Alsarnia: Hey guys! I know what you're thinking, and it can be along any of these three things:
What the heck is she doing making another oneshot when she should be updating her other stuff?
Why is she writing for such a creepy game…
Or Ha, I bet she doesn't know what I'm thinking.
Excluding the last one, I'm wondering the same thing.
Daniel: -tries to sneak away as Alsarnia talks-
Alsarnia: -grabs him and drags him back- Where do you think you're going?
Daniel: No! This is worse than the Shadow!
Alsarnia: -sniffs sadly- I don't smell that bad…
Daniel: You make me seem like a weirdo in this!
Alsarnia: Dude, you are a weirdo, you talk to yourself all the time anyways through the game and see hallucinations so there's not much I can do to make you weirder.
Daniel: You're mean!
Alsarnia: Yea, I was born that way. Anyways, this is just a rambling thing for you guys to ignore. Have fun!
Daniel: © Frictional Games
Daniel watched with one part horror and one part fascination as the shadow devoured Alexander. The red slime that had been chasing him all through the castle shook and shivered with joy at eating the man filled with more darkness and hatred than Daniel himself had. Perhaps that was why the Shadow decided to ignore Daniel's cowering form in the corner, because the darkness in Alexander was enough to quench its thirst.
Daniel's head started to ache and he ground his teeth together in pain as slowly, but surely, the Shadow turned toward him and watched him writhe against the wall where he had tried to slip into from the moment it came into the room.
With an unearthly shriek it made the room shake and the levitating rocks fell to the ground. Daniel clutched at his aching head, sure that the shadow was not satisfied and still wanted to eat him as well for having taken the orb in the first place.
There was a flash of light, and Daniel thought that he was having a flashback again, but the light flashed again and again, like the camera that had been taking pictures that day back in Algeria when he had first found the orb. What a thing to remember at a time like this. Then again, his flashbacks came at the most strangest of times, so why not just before he died?
It sort of made sense after all. And in the middle of all that chaos, Daniel wondered if when his life flashed before his eyes just before he died if he would actually remember anything because of the amnesia potion. It must have been a good life before he came to Algeria if he was able to go on such an expedition in the first place. He wondered what his family had been like and if they would forgive him for what he'd done if they ever found out.
White turned to black and he fell unconscious.
When he reawakened he felt much like he had at the beginning of the entire fiasco. However, his memories were intact. All the memories from when he had first woken in the castle were still there, much to his relief.
Perhaps the memories from his time with Alexander were too dark and evil for him to remember, but the time he spent in the castle struggling against the Gatherers, the Shadow, and his own fear, clutching for repentance and vengeance for what Alexander made him do were enough for him to not forget.
He still wasn't completely sure of his past with Alexander seeing as all he knew about it really were the men and women he had murdered in cold blood. But that Daniel was long since gone and the current Daniel refused to ever regress into that person.
He sat up and rubbed his head, much of the pounding was gone but there was a dull ache that still dug into his brain. He looked around the once magnificent and sacred inner sanctum. The previously floating stones had fallen to the ground in a mass of boulders but they had somehow missed Daniel's crumpled form and the only door that led out of the blasted castle.
But first…Daniel climbed over the boulders up to the platform that Alexander had previously been floating on. There was not a trace of the formerly great man, only stones and a splattered glowing green liquid on the ground.
A shiver went up Daniel's spine. For some reason a complete disappearance was a fitting end for Alexander, but it unnerved him still. He looked to the great pedestal that had once been so menacing.
"Daniel…Daniel…I know you can hear me, Daniel."
He spun about in a panic, wondering who had just spoken to him. It had been his own voice, but he was sure he hadn't said anything.
"W-who's there?" he called, lighting his lantern in hopes he had simply passed over the person as a mistaken shadow and that he'd find the owner of the voice, but to no avail.
"Heheh, you know who I am, Daniel. I'm your former self."
Daniel panicked, not thinking about how he had gone mad long ago or how he was talking to himself, but of his frightening former self. He knew about himself before; he didn't know himself, but he knew about him. It was like getting letters from someone across the continent, you know about them, but you don't know them personally.
This happened to be the case with Daniel, for his current self could remember nothing about his former self, save for what he knew from his journal entries and from what had happened in the torture chambers. He wasn't even sure what he saw had been a flashback though.
That moment had been much like when he remembered the orb chamber in Algeria. The memory was so real it felt like he was reliving it. What was that saying he had chanted again? It had been dark and horrid.
"Paint the man, cut the lines, cut the flesh, watch the blood spill, let it come."
Daniel's blood ran cold at the words.
