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That seriously needs to stop happening.

Your eyes are hurting like you wouldn’t believe and it would really be nice if this game would at least warn you before casting ‘Flare’ like some idiot who just discovered he can do magic.

I hate this game.

Well, that was nice to know, really. It wasn’t as if that was new information to you in any way whatsoever.

You are somewhat curious as to what the hell caused that flash this time, but then there’s the writing on your wall and-

Go downstairs.

Okay, that settles that. The very helpful voice in your head is now apparently making your decisions for you. Excellent.

Wait, no it isn’t. You stop halfway down the stairs and ask the voice in your head just who the hell it thinks it is. You don’t get an answer for a while, until-

Go downstairs.

You’ve taken three steps already before you stop. “Who are you?”

Go downstairs.

“No.”

Why are you so difficult?

“Who are you?”

I can’t read lips and this thing doesn’t have any sound. Talk to your dead bird first and then find another way to talk to me.

Well, that was surprisingly helpful. You can at least reason that it’s not a voice in your head if it can’t hear you. That still doesn’t mean you know what it is, though, which is annoying. If it has the ability to make you make decisions and do other things you should at least know just what it is. Preferably so you can find a way to stop it, of course, but let’s not get ahead of yourself.

By the time you get downstairs, a trip that has now proven completely pointless (although you took the dragon with you anyway, just in case), you find that some more Glass Imps (which you know because you already ran into them and most certainly not because the game is telling you their names) have entered your living room.

“Mental note,” you say. Out loud, because why the hell not? “Keep the door closed. Actually, keep it locked at all times.” These creatures might just be crafty. In which case... “Also find an alarm system so you know when these things get in.”

This is about all the monologuing the Imps allow you before attacking and you hastily get your staff out of your Strife Specibus. The bird-like imps attack with their talons and seem to hold conventions of battle in a very low regard. That is, they don’t attack one by one, but instead attack three at a time.

Granted, they’re small, don’t have any weapons and you’ve got what amounts to a big stick and you’re able to take two of them down with one swipe, causing one of them to explode in a bunch of grist and the other to be badly wounded. You dodge the third and, before it can turn around, you smash its head against the wall.

Right, now where was the last on-OH GOD DAMNIT THAT HURT!

You can now say with absolute certainty that you know exactly what a talon scratching your back feels like. You keep that in mind as a silver lining as you turn around with your eyes practically burning to smash this final pest to join its brethren in whatever afterlife these horribly mutated game structures get.

After that little psychotic episode, but before you can collect all your well-earned grist, you hear the sound of someone singing. This curious phenomenon demands investigation. After you have, in fact, gotten your grist.

Once you enter your kitchen again, you find that the source of the singing is your bird. Except it isn’t. It’s still a bird, obviously, but at the same time it’s also, well, not.

It still has a beak, but there’s a mostly human face hiding behind it. It still had talons and wings, but most of the body was human. Actually, calling it ‘it’, was rather unfair. The harpy was clearly female. You also recognised the song as being ‘This is Halloween’, because this really was not creepy enough yet.

“-the who when they call who’s there,” she said.
“Uhm.” Yes, well, there wasn’t any way your brain was going to produce a conversational gem in this state.
“Finally,” she says, looking surprisingly happy. For a bird-woman. “I was wondering what was taking you so long.”
“Three minutes is long?”
“You counted?” She looks amused by this, if slightly confused.
“You didn’t?”
“Chirp.”

You’re fairly certain she actually just said that. It wasn’t a chirping noise, it was actually the word ‘chirp’. What.
“What the hell is going on?”
“I’m part elf, part bird now. It really feels rather strange.”
“Okay.” What the hell else are you supposed to say to that?
“Being able to speak with you is nice, though.” She looks at you with a smile you might consider slightly condescending if you could read faces better. Bird-woman faces are way out of your league.
“I’m going to guess the larger brain capacity is, too,” you say, instead.
“I could do without.”
“Really?”
“Yes. The game told me everything I need to tell you, but with my new found intelligence I already know you aren’t going to take a word of it seriously.”

