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Strained Thread ~Fear of Hell~

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  1. 'I've told you before, Garian. I've warned you before about your fate, and your one-way journey...'


Do you understand where you are?

In the Underworld.


Do you understand why?

Because I am dead.


Do you remember why you are dead?

Bilan. I was killed by Bilan. He had escaped, and he had gotten into the Captain's Cabin. I ran inside just in time for me to save the Captain. He turned on me... I didn't have time to draw my sword before he pounced... oh crap, the entire ship's already dead... he could have gone anywhere... someone's got to warn the authorities...


It isn't the time for that at the moment, Garian. You won't be able to contact the outside world from where you are now. All that exists in this world, literally, is this room, myself, yourself and anything else that gets created in this room as we go along. Or did you expect to be able to pick up a phone in the Underworld? The ship is going down in five second's time. They aren't even going to be able to find the bodies. If you're lucky, someone might be praying for you.

I thought Jack might be able to do something. I wouldn't put it past him to be able to speak to the dead. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he came in flying in soon. I can never get rid of the little bastard.


Jack isn't here, Garian. This is the one place he can't follow you. Even if the bird died, he would be in his own Underworld, being judged on his own sins.

Sins. Yeah. I hope my soul's lighter than I think it is.


You don't fancy your chances? Don't worry. You will be judged fairly. I'll be weighing only your actions, the things that you actually did, and I'll give you time to explain them. If I can, I'll let you make up for them then and there. It'll be painful as all hell, but it won't actually mean you have to linger in hell for ages, taking up a perfectly good bed. How did you know this was the Underworld, by the way?

Um... I got it spoiled, let's say.


Someone warned you about it?

This guy on the boat. A prisoner. Saw him in a cage in Economy Class as I was running up to the Captain's Cabin. He said... something like 'This is a one-way trip' and 'You'll be following me to the River Styx'. I guess I made it across the Styx, 'cause I don't remember that bit. Unless that leaky old rustbucket was Charon's ferry. It always did kinda feel like it.


Do you remember him saying anything else?

He said I have a cursed destiny. Something about me being doomed to lose everyone I care about, over and over again. … That's not true, is it?


As if I would spoil your destiny for you. Who was the man that told you this, Garian?

His name was Musashi. Musashi Morganson.


Does he often know about things like this?

Yeah, he's got a bit of a reputation for knowing things he shouldn't. He dabbles in the occult. Some kind of prohibited ninja clan, even the Rajeens won't give him asylum. He's a nasty piece of work but Jailer's Island is a little extreme for him. It isn't like he can break out of a mainland maximum security prison. The Agency knows it's not just his crimes that got him to the Island. People who know things have gone to Jailer's Island for shoplifting before now.


What else can you tell me about people who know things?

Hell, there's such a scare about latent psychics these days, I worry that I'll get sent there myself for having weird dreams.


That isn't what I mean, Garian, although you should tell me about the dreams. Now tell me more about Musashi Morganson.

Um, what else is there to know? I was the one who arrested him, so he hates me, and if he was ever released he'd probably hunt me down and kill me. Except he's probably dead now. If Bilan didn't get him, he's probably drowned in that cage. Nasty way to go.


Do you feel responsible for the death of Musashi?

I suppose he wouldn't have been in that cage on that boat if it wasn't for me.


Garian, do you remember anything about the day you killed Musashi Morganson?

I don't know what you mean! I just told you, he's still in the cage!


Are sure you don't remember? Think hard, Garian. It's important that you remember all your sins if you want to expiate them. It can't be that hard to remember, it only happened today.

Geez, you sure sound like Jack when you harp on about nonsense. The only thing that happened today was that I got woken up by an alarm and an annoying bird, then I ran around a sinking ship like a moron, then I...


Why are you stopping? Did you remember something important?

No, I can't remember that bit at all. It keeps going blurry.


Blurry how?

You know when you don't remember whether something happened at all? I mean, I did have a really vivid dream last night and now I can't remember which things happened in the dream and which happened afterward...


Did something happen in the dream to do with Musashi?

Well, a lot of the things that happened when I woke up were also in the dream... I get these dreams sometimes, I worry about what happens when the Agency find out.... oh god, you don't think this whole thing on the boat was a set-up, do you?


I have no idea. I'm a ghost, not a Government official. Did you see Musashi in the dream?

He said he knew he was going to die, whether or not he made it to the Island. I thought he was talking about the rumour that the Warden executes people without authorisation, but...


How does Musashi really die?

It was me, in the dream. I killed him with my own sword.


Yes, you did. At least twice.

What do you mean, at least twice? Besides, there was a good reason! He was already possessed by Bilan, and he had taken a girl hostage... I think...


You're still not remembering right. You have to believe that what you remember is what really happened, and not rearrange it so that it makes sense, or you're just fooling yourself. It doesn't make any sense. Now, what can you tell me about other people who know what happened on that boat?