Self is Lost: Chapter 4, Daystar

Faustus stood on the fifth floor of the temple. This was only a quarter of the way, but it will still be easier from now on. He kept walking. A door led to a great balcony, on which was a small garden. Faustus appreciated the sight of a quiet afternoon. The sun was setting on the horizon, and birds flocked the skies, flying in the empty space between the shattered cloud coverage. He picked a flower from a dying bush, and thought for a moment. No guard would dare seek him out. They always guarded their floors, staying at their designated position no matter what. The flower was golden, and glowed like the morning sun. A type unseen. Some of his friends working on biology would love to check it. Regardless, he put the flower on one of his horns, fastening it with a strand of silk. He picked a few seeds from the dying bush.

Even a machine can appreciate beauty.

The alchemists were right in their goal, but the means would be considered immoral. He stared towards the top of the temple.
Faustus noticed there was a balcony on the seventh floor. He sighed at his stupidity of not checking for a shortcut earlier. He morphed his arms into appendages for climbing and went up. Arriving at the seventh floor, he could feel a stronger presence of his shard. The eighth floor and ninth were cleared with ease.

At the bottom of the stairs, he considered what is the nature of the spell that had dragged from the air. A sense of glee came from solving the mystery
Faustus stood in the hallway right next to the entrance to the chamber on the ninth floor. The radar has completely given out at this point, and nothing can be felt through it. A faint blue glow can be seen from his position, and he can even hear two people talking. He readied the coilguns and prepared to go inside. Just as he almost moved, a signal from his brain interrupted it. He can discern the source was the assistant intelligence.

“The two enemies in the room have sensed your presence and are trying to trick you. Proceed with caution.”

He was worried about the message. The assistant had not nearly a quarter of the brain power to send these signals, let alone have the consciousness to do the analysis and decisions.

This was not the time to be worried about this. Being more careful was always better. He moved into the room.

Inside was an elf and a human, clearly with weapons drawn. The warning was correct. He sidestepped just in time to dodge a sword strike from the elf. The faint blue glow came from a portal, standing behind the two.
The human raised her hand, but Faustus knew a mage at work, for he is also one. Or, was one, before he lost most of his magical powers in the transition. He could only cast the few weak spells he had re-learned from the database. He fired a shot from the autocannon, which broke the mage’s concentration. The elf had struck him with her sword in this window of opportunity, but was rebuked by his shield system. The shields dropped low. They could only block one more hit. The elf gave him a kick, which knocked him back a distance.
Right in front of the portal.
The human cast another spell, this time a stunning wave. It staggered Faustus just enough time for the elf to kick him into the portal. Darkness embraced him as he hit the stone ground. He was in a maze.

The stone surface below him was cold. The ceiling was low. It gave off a claustrophobic feeling.
Faustus found that every system was not working. The coilguns can’t charge, the autocannon was jammed, hover pads were locked, boosters can’t change direction, and transmutation failed with each attempt. He was truly alone.

He walked in the maze for a long time, seemingly going in a circle. He was getting desperate. Whispers in the darkness clawed at his soul, waiting for him to break down. Faustus started to run, in hopes that he would find a way out of the loop.

He crossed a corner that seemed to be new. The room had a dark pit in the center, which devoured all light. Levitating just above the pit is a blue shard. His personality matrix. He had not been able to locate the shard because of the pit!

Faustus called the shard towards him. The shard was reluctant at first, but soon recognized him. As it entered his mind, he felt a sensation. In his mind, there was another “him”, wearing a robe decorated with stars, and a halo above his head. They smiled at the same time, and Faustus felt power return to his body. Lost memories were re-remembered, and he felt magic through his body, cursing through the circuits, and through his mind. The protection protocols glimmered with another light, and he could feel his gadgets recovering from the darkness of the abyss
He heard a sound behind him. It was the elf, with swords drawn. On the other side of the room was the mage, sensing something wrong with him. She started to run. Faustus whispered a word.


And the room was covered by a brilliant fireball. Light shone through the darkness, and Faustus watched the two forms disappear through the fire. The abyss recoiled in agony and hate, and the portal was broken.

Faustus found himself lying on the floor of the chamber. He stood up. Walking on the top of the temple, he felt the morning sun of dawn on the horizon. The light was welcoming. Faustus tested his wings. They responded with readiness to flight, the willingness to take to the skies once more. He took to the skies, towards east, where a city lies.