You have the vague idea that you should be offended by this, but instead you just think this game sucks at persuading people if it can’t make whatever’s going on sound plausible.
“But you’re my game guide, right?”
“I’m a source of information. You have a few of them.”
That sounds familiar. “Like the voice in my head?”
“Yes, like that one. However you shouldn’t take everything you hear seriously. Not everyone knows everything they think they know.”
“So they might be lying to me and they might be misinformed themselves?”
Peteysprite nods. Come to think of it, you might have to consider calling her something different, because Peteysprite is a really-
“Chirp.” Well, that quite effectively derailed that train of thought. It’s currently crashing through your mind and it leaves another tangent in its wake.

“Okay, what makes you different?”
“Well, I’m going to tell you up front that I am not allowed by the game to tell you everything until it thinks you’re ready to hear it.”
“Thanks for being honest, I guess.” It’s not like you expected anything less out of a mysterious game guide. “So what can you tell me?”
“I am going to be the one to guide you in your travels through The Medium.” You can practically hear the capitals.
“What’s the Medium?” And you instantly feel stupid for asking such a pedestrian question. Asking questions often makes you feel dumb and incompetent, even though it really shouldn’t and not asking those questions would actually leave you incompetent due to your ignorance.

Peteysprite doesn’t notice your struggle with this simple question, or pretends she doesn’t, and answers. “The Medium is where you currently are. The Medium is part of The Incipisphere and I can only tell you about one other part until you-” She seems to falter and then looks rather confused for a moment. “Until you’ve... accomplished more.” She says eventually, looking vaguely uncomfortable with herself.
“What is the one you can tell me about, then?”
“What?”
“You said there was one thing in The Incipisphere - I can’t believe I pronounced that right on my first try - you could tell me about?”
“Oh, yes, Skaia.” She speaks the word with awe.

“It lies above The Medium, beyond The Seven Gates. Legend has it that it holds unlimited creative potential.” And she’s lost in her own world again.
“And, of course, you can’t tell me what that means,” you say.
“Chirp.” Okay, that is seriously getting on your nerves.
“Tell me, how long does something have to exist for it to become legend?”
“I have no idea, but I don’t think that’s the question you want to ask,” she says, sounding a lot smarter than you gave her credit for.
“How long has this place existed? Did it start existing when I got here or was it always prepared for my arrival?”
“That’s a really good question.” She smiles. And then she keeps on smiling while not actually answering your question.

“Let me guess, you can’t tell me?”
“That is correct!” she chirps happily.
“Okay, fine.” You can tell this is going to be a really tedious conversation. What a shocker. “Also ‘unlimited creative potential’?”
“I can’t tell you-”
“Yes, I know you can’t tell me what it means,” you interrupt her, quite annoyed, “but ‘unlimited’? Really? That’s a pretty high bar it sets for itself, isn’t it? I mean, you’re not going to get any more ambitious than ‘unlimited’.” You are vaguely aware you are getting somewhat irate. “How do you even know it’s unlimited? Just because you haven’t found its limit doesn’t mean it’s unlimited! It just means you haven’t reached its limit yet! How do you quantify ‘creative potential’, anyway? That’s not even a-”
“Chirp.” And that’s the end of that particular rant. You focus on her, instead.
“Also, please stop doing that.”
“I’m a bird, what do you want from me?” She does have a point.

“Anyway, since this is such an important entity, forces of darkness will, naturally, want to destroy it, while forces of light will want to protect it.”
“And dark is evil. What a shocker.” You’re so glad you found a use for that phrase.
“They have been fighting in and over Skaia for a very long time, locked in an everlasting stalemate. Everlasting insofar as it would’ve lasted forever if you hadn’t shown up.” Somehow that does not sound in any way angry, even though it really should have, considering what she actually said.
“What did I do wrong this time?” That, at least, confuses her, although you quickly resolve never to do that on purpose again, because she actually looks really hurt.

She shakes her head and goes back to her standard expression of vague amusement. “When you got here, you saw the kernelsprite splitting, one piece floating up and one floating down. That meant that the Kernel hatched, which happens automatically on your arrival. One floated down to the dark kingdom and one floated up to the light one. They settled in an orb on top of one of the Eight Spires. Once that happens, the war really begins. Light versus Dark, good versus evil. Light will lose this war.”
“And I couldn’t have not done that? Such as by not throwing you into the kernelsprite to begin with?”
“That would have been much more terrible than this.”
“So the game is blaming me for saving my life? Good to know we’re on the same page here.”

