I really enjoyed this dream sequence (thanks, @omei
, you're great), so I'm posting it!
It's a smidgen on the gory side, and I THINK I caught all the swearing (I have italicized and edited everything I found so it wasn't just a ton of "unicorns" throughout) but if not, please let me know so I can fix it!
-Zaila's just logged in, hanging out alone in her room, arms and chest bandaged from getting burned try to help Nola a couple IG days ago-
Superfluously sumptuous suite.
You see a single exit leading south (closed pine door).
You suddenly feel weary and tired.
Your exhausted mind can stay awake no longer, and you fall into a deep sleep.
An unusually vivid dream swirls through your sleeping mind, and you have the distinct impression of movement.
You awaken in a bed that is soaked with blood from the very bottom of it up to the top. A blanket equally soiled with the substance covers you, your clothes now smeared in its viscous embrace. The room smells practically like death - fitting, considering the pile of bodies strewn haphazardly upon the floor in the center of it.
Within a bloodied bedroom.
You stand within a bedroom that appears to have been home to a nightmarish level of horrors - blood stains the once-pristine curtains a shade of white so pure and flawless were it not for the speckles of crimson fluid that besiege them. The bed that sits within the room bears tattered and stained sheets that appear to have been the home of a similar fate that the curtains were. Cracks in the walls and floor are a clear sign of a struggle taking place here, but the discord of the room does little to ease the conscious.
Omei is there, sprawled rather comfortably upon the floor in the center of the room, Her head left to rest upon the chest of one of the myriad of corpses there. Her arms are lavishly stretched to Her sides, and one leg crosses over the other at Her knee. She too is covered in blood in various places across Her body, though She hardly seems to mind it whatsoever. You hear Her release an audible exhalation that does all to express Her contentedness as Her gaze rolls lazily to land upon you.
Fondly, Omei, the Nightmare says to you, "Good morning, Mine. I thought you'd sleep at least another hour or so - you were so tired."
Zaila scrambles to sit up in the bed, recoiling from the bombarding scent that creeps into her mind and looking down to check her hands for the bandages, patting down her torso with the blood soaked and wrapped digits as if looking for the source of the pooled blood. Finding no obvious wounds, Zaila's attention snaps up to Omei's voice, wide eyed with a startled daze. Her voice struggles to keep light and quipping as she returns less smoothly than intended, "It's been. Well, it's been a long few weeks and crap."
"A spree of sex and murder can leave the body filled and yet drained at the same time," Omei lasciviously regards as She cranes Her neck to gaze upwards upon the ceiling. She releases another steady breath as Her lips ease into some semblance of a grin, Her right hand playing idly with bloodied and matted hair of one of the corpses She rests against. The hair is a platinum blond that appears to have once been combed straight back, but mottled blood now leaves it sitting instead in disarray. "This one, I was surprised how you reacted to him," She notes as the tip of Her claw slides from the man's hair downwards to tap upon his leathery, olive-hued skin. "Couldn't have seen that one coming."
"The heck do you mean, I've never seen that jerk before in my life," Zaila objects sternly, though her eyes linger wide as she squints in an attempt to discern the truth of her statement, a lip rising slightly as the stench continues to bombard her. Unable to hold the gaze on the corpse-lounging Goddess much longer, Zaila turns down to the soaked mattress and hazards a swing out to stand, pulling at the bandages on her hands and chest. Her voice lacks the confidence the words should carry as she continues to insist, "I didn't do this - been freaking forever since I've even freaking stabbed anyone... Let alone boned them."
It takes Omei's subtle adjustment of Her body to reveal the hat She'd been laying upon as well - Fezzix's. She sits up finally, leaving the Idrethi man's hair as a subject for another day to lean casually to the side, Her elbow resting upon the neck of a corpse that looks increasingly like a broken and battered Atarah. "It's been about six hours, precisely," She notes with a smug sort of grin. Her eyebrows raise as She lifts Her head to indicate your form, and the swathe of scratches that bruised bits that cover it. "You were in a haze, fueled by impulse and desire - you were you. It was remarkable," She notes, Her lips once more twitching into some semblance of that eerie smile of Hers. "You'd lure them in, one at a time, disguising this little play room of yours like you'd typically disguise yourself," the Goddess explains, Her voice almost reminiscent. "They'd fall for it of course, because deception is something you've grown to wield better than a Templar wields a blade. Beneath the covers you'd go, and then off they'd go, cast into the pile like the others."
Her tone almost impressed as She ticks fingers off of Her hands with each name, Omei, the Nightmare says, "Fezzix, Atarah, Kanivara, Elliana - bit of a surprise with that one, but who was I to stop you - Mariena, Nola, so on, and so on... I've frankly lost track."
