My field of vision has gone black.
Well, maybe “black” is not the correct way to term it.
It is more like my entire world has been turned off. Like as if I am a video game character that Francis is playing, and he has closed the game on his phone so he can check his text messages.
I see... nothing.
It is indescribable to me. I am sorry, but I simply cannot say what it appears as, because it is simply the concept of nothingness itself.
This is what being poofed into someone’s Destiny Card inventory feels like.
However, all is fortunate, because it lasts for mere seconds. Less than ten seconds pass, and everything around me comes into view once more.
The view of—
A massive battlefield?!
With my 360-degree view of the world around me, I see a gargantuan battle between four factions, each wearing brightly colored armor in sets of red, blue, green, or yellow.
All four factions are battling each other, with maces flying in the air, axes hitting shields, and absolute carnage in the level of violence. I should hope not to describe this senseless mayhem, lest I offend the more sensitive ears around.
And right in the middle, standing ankle high in a puddle of water left behind by some earlier rainstorm, is Miss M herself.
Her eyes are wide open and she is shrieking loudly.
“SHIT, SHIT, SHIIIIIIIT,” she screams. “WRONG INVENTORY ITEM!”
Some soldiers by me, mostly wearing yellow armor but one member wearing green armor, see me and jump back in shock. One of them trips over his own feet and falls to the ground. He is knocked unconscious.
So... I just gained a Destiny Point in the middle of a battlefield, while living as an undead, dreaming ghost on Mystix. The implications of this are horrifying.
I reach out to attack more of the soliders, but they run away from me too quickly for me to make any attempt. I’m not sure I can even do anything but phase through them anyway.
Miss M makes quick work of the unconscious soldier, and then looks at me sternly, hands on her pudgy hips. “You weren’t supposed to be out here! I was supposed to poof out my dragonsword! What in The Goddess’s name happened here?”
Before I can say even a word to Miss M, she reaches her hand into my transparent visage and everything disappears once more.
“Here we are,” Miss M says. “I knew that dragonsword was gonna be real finnicky again.” She’s holding the sword in her hand right now. “You two are linked real closely. Must be something related to the day you died, since this thing was made by the same dragon we defeated the day you died.”
“...What?” That is the first thing that comes out of my nonexistent mouth.
“Oh, sorry, you’re probably still out of it. I guess sentient beings usually don’t get poofed. Are you facing any sort of serious grogginess, or sudden delusions of grandeur? Or maybe, is your conscious fading as your mind locks up into nothingness?”
“Oh, well, good. That’s what normally happens when living beings are poofed into inventory,” she says.
Right now we are in some sort of dark cavern. Miss M is alone, and aside from the dying embers of her fireplace and my glowing, shimmering ghost form, there is nothing but blackness all around the area. She sits on a makeshift wooden stool with a sleeping mat behind her, while she is sharpening her dragonsword. By all accounts, this is the life of a solo adventurer, except for the fact that now I am here.
“Wait, wait, way wait,” I say. “Did you really put me, Eryk Solbourne, into your inventory? Just like that?”
“Yeah,” Miss M says. “You said you needed help getting to someone who could help us figure out what’s wrong with you, so I decided to take you myself. I didn’t know if you’d survive it or anything, but it was worth the risk.”
“You didn’t know I’d be okay?!”
Miss M shrugs. “If you died, that would be good revenge for stealing our loot. If you lived, I could show you to some close confidants of mine.”
“Fair... That is a fair reasoning.”
“Plus, it proves that your ghost is completely different than anything else I’ve seen before,” she says. “No sentient being, living or undead, can be put in an inventory. We all know this. It requires death to carry even the smallest bug back to a vendor to sell later. And with the workarounds people have tried, such as soul gems or transmutation, have resulted in almost immediate soul implosion once retrieved back out of the inventory. You survived it completely intact.”
“I don’t quite know if ‘survive’ is an accurate term here... But I understand. Rather, I understand none of it, but I understand that what happened here was revolutionary. I am a hallmark of science and magic.”
