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I don't remember the last time I went to sleep.

I don't remember the last time I woke up.

That being the time before this one.

The only thing in my memory is - somehow - just waking up here in this empty space, surrounded by something more impenetrable than total darkness. It's a blackness so total that it's more like my eyes simply can't process that space.

Yet, it's like there's something beneath me that I am lying on.

"Alright," I sighed. "Maybe it's time to try and figure out what's going on here."

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But before I could fully right myself, something flashed into view from above.

Yes - I've done a pretty bad description cop-out with the "total darkness," so I'll try to put some more effort into describing this thing that appeared.

Imagine an old CRT computer monitor that's been turned on, displaying the blackness that's slightly brighter than when it's inactive. Now, swing a baseball bat through it, as hard as you can. Cracks go through the screen, misaligning pixels in jagged lines where the materials fail and warp.

That's what hovered before me. Something like those cracks - dancing incomprehensibly in three dimensions, slowly pulled into the shape of something that could seem humanoid, if you fell down the stairs and landed on your head.

Maybe I was just desperate for some sort of human interaction. It wasn't like I'd had any in my ruined memories before appearing wherever this place was.

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"You."

Oh, it spoke.

Somehow, this was what surprised me the most.

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"Are you real?"

[Image: SPR_C_CONCERN.png]"Yes," I replied. "I'm definitely real. Physically present. Accounted for."

We stood there for a moment, neither moving first.

I guess there's a level of caution that you have to exercise around mobile, sapient distortions in space.

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[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]".....an advanced hallucination. It asserts its own existence."

Then it was right in front of me, and -

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"This will be the 4,617th one."

Oh by heavens above, it was completely off the deep end.

[Image: SPR_C_FEARFUL.png]"Hang on! Um, let's talk a bit first? I'm pretty sure I have a life outside of this, ok?"


Oh, no, no, not another awkward pause.

At this point, stranded in some void space with this alien thing, I decided to just focus on the essentials.

[Image: SPR_C_NTENSE.png]"What about you? Uh, you had a life outside of here too, right? I'm assuming you didn't wake up here right now? You've been here for some time?"

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"...Is it Arthana? That disrespectful, carefree tone… but she wasn’t one to talk so nervously... and this..."

I tried to get into a comfortable pose on the floor of this place, but just ended up sitting cross-legged in an uncomfortable position. Oh well.

As I was nudging my ankles so they wouldn't overlap, it suddenly responded, speaking up from the hushed whisper before.

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"Even for an advanced hallucination, you know too much, and are too distinct. It is possible... that you might be real. We will agree to answer each others' questions."

Ah, congratulations??

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"I do not remember how I arrived here, but a life outside is something that I have had. Currently... surely, at least four thousand years have passed, though it would not mean anything to the world outside."

Four thousand years, and something like this couldn't find a way out? Was it really just going to be like that? Were we trapped here, witless, for all time -

[Image: SPR_KATAFABULA_0001.gif]"Though, if what you say about your arrival is true, we might be able to leave this cursed place."


Here I was, starting to be suspicious about this entire situation sounding much too like an "otherworld" story, but - just like that - it could be undone without any fuss?

[Image: SPR_C_FOCUS.png]"I'm listening."

And like that, I thought we had defused the situation entirely. Though - in time I'd come to learn that I couldn't have been more wrong.

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Vote on the plan:

[ ] - The plan was that we could follow how I arrived in this place, reversing my own arrival so both of us could leave. (Earth)

[ ] - The plan was incomprehensible and outrageous. We were definitely stuck here forever, or at least until something else unexpected happened. (Stone)

[ ] - The plan was to deconstruct how I arrived, and use what we could learn to aim outwards for some place better. (Fire)

[ ] - Wait, hang on a second, I don't know anything about you OR myself! Who am I? Figure that out first before anything else! (Metal)

Other questions:

[ ] - Write-ins. (???)
[X] - Wait, hang on a second, I don't know anything about you OR myself! Who am I? Figure that out first before anything else! (Metal)
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>2nding Fire
I came to realize that there were parts missing. They hadn't been filled in yet.
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You need to get a gist of this world, and what this weird formless person is before we move on,

and then try and find out how I entered in the first place.
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A Room you Really Want To Get Out Of : Lore
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