"You remember, don't you? How you sacrificed—no—killed all those people?"
"No, I—I was being manipulated by Alexander. And now I've given my revenge. It's done! I'm not you anymore!"
"You are me, Daniel, there is no escaping your hands. You cannot escape the blood on your hands, the acts your body has committed. There is no way to escape what you have done."
Daniel shook his head feverishly. "No, no, no! I've washed my hands of the blood of the past!"
"With the Amnesia potion? That is not a strong enough solution to cut through the blood of a hundred people."
"NO! I've washed my hands with Holy Water! All I have done since taking the Amnesia was to repent for my sins and surely God forgives me."
"You have washed with no Holy Water. You have washed with Alexander's blood. That is far from Holy, you've just added more blood to your hands."
"No! I have given Alexander up in my place as the source of the evil I have done; everything I have done is his fault, not mine, and now he is paying for it."
"If Alexander was your evil and he is dead, then why am I still here? Why is your former self and memories still here?"
Daniel crouched on the ground, afraid of his own voice and clutching his head, which was pounding again. He whimpered, the room had seemed to grow darker and the only light was that from his lantern.
Was it true? Was he really the one at fault, not Alexander? Certainly he had killed too many people to count in order to harvest vitae for the Baron, but was he really the one guilty?
The Shadow had been at his heels, ready to swallow him at any moment, all his friends, and simply anyone close to him had died. Alexander had assured him that he was doing a good deed, had convinced him that those people were murderers, rapists, arsonists. But he had believed the Baron. Did that make it his fault? No, certainly not! He had been used! Fooled! A man desperate for his life and fearing everyday would be his last, watching the shadows for a monster that was after him for picking up an orb, he was used in his desperation by Alexander who only wanted the orb he possessed and in the meantime had him torture and kill people in order to harvest vitae to help Alexander back home.
So was he to blame? In his innocent, desperate, and gullible mindset was he still responsible for his actions when he was being manipulated? Would he ever be forgiven for the horrible things he's done and for the people he's killed?
After all, he couldn't have been that innocent if he was conscious of what he was doing. But he had known when it went too far. He had realized it when Alexander had him kill the little girl. A sweet, innocent little girl who certainly had never done anything wrong in her life. It was only after she was dead that he realized how much she looked like his late sister, Hazel.
Daniel pulled his knees up to his chest and let out a little sob. He could understand why his past self had taken the amnesia potion. He never ever wanted to remember all the horrible things he had done to these innocent people. He didn't want to become a monster again.
"Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, do not fret. Yes, it was you who killed those people, and yes you may eventually be punished, however, there is a way out."
Daniel lifted his head slowly. "A way to r-redemption?"
"Yes, it's all here, Daniel, the answer is in the room, don't you see? You can use Alexander's machine, use the portal and go to the World that he had been so desperate to reach. There, in the World, you will be forgiven, your sins will be washed away, you can live peacefully! What do you have here? No one. All your companions were killed by the Shadow. What do you have? Nothing. Not even your memories."
Daniel actually considered his. He was right about him having nothing and no one but would he really be so easily forgiven? "I…I don't think that's possible. I have nothing that is needed to open the portal, and I couldn't live long enough to find out how to make it work…"
"Silly Daniel, you have everything you need. You have the machine to make the portal right in front of you. The orb? For you, who was so closely connected with the last one it would be a simple task for you to find another and this time it can be the last component so that you are gone from this world before it even has the chance to set the Shadow upon you."
Daniel shivered at the mention of the creature.
"The vitae is easily extractable from humans and you know how to take and use it, thanks to Alexander. Gathering humans should be no trouble either. Now that Alexander is gone the Gatherers will probably follow you, seeing as how you are the only other living and thinking thing they know. They can capture all the humans you need."
Daniel was a bit surprised. "The Gatherers? Follow me?"
His former self chuckled. "Of course, you may not remember but you had spent much time with the Gatherers before going against Alexander."
"How had I not had a flashback?"
"Did you ever stay around them long enough to have a flashback or ever look straight at them?"
"Well…no…" True, whenever he saw or heard one of the creatures he would run in blind fear or hide in a corner from them. He supposed he was always in such a panic that there was no room for flashbacks at those moments.
"Exactly. The Gatherers will follow you if only you ask them."
"But what about time? I certainly don't have as much time as Alexander did, what with him being immortal."
"Of course you do not remember this, but Alexander once told you that by having had the orb in your possession that you will start to age slower than most people. You are certainly not immortal as Alexander was, but you do have an extended life line."
Daniel was quiet. "Then…what about making the formulas? I don't know how to do that."
"Ah, but you have someone that does know. Look into your bag."
