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I'll Keep Searching, With The Voices In My Head To Guide Me.

Posted on Fri Feb 14th, 2020 @ 7:19pm by Unawakened Melissa Wilson

Mission: Backposts
Location: An unknown city, somewhere warm
Timeline: December 30th, 2012

Along the darkened street, a figure ran.

An outside observer, had anyone been watching, would have noticed three things. First, that the figure was a woman. A young one. She was somewhat short, with a curvy figure and long, dark hair. Her glasses flashed reflected light as she turned her head to glance behind her. In the shadows, it was hard to see details, but the imaginary observer would have been forgiven for thinking that the young woman was shapely and possibly even pretty.

The second thing was that she clearly doesn't want to be seen. She was dressed all in black, from her head to her running shoes. She glanced behind herself more than once, a worried expression on her tanned face.

The third thing that an observer would have noticed was that the young woman was utterly terrified.

"Pixel! Are they following me?" She hissed, her voice little more than a whisper as she turned down an alley toward a more populated street. She slowed her run, unzipping and removing a black running jacket to reveal a pale blue t-shirt. She tossed the jacket on a bench as she merged with a group of drunk sorority girls giggling and laughing as they stumbled down the street.

[No, Hardcopy. You lost them when you took the last turn through the back alley.] The voice in her head had a strangely digital, artificial quality.

{You should not have been discovered at all.} A disapproving female voice, also in her head, insisted. {We must do more training in the fine arts of subterfuge and concealment}

"I've been training for months!" She whined, looking suddenly tired.

{And it has clearly been insufficient. Such scenarios present you the choice of success or death. Do you wish the latter?}

She answered with an inaudible eye roll.

[The mission was a success.] Pixel's digital voice stated as the woman untangled herself from the drunken arm of an unstable girl in three inch heels. She passed her over to a slightly less drunk friend and made for a non-descript door in a tall brick building, situated beside a very active bar and a much quieter convenience store. She slipped a key into the lock and opened the door with a soft click.

"How was it a success?" She asked, closing the door behind her with a long sigh. "It's been months. Lots of months. And after all those months, we're no closer to finding Tim than we were after Shady Side was destroyed."

{You must not become disheartened, Melissa.} The female voice softened. {The Lord of Sands is most devious and cunning. He is the god of chaos. I have fought against him for the entirety of my adult life, and throughout my godhood. We are eliminating possibilities, and while it is imperative that our search continue and that your training accelerates, I shall assist. Together, we shall defeat him, and, if we are able, return to you your love.}

Melissa sighed again, moving up a staircase that led to a series of apartments. She moved to a door marked 2C, unlocked it, and went inside. "I just want this over with."

{Few have the option to cease their life's work or the duty to which they are promised.}

"So you keep telling me." She grumbled, locking the door behind her.

The apartment, such as it was, was an empty room. Torn and stained wallpaper peeled from the walls and matched the worn carpet, the colour of which was a mystery lost to time. The only furnishing was a single desk with a desktop computer, plugged in to the wall with both a power cord and a blue network cable.

[The headmistress has been informed of your results] Pixel informed her. [She wishes to know if you will return to the tower]

Melissa paused for a moment, then continued toward the computer. She turned it on and moved the mouse with a single click. A soft, haunting and yet heroic melody emulated from the speakers "No. Not yet."

She sat down in the chair and gave a soft smile, lit by the glow of the monitor. "First, I'm going home."

The mouse clicked, and flickers of electrical blue energy arced between the screen and the young woman. The arcs intensified, glowing brighter and more powerful until all that anyone could see, if anyone had been watching, was the bright flash of electrical energy.

And then it faded.

All that was left was the glow of a monitor and a soft, haunting and yet heroic melody.


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