I force myself to stand, to ran, to escape. I don’t know where I’m going, I just have to get out of here. Out of here… Out of here?

“So, you want to leave, do you?” a voice snaps me out of my… trance?

I turn around, feeling grounded for the first time in a while. A girl with icy blue eyes and long black hair is floating behind me. The campus has disappeared, and we’re at a floating platform, above it. The girl has black, feathered wings, tipped with red, like blood.

“Kassandra Oliver.” I hiss.

“That’s me. Although I go by Dark Kassandra now. Easy mistake to make, I know.” Kass sounds stuck-up and pompous.

“Get to the point, enough of these games! What do you want?” I demand.

“Oh, Mesa. I don’t want anything. It’s you who wants something. Isn’t that right?”

“Me? What are you talking about?!”

“Weren’t you just begging to be freed from that nightmare down there?”

I go to retort, but… she’s right. “That’s what I thought. Now, how about I make you a deal? You come with me, and I help you free your little Ed from the poison never meant for him. Oh, and you’ll help me bring Kal back home too. Sound good?” Kassandra offers, smiling impishly.

Home? But Kal grew up under Tang’s rule… Not Low’s… Am I missing something? Did she lie to us?

“Hurry up, I don’t have all day. This sun… ugh, it burns.”

“If I can save Ed… Fine, you have a deal. Kal’s mean to me anyways.”

Kassandra claps, and holds out a hand. “Come on, there’s so much to do! Ooh, this’ll be so much fun!”

Stepping forward, I grab her hand. And am promptly pulled into a swirling vortex of color.


(I think I had wayyy too much fun writing that lol)


And that is exactly when I realize that Kass probably brought me here to assimilate me.

“Wait-” I say, trying to get it to stop, but she doesn’t stop. I am hers now.


We land on the roof of a skyscraper. A large crew of people are building a geometric glass dome around it. Far below, what I can only assume is the capital of the Dark Domain is bustling with people. But, it looks so different to how Kal described it. “Wonderful, isn’t it Mesa? What a little female touch can do to a city such as this.” Kass asks, walking over to the edge of the building.

I follow her, and we stare down at the transformed forest of dark buildings.


“Interesting architecture,” I said, trying my best not to react too strongly to anything.

“This isn’t the Luminescent Republic of Bullshit, Mesa, and I don’t wanna hear that trash,” Kass says. “I’ve made my best improvements and I’m just trying. Trying to do what Dark Low was too scared to.”

“And that is?”


“Low was always caught up in his studies but afraid to act on them,” Kass said contemptuously. “He found many things out, powers neither the light or the dark gave you. They were from before the two sides were founded, I think.”

She reached in her pocket, and retrieved a red egg. “This,” she said, “was found in space, around the mortal world. It is, in all likelihood, from before the two sides became themselves. I want to see what it becomes. I have a friend, actually, who I found trapped in the vaults, who might be from the egg.But it’s not that important. Just an example of the kind of thing we’re talking about here.”

“What would that be, exactly?” asked Mesa.

(feel free to correct if this doesn’t fit, trying to get back into this)


(Don’t worry, it works just fine.)

Kass turns and starts walking towards the staircase down into the skyscraper. I run to follow her.

“It was once thought that everything existed in pairs. Murkerial and Lumialela. Low and Tang. Dark and Light. However, there was once a time when this was not true. It was a time of lull and cold. There was only the mortal world, boring and peaceful. Then, one day, someone broke that silence, and launched themself into space. By breaking the silence, they split the very fabric of reality. This caused strange objects to fly into space over the mortal world, and were soon locked into a cryofreeze. The person who caused this also became frozen, and many centuries passed. This became dubbed “The Frozen Era” for clear reasons. The rip began to heal itself, but, then two beings flew through it. I assume you can guess who they were?”

“Murkerial and Lumialela?” I offer.

“Very good. They, seeing the state our reality was in, created Light and Dark. This broke the mortal world free of the death-like state is was in, and gave it the start to become the Earth we know today. This was also when Tang and Low’s parents were created. Then, Murkerial and Lumialela retreated, and the rip began to close once again.”

