Rift: Kai in 512 Words

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SunGryphon's avatar

Literature Text

It's not an easy thing, remembering your own death. Feeling the cold steel pressed against your stomach and then the warm gush of your blood (so much blood) as it rushes away, taking your life with it. It never hurt, though. That was the strange thing. Despite that razor edge ripping through my gut it never hurt. I guess it was the adrenaline.

No, dying never hurt. But the rebirth? That hurt more than anything imaginable. The first breath that tears through your lungs (like drowning in air) and the factory oil and ozone smell that follows, bringing bile to your throat as you realize you can't stop breathing, you have to keep going despite the stabbing pain in your lungs, and all around you there are others. The air is choking with their body heat, thick with the sweat of pain and triumph and agony.

Then, blessed coolness as you're guided away from the machines and brought, blinking, into the light. What is your name, Ascended? I try to think, to remember, and for a while I almost have it, but then the keen blade of my death steals it away again. I look around, trying to find a hint, a clue, anything that might tell me who I was.  I have to shake my head, tell them no, feeling I've failed somehow.

They bring me to another area, another machine. They say things I don't understand, things about a soulstream and sourcestone and storage. They do something to me. I don't know now if I've blocked it out because of what it was, or because it's too much for me to comprehend. I'm given a soul, they say, and place a pair of daggers in my hands. I don't remember how to use them, but this thing inside me does.

This thing inside me that is eager to kill, to fight against the horrors in the sky, the black dragons and demons and oh my gods what is that thing and I try to pull back away, but this soul inside me pushes me forward, drawing those blades up and out, ready to fight. What else can I do but go along with it? The blades shimmer and quicken, moving faster than I could have believed but there is still something wrong.

Something wrong with what I am doing.

That's when I realize I'm resisting, I'm still fighting against this thing inside me when I should be fighting the things in front of me. I stop resisting and it takes over, the movements clean and fluid, with no wasted energy spent. I finish killing what needed killing, and move forward, closer to that thing in the sky, the black hooks sunk into the ground, alive with menace.

Twice more I am given a soul to absorb. Twice more I block it out. But as these things settle themselves inside me, I can tell things are going to work out, and as I progress up the hill to face the horror in the sky, I remember my name.

It is Kai.
So my brain-mate Petra :heart: challenged me to a 500-word "write about a character" contest. I won -barely- and this was the result of that.

Kai is an Eth Rogue, in Rift.
© 2011 - 2021 SunGryphon
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iceofwolf's avatar
I read this. And I liked it. :aww:

And quite an interesting way of telling infinite resurrection mechanics. It reminded me a little of BSG (the new series) where the Cylons are explained to remember their deaths and one of them has died so many times it remembers who killed it and holds a grudge.
SunGryphon's avatar
The mechanic in Rift is really interesting when it comes to souls and resurrection, and it's different for both factions. Glad you liked it, there will (probably) be more Rift writings in the future.
iceofwolf's avatar
I'll be watching for 'em. :)
SunGryphon's avatar
I'll be working on them... eventually!
kaida-shiba's avatar
This is so cool! Do you mind at all if I do the same thing?
SunGryphon's avatar
Not at all! It's just a little writing exercise. It should be a fast thing :D
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