The Land Called Myself
The two fugitives met in a back alley, far away from were the crowd thought to look. Though still, the sound of their mad ravings carried through the cold night’s air as it began to rain.
“You’ve got the blood, then?” She asked.
“𝕐𝕖𝕤. 𝕀 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕙𝕠𝕡𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕓𝕠𝕪 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕓𝕖 𝕒𝕝𝕣𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥.” Genesis responded wearily.
“With your arm gone, I assumed you tried to fight him.”
“𝕀 𝕘𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕚𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕙𝕚𝕞, 𝕒𝕤 𝕒 𝕤𝕞𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕘𝕚𝕗𝕥. ℍ𝕖’𝕝𝕝 𝕟𝕖𝕖𝕕 𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕡 𝕙𝕖 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕘𝕖𝕥 𝕟𝕠𝕨.”
“Is that so…” she tried to see through the clouds, letting the droplets of their weather hit her face. “Genesis… you really do seem to possess it within you. A conviction stronger than many of those who do hold a soul. I was interested before… but now I just have to see where this turns out! Who knows what might become of you at this rate. If you ask me… you’re more deserving of a soul than anyone in that pathetic town, that’s for sure.”
“𝕐𝕖𝕤, 𝕒𝕓𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥… 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕖𝕩𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕝𝕪 𝕚𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕡𝕝𝕒𝕟 𝕥𝕠 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕢𝕦𝕚𝕣𝕖 𝕒 𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕝 𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕨𝕖 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕠𝕕?”
“Well… you really leave me with no other choice. I’ll have to break one of my personal rules and meet back up with someone I left on my travels long ago. I never, ever return to people whose time with me has expired… that’s just how I am. But, this one’s the only person in the world I think could help you, so …I’ll have to make an exception, just this once.”
“𝕀 𝕞𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕜 𝕪𝕠𝕦. ℝ𝕖𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕪.”
“Still… out of all the travelers I’ve known…”
Out of the blue, the sound of a puddle bursting let out from around the corner as a booted foot stepped through it.
“Who goes there?” Makara lifted her inoperable weapon, wielding it as a makeshift spear. The footsteps gently drew nearer until he rounded the corner. His face was jolly, yet a subtle somberness encompassed it as he looked upon the two.
A very wet, very tired, but nonetheless jolly Dr. Redmond.
“𝔻𝕠𝕔𝕥𝕠𝕣…” The machine spoke like a child again.
“My… creation. …It seems that finally we have… both left that nest. I am… scared, being out here again after so long. The cold, cold rain… not to mention the goblins called people… but, despite it all, I feel… alive. More than I have in a long, long time.”
“𝕀… 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥… 𝕥𝕠 𝕤𝕒𝕪.”
“You don’t have to say anything. That’s my job today. I have to say something to you that I should have said much, much earlier, my creation.”
“I am so, so terribly sorry.”
“I was a coward.”
“I used you… for my own happiness, never considering your own feelings. For when does a creator ask whether or not his creations wish to be created? I suppose it is the same either way. Perhaps I was a suitable creator… but I have been a terrible father. I caused you to hate yourself. Caused you to run away. Now look at you. You’ve completely ruined my design. Lost a whole limb already. You don’t look like my creation anymore. Now that you’ve finally been exposed to this world… you only look like you.”
Dr. Redmond turned to the tall warrior princess slouched against a wall.
“Are you… a friend? A friend to this one you see before you?”
The monster slowly smiled .
“…yes, I believe so. …I’m Genesis’ friend.”
“A name… that’s… wonderful.”
“𝕊𝕠𝕠𝕟… 𝕀 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕖. 𝔹𝕖𝕗𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕝𝕠𝕟𝕘… 𝕀’𝕝𝕝 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕞𝕪 𝕠𝕨𝕟 𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕝…. 𝔽𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣. 𝔸𝕟𝕕 𝕀’𝕝𝕝 𝕓𝕖… 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕪.”
The doctor’s eyes filled with tears as clear as the faint rain that now began to dissipate. As the sun prodded through the clouds, Makara put away her saw and took her back off the slick wall.
“My name is Makara Qulgot. I’m the one helping Genesis find a soul.”
“Hm. A troll? I have… never met one in person before. You’re… different than I thought you would be.”
“Nah, I’m exactly what you think I am. I just look prettier than in the picture books.”
“Fair… that said… you know, I must say. Even though I have done nothing to antagonize you, I feel a certain wrongness in me now. It’s just… the way I was raised, I never thought I’d be engaging in friendly conversation with a troll.”
“Yeah, yeah. You wanna come with us? We’ll be seeing a lot of things that most scientists would run away from soon, but you seem like the type who might want to stay and watch.”
“Indeed I am.”
“Then you may as well stick with us. What do you think, Genesis?”