She dutifully ignores your cynical comment and continues expositing. “Since you prototyped with your bird- that is, me- every underling you will be fighting will have those properties.”
“I turned all of my enemies in to birds?” That’s actually pretty funny.
“Chirp.”
“So what am I supposed to do here? If the bad guys are going to win, what’s the point?”
“I didn’t say Dark would win. I just said Light would lose.”
You give her a blank stare and she continues.
“You have to discover your purpose for yourself by undertaking the journey that will start by going through the First Gate, which is currently right above your house.”
“And I have to fly up there?”
“No, you build!”

You take a while to collect your thoughts. It is a long while. You are going to have to build with materials that you get from killing enemies. These materials are then somehow stored somewhere and Kyrianne has access to them and will allow you to build your house from her computer on another planet. Right. Makes perfect sense.

“Was that all?”
“You have a long way ahead of you, Peter. Some of it, you will enjoy, other parts, not so much.”
“I sincerely doubt that,” you say, in a tone of voice that suggests you’re actually starting to go a bit insane in a giddy way. You begin walking back to your computer before remembering something. “Hey, what do I call you now? I’ve been calling you Peteysprite in my head but that doesn’t really seem appropriate right now.”
“Peteysprite’ll do, don’t worry.”
“Thank you. I’m going to talk to a voice in my head.”
“Have fun.”

You sit down at your computer and ignore the blinking pesterchum bar for now, as difficult as it is, and open a word file instead. You begin to type.

Can you see this?
Yes I can.
Awesome. Hello.
Hello.
What did you want to tell me?
What to do.
Why?
I am supposed to, but you are not listening to me.
Of course not. I only listen to voices in my head when I’m the one voicing them.
This was a really bad idea.
Wait! Don’t go yet!
What do you want?
Peteysprite said you could help me.
I can. I am supposed to tell you what to do, when the time to do so is right. You are not supposed to be able to resist.
Well, no offence, but that sounds like mind control and I’ve kind of had it with mind control.
I had gathered that. So, instead I am left giving suggestions like a helpless advisor.
Suggestions would be a lot better than what you’ve been doing so far. Maybe you should try it.
I do not think so.

You groan in frustration. This source of information is not doing anything at all for you.

If you’re here to help me, at least try. I’m too smart or stubborn to be mind controlled. So be nice. How does a voice in my head have mind control anyway? Shouldn’t I be able to do it?
No. I am not a voice in your head.
Then what, pray tell, are you?
I am from the future.

I think I’m done talking to you, goodbye.

You switch over to the pesterchum window, where you discover that Kyrianne has been pestering you for a while now.

UC: there’s nothing wrong with the time at the top of this chat
UC: Pick the dragon!
UC: no, seriously
UC: dragons are cool
UC: okay never mind you have a harpy now.
UC: Also, I just realised I’m rambling to you even though you won’t get this until you’re back.
UC: Thijs is getting annoyed though.
UC: You should unblock him
UC: what are you even doing?

ES: Hey.
UC: hello
UC: was your new harpy of any help?

ES: Yes, actually.
ES: As helpful as I expected her to be, anyway.
ES: It turns out that whatever you throw into your kernelsprite affects your enemies.
ES: So make sure to be careful with what you throw in there.
ES: Everything else was just backstory that isn’t important in saving your life.
ES: Also, I’ll unblock Thijs now.

UC: alright that sounds like a good idea.
UC: Who were you talking to just now?

ES: A voice in my head.
ES: Wow, that sounds completely crazy.
ES: Never mind.

UC: no, go on.
UC: I want to know what’s going on

ES: Well, Peteysprite said that it was supposed to help me.
UC: Peteysprite
ES: That’s her name, just roll with it.
ES: But that voice hasn’t really been helpful to me.
ES: It’s been rather bitchy, actually, and it told me it was from the future.
ES: So I just gave up.

UC: Well, if it’s supposed to help you, you should let it, right?
UC: I mean, you might need it, at some point.

ES: It has to want to help me, first.
ES: I don’t think it does.

UC: oh
UC: that’s kinda sad.

ES: Yeah.
UC: also, you look bad ass swinging your staff around
UC: just saying

ES: Really?
ES: Those spins are pretty much just there to look impressive, rather than for any combat efficiency.

UC: well, that’s working, at least.
ES: Thanks.
ES: I’m going to let you play the game and save your life now.

UC: awesome
UC: ill talk to you once im in, okay?

ES: Okay.
ES: Bye.

-- eccentricStyle [ES] ceased pestering unorthodoxCreation [UC] at ??:?? --