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divine retribution

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From one moment, the small world felt quiet, a lonely peace as an unformed pile of the black ichor and slime did a lot of nothing at all, the same nothing that the surroundings mimicked.

The next moment, the cold temperature and taste of holy metal was pulled against a half-formed neck, a body formed from the vague memorizations of humanoid forms seen so many times, too many times to get an exact feeling of what they looked like without having one in front of them. One hand formed like a mitten tugged the chain away from the neck, soon being restrained by another link forming from the same floor the first one had snuck upon Seek from, and with another hand forming that resembled five knifes sticking out from a rack, that, too, was immediately immobilized. A torso, formed the wrong way around out of such a rush to escape, pulled towards the sky, a last bid for breaking the chains, and one last rope of them pulled around, and then, all four at once pulling down towards the floor, and then through it.

The half-formed sludge slid through what was not a hole, what felt like its head being thrown against the floorboards, then being pulled through like the water in a sieve, and then a complete nothingness. The uncomprehensible surrounded Seek, but only for the few seconds it would take to bring Seek to what had reached it in the first place, and be placed standing on a nothing where the two would confront. In the midst of that nothing now stood two, the void that blending in with the nothing all around, and the Light. The Light wanted something, and with such a method as that, it had taken no effort to call Seek over for what would be the most uncomfortable talk to not remember at all.

Eyes glanced around the black of a small place that stood not in Hotel Nowhere or the Nowhere that Seek knew as territory, and then towards the light in front. A sphere that spun at a speed unseen to the entity's eyes, a cyan as bright as a God's shine, yet not bright enough to puncture the vantablack walls, and an impossible amount of wings that surrounded this shell, feathers made of trapezoid and triangle parts that glowed with the same strength as the sphere that the Light was. These wings kept it afloat without a single movement.

"Seek."

The Light had called, and with weary steps, it had called over its creation. An eyeball stared straight into a piercing white, no matter how much it hurt to stare into that bright. Something compelled it to -- it had free will for a reason, and this was not the best use of it.

"You've become used to the throws and the bends of what the outside world sends at you. Crafted a system on your very own to take care of them, utilizing yourself and what little of a body you have for your methods. Very well. I cannot fault you for your successes," the Light rambled on, a monotone, booming voice that centered itself, yet sounded like it came from all angles at once. After a lengthy pause, what was once praise now grew sour, continuing, "but you seem to have grown bored of this role. With that boredom comes circling the boundaries, sticking first a finger out of the bars, then a hand, and then trying to break yourself free. Now, you haven't gotten to that last step yet, and you shouldn't, because otherwise this would become a lot worse than it already has, but I must set you back on the path."

Anxiety grew like a stem within Seek, trying to grasp at corners of memories blended to piece together what had led to this. Stepping off a path? What path? It could not stand there like a solider all day. No matter how mindless it seemed in the thrill of the hunt, there was still somebody there within that ooze. A somebody who searched for people to be with -- it had made...something out of those other entities. Bonds. Bonds that felt like the humans they weren't. It searched for answers, knowledge, anything to paint the grim wallpapers that had sunk from the walls to now decorate Seek's mental canvas with a variation from what had, in Light's correct assumptions, become mundane patterns. Anything to starve off a rot that would turn Seek into just another monster, no matter how monstrous it already was. A feeling of denial of such monstrosity, because even if it was that monster, it had something within, a soul or a brain or whatever concept gave it that life and sentience to be exercised and used. It was not the mindless animal of a knight's horse that only knew to defend. It was something. Seek was something.

Did the Light not want Seek to be something?

The Light interrupted the stream of consciousness, "You seem to be having trouble remembering where exactly you had stepped away from my radiance. Allow me to..."

A boom like the explosion of flames, and Seek's traveling thoughts of sentience philosophy were turned into the recalling of a memory.


It had only taken a second of distraction for that pleading, clumsy tourist to nearly escape the hands that pulled it towards the edge of the window's pane, dragging limbs against shattered glass, yet a body about to fall into the same glass being retightened into a grip of the entity that had taken it. Something around its neck had caught Seek's attention, leaving this trespasser to dangle. It wanted a closer look.

