The Void a familiar friend, if only because of how many times he'd been here. He doesn’t stay long, never long, even now he felt it changing. It was still dark but not the same kind. This dark was due to a lack of light, not the lack of existence.
A tug, a pull. One he could never fight though he wished to, what came next no matter how many times he experiences it, was never pleasant. Voices alien, another language he’ll be forced to learn. He prayed it would be an easy one, as well for the life. Comfort, a break, that’s what he needed, a life filled with luxury and carefree days. He felt unease as that desire entered his mind. He had that thought before, many times before as lifetimes stirred within. He saw snippets of each, of people he had been, lives he had. Most had been less than pleasant.
'It wasn’t always like this', he thought as he forced himself to remember lives in the beginning. Those were happier times, where fate gave him a chance to become something. As long as he worked hard he would move to great heights. Comfortable heights, where one's needs were easily met and taken care of by other people.
Then things changed, lives where he couldn’t move up in society or was stuck as some bottom feeder looked down upon by all. He couldn’t bother with those lives, normally ending his misery early or killing those he hated before being cut down.
‘Oh when did it change, when did it all go wrong when, when wh—‘
One last powerful push and someone yanking on his head, and cold met him. He acted as any baby should, screaming at the top of his tiny lungs. Which he performed with great concentration and effort on his part. A few lives had been cut short when he hadn't. He was considered too weak to live for not showing the strength to cry out.
Many similar screams met his own, many voices. 'Mass childbirths?' he wondered. This was new, he didn’t like new very much, it had a knack for leading to things less than pleasant.
Focusing on his body he moved what he could. He felt the sensation of two arms and two legs. ‘Good, good’ he thought something familiar, though it seemed this kind didn’t come with a tail. He felt disappointed at that, a useful tool most of the time, a third arm when used correctly. He moved on to his eyes which wouldn’t or couldn’t open leaving him blind, possibly surround by deadly objects.
He kept screaming, increasing the volume of his voice hoping to outstrip all the others. He’d yet to be picked up or given any form of attention. That normally didn’t lead to good ends. Perhaps he hadn't screamed loud enough? Was he somehow already considered a waste of time?
‘Please let it be a quick end plea---. Oh’ relief flooded him. ‘Thank the god's', he thought as someone wrapped a cloth around him. Though he'd yet to be cradled, then just as quick he was laid back down.
‘What nonsense is this?! That’s all I get? No warm words or hums? No love?’ He already didn’t like this new life. Too many new things none of it good.
The voices stopped, the screams remained but the alien words ceased to be. Replaced by, a chorus of song? It was rather nice, pleasant even, thoughts of this place maybe not being so bad followed. Quickly replaced by worry when he noticed he’d stopped screaming, so distracted by the song. It took him perhaps a moment to notice that all the screaming in the room had stopped. He felt very tired all of a sudden, warm too, heavy, 'Maybe a short nap is in order just a short one.' If he died, well he wished all deaths would be this comfortable.
‘Only fifty-four in this batch, fifty-four oh Giver please lend us aid. What are we going to do? To use our resources for the Chant on so few. Surely there are others close to giving birth. Perhaps we could wait, the children shouldn’t cost much keeping them as they are while we gather more.’
"Zenjel are there any others? It doesn’t matter if they’re a few weeks out we can hold off for a bit longer." he voiced, detesting that he had to ask her, but he knew that she of all people would know. He was forced to look in her direction when she didn’t answer. She was clothing one of the children, the look on her face dashed any hopes he held.
“You know or should know that this is it, the last batch at least for a while. Not unless you want to wait a handful of Arcs. Though I doubt your fellow Anointed would agree to such a thing”.
He paced across the room counting them again, one never knew maybe he missed one or two, maybe ten. After the fifth time recounting he gave up, the other Anointed will be cross with him, wasting resources like this, but they’ll be even more furious if they receive no recruits at all.
Looking around, he found he was not the only one pacing, nearly everyone was, a few others just hugged themselves staring at the ground.
Zenjel was going about helping clothe the children, at the same time consoling those she passed. ‘There she goes again’ he thought, ‘trying to take the lead, trying to replace me.’ He was about to go reassure his followers but stopped when he noticed one of the maids was looking at him. “What are we going to do?” she asked, “This isn’t nearly enough to help hold the tunnels.”
He concentrated on this one, to remember her face, her voice. She was one of the good ones, she remembered that he was in charge. He’ll make sure she will be given a safe Task.
Taking a few shaky breaths, a fools attempt to compose himself. “We’ll have to block them then, and ask for the Givers blessing that it will hold long enough for us to move towards a Sanctum.” Plead to the Giver that the Chanters there will let them in, well mostly him. He was far above the others in Cycles. He was needed, his Worth above most.
Stepping towards her he wrapped her in a comforting hug. Rewarding her loyalty with his attention and affection. 'Yes they’ll let me in' he thought, 'they will, I’m sure.'