It's dark, silent, warm.
Pleasant. You exist where you belong, sleeping, resting, waiting to be born. Born, along with hundreds of others little wrigglers.
The first time you open your eyes, you see colours everywhere, and there's screeching all around you; everyone trying to be louder, and you join in. The world is large, scary, and the jadebloods watch over you as you begin to wriggle your purple body out of the cavers, lightning bolt horns butting the others out of the way.
You have just been born, but everyone knows that one single rule you will follow from now on.
The strongest survive. The weak are to be culled.
It's dark, cold, it hurts.
Too dark to see, and you don't want to open your eyes, wrapping the blanket tighter around yourself. When did it get so cold?
For now, you decide to shrug it off and slip back into the nothingness.
What is the definition of innocence?
Is it something trolls will never grasp? You, who spend your life killing, killing to save yourself, killing for power, killing to prove a point, to feel alive.
Are you innocent, as a troll, if you only kill when your life is in danger? Are you innocent when you kill during FLARP and feed the parent to the monster below, kill to enjoy the thrill, to prove your point.
What point? That you, Eridan Ampora, are the strongest here. You're a prince living on a ship and those who disobey will bow down before you.
You? Or will they bow down to the Orphaner Dualscar, the role you try to act out. Your inspiration, your hero, your idol. The man you long to be, leader of a fleet, chasing pirates across the oceans, just like you chase your dearest kismesis across the waters, fighting, egging each other on, a fantasy come true.
But, much like everything else, you exist in a fantasy. From a simple journal, you formed a character, made yourself to be like your ancestor. Cape on, a sneer on your face, taking down those disgusing lowbloods one by one as they step in your way. A study in the art of war.
It's like studying a role for a play; the best actors turn themselves become the character.
King of the seas, a pirate on one arm, but you still feel empty. What do you need to fill the void, you ask yourself.
Perhaps, an empress on your other arm. Just like how the story was supposed to end.
Why is it so dark?
Night... Yes, it's night, and the moon isn't shining.
But it doesn't matter. All that you can focus on now is the horrible cold running through you, the sweat covering your body.
Pull the blanket tighter, let out a deep breath. Ignore the muscles spasming, and it hurts, everything hurts, the fabric against your skin, your own flesh pressing against the bones of your body as you lie in bed, the pain in the back of your head throbbing as you try to move, try to think.
You let the darkness take you away again.
That is what Feferi is; your empress, your princess, the light of your life on the seas. The one to keep you calm, the one to keep you from growing mad.
All you need is her. You tell yourself this, even after losing your kismesis. Even after getting to know Karkat, the one who truly cares for you, no matter what you do. After meeting Kanaya, the lady who puts up with you and will teach you the most powerful thing of all.
But alas, this all happens in the future. And you won't realise this, not until everyone is gone.
Nothing of this matters now. No, you shall continue playing theatre with yourself. You are the main character, and you shall continue acting until you have your empress in your arms.
Throat and mouth dry; you're wheezing, coughing, cold fingers wrapped around your warm throat. Still freezing cold, painfully so, and you beg for mercy.
Nobody hears anything. Of course not, throat too dry.
It will soon pass, you hope, as darkness engulfs you once more.
It was supposed to be a simple game.
A simple game to save your world, you thought. But never more have you all been so wrong.
Gone was Alternia, and a new world awaited you all. You were supposed to step into a new life, to success, but you were barred.
It was ripped away. Much like everything else.
Who paid the biggest price?
You, of course, you tell yourself.
Who else has lost more than you? Your status, your image as the strong general of the seas, your empress who was never in your arms, all gone and never will they return.
All that is left is your naked self before the eyes of others, judging. They see every part of you, the pathetic troll you are.
Never were you able to be the Orphaner Dualscar. And never will you become him.
And no longer do the rules you have followed matter. Say goodbye to the hemocaste, say goodbye to quadrants, goodbye to the only safe and stable ground you ever had.
But, you took your time to calm down, didn't you? Even through anger, even if you saw your hope fading, you accepted her choice. Even if you loathed his existence, this insufferable, slitherbeast tongued nerd who makes her smile, he does what you haven't been able to do for so long.
All you wanted was to keep her safe. But...
It was his fault! He shouldn't have challenged you, you have always been superior, the strongest of them all. And it was about time he realised this, you think to yourself, as you see him slam into the wall.
It's her fault! She shouldn't have attacked you! You haven't killed him, but you killed her. Self defence, because if you cannot save her, you can at least save yourself.
And so it is also her fault. She, who gave you the science, magic you have always believed in. So childish, but belief and imagination have always been your strongest tool.
But also your biggest downfall.
You lived in the belief that you were to follow a story written hundreds of sweeps ago, and it is all you know.
It is time to rewrite the last chapter of the book.
Kill the pirate and survive the wrath of the clown.
But you too end up being a joke, as she debunks your belief and slices you clean into two.
And you, too join the cold darkness.
Falling. You are falling, slowly, seeing through a thousand eyes, countless scenarios, none of them your own, a reminder of your failure.
They say your name, and you open your wet eyes.
There they stand by the bed, worried, a warm, dark hand on your cheek, and the first thing you see is the green eyes of Feferi, a pale hand holding yours, and you meet Sollux's dark eyes.
A hush, a kiss against your forehead and hand, and you’re gently pulled up as they let you drink some water and take some medicine. Chills, they say, as they lay you back down in bed, blanket wrapped around you, and you wish them goodnight as you slip back into sleep, no longer dreaming of gray aliens and death which have never happened.
A week passes, and your cold is finally over.
A party, the letter in your mailbox say, and the three of you go, hand in hand, to the white house in the empty suburbs, where the music is blaring, and spindly, evergrinning lady opens the door, inviting you in, and there's a dull throbbing in your heart, the feeling of being alive.
Here, where all your friends are, dancing, talking, and there's laughter everywhere, exitement filling the room to the brim, Dave, fighting with Karkat on the dancefloor, Karkat, laughing in a corner with Terezi, and another dragonlady on top of the stairs, roleplaying with Nepeta, and another catgirl runs past you, chased by Equius, and was this room always this full? You don't remember anymore, and you have ceased caring.
For all your eyes are shining with light and happiness.
And the next moment they shine of white and death, as you turn around in the white space you all find yourself in, facing the green monster which you never knew chased you, and watching the destruction of the only life you had left.