Daniel opened his satchel to find Agrippa's severed head at the top. His eyes widened. "Oh God…Agrippa!" He started to shuffle around worriedly. "Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no! I still have Agrippa's head!"
He looked around in a panic, wondering if Agrippa's soul was somewhere near. "I'm so sorry, Agrippa! I—I didn't know what to do! For all your jabbering before taking the tonic you never really explained what I should do exactly!"
He looked down, still wondering what exactly he was supposed to have done with the head. Throw it at the Shadow? Certainly not. Agrippa seemed to be the closest thing to a living friend (though he was, in reality, far from the title) and he didn't really want to just toss his head at the monster.
"That tonic you gave him keeps him alive. Most likely you can set up that machine and talk to him again. He can tell you the formula and you, who are so much stronger than Alexander, can do the tasks needed to re-open the portal to the World together."
A shiver went up his spine. The comparison with Alexander made him rethink the offer.
"You can still save yourself, you can still save Agrippa, all you have to do is become Alexander!"
Daniel stood up with a dark expression. "No, no, NO! I will NOT become Alexander. The man I hate even in not remembering him is dead in mind, soul, body, and ethics. The Shadow took care of his soul and body and I will make sure that his ethics will not be reproduced! I will leave this castle and this fiasco behind me and move on. I deserve loneliness. I may live longer than most, but that gives me time to make repentance with good deeds. I will tell the town about the horrors of the Gatherers and the castle and they will stay away. I want nothing to do with this castle or the inhabitants any longer."
"Daniel, wait, don't—"
"And Agrippa," he said loudly, cutting himself off and looking sadly down at the head, "Perhaps there is nothing more I can do for you, being as weak as I am, but I suppose I shall keep you with me in case your spirit does follow your head, so that you are at least not alone. I'm sorry, friend, that I was not able to send you back to your assistant Weyer, but if I do ever find a way to send you to…the World I will strive for it. I only ask that you do not ask for me to become what I once was, no, to become like Alexander. I cannot do that."
"Daniel, there is not way to help Agrippa now but to recreate the portal!"
Daniel spoke louder. "And, as you said, my connection with the orbs is strong and I can easily seek them out as an archeologist as I seem to have been in the past. I will find the orbs and make sure that no one will make the same mistakes I had and the shadow will not hunt any other person again!"
"Now see here, Daniel—"
"I AM NOT ALEXANDER!" Daniel's voice echoed a bit before dying down to an eerie silence. Daniel panted, but not because of fear, like he had been for the past few days; he panted out of anger at himself and his past self. He didn't think of the strength his conversation with himself had entailed, but only of what his other self had said.
He looked down at Agrippa's head, thinking about how he should clean it up a bit if he planned on taking it everywhere with him. Being an archeologist should explain why he carries a head around well enough. Still…perhaps he should keep it hidden somehow or say it's fake, seeing as, as long as his spirit was there, Agrippa's head would never rot, like his body.
Daniel began to wonder if he could get the head's jaw fixed and perhaps feed the head to hike him look a little fuller. After all, if Agrippa was still alive as a head what couldn't be possible? Perhaps he could even revive the head enough to let Agrippa be able to talk!
As Daniel thought these disgusting and strange questions he lit his lantern and began to walk out of the castle. His sanity stayed clear and while he still feared the shadows and noises of the castle he was able to make it back to the place he started at, all the while little heeding the destruction and crumbling of the castle that fell around his footprints.
As he walked outside and into the light of midday he could only think about how proper revenge for what Alexander had done to him had been paid and how, if he had to do it again, he would kill Alexander in the exact same way.
Alsarnia: -thoughtful- You know, you kind of remind me of Golem in this, how you talk to your evil past self and that you have a goody goody self that's trying not to go along with your bad self
Daniel: You got a lot of technical things wrong, like I'm pretty sure I don't normally talk like this, and I couldn't hide against the wall because there was painful slime all over it, and Alexander was never—
Alsarnia: Yeah, okay, we get it, I suck because I don't pay attention to details, give a rest man.
Daniel: I also feel really bad for Agrippa
Alsarnia: I always wondered what happened to him when you did the revenge path, so I just kinda stuck him in your rucksack. I feel like I kinda made you more heroish than you really are at the end.
Daniel: Are you saying you overestimated me in the story?
Alsarnia: Yeah, I'm pretty sure when you left, your thoughts weren't as heroic as getting rid of all the other Shadows and bringing Agrippa back.
Alsarnia: Meh, no one cares, they're just here for entertainment and hopefully they got some! So, see you guys next time!
Daniel: -grumbles to himself- Goodbye.