|Dreams of Leaving|
Dreams of Leaving is a short story detailing what happened to Omicron 12 Team after Mountains of Dreams.
Dreams of Leaving
Why…why did it hurt so much? Why did everything hurt?
“It hurts so much…mom…” Joseph stared at Elysia. She wrapped her arms around him.
“Don’t worry.” she said. “I’m here.”
Joseph’s eyes glowed bright purple, and he couldn’t see her anymore. He couldn’t see anything but the light.
And then he was dreaming. He just didn’t know what he was dreaming…
Was he awake? He wasn’t entirely sure. He knew he could feel pain, but he had dreams that had felt real before. He looked at the giant black tree nearby. Totally barren of leaves, the branches about to fall off, and the stump looking like someone had already attempted to chop the poor thing down…
Alaster felt a lot like that tree. He looked at the circle he had been walking in. The grass should’ve been dead, but it glowed brighter now than before he had started walking.
“This place is wrong. All wrong!” Alaster shouted, and then sat inside the circle he had been pacing in. He decided to observe his surroundings once more, having nothing better to do.
The grass here glowed purple. And the purple grass reached as far as he could see in almost every direction. The tree in front of his circle was the only tree within sight. Behind him was the only place that the grass didn’t reach to infinity; there was a giant wall of light. He couldn’t see through it, there was nothing to grab or climb on, and the wall went up farther than any grappling hook he had, and he assumed his wings would disappear before he reached the top.
“Well…my options are sit here and wait for help, wait to wake up-assuming I’m in a dream, or…walk out on to the plains of infinity.” He took a deep breath. “Yeah, I’m not enjoying the whole ‘going insane from walking in circles and talking to myself’ thing. So…onwards!” Alaster generated his wings, and flew off through the plain.
“Joseph!” Elysia yelled. Where was she?! Where was Joseph?! She couldn’t lose him. She wouldn’t lose him…not her son. “JOSEPH!” she screamed.
She reached a small canyon. There was no way across, and when she turned around, the way back was gone. She couldn’t stop. She had to find him. She had to find him.
“Joseph!” she yelled again. “I’m coming for you!” she revved up her boosters. “I will find you!”
Elysia jumped. Her boosters fired. She was going towards the other edge of the canyon. Her hand grabbed the other side. She was there.
She fell. Her hand slipped. And now she wasn’t there.
“JOSEPH!” Elysia yelled. “DON’T WORRY!” And she fell further.
“Penny…” Quin groaned as he tried to move. Another shock ran through his body. He reached for the wall of his tube. “Penny…”
Penny stared at Quin sadly. She looked at the water that was slowly filling up her tube. She waved to Quin.
“Penny…” he screamed as a shock ran through his body again, and he passed out.
“It’s okay Quin.” Quin couldn’t hear her, but she didn’t care. She needed to tell herself anyway. “I can’t even feel it.”
She couldn’t feel it. That was what made it so much worse. She wasn’t even worried about rusting to death. She couldn’t feel it anymore.
Joseph struggled against his chains. “I need to save them.” He growled. “LET ME GO!”
There was no one there. Just Joseph. No one was there to free him. He couldn’t save them.
He couldn’t guide Alaster.
He couldn’t free Penny and Quin.
He couldn’t find his mother.
But he heard their pain. He felt their pain. Every single emotion they were experiencing, every memory they were making now…everything. He felt it for them.
“LET ME GO!” Joseph didn’t know who he was screaming to anymore. “I need to save them…I want to save them.”
But Joseph couldn’t leave. He couldn’t leave his own dream.
Alaster had been walking for hours, maybe days, but the environment never changed. It was always just purple grass. He could walk for miles, turn around, and the black tree and the wall were gone. But when he walked back, they reappeared.
“Oh yeah, this is a dream.” Alaster smiled. “Can I get some fem-bots up in this business?” He tapped his foot and waited. “Okay, this is a dream that I am not in control of. Wonderful.”
He walked over to the tree and leaned on it. He took a long look at it. Then he looked around at environment. This was the only thing he could use.
“I am going to regret this idea incredibly.” Alaster frowned. He created a long band of ectoplasm, and then made it rubbery and bouncy. He climbed the tree and tied it between two branches. He leaned back, aimed himself at the wall, pointed himself a little further up, and then hoped that he wouldn’t lose his body. “All the regret!” he said, before letting the band shoot him into the air.
Elysia was still falling. She wasn’t sure when she had started. All she knew was that she was falling. She saw the opposite side of the canyon whenever she fell. She felt it under her hand every time she fell, and she felt herself slip.
