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Nothing I've Become

Posted on Thu May 19th, 2022 @ 4:49am by Daiyu
Edited on on Thu May 19th, 2022 @ 4:53am

Mission: Twas The Twelve Days of Travel
Location: Fortune's Echo
Timeline: Night of November 13th

While most of the crew slept or otherwise kept to their own company, Daiyu wandered the ship in a white sleeping gown. Her matted hair fell over her shoulders and down her back, adding its wispy likeness to her gown's train and making her seem to list through the ship.

In time, she found herself in the cargo hold. There wasn't much cargo, just assorted old, dusty crates between the ship stores and supplies. Curiously, she tried to open one. Locked. Or, more precisely, sealed. She would need a pry bar. But, even if one were in reach, curiosity led her to try another crate. It, too, was sealed tight.

Daiyu was about to move on to whatever else might draw her fancy when she spotted a steam trunk behind the furthermost crate. What in the Verse? There was a lock on it, but the hasp was visibly flipped open. The sight made Daiyu grin.

Falling to her knees, Daiyu threw open the trunk with glee. What could possibly...

Linens. Lots of linens.

The excitement within her was extinguished, as was the beaming smile on her face. What would anyone do with so many linens? As she jostled them, however, she heard the jingle and tinkle of fine trinkets. Wonder stirred again within her breast, prompting her head to reach inside the folds.

When her fingers brushed something, she swiftly grasped it and withdrew her hand as if from a hissing snake. Once she had her prize, she turned away from the trunk and held it aloft to see better within the dim light.

"Oh..." she whispered aloud. "Wow."

A relic of Earth-That-Was if there ever was one. The length of it was an old brass cylinder, but what kept Daiyu's gaze was the colorful disc at its end. Embedded into little, glass wedges were all the colors of the rainbow. On impulse, Daiyu pressed the cylinder's mouth against one eye and stared up into the light.

She was rewarded with a rainbow spiral that twisted and turned with the cylinder's shaft. The glass, though, triggered memories. Back on Hera, the Monastery had windows such as these, but the light did not move in spiraling fractals as such. No, the memories were earlier.

Bright light, sunlight on her face, the gleam of gold around her finger...

"How can you see into my eyes like open doors?," she began to sing, the lyrics coming from somewhere beneath her recollection.
"Leading you down into my core where I've become so numb
Without a soul, my spirit's sleeping somewhere cold
Until you find it there and lead it back home...

Lowering the relic, Daiyu became lost in thought. Where had that come from? Why did it make her want to dance and weep all at once?

"Now that I know what I'm without..." But did she? There was so much Daiyu didn't know. Monsters creeping in the darkness of her mind kept her prisoner to herself. Soon the pain would come if she tried to remember. The joy, though, might be worth it. She got up to her feet once more, this time with the relic held to her face, and began to wander toward a viewport.

"...You can't just leave me."

That feeling... did it ever truly leave if she kept it buried inside where the monsters couldn't get to it?

"Breathe into me and make me real...
Bring me to life!

The viewport was in sight, so Daiyu broke into a brisk trot to close the distance to it. She wanted to view the starfield through her new treasure. Words from another life flowed from her lips as she ran.

"Wake me up inside
Wake me up inside
Save me!
Call my name and save me from the dark...

Daiyu pressed the colorful glass disc against that of the viewport and began to spin the shaft. The starlight was dimmer than the light of the cargo hold, but its silvery light's refraction was far more radiant.

"Bid my blood to run..."

Blood. The monsters. They awakened to blood. It called to them, lured them, defined them.

"I can't wake up," she whimpered, her voice in a might higher register.

A snarl rose up within her mind. It fought to overtake her expression and went so far as to curl her lip in a feral twitch.

"Save me..." Her voice lilted as though trying to sing, though the melody was faint, broken. Taking a breath, she found her pitch again. "Before I come undone... Save me..."

The shaft slipped from her fingers. Daiyu gasped in horror as she watched its freefall, tumbling ever so slightly in the air before ending its short drop with a sudden stop. Her ears rang with the harsh, crackling discord of shattered glass. All that was left were brightly colored shards and the plain, brass cylinder at her feet.

Daiyu could not keep back the tears. As she stared out the viewport, grieving the loss of her treasure and whatever lost joy she had briefly touched, she let out the last words from the song she somehow knew but could not remember in a hoarse whisper.

"Save me from the nothing I've become...


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