The Other Side of Conquest

Choose Your Adventure Story

You are standing on a smooth stone floor in a vast, dark room. The middle of the space is illuminated by an object that shines with myriad, ever-shifting colors. You feel as though you have never seen this place – and yet somehow, it is achingly familiar. Simply looking at the object at the room’s center instills a sense of dread in you. You find yourself unwilling to step closer to it, but yet… you must…

He insists that you do.

Trembling from head to toe with trepidation, you inch closer – unable to resist his command. Somehow, you know – you have always known – that if you do what he asks, if you truly reach into the heart of this object… you will never be the same.

Xevvy!

You gingerly reach out and touch its ever-shifting surface. A feeling surges up your arm and through your entire body – not quite pain, but something akin to it. Your muscles seize. You try to scream, but your mouth cannot open. Desperately, you try to wrench your hand free, but the light holds you fast.

Xevvy! Stop!

The pain seems to recede from your limbs and coalesce in your heart and head. With astonishing clarity, you realize that the hour of your death is upon you. Power pulses within your small form, starting slowly but building to a pounding rhythm in time with your frantic heartbeat.

Xevvy! Wake up!

You must get rid of this energy within you! You must-

There is a sharp pain on your cheek and you snap back to consciousness. You open your eyes to see your wife, Ceassia sitting next to you in your bed, her hand raised.

“I’m alright! I’m alright!” you say quickly as she draws her hand back again.

Wordlessly, she gestures around the room. You now realize that you are seeing her by the radiance of dozens of shimmering motes of light in all colors of the rainbow. As the lights float around the room, there is a crackle of electricity between them whenever they get too close to each other.

“Oh not to worry Xevvy,” she says, clearly exasperated, “there was only a LIGHTNING STORM – In! Our! Bedroom!”

You smile sadly at her, and the motes of light shine a bit brighter in response. The fear and panic visibly drain out of her and she slumps against you.

“You had that nightmare again didn’t you?”, she asks, now gently stroking the stinging side of your face.

You nod dumbly, only just becoming aware of your sweat-drenched underclothes, and trying to get your breathing under control.

The sheer terror of that moment, the feeling as though at any second you might combust from raw power is still with you. Though you have been having this nightmare for over a decade, the terror is never diminished.

Ceassia cuddles up to you and strokes your hair, making sympathetic noises as she does so. One by one the lights begin to fade until your bedroom is once again left in darkness. After a few minutes, your breathing and heartbeat return to normal. Ceassia slowly drifts back to sleep with you cradled in her arms.

You lie awake until the dawn, dreading the day to come.

Goto: [ Chapter 11 ]