I've heard that, on average, you manage to dream four to six times per day; it's just that nine times out of ten, you just don't remember them. However, as our goals have become far more lucid as of late, so have my dreams. However, that lucidity seemed to be a mistake because whether the realm is unconscious or conscious, it seems like I can't escape "him."
Instead of my eyes greeting my new couch, I instead was met with nothing but absolute ruin. As far as I could see, from any direction, all I could see was an open plain of rubble so vast it might as well have been a sea's worth. In this sea, though, I could barely make anything out, relying only on my other senses as I felt myself under seemingly mountains worth of stone, glass, and bone.
Amid such silence, I could feel nothing but deafening silence. However, as soon as that silence became almost overpowering, I finally found movement in the stillness. Out of nowhere, a coursing wind cut through me, swirling around me with the speed of a storm. Caked dust and sand blew into my throat, cutting me off and strangling me like a noose.
Amidst the violent storm, I finally heard a voice; bit by bit, it managed to break through, starting from a rumbling echo to an almost ear-shattering burst! However, as the storm quieted down, I found that the sound wasn't some defiant roar. Instead, it was malicious, hearty, all-powerful laughter. The laughter soon managed to form into a single figure as the storm finally departed to a black silhouette.
The silhouette seemed to move as well as any person, gaining more defining features until it looked like a demented funhouse mirror version of myself, complete with demonic red eyes that locked on me. Eyes that made their way to me as he walked towards me without a care in the world. By then, my coughing got worse as I was forced on a knee while my inner demon spoke while looking down on me.
"So, what do you think? Cause if you ask me, I think this is a very good look at what's to come. Nothing more than a ragged ruffian amongst a rabble of rubble. With only me by your side," he said in a degrading manner.
At that moment, I tried desperately to recall Ricochet's words, acknowledging both his and my team's ambitions while finding the strength to stand up barely. Atop wobbly legs and dizzying heads, I made my point known.
"That's not true; I have them," I said defiantly.
The silhouette then perked up like some mad dog, almost containing his laughter as he spoke again.
"Right, because one little malformed speech of friendship makes up for a lifetime of half-truths. Because we just so happen to be that lucky."
Waves of doubt hit me like a semi-truck as I tried to deny my "better" instinct. I dug into the ground as my heart started to drum itself up violently. Realizing my current silence, the inner demon took hold as I became paralyzed.
"Don't worry; your survival instincts will click in soon enough. When they do, though, and when shit hits the fan like they always do, just know that I told you so," he said while snapping his clawed fingers.
With that, I gulped down a metric ton of air, waking up suddenly while drenched in a small puddle of cold sweat. My synapses pulled a full-on marathon, utterly terrified at the dangers to come. So terrified that I found myself quivering like a lost child with my hands shaking openly. And as soon as I noticed that, I gave myself a hearty slap to the face!
That hit alone was enough to stop the trembling; with that, I closed my fist and raised it slightly, adamant about keeping on this path. Because even if I have to die to do it, I'll escape my fate forevermore.