A Hand-Woven Universe - Chapter 174

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Well isnt he interesting? He looks kind of familiar, wouldnt you say so Trisha? A malevolent voice chuckled within her mind . There was a piercing grating to the speech which made it impossible to ignore .
Ever since she had forced herself into a near death state - the grinning consciousness within her had become increasingly silent . It had been decades since she last heard its scratchy voice which mimicked speech .
But now, it had finally managed to find something which could get a rise from the unfortunate woman .
Mmmmm . The consciousness mumbled appreciatively at the image of Noones tall form . He just looks so delicious . You silly people locked away at the edge of the world . Truly I couldnt have asked for a more scrumptious snack . If it hadnt been for your incredibly rich bloodlines and attunements, I would have stayed a measly common cold you know? It chuckled wildly, eyes rolling with laughter . But thanks to your isolation, I was able to evolve just fine!
Trisha barely heard it though, instead her entire attention was on the image . Somewhere, in another part of the world, Noone was still alive… and somehow, he had crossed paths with one of the vectors for the disease . Otherwise it would have never been able to find him .
You know? I have been so bored ever since you tricked me and caused us to be sealed away in this dreary pit . The voice scoffed, recalling the situation from 30 years prior . Trisha said nothing .
The voice scoffed again, showing its toothy lip-less smile, like knives grinding against each other .
You better start changing your tune and speaking up, pet . Dont forget I am a permanent part of you now! Thats the cost you took upon yourself . So, I can feel it . . . The way it said feel caused Trisha to involuntary shudder . Despite a century together, she still felt unnerved by the consciousness . I can feel how much you want to just break free from this god forsaken cave and find him . Beg him for help . Warn him and tell him to flee so far away that I can never find him .
It chuckled, knowing it had hit the nail on the head .
NEVER! It screamed in her mind causing her head to throb violently . We may share this body, for now… but you only make some of the decisions! Those first 70 years after eating up Tapestry… It shivered in pleasure . They were wonderful .
Trisha closed her eyes, choosing not to respond . In the back of her thoughts though, wretched memories threatened to float to the top .
Ever since the fall of Tapestry, everything had gone by so slowly for her . It had only been through patience and meticulous planning that she had been able to wrest away control of her own body again . But by then . . . it had been too late . So many dark-elves had already been infected .
In order to keep the disease contained, she waited patiently for it to let its guard down . For seventy years it learned how to speak, plan, and plot like the dark elves . It had become the central pillar for the family of Kenod . And in return, it spread its disease so far among the kingdom of Montese .

In a flash of brilliance and desperation Trisha forced the consciousness to make a mistake, and the infection was revealed . But before the disease could activate and absorb the energy of every vector – Trisha made her move . She forced the consciousness of the grinning disease to become inseparable from herself, so it could not transfer its mind anywhere else . At least… not completely . And then stalled it for long enough for the dark elves to make defensive measures, and to hunt down the Kenod lineage .
The infected could act as eyes and ears for the violently grinning consciousness - the disease waiting to absorb their life force and crush their minds like some kind of sleeper agent . But now that it was tied to her, it couldnt live if she died .
She was the core .
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And for many decades now, they had been stuck in this stalemate . Trapped deep underground .
Trisha had tried on numerous occasions to kill herself… and the disease with her . But it wouldnt let her . It mocked her relentlessly, refusing to let her die . Even replaying the deaths of Tapestry over and over in her mind, hoping to break her . No matter how hard she tried, it had become extremely diligent over her well-being .
She couldnt even starve herself to death, the consciousness would just transfer some of its own stolen energy into her, sustaining her .
Trisha knew that if she hadnt been so gifted in the laws of soul, she would have simply become a tool in the hands of the grinning consciousness . She would have lost herself to it completely . Sometimes she wondered if that would have been a better life . . .
But now…
The image of Noone coming face to face with a Drider crossed her thoughts .
He looked so strong… carrying his axe like a statue of war . He moved swiftly, and with strength that was unnatural for someone of Tapestry . The light which glowed from Noones body was as pure as any attunement she had ever seen…
What!? Her eyes shot open in shock, her heart beat violently within her emaciated chest, the image continued to play in her mind .
He has attunements? She thought quickly . How can that be? He was born without any abilities or affinity for the energy of the universe? He shouldnt have those lines of power… . And why is his energy so pure and condensed!? Trisha for the first time in a very long time, began to panic as her thoughts raced for an answer to this enigma .
I see you have thought of it too? The grinning face laughed . If I can devour him, that will give me more than enough energy to break free from these shackles you have tied me down with . A toothy mocking stare greeted her .
Trishas resolve wavered for the first time . Was that true? Was Noone going to fall victim to the disease the same way Tapestry had? For a long time now, Trisha had assumed that the Common Heritage of The Ancestor would die with her… but now she knew there was one more… a candle of hope in the dreadful night .
Suddenly, apropos of nothing… Trisha began to chuckle . It was a small choke at first . Her lungs and throat cracked dryly . Then it got a little louder, and a little louder . Soon it had developed into a hoarse, throaty and full-bellied laugh .
Her lips cracked and began bleeding, but she didnt stop laughing . Her laughing grew louder filling the caverns with a sound unheard in decades . At some point the laughter had become a mixture and release of all the feelings she had felt for the 100 years .
Hatred . Sorrow . Anger . Loathing . Remorse . It all began to flow out from her pained lungs in a manic release .
For the very first time in a century, the grinning face of the disease which had evolved a will… frowned .
Without realizing it, Trishas soul which had given up all desire for life, was flooded with sudden warmth . She hated to admit it, but the feeling which was burning away at her… was hope .
She watched the image of Noone cutting off the driders head with a smile on her face . His pure white energy signifying that he had reached a level of evolution for the heritage of the ancestor .

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