I woke up in total darkness. A darkness so complete that light but a memory, a figment of the past. It took me a moment to remember where I was and why I was in the dark. It all came back to me in bits and pieces.
Leaving with no one to say goodbye to.
Agreeing to participate in the tests.
Being put into cryogenic storage.
The white walls of the facility.
The automated voice directing me.
The fear as I started to realize what was really going on.
The frantic planning.
I close my eyes - not that it makes much of a difference, I cannot shut out the memories, only these harsh, glaring lights - and think about how I had gotten into this mess. I had had no idea what I was signing up for really was, but it’s too late for regrets; regrets don’t help me. Regret is for the weak. I am strong. A survivor.
I had gotten up slowly, gingerly checking for any possible damage. My mental search had revealed nothing other than a couple of small stings, several sore areas, a headache, and a distracting pressure in my ears. I was lucky I supposed; it was a very long fall, long enough for me to think: “this is it.”
Blinking - curse these lights that fill my eyes with their burning brightness - I think about how things could have been different, should have been different. This fight is not my fight. This life is not my life. This earth is not my earth. This reality is not mine. The fall would have, should have been my end. But no, Life’s calling was too strong. I survived.
As I fell, first there was shock. Then came the fear. The overwhelming, life-preserving fear. So I pulled the trigger on the stolen tech. The device did whatever it was made to do, and by reversing the gravity of my descent or some other such thing, the device allowed me to survive.
Squeezing my murderous, traitorous eyes shut tight, I tell myself that I was acting on instinct. I did whatever it took to stay alive. Looking back, I almost wish the device had failed, or better yet, that I had never been involved in any of this. I would have lived out my inconsequential life on the streets. Roughing it out for another 15 years before the bombs came if what I've heard is true. I would have died never knowing what hit me. But no, I wanted to be a part of something bigger, and I needed the cash. Needed it in that life. The life that was once mine. Those strips of paper mean nothing. Not here. Not now.
After the fall, things were bad. I mourned the loss of the light. I screamed out my anger. I paid homage with my tears. I feared the dark. The dark was my enemy. I hated the dark. But one can only lounge in self-pity for so long. One listens to the voice Life or one fades away, is lost into the Darkness. But I did not lose myself to the Darkness. I embraced it. The Darkness became my friend. My protector.
I’m not insane, I know it. I see no ghostly apparitions; I hear no bodiless voices; there is only me. Just me. And that’s all I care about. It is my anchor, a mantra that tells me everything will be all right. There is only me. I am not insane. There is only me. I am not insane. There is only me. I am not insane. There is only me. I am not insane...
I quickly learned the ways of the Darkness. One must learn quickly or die, and I am a survivor. I listened to the Silence and drank from the trickling streams of water. I felt the vast Emptiness and fed upon the children of the Darkness. They were my brothers and sisters, living in the Darkness as did I. But the Way of the Darkness is unforgiving, and they died so that I might live. Time became my father, his passing the rock upon which I fixed my mind. There was no day, no night. No hours, no minutes. Only Time. Time told me that I was still alive.
I turn my head to the side, receiving what little relief I could from the horrible, piercing light that I hate. I must get away from here, and soon. I must return to the Darkness. Or I must return to the Light. But the way of the Light is corrupt. The way of the Light will not last. The Light built its mighty empire and ravaged the mother earth that had given birth to it. The Light spread, reaching ever farther and burning up all its greedy fingers could grasp. And thus the Light started to fade. Burned out by it’ own aggressive march over and through the earth. But still the Light refuses to loosen its grasp. The Light and its ways are addicting.
Eventually my friends and companions Darkness, Silence, and Emptiness led me to something different and new under the watchful eye of Time. I found you, here, in your underground city. But they tricked me, they brought me to this place of death, and you took me, stole me away. You dragged me into this place that you stole from the earth. You took it; and you changed it. You drove back the Darkness with your electricity. You destroyed the Emptiness with your buildings. You murdered the Silence with your machines. You took Time captive and forced him to work for you.
I should have trusted my instincts, should have run from the cursed light and sound and structure that is this place. A place of stagnation, you are too set in your ways, that was your mistake before, the reason you're down here now, but you can’t change, can you? You live your life for yourself you monster.
You probably think that I’m a lunatic. I don’t really care, not now, not anymore. All I want to do is forget, to move on, to live my life, any life, but you won’t let me. You make me relive everything over and over again. Why can’t I go in peace? I thought it was over, that I had escaped my living nightmare. But now I’m stuck in here because you won’t let me leave.
I have to leave. I must. The Light will lead to death for all. The Darkness will protect those close to it. I must survive. To live. That is all that is left to me. Death is ever present, creeping all around me, but I will not be overcome, not if I have anything to say about it.
You can’t keep me here forever. You can’t contain me, surrounded by white walls. I am a child of Darkness, and I will return to my master.
Hearing the sound of metal rasping against metal, I raise my head. Feeling a breath of hot, stale are ghost across my skin, I open my eyes, baring them to the harsh, unforgiving light. And I see It.
What are you doing? What is that?! Stay away! You can’t do this! You can’t kill me! I-----