For some reason seeing my last and only link to the outside world smashed against the cool, damp corridor floor didn't bother me in the least. Maybe that's when she infiltrated my mind and made me into the puppet I would much later realize that I had become. Or maybe she had done it days prior as I skimmed the waves surrounding the barren atoll and everything leading up to that moment had been some elaborate play for my her own twisted and deranged amusement.

The camp lantern was flickering, its plasma flame guttering and dying. I was a full grown man hardened by decades of combat. But throughout my journey beneath Altuna's Chariot (a name I would later learn meant something quite literal) I had not allowed myself to be enveloped by the inky black. Frankly, it scared me. The horrors on the surface didn't phase me in the least. They were slow, weak and easily dispatched, the byproduct of a horrible plague brought on by unsanitary working conditions and a horrible ancient progenitor grudge.

Science could explain them. I could sit down on a lab bench and examine their mutated brain tissue under a microscope. But the black was something altogether different. It was unknown, the absence of one of my senses. I wouldn't go so far as to imagine there were monsters lurking about. Maybe that would have offered me some comfort.

But it was the still and quiet eternity that terrified me. So as I watched my silhouette blur into nothingness against my own blood smeared on the rock I whimpered. It was then that I heard a horrible and gut wrenching groan. It was an unearthly sound, a noise you'd expect the dead to make if they could breathe.

It took me a minute as I stood there in horror before I realized that it had escaped my own mouth. It was a primal noise that I heard only rarely from those beyond help, from those past crying for their mothers to please make the pain go away. It was the sound of a battlefield after action.

But Altima was there. I'm not sure if I should mean that literally, but as I stumbled about my campsite looking in vain for my headlamp I could feel her.

It was exquisite and horrifying at the same time, like being bludgeoned to death in the middle of an orgasm. I could feel the soft heat of a woman against my chest as I tore apart my rucksack screaming. I could feel my throbbing heart betray me alongside my member as a hot wetness flooded my thighs.

I slid my bloodied hand around my drained gunblade and swung at the stale air in a frenzy, only to feel her ghostly and wholly other worldly hands cut through my crew cut lovingly. Like Emily used to before she died.


She whispered, her authoritarian voice sultry and sexy.

"You're just going to hurt yourself if you keep behaving.. irrationally."

I fell to all fours as far too many hands caressed my body. They were warm and hollow, those you'd imagine that'd belong to a ghost. They soothed my body and relaxed my terrified muscles. My mind was still screaming, but it was rattling inside of a cage, apart from the rest of my consciousness.

To say that I could feel her infiltrate me would be an understatement. All of my senses screamed as I sat there on all fours. I could taste and smell her bitter sweet presence invade my mouth and nostrils. I could feel her clamor around inside of my head. I could hear her soft whispers as she dug in deep, burrowing into my memories like some sort of silky guinea worm and I could see her, faint smoky outlines of a seductress behind my eyes.

With no control over myself I cried out for more. My voice sounded so hollow and weak when it came back at me, bouncing off of the solid granite walls. It was a vaguely sexual experience wherein I was the prize, but it was more than that. It was a perverted submission on a wholly spiritual level.

She giggled and dug in deeper. She found out all my secrets without me opening my mouth. Those she found interesting she lit up like neon strip club signs. Those she did not she wiped clean, reducing them to blank slates.

I held onto the picture of Emily and the scent of her hair for the longest time. But before too long she tore it from me like a lollipop and replaced it with her own indescribable presence.

I had no concept of time. There were several instances that my legs grew numb and my body shuddered with exhaustion. But even that eventually washed together into inky black.

When I regained consciousness again I was already nearing her sanctuary. How I knew that eluded me, but I could feel it. Deep in my bones.

I had to get to her.


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