“Uh, yeah, whatever,” she says. “It’s all interesting, but I still haven’t actually reached any of the experts to get there. So save all your yammering until then.”
“Where exactly are we, anyway?”
“The Great Caves of Obsolescence,” she says. “I’ve been exploring them for, oh, maybe going on five days now? It’s hard to say because there’s no light anywhere besides the torches. It’s good I have some excellent night vision, I will say.”
“Wait, five days?! I’ve been in your inventory for five days?!”
“....No.” Miss M shakes her head.
“Not five days.”
“What do you... mean...?”
“Um, you’ve been in there a while. Since the last time I accidentally poofed you out, that is. The time since we met in the forest? Uh, let me think.”
“Let you think?!”
“Well, I did that adventure with the Pirates of the Neverrealm, and that was a bit, but we had to stop midway through because of the Bore War. Then that whole Beaver thing where I joined Team Illness for a while, but I got sick of it and went back on my own way. And then I came to the Vast Continent where we are now, but... Yeah, there was a lot of adventuring when I first got here, for sure.”
“So I’d say something about two and a half years, maybe?”
Two and a half...
Did she really just say...
For everything that has happened in this particular dream, I at least expected it to be over already. I found out I am a ghost on Mystix. I found out that Team Fanghook has split up. I found out that I am apparently enough of an intangible piece of matter that I can be put into someone’s inventory. All of that, and I still haven’t woken up yet.
Now she tells me... I’ve been in that inventory for two and a half years?!
“I feel like I’m going to puke,” I say.
“No, silly, that’s just inventory sickness. You’re probably about to shrivel up and your consciousness will crunch up into nothingness until you cease to have ever existed.”
“I... I was not being literal about my feeling,” I say. “I am simply shocked and appalled that you would ever do something so... careless!”
“Hey now!” Miss M shouts. “I’ve been taking you to my confidant all this time. I’ve gotten sidetracked here and there, but I’ve only done what I needed to survive. You don’t know what’s happening on Mystix right now; an intercontinental war is about to begin, piracy is at an all-time high, the colonizers on the Vast Continent are at war with the natives at every turn. The beavers have formed their own kingdom for the first time since the Great Partition... it’s like Hells out there.”
“I’m sorry for my insult,” I say. “It was very rude of me."
“No! Don’t insult yourself either! You have every right to be angry at me. I’ve not explained even a bit of the plan to you.”
“But you will now?”
“No, sorry. I still have to keep you in suspense because of the very dramatic moment that you’ll face once everything is revealed. I must not keep you waiting. And by the sound of it, you aren’t experiencing any time while you’re in the inventory, right?”
“Right. Just a few minutes ago, I was in the forest with you.”
Miss M smiles. “Perfect. That means all of my theories are coming true,” she says. “By putting you in my inventory, I’ve severed the temporal link between Mystix and your new world. That means even greater things are possible than I ever expected.”
“Temporal links... Um, care to explain?” I ask.
“You know, every second on Mystix is one second on your world, your Ear planet or whatever. Time is synchronized across all the worlds, at least they are supposed to be. The Hells are like that, from my experience as a demon queen. But when someone can coexist in two worlds at once like you... Well, even though two years have passed on Mystix, once you wake up, you’ll be exactly where you left off on the Ear world.”
“You used me to break time and space?!”
“Maybe.” She giggles. “I have more theories now about what we can do. Perhaps I can even restore my status as a demon queen and take over all of Mystix for myself...”
“If you did that, I would stop you.”
“No you wouldn’t. But I’d let you try, at least.” Miss M poofs the dragonsword back into her inventroy, stands up, and stretches. “Anyway, I guess I’d better get back to bed. Unlike you, I’ve been up for a very long day.”
“And what about me?”
“Well, once I get out of the cave, I’ll be clear on my way to my destination. Once a true expert can see what has happened to you, I am confident that we will be able to fix all of this. I just have to hope that they’re still in the location I think they are...”
“Could you, um, leave me out of the inventory from now on?” I ask. “It’s not a great fee—”
Everything disappears once again.
I’m surrounded by nothingness.