It had taken Arnold a long time to calm down and listen to himself, but being trapped where he was he hadn’t had much choice but to do something about his situation. He had found himself in almost the same predicament he had found himself in September almost, once again he was stuck without the feel of a body at all, but unlike last time he felt as if something was around him on all sides even though there wasn’t anything to see. He felt both connected and completely disconnected from…the things that were both near him and were far away.
Arnold tried to think clearly, but all he could do was remember that Id had allowed this to happen and she’d been happy about it, he tried to speak as they had before at her, “What did you do?! Where are we?!”
“I was hoping you wouldn’t notice,” Id returned, almost playfully. “At the moment, we’re not anywhere…and in a way…we’re everywhere.” Arnold growled despite not having a throat. “Well, I suppose it’s too late to hide it now. Believe me, this is the best thing that could have ever happened to us.”
“How could this have been the best thing that could have ever happened to us?!” Arnold fumed inwardly at the situation, and she seemed to take his anger seriously finally.
“It would be best if I started at the beginning,” Id paused and then continued. “You remember how I told you that your ancestors had bound themselves so firmly to one realm, one reality, and one point?”
Arnold didn’t have to say anything, and neither did she because she knew that he had realized what she must have done now, she’d somehow released that binding…”How?”
“That rift was an opportunity that allowed us to feel the realms beyond again, and I was trying re-establish a connection with them and break the anchor within us using the weakened state of that realm we have been trapped in near it,” Id explained. “Really, that rip was the perfect tool for us.”
Learning this did make Arnold calm down a little, since this had been something they had both been interested in and she sounded like things had gone well enough that no harm had been done. Still, Arnold wished he could have had a little warning, but it’s not like they had known that Metier was going to show them the crack…had she? “Tell me that you didn’t foresee this.”
“You could say that I foresaw it,” Id said coyly, to Arnold’s annoyance. His subconscious paused for a long time before she finally explained, “I wasn’t going to tell you this but Tepic was right about us needing to work together, and you would learn when we finally manage to fully integrate. It’s true, I asked Metier to lead you there.”
“He was the only option I had available to me,” Id explained. “With our very existence at stake you deserved to at least be aware of your final moments and why it might happen, and if that didn’t happen I also didn’t want to have you awaken with no clue how you got here, that would have been worse for both of us and much harder for me to explain. And the last thing I wanted was for you to blame me, and have yet another reason to turn against me and drive us further apart preventing our integration even more than you are now.”
“The only option?! Why didn’t you just ask Maddox, Helio, or-”
“None of them would have ever allowed this to happen.” Id interrupted and sounded very certain. “There was a chance that instead of releasing us that the attempt would have instead erased us from all existence instead, if we were too bound to that realm to escape it even with the rifts aide. None of your friends would have allowed it to happen knowing there was almost no chance of success. Metier was my only hope in this case, since your friends would never allow it, I would not risk our existence without your awareness, or reveal myself to anyone not of our kind or had passed beyond…intentionally at least.”
“How can you be so sure they wouldn’t have allowed you to do it? I would have felt better about it coming from them, telling me why I was doing it! Just how risky was this?”
Id didn’t answer for a long time before she replied, “It was not even ‘almost safe’, only those who had as much to gain as we did would have ever risked it.”
Arnold seethed angrily as he recalled Avariels’ insistence that everything was ‘almost safe’ at the power station, even if a bomb went off there which would take out half the city. He also recalled other scientists who had been just as seemingly oblivious to the danger they were in, such as Gadget and his blind indifference to everything but the goal in front of him. He’d been so set on getting the hat that moment that despite the odds he’d get stuck in the well he had even prepared dive equipment. Arnold had the suspicion the self-proclaimed junior scientist was probably always that blinded given a few of their other conversations. Then there was Victor and his plagues…the entire city was full of oblivious people who endangered everyone around them at a whim, and even they wouldn’t have risked this unless it was some way of fulfilling one of their greatest life goals…
“There was almost no way this was going to work,” Arnold finished.
“There wasn’t much hope, but some hope was better than none,” Id replied.
Arnold seethed, as he thought about everything he had just heard, the risk, and about who she had chosen to set him on this course. How she could have even talked to the man that had once shot them…she couldn’t have just come up to him one day and made the request to him randomly. And he had been haunting the graveyard where he had been sleeping for weeks……just how long had those two been talking? Another horrible thought occurred to Arnold…how much had she told him?
It wasn’t surprising at all to Arnold that he didn’t have to voice a fear for her to know, “I did reveal a few of your friends plans to be rid of him, he’s actually hoping that they do speak to the city soon.”
Arnold yelled at his subconscious and struggled to turn away from her despite having no form. He didn’t feel movement, but her voice did fade away and he sat in silence once again, trapped without form in some place that was outside of existence, intending to find a way back without her ‘help’.