"Enduring my last breath, I will never back down."
In this world, humans are rare specimens. Only a few are said to be alive. However, in this town, the town known as 'Dream', there's a master that creates robots as a living. Now, there are machines to fill in the gaps of humanity that was once there. But a war broke out between the world, and it was then divided in twos. Two worlds, different from each other fight till the death, and only one master shall rule both kingdoms. There shall only be one master, and two kingdoms. Who will survive? And who will die in pure solitary?
Bird chirps skimmed through the atmosphere as the sun glided through the open red curtain drapes. Eyes peeped open, whilst my hand protected my eyesight from being blinded by the light as I shuffled myself up into a seating position. I scanned the area of the room—Skylar’s room—then down at myself. I tilted my hand back and raised my wrist to the tip of my nose, sniffing up the familiar lingering scent traced on the long white-sleeved shirt. It gave off a light citrus smell, composed of a sensual white musk between an earthly tropical scent and a sporty fragrance.
“This isn’t me,” I shook my head, shrugging off the scent of Skylar’s cologne. The tropical scents made me feel hungry, bringing my senses to starvation, rather than awaking to reality. His bed was soft, and his pillows were light, as if they were filled with feathers and air. I hopped off the bed and skipped my way down to the hallway after twisting the knob of the door open and shutting it behind my back.
A soft hymn escaped my mouth as I hummed along the empty hallways to visit Skylar in the kitchen. A waft of earl grey tea welcomed me with Skylar directing me to a seat on a chair. “Morning,” he smirked, just from a slight glance at my messy bed hair. He then poured his share of boiling hot tea into his cup.
“Morning,” I repeated, blowing away the stammering hot steam given off the teacup. “What’s the plan for today?”
“No plan,” Skylar ran his body over to the sink and refilled the water before placing down the kettle back onto the stove for reheating. “It’s still early,” he said, taking a quick notice at the time ticking towards quarter-to-ten.
Saliva tracked its way to my mouth. When I opened it, a ‘tack’ hustled its way in and Skylar’s attention pieced towards me. “Then…” I paused to think of an idea, “How about we watch something?” I blew away the continuous steam before slurping onto the scorching earl grey tea.
“TV is down, if that’s what you’re asking for.”
“Then what are we supposed to do in the mean time?” I plopped the porcelain tea cup onto its matching saucer.
Skylar sipped on his share. He had a lean and composed figure, even when drinking tea through a majestic ceramic teacup. “Like I said,” he repeated again, “no plan.”
There was an irking sensation that had the urge to kick him to the floor for telling me there was no plan for the day. I was merely hoping to go on an adventure or be some sort of survivalist hoping to be a hero of the town. Skylar didn’t give me that opportunity, and that infuriated me. I crossed my arms and learned it on the counter top with a scowling facial appearance piecing at the way he was consuming on his tea. “Then what do you normally do around this dump?”
From the corner of his eye, he noticed my angular figure. He slowly adjusted his teacup down, settling into the porcelain saucer held in his other hand. “Usually I go out on a walk at this time of day—hunting to be exact.” I believed that Skylar was only saying these sorts of things as a joke, but the fact that he went on listing the great adventures he would usually go on every morning, I was convinced that he was starting to annoy me on purpose. “…and during the night, I save people like you from endangerment.”
I processed his last sentence through my mind. “What do you mean by saving people like me from endangerment?” Curiosity arose on the inside, yet, there was a fraction of irritation limping in my brain.
Skylar quickly consumed his breakfast tea, sculling each and every last drop of the liquids down his throat. “To simply put it,” he positioned his cup down onto the counter top along with his matching plate. “They come and go.”
A burst of my voice echoed into the midst of the room, “I demand an explanation!” I thumped my fits onto the bench, immediately jolting the cutlery in one blow.
He glanced my way, noticing that I was already peeved at his statement. “At what explanation is it that you seek? Isn’t it modest enough that I told you the basic outcome of what usually happens?” He exhaled a very sad sigh. He closed his eyes, clearing his thoughts, trying to maintain his composure in one piece.
“Honestly,” I mumbled, “it’s not enough.”
“Hm?” Skylar opened his eyes, observing my fists clenching together tightly. “What was that?”
“It’s not enough,” my voice recited.
He pieced his mind together, nodding at the final outcome of my mumble. He queried in a monotonous sound, “What’s not enough?”
“Information,” my tone increased, “I need to know more…” I was sure that Skylar had no clue what was running through my mind, and I didn’t blame him for that. “I want to know,” I lifted my head high, flashing my eyes up to meet his, “w-who was here.” There was a slight cry in the depths of my tone.
Skylar seemed to show no remorse or bat an eye away. His eyes crossed down, and I could tell he had been through so much of losing a survivor, one after another. “Very well,” he delivered in a softer tone compared to his distilled posture. “In the Dream Headquarters, we save the innocent survivors from supernatural beings. With every individual we bring back, we give them a specific order that they must follow,” his muscles tenses like a story unravelling its secrets. “Some stay because they’re afraid of being swallowed up by the darkness that occurs outside of this place. Others, they’ve been driven off to their breaking point. – They jump because they’re scared of losing another friend, family, or lover. Often, they’re overwhelmed with many tragic events.”
“How long does it last until they reach their breaking point?”
“Near less than three days,” Skylar scowled a look. “There have been countless sayings that the Dream Headquarters is haunted by so many deaths. It has lasted decades, and yet, the people we bring back may seem fine, but they are often tainted and swallowed by the darkness once encountering the corrupted society of Dream.”
“It’s ironic, isn’t it? To know that people come here, assuming Dream is a safe place to live. I feel bad for those who travel here to find the world so corrupted and dismantled as it already is.”
“Indeed it is,” he flicked his metal lighter cased in dirt silver layering with engraved tribal markings drawn around it. The fire lit up the second he drew back the top with his thumb. “People who come here burn,” he sprinkled tiny sand bits from his fingers to the fire. It burned, causing a fume of a distinct scent roam around the air. He continued until there were no grains left to scorch, “where their existence becomes ashes.”
A trail of thoughts lingered to my head where I realized a particular girl who I had talked to almost a week ago. I had to ask, “Was there are girl, older than me,” I directed to my hair, “brunette, hair halved in twos in braids.” Skylar mingled in his mind, attempting to make a memory of who the girl I was talking about was. “She’s quite short, but she packs quite the punch. She wears a red chequered shirt around her waist, black shorts,” I gestured most parts. It wasn’t long until Skylar realized who I was talking about—
“Sarsha, right?” I nodded. “Yeah, she was here. She was by the convenience store, curled up in a far corner trying to medicate with bandages and painkillers. She was badly injured across her stomach,” he lowered his tone.
“So you do know her,” I sighed in a relief.
“Sarsha told me that she didn’t come here to be safe,” he furrowed his eyebrows, “but to look for the crown of an original.” There wasn’t a surprise in the way he had mentioned her name. Her intentions were solid, and I was well-aware of that. “Let’s just say that she didn’t make it.”
In a way, I sort of knew it would happen. We weren’t protected in the first place, so what made this an exception? There was a look in my eye that screamed for vengeance. I announced one thing that got me off my seat, and that got Skylar slightly worried of my inattentive ways.
“Dream is no safe house anymore.”