Another reaching hand dissolved from the window, traveling across the hallway to in front of the hand that stayed, forming into that same abstract humanoid form that never looked the part of what humans were. A single eye remained without a blink, observing that small part that left the trespasser to struggle within a grip that tightened much harder after the almost-slip. A necklace decorated with fine, shiny rocks, blues and purples that shimmered across the dim lights, and at the center across this person's chest, a much larger, much shinier rock, saturated with lavender hue, jagged edges that Seek slipped a malformed hand across, taking in the small bits of beauty.

"Just kill me already!" the trespasser pleaded.

"...No. Not yet. Tell me about this," Seek gurgled out. Those words sounded so much worse in front of the trespassers. The entities had no trouble understanding a speech mumbled and stuttered through the harsh substance, but somebody who only came in for a scare and would hopefully never exit the place to tell those campfire tales was another story, but it seemed to have understood what Seek had meant. A monster's curiosity.

And so she spoke, with a knowledge that Seek had never even heard of, yet tuned into like a favorite song on the a radio that would never work in such a place as this. It went from the necklace to the crystals in general. What Seek had never seen was easily seen in the mind's eye with such a poetic knowledge, and then to a few other topics about the outside world that Seek had asked about. They still lingered in the head sometimes -- a place that would never be stepped into, but was sometimes toyed around with the idea of belonging in. With such a gift as that knowledge and information and everything, Seek had strayed from the usual ending to a tourist's life.

That human was placed gently onto the carpet, given a quick shove towards the end of the hallway, and a final farewell was shared.


It had strayed from dealing with that thread, having been bartered with such a weakness as the natural curiosity.

"Do you understand now? Putting all of you--" the Light stopped. What was it to call the entities, anyways? Things? People? ...Guys? None of these worked. The word was omitted all together, and then, the sentenced paced onward, "in danger. You had let yourself slip so far."

Seek already had an answer to the questions the Light had in mind towards why that had happened, retorting, "The others of us would have taken care of them. I saw that necklace somewhere other than their throat -- dead. It would've happened either way. Am I not allowed this sense of wonder?"

"Would you like to know where this sense of curiosity had led you before?" the Light asked. Seek had answered none of what the Light had planned, and these plans would not be in Seek's best favor. To hell with what it felt. It needed to be reminded of something.

Another noise, this one much lighter, which did not set the stage at all for what was to become of Seek's memory, another one playing through.


No, wait, that isn't me. Who's eyes are these?

Where is this?

Those eyes Seek saw through were blinded by the flood of a black ink.

No. Let this stop. Think of anything else.

My throat burns.

Wait, that isn't my throat. Who's throat is that?

It can't be.

Fading into the void, the feeling of being seen by everything at once...Ah. There I go.

I?

Who is this?


A snap of the wings with the sounds of nonexistent bones crunching and melting into dust, the wings stretching out, and like a simple push of the button, the memory was not only tossed to the side, but crumpled up into a little ball of garbage and disposed of. There was no use for letting Seek hang onto what it once was, only to frighten it into remaining as it were. The memory was gone, and it would sink away into the waters, and never be thought of again, but the emotions from such a recall still floated through. It had left Seek catatonic, standing in that nothingness in front of the everything the Light was and knew. Hands balled into fists had dropped limp. It grew hard to stand, only staring into the white with an expression that would be blank if not covered in dread for nothing. It didn't know what made it feel so uneasy in front of the Light, and that only brought the fear forward.

Seek stepped back, but the Light was not done yet. Almost, but there was one more thing.

"Just do what you need to do, and do not speak of this."

The wings fluttered, and Seek emerged into the reception room, a torrent of slime pouring from the drawer behind the desk and shoving Seek outside of it. There was nobody there, but it still felt odd that it was there in the first place. It couldn't recall how it had gotten here, either. Trying to trace back to where it was before led to dead ends. Seek was just...there. It couldn't tell if it wanted to be anywhere else.

Wiped. Whatever had happened was no more, but the feeling still lingered of a dread for the past, and something that would never be taken from the grave it now rested at felt like a very good, yet very mindless reason to go back to where it belonged.

In the very moment, and in an awful fugue it had emerged into this world into, a shifting wave of black ichor and slime made its way through the hotel.