The beast that once was Lunammu moved slowlY. It enJoYed Kat's fear. Kat saw more monsters emerGinG from the dark water. There had to be a waY out. An armY of darkness formed, tried to Get to her but the butterflY beast shoved them back. It wanted to savor this moment, have her all for itself. There was no window, no traPdoor to the roof, Just bookshelves. In her helPlessness Kat beGan skimminG throuGh the books in hoPes to find her name. The beast Got sick of it and threw the bookshelves into the water with its stronG winGs. This was it then. They would overwhelm her at some Point but until then she would dismember as much of them as Possible. She tried to surPrise the monster that had overtaken Lunammu and sliced one of its arms off before it could react. The Grey limb fell on the floor and bled darkness. The beast started lickinG the wound. It seemed to enJoY it. UsinG its winGs to stabilize itself it then reached out for Kat. She couldn't Get out of its reach and it Grabbed hold of the arm that had been rePaired by the Xenomech. It was also the one she held the knife with. She droPPed it to catch it with her other hand but the beast Pulled her towards its mouth and the blade fell on the floor. Its teeth riPPed throuGh the flesh of her arm, crushed the artificial bone and chewed it. It threw Kat away while enJoYing it's meal. The floor barelY chanGed in color. The Pain was unbearable but Kat knew she had to act fast. She Grabbed the knife and somehow manaGed to Get uP. The beast was too occuPied with lickinG the blood off her arm and with a Quick slice she seParated the head from the bodY. Then she freed her arm out of the beasts claws and sliced it back onto her shoulder. With the beast Gone, nothing held back the other creatures.
Hundreds of them were watching the fiGht and after it ended, hundreds of them stormed towards Kat.
Kat saw black hair, Got Grabbed and flew into the dark water. Claws and teeth wanted to diG themselves into her skin but the light held them off. Kat couldn't see where the Bloodstained Bride took her, there was onlY darkness around them.
It took too lonG until they finallY found liGht aGain. There was onlY her old room and its immediate surroundinGs that were not Yet devoured bY the darkness.
"How do I save the ocean now?" Kat asked, soundless aGain.
"There's only one way. Destroy the source. Go through that door in your room and destroy whatever is causing this."
"But the door is locked."
"Your knife is pretty sharp isn't it? Now go!"
There reallY was no time to lose. Kat sQueezed herself throuGh the window into her room and destroYed the door's lock with her knife. The door strained aGainst being oPened, Probably because of all the water weiGhinG aGainst it. She threw the knife on the Ground to use both her hands. Her rePaired arm stood surprisinGly stable and did not bend under the Pressure, even after beinG chewed on. Kat oPened the door wide enouGh for her to sliP throuGh.
The door fell shut before her. TurninG around there was onlY darkness and a small shine of liGht from under the door. She stePPed out of it.
Air. No water anymore. Her upper body flew up with such force she almost fell off whatever she was lying on. A man in a black cloak stared at her. He held a strange book. She was lying on some sort of altar made of stone, candles all around her. She noticed she only wore a black cloth like Caile did, only that a strange symbol had been drawn on her stomach. She noticed there were more people in cloaks. All standing around her, staring. She felt hair tickling her ears.
This was not right.
"What is your name?" the man before her asked in a threatening tone. Sha'kal. How did she know his name?
"I don't know!" Kat answered. She wanted to ask where she was, what this was, but for some reason those questions got stuck in her throat. She was unbelievably thirsty.
"Another failure..." the cloaked man murmured. "Lock her in a cell, we have no use for her."
Two cloaked men from behind took her arms. One was rather big and therefore was easily distinguishable from the others. Kat wanted to scream, but she didn't. She did not even try. She wondered why. The two men dragged her off the altar and towards whatever lied behind her. Then they stopped when Sha’kal made a hand gesture. He walked up to Kat and brought his face so close to hers that she could clearly see his eyes under the hood.
"I do not know who or what you are but I want you to know what I sacrificed for this. I wanted my beloved daughter to be the vessel of the Wrong God. Instead there is you. A nameless nobody. I will not forgive you. The Great Tumor God will surely know the right punishment for this impertinence. Simple death is not what you deserve."
"Is that supposed to scare me?" Kat said with a voice that sounded even less than her own. It was a voice straight from the darkness. She stood on her feet and ripped her arms out of the men's grasp with the ease a butterfly flapping its wings. They howled in pain, she might have broken some of their fingers in the process. She laid her hand on his chest and suddenly he flew across the room onto the altar.
Kat felt as if something that was not her controlled her movements.
She stepped on the man lying on the altar and bowed down to his face.
"I do not know who you expected me to be but I am pretty sure you are responsible for the darkness in my ocean. Now suffer what you have created!"
An invisible force pinned him down while Kat stood over him. The candles were lifted into the air and danced around Kat.
"It is you, lord! You are the Tumor God! You tested me and I have failed you." The man started laughing. Two candles separated themselves from the dance. The laughter turned into screams when the hot wax dripped into the man's eyes. Kat liked that noise. Something told her that she did. Something else inside was screaming, but she could not understand what.