The very thought of it is revolting, but the images flash to life in the back of your mind. Glimpses of these people falling beneath you, each in turn. Flashes of naked flesh that are soon splattered with blood. It is hazy as it is unsettling, but they linger like memories that flutter just out of reach.
Though there is the occasional twitch of a grin as the names of enemies pass Omei's lips, Zaila finishes tearing at the bandages that encased her scarred and burnt flesh, casting the torn cloth onto the blood soaked mattress as the implanted memories tickle her mind and the imagined satisfaction starts to drench with doubt and a faint revulsion at the flash of friends begin to trickle into the mix. She tries to shake off the thoughts and words by kicking a tentacled head to the side without affording it enough attention to identify the identity and she pats at her chest as if looking for something once stowed away, frowning as she seems not to find it. "All this fun and that's all I get to remember of it?" she retorts with a defiant tone in her approach, "How cruel: to let me play and give me such a fleeting recollection."
"Were you not so carried away in your approach, you'd likely remember it darling," Omei retorts with a quick roll of Her eyes as She slowly rises to Her feet, nearly stepping upon Fezzix's leg in the process. Her attention shifts curiously towards the pile to give it a quick, contemplating once-over. She taps the tip of a finger thoughtfully upon Her lips and offers a quick shake of Her head. "Those burns," She acknowledges without looking your way. "Nola tried to defend herself while you were on top of her." The Goddess releases a breath through Her nostrils, then clicks Her tongue against the roof of Her mouth. "You made some snarky little comment, then slit her throat from end to end - see?" She asks, and with that She bends at Her waist to pick up one of the corpses by its hair - Nola, without a doubt. The woman's eyes have grayed over, and a remarkable incision spans its way almost entirely around her throat. "Stop it Zail, stop, stop!" She mocks, voice rising an octave as She bounces the corpse by the hair She grasps in such a way that opens and closes the incision as if it were the mouth sounding the words.
It... sounds familiar. Your encounter with her last week is fuzzy to recall. Could this have been what that was? Your hand twitches, as if ready to move in a slicing pattern by muscle memory alone.
Nonchalantly, Omei, the Nightmare says, "I gave you some bandages to try and help. This was your test, after all; I simply didn't expect you to take it this far. Typically Mine leave their little tests with some token to remember it by. Though, instead of begging for it to stop as I thought you would, you just kept right on going."
It all sounds plausible. Too plausible. Zaila's manicured brows pull tight as the truth starts to wane and thoughts of the intimate murders start to swim within her mind and her scarred, twitching hand curls into a fist at her side, willing it to behave while its counterpart draws up to comb through her coppery locks, finding them moist from the bloodied resting place and finally her stomach lurches once and she forces her gaze from Nola's flapping incision that sprays further droplets out into the pile. Swallowing carefully, she squints at the faces, searching for her parents and confidants, a tiny drop of panic starting to well in her mind at the carnage she's been accused of. Defensive, she tries to step around the limbs that scatter the floor, crunching a finger here and some matted hair there, "If she didn't want to get cut, she shouldn't have been such a darn freaking prick, then. I only kill people who deserve it, You know that."
"You repeated that a time or three," Omei notes as She carefully steps over Mariena's dangling, almost-severed arm to approach the bloodied closet that lies on the opposite side of the room. She taps the closed door thoughtfully, as if considering whether or not to open it. Finally She decides, and ever-so-casually twists its knob to reveal its contents: two dangling bodies hanging from a tight noose affixed to something higher up in the closet. An Idrethi pair, the man lean and covered in dark brown hair with mahogany-hued eyes that have started to fade. His features are distinguished and narrow, though it looks like he died wearing quite the horrified expression. His partner is a woman with sanguine tresses of loose curls that are barely contained by an icicle hairpin. She boasts brilliant deep green eyes with bursts of gold that appear to have dimmed quite a bit since she's been hanging. The Nightmare regards the scene with pursed lips, then slowly slides Her gaze towards you. "Why them?" She asks with a tilt of Her head. "Were you trying to eliminate everyone that might actually give a damn about you?" Her latter query lingers heavily upon the prevailing silence that follows it.
Rather offhandedly, Omei, the Nightmare says, "Though you certainly get your ability with a noose from your father."
"He /abandoned/ me," Zaila accuses with a low, bitter tone, her frame growing more tense by the second as she becomes enraptured in the sight of the swinging pair, stuck in place as she stares at the sorry corpse of her father with affectionate contempt before shifting to take Faerah's limp figure in, the stare only broken after another, "THEY abandoned me." Her feet slip unsteadily over a misshapen Mhun hand and a human foot as she stomps up through the pile to stand at the utmost peak over a broad kelki chest and once-handsome human face, "They MADE ME what I am! And when I didn't freaking fit their little BOX anymore, I was DEAD to her." Not them. Her. Louder yet, she points at the carnage in the room and insists, "THEY did this!"
