Anima: The Masquerade

The Desert

I walked into the desert a year ago. I was younger then. I was a man then. Now I just am.
When I walked in, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I only knew that by the end I would forget myself, and the pain and suffering I would endure would be immense. I walked in without food, without water. I left everything behind. Everything but my goal: To create peace.
My objective has little to do with this narrative, however. When I walked in, I had to survive on as little as possible. Between the occasional sand storms, the ever shifting mirages of the desert, and the wretched creatures that lived there, my journey was fraught with peril. I had to learn the constellations. Each night I would try to memorize the faces of the stars.
One fateful day, I was attacked by a worm the size of a horse. I made quick work of it, and did my best to live off of its flesh for a short time. The taste was bitter, and awful, but that didn’t matter. The few bites would keep me sustained for the day. I continued traveling in the dry heat, but before I knew it the worm was there, crawling beside me. I turned to it and asked it why it was there with me.
It said “I am not with you.”
I couldn’t understand what that meant, but somehow I knew what it had told me was the truth.
“If you are not with me, then where are you?” I asked it.
“I am everywhere. Just like you.” It said. Then it vanished, and I sat down to meditate on what the worm had said.
Looking back, I think that the encounter with the worm was a hallucination. But, as with all hallucinations, the pieces of the illusion are still a part of the mind. There was wisdom in what the worm had told me.
With the fight against Omega so far in the distance, I couldn’t apply it at the time. Now that my journey is nearly over, however, it makes a little more sense. Omega exists with only one purpose: To destroy. If we are to succeed against Omega, we have to understand that we are saving everything. Even the villains and evils that exist in the world. They are merely a part of us made manifest in the great cosmos.
When the worm’s mother showed up, I told it I understood what it’s son had said and I asked it to impart me with more wisdom.
The giant worm tried to eat me.
It took me months to conquer it. Each encounter nearly destroyed me until I came to an understanding. After I had brought the giant down and laid it to rest in the wavering sands I continued on my journey. As I walked, the mother worm crawled beside me. I turned to ask it why it was there with me.
It said “I am not with you.”
I nodded in agreement.
Then it said “You have indigestion.”
I looked at it, perplexed. “What?”
“You shouldn’t have eaten that giant worm. What are you, insane? You can’t just eat the carcasses of everything you kill! That thing could be poisonous!”
I was about to ask it what wisdom could be found in those words, but I passed out.
When I awoke I was surrounded by a field of daffodils.
I think the heat is starting to get to me.



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