I rode atop Mere as we started off once more, glad to have caught up with the others in time to join back up. We took another rest after, and there was banger here and there. I felt a bit of a void, I was compelled to speak to Vader, he was an old friend, but that seemed to hold no weight, he had soon moved away from the group and I felt he wasn't much in the mood for a conversation.


I found myself sitting around the campfire, almost wholly silent as I didn't have much of a desire to talk to anyone else. And I pondered what could be bothering Vader. Had the said something about some D'Lyon person or something? Either way, I didn't want to think about his business when I hardly knew anything, and he was gone now, so I approached the new guy, Horns, who was standing a bit away from everyone else, new party jitters, I guess.

"So big guy, what's your deal?"

The horned figure turned towards me, at first seeming like he didn't want to talk, but right when I was ready to bugger off, he started speaking.

"I was trapped in this game, like the rest of you, right?"

I nodded, "I'm pretty sure that how we all got here, yeah."

He nodded.

"It would seem the company is at fault."

I shrugged.

"I don't really know, I remember something about administrators or something but it's fuzzy, I've been focused on getting stronger recently."

"Hmm, I wonder how well that approach will serve you."

I was taken aback a bit, "What, getting stronger? Well, I guess some of us focus on cracking the mystery of this place and some of us focus on staying alive."

Horns turned at this statement, jaw shifting slightly, "In truth, you're really endangering yourself for the sake of others, otherwise you wouldn't be here."

"What?" I said, though not outright dismissing the notion but not knowing what else to say.

"If you truly cared about staying alive, you wouldn't be on the road like this, the more you move around, the more likely you are to run into something that could end you."

I shook my head, "Well, there's a balance, I do want to get out of here, by rolling with these guys and helping keep them in one piece, they can do the investigative work and I can do the fighting. Vader's the same, that other guy with the black armor? He's a whole ass game mob and he rolls with us for the hell of it, not to mention with him at our side we're less likely to get merged in the future."

The Tor seemed to pause to digest this, he nodded, "Are you well acquainted with that one?"

"Yeah, we go way back! I met him a while ago with all the others, we were honestly like the strongest if I say so myself, especially in a 1v1."

The Tor scoffed slightly, "Strength isn't everything."

'How very barbarian', I thought, this guy seemed like a wanna-be philosopher less so than a fighter.

"Well, anyway, we were tight, but something happened I think and now everything's all weird."

Horns paused for a moment, "You mean the reset?"

"There...wait, was there a reset? There was, wasn't there?"

Horns nodded, "I remember some things that I believe have occurred out of order with what I've known to have happened recently. I came to the conclusion that there must have been a reset. The things I remember haven't happened in this timeline. I believe you were "tight" with this Vader in a different timeline, and now things have changed."

I turned away listening to the Half-Tor, was he telling me what my past was like?

"You'd have had to be there," I said, only slightly emotional as I said it.

"Sure." The Tor said, before turning away disinterestedly.

I felt a twang of emotion at this, 'this guy has no idea what he's talking about', I thought frustratedly and turned away. With time, I soon migrated into the woods, half looking for Vader and half trying to get away from the others. Realizing I couldn't find the Dread Knight, and in truth, he probably didn't want to be found, I confined myself to training for the night so that I wouldn't have to lie dormant.

The next day we all traveled to North Gate City, arriving there not long after we departed that morning. Glenn held weight here, he was Lord to these NPCs apparently. In truth, I doubted the Fellowship would ever have been allowed beyond these walls without our de facto leader. The sneering of the guards drove home that notion, it became clear Vader's unholy alignment made his presence here undesirable among Glenn's city of paladins and what not. I thought about how inconvenient being a walking corpse must be here, Vader and the entire state were practically polar opposites.

We were eventually stopped by guards who were welcoming Glenn back, sneering at Vader and the more fiendish members of our party all the while.

"Cheer up, jeez," I said to one of the nearby guards, only earning a sneer of my own in return. I felt like fucking with the guy so I kept talking.

"You know your face might get stuck like that,"

The man looked at me with an enraged cherry red expression, "Silence! You useless machine!"

"Useless, huh?" I said, reaching for my sword, only to be interrupted by the arch-paladin or whatever. I begrudgingly removed my hand from my blade, before riding forth. A group of people approached as we dismounted, I wasn't in the mood for it.

"May I take your things for you milord?"

I grunted.

"Do I know you?"

