Chapter 3: Heaven and Earth
Two days had passed by. Two days of the same argument persisting between Genesis and I. No matter how hard Genesis and the voice in my head tried, I wouldn’t leave my seat. But at last, a break in the monotony had become long overdue.
I watched the doors to the White Room open expecting to see Genesis returning for another debate. However my malformed eyes were met with something new. I saw a young woman, probably older than me, standing in the doorway. She looked rather upset about something. I wasn’t sure what it was.
“What’s she doing here?” I heard the “other voice” mutter.
My eyes were immediately drawn to this strange girl who intruded upon my confinement. She had a mask of strength and beauty that did everything it could to pull me into its grasp. Her hair was a vibrant shade of blue, almost like neon. Her hair was soft, yet it held its rugged and earthy shape. It grouped together in thick strands that spiked outward like mountain tops. To tell the truth, it was rather messy and unkempt, yet there was a sense of order to it. Her body was strong and hard like an Amazonian warrior, but retained the hallmarks of an alluring woman. Despite such impressive tone on her limbs and lower torso, parts of her were soft and warm to the touch. This was especially true for her rather large breasts. I didn’t know what it was, but everything about this girl kept my eyes locked in place. She was undeniably beautiful.
The girl’s muscular body was wrapped in a dark set of clothing. She had a very punk style to her that shown through her wardrobe. She wore a loose fitting black tank top that exposed a great portion of her cleavage. Her wrists and fingers were decorated with an assortment of rings and bracelets, all of which were flashy and bombastic to say the least. She wore long baggy pants adorned with chains and buckles as well as straps that matched the shade of her vibrant hair. Her boots were shielded by her baggy pant legs, but you could tell just by looking at them that they were large and heavy. This girl, despite such beauty, such strength, was someone you wouldn’t want to mess with.
As she drew ever closer to my seat in the White Room, I felt myself grow more and more nervous. This woman became more and more intimidating as she approached. The weight of her strength was palpable. She could’ve been stronger than Genesis, or she was just very bad at hiding her own power. Finally she stopped in front of me and looked down at my pathetic face.
“Mind telling me your name?” said the girl with a surprisingly friendly demeanor.
For someone so strong, I never expected a voice so soothing to come from her parting lips. It was almost creamy in way. The kind of voice you want to hear whispering in your ear before you fall asleep at night. It was a voice that was almost seductive yet still carried that immense power she wielded. But that power came out in a much different way than one would expect. Her voice felt almost motherly.
“I don’t have a name.” I responded with sorrow.
“Everyone has a name kid.”
“Who’re you calling kid?”
“You, at least until you tell me what your name is. Besides, I’m at least three years older than you!”
“I already told you. I don’t have a name.”
“Don’t have one? Or can you just not remember?”
Pain came to me. There was a sudden pounding in my heart after hearing that simple question. I felt tears begin to well up within my eyes. So many memories were gone. It had just occurred to me that I could barely remember who I was. All I could remember was watching my father die. The only thing ingrained in my mind was that day. The most horrifying moment of my existence overshadowed everything else. I was truly and utterly alone. I felt blank and empty like a jar. Tears streamed down my face as I began to quietly sob. That’s when I felt the woman wrap her arms around me and press my crying face into her chest.
“I’m sorry all this happened to you.” she spoke softly into my ear.
The woman’s breasts pressed into me gently with each soft breath she took. She made soft shushing noises as she held me close in her arms and spoke once more.
“My name is Terra. I know you are going through hell right now kid. I really do. So I’m going to help you get back on your feet.”
I felt Terra’s warm embrace grow tighter as she pulled me in closer. My tears stained her soft tank top as I began to let everything out. All the pain that had welled up inside me, everything that had been bottled up was being released in that single moment.
“It must have been hard.” Terra spoke with a solemn voice.
“Y-yeah. It was hard… I was so scared… I didn’t want to die… I don’t want to…”
I felt Terra’s fingers comb along the sharp stubbles on my shaven head and she held me close to her warm body.
