It was a dark and lonely place. A place where no one ever wished to be, even in a dream.
A place of silence. A place of solitude. A place of despair.What was to become of this place? What was its purpose?
These questions ripped through my mind like a winding vortex, never stopping, always repeating itself. More questions began to echo through. What is this place? Why is it so dark? Am I alone?
The questions grew into more personal questions.Why am I the only one here? Is this abyss meant for me?
The questions grew louder and louder, trying to see which one of them could outlive each other, and more of them directed their attention towards me.
Suddenly, it wasn’t loud anymore. All the questions seemed to finally die out. That was my first thought, but as it turns out, one question was able to slay all of the other questions like they were nothing but dust. This question also shook me up and opened a door out of this dark world.Who am I?
Chapter 1: Awakening
The faint warmth of the dim light was the first thing I felt upon waking up after such a startling experience. It was a dream? I thought. That dark, lonely abyss was just a dream? No. It was a nightmare. The light was still dim in my eyes. It could be that this room that I was in was also a dark place. Either that, or I was not yet fully awake. How long was I asleep?
Is what I wanted my first thought to be, but it was no use. I failed at trying to delay the most dreaded thought any longer from the distractions of my awakening. Trying to figure out why I was asleep, trying to figure out why the light was dim, trying to figure out if the place was dark or not, the thought that I was pushing away came full force upon me yet again.Who am I?
Terror struck like lightning. There was no use in stopping the fear. It’s strange, this fear I felt now was vastly different from the fear of that dark abyss. This one felt more… threatening. I have no memories. No name. No past. No… purpose. But yet, memories of this world still hold strong. The grass, the trees, the moons and stars, I remember them clear as day. But the memories of people, of the relationships, of me… I couldn’t remember. My name. I couldn’t even remember my own name.
The dim lights gradually began to grow darker, almost as if it was in tune with my thoughts, which were also growing more negative by the second. ‘I don’t even remember my own name,’ I thought in disbelief.
‘Maybe... there isn’t a need to remember it. Why remember something if it wasn’t important, right? So if it’s not important, it shouldn’t matter...’
The darkness continued to grow, and my fear had almost embraced it. Was there a point to remembering if I really meant nothing in the first place? Maybe that was the reason I was in that nightmare… Maybe that abyss was really
meant for me. If so, then I should fade away into…
Something stopped me from entering the darkness any further. An image of a woman flashed in my mind. While I couldn’t make out most of the details, I was able to recall her long, ebony curly hair and a single earring with ruby beads and a peacock-colored feather on it. Her entrance, though it lasted for a split second, had sieged the darkness and the fear within me. Why was that? Did I know her in the past? Before anymore thoughts came to mind about the woman, a gentle voice, soft and sweet like that of a soothing flute in the midnight sky, tenderly spoke these words: You must live, Neix Zetor.
Even without my memories, I have already known and felt various forms of emotions from the moment of my awakening. Fear, worthlessness, sadness; they approached me without warning and hit against me with such force, almost as if ten people were repeatedly beating my chest all at once. And yet, these emotions were almost forgotten from the new emotion I felt now. Hope.
Bursting from the darkness after I heard such gentle words, I re-entered the world with the dim lights, although the lights were no longer dim. In contrast, they were bright and full of warmth. I wasn’t sure if this was because I was not fully awake beforehand or if this new emotion I felt enhanced everything around me. Neix Zetor. That was my name. Don’t ask me how or why I know that, but those five simple words had brought so much life and hope to me that I wasn’t concerned with how I knew that was my name. I was told to live, I must
live. I need to find out who that woman was, and why I was told I must live…
After such an experience with a swirling level of emotions, and after I had decided that my goal in this life consisted of finding the woman who told me to live and to discover who I was before I lost my memories, the world became bright and promising. A complete turnaround from the dark, hopeless abyss that I awoke from. But it occurred to me that the room I was in was also bright now. I had been lost in my internal struggle of hope and despair, of life and death, that I didn’t even care to perceive the outside world that I was currently in. The lights were very bright now, blinding me from seeing what else existed in this room I was in. While my eyes were adjusting to the lights, I shook with excitement from remembrance of the events that had just happened. It seemed those events had lasted an eternity, not mere seconds. I couldn’t wait to see what was beyond this world!
[Looking back, I was happy that those lights prevented me from seeing the truth right away. Without those little seconds of hope and excitement, I felt that nothing else could have prepared me for the harsh reality that I was about to face.]
The blindness had started to clear from my eyes, and I was able to make out more of the room I was currently in. I saw small white blurs in the distance, some smaller than others. I couldn’t tell what they were, but my eyes started to adjust some more. The white blurs started forming into shapes, then eventually those shapes became human beings in white coats. Thirty, no… Fifty of them? So many! ‘I need to talk to them about this world and about my memories,’ my first thought that came to mind. Excited as I was, getting the nerve up to go and talk to people was still a difficult task to achieve. They might think I’m crazy, a person with no memories, only a vision of a woman telling him to live. It was also the first time I would talk with someone after losing my memories, but I was still determined to find out, so I began to head towards the closest white coat. However, something prevented me from moving, and by this time my eyes were fully adjusted to the horrific scene before me.
Chains. They were locked on both my wrists and ankles, preventing me from moving even the slightest inch. The ends of the chains were bound to this tiny glass room that I realized I was inside, and the only one inside it. Before I could think of any questions, my eyes continued to observe the phenomenon. This glass room was filled with water, no… a slimy, emerald liquid. I was able to breathe through a gas mask that covered half of my face, ultimately my nose and mouth. I was temporarily distracted by the bubbles coming up from underneath me, which covered a great portion of the vile liquid in this tank. After averting attention from the circular distractions, my eyes feasted upon black lines, about fifteen or twenty of them. They were all connected at the top of the tank, which I assumed was a lid to keep the liquid and bubbles in. Scanning the lines from the top, I traced their other ends to different places on my body. Four were connected to each arm, which I assumed to be connected inside my body underneath the skin. More were connected to my torso, my legs, and a few on my head. The only pain I felt was a slight headache which I previously thought it was because of the memory loss.
Still trying to take in the scene, I remained floating, completely motionless in the ooze. There was so much to intake and so many assumptions going through my mind, but the first thing I yearned for was to be free, not for answers. I started to jerk around, hoping to free my hands and feet from the chains first. The shackles were so tight around my limbs, it seemed a hopeless feat. However, I did not give up. The jerking formed into more of a flopping around. Some of the black lines came loose from my legs and head, which spewed small drops of blood to fuse with the green ooze inside the tank, but the chains held strong. Pain started to seep in where the black lines disconnected from my skin. I realized then that I could not escape this hell on my own. Then I remembered the white coats. There were quite a lot of them, so one of them is bound to notice me by now! I looked up and started jerking around some more. No reaction from the white coats. Getting desperate, I began thrashing around and even started screaming, hoping for their attention. This worked, or so I thought at first. I calmed down the thrashing and realized another horrible reality. The white coats have been looking at me the whole time. They knew the condition I was in, and yet instead of helping, all they did was stare at me. Dreadful thoughts came to mind then and there, but only one thing was capable of confirming those thoughts about my situation. And that one thing was a flashing red sign, lit up beyond the tank, past the white coats, hanging on the highest point of this large room that held all of us here:Lab 7: Experiment in Progress