The woman let out a chuckle as if she perceived my comment as a joke.

"You are acquaintances of the Lord Inquisitor."

I turned from her to get my things before dispelling my horse, "No, we are friends, because unlike you all we actually care about each other."

I said, striding past the woman seconds ahead of Glenn himself, much the other Paladins' dismay. Horns was approached as well and having recognized the situation we were in, acted as politely as possible.

Soon we were moved into the dining room, a large and needlessly spacious place that seemed as if it were built to accommodate a king's ego just as well as the space of his physical form. I never did like places like this, and I was far too annoyed to so much as appreciate any artistic quality the room might have possessed.

"Food, drink, for the Inquisitor and his companions” a robed man ordered. “I am getting your rooms ready for you. We can wait here until they are ready. Then if you wish we will have baths ready and then we would be honored if you would join the Inquisitor at the main dining hall. Now relax, sit, and let us serve you.”

I stepped away and leaned on a wall, looking over as the others sat and enjoyed their treatment. The rosy-cheeked woman from earlier approached with a smile, "My lord, would it be at all possible for me to offer refreshments?"

I bounded from the wall and stepped forward, nearly colliding with the woman as she stepped away ina sudden fright.

"No! Warforged don't need refreshments!" I shouted, fully aware of how much of a bitch I was being but not caring enough to stop myself. I instantly knew that I had to leave, and I didn't want to appear to storm out but it was hard not to at this point.

I walked into a seemingly vacant room and shut the door, thoughts, and regrets of what just happened racing through my head.

Why the fuck did I do that? Why do I have to whine about everything? I'm so fucking pathetic!

'I wasn't a warrior', I thought. 'Not like Glenn, not like Horns, definitely not like Vader.'

I felt my anger peaking and felt compelled to punch something, resulting in a subsequent hole in the nearest wall.

"I'm just a bitch ass video game artist that ought to be sniffing roses and enjoying scenery somewhere. Anywhere instead of here...anywhere."

What is this?

I froze. I had heard a voice. One that wasn't mine. Not even the new one that I had been given by Cyndel. I turned, hellbent on finding the source of this voice.

"Who the hell was that? How long have you been here?"

My name is Invicta. I asked you a question. What is this feeling?

I found it hard to respond as I was more concerned with the implications of this bee development. own body talking to me? Confused and curious, I answered.

"Uh, what feeling are you talking about?"

It is a tugging of the chest, a weight on the shoulders, painful feeling. One I can only describe as...sorrow.

I would have swallowed then, anything that didn't involve that painful silence that ensued as I struggled to figure out what was happening.

"What sorrow?"

It consists of hopelessness...and...insecurity?

I was silent. Another diagnosis? It was coming from my own body this time though and everything was so surreal, it was hard to be snarky about it. Of all the thoughts spiraling in my head, I eventually landed on, "What do you want?"

To alleviate you of this pain. It is very inefficient.

My hands tensed as I pondered this possibility.

" a break?"

There was silence. a break. I will momentarily alleviate you of this stress and allow you to emotionally recoup.

Fuck me that sounded good. I wanted nothing more than a little rest. I had been conscious for a span of several days, I was certain this stress was due to overextending myself. I wanted so badly not to need this, but I felt so strongly that I definitely did. I must have. This irritability was nothing more than a product of mental exhaustion, no way the human mind ought to be capable of running for as ling as mine must-have anyway.

"For how long..." I finally said.

As long as you require. Let's begin with a single hour, afterwards you may return and decide what you desire.

Okay...just one hour. I just needed one hour. That wouldn't be bad. The thought occurred that I ought to tell someone about what was happening, but to be honest, I hadn't even remotely cooled down yet and was more than convinced that I likely would have after at least an hour. Then I would tell them, I thought, It would be fine then.

"Fuck it, okay. Let's do it."

"It, uh, it means get on with it."

Ah, fuck it. Initiating reconfiguration sequence. Please take a seat, be still, and be calm.

"Fine, fine," I muttered, doing as I was told. I for once was beginning to feel at peace at so much as the prospect of chilling for a second, getting away from this nightmare for just the slightest of seconds. It was a deal anyone would take, right? My vision was beginning to darken and blur, my senses we're dulling, I fell that I was going under, however just before things went dark, I could have sworn I heard the door open...

Invicta stood as the door opened, standing perfectly calmly.

"Yes?" Invicta said, no change to his upgraded voice.

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