“Shh. It’s okay now. No one is going to hurt you now. I promise.”
Her gentle fingers continued to caress my skull with tender care. She really was almost like a mother. For someone with such an aggressive and brash appearance, this kind of treatment was completely unexpected. For when I was weary and alone, she wiped my tears and brought me comfort, without so much as a request. She held me close to her and caressed the skin of my head as my emotions ran rampant. All the pain swelling up inside me had burst, and this stranger, this samaritan took all of it away for me.
“I won’t let them hurt you.” Terra said with a hint of determination.
I cried and cried and cried. All the pain. The suffering. I felt like so much weight was being lifted off my shoulders. Did I even deserve such treatment? What made me so special to receive something like this? I didn’t know the answers to those questions, and it only made me sob more. It took several minutes before I was finally able to speak again. Terra pulled away from my weak body and gave me a reassuring smile. She rubbed my shaved head once more before perking up and asking a simple question.
“Would you like to go outside?”
I hadn’t been to the outside world for a few days. My memory of it was hazy and out of focus. I accepted Terra’s offer without a second thought. Even the “other voice” could not convince to stay in the White Room. I had my fill of the bland infinite that was my confinement. I wanted to get out, and get out I did.
Terra led me by the hand like a child through the pure white corridors of the facility that had been keeping me locked away from the rest of the world. The place was so strange and full of mystery. It looked like something directly out of a science fiction story. Terra made sure to smile back at me every so often as she led me through the corridors. We came to an elevator at the end of the white maze. It would take us up to the surface. The facility I was being held in apparently was built underneath the city. Once the elevator surfaced we emerged into a shipyard. This looked to be one of the largest in Evo City.
Despite Evo’s separatist ways, it still relied on the rest of the world for goods. Evo imported most of its goods from private companies and neutral countries to keep it from getting tied up in world affairs. But it used to be different. When the city was first built, the Slums served as the Industrial District, but something happened that caused the District to be closed to the public.
Terra had led me into Center City. It was a place I was less than happy to visit, but Terra knew better than to bring me to the charred remains of the place where my father died. Despite all that she meant to make the trip there quick. All she wanted to do was get me some new clothes to replace the white gown I was given when I woke up in the White Room. She led me into some store that sold a lot of punk style clothing. It was where I got my blue checkerboard hoodie, as well as everything else that went with it. I remember Terra saying that I looked good in them. Needless to say I wore them out of the store since my only other option was to walk around in a white sheet.
Terra continued to walk me around the city. It felt so much different, so much bigger. I felt like every street was brand new despite any familiarity. I was experiencing the city all over again. I truly felt like a newborn. It was becoming more and more apparent that I wasn’t simply saved from death. I was reborn as something new. What that something was I had yet to discover. But the suspicion was there.
Terra led me to a small park as the sun began its descent and the sky began to burn with orange. As the two of us strolled through the rolling green, we came across an old swing set. Terra immediately headed towards it as if drawn by childish nostalgia. She took a seat on one of the swings and looked at me curiously as I stood there rather perplexed by it all.
“You ever go on a swing set as a kid?” spoke Terra with light hearted inquiry.
“I... I don’t remember. I think I did when I was young.” I replied while trying to fight back the tears as the realization of my amnesia resurfaced.
“I love swing sets. Everything just fades away the higher and faster you go. I always wondered, if I swung high enough, could I reach God?”
“I think God has better things to do than touch us.”
“Why do you think that?”
It took me a few seconds, but the answer was clear. It wasn’t that God lived in fear of its creation, but rather God lived in shame. How could God not be ashamed of such a failure of a being.
“Too much evil persists in this world, God does nothing to stop it. Instead God hides away with its shame and regret.”
“I like to think some evil’s are necessary to purge even greater evils.”
“What do you mean?”
Terra patted the swing next to her and motioned for me to sit next to her. I took her offer and sat down next to her as she exhaled a breath before continuing her argument.
“I once saw a man raping a child in an alleyway. I tortured him until he drew his last breath. Who do you think is the real villain?”
