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{ P  E  R  E  G  R  I  N  E }


         "Here. This place."



shuffle shuffle


Movement. Blood sloshing around in his head. Fuzzy. Immobile.






         "Shh. Keep it down, you-"

         "Not another word out of either of you."

Still moving. Swaying and bouncing slightly. Might be just in his head.


Footsteps, maybe. Couldn't see; barely hear.


          "Check that he's out."


A pause.




          "He's pretty out of it."


          "Does he need another?




No more snoring.

No more moving.





Moving again.


shuffle shuffle


The sloshing's stopped.


Can't tell if he's moving.




Now he's definitely moving.




          "All the way to the end."





          "Karz, he's lucky. I'd kill to live here."

          "He won't be living here."


          "Okay, move him."

                                                                                                 clack-clack   clack-clack


Dim light fluttering through his eyelids.


Air. Cool. Stale.


Felt hands grabbing at him, lifting him.



Depositing him someplace soft.

      "Check him."

More hands grabbing at his head. Was that a face?


          "His eyes are fluttering."

          "He needs another dose, then."


A grunt.

                                                                                                            shuffle shuffle

Something sharp pricking at his neck.


Everything getting... further away...


          "He's fading."

          "We're finished. Head out."




{  -  -  -  -  -  }



what is this place


where am I


I can see




over there


some dirt beneath my feet


is that a






I can walk


I'll just







to the bridge


there's nothing around


peek over the side


                                 there's something


                               in the water there


                            a body


                            dead Toa





I look up





over there


by the trees


wait no


he's here


some guy in red


who are you


"Find us"


wait no


who are you


who are you


who are you


who are you

who are you


who are you

who am I

{  -  -  -  -  -  }



I wake and take a few breaths. The air is cold. Stale. These sheets are nice. Bed is comfy. I stare at the ceiling. Light is filling the room.

I sit up and take a look around. Directly across from the bed is a door nestled into the far wall, which is light grey. Far to the right of the door in the corner is what I think is a washroom. A single couch sits in the middle of the room, resting atop white-tiled floors, facing a window that makes up nearly the entire wall the bed is resting against.

I can't remember my name and panic for a bit.

I can't remember how I got here, or where here is, or anything, really. No wants or desires or goals or ambitions.

My mind's just kinda blank.

I'm confused and can't really think.

Was that a dream? Where did it end or begin? Hard to tell.

I get out of bed and walk over to the window. The light hurts my eyes and my head starts throbbing. I rub my temples and my eyes adjust.

I can see a street far below, with tall buildings lining it and others branching off and outwards. Beings mill like ants among them.

This isn't Metru Nui or Xia.

I realize that I can remember places I've been. That's something, I guess.

I think I remember the world I live in.

Hard to tell what's real.

I'm confused and can't really think.

I turn around and walk over to the washroom. I turn the tap of the faucet and take my mask off. Water sputters into the sink and I splash my face. It's cold but it wakes me up. I put my mask back on and look up into the mirror.

I see the dead Toa.


{  -  -  -  -  -  }



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That's disconcerting, I think, eyeing the figure in the mirror.

That's something I'm really trying to get accustomed to. Or re-accustomed to. Thinking. Feels like I was on life support and someone accidentally pulled the plug and I died for a few minutes. Coming back from purgatory. Trying to get used to the mortal world again.

My hands casually explore my arms, and notice marks indicative of an intravenous catheter having been recently removed from me.

I don't know how I know that.

Perhaps I really was on life support.

Am I dead? I must be dead. My dreams told me so.

My. Me. I.

Who am I.

I'm Nameless.



I chop some bits off.


That'll do for now.

Sele. Me. I. My.

I tear myself away from the dead man's mirror and exit the washroom. 

The light's not bothering me anymore. I take advantage of the time I have before Karzanhi comes to take me to his realm and search the room. I can't find anything. Not even my memories.

Where could I have put them?

I go over to the door. It's unlocked.

Someone must've stolen them. Thought-burglars. Those aren't actually a thing, mind you. Don't take it like they are. See, I'm doing a thing here. Just... nevermind.

This room's useless. Nothing here except for that comfy bed and those nice sheets and the grey walls.

The hall is equally grey. The hall is long and the ceiling, vaulted, high overhead. Rows of doors with numbers beside them line the hall all the way to the opposite end, where a glass elevator is inlaid to the window stretching from the floor to the ceiling. The number beside my door is 1010.

I don't take any meaning from the number, and neither should you.

For whatever reason, I lock the door.




I don't have a key so I won't be getting back in. Oh well. I walk down the hall, which echoes with every footstep.


thud thud thud thud


Time to get my head out of the clouds, I guess. I call the elevator.




I step on, the doors close, and it silently whisks me down ten floors in an instant.




The lobby is empty. Most of the room is taken up by the sounds of a grubby receptionist with his head on the desk he's sitting behind, a bottle clutched in his hand, muttering incessantly to himself. Nobody else is in the lobby.


I approach him. He doesn't move. I decide to take the bottle from his hand and have a swig. My throat's like Po-Metruan sandpaper.

As I reach to grab the bottle, he stirs, muttering violently and yanking his hand back towards him. He looks up from behind his brow, his head still low to the desk. His glare is one of annoyance. His reddish Suletu is on crooked. Casually, without breaking eye contact, he takes another sip from the bottle, and passes out again.


I say nothing and drink nothing, and decide it might be better to just spin 'round on my heel and go the opposite direction. Out the front doors, onto the street.

So that's what I do.


Well, I'm not dead, I think. Might as well be. Not in purgatory either, but still, might as well be.

There are five types of people on the streets.

Those who hug the sidewalk or the road as they lay dying, or huddle around tiny cinders as they breathe their last in the chilly air. That's one.

Miserable looking beings shuffling around, just getting from Point A to Point B to do their jobs as they refuse to accept their fate as being dead whilst living. That's two.

Dirty, ragged beings, scarred and shivering, standing in pair or trios as they gossip or share petty secrets. They are the most alive, I think, but they can't know that they're not speaking of their own volition. Their minds drive them to create realities of worlds past in their heads. That's three.

The fourth are the least alive. Heavily-armoured-and-armed guards, all painted the same matte black colour, all wearing the same mask (the Hau, used specifically for riot-quelling), all holding the same rifles exported in bulk from Xia. They didn't move, didn't budge - like toy soldiers - unless it was to kick a prostrated urchin in the face or to shoot anyone they thought needed some relief. They were the Pawns of the Consortium's game, but obviously they didn't know the rules of the game. Pawns couldn't move like Queens, but these ebony-armoured ciphers did.

And the fifth was me, bumbling along, taking the sweet smell of the world in my nostrils, painting an utterly flat, greyscale picture of the universe in my mind. Everything is grey. There is no colour to anything.

No life.

No vibrance.

I ignore the guards and continue bumbling down the streets.

I pause to ignore a dying Toa and continue on my way, crossing the street to join the shuffle of the Twos.

I bump my place into the line.

          "Watch it," one says to me.

I think I should turn 'round on my heel and face him.

So that's what I do.

          "Watch what?"


          "Why? Am I a clown?"

          "You're acting like one."

          "I bet they won't find it funny." I jerk my head in the direction of the guards.


          "Here," I say, stepping out of my place in line. "Go in front." He wordlessly accepted the offer.

We kept shuffling.

Might as well be dead.



{  -  -  -  -  -  }



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