“Joseph.” She put her head in her hands. “What happened to you Joseph?” She knew she was still holding her head with both hands, but she felt herself slip again. She felt her chances of saving Joseph slip away at the same time. “I can’t lose you Joseph. I can’t.”
But she already had. She had lost everything. Everything was gone. There was only her. Only her, falling for forever.
“PENNY!” Quin ignored the shocks as he slammed against his tube. Penny was about to die. Her legs had already turned entirely green. “PENNY!” He punched the glass, but it wouldn’t break. He was about to watch her die. A shock went through his body. His core was glowing brighter. It began to turn white.
Penny stared at Quin. She shook her head. “Give up.” she said. She turned her head to the ceiling of the glass tube. “I already did.” The water rose to her chin. Her copper continued to rust. “I’m going to die.”
Quin sank to his knees as the shocks began to speed up. He felt his Hero Core grow warmer, but he ignored it. “Don’t die Penny.” He started to cry. “Don’t die.”
The patina began to reach her chest. “It’s going to be alright.” Penny saw a tear fall down to the water. She couldn’t even feel herself crying. She didn’t know why she was crying. “It’s all going to end.”
“I DON’T CARE ABOUT MYSELF, JUST LET THEM GO!” Joseph screamed and struggled. “They’re more valuable to me than anything. I know I hate everyone.” Joseph felt the chains pull him back, further into the darkness. “I know I hate everything. But they’re important. They’re the only things I even like in this world. They’re the only people who have shown me kindness.” The chains kept pulling him back, further and further away from them. But Joseph could still feel them. His teammates. “It didn’t matter how strange I was, how different I was, Penny and Quin still accepted me! They treated me like every other hero! They tried to be kind to me no matter how terrible I was to them!” His legs had been completely pulled back into the darkness.
“And Alaster…” Joseph could feel Alaster burning. Alaster had hit the wall, and was now inside of it, burning from the light. “Alaster trained me so well. He paid special attention to me, because no one else would train me. He taught me how to fight. He taught me how to be a hero.” Alaster was still burning. He could feel Quin’s Hero Core about to explode and Penny about to be totally engulfed in rust. He felt Elysia…he felt his mother falling. He felt her dying inside.
“And my mom…she loved me. She loved me for who I was. She didn’t care that I was wrong, she loved me! SHE LOVED ME!” His arms were now engulfed in the darkness, and he felt his body slowly going in. “SHE LOVED ME! THEY ALL LOVED ME! AND THEY CAN’T BE STUCK HERE! LET THEM GO! SEND THEM AWAY! I DON’T CARE IF I’M ALL ALONE, I JUST WANT THEM TO LEAVE!” His head was being pulled in. His eyes flashed purple. “I’M SENDING THEM AWAY! I DON’T CARE WHERE THEY GO, IT WON’T BE HERE!” Joseph yelled and the sides of his head were now covered by darkness. “THEY. WILL. LEAVE!” His eyes flashed one last time before his head was totally engulfed in darkness.
And Joseph kept dreaming.
But his team did not dream with him.
“GAAH!” Alaster took a deep breath. He gasped a few times and coughed. He looked around. He wasn’t burning. There was no black tree or fields of purple grass. There were rocks, and plenty of them, but no trees, or grass, or wall. “I’m free!”
He took in his surroundings; rocky, dark red, and…craters. He was on a giant rock. A giant rock that was just floating through space, with no planets in sight, and nothing that could save him.
“So now I’m trapped here.” Alaster sighed. “Well, a rock is better than burning, I guess…” He blinked and realized something. “Where’s everyone else?”
“Penny!” Quin yelled and ran to her. She was on her knees, rust up to her eyes. He picked her up, holding her close to his Hero Core. “Penny, are you alright?”
“Not at all…” she groaned and tried to move her arms. “But I can feel. I can feel again.”
Quin smiled. “At least there’s that.” His Hero Core pumped, and Quin groaned in pain.
“I guess you can feel too…” Penny said, staring at his Hero Core. “It feels so warm, Quin.”
“It is Penny.” Quin groaned. “It’s warm. Now for the love of Quaza, tell me you need a Hero Core recharge!”
Penny smiled and nodded, her joints creaking. “That sounds great Quin.”
Elysia was still falling. But it was different now. She wasn’t falling down a canyon and losing her grip. She was falling towards a city…Makuhero City! She felt her hand catch on something; the edge of a skyscraper. She didn’t slip now. She was there, and she hadn’t fallen.
“Joseph…” Elysia whispered. Joseph was gone now. Penny, Quin, and Alaster were gone as well. Everyone she cared about…gone. She saw the street below her, all the civilians going about their day, the rushing cars. She saw the ground.
Elysia did not slip. But she was falling again.
She hadn't slipped. She had just let go.