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Posted on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 @ 9:43pm by Lieutenant Commander Garran
Edited on Mon Aug 8th, 2016 @ 9:44pm

"We won't let you go,"

Dark shapes surrounded him.

"Take you down below,"

Formless, shapeless, huge and towering.

"Dark crypts of your soul,"

Their voices indistinct, echoing.

"Locked inside your head,"

They sounded intrinsically wrong.


They moved in, crowding Garran, their thunderous roar ripping through his very soul, yet he paid them very little heed beyond the flattening of his ears.

"You are a figment of my imagination, manifested by my subconcious." he spoke to himself, eyes cast down. "You are not here, I am not here, this is not real." he reiterated.

Everything went dark. Everything went away. The shapes, the ground, Garran's body, until all that was left was his conciousness, plummeting down an endless void.

"I am not here. This is not real. I am not here. This is not real." He repeated to himself. "I am not here. This is not - "

"Real?" a familiar voice. Garran's ears perked. He looked around for the source.

There, falling with him, the naked body of a young Carnelian. "I was real." the other wolf spoke, locking accusing eyes on Garran.

"Vador ... " He recognized his son.

"I was real. I was real. But ... " A flash, the young Carnelian's body became broken, twisted the way no body ever should, bloodied ... Crushed. "Then you killed me. You killed me, Father."

"I - " Garran gulped, reaching out, eyes watering. Then he steeled himself and closed his eyes again. "You are not here, I am not here, this is not real."

Chaos surrounding him. Whimpering, crying. Dead bodies. Almost dead bodies. Panicing, live bodies. An inexorably advancing array of black shapes, marching irresistably forward. Thousands - millions - billions of them, crushing everything beneath their heavy boots.

"Where were you son, when I needed you?" Brown fur with red stains and black holes where the eyes should be stared at him, the head attached to a half burnt form.

"You are not here, I am not here, th - "

"Is this your thanks, for all the warmth I gave?" Her voice was accusing. "Did you forget, what I went through?"

"No .. " he spoke weakly, shaking his head, vision blurred by the tears. "No, I - ... I am not here. This is not real. I am not here~"

The billions of black forms faded, along with the sound of their marching. The cries of pain and agony were silenced. The dead bodies, Garran's mother, vanished. And he found himself alone in a void again.

"Look at you, lying there, defenseless and alone." another voice jeered, rumbling, sonorous and resonant, accusing and vile. "See I'm no fool, I always knew you wouldn't make it on your own!"

"You. Are not. Here." The words were more difficult now, and became more difficult with each syllable. "I. Am not. Here. This. Is not - "

"You're just like your mother, well where is she now?" His father's voice cackled. "You'll end up like her soon, six feet underground, LOSER!"

Garran roared. "NO! YOU WON'T - "

Screams pierced his ears, rattling his soul. He cowered in silence and whimpered.

"YOU WORTHLESS FOOL!! YOU LET HER DIE!!" Each syllable like the clap of thunder, each word like a freight train. "Deep inside yourself you must confess, YOUR WAYS CAN NOT BE JUSTIFIED!!"

"You ... Are not ... Here ... I am ... not ... here ... " the words were nearly impossible to speak, at first. Garran closed his eyes, concentrated on his breathing, forced himself to calm down. "This. Is not real. You are not ... here. I am not here. This is not real."

It worked. He found himself alone again, weak, mercilessly beaten down by his own psyche's manifestations, memories twisted with dark purpose.

"You've been deserted, everyone has left you. You know it's always been that way." The whispers were back, echoing, sounding intrinsically wrong. "Those frantic years, people you've neglected, now the time has come to pay. You're alone ... No-one here is dancing to your tune."

"Fear is the small death of self." Garran spoke quietly, ignoring the whispers. "Fear leads to hesitation, leads to inaction, leads to death of the soul." He reiterated, even as the disembodied voices started to laugh, then to cackle.

"Fear is the small death of self. Fear leads to hesitation, leads -"

The steady beeping of his alarm ripped him from his dream. It was morning. He sat up, panting, feeling weak. It took him a moment or two to come to his senses.

"I am here. This is real." the aged wolf spoke quietly to himself, closing his eyes for a moment and heaving a long, deep sigh that made him wince. "Pain. Pain is real. I am on the Antares. I am awake. This is real."


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