Warren and the monster leaving only silence and light in place of what was present but a few moments ago. Faint lines of a grid can be glimpsed in the distance as if this is all made from some kind of framework but other than that there is nothing. The state remains this way for a time. It could be a long time; it could be less than a nanosecond. There is no way of knowing or telling. Time does not exist here. This is the construct.