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Screams and shouting woke me up.

A pungent stench of urin mixed with sweat and saltwater stunned me momentarily, but before I had the chance to take in my surroundings and figure out what was happening, an unkempt man shouted something incomprehensible at me and handed me a musket. I instinctively followed him outside and a new scent overpowered all others: that of gunpowder.

Amidst the billowing mass of acrid smoke, which slowly filled my lungs, I could discern several figures firing at each other. Ones were an unruly lot, dishevelled and bloodthirsty, while the others wore blue coats and assumed a more tactical formation, signalling prior military training. The man that had handed me the firearm belonged to the latter and so did I.
I quickly took cover behind a couple of barrels and began firing at the invaders, who, I assumed had to be pirates.

Every now and again I took a couple seconds, while reloading, to observe the ship I was on.
It seemed to be a galleon, with another one, battered and bruised, out of which dozens of raiders poured, by its side

As the battle raged on, the tides turned and they started gaining the upper hand on acocunt of their sheer numerical advantage.
I quickly found myself to be the last man standing; with the buccaneers quickly approaching my barrels. I knew that it was all over, so I decided not to put up a fight, but rather come out of my hiding place and let them slit my throat without making too much of a mess, I didn’t really want to be a hassle.

But instead of being stabbed or shot, I was knocked out and tied up.
As I came to my senses, I could hear the captain:
  “We’ll dismember him in the morning, for tonight we feast on the spoils of war!”

Dismember me? Why not just kill me? Why the effort?
  “Heh, when we drop this rat at the shore, people will learn to fear us. They’ll be too scared to ever come near our ship again and we’ll reign unbeatable across the seven seas!”, a dirty bearded man sneered to another.
So that was it, I was to be a warning to all that oppose these brigands and this was to be my last night with my limbs….
I needed a plan.

I am aware that this might be considered a literary cop-out, but I cannot possibly begin to explain what had appeared before me. It was some kind of ethereal monstrosity of unspeakable horror, yet mystically alluring. 

It possessed an incredible symmetry of form and, at the same time, could not be in any more physical discord.
This shapeshifting Incognito didn’t resemble anything at all, not even its colours could be explained, just the simplicity of this word offends the intricacy of lights and patterns that covered the everchanging surface of whatever it was that had appeared before me.
No matter how hard I try, I can never even begin to explain what I saw and so I shall spare you my feeble attempts and proceed to what actually matters.
I was, of course, taken aback by this most peculiar apparition, but my passion burned ever fierce and multiplied my courage thousandfold. And I demanded answers.

  “Wha-?Who?Where?Wha-?”
It’s needless to say that my eloquence, along with my shortlived dauntlessness, faded the more my gaze was left upon this thing.
Even so, I had managed to capture its attention, or maybe it had observed me all along?
Whichever the case, the thing stirred and all of a sudden, openings started appearing along its body. They were eyes.
Or what I can only interpret as such, as they closely resembled having teeth and were as black as space, a hue that one could only very slightly differentiate from the rest of its dark figure.

It was strange, because as it did this, I regained control over my mind and tranquility washed away my fear.

It must have telepathic powers, it has to be sentient.
  “Who are you? Why are you showing me this? Am I dead?”

It didn’t move.

  “Do you understand me?” I asked, not really expecting a response.
Just as I had suspected; silence.

 

………

Ok, so I’m not getting any answers from him, so no way to figure out where I am or why I’ve been sent here, not that I really care, that would probably be too much for me to handle at the moment.
Now on to the main question: Am I alive?

Ok let’s go over this methodically, no reason to panick.
Breathing? Check.

Heartbeat? Check.
Human body temperature? Check.

…….

I think that might be all of them, I can’t really remember anything else to look for……. I still have a head, I didn’t sustain any bruising, burning or any other visible injuries of any sort…
I bit my finger.
Blood? Check
Pain? Definitely check.
…….

Ok, so I’m alive…..

Great….

And then it hit me. I had just witnessed ages worth of knowledge, so many mysteries left uncovered, just waiting for me to uncover them! I could recreate the antediluvian animals using the demonic technology! I could unearth timeless wisdom that is of vital importance for our civilization, I could improve humanity! I can reroute our crashcourse!
  “PLEASE! You must let me return to my home!” , I yelled at the creature,
  “I shall mend my species’ mistakes! I shall ensure that nothing else is lost!”

It stared at me.

I tried to charge at it, attempting to incite some kind of reaction, anything to show me I wasn’t going to spend my eternity trapped in this twilight zone, anything at all.

It evaded my attack with incredible ease, as if I had not even moved, as if it was out of my range all along.
Even though I hadn’t hit it, I managed to make it stirr.

It looked at me with its thousand eyes.
And darkness consumed me.

