So I was browsing through my harddrive earlier looking for a particular file when I stumbled upon one named "thecaul.txt".

It seemed a bit out of place so I read its contents. At first I didn't recognize what was going on or who wrote it, but it steadily dawned on me that it was a StarCraft-oriented short story I wrote waaay back in high school.

It's from a time when I was all existential, gothy and stuff and was into psychological new wave sci-fi. (Still am, to an extent. I mean into new wave sci-fi.) Fans out there will realize exactly what's happening, but probably only at the very end.

It's a bit over the top, but I'm copying and pasting it almost exactly as I found it. Let my self-conscious high school self know what you think! :P

The Caul

A cloud of spume is thrown up. The swirling mass dances, small brief crystals in the air, before dropping down with a thunderous clap. More and more pours in. The air is thick with moisture; to look through the haze would be to experience elements of an age decades in your past, looking at it as though through rheumy eyes.

You never get used to the blindness.

Wrapped and tangled, he fights against the downpour. More and more floods into the chamber. Blindly, instinctively, grasping outward and upward, the simple need to survive guides his hands along the walls. Slick, glistening, sluicing. His hands fight, willing themselves to find the source of the waterfall -- to shutter it.

You drown in the darkness. It pools around you, at your feet. It reaches up to you. Your knees. Waist. To your shoulders.

In that hypnogogic trance, where pain, ignorance and sleep deprivation commingle together to form that special alchemy of terror, the world beyond the slick walls falls away. There is nothing else but him and an encroaching tide.

Your chin.

His hands slip. Fall. The fluid races with alacrity over his shoulders --

-- Your face --

And over his head.



The world falls away.

The world falls away. The roar of falling water is subdued by water that has already fallen. In this moment of complete submersion, where everything falls away; in a moment of pure, unadulterated, solipsistic agony and disbelief --

But you begin to realize. You wake up.

His struggles become more languid. The water buoys his body, cradling him in itself, in that dim world.

You realize, perhaps this is the way it is when you lose any sense. To lose your sense of tactile feeling...

He moves his hands from the wall; arms curl up around him, holding his torso.

To lose your hearing...

Bubbles tickle against him, rising against gravity. They spin and churn in Brownian motions. Through the water they convey their indifferent tinkling as they brush against his ears.

Or your smell, the most primal of sensations, the necromancer of past lives; able to resurrect memories long dead...

His muscles relax, giving way to the new womb. He is suspended, kept in place, by a plethora of cords and wires.

You begin to realize: this blindness is only ONE blindness. This blindness is perhaps the least of all forms.

He opens eyes that no longer see...

You never get over the blindness. And you never overcome the new sensations, the new sights you could never see before.

He moves his leg.

All this time, perhaps there are two worlds, separate universes rubbing and abutting against each other.

The world outside responds with resistance. The impact of metal against metal is cushioned by his watery world. He jerks his head, processing the information. He raises an arm...

The world of sight and color and light and shadow; perhaps it obscures another world. A world you've heard of in classes, have read about and always heard about, but never truly saw.

Resistance, but of another variety. Softer, gentler, further away. He moves his arm, and so moves the arm of Another.

A world of vibration and momentum; of heat and resonance and gradients. A world suffocated by that light and color and shadow.

His arms twitch; the arms of the Other glow the indifferent blue of cherenkov radiation.

A world of energy.

Becoming more accustomed to these vicarious sensations, his senses expand, mentality and awareness exploding outward to encompass more than this enclosed watery medium.

And you realize --

Steel limbs move as servos whine.

That's all there really is. Just the energy, the ebb and flow of energy.

Light reflects off the gold and royal blue of the shimmering metal shell.

And you realize something new, something exciting, something you experience only once but is shuttered away by time and memory --

Confidently, he strides forward. In a matter of moments, the shell is no longer a shell. It is no more a shell than his scales were a prison -- in that former life.

You are reborn.

He stands. He waits. He listens. And feels.

"Templar Fenix? Do you hear me?"

The dragoon stands, waiting. A gentle tremble washes across it at intervals, as though it is breathing.

And it speaks.

"I have returned."