TheNeverPages Serialisation
Series 5, Episode 5

TheNeverPages - Series 5, Episode 5

TheNeverRealm is now an alien place. When I left it, Couldwell was still here. Now it seems Pripyat has arrived fully. I have read over Tesla’s entries. Amazed at his discoveries. Amazed at how he carried on investigating, even in the face of all this chaos. Touched by his dedication and kind words regarding me. Heartbroken at reading Angeline’s entries and learning how Tesla’s end came about.

After some time investigating the ruined laboratory, MGV2 (have adopted Tesla’s name for him) and I headed into the city. The map left in the diary by Angeline helped greatly. Tesla was canny to integrate the maps of Couldwell and Pripyat and we found our way through the town with ease. Even tracing some faded markers on walls and corners where we had originally began to map the town.

Good discovery: we exist.

We were corporeal to the other townsfolk. Though they bustled about and though fixated on getting from ‘A’ to ‘B’, they avoided us like we were really there, a part of their lives and environment. One man even tipped his hat to us as he rushed about, offering us a greeting in a language we don’t speak.

We were giddy at the long forgotten feeling of existence (at least, existence in comparison to other living entities). Of course, we could all be ghosts, or projections. However, the acceptance of each other’s temporal occupancy in a shared environment proves that we are a part of this collection of souls and in that, we can divine an existence. Our excitement caused us to bump into many people, caused us to walk into poles, snag our ankles on steps and rails. Townsfolk paid no real mind to our shambolic nature. Must have assumed we were drunk.

After a while of stumbling around, soaking in our new-found existence, our shared consciousness began to throb. We both began to endure a monumental headache. A sensory overload. Our minds perhaps not capable of dealing with all the folds of reality in one place so soon after our rebirth.

We sought refuge. Our staggering and stumbling soon turned from giddy disbelief to tortured anguish. We had to leave! We had to get away. We stooped low, our arms around each other, shielding our eyes from the sun and the sights of the town and we focused on the concrete and made our way through the town.

Eventually, after many blind turns, we stumbled upon a dried out and deserted concrete canal. The pain in our heads fell away and we slid down the dry wall, onto the canal bed. I write this now, sitting against the wall.

The canal extends at least five kilometres in either direction and we can see tributaries branching off the main tract that we occupy. We are relieved to be on our own again. We assume that, in ‘time’ our minds will become adjusted to the ‘living conditions’ of actually existing in this thriving town. For now, we need rest.

I have noticed that sand is leaking from my trouser legs also. MGV2 has a gentle trickle. Now I do too. Curious. We will sleep for a bit.


Woken at sundown by sound of whimpering. We both woke from our black, dreamless state at the same time. A gentle, sad whimpering. Seems to be emanating from south of the concrete canal.

We are going to investigate.


The whimpering is now louder. Louder and disturbing. Something is in pain. We have taken a few turns to get here and the sun has set. The section of the canal we are in is dirtier and more dilapidated. It seems that the further away from Pripyat we venture, the greater the disrepair. The concrete is cracked, discoloured and damp in places. There is even moss and reeds breaking through the floor. The whimpering is coming from up ahead. We go now.


Found the source of the noise. There is something trapped behind this storm drain. We found a metal grate over a culvert, sealed with rust. Behind it, the sad tones of the crying beast. Our collective strength is not able to budge the grate. We cannot see what animal is making the noise, we just both feel that we need to get to it. MGV2 says he can see something. A glint in the darkness.


It’s him! It’s Paisley! The glint was the bullet in his eye-socket, shining in the moonlight, wet from his tears, poor creature! Stuck in the vent. How did he get here? I do not know. I would assume after Tesla was destroyed in the plasma globe, Paisley was alone and with nobody to see him in the world and nobody to care for him he fled to this dark and awful place. Poor thing. We cannot get to him. The grate is sealed beyond hope. He is moaning and crying. He has dragged himself forward, and we can feel his fur, he is nuzzling MGV2.

Discovery:

We have gotten him out of there and by the most unexpected means imaginable. We have discovered that, while we exist, we are not flesh. We are something else.

While MGV2 was stroking Paisley, and as their cries grew and their sorrow compounded, I noticed his hand begin to disappear into Paisley’s fur. Sand began to trickle through has scraggy neck and collect on the floor. Soon, MGV2’s arm began to fall away. He began to scream. I was shocked. Dumbfounded. He began to pour through the grate and within seconds he was no more, simply a great pile of sand with Paisley standing in the middle of it! I rattled the grate and screamed in terror and pain.

Before I could think to do anything, the sand began to shift and stir. Paisley leapt backwards as a shape and form began to push and pull from the pile. I fell backwards, aghast as Master G_ Version Two reformed himself in his entirety before our eyes! Every detail was correct, every molecule in its right place, even his clothes had reformed. He looked at himself in disbelief and then smiled.

I scrambled forward to the grate, fixed my eyes upon my two compatriots in the culvert, took a deep breath and extended my arms through. The feeling was sublime. I was in control of every single atom and I had total omnipotence over my being. I poured myself through the grate and reformed on the other side. It was almost effortless, like jumping out of a tree – once you overcome the initial trial, you can do it time and again. We hugged Paisley and, from the inside, we managed to kick the grate free, releasing us. We climbed out into the starry night. I picked up the journal and the periscope (which I was unable to convert to sand) and all three of us walked back to the sleeping town. 


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