Self is lost: Prologue

Faustus moved through the ice-cold chamber, feeling the carves of time upon the fine metal floor. The hallway was covered in dim lights, illuminating the forms of statues of ancient technomancers. Faustus was well known for his mastery of technology, as he recalled, many in his family predicted that he would join the ancients, and work with sacred knowledge in the guarded vaults.

He moved on. It was not his first time walking down the great hall, as it was his home. A drone followed him, It’s form changing, revealing projectors, tools, and sensors. Faustus knew it well, as it was his first work. Over time, he has improved it, as it faithfully assisted him in his works as a scholar and a warrior.

At the end of the corridor stood a casket, suspended by machinery. Faustus tapped on the slate carried by the drone, opening a control tab. He selected a button, as a seat lowered from the ceiling. Floodlights covered the chamber in bright light, almost too bright for his liking. The choice of biotransference is his. He could always feel his human form weakened by the perils of his work. A machine body won’t suffer from the weakness of the flesh, as the magic he used to sustain his body is, like all magic, unpredictable.

He opened the casket by tapping a command, revealing his machine body. It was the greatest of his works, with a controlled flow of magic, concealed weapons, and even an automatic stabilization and assistant intelligence. It was far from conscious, as nobody would risk combining their mind with a machine. The empty matrix gifted to him by his family’s elders sat at the heart of the body, and on its back is a reactor, capable of stable energy output.

He paused and thought. What would “I” become if I took the path? Was it a gradual transfer, or would it be equal to burning your soul and constructing a new one from scratch? Nobody knows for sure. He thought about the feeling of touch he felt. Can a machine replicate that?

Did I not leave my fear behind in the ancient cavern of trials? Was it not when I faced mechanical horrors, created from misuse of knowledge? I knew I did. It sat there in the cavern, reaching to me in sorrow. But I know it leads to weakness. Fear is not an excuse. I have none of that.

He jabbed his clawed finger at the slate. A helmet dropped from the ceiling, suspended by cables and a mechanical arm. He put it on, closed his eyes, and drifted back to his deep mind.

A rift opened. It dragged his knowledge, his thoughts, and parts of his soul inside. He willingly entered it. It will lead him to his new body.

Faustus can sense his personality being transported. He is relieved. It was not a rebuild. It was a change.

At least, he was relieved. Until he felt a sensation of being ripped apart. He cried out in agony. He was alone and felt the terror of watching himself disappear.

The transition was complete after what felt like an eternity. He stared out of mechanical sensors, from his horned head. He spread his wings and walked out of the casket with an unseen grace. His old body of flesh sat on the seat. He stared at it, took the helmet off, and touched “his” forehead.

At that moment, he felt everything he had lost. The shards of knowledge, his deepest thoughts, and fragments of his soul. He grasped at them desperately, but they passed through his hand like water and flew. The thoughts swirled around a phantom matrix, floating in front of him. On the matrix’s surface, words were etched.”Fafnir Faustus”

As he watched, the matrix silently flew out of the hall, and dissappeared.

Soon the etheral matrix flew out of his mountain home, out of the great woods, away.