Fate doesn't work that way

It started with three drunk gods, and one drowning mortal. It snowballed into a quest for destiny with bound gods, sky prisons, mazes of death, and far too many disasters.


12. Darkness and the Destroyer

    The world darkened around them as they bolted. People blurred, and became ghostly. The two of them ran straight through them.

    Kanat glanced at the girl. The look on her face was one of animal terror. He felt bad for her, but for now he had to focus on getting away.

    The road lifted suddenly, forming a wall in front of them. Kanat skidded to a stop and turned, only to find more walls. They’d been boxed in.

    “Stay close,” he muttered to the girl. She probably barely heard him. Her eyes were wide, and her breath came in rough gasps. He put a hand on her arm. “I’ll get us out of this. You saved me. Now it’s my turn.”

    “We’re going to die…” she whispered.

    “We are not going to die.”

    “This is all wrong…” she wasn’t listening to him anymore. “This is so wrong. This shouldn’t be happening…”

    “We’ll be alright,” he insisted. If she was panicked, this would be much harder.

    Then all the lights went out.

    Kanat looked up, finding himself standing in a ring of darkness. The girl had vanished. He let out a soft gasp, reaching blindly for her. He couldn’t find her. Where was she?! She had to be close by. The burn he felt when she was away from him hadn’t started, after all. She had to be right next to him. But he couldn’t feel her. He couldn’t find her. He was alone.

    When he’d been a god, he’d been scared of nothing. Why would he have any reason to be scared? Nothing could defeat him. But he was a mortal now. And this darkness felt wrong. Unnatural. He found himself shuddering. This wasn’t right.

    You’re a long way from home, little god.

    The voice came from everywhere and nowhere at once. It surrounded him, whispering in his ears, coming from in front of him, behind him, to his right and left. It was everywhere. He instantly got the feeling something was watching him. Something big and powerful.

    You are foolish to leave your realm, god of storms. Your enemies are waiting for you.”

He forced himself to speak, trying to keep his voice from shaking. Next to this monster, his voice sounded two dimensional and flat, but he did his best. “You’re a little late. I’ve been here for a while now. Why all the waiting?”

You have been hidden. But now there is nothing to protect you.

“I was imprisoned,” Kanat corrected. He forced himself to breathe. Irritate this monster. Trick it into saying something. He was good at that. This was something he could do. He had to stall. Find the girl. Then get out. “You need to check your facts.”

Arrogant in the face of death. Yes, that is good. Very good. Be arrogant. It will be all the sweeter when you are brought down.

“Yeah, well I’m not really in a mood to be brought down, so if you’ll tell me where my girl is-”

You will die,” the voice breathed, interrupting him. Your mortal cannot save you.”

“She’s braver than you think she is.” Kanat could feel his resolve crumbling. Where was the girl?! And what was this darkness? It was like no god or spirit he’d ever felt. And yet Nith- of all people- had known what it was.

She is mortal. Mortals are weak. Even now she dies, her life fading from her.

Kanat felt a moment of panic, before realizing that it had to be a lie. He felt no burn in his chest. And suddenly, he felt a surge of confidence.

“You can’t see her, can you?” He said carefully. “You can only see me. And that’s only because I was a god. You can’t find her. You have no idea where she is. That’s the problem, isn’t it? You can’t see the small things.”

I see all.”

“Not the mortals,” he shrugged. “You’d better watch out.” He decided to try something ridiculously stupid. “Do you think we didn’t know you were coming? You walked pretty nicely into this ambush.” The following silence encouraged him to continue. “And thank you for gloating so much! That gave my girl enough time to get into position.”

You lie.” Was he imagining it, or was there a nervous edge to the voice now?

“Why do I need to lie?” Kanat found himself smiling. “You already gave us all the time we need. Why drag it out any longer?” He lifted his voice, praying to every god he knew of- including himself- that he was right. “Now!”

As a god, he’d never believed in miracles. Everything happened as it would happen. Those bursts of luck were sometimes caused by gods, after all. But now that he was mortal, he found himself believing, just for a moment.

Even as the words died on his lips, a loud CRACK split the air. The darkness retreated just a bit, and there she was. The girl stood in a ring of light, holding a gun to the sky. The surrounding darkness made it appear as if she was glowing. In that moment, to his eyes she was a small goddess, defiant against the evil around them.

Then her eyes met his, and her face was washed with relief. “Demon! It told me you were dying. I’m so glad you’re alright! I heard your voice, and I thought I was hallucinating, but it is you!” She ran to him, her arm closing around his. The contact relieved him. She was real. Not some kind of hallucination.

“We need to get out of here.” She was already searching for an escape route. “Now.”

He gripped her wrist. “Hold on.”

“What do you mean hold on?!” Her eyes were too wide. She was a lot more scared than she was letting on. “We have to get out of here before that thing attacks us again.”

“We’re in Limbo right now,” he replied. “The space between realms. We try and leave, we’ll go nowhere. It’s clear we’re not going to be allowed back to your realm of existence. Our only hope is to try and pass through to Phiadai. Which means…” he gritted his teeth. “Get rid of your gun.”

What?! That’s the only weapon I have!”

“Technology isn’t allowed in Phiadai. With that gun on you, we’ll be stuck here. That thing will come at us again and again and again. At least in Phiadai we’ll stand a chance. Don’t you have a knife or something?”

“A small one, but-”

“That’ll have to do,” he interrupted. “Get rid of it it, or we die in darkness.”

That got her to act. He felt bad for scaring her, but honestly if it prompted her to action, great. She threw the gun on the ground, and kicked it away from her in one swift motion. As soon as it had gotten a foot away, it vanished into darkness. She let out a soft sigh.

“I liked that gun…”

“We’ll get you another one,” he promised. “Do you have any other tech?”

“One more gun.” She threw this one, and it vanished as well.

“Where do they go?” she asked. “The guns, I mean.”

“Back to the mortal realm, maybe. I’m not sure. They’ll probably end up some place connected to you. After all, you mortals have the strangest habit of connecting your soul to random objects.”

“My… soul?”

“Anything that is of deep value to you becomes connected to your soul- but that’s not important right now,” he added quickly. “If you don’t have anything else, than we should…” The darkness began to lighten. “Ah yes. Here we go.”

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