Bugbear in the Playground
Re: Heroes of the Fall
Part 2: Deja Vu
Roselia did not recieve the same comforts as her other fallen bretheren. Like Lossethir, she arrived in a frozen wasteland. Unlike Lossethir, she was saved only by the fact that the spirit had been courteous enough to deposit her in a cave, where she would not simply die to frostbite and the creatures skittering upon the ice. Even then, things seemed grim for the beloved daughter of the White City: the speed of the Spirit of Haste had allowed her to escape the horror that had attacked her father, an unfortunate concussion along the way had left her unconscious.
Now, however, she awoke. A pair of blue eyes flickered open to an unfamiliar ceiling, lit only by the viridian luminescence of the mossy coating upon the walls, and the muted sound of a gasp escaped into the chilling underground air. She was alone. For the first time in her life, she was truly alone. Father couldn't watch over her here, and most of her siblings were far away - NO!
Something was very wrong here. This image, it seemed familiar, if barely. Like a construct of her imagination, or a nightmare of her own consciousness.
She reached outward with one hand, and felt the ground. It seemed real, but there was definitely something... ...off about it. It seemed too light and soft, like it very well might give way if one pushed hard enough. In fact, it was not unlike that creation of Rumel's. What did he call it, anyway? Steerofoam? Spymalone? Styroclone? Something like that, anyway. The point is, it felt wrong. All of this felt wrong. What was true? What was illusion? Why the Jongo did Roselia feel so lightheaded?
No, she couldn't fall into unconsciousness now! She struggled on the edge of succumbing to that blissful, endless sleep, finally managing to lift her body from the ground once again. Looking once again at her surroundings with full wakefulness, Roselia could see the sheer falseness now. What veil must have been upon her mind to not see it the first time through? Even now, it might have fooled a lesser mind, but she had spent her life creating illusions: If anyone was qualified to see through an illusion, it was her.
In all honesty, this fact made the illusion even more terrifying: She could sense how wrong this cave was, but she couldn't see what lies behind it. It was a feeling somewhat like being in a white box from birth, knowing that there is a world outside, but not what that world looks like. It's an altogether terrible feeling, knowing that there's something vital being hidden from you, and that you are powerless to stop it.
Roselia, like any proper godling, quickly resolved that she needed to escape from this horrid place. Sitting down again and thinking, she spread her current belongings out. Not much, really: A hairbrush, a small mirror (she wasn't especially vain, but it never hurts to be able to check one's appearance at a banquet), and a butterknife that she continued to hold onto even as the Spirit of Haste made off with her. She sighed, and spoke aloud for the first time since waking up.
"Nothing useful. Of course."
Glancing forward, she spotted something else that she hadn't the first time. Upon the glowing moss, there was a thin white crack: a hole in the illusion that trapped her. Hopeful again, she took her butterknife and thrust it into the space, then attempted to tear the hole wider. It complied, and the entire section of the wall tore like a sheet of paper. It was easy. Too easy, really. Nothing, however, could have prepared Roselia for what waited on the other side of the wall.