I found myself standing in the rain. Up ahead stood the one group of people that despised me more than anyone else. The Warlock stood off to the side, his head down with ears blushing red and Ben was wrapping Crystal in a blanket.
My job was simple. All I had to do was find Carl and his brother, then kill them. If this was the other me than I wouldn't have even hesitated, but I had escaped my prison. Indigo hadn't just devised this horrible situation just to get back at the brothers, but also to tell me where I stood. To her I was nothing but a human, an easily manipulated sponge that she would squeeze the water from until I was wrung dry.
"Daddy, I don't know what to tell you." My brain emulated my daughter's voice, "I don't want to go back in that place, but this is wrong."
I knew it was wrong but I had no choice. If I didn't go and do her bidding then I was lost; I would never have my mind back.
"Honey, what happens if you do it? What do you become if you do as she says?" My wife was always the stronger one, the one to ask the questions no one wanted to.
How different from the old me would I be if I did what she'd asked? Would I end up the same? A monster in the skin of a man. The only difference would be the hate I feel for myself, but after a while wouldn't even that fade away? The group up ahead had stood and were walking away. They were probably headed to the hotel they were staying at. As I watched them I noticed a kind of deep camaraderie that I had only felt when my life was simple, and my family was alive. If I did what she said, then I would be destroying another family, removing two important people and leaving the rest in ruins.
Up ahead a bus turned the corner splashing Ben, Crystal, Nick and Will.
When I was in the Other Lands I remembered watching them, studying their movements and learning their skills. I had gone to the museum knowing that I could beat them, only to find that everything I'd thought was wrong. This single group of people spit in the face of what was definite, almost as though they weren't held down by the rules that bound us all. None of them seemed very special, they weren't even the most powerful people he'd met, but something about them kept them going even against the power of Gods.
"Daddy, you're special too." Tears came to my eyes, and even though my mind was making up her words I was touched, "That mean lady can't control you if you don't let her. We can all choose to be different."
"Honey, we're with you no matter what you do. You've gotten us back, so we're here for you."
The bright headlights of the bus filled my vision and something in me fell together. Indigo and Patrick had caused me all this hardship, but this time I wasn't their puppet. Back then I was tortured and weak, unlike now when I'd faced death and lived. I was like those people I had studied. I was my own person, able to make my own choices and not be controlled by the greed and vengeance of Gods.
I stepped off the curb and turned to face the several tons of metal hurtling toward me. I held my hands up and screamed, "Indigo! Here's what I say to your request you manipulative, evil witch! Go to H-"
The bus collided with my body. I felt my skin rip open and my insides burst as pieces of me flew every direction. I heard a muffled scream as I hit the ground and slid in the mud. I was dying and the pain was incredible, but I'd felt worse. I had felt it for so long. Slowly the world blurred away and went black.
I was free. I was strong. I was special. I was dead.