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beneath your armor is eternity waiting

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(you put a fever inside me
and I've been cold since you left.)





He bids it, and it is so.

The acquisition of his new vessel takes time but He is patient - after all, the vessel has nowhere to go. Both body and soul have now been rendered immortal and the humans are at his command, ready for his grand awakening. He will lead them to the new world, free of Etro and his cursed Mother. Free of their memories and the weight of them, they will be a species worthy of granting him worship.

Bhunivelze no longer sleeps but dreams instead. He had always dreamt of the Door to wretched Valhalla but now there is a figure there, on the edge of his consciousness. It lingers like a phantom, rose haired and female. He cannot see its face and the fact makes him anxious - is it his daughter, back from the dead for her revenge? Is it his mother, crooning her sad song of silence?

His vessel fights within him, the soul of the man an iron will that refuses to be tempered. Bhunivelze amuses himself with the attempts, until the man has turned small and pliable to his presence. It is a lengthy process, one which Bhunivelze marks with the progress the humans have made on wild Pulse. There are cities looming tall from the earth now, no doubt helped along by his fal'Cie child. Oh, how traitorous humankind is even to their own beliefs.

Bhunivelze dreams of the new world, a world in which there is no suffering. A world guided by His divine will and the phantom, rose haired and gentle—

This is not his dream. The soul inside of him churns, wanting. Oh, how it suddenly wants and Bhunivelze has a moment (an eternity, a split second) of realization that it is his vessel's dreaming before the mirage around him splinters. The phantom appears in all her glory, marble cut and fierce and loving: human-warrior-goddess, with eyes the shade of Mwynn's sky and a cascade of feathers concealing her armor. Oh, he knows her, this damned guardian of Etro's and suddenly how he wants her at his side, his new goddess to the new world—

He rushes in his desire and awakens her from her crystal sleep, cradling her gently in his vessel's arms as he carries her body into the Ark. He traces one finger down the side of her sleeping face and Bhunivelze feels broken in that moment, a splintering of his being as the human soul inside of him yearns. His body begins to tremble and God flees into the abyss of Cosmogenesis, uncertain for the first time in his existence at the swelling of alien emotions rising within him. They are a plague, an infestation, a weakness!

But she resists him, this human-warrior-goddess that he has stolen from his dead daughter. Bhunivelze rages at the mere thought of her refusal to him. Why does she fight him? Does she not love him? Is he not good enough, not benevolent enough?

The soul inside of him looms with satisfaction. She will never be yours, the man tells him and Bhunivelze hangs him up for an eternity within the cosmos, an angry rebuke at his lips:

She will never be yours, either!

And then, as the anger fades and the realization sets in:

What have you done to me, human?

God howls with rage and the universe trembles. The new world will be achieved! He tells the soul of the man he has taken - the brilliant, shining light already guiding humanity to their future, so perfect for his plans that Bhunivelze could not have resisted. And the Goddess will be mine, eternally at my side!

The man laughs and gazes at God's face, broken and defeated. His eyes are young with age but ancient with time, shining with knowledge Bhunivelze has never obtained. She will never be yours, he repeats himself, lips quirked in a smile that belies his voice's tone. She's out of your reach. I would know. I am you now and so she will never belong to us. She never has. All this work - futile. He pauses, and his lips pull back in a smirk. The teeth behind them are bloodied. But you watch her burn and take everything you value down with her.

(Love, the human he has taken tells him. This is love, and it is more merciless than anything a God can ever inflict.)