Worlds Adrift Chapter 74

Floating. She felt it all around her. Floating. The world of guns and blades, of blood and iron, of fanatics and slaughter and ignorance faded as her conscious mind slipped away. She felt it waiting for her as she fell into slumber. Floating. It was all around her, enveloping her like armor, and pulsing with life. It looked all around in its vigilance, protecting her while she was… Floating. It was the core in her chest, its metallic, living soul that had been growing ever closer became one with her. She was him. He was her. But something was missing, something important; even he felt it. Boundaries. They were not present, and only the careful management of the two kept the souls from fusing entirely. 

It began with a simple line. One that circled around the whole mess that was the two souls. They could not go beyond it without the other. Then there was another circle, around the very core of her soul, the part that held what made her her. It was the first rule: no overlap anymore. Then, nothing happened. Nothing at all. His soul sat in the area beyond her and seemed to look around, thinking. Then a spark came. It was one of mystique and intrigue. One of rules unknown and wonders yet revealed. One, in the end, that struck the core of his soul.

A melting occurred. It was not the annihilation of many things to create one, but the spreading of one thing among many others. The core of his soul took control of the rest. All of what protected her became him. It was odd, feeling the outer layer of her being taken control of, but it became comforting. With it, came an odd sort of revelation. It was as if the last piece of a puzzle was slid into place, and everything made sense. He was her armor, her sword, and she was his anchor, his grounding. The revelation came again and again, until her mind slipped back into sleep.


She awoke to another strange place. It was a world of red fog, with rivers of hazy blue running through it. The blue came from some unseen place beyond the fog, snaking here and there, crossing at seemingly random points, layering the ground in a lattice of blue streams. Then she looked down at her body. It was a hazy red fog, like what laid at the edges of her world. She looked almost identical to what her body was supposed to be, but with a haze that obscured any edge between her and the world around her. 

Lifting up her arm, a wispy tendril of fog twirled around itself before shaping into a comet. It did not move, simply opening up its eyes and staring at her, [Mary, I know that this is new and all, but there’s some stuff that needs to be said,] Abe remarked, the comet moving in sync with his words. She looked at him, confused, and tried to talk. Failing that, she tried to reach out to him somehow. Her mind seemed to stretch in an attempt to touch the comet on her arm. The comet’s eyes curved in amusement as it detached from her arm and danced around her, [Mary, you don’t have to worry about it now. Before, your soul just wasn’t… right for this sort of thing, but it is now. You can feel my soul, right? Just try to talk to it; that’s all.]

She nodded her hazy head and tried to focus on the mind that surrounded her, trying to reach out and speak to it, [Abe… Can you hear me?] she asked in her mind.

The comet nodded, soaring around her once more, [I can,] he said, [Anyway, before anything else is said, do you need a moment to let the change sink in? I certainly did,] he chuckled.

She almost laughed, [I’m fine! Really! I should be the one worrying about you more, you know? You melted your soul and fused with… I guess my soul, but in a different way from what we imagined. Anyway, are you alright?] she asked.

The comet grew a mouth, curving it upward in happiness, [I’m fine, thanks,] he said, [Thanks for worrying about me. Anyway, let’s go over the important bits: mainly, what’s happening in here and in the outside world.] 

[I know what happened in here,] she said defensively, [You fused with that weird outer layer of my soul and became a sort of sword and shield. Is it that hard?] she asked.

[You’re right, but not completely,] he laughed, [I did indeed fuse with your soul’s outer layer, but you’re missing the important part here: I’m your sword and shield, I protect you and fight with you. The biggest thing that changed is this: you can now use mana just like I can!] he announced with a celebratory grin.

Mary thought that she should have been more stunned than she was, but could not bring herself to be. Deep down she had known it, but a part of her did not want to acknowledge it in fear of the challenges that she would face. She pressed that part down in her mind, turning blind fear to caution with every ounce of effort she had. As she did so, she returned the comet’s stare, [I… had a guess that it was the case, but didn’t want to acknowledge it. Sorry about that,] she apologized. 

The head of the comet shook back and forth, [Don’t be. That’s why I’m so worried about you. Anyway, there is something a bit more strange that happened. I can… kind of… inhabit your magic now,] he said with a seemingly embarrassed grin.

Mary was truly stunned at the revelation; she was not hiding a difficult truth from herself, but truly did not know that Abe could do it after their fusion, [Wait, what do you mean ‘inhabit my magic?’ Is it that you… I don’t even know…] she admitted. 

