They chained me, kept me prisoner and were going to burn me, but I caught them off guard by trying to light the fire myself. My hair was caught and tangled, holding me fast to the ground for burning. They hadn't the stomach for it after all, and the oldest boy seemed disturbed and shocked, finally freeing me from my shackles. Two girls, one littler boy and the one older boy.
The older one showed interest in me, so I made the most of it. I kept them busy while showing them all how to do aerial gymnastics from hoops suspended in the ceiling, encouraging the smallest to learn to jump. The house was an aquamarine and futuristic series of domes in the middle of a lake. At one point I took a dive into their swimming pool, which was blissfully deep and cool.
I knew people were looking for me. Finally I heard a voice say, "There, that's done it." The littlest boy had let down his guard and posted satellite pictures of the house on his Facebook account, along with a bit of a taunt about how they had me and I was going to die there, in spite of overt hostilities toward me having ceased some days ago.
I saw the older girl had noticed the approach of authorities on a view screen in the house (being equipped with various intruder alert systems). She noted the infrared forms of multiple individuals approaching the house, and the attitude toward me instantly turned nasty. The oldest boy was wearing a dark blue dress shirt, spread here and there with stains from the exertion of learning from me as I taught.
I grabbed an umbrella and jumped to a ceiling hoop, waving it menacingly in their direction. They came at me stupidly, one at a time. The first was the little boy, who I stabbed through the head with no guilt whatsoever. He fell, and the others screamed in rage.
The second was one of the girls, who made a leap for me, but I had taught them all they knew, and I was better. I spun on my ceiling hoop, avoided her grasp, and swung the umbrella around for a stab into an unprotected eye socket.
At this point, the umbrella turned into a sort of whaling weapon, a long spear with a point that would snap open into a kind of trident, a three-pointed end where once there had been only the single tip.
I happily accepted this fortuitous alteration in my weapon and thrust it without hesitation straight through the girl's eye, then sprung the trigger on my end and sent metal spikes deep into her brain. She fell without a sound, and I retracted the points, shaking her body off my spear.
The oldest boy now edged toward me, his eyes a mystery of lust and hate. I had used his feelings for me to my advantage, successfully gaining his trust sufficiently for him to feel comfortable releasing my shackles and allowing me to roam about the house that was my prison as I willed.
I suppose he felt that this evident preference I'd shown might give him some power over me, but that was his mistake. I never forgot who was holding me prisoner, and I employed my revenge swiftly when he made the mistake of grabbing for me.
I leapt from one ring to the next, far faster than he could have hoped to, then turned my weapon in his direction and struck, all within the space of a single breath. The look on his face as the point penetrated his chest and lethally expanded its sharp metal reach was one of disbelief and frustration. His body went limp, and his eyes blanked, sliding off my polearm as I clicked the blades shut and faced my last opponent.
The only one remaining was a girl, probably around the age of 14 or so. She had played an equal role in my imprisonment and torment, egging her companions on to burn me to death. I felt no pity for her as she surveyed her fallen friends in despair.
She did not attack me, but instead spoke, saying that she knew death was inevitable, whether from myself or the rescue forces currently visible onscreen making their way into the house's vast interior, and that she would rather die from a blow inflicted by a former friend than a stranger.
I nodded and asked what she would prefer I use. She indicated a steel ball about the size of a cantaloupe, attached to a bag, light but strong. This enabled it to be hurled round one's head and then released toward the target, somewhat like a bola, but without releasing the end of the attached bag, so one never lost a grip on her weapon.
This had obvious downsides, the biggest being both the need for excellent aim and the small distance required between the wielder and her enemy in order to be used successfully. Fortunately, the target of my final retribution fulfilled both those qualifications by sitting still very near to me with her hood cinched around her face in acquiescence of her chosen fate.
I swung the ball a couple times to get the feel of it, then inquired if she was ready. She replied that she was, so I whirled the weapon around my head twice to build up speed, then sent it crashing into her skull with the sound of a melon hitting the ground after being hurled through the air by a trebuchet.
She collapsed immediately, her body slamming backward into the ground with the concussive force of impact, and that was that.
My dream images quickly blacked and then returned to find myself seated on a sort of rocket motorcycle, propelled through the air toward a glowing ship in front of us. When I say "us", I refer also to my driver, who was none other than Worf from Star Trek's Next Generation series.
The sky around us was dark, as the rescue had taken place during the night, and trails of illuminated ghostly forms streamed toward the ship from their clustered groups far below. It was quite a spectacle, all these brightly glowing spirit shapes rising toward a central meeting point in the dark sky.
We finally arrived, and I was led through a very futuristic environment, mostly composed of computer terminals and various screens showing the activity outside.
After a bit of walking, I noticed one woman with long, dark hair who I recognized as strikingly resembling someone I knew to be dead. Before I could turn to my guide and question this, I found myself in the company of a most peculiar-looking person. This girl (or so she seemed in age) had piles of dark hair billowing around her head, one purple-irised eye and one that was white with a black spiral slowly revolving toward its center.
She began speaking to my guide, bemoaning her experiment in the nature of death having gone awry, and it was then that I noticed her resemblance to Morti, the vagrant AI who appears at the end of the .hack//Legend of the Twilight series (it is not very good, don't bother watching if you haven't already) and confesses to having trapped children's minds in a virtual reality game in order to experience real death.
Morti appears in the series as a young girl dressed in white and fairly normal, except the left side of her face, which is made up of damaged data and looks all wrong. The person in front of me looked different, but her essence was exactly the same, and I knew her.
"With transcendence comes understanding. I wish to understand death; that is my only goal."
— Morti —
After I recognize Morti for who she really is, I wake up.