It was… no one could describe what was going on with him right now. He was dragging a massive psyche through phase space. Did he have a body? Was it burnt up for good? What about his psyche? Was that crushed under the unstoppable weight of the King? The answer to all of those questions was yes and no. And that was the most maddening thing of all. Facts seemed to slip out of his grip, splash at his feet, rise once more, then fall for good. Not only did physics make no sense in this realm, but so too did the anchors of the mind. They were unreliable. The guiding principles of his life simply melted away the longer he remained here and the longer the King was wrapped around his body.
At least the King hadn’t climbed any higher. But it was cold comfort to Joseph’s lower half. Cold being the most important word. He was numb. He was only vaguely aware that he still had legs and a stomach. It felt as if they’d been carved away permanently and now he was only left with ghosts.
But he dragged the King, and he dragged and dragged. He now felt like the embodiment of gravity pulling the universe along with it.
He put his all into recalling Faxon A in every single detail he could, and as the King continued to throw up images to distract Joseph, he just found ways to push them aside.
He could recall the happy days of his youth – running through those hills, joyously exploring every mystery and every dark cavern.
Then one memory rose stronger than the rest.
The day Sally had taken him to meet the Omega guard.
He followed her in his mind’s eye even now, even as he had to concentrate on Faxon A with all his might.
Her small soft hand pulled him forward. And with every step, with every step he got nearer to the moment his life had changed irrevocably.
He could see the Omega guard once more. But there was Sally in the background. Her eyes were luminous. Now Joseph knew how to detect phase space, he swore he could feel it opening up all around her.
Maybe up until that point, Sally had known about the fact she was a phase creature. But something had occurred to let that knowledge slip.
Joseph didn’t know why he’d only remembered the Omega guard recently. But what about Sally? Why had she never recalled who she was?
What if it had something to do with the fact she had decided to have a human body? He didn’t know why Sally the phase creature had come down to the real realm, but maybe she’d felt some need to help. Yet there was a cost of living in this dimension. That cost was having a body and being bound by its flesh just as one was lifted up by its strength.
Concluding that, do you think Joseph suddenly shrugged off the rest of his form and returned completely to phase space?
The thought remained nonetheless – despite the mind’s power, bodies were somehow just as important. He used that knowledge now as he groped, utilizing his muscles less as a prop and more as a physical reminder of movement.
He concentrated on Faxon A harder and harder until finally he could taste it and see it and feel it. It was just there.
The King screamed. It was a truly unholy, self-righteous affair. It was the sound of someone and something that knew it had the right to continue to exist, no matter what. And all of those who tried to get in its way were nothing more than monsters and fools. They were idiots who didn’t understand the nature of reality. For attempting to stop the King from existing was akin to trying to destroy the entire universe.
With one last blast of mental effort, Joseph did it. He connected to Faxon A.
To the cavern, to Sally, to the place where all of this had begun.
With one last scream blasting from his lips, he anchored the King to the room.
And he waited to see what would happen next.