Chapter 7.5 – Persona


     When I wake up, I’m alone, inside of what appears to be the same hospital as before. I look around expecting to find Nina, but I do not. After resting for a bit longer, I get fed up with no one coming to visit me, after that horrendous ordeal with Fennis, and decide to leave the room. My legs were shaky at first, as if they weren’t quite prepared to do their job. However, I force each step, and make my way out of my room, and down the hall to some stairs. It’s only thanks to the moon through the windows that I’ve even made it this far.

     The stairs look daunting to me, as if they extend below, forever. But I brave each step, one by one. Proving my fear wrong, I’m able to make it to the bottom, where the squeak of floorboards meets me. They’re deafening loud in the darkness.

     I don’t quite understand why, but I make no move after the sound, for fear of someone having heard me. That, of course, makes no sense. I got here somehow, so obviously, someone wanted me alive. I wasn’t restrained, so no one has taken me prisoner. So if there is anyone here, they’d be friendly. Yet judging by everything I’ve seen so far, I’m probably alone. Perhaps Nina or whoever else, went home for the night. Though I’m fairly sure there’s always supposed to be doctors around though, in case a patient decides to do what I’m doing.

     Even still, I tip-toe myself to the door. As tenderly as I can, I push the door open, despite the might it protests with. Once outside, the world is significantly brighter. It’s dark, yes, but the blue-ish grass before me is glorious and bright in how the light reflects off of the morning dew. I approach the center of the yard, close my eyes, and take in the world around me. Like this, it hardly seems like the past twenty-four hours have been real. Though I suppose if Nina was telling the truth, it’s actually been sometime over three weeks. But I have to believe it for what it is. If there has been anything my Grandpa has successfully instilled within me, it’s to believe what I see with my own eyes.

    I stretch my mind to take in what has happened to me, and to compile it in a more organized manner. From the beginning, I was on my way to meet Him, the one whom I was going to reciprocate the feelings for. I liked Him, and he confessed to liking me. But it’s because I liked him, that I had asked for some time to get my thoughts together before I answered Him, and we became a couple. I didn’t wanna rush into anything, especially something important. I made the mistake of not thinking enough when Rachel… was around.

     On my way to him, or perhaps I should say the entire day, I felt bad. I was constantly having hot flashes, and turning cold, as if matching the descriptions in old medical textbooks of what the, “common cold,” was like. That was eradicated long before my time, however, so I only have the writings to go on. It’s not that people don’t get sick in my world, but diseases are as tenacious as any other creature, and they’ve evolved so much as to be unrecognizable to the people of the past. But I pushed through my body’s protest and went to meet Him.

     I heard his voice. Yes, I never saw him, but I know I heard his voice. That much is true. It might be from the shock of everything that has happened since I arrived here, but I’m having trouble remembering what he looked like. But I’m sure that will clear up after a few days of rest. So let’s ignore that, and continue to organize my thoughts.

     As I heard from him, I felt myself fall. I experienced what could only be called a hallucination of some kind, and ended up here, in this world. The doctor woman, Nina, nursed me to health. But her troubles were in vain because Charlotte was sent to take me away, and I was forced to fight Fennis. I had no intention to do so, but he made me.

     That brings me to one harrowing thing that has happened to me since I got here, that girl. I don’t know who the hell she was but ultimately, she sort of took control of me, kind of. But regardless, it’s with her help, that I beat Fennis. However, I refused to allow him to die. So I came up with a plan. I don’t know exactly how I knew my plan would work, but it did. I banished Fennis from these lands.

     That brings me to yet another issue since I’ve arrived here. I don’t feel like myself. I have these, like, thoughts in the back of my mind. Not quite strong enough to really be able to go searching for, but just barely strong enough to be reached by my subconsciousness when the need arises. This cannot be good for my brain.

     Our personalities are partially genetic, yes, but are also significantly more influenced by our environment and our experiences. So if I have some… one else’s thoughts inside of me, what is that going to do to my personality? Furthermore, these, “locals” seem to see me, truly see me and recognize me, as this other entity. This, “Zeroth Knight,” of theirs, also seems to be incredibly influential

     “Yeah, so. You’ve figured all of this out, that’s great, but what are you going to do about it?” A voice calls out to me.

     I frantically turn around but don’t see anything or anyone. I look in every direction around me, but to no avail.

     “Tough luck, girl. You won’t find me. You cannot find me.” The voice, I’m only now realizing, is echoing inside of me. “My, you are an observant one. Many have taken upon these burdens, but they were not able to retain who they are, for as long as you have. What say you, girl?”

     “What the hell do you want from me? Wait, I recognize your voice. Or rather, I don’t recognize it, so that means you must be that bitch inside of me, the one who told me that things aren’t destined to go well with me.”

     “Tsk, tsk, tsk. Language young lady. And I assure you, things are never easy for you and yours.”