As I woke up, only one thing was certain, I wasn’t falling anymore. I wasn’t even on earth, unsure wether this alternate plane was part of our universe, or a parallel dimension altogether.
Whatever it was, it had stopped me from achieving my final goal, but under the circumstances, I found myself  not really caring, for I was intrigued, overwhelmed by curiosity. A spark lit up inside me and I felt arrogance and eagerness to learn sprouting within.
I was apparently weightless and floating, which made it hard for me to decide wether I was moving or not, but I was under the impression that I stood still.
Suddenly the mesmerizing mist of shades of purple and black ignited and images began to fade into existence.
These images seemed earthly, but were unlike any I had ever seen.
A herd of wondrous horned, woolly golden creatures grazed proudly on lush grass of unbelievable shades of green. The clearest seas of the deepest shades of blue were filled the brim with life in its most various forms, all living in perfect harmony. Beautiful, yet eerily mysterious forests, composed of the strangest, most colourful plants housed curious critters, scaly, furry and others covered in a chitinous armour of sorts. Snowy peaks being circled by flying creatures of a distant past, reptiles, mammals, birds and crosses of the aforementioned.
And suddenly: look, there, a human!

For the first time in a long one, my heart rejoyced at the sight of one of my own and I was certain to be staring at some kind of earth, no matter how strange.

Then, buildings began to emerge, some, simple huts and clay-igloos, others were far more adorned. In them, these primal folk made various sacrifices of the utmost brutality. It started to dawn on me how gruesome the humans actually were, stopping at nothing to ensure their reign over all that their god had given them. And more.
Animals were hunted to extinction and blood tributes were paid. Terror reigned over entire civilizations, as the ones with power became greedy and spared no expense to attain dominance. Horrid creatures were summoned, because we were foolish enough to believe we were their masters. Gargantuan, nightmarish demons were brought into existence. Stygian beasts ravaged entire nations. But somehow, humanity endured, not by force or courage, but by cowardice. By murdering and offering all others, a select few survived and they swore never to tamper with the unknown again.

Millenia passed and civilizations began popping up all around. We were more civilized, not as prone to being overwhelmed by greed and hatred and apparently on the right track.
I stared in awe as Atlantis crumbled beneath the waves, and Pompeia was covered in ash. And I marvelled at the fabled Shangri- La and the Elysian Fields.

Soon enough, people started uncovering forlorn objects of unholy nature and, having learned from their ancestors mistakes, coupled them with the basic machinery and technology of that era, in order to create highly complex and powerful mechanisms.

But as scholars began to attain higher levels of understanding of the very fabric of our existence, the commonfolk developed an uncontrollable hatred for that which they could not comprehend. And so that too, fell to the age-old combination of a blade and some murderous intent.

As history repeated itself, so did the uncovering of ancient knowledge. Eventually even walking became obsolete and shortly after, many more “unnecessary” activities were soon to follow. We were drunk off power, nothing could face us, nothing could defeat us.

Then, something happened. Suddenly the vision changed and I was faced once again with the eldritch fiends the primordial ones had summoned. But this time, they had been summoned by someone on accident, yet he did not seem suprised by this otherworldy invasion. There were quizzical contraptions surrounding this tragic character, who had now adopted a look of utmost horror. But there was something else, he looked ashamed, he looked regretful, as if he might have done something to stop this Beelzebubian Blizkrieg. But it made no sense; he didn’t expect this, so how could he have prevented it?

My mind started spinning and I had to close my eyes, I had to take some time to process what I had just witnessed.
All that existed and is now lost, all that we knew but allowed to be forgotten…
There it came again, the burning hatred I had felt so many a time before. Our greed killed all those incredible creatures that had amazed me long ago, our bloodlust led to the extinction of animals that had once inspired us with awe.
Our need to prove our superiority made us commit such unspeakable acts of genocide, animal and human alike.
But that was not enough, we had to search the void for new trophies. It nearly cost us our existence, yet we managed to pull through, but at what cost? History just repeated itself and those foul deeds just kept resurfacing, more modern in execution, but in essence, the same.

I clenched my fists in anger and frustration.

This is it, the ultimate taunt. Only now that I’m dead, do I receive access to all this knowledge.
What a punchline to the tasteless joke that is me!

I was overcome by rage and my monologue soon made its way outside, with me shouting into the darkness.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?!

  WHY DO YOU MOCK ME!?

  YOU MOTHERFU- “

Once again, I was interrupted just before getting vulgar, this time not by a blackout, but by something emerging from the colourless haze.

//Chapter 1

The first thing I noticed was the wind, it lashed at me with incredible force. A sudden burst of fear jolted through me as my body realized what was happening and I panicked momentarily. This feeling was replaced by another one, one i had not felt in a long time: absolute freedom. I had delivered my existence in the hands of fate, an inevitable one, a thought that gave me peace of mind. And so I started enjoying my flight, the white noice echoing off the grey metropolis I used to call my home lulled me into a deep sense of relaxation and I closed my eyes, finally at peace.

“There was nothing to do now, the deed was done and the end was nigh, so why worry?”

After a while, I arose from my rest, something was amiss. I groggily opened my eyes, slightly irritated that it was taking so long, for I had the strange sensation that the wind had stopped, aswell as the cacophony from beneath.
Luckily nothing had happened, I was still falling.
Or so I thought.
At a closer inspection, I realized that everything stood still, the birds paralyzed in mid-flight, the leaves no longer drifting carelessly through the streets and me, in some kind of purgatory, trapped on this damned plane I had tried so hard to escape.
My mind raced, only partially trying to figure out what had happened, I was mainly busy with cursing the universe for yet again having gotten the last laugh with a cruel joke at my expense.
But before I even had the chance to begin my slew of insults, everything went black.

Going to try to actually do this right from now on.