Many That Live.
Everything hurt. She was hurt. Every part of her felt twisted and off and wrong, even if she wasn’t sure what untwisted and on and right was.
Flying felt better, though. Felt less wrong. More together.
Blurry lights and shapes passed below her. She knew, vaguely, that they’d been sharper before. Her eyes didn’t like moving, now. Moving her whole head was easier. Everything still had a blur, though. And a color. Gold. Like looking through gold… something. Something that… flowed. She craned her neck to look behind her, at the large flat plane beyond the shapes and lights. Gold that.
The wind didn’t feel right. She wasn’t sure what right was, but she knew that it wasn’t this. Wind was supposed to be… supposed to be…
Flying. That felt right.
She could feel the golden light. Not the same as her other parts, but there. It didn’t hurt like the soft parts did, but it was wrong. Bad. Didn’t fit. She tried clawing it out, but the motion made her lose her balance and sent her spiralling downwards, towards a stream of light.
She crashed into the ground, tumbling over and over. The lights flashed all around her, some changing color and growing brighter. She tried getting back up, but her limbs weren’t working properly, and she staggered and fell on top of some of the lights. The impact made her soft parts scream with pain, and she roared, lashing out around her and sending more of the lights spinning away. Hurts, hurts hurts hurts.
Something rammed into one of her legs as she was getting back up. She barely felt it, the affected limb being almost all light. The crunching vibrations it sent rippling through did feel strange though, so she kicked it away.
So much noise. The shrill, warbling sounds that the blurry shapes were making, the screeching, tearing sounds as she moved, the blaring artificial blasts of sound. She tried drowning it out by roaring, but that just made them even worse. She just wanted to get away, but every direction she turned, there was just-
A spire of lights in the distance, rising up above the others. That was safe. She knew it. She just had to get there.
Wings. She had wings. It was hard to remember things, or focus on them. An experimental flap lifted her off the ground, but one caught on something and sent her careening to the side. Another hasty flap stabilized her, and she was flying again, to… to…
Home. The… tall thing. She knew the name, knew she knew it, but she didn’t know it.
The lights were glowing brighter now. She was getting close. She’d be safe and calm and she’d be able to remember things, focus on things-
Something inside her buzzed. Somewhere in her head. It was muted and faint, but she could still feel it. Clawing at her head yielded no results; even if it wasn’t deep in there, her claws didn’t hurt her at all. She thrashed in the air, somehow remaining aloft, and after a few more moments it ceased, leaving her in silence.
The sound came from behind her, an incomprehensible mess that she knew she should be able to understand.
“W̴̧̛̯̣̗̥̗̄̀̂́́̓̈́̉͊̾̀̚̚̕a̴̢̢̭̩̭̤̘̜̓͒̔̀̈͑̇͘͜i̶͇͓̟̬̍̽̎̀͗͌̇͆͆̃̍̆͠͝͠ẗ̶̨͙̺͔̩͇̜̞͎͚̯́͌̀̓,̶̛͔̫̳̪̻͂̌̑͜ͅ ̸̧̢̛̦͖̭̹̼̗̖̝̝̫̪̤̌P̵̪̜̤̰̠͇͎͔̾̓̉ấ̸̧̜̘̭̹̎̇̄̽̈́͐̑̋̽̉̚͠͠l̴̢͉̗͉̜̦̖͚͓̱͐͆̿̐͂͋̇̍͒̀̐̃͘͜͝ͅa̷̖̩̹̞̪̎͑̇͠ͅd̷̬͉̭̩͎̗̀̇̉͘ī̶̡̠̪͚͉̙̂͊͋̐̿̃̎̚ͅň̴̟̉͝?̷̡͎̯̘̓͊̈̈́̑̐̂̚̚̚ ̶̲̹͙̫̜̥̱͚͈̮̮̝̉̋̍̓̍͌̀͋̈́̿͑͂̕͜͝͝Ẁ̸̜̂̈͋͋͋̀̓̀̇̂͝͝ḩ̵̡̥̙͇͇̳̩͇̤̜̣̳̼̽̓̒̍̑a̸̱̜̞̻̾̿̚t̸͚̭̜́̌̌͋̐́͂̿̐̔̔̊̓͝.̷͖͇̽͛̅͊͂.̴̧̖̳̭͖̳̝̹̱̐̽̎̆͑̆̓̋̀͜͝ͅ.̴̝̪͉̖͇͖͔̻̜̞̬̼̗͓̓̋͆̂̃͋̄̇͋̓͆̿̕͝͠ͅ ̵̢̝̼̜̫͖̝͕̙͓͚̅̔̈́̈́̓h̶̗͍̩̩͔̩͉͖̘̣̲́̂̔̎̀́̽̆̈́͌̑̆̒̕͜a̸̧̼͕̝̞̤͚̮̪̮͉͕͋́͆͋p̵̡̯̜̠̠̫̻̱̰̼̘͕͒̍͊̌̓̌̋̎͆̒̽̈̋̍͝p̵̞̲͈̟̄ͅe̸̢̢̦̙̱͑͊̋̈̇͆̏̉͌͘͠͝ṇ̸̹͉̹̾́͊ȩ̵͔̩̘̝͚͙̤̟͔̯͚̣̮̙̄͂̂̇̑̍̆̌̐͌͝ḑ̵̹͇̹̬̤͍̦̞̯͚̥̯̜͇̈́̆̈́̃͊͆͑͑ ̶̝͙̗̭̦̬̘̣̲̌̋̑̔̇̃̇̎̔̇͛͆̉̒̚͜͜t̷̛̟̝͙͖̜͍̺͖͑͋̇̀͂͊̐̀̊́̈̚͠͠ǫ̴̢̬̹͔̝̰͚͛̀̇̀̑̚ ̸̡͕͚̩̪̣̮͙͔̯̖͚̻̳̾̂̓͒̈́̉ý̸̛̥̬̤͛̏̏̓̕ơ̷̟̥̤̤̹͖̟̖̈́ụ̶̺̬̪̭͇̻͇̻̪̈́́́̀̔͌͐̈̀͘?̸̥͖̦̫͔̟̫̲̪̟͛̿̌̽͠
A blob appeared in front of her, silver and blue. Surrounding it, though, was a glaringly bright corona of light, that burned her eyes and felt like it was chewing through her skin. She screamed, and shot towards it.