     “I don’t know what you’re talking about. But I’m having none of this. Return me home right this instant!” My shouting echoes through the night and comes back to me from the trees.

     “I did not bring you here Eve, but I would, surely, never send you away. You are important to me. You will lead me to what I desire.” Her voice lets out an almost hissing sound, one so full of evil.

     “Then show yourself, and I’ll take you down now.” The voice echoes around me in amusement.

     “You? A girl who has shrugged off the life her father-figure has imposed upon her? You could not even defeat that cur from before without assistance.” Her words pull at me. They threaten to overwhelm me in their brutal honesty.

     “I-I’ll do better, and I’ll take you down. So come out dammit. And, how the hell do you know anything about me?.”

     “I’ll do no such thing. I will watch you struggle, and watch you forget. You are volatile of both mind and emotions. You will do my bidding girl, I will make sure of it.” Her words are unsettling, and devoid of answers.

     “I will absolutely not. Whatever you are, I may not understand, but I do understand that you are evil. And if I can’t stop you, I’ll tell Nina and whoever else will listen, and they’ll put a stop to your wickedness.”

     “Oh?” Her syllables are long, drug out, and they hang between us. “You see yourself as some knight now? After mere hours awake in this world?”

     She’s right, where is this coming from? I don’t have it within me to be the kind of person who would say such things. I’m a coward at heart. All I want is to go home.

     “That is truly, all you desire, girl?” I feel guilt, and I feel despair. But I cannot lie about who I am, so I nod.

     “But you leaving here, does not bode well for my plans, so I deny your motion.”

     I can’t help but grind my teeth in anger at this woman. She’s so cocky, so grating, that I want nothing more than to wring her neck. But those thoughts stiffen me. I am not a violent person, so, again, where is this coming from?

     Her laugh cuts across what feels like the entirety of the world, to me. “So, even one such as you cannot resist in full. It is happening.”

     “What’s happening? What do you mean? Where are these emotions and thoughts coming from? Why do I have memories within me, that are not my own?”

     “Little by little, who you are is fading, girl, as I have designed, as I have destined. Just give into it, and become who you ought to be.”

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     “I ought to be no one. I am me godsdamnit. I will not-” my words are cut off by an extreme feeling of vertigo. “W-wh-what is this?” I fall to my knees and use every ounce of my strength to resist falling over even more.

     “Hush now Eve. Fall into your role, and play it out. Exist simply for existence sake.”

     “No-no I won’t. I won’t let you win. I just want to go home. That’s all I want. I don’t want to fight, I don’t want to resist, and I don’t want to be anyone else but me. All I want is my old life back.

     “I can give that to you Eve, if you were to just follow what I say.”

     “The snake always bites the hand that feeds,” I mumble deliriously. Whatever it is she’s doing to me, I can feel it inside of me, altering me. I sense the tug of my strings, and feel as they are misshapen and molded. I can feel who I am, being overridden. I want to stay me. Please, oh please, just stay me. If there is anything, or anyone out there, please, please, help me.

     “I shan’t bite the hand, but reward the service. Give unto me the path I desire, and you can be on your way.”

     “I-Is… is… that true? Are you telling the truth? If I simply let you… change me. You will release me at the end?” Why am I asking this? Is it the nauseous feeling in my gut? Is it the nerves or the pain I feel in my head, as I am being altered? Or is it… is it words that fall forth, from the altercation itself? Has it already begun? Just, who am I now? Who am I becoming?

     “All things in time Eve. So go, give in, and become who you were always destined to be. It’s a simple task really. It requires so, so, so little effort. Merely exist, and do not question. Merely accept, and venture with the flow. Be as a sheep, unto your shepherd, and I shall guide you.”

     “Ye…s.” I try to resist. I do. I try so hard to force my throat closed, to prevent those evil, heinous words from breaking free. But it doesn’t work. I can’t. I have lost, and I have fallen in every way. My dignity is in shatters, for I am a coward. I tried to do everything I could to make Rachel proud, and now, it has all been for nothing.

     I can feel the darkness at my periphery, and I know I have become just another victim. And so, I give in, I allow the darkness to encroach upon me as it wishes. Yet deep within my mind, deeper than even the darkness can penetrate, I can make out two orbs of pure gold, illuminating a swath of righteousness. They are unmoving, and do not waver. They do not speak, nor do they act. They merely observe. I cannot but help feel that they are judging me, and my weakness- my choices.

     I know I cannot resist, and when I awake next, most of who I am, will be gone- I will be a living husk of who was once known as, “Eve.” Yet if those eyes could be my guide, if those novas within the void could be my future- if my future could exist within their warmth, then I will use everything I have left and impart all of my wishes, and all of my desires, to them. I will seal off a small portion of who I am.

     And if I am, at my core, anything like which I believe myself to be, maybe that core will be the ember spark that ignites a whirlwind of rebellion, the likes of which, will fight back against the darkness. 

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