“The rapist obviously. He got what he deserved.”
“Others would disagree. Lots of people think of cruel acts as they are and believe in black and white justice.”
“I believe everything begins with choice, and choice yields consequence. That rapist chose to rape that child, his punishment by you was merely consequence.”
“But did I not have a choice to make. Did I have to kill him?”
“You had a choice. You could have spared him if you wanted to.”
“Therefore consequence is merely an illusion. There is no such thing as fate kid. You are right that everyone has a choice, but consequence only exists when choices collide and only one choice can survive.”
I was silent. She was right. There really is no such thing as fate. If someone were to be hit by a car, there would have been a series of choices made by both parties that lead up to that point. But there was one thing that bothered me. Didn’t I have a choice to not be saved? Could I have chosen to die when I was writhing on the ashen ground, burned and broken? That thought was whisked away as I heard Terra’s next few words.
“Something tells me you have a lot of choices you have been putting off.”
I felt my eyes lower towards the ground as I fell into deep thought. Were there choices I had forgotten along with my missing memory. What choices did I have to make. Was it to continue living? Was it the choice to take revenge for my father? If that were the case, I had every reason to be putting off all these choices. I had a lot of questions that needed answering. I could tell that Terra saw my mood worsen as she quickly changed the subject.
“Hey, you ever been the Center City Gardens?”
“I don’t know.”
The answer was more than obvious. Even if I had gone to the Gardens, I wouldn’t have remembered. My mind was so addled and warped. Memories were replaced by blank spaces. It was like the life I had never happened.
Terra once again took me by the hand and led me through the streets of Center City. It was only a few minutes walk from the park to the Gardens. As we strolled through the city I watched as the light of the setting sun refracted off of the windows of skyscrapers. Buildings began to glow like towering monoliths of light. It was a truly beautiful sight to contrast the ever darkening sky.
At last we came to a large, multi story glass building. From the outside I could see waves of green pouring out. We entered the Gardens and I was overtaken by the beauty of the place. It was a massive forest of exotic plants and trees pulled from their homes all over the world and replanted in this massive greenhouse. There was more green than I had ever seen in my life. I was blown away by the vibrant colors that danced across my gaze in beams of light emitting off powerful bulbs. This whole building housed a forest. Terra smiled at me as I looked around the Gardens.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” she spoke with a much cheerier voice than before.
“Yeah. I never thought something so amazing could exist in the city.”
“They built this place when the city became more open to the public. Originally there were plans to make more of these greenhouses so the island could supply its own produce.”
“Why couldn’t it just import them to begin with?”
“To be honest I don’t know myself. The city was and still is meant to function without the aid of any outside countries. But I think there is a greater reason to everything that’s happened here.”
Terra and continued to walk through the massive indoor garden. My eyes were assaulted by a cornucopia of color. It was still hard to believe such a place could exist in such a dense city. Finally our walk came to a wooden pathway surrounded by cherry blossoms. My eyes widened with disbelief at the beauty of such a place. Terra walked ahead of me with a skip in her step as my eyes trailed down to see her sparkling blue hair contrasting with the pink atmosphere. I stopped moving for only a moment. Terra turned around to check on me and see if I was okay. I just started her dead on. She was amazing.
The image of such a sweet and strange girl painted over the backdrop of a grove of cherry blossoms. A girl with hair of aqua and eyes of blood. What did she see in me that was so special? What inspired her to take such care of me? Those questions slowly faded from my mind as I simply embraced the moment and the scene before my eyes.
“You okay kid?” she spoke with great concern.
Terra immediately blushed as I then averted my eyes only slightly. Her image was that of a goddess. A goddess of which I was unfathomably unworthy of. The last thing I saw was her smile. Her gentle and warm smile. A smile that faded from memory as soon as it appeared. A smile that was taken away as my eyes blacked out. My eyes had blackened. I felt intense heat all over my body. My vision faded in and out briefly. I could barely make out anything in the midst of the flames. But I knew what had happened. Nina had found us.