by J. Thayne
A character I've wanted to explore for a long time, but can't seem to successfully.
| ((Author's Note: This is a concept / character that's been rolling around my head for years. A story I've tried to tell about 50 times with no success. This is...literally...an interest check.
Think it's too over-the-top? Too cheesy? Too...super-power-ey? Send a few words my way. Maybe with a little support and encouragement I can power through it. This short scene gives a small glimpse into the character's situation and his feelings about what he is.))
"It won't work," she said, "I'm sorry."
After a moment's thought, I replied, "Maybe."
I leaned forward. Just before my feet would have slipped from the jutting lip of stone, I pushed off, so I wouldn't catch myself on the cliff and tumble, slowing my descent. I angled my body so that I plummeted head-first toward the jagged rocks below and closed my eyes. I held my breath.
And woke up, staring at the night-sky. There was no pain. No discomfort. I yelled, howled, screamed at her. Then I pleaded, begged, beseeched her to just...let...me...die.
"You know I can't," she said sadly, even as she worked to repair my broken and mangled body.
I wanted to argue. I had, in the past, and always got the same answer. She had no choice. We shared the same body, and as much as I might want to put an end to it, she couldn't. It wasn't allowed. She needed my consciousness. It was part of what allowed her to exist. In return, I existed perpetually. Or nearly so.
I used to think it was a boon; immortality. I didn't last three-hundred years before I tried to suicide the first time. Now, eleven thousand years later, I was trying for the five-hundredth time. Give or take. Again, I cursed her for choosing me. She'd been given thirty or so men before me, and she had killed them all for being 'unsuitable'. I wondered if she ever had second-thoughts about her choice. Of course, now it was too late. For either of us.
I finally lay still. No more shouting, no more swearing, no more arguing. I allowed her to tend to us without complaint until, sometime around dawn, she was finished. I stood, and started walking.
"Why don't you fly?" she asked.
"Afraid I'll starve to death before we get there?" I replied sourly.
Quietly, "You used to like it."
I ignored her, and stubbornly continued on foot. After a few hours I simply got too impatient. My frustration had been mostly worked out. I was back...more or less. I sighed in defeat and, with a thought, summoned the shell. In a turbulent, nearly instantaneous flash of otherworldly light, my semi-organic body was replaced by it's true form, the thousand pounds worth of extra mass vomited out of it's dimensional limbo and engulfed me. Another thought extended the N-space foils; long, flexible, silver tentacles that could create pockets of spatial vacuum, allowing me to reach velocities up to that of light, if I wished. I had to exert self-control while still in atmosphere, unless I wanted to ignite the very air with the friction of my passing.
As my body changed, so did my perception. No longer was I limited to the visible spectrum of light, but every spectrum of light and energy. Infrared, ultraviolet, electromagnetic, radio. I could even tune in to gamma and cosmic radiation if I wanted. Despite being in the middle of the Himalayas, the silence turned into a static of chattering voices, in every conceivable language, as I began to intercept stray broadcasts, bouncing off the ionosphere. I boosted off the ground and gained altitude rapidly, the signals getting clearer as the horizon extended further away.
"Where do you want to go?" she asked.
I mentally shrugged, "Doesn't matter. Surprise me."
"I miss you when you're like that, you know."
"I know. Sorry."