Still in the rubble.
But less moaning voices this time. A lot quieter all around. It makes sense; it’s been almost a day since I last dreamed, and most of the injured have likely already died.
What most concerns me is the fact that I should not be asleep. I was wide awake, wandering the dirty, dusty streets of Los Angeles, when all of a sudden... I ended up here. I cannot remember what happened, and I may not remember until I awaken again.
Whatever happened, it cannot be good.
Unable to wake myself up from this lucid, multiversal dream state, I simply have to float among rocks and corpses, hoping I can last all the way until my awakening again. If I am lucky, nothing will pass, just like a great many of my night spent without my friends or allies.
Today, however, is not lucky. Not in the slightest.
Foosteps approach. Many of them.
Armor-sporting soldiers, several of them rabid-looking [Toxins,] quickly spot me and remove all of the rocks around me. I’m completely exposed, with the darkened skies of the cliffs above me and adding an extra dim source of light.
The New Slayers are here for me, oh no...
“Amaranth,” a lizardkin hisses. “It’s hiss ghost here. And we have him.”
“Let’s eat ‘em!” a [Toxin] says.
“No, you fool! We mean to resurrect him, not to eat him. Eating people doesn’t resurrect them.”
“Oh, sorry... I didn’t know that.”
They try to grab me, and—
Nope, nothing. Their hands just phase through me like everything else. Great?
Well, as long as these weaklings are all I have to deal with, then I’m just fine, right?
“Wrong!” a shrill voice shrikes.
Large wings flap down to the ground and then a pair of boots touch down gently. That pink demon queen, that fiend known as Mestopholees, is here.
“I don’t know what is going on, but you are probably doing it wrong,” she says to her soldiers.
She betrayed us. Rare, Malia, and I believed in her to help us defeat the New Slayers. That’s why we unlocked her full powers... Or so I thought, at least. Perhaps Rare and Malia were just as in the wrong. I just don’t know. Now, apparently, she is part of the New Slayers? Has she been on this side all along?
Mestopholees then leans her upper body forward, showing off her medium-sized breasts to her mostly male soldiers, and making them all hot and bothered. I am unsure if she even notices what she is doing, because she takes no revelry in it.
Then she sees me. Or, rather, my ghost.
Her expression sours for a moment, but then she clenches her fists and walks up to me. “Eryk. We’ve been searching all over for you,” she says. “It’s finally time to begin our plan.”
“Unslay the Slayed!” the soldiers shout in unison.
“You can’t do this,” I plead. “Miss M, you’re my friend. You’re a member of Team Fanghook, even still. I know there’s still good in you.”
“I told you before,” she says. “This isn’t about good or bad. I already know I’m evil. I’m a selfish bastard who ruined everything to get my powers back, and I’m going to keep ruining it because that’s just what I do.” She smiles so wide it looks like she’s about to burst into tears.
“Whatever you’re about to do, it won’t end well. I, Eryk Solbourne, will not stand for it!”
“You can’t stand for anything when you’re a leg-less ghost.”
“That may be correct, but I can’t float by idly while you do heinous things that are both destructive and self-destructive. I respect you far too much to allow it.”
“Listen, Eryk. Amaranth, whatever. I’m taking you, and I just want you to be prepared for that, because it will happen in just a few seconds.”
“What is the meaning of this? You cannot—“
My least favorite part of my recent life story returns as I’m whisked away into the Demon Queen Mestopholees’s inventory. On with yet another perilous, very stupid adventure.