185 Zoey“s Remembrance
Zoey retrieved her molten blades with a wave of her hand from the corpse of the last enemy creature right before it disintegrated into dust. She was still standing on her hill, unmoving, a bastion against the tides that were sent after her.
Countless times they had come after her, and countless times she had shredded them with her blades. It was strange… She felt a strong sense of déjà vu from this place, but when she tried to pinpoint why, her mind avoided the subject. She had remembered her name though. Zoey was her name. It was all she had been able to recall in her time here in this barren place.
She wasn't alone here. Besides the enemy who came at her every day as dependable as the tides they resembled, there was a man here as well. He was a strange little man, always yelling and screaming, pointing at her and screaming some more. Sometimes he cried, sometimes he begged, sometimes he hurt himself. He was strange, and even though Zoey found him a little familiar, she had no idea what the hell he was saying or who he was.
Zoey wondered why the man kept appearing again and again in the same spot at the same time every day, only to suffer the same fate over and over again. Every time he appeared he was either killed by the enemy, killed by her when he tried to approach, or killed himself in whatever manner he could manage. Despite his efforts, he still came back with every cycle, appearing like before on the field between her and the enemy only to suffer a gruesome death once again.
Zoey supposed that she should have felt pity for him, but she felt nothing. She was as a cliff facing the sea, impassive and unyielding, unaffected by the suffering of the stranger. Her only concern in this place was the enemy. Everything else was an afterthought.
Time passed. The cycle continued on day by day as Zoey stood her ground against the enemy. The man who kept appearing eventually became lifeless. He no longer moved or spoke, only laying on the ground with glazed eyes as he waited for the enemy to come devour him like they always did. For Zoey it didn't matter what he did, but she was starting to wonder why she was here.
As the days slowly passed, Zoey began to realize something. Aside from the enemy and the strange man, there was something else here in this place. This thing she found happened to be inside her own mind.
It was a door. Zoey noticed it one day when she had been trying to remember. Her mind was empty, blank aside from thoughts concerning the enemy. The door she found was the only other thing that was inside her thoughts, so what else could she do except go through the door?
When she entered into the door she instantly knew what was inside. It was her memories! But even though it was her memories she had found, she could not see nor access them. They were hidden from her, inaccessible, and though she could sense things from them, she could not remember.
So she searched inside her own mind, looking for some kind of clue, an answer to her questions. Why was she here on this field? Where was this place that spawned the enemy in waves, day after day to no end?
It was all so familiar, yet it felt old, like it had happened a long time ago. Zoey's search took her deep inside her own mind, but every memory she found was hidden, shrouded in cocoons of mist and smoke. Her memories were being kept from her, that much she could understand. With no answers readily available, all she could do was go deeper.
The deeper she went into the door, the darker and more shrouded everything became. The memories she found here were small and faint, memories that had almost been completely lost. Zoey also saw the places where memories had once been, but no longer remained. Empty spots in her mind that she knew were important to her history but were gone forever.
Finally she came to the end of her memories, deep inside her own mind where mist shrouded every step and she was in danger of losing her way. Here it was dark and silent, a place long forgotten by her waking mind.
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It was in this place she came to a stop. She could go no deeper and had nothing to show for all her searching. She was frustrated and disappointed. She had hoped to find answers, but had found nothing.
"Silly child. Look to your inner world for answers."
Zoey heard a voice! It was faint as a whisper, but the words suddenly made Zoey remember! Her inner world! In a flash she left the place that held her memories, leaving the door and looking around inside of herself where she knew it was.
Then she found it! In a breath, Zoey was standing on the shores of her essence lake, looking out across the tranquil waters at the tree on its island. The familiar scene and sensations that washed over her felt amazing, like a cool drink at the end of a parching day. It had always been here, yet she had somehow forgotten about it!
After she gathered her thoughts, Zoey moved to the island where the tree was. The tree was acting a bit strange. The energy inside the tree's core was pulsing red-hot, very different from its normal mix of red and blue.
Zoey wondered how she knew all this. Her memories were still locked away, yet she knew things about this place that she shouldn't. In fact, it was making her head pound with pain thinking about it!
She leaned against the tree, closing her eyes and furrowing her brow as her head pounded from the pain. Then something touched her forehead, and a moment later a white flash swept through her mind!
She could remember! She had been taken from the Stella Tenebris along with the others and had been trapped here in this place! That strange man she had seen was Cornelius Rellen! This place she was trapped was a memory of Gaia when she had been trapped their by herself so long ago! She could remember it all!
Zoey sat down on the ground and took a moment to gather it all in. She had a lot to sort through since she had come here. The strange cycle, the enemy, the appearance of Cornelius... How long had she been trapped here?
"You've only been in here for a few hours at most, although it may seem longer to you."
A voice behind her startled Zoey to her feet, spinning to face the intruder in her inner world. She recognized the voice as the same one she had heard earlier!
"Who are you!" she demanded narrowing her eyes dangerously at the shadowy figure behind the crystalline tree.
"Please, stay calm. This may shock you a bit..." said the voice as the figure carefully stepped out into view...
Zoey's eyes widened in disbelief at what she saw. The person's form was humanoid, but Zoey knew they were not human! That form, those emerald eyes! It was Viridi!