[It’s like this: if you have some mana, I can put a bit of our excess soul into it. Due to the fact that I am the excess part of our soul, I can manually change it to whatever I want. A fireball can turn to a lance, an explosion can turn to an implosion, you get the picture. I can do a similar thing with enchantments, but I’ll need a proper control method to make full use of it,] he explained.

Nodding along with his explanation, she widened her eyes, [So if I make you a proper ‘core’ to control, you can take manual control of any enchantments the core is connected with?] she asked. The comet nodded, showing a smile at her excitement, [That means… Okay, that’s an idea for later. Anyway, what else changed for us in here?] 

The comet grinned, then split into two copies of itself. Then two more, then four more. Soon, a large amounts of comets buzzed around Mary, circling her like a hive of bees, [Well, if need be, we can manifest our soul into these little things,] Abe answered, every comet’s mouth moving with his words, [Luckily, even if they get destroyed, I can just bring the important parts of my soul closer to the center and avoid having memories and such being ripped away from me.]

She smiled, petting one of the comets. It backed away from her hand and she giggled, [Alright, so we have these cool new powers from fusing our souls or something. Great. If I remember correctly, I had an arm chopped off right before all of this, right?] she asked, [So what’s going on in the real world?]

Abe’s comets sighed and fused back into a single comet, [Well, you’re not at risk of dying, so that’s good. What is not good is that… Well, from the snippets I was able to pick up, whatever was done to Rick and Cody is something pretty common. The organization we’re currently working for adds cybernetics to their members without them knowing. Mostly, it seems like stuff that blows them up upon death, turns them into zombies, or other post-mortem effects. Luckily, Huk was saying that he is very against it, but he’s bringing your body to one Dr. Fen for a replacement arm.] With his explanations his comet danced around, leaving a diagram of her injuries, [Speaking of your arm… you’re not doing too good,] he said, [You got hit pretty hard in the shoulder and, if I didn’t basically spend all of our mana doing it, you would have been cut in half. This is going to take something strong to heal, and the bones shattered from the hit means that you won’t be healing from it naturally.]

[That’s… not good,] she mumbled, [Actually, now that I think about it, why are you so… energetic now? You’re acting way too hyper for someone who almost just died.]

The comet seemed to grow shoulders to shrug with, [Dunno, to be honest. After the fusion, I got this understanding of what I am, what I did to get here, and how I can do my job better. Having most important questions answered in short order does wonders for your mental energy,] he said cheerfully.

She sighed and nodded, [Alright, as much as I would like to know how you did… all of this, I need one more answer: what were you talking about when you said something about the extradimensionals?]

Abe paused for a moment and seemed to deflate, [Yeah… about that, it isn’t that interesting on its own. Remember those two refugees from the warring kingdoms or whatever? Yeah, those two were speaking English and a butchered version of English respectively.] 

Mary thought for a moment, [Alright, so what makes it interesting? Is it… wait… Gus, that’s it,] she muttered, [He’s got something planned, doesn’t he? With how everyone treats him, I would think he’s trying to end the world or something.]

[My thoughts exactly. I think we need a plan of action against him; D mentioned that we need to be ready to kill him at any moment, so we should make some preparations,] he determined, [The only questions are what we will use and how we will do it?]

Mary raised an eyebrow, a gesture that translated poorly to her hazy body, [Why do we need to do anything?] she asked. The comet gave a questioning gaze as if asking her to continue, [Well, they are extradimensionals, right? No matter where they came from, whatever lies between Earth and this world is a test of strength. There has never been a weak extradimensional. That is always true. So don’t worry about them and start worrying about our predicament: mainly, I don’t trust this Dr. Fen guy.]

[Me neither. Luckily I can still pick up the signals sent by your nerves, even if you’re under a lot of anesthetic. And I can confidently say that… Dammit,] he groaned, [I think he’s adding something other than an arm to your body.]

Hearing that, she felt her hazy face tug into a frown, [Really? Alright, here’s what we should do: let him do what he wants with the cybernetics and, as long as he doesn’t find your core, take over whatever thing he added,] she said with a snarling grin, [If they want to play dirty, then let’s hope they don’t mind us doing the same.]

Abe returned her grin and kept an eye on what the doctor was doing to her body. In the meantime, he explained to Mary just what he did to create the dual-souled body.

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