They nodded happily. Even in this short stretch of time, even though all of their bad memories had yet to fade… they had still missed Doctor Redmond, the only family they’d ever known.
“Excellent. Very excellent, my dear Genesis. Now, I understand you two haven’t had much luck with the locals. How about we spend the night at my cabin? Ms. Qulgot, I think I could fix that strange weapon of yours in my lab if you let me take a look at it. And… er, Genesis… I think I’d like you to make your own arm. To replace the old one. Would that be alright with you all?”
“Yes, I think that will do just fine. This old man might be useful after all, don’t you think, Genesis?”
Their laugh was no longer very much different from that of a human’s.
It was nice for Genesis, being back home with a clear head. This place of discomfort was also a place of familiarity, after all, and now, with an end to the pain in sight… it was bearable. Happy even. They knew they wouldn’t be here long, but that only let them enjoy the time spent there even more. And though they now knew it would never go away without a soul to call their own… that aching they felt deep inside was still a bit softer with two allies on their side.
It felt like no time at all before morning came.
It was a very loud morning, as well.
“Oho, I see!”
“N-now don’t set that off in the house-“
“Aha- haha- 𝓞𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸~!”
“Not the table…!”
After clearing up a mess of dust and scrap wood, the doctor paid a visit to Genesis.
“How’s the arm going?”
“𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕀’𝕧𝕖 𝕞𝕒𝕕𝕖 𝕤𝕠 𝕗𝕒𝕣… 𝕚𝕥 𝕕𝕠𝕖𝕤𝕟’𝕥 𝕗𝕖𝕖𝕝 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕤𝕒𝕞𝕖. 𝕀𝕥’𝕤… 𝕤𝕜𝕖𝕨𝕖𝕕, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕚𝕥 𝕕𝕠𝕖𝕤𝕟’𝕥 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕜 𝕢𝕦𝕚𝕥𝕖 𝕣𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥. 𝔽𝕠𝕣 𝕒𝕤 𝕞𝕦𝕔𝕙 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨𝕝𝕖𝕕𝕘𝕖 𝕒𝕤 𝕀 𝕘𝕠𝕥 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕪𝕠𝕦… 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕟𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕒𝕦𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕥𝕠 𝕓𝕖 𝕢𝕦𝕚𝕥𝕖 𝕒𝕤 “𝕤𝕞𝕒𝕣𝕥” 𝕒𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖.”
“Nobody can teach you how to be “smart.” You must simply grow to embody it.” The doctor smirked. “Now tell me… did you really try to make something you yourself liked, or were you just attempting to emulate my design?”
“𝕀𝕥’𝕤 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕝𝕚𝕜𝕖 𝕀’𝕧𝕖 𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕞𝕪 𝕒𝕣𝕞 𝕒𝕤 𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕀 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 “𝕝𝕚𝕜𝕖.” 𝕀𝕥’𝕤 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕒𝕟 𝕒𝕣𝕞.”
“It’s your arm. And it’s a tool you use to create people’s perceptions of you. You should build it for your own purposes, even if it ends up as a heap of rust. You may not realize this, but most people feel quite happy about the things that make up “them.” You deserve to feel that too. It’s a basic necessity, not a privilege. At the end of the day… I think only you can build your own arm.”
“𝕀’𝕝𝕝… 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕜 𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕕, 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕟.”
As Genesis spoke, Makara entered, joining the family in their discussion.
“How do you want your arm to look, Genesis?”
“𝕀… 𝕟𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕒𝕓𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕓𝕖𝕗𝕠𝕣𝕖. 𝕀 𝕞𝕖𝕒𝕟… 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤… 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕒𝕟𝕪𝕠𝕟𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕜𝕤 𝕒𝕓𝕠𝕦𝕥, 𝕚𝕤 𝕚𝕥? 𝕀 𝕦𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕨𝕙𝕪 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕔𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕙 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕒𝕣𝕞𝕤… 𝕓𝕦𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕥𝕪𝕡𝕚𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕪 𝕘𝕖𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕔𝕙𝕠𝕠𝕤𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕞.”
“I suppose so.” The Doctor commented. Makara sat her arm on the table.
“No… you’re both entirely wrong, actually. Of course you choose your arms. Everything you do with them affects them. Doctor, you work on machines, so your hands and fingers are sharp and defined.” She examines his limbs. “You also do more manual labor, as shown by your strong forearms. You created those arms. Just like I did mine.”
The troll looks to herself, her arms glistening under the faint light coming in from between the wood boards of the cabin’s old ceiling.
“We aren’t really born… with anything. As a troll… I had to create all of myself. It was a lonely experience, but… There was no one to tell me who I was. My parent didn’t do it. We don’t have families in the way humans do. Science didn’t do it. My biology islargely the same as any other troll, and I lacked many defining characteristics from birth. But… I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This hair… this voice. My very face. They’re all mine, indisputably. All because I had the conviction to sculpt them into exactly who I wanted to be. And now… Genesis, today you get to do the very same thing.”
