Black Philosophers Crucible

ζ Sgr-88.2LY from Sol

I opened my eyes for what felt like the very first time, and yet I knew it wasn’t. “Where am I?” I wondered. My next thought gave me a shock. I sat up and looked around the room I am in, taking in all the details in the hope of jogging my memory. The room looked modern, yet a hundred years old. It was dimly lit and smelled like moth balls. . How do they get their tiny little legs apart… I smiled remembering his intentionally bad jokes…

But the memory slipped away.. I tried to remember who or even what I was just thinking about. I could only recall a white haze, as if I had my memory erased. I looked to the back of the room and noticed a large metallic ring the size of the wall, attached to dusty computers and high tech machinery, some of which I recognized. “Why does this seem so familiar, yet different?” I wondered. I decided to exit the room to have a better look around the building. What could possibly go wrong?

The hallway was in worse shape, rotting chunks falling off the roof. I walked by a large mirror and stopped to gaze at myself, only to be shocked. My hair was jet black, yet my pupils’ glowed red like Molten Lava. "The girl burns bright…." A voice on my six down the hall, then something else… like the coo of a baby. Wondering what an infant would be doing in such a place, I began to investigate sneaking to the door and saw what appeared to be a sitting baby facing the opposite way, on the ceiling…

It turned its head to reveal not a face, but a gaping maw of jagged red teeth dripping with blood. It dropped from the ceiling and started to crawl with its back against the floor towards me. “KYAAAAAAAAA” the creature shrieked, hurting my ears. It was in this moment instinct kicked in, I ran down the hallway full speed, bare feet padding against the tile floor. I tried to turn left, only to see something from an even worse nightmare than before. It was a tall human in a suit, but it had no face.

Instinct directed my eyes away from the faceless demon. So I darted right, and saw red signs with arrows and strange writing. *exitus* “Exit signs” Subconsciously translate as I followed the signs full sprint. I came upon double doors, bursting through to the outside world, only to be shocked further. “Black stars in a scarlet sky? Blue Grass? Old rotting, strange looking vehicles? Where am I? This isn’t right….”

I didn’t have long to ponder before the faceless creature appeared as if from nowhere 10 feet down the busted concrete road. This time I made what would be eye contact, if it had eyes. It slowly started to walk towards me, changing shape with each step. It grew larger, wider, and sprouted 2 more arms. The bottom two ended in sharp blades, the top two 3 fingered clawed hands that looked sharp enough to cut diamonds. The creature was closing in, and I was frozen in fear, unable to move. “Deer in the headlights” Time seemed to slow down as it drew closer, and just as it was about to reach me, 6 tentacles of black shadow impaled the creature from the left, coming from behind the corner of a building.

The creature crashed into the wall across the road, reducing it to rubble. A man stepped from behind the corner. He was tall, with short black hair, black iris’ and tan skin. He had an aura of darkness around him, as if the shadows were his to control. He was wearing a black cloak with a sword hilt sticking out behind his head. He reached for it with his right hand, and when he pulled it out, black metal plating shifted out and started covering his body, forming a suit of armor that seemed to be made of a black hole.

Light bent around him as he seemingly slid across the ground dragging the tip of the sword in one lightning fast move. The creature burst out of the rubble, rocks flying out with a crash. The man slid between the rocks like a snake and weaved between the creature’s arms, slicing off the left as he moved behind the Demon with his back to it, and with a quick thrust of the blade backwards he pierced the back and chest of the beast, than pulled hard to the right, creating a huge gaping wound.

The creature fell to the ground, falling apart. The black goo that was left a small snakelike mercury creature slithered out, then into the ground. “Quicksilver” He sheathed his sword, which seemed to trigger the armor to recede. He walked up to me slowly, and it was then I noticed the man wasn’t wearing a robe. He had wings folded over himself, making it appear like a robe.

He walked up to me and said “Sunt vobis bene mulier?” “I’m fine. Thank you…” His eyes opened wide, as if he were surprised. “English!? You know our language? You’re a long way from home human, or I would say human, if not for your eyes. Your…..very strange.” I looked down, worried about what he said.

“What’s wrong with my eyes?” “Nevermind, it doesn’t matter right now. Let’s get you dressed, I’m surprised you aren’t shivering.” It was then I noticed the cold and nudity, easy to miss when being chased by demons, I suppose. He reached with his left hand into his jacket and pulled out what appeared to be a reddish stick. He grabbed my arm and slapped it on my wrist; it then proceeded to cover most of my body like liquid, hardening into cloth, like a black jumpsuit. “Sorry I don’t have any clothes from your world, we haven’t seen humans in long time.” He explained. “Humans? I don’t even know where I’m from or where I am…” I replied.

“Well….” He said “I know you’re from Earth, which is quite a ways away. Where you are is the Planet Eden, home of what your kind call Angels. We have yet to exchange names, mine is Azrever. What’s yours?” “Aletheia…..”“Aletheia” I replied, “I Am Aletheia.” “Pleased to meet you Aletheia, come” He said “Let us get you to the City. It’s not safe in the wastelands, as you’ve seen. We have a bit of a Demon problem. Kadjata, we call them, but they are essentially Anomalous Demons. They arrived recently.” I looked into his eyes, wondering if this was a dream. "I felt safe with this one.." “What city?” I asked “Only one on the planet” He replied, “Arkadia, the Flying City, I call it Home.” I felt a sudden wave of Déjà vu.

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