Interim 3: The Case of the Phantom Thief

Interim 3: The Case of the Phantom Thief  Content Warnings: Death, gore, self-harm.   Central Republic used lights sparingly, but the duoverse was ever a beacon in the night. The artificial allure of The Republic was an illicium to the denizens of the dark, but only to those who could afford to see it. Leaving the central area, even the duoverse itself faded into the graveyard that remained of The Doomers' lost civilization. Many of the buildings on the outskirts themselves were remnants from a lost age. Abandoned and forgotten. Left to collapse in on themselves as a fitting monument to those who dug too deep to build too high.   With their creators long gone, the monuments had become infested with parasites: the lower class citizens of The Republic that couldn't survive in her radiance. At such a distance from fulfilment centers and the amenities that acted as bread and circus to the masses, life here was tough. Those that owned the so called housing this far from the city cen

Chapter 5 - Family Roots

Chapter 5 - Family Roots Content Warnings: gore, death. Art by 4ShiFeng:      Darkness. Silence. A moment of peace. I'm underwater. Far beneath the surface and sinking deeper as time passes. The further I go, the darker it gets, and the more pressure I feel from all directions. A blanket that swaddles me in the cold expanse of the ocean. Far away from the metal, neon and plastic above. Even out of reach of the burning flame that scorches life down to the genetic level. At this depth there might not even be any difference form before the fall. An alien world that has never seen light that wasn't alive itself.    Those tiny stars in the dark, innumerable and in all directions are little satellites that gravitate around me as though I am the center of a galaxy.   I've been down here before. My own little abyss. One of the few places I can find comfort and calm. The first time, I was a boy so entranced by the lights that I

Sleepless Nights

Sleepless Nights   There was a time that I considered sleepless nights a curse. Sleep was an escape from the mortal coil. A temporary reprieve from the consciousness that inflicts us all. In sleep there was comfort. Trapped in a state between life and death where the mind powered down and the body allowed itself to recharge, there was little that could disturb me.    How long has it been now since the insomnia began? Before the slaughter, that much is certain. Had I still the heart to sleep at that age, I might have been kinder to the man who game me my eyes. Before the surgeries even. These cloudy windows into my soul matched the person I was by that time. Were I not already so drained and broken, how could I be resurrected as Frankenstein's Monster? Perhaps I never truly slept through a night. I only have a dream of sleep. Some artificial concept of human rest.    I take a swig of the clear liquid in my glass and feel it burn all the way down my throat. Before it warms my chest t