Log:A Husk No More
It was six agonizing days, a Hell in of itself for Pierce due to the fact that he couldn’t do a damn thing even though his mind was still alive. He couldn’t even move his eyes to shift his gaze, to look at those around him. How helpless he felt when he was a man of action while he lived in Prosperity, and how helpless his loved ones must felt not being able to do anything for him. Belphagor’s challenge though easy to perform, resulted in incredible suffering. It took six days before his mind slowly faded and succumbed to the darkness that was ever encroaching, claiming all of him.
But it was not the end, because slowly his consciousness returns, as if waking from a very, very long dream. Eyes open in very narrow slits, he is greeted with darkness. However, when he moves his arms just barely out of reflex, it surprises himas the last thing he recalled was being locked away in the prison of his own mind. Then the lights turn on, albeit very dimly as if those who designed the place knew how to welcome one who has returned. Turning his head slightly, recognition slams back into him, he is back in that damned Facility and in his perfect little room.
Despair fills him for a moment as if he had shifted from one Hell into another, neither he was able to escape from though the one in Prosperity had a limited duration despite it feeling like an eternity. His body and mind, however, are still disjointed, as if they were two long lost friends that are still slowly getting reacquainted. The Defender was more than happy to stay in the soft, comfortable bed and soon enough, he croaks out, “Lights off.” And off they go.
The next time he wakes, he doesn’t know if a day has passed, or if it can even be called a day. But the Defender feels a bit more alert, his body more responsive. Once again the lights turn on but instead of staying in bed, he pulls the sheets away and sits up. Looking to the side where the pitcher of water on the tray sits, he pours himself a glass of water. While he drinks, he looks around his room again and gaze suddenly stops short as it settles on the opposite nightstand.
The handmade picture book, an item the Defender recognizes immediately. A smile slowly appears, one that is a mix of happiness and sadness. “Never got to say sorry…” Words of regret murmured to no one. Draining the rest of the water in the glass, he sets the empty vessel down next to the memento and picks up the picture book. The bittersweet smile returns as he reads, something he was incapable of doing in his most recent life. “The Adventures of Star-Crossed Lovers,” He begins, reading it silently out loud to himself, the title that he gave to the book that Eilis made.
“Pierce and Eilis meet.” He flips a page, “Eilis makes Pierce smile.” Another page, “Pierce and Eilis drink and talk.” And another, “Pierce and Eilis play a game.” Another turn, “Pierce punches a man,” That causes him to laugh lightly, shaking his head, “Eilis swoons.” Then, “Pierce and Eilis look at stars.” and, Pierce and Eilis dance.” Turn, “Pierce and Eilis hug.” Turn, “Pierce and Eilis ride a horse.” Turn, “Pierce and Eilis fight monsters.” One more, “Pierce and Eilis kiss.” And finally, to the last page, “Pierce and Eilis go on a boat.” That last page has the Defender shaking his head slightly.
With a sigh, The Defender closes it and puts it back on the nightstand and slips off of his bed. There are people he needs to talk to outside, if it is the same as the last time he was here. So he goes through the usual motions as before, though with a heavier heart today. He showers, cleans himself up, shaves to look presentable as before, then opens up the walk-in closet. There is a pause before he picks out his usual outfit, his gaze looking over the new outfit that has appeared, one very similar to what Pierce wore in Prosperity. But only a gaze was given and soon he is in the usual buttoned up collared white shirt, black slacks, black shoes. One last check in the full length mirror and he heads to the door, to see what has changed.