The buzz of electric lighting.
Two armchairs on a marble floor, shelves lining the walls between marble pillars shooting up to marble slabs that blanketed the sky.
And two books on a shelf, one green, one black.
I sat on the armchair. I knew how things were going to go, by now. The figure was in the other armchair. Its outline was better defined but it was still just a blob of white noise with a few protrusions. Normally, I would wait for something strange and trippy to happen to me before falling into the back of the armchair and waking up with no memory of this dream.
But this time, I decided to do something different. I tore my gaze from the figure and stared intently at my shelf.
“Hey, how are you?” I asked.
After a brief pause, a garbled, gravelly noise resounded through the air.
“Sorry, I can’t understand what you’re saying,” I said.
Silence ensued. I stared at the shelf, fighting the urge to look at the other armchair. The figure probably thought those trippy experiences helped me understand it better, but they usually just left me more confused than before. They did seem to make its outline more well-defined.
“Instead of trying to speak to me or showing me weird stuff, why don’t you just write out what you want to say?” I proposed.
A short burst of noise that sounded oddly like a yes. Then a book flew out from one of the shelves between the pillars. The book opened to the first page, which was blank, and hovered in front of me. Then words began appearing on the page, in an elegant cursive script that was still somehow easy to read.
“Hello,” read the text. “My name is Static.”
The ground shook and the words stopped coming, as if the writer had put up their pen.
Then the words returned.
“It seems your tactic has worked for the moment, but it is very unlikely we will be able to communicate like this again, so I will make this brief.
I am Static, one of the three gods of Illustair, and the only one who cares about the people who inhabit it.”
The ground shook again. Some of the books began falling off the shelves.
“The other gods wish to destroy humanity to prevent anyone else from ascending into godhood and challenging the status quo. Fortunately, I have been able to keep them at bay for centuries while hoping that the next human to ascend will assist me in my struggle.”
A pillar collapsed in the background. Pages flipped as the writing reached the end.
“However, all of that changed when you appeared, or rather, when the two of you appeared. I was caught completely off-guard and Bit, who had experience dealing with your world, managed to recruit the boy who came with you to her side.”
Pillars continued to collapse, the marble slabs in the sky fell, and cracks snaked across the floor.
“And before I could contact you, she cut off her connection to the boy, and locked us back into a stalemate! Even now, she attempts to sever our communications while interfering with Illustair in some other way. It will undoubtable make your journey more difficult, but it is essential that we have this talk.”
The lights flickered and the ground shook.
“I know I cannot compel you to do anything. I too, was once human, so I understand your suspicion. All I ask, is that you defeat that Demetrius boy, and gather all the Wonders before he does. It is the only way to save Illustair from Bit’s machinations.”
Everything collapsed except for my armchair and the reading light standing next to me.
“Although, perhaps I didn’t need to tell you this. I get the sense you were going to do that anyway.
You really do love reading books, don’t you?”
The light went out.
- Nobody Knows Me
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