There were soft voices around me, two I think. I could feel light on my eyelids, not daytime though. Something soft lay beneath me, a bed it seemed. In that moment, everything could be at peace. Until I remembered.
They noticed me as I opened my eyes, a man and a woman coming over.
"They really need to learn to not knock people so hard." It was the woman who spoke, lazy brown hair pooling over her face as she learnt over me. "C'mon, get up."
I didn't feel sore, not a bone out of place. It was a bed I found when I stood up to my height, a single small room, with nothing but the furniture I had just lain on.
"The Saviour's been waiting for you."
The Saviour. The man who had saved us from ourselves, taken away the destruction we had caused. The man who was everything here, who held everything here. Who I despised. I was about to meet him, an act people would yearn for.
I followed them through the corridors, white-paved walls, nothing but the occasional conformed door. Each corner was the same. Neither man nor woman spoke as they led me through, their minds seemingly comfortable in the surroundings.
Then we came to a difference. Two double white doors. I knew what lay within.
The man knocked thrice, and didn't wait for a reply. "They're ready."
I lay my hand on the doorknob, twisted with a touch of fate, and entered the room.
The Saviour stood there, behind a large desk, amongst dappled appearance manicured into perfection.
"It's nice to meet you." They said. It's nice to meet you she said.
The Saviour was a woman.
And I realised, this was the truth that drove people into craziness. To live a life believing, worshipping, to have to all twisted around. Madness would come quickly.
One. Three. Two. My eyes flickered to the doors placed so willingly against the back wall. A woman, a mother.
"Where's Son?" My voice blurted out quickly, hastily grasped to comprehension.
For a moment her brow wrinkled in thought. "Nicholas you mean. His name is not Son, I won't have you calling him that anymore."
"Where is he?"
"He's safe, that's all that you need know." Her weathered face did not match the voice that flowed beyond.
"You're a bastard you know." I spoke before thinking, but did not regret it once said.
"You have such a way with words don't you. Think about it though, are we the ones that really are so cruel?"
"Yes." Of course it was them, not giving anyway a choice they could take.
"They're happy aren't they? Smiling all the time, nice to one another. No more stealing, no more murder, no arguments even. And everyone's happy. Isn't that really what matters?"
She was right. Happiness, the best thing one could wish for.
"They'll be changing to soon. It's for the best."
The people back in Statelend would no longer have a choice. And would it be better? It thought over what she had said, over points she had given. Everyone was happy, everyone but me. My happiness though, was trifle compared to everyone else's.
"Happiness can't be given."
She looked at me with a sharp gaze. "From birth people are bestowed with happiness, loving parents, a safe comfortable home."
"What about my parents?"
"Your parents loved you enough."
"They weren't my parents."
"Your parents came from Statelend, they never had a choice over you."
She had known me from the beginning, known me from the moment I was born, long before I would hear the word Saviour on everyone's lip. I was an experiment.
"Seems that your little glimpse of a different world stuck with you. Maybe it was what your father told you before you were taken away. It could have been anything really."
I needn't ask what it was my father had said, for somehow I already knew. Some boys choose their father's but sons don't get that choice. Son had never wanted me to help him when he whispered out that night. But I had.
She was staring at me, a curious gaze on her face. "We have quite a predicament over you Son. We can't let you go, either here or Statelend. We don't want to kill you, so you have your life."
I already knew the last option, but still I asked. "What's left?"
"You stay here, locked away from everyone."
"Eternity eh? I'd rather die. Leave me in a room with a rope and send me my last meal."
"We're not going to let you die." She was standing just a foot from me, within my grasp, within my reaches.
"Halis Fael." I don't why the words came to my mind, or how they slipped past my tongue. But they did, and I watched as a grasp of something, something that gave me hope, shredded over her face.
"Do you know what the means?"
I did not know. But as my eyes drifted around the furniture room, past this manicured woman to rest on the dark-framed window. I knew what it meant.
She didn't give a moment before she spoke. "How do you know that?"
"Because you said it to me the day I was taken." I hoped she believed my lie, I did not know whether she had said it to me or not.
She wasn't speaking, not even looking at me, her body turning to the window. "Halis, Fael, it is a beautiful thing if said properly."
I wondered if she remembered my presence.
"We doubted this, we all did. None of us believed it would work, yet still we tried. Ultimate happiness, that's all we wanted. To create a world where was no pain, no suffering. People ask instead of take, smile instead of cry. They're happy. Happy." She retreated to silence, just staring, seeming to barely recognise my appearance. "Come." She still didn't look up me.
I approached cautiously, standing a step behind me.
"I only wish they could see the beauty."
Outside the window the sun was rising. A deep yellow globe ascended over the horizon, casting an orange glow across the conformed homes. Beyond that, light had already entered the world of singularity. Both were equally beautiful.
"Halis Fael." But it had not come from my lips.
In that moment, I knew I could hold control her choice. But I didn't want to any longer. I had never questioned why I had tried so hard to be different, I guess I just didn't want to be the same. To be the same was a terrible thing I had always told myself. But now, was it really?
"Happiness comes with it flaws." She spoke again, still staring at the sun that had progressed to a bloom. Suddenly she spun, turning to face me. "Go. Take Son and go."
Go where? But my mind was too shocked to ask. Instead a stutter came out.
"There's a world out there outside of Statelend, a whole world. More cities, more places. Take Son and go."
More? Outside of Statelend. Not long I would've doubted a world outside of here. "Cities?"
"Yes. Go, take Son, and live the life you both deserve. Whether it be happy or sad, go live it, before destruction reigns."
This woman who had before seemed so hostile stood before me, truth covering her emotions as she gave us this life. "Destruction?" my mind stunted over the word.
She sighed, collapsing into a chair. "This was done before, many, many years ago. The emotions they felt became too much, they drove themselves mad. It's where we're heading. Please?"
Pleading filled her voice, pleading for her child, for everything she had done. "Where is he?"
Her head perked up, a small smile covering her face. With a surmounted energy she rose, quickly coming to place the letter in my hand. "Thank you." She said no more as she moved to the back of the room, stopping before three.
Son was inside.
He shot a smile when he saw me, but I knew he did not understand.
"C'mon Son." I pulled him into a hug. "We're going on another road trip."
One was already open when we emerged, the room dark, a single trapdoor covering the floor.
"Follow the tunnel, I don't know how long it will take, but follow it and you'll get out." I looked away as she pulled Son into a hug, the final one she would ever give him. A single tear had fallen down her cheek as I turned back, hearing a sniff come.
"No matter what you do, don't come back."
I made no move.
It was Son instead, who pulled at the trapdoor, who took my hand, and led me down the stairs. It was me who took the last look back, who saw the smile cursed with tears, who realised that happiness could never be. We both welcomed the darkness.
His voice came timid when he spoke, echoing around the tunnel. "I don't want them to die." His hand held tight to mine, mine tight to his.
"I wonder if them way out there know how to storm the castle." And I chuckled, a small chuckle that was soon enclosed with another's.
"We can teach them if they don't."
And I knew, that we would teach them, whether they wanted us to or not.