The other cloaked men simply watched, while Kat squeezed more and more painful screams out the man that was her vessel's father. She made sure he won't fall silent for a while.
When she finally stepped down from the altar, two men with blooded hands knelt before her.
"What have we done? Why have we done this?" one stammered.
"It was this wretched book. It compelled us all."
Kat followed his gaze to a black book on the other side of the altar. He made a run to destroy it, but she removed his legs with a thought. She took the book. It was old, had been touched by hands from beyond this world or the ocean, The Azciribek.
"What will you do now?" the other man asked.
Kat wanted to understand. But she already understood. She found memories in her head that were not yet her own.
"I need some time to get accustomed." she looked at the corpse of her body's father. Part of her was horrified. A part that she remembered less and less.
She was lead to a private chamber and left on her own. She remembered that with the spell broken, some of them would try to flee, having read what she was prophesied to do. They may do so. The ocean was gone. She was the only thing from it left. The Azciribek, it had been enchanted by foreign entities to compel those that open it to attempt to summon her. The Tumor God. As well as her children. A malicious entity that would spread suffering over the world. The beings that invaded the ocean, those were her creations. Not Kat's creations. Kat never existed. That was not her true name, not who she truly was. The Azciribek was the book that held her true name. That knew who she was. The mess of past and future memories still blocked out that name but it was only a matter of time for things to settle. She only needed to say it.
She wandered around her room. She found a mirror in a corner. Her body was that of a ten year old child. Short black hair, yellow eyes. No scars or bleeding wounds. A long tongue behind pointy teeth. A clean black dress.
She found a bed in the room. She wondered if she would return to the ocean if she went to sleep. But there was no more ocean. What part of her did not understand that? There was still some light keeping away the darkness. A voice less and less remembered. She felt a pain in her heart when it spoke it's last word. Something buried under memories grieved for it.
The ocean was nothing but the dream of an unborn God. There was no point to mourn its end. This was who she was supposed to be, the Azciribek had clearly stated so. She was this cruel God. That kind person inside her head... not even someone else. Just an idea. One no longer worth thinking about.
When she fell asleep, she did not dream. She remembered that she would never again.
When she woke up all sorts of thoughts from different minds shot into her mind.
More questions about the dead ocean. Once she remembered her name, those questions would go away. But there were still so many memories of this world she entered, the people she would meet, the things she would create... the fear.
The big man brought her a stack of books. Something inside her was delighted by the sight, but only for remembering a friend.
"Why do you bring me these?" the spell was broken. Nothing was keeping these people in her presence anymore. She realized they'd prolong their lives significantly if they could just travel far enough north. She supposed they couldn't predict that.
"Maybe we hope that all is not lost. That girl... she was kind. She enjoyed to read. Maybe we hope she's still in there."
"I'm afraid not. The future is set."
The man smiled, no longer burdened by hope. She got up and searched the structure for a place to herself. Memories still clouded her mind. Memories of an entire lifetime. All colored by the emotions of the time, an incoherent mess. She remembered a certain room in this structure would bring clarity, if only for a moment.
"Sister, is that you?"
"Hello, Frivola." she remembered this girl as her vessel's sister. Struck blind, unfit to be offered as a vessel. Left to die in one corner of this structure. This would be the day she died.
"Have they not killed you?"
"They did. But I survived."
"...What will you do now?"
"Horrible things. As the book foretold. And I will suffer for it. I will long for something I would never understand. And in the end, there will be only darkness again." she saw with clarity her own future. Almost name the one thing more important than herself.
"I'm sorry. This should never be put upon a child."
"I'm so scared, Frivola. And what scares me most is that I won't be anymore, after I leave here."
"That is not true. You will be scared for the rest of your life. You will be hurt and you will die. And no one will hear your voice. You will be forgotten, just like the ocean. It will all be meaningless."
She found herself crying for the last time in her life. She found that Frivola had never said a single word to her. She did not remember who she had talked with. Only remembered the name that would seal her fate.
She heard Frivola groan as death was wringing the last breaths out of her. She was too weak to speak but she could hear.
Before she became the Tumor God, she remembered the voice that would never speak again. A voice that never found her name. That was so deeply, deeply afraid of being unheard. This unbearable fear was the only thing that would remain of that voice, after she said her name. She dreaded that feeling more than anything, but she could not stop it. The path has been set. She remembered no other future. She knew exactly the suffering she would face, equal only to the suffering she brought. She wished she could die. But that damned light inside her still glimmered. It would only go out once it was too late. It would force her to say her name, then leave her with her fate.
"I am the Tumor God." she wanted to give up hope. She wanted so dearly to be saved. Although she could not understand it, she wanted to be loved. To be understood. To be heard. Just one time, to be heard by another being. But she gave up that voice to say: "I am Acarou."
<< | Continued in Colorful Angel