“𝕀… 𝕤𝕖𝕖 𝕟𝕠𝕨. 𝕀𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕔𝕒𝕤𝕖… 𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕓𝕦𝕚𝕝𝕕 𝕞𝕪𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕗 𝕒𝕟 𝕒𝕣𝕞 𝕟𝕠𝕨, 𝕤𝕠 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕠𝕟𝕖 𝕕𝕒𝕪… 𝕀 𝕞𝕒𝕪 𝕦𝕤𝕖 𝕚𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕞𝕪𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕗 𝕒𝕟 𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕚𝕣𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕟𝕖𝕨 𝕤𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕝. 𝔸𝕟𝕕 𝕀 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕚𝕥 𝕒𝕤 𝕘𝕠𝕠𝕕 𝕒𝕤 𝕚𝕥 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕡𝕠𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕪 𝕓𝕖. 𝕊𝕠 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕀 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕓𝕖 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕒𝕤 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕪 𝕒𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦, 𝕄𝕒𝕜𝕒𝕣𝕒.”
The troll smiled again.
The following time was one of cycle. Genesis would work tirelessly on their arm for a few hours, and then be dragged down again by some invisible force. For each component they completed, a crisis was to be found. Inside their mind, Makara nor the doctor could help them. Dark, thorny chains of something evil binded them inside and out, pulling each and every way as their memories crashed together like waves inside their head. If they were becoming a new being now, who had they been before? Was their time on the planet up until now pointless? Who was “Genesis?” They knew how stupid it was to ask these questions, but that only doubled down on their self-hatred.
Even now, in the most hopeful of times…
It seemed like the darkness just never wanted to go away.
“𝕀𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤… 𝕞𝕖?”
Looking into the doctor’s mirror, all they could see was a strange automaton. An automaton they didn’t even know. An other, something seperate from these thoughts inside their brain. A brain that wasn’t really “theirs” either. Up until now, everything had been so simple. They despised existence, but at least they were sure that they did exist, if not just as a hollow puppet…
Now… the only constant was their fear. A dark cloud of uncertainty that constantly checked in on them. Give up, it seemed to say. Give up, and just return to nothing already. It wanted so badly to listen. It wanted so desperately to be nothing again. That was still, above all else, their ultimate desire. But they didn’t listen. Just simply refused, choosing to ignore. Because for some reason, they’d become a stubborn little bastard now. They convinced themself they couldn’t be “nothing” anymore. After all, they were “Genesis.”
“So that’s what you’ve created… I dare say it suits you.”
Makara gave a toothy grin.
“Not what I had expected. It’s perfect for you, something like that.”
They held it up, admiring it. Lifting this new limb. This new extension of their power.
“𝕀𝕥’𝕤 𝕗𝕚𝕟𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕪 𝕕𝕠𝕟𝕖…”
An amethyst-stained arm with a grip tighter than the deepest vacuum and sharp fingers with which to claw themself out of any situation.
“𝕋𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕥𝕠𝕠𝕝 𝕀 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕦𝕤𝕖 𝕥𝕠 𝕘𝕣𝕒𝕤𝕡 𝕒 𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕝. 𝕄𝕒𝕜𝕒𝕣𝕒… 𝕥𝕖𝕝𝕝 𝕞𝕖 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕀 𝕞𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕕𝕠. 𝕋𝕠 𝕗𝕚𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕠𝕟𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦’𝕧𝕖 𝕤𝕡𝕠𝕜𝕖𝕟 𝕠𝕗… 𝕀’𝕞 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕧𝕖𝕝 𝕒𝕟𝕪 𝕕𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕟𝕔𝕖 𝕟𝕖𝕖𝕕𝕖𝕕. 𝕀 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕔𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕚𝕗 𝕀 𝕕𝕖𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕪 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕓𝕠𝕕𝕪 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕤. 𝕀’𝕝𝕝 𝕓𝕦𝕚𝕝𝕕 𝕒𝕟𝕠𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣.”
“You want it that badly, huh… that’s exactly the conviction I like to see. If that’s the case, there’s not a moment to waste. Listen well, Genesis.”
Makara adjusted her saw, propping it onto her strong shoulders as her expression grew in boldness.
“We’re headed to an old warzone. To speak to someone just like you, Genesis.”
A short silence flooded the room.
“A- warzone?” The doctor asked in confusion and concern. “And you say- you expect to find someone else similar to Genesis? There are others just like my creation?”
“Not exactly. She’s not a robot, that’s for certain. Though she did lack a soul.”
“Correct. She was born without a soul, yet through her research, attained one.”
The tidal wave of darkness inside Genesis drew far, far back. Could this feeling be… hope?
“Lemme tell you about the youngest Count of the remnants… Maldolga Hemagriel, the brokenblood.”
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