"̷͚̬̀͂͝P̵̛̺͚̯̾̇̒̇́̊͘͜͝͝͠a̵̢̹̖̲̼͇͔̓̂̎̀̐̅̍͆̆̐ĺ̴̢̡͓̈́̈́͆͘͝ͅa̸̡̨̰̝̩̞̙͔͚̱͌͐̌ḑ̷̢̘̱̗̯̠̆̈́͊͂͌̅̋̚͘̕͘ͅi̴̡̹̬͔̘͙̹͖̩̝̲̓͋̓̾̓͜͝ņ̴͔͇̱͎̹͇̲̞̯̝̠͎͆͆́̾̏̈̾̀̋̔͐͜ͅ!̸̦̝̣̣̠̻̲͎̗̏̐͆͐͝"̷̡̢͖̘̗͙̭̈͜͝ the blob yelled, shooting away from her. “̵̢̻̹̩͙̜̭̘̺̯͇̬̎̃̈́̈́̉̓̌̒̐̋D̶̢̯̩̯̺̦͔̦͒͒̊̌̏̈ī̸̡̞̼̲̰̼͕͙͖͕̦̠̲̑͗͒̚s̸̛̖̯͒̂͒̎p̸̩͍̖̂̏͋̎̂͆͌͑a̶̡̡̻̺̭̻̺̤͚̩̿̃͛͆͌͗̋͗̂̄͗̒͜͝͠t̷͎̹̭͖̱̬͂ć̸͍̹̤̽̑̽̿̐̾͘h̴͚̺̰̘̫͇̟̽̂̇̓̚,̵̢̡̝̳̪͕͍̜̪̩͖̒̉̒̑͆̍͐͊̓̾ ̴̫̉Ǐ̶̧̟̲̣͇̰̺͔̝͍͓̜͔̫ͅ ̵̛̯̜̫̰͕̿͌̿́͌̏̓̿͐͆̎̚͝n̵̡̛̳̹͚̗̗̠͉͈͈͖̫͛̋̿̊̓̀̄͗͋͂͂̄͘͜ͅe̴̝̐̓̾e̷̺̩͆͊̾̈́̂͋̊̒͗̈́͛ḑ̷̙̬̞̤͈̳̲͉̱́ ̶̠͍̻̅̌h̷̨̛͈͔̗̗͇͖̋̇̋̓̕͝e̵̩̮̬̼͖̣͇͖͖̩̹̊͑͐̓͗͋̂̏̈̅̿ͅl̵̡͓̝̬͎̲̠̠̫̻̘̘̥̘̍͑̏͋̅̂͗̒p̷̡̧̲͉̯͓̜̮̮̺̯̺̬̂̑̇̌̇͐͐̚͘͠͝ͅ ̴̧̖̠̳̱͓̹͉̝̞͈͗͐́̌̋̊͒̇͝o̵͇̪͒̏̂̏̄̈u̵̦͙̬͛̓̃̓̒́̄͑̏͂̾͘t̴̞̽̍͋̒̃̐̔͊̈̑̓͆͘̕̕ ̶̠̞̯͊h̵̖̪̱̖̲̰̙͓̬͍͍̑̆̔̈ͅe̵͙̪̿̆͊̈͂͛͜ͅṙ̷̡̧̛̭̼̝͉͇̣̘͚̘̲̠̾̀̐̒͂̏͜͠e̷̬̥̜̍͆͛̐̅̆̃̊̚͝.̵̞̯͉͈̞̔̋̀͗́ ̷̛̘̘̼͈̦̤͇̩͔̤̯͎͌͊̇̓̐́́͗̂̿͛̕͜S̷̨̡̲̭̜̯͎̖̟̼̦͐̊̂͋͝ͅȍ̸͉̠͕̀͝m̵̡̧̡̤̹͌̇̏̿͋̋̾̍͊̈́͌͝ȩ̶͖̰̳̣̱̦͈͔̺͚̥̱̠͒̏̉͌͜͝t̶̨̯̞̲̠͈͖̏̾͋̎́́̈́͐̀̽͆͘͝͠͝ḫ̶̢̧̛̠̙͎̹̮̤̫̳̣͇͒͗͗̋̕͘͜͠͝͝ĩ̵̢̖̦̫͎̼̭͙̼̼̭̤̱̀́̈́̽͝n̴̨̹̖̺͇͇̱͔͕̙̟̞̞̜͋̎͛͂̾̒̆̎̋̉̃̕̕͘͝g̴̠͙̙̮̙̝͂͊̆͂̆͑͜’̸͓̉̐͐̊̃̅̿̎̾ş̷̤͎̦͉͓̘͈͚͍͉̠̣̻͛͂͆͗̐̽͜͠ ̴̢̘̘̺̈́̽̈́͋͗͋̊͐̆͐̀̂͌̒h̵̛̘̹̩̖̞͎̯̭̱̑͐̒͛͒̔̂́͐̎͑͜ȃ̵̬͖͋p̴̺̤͈̝͇̤̬̤̼̣̱̐̀̿̿͌͂̕͜͠͠͠͝͠͠ͅp̸̢͇̜̲̻̬̳͙̯̱͕̊̇̀̔͛̈̈́̒̕̚̕͝e̶̳̦̠̖̫̽̆̄̄̃̎͘n̶̦̙̱̦̭̬̈́̋̽̇ḛ̷͈͚̮̽̌̕d̷̡̰̤̭͓̻͒̔͒͘ ̸̨̨̛̛̮͓̖̟̳͖͉̩̺̉̊͊̅̑̀͋̌̃͝t̸͎̖̭̝͎̠̣̺̞͕͎̘̟̀̾͋̎̂̽̔̀͋͗͐ͅo̶͎͚͓͍͔̺̥̻͙̠̙̙̲̬͋̓ ̷̧̱̹̳͎̱̺͉̙̪̤̬̙̦͋̅̑͌͛̋̿͐̕͜P̴̰̯̠̑͆͜ā̷̛̹̳̳̎̒͂͂l̵̟̦̯͓̝̠̗̞̠̦̘̇̊̌̀͗͛͛a̷̮͗͒́ḓ̸͉̣̩̭̎̀̈̃̓̍̑͝i̸̧̐͋͛̂n̶͎͈̣͚̼͐̌̑́̇̾̈́̋̔̄̕͘͜͝͝͝,̵̨͖̮̝̳̦̎̔̂͗́͋ ̵̢̪͍̬͔̼̺̗̳̣̞̠́͒̅͒̃̿̋͊̽̐͊͘͜͠â̴̛̲̠̠̜̠͗̆̈́̿̇͂͂͗̓̈́̑ͅn̸͓̫̞̜̓̄̃̓̐̄͋̆̈́̇͘͜d̸̛̫̞̻͇̙̀͐̌̏̏̊̆̍̉ ̵̳͔͈̬̰̭̮̱̱͚̻̻̬̠̋͘s̵̢̱̪̩̭̙̤̹̎͑̒̽̋͘ͅḩ̷̙̼͚̙̼̠͔̝̰͎̫͗̋͗͛̓͋̋̄̕ẹ̴͕̺̻̼͓̩̜̇̀͑͊͌̽̃͝’̸̡̤͙͔͎̙̼̹͖̪̻̬̞̉̈́̈́̌̈́͊͑̒͜͝s̵̡̰̺̳̺͔͓̖͈̳̩͈͓̩̘̅͂̋̂̋͗͐͒̚͠-̷̛̗̙̫̮̤̙̃̉̍̐̃̏̅͊̐̿͝͠ͅ”̷̨̱̾̒̀̊͐̓
She caught up to it, the light searing through her form, and swatted it out of the sky. It screamed, but the sound quickly faded away as it fell below her. There. That was be-
Her form contorted, the light shifting and expanding, new protrusions tearing through and out of her. The pain swallowed her, until she could focus on nothing else, and her vision quickly became indistinct, filled with spinning lights and blobs that came closer and closer-
Then everything was grey for a while. As the pain lessened, but didn’t disappear, she found herself surrounded by screaming blobs, and bigger, squarer blobs rising up all around her. The safe lights were close now, directly ahead, but when she tried to lift off again, she tipped to one side and crashed back down. One of the wings was larger now, unbalanced.
Just needed to get there.
She started moving forward, every movement sending jabs of agony through her. When she looked up at the spire again, more of the burning lights were descending on her. She growled as they grew brighter, and once they grew close enough she launched herself into the air, through their group. They went flying, scattering, some of the lights immediately snuffing out, the others flickering. She landed on a straight row of lights, making more of the crunching noises and blaring alarms, but she did her best and ignored them, trudging forward.
Just needed to get there.
Just needed to get there.
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