Omei says nothing immediately this time, but in a blur of motion She grabs each of your hands. She shifts the appendages so that your palms spread to linger upon the Idrethi faces - your left upon Ingram's, and your right upon Faerah's. Her eyes narrow as She leaves you to stand like this, pivoting on a heel to position Herself just behind you. "You did this," She whispers into your ear, so close to you that you can feel Her warm breath pushing itself against your earlobe. "You. You, you, and only you," She hisses, Her teeth gritting as Her tone lurches into one accusatory. "Claim responsibility for your kill, Zaila," She snaps.
The images flash in your mind rapidly, far clearer this time than ever before. Faerah's horrified face is contorted into a grimace as she kicks at the confines of the closet you strung her up in next to Ingram. Tears streak down her face as her hands wrangle at the rope around her neck. Ingram wore a look of disappointment while you did it - he refused to fight you back. You hear his words, ringing in your ears as he attempted to persuade you to think about what you were doing. You did. You continued anyway.
Arms shake as Zaila's thick lashes kiss her cheeks, eyes pinching tightly as though blindness would keep the memories at bay, shouting against the sights with a wrenching twist of anguished defiance, "NO!" As her arms twist and shake, her hands drift to cup the respective purpled cheeks of her hanging parents, the gruesome memories refusing to fade and Omei's proximity sending shuddering currents of anxiety down her back that bring her eyes blinking open with a choke as some wetness pricks the corners of her eyes and she rasps out in a murmur to the corpses in her hands, "I'm sorry..."
"Your destructive tendencies have gone as far as they possibly can now," Omei whispers into your left ear after a brief pause. "You've nobody left." She leans Her head back, if only to step forward and alight Herself beside you. The Goddess allows silence to reign supreme for a long span of moments as She regards the hanging pair. "Who will you chase off now, Zaila?" She regards with an arch of a slender brow as She shifts Her focus to land upon your face. "You define yourself by those that surround you, and the facade that you create for yourself, hiding beneath the harsh words and rough and tumble approach." A hand lifts to rest almost delicately upon your shoulder. "Who are you now that you have nobody else to define you?"
'A Tenor' first rings through her mind, despite the hanging evidence to suggest otherwise, her thumbs skimming across the mottled flesh of each cheek with a tender pull as her eyes struggle not to blink, trying in vain to refuse the welling tears a chance to fall. Silence stretches as the Human's mind swims with half-considered off-color quips, deflecting accusations and the burgeoning hints of honest self-doubt and loneliness that hide deep within. As the first errant tear beads down her cheek, Zaila leans in and presses a warm, almost-blubbering, wet kiss to each open cheek and forces the skulls into a sort of hugging pile as her arms slip around each set of shoulders to allow her weight to lean upon them and she admits as plainly as she can, "I.. Don't know."
It is at that very moment that you utter those words that the world around you begins to shiver and distort. The bodies hanging in the closet quiver and twitch, and for but the briefest fraction of a moment you swear you can see Ingram's lips twitching upwards into that standout smirk of his. The floor in the middle of the bedroom splits abruptly, and the walls begin crumbling all around you. Omei is nowhere to be seen all of a sudden in the midst of all this, and with Her no longer there to act as a potentially stabilizing force, you find yourself staggering into the widening maw of the chasm that occupies the center of the room. It takes mere moments for the corpses to fall into its clutches, and only one or two more before it ensnares you too. Your body is wracked by the sudden free fall you find yourself subject to as bits of debris from the collapsing room above pepper your face. The light of the room quickly fades as you distance from it, darkness engulfing your immediate surroundings as the grotesque sounds of the corpses hitting the rapidly-approaching bottom of this fall make their way to your ears.
Superfluously sumptuous suite.
You see a single exit leading south (closed pine door).
You begin your struggle to escape from the dreamworld.
You have cured asleep.
Just as your body is about to hit the ground beneath you, spelling undoubted death, you awaken with a start precisely where you'd fallen asleep previously. You seem unharmed, and while your body is no longer coated with the blood of others, the presence of a tattoo upon the underside of your wrist makes itself apparent.
Zaila is screaming as she scrambles to her feet, patting herself down and frantically searching for any blood, combing her hair, scanning for injuries and stumbling in a circle as the raging rush of memories false and true muddy her mind; a simple, frantic string of creatively conjugated, expletives pouring from her lips into the room.
Omei, the Nightmare has invited you to join the Divine Order of Omei, the Nightmare and awaits a response.
AGREE if you wish to join the order.
Omei grants you entrance into Her Order. Congratulations!