Kass paused, and turned to look at me. We were in a lab now, with a smoking machine set at the head of the room. "Behold, the ruins of Low’s greatest invention. When Kal fired this, it tore the rip open farther than it had ever been before. It dragged Murkerial and Lumialela back into our reality, and brought us to the current situation. This also dragged through more things from their realm. Don’t you get it, Mesa? Low figured out how to breach through reality!"


“So you just tear a hole in the universe?” I ask, in a concerned tone.

“Well, yeah! Exactly,” Kass says, “but do you understand? Do you actually understand what this could mean? We could enter a world outside of reality. We can become gods. We can be able to snap our fingers and bring the whole damn world under our control. Physics will become nonexistent for us. Death, only a minor obstacle. What is physically possible will become everything. We will be able to do anything. So I’ve made my plans for this world. And you can be part of it!”

“Kass, please, listen to yourself! You’re fucking around with shit you don’t understand! Who’s to say you go through that portal and don’t instantly die? Who’s to say you go through that portal and don’t cause all of the known universe to collapse in on itself? Who’s to say you go through that portal and don’t force everybody in the world to undergo endless torture? Even Kal?” I try to plead with her, but it’s no use.

“Who’s to say I go through that portal and don’t gain total control over everything I’ve ever known? I could do anything! I could make it so this whole world was mine. I could give us meaning! I could turn this world into anything I want to,” Kass says, grinning. “Which brings us to my plan.”

“Which is?” I ask.


“I need to rebuild this machine, only ten times better. No, a thousand times better. What do you think the remodels were for? Sure they look great, but no. Everything has a purpose. And you, my friend, are going to help me bring over Luminescents!”

“What? Don’t they hate you?” I ask her, stunned.

“Well, they did. But, ever since the whole debacle that wrecked that beautiful machine, they’ve realized Tang had lied to them. Why do you think he’s hiding? His people want his head on a silver platter. And, to help them join us, you’re going to give them it.”


“Do I even have a choice?” I ask.



“Honestly, I don’t even mind that much. That fucker deserves what he’s gonna get.”

Kass grins and high-fives me. “Awesome! Head down to Floor 53, Weaponry Division. They’ve been notified of your arrival, and are ready to help you prepare for your infiltration of The Republic.”


That’s not the point of the game though. Everyone is supposed to build it.


Yeah, but you made her pregnant and you didn’t read the rest of the story - not even a little bit of it. You can join if you don’t make anybody else pregnant.


Exactly what she said. I get what you’re saying, but you just flew in here, and added that seemingly without any other thought.


“Okay. But is there an elevator or-” I asked.

“No, just take the stairs. They’re right there.” She points to a stairwell and I begin descending before I hear - “Oh, yeah! Don’t get off at Floor 60.”


“Just don’t, okay? Bye!”


Kass flies out an open window in the lab, and disappears from site quickly. Sighing, I begin to walk down the stairs.


As I descend, it grows darker and darker.


And darker, my skin crawls as I wonder what lies lower


Until it is almost pitch black.

And after a few more stories, I reach floor 60 - the one I was specifically instructed never to enter. Its mystery entices me. Surely a peek wouldn’t hurt. I crack open the door, just a little, and, after seeing a mostly nondescript room containing a table with a black crystal on it, continue down to floor 53.


Standing at the platform for 53, is a woman ever so familiar to me. “Natya? What are you doing here?”

The ex-Luminescent teacher smiles. “After Low’s death, and Kassandra’s rise to power, I realized the error of my ways. I was human once, you know. Kassandra invited me to work as a researcher here, and when we begin to recruit Luminescents, act as their instructor. She assigned me to guide you to the Armory. Come, there’s much to discuss.”

She turns around, and starts to power-walk across the open floor. “How long has it been since I’ve seen this woman? Months? A year?” I think.

Natya isn’t so different from The Academy, expect that she’s changed out her bright white army clothes for a dark purple and black business suit.