Previously on Blessed Inversion Soul…
Jey Connors has been suffering from a reoccurring nightmare involving a monster of unknown origins. After being transported to a mysterious cove in the Astral Plane, he meets the spirit Sylvanus. She tells him he possesses the power of Soul Magic and the creature he encountered was from the Rift. But rather than get trained by Sylvanus he asks his boyfriend Hal Sharp (the hero known as Black Ice), for assistance. This led him to ask the vigilante SWAT-Spider (Steven Kessler) for training. Tragically, he doesn’t is unable to help as Jey is quite possibly the first magical Inversion in existence. But to control his power, he needs to control his anxiety and depression. Jey’s solution, rather than remain powerless against his nightmares and he’ll deal with them directly…
Pro-Gamer, magical Inversion
Henry “Hal” Sharp/Black Ice
Superhero, Cryokinetic Inversion
It takes Jey about 30 minutes to get back home from his training with Steven Kessler.* He wasn’t sure about his plan, but if he gave himself time to think it through more then he’d just back out. In his mind, a bad plan was better than nothing. Jey sits down on the couch and turns on the television. Boredom gradually setting in as the sea of commercials play. He closes his eyes and when he opens them once more he finds himself in the same darkness he was painfully accustomed to.
“I really made it…” Jey thought to himself. He was surprised his plan actually worked. He fully expected to fail because he actually wanted to succeed. But now that he had, he was at a loss. “Just think about what I want to use my powers for, not how to use them…What do I want to do?” he tries to gather his thoughts on what he even wanted to achieve. His plan wasn’t thought through and was at best a concept. Memories of his nightmare coming to mind without stopping. “Maybe I shouldn’t do this…maybe I should just go to Sylvanus.” he questions himself once more. “I mean she did offer and should get a second chance…She did admit her mistake…”
Jey snaps out of his thoughts briefly to find himself in the same position he always finds himself in for his nightmares. Floating through the darkness with the Angel nearby. His powers subconsciously pulling him to this point without his direct command. But something is different this time. He’s not observing a clear orb but a spear that looks far more advanced than anything RajTEK or even Eclipse Labs made. It floated suspended by purple glowing arcane sigils being emitted from its fingers like daggers. On what could best be described as a floor, the Angel stood balanced on equally dagger-like legs in a pool of fresh blood. What remained of some poor creature was indescribable and unrecognizable from whatever it once was.* The Angel spoke in a voice that was high pitched like a siren though Jey couldn’t understand anything it said. It stops speaking to tilt its skeletal head towards Jey. The beady black eyes staring at him from within their cavernous sockets. It grins through teeth as sharp as its fingers and legs at the sight of Jey.
*Read Quest for Knowledge for more details
“B’y lyj ahcp ohat…” Each syllable sent a shiver down Jey’s spine. The Angel turns it’s body to face Jey. Its pale skin had an extra layer that wrapped around its body like a coat. Giving it the twisted visage of a scientist. The spear is dropped haphazardly onto the floor as it approaches Jey with arms at its side and a slight hunch. No attempt was made to maintain its air of sophistication. Each step sounded like a blade stabbing a metal surface that was painful to endure even as an Astral Projection. “Ry p’bahvp nseb necp.” The Angel grabs Jey by his neck with his left hand and pulls him an inch from his face. The black void that made up his eyes staring deep into Jey’s. He lurches forward slowly until Jey is looking upward at him.
Jey struggles but his eyes turn hollow and the dark energy emitted by the Angel begins to intermingle with his own. Slow consuming him as he was choked by the dark energy. His vision blur from the pain until all he can see is the Angels blank eyes. Eyes that seem endless and pull him towards them. He tries to close his eyes but fails. His entire life replaying before him. All with the Angel watching from the shadows. Observing him…learning from him…Every thought he had and every sensation he experienced replaying as if it were the first time. And there was nothing Jey could do to stop it.
“What’s wrong Jey?” Jey’s mother asks as his memories of his childhood are relived.
< What? Where…why am I remembering this? > *
*Brackets for this chapter are the actual Jey’s thoughts and words
“They made fun of my eyes again.” Jey cries to his mother.
“Oh, Jey. It’s okay.” she hugs Jey and tries to comfort him.
“Curious…what is it about the eyes that made you worthy of ridicule?” the Angel wonders aloud. His words now clear and discernable to Jey as his mind is hijacked and manipulated. “Humans are such peculiar creatures.”
< Stop, get out of my head! > Jey tries to struggle but is powerless to stop his memories from being forcibly relived or the pain it created.
“Hey, I’m your roommate Hal.” Hal salutes as the memories of college begin against his will.
“Um, Jey.” he replies with a short bow.
“Nice to meet you Jey. So, what are ya here for?”
“Astronomy mostly.” Jey replies as he sits down on a free bed and begins to unpack his suitcase. “What about you?”
“Art, you could say we’re the AA dorm room.” Hal jokes but gets no response from Jey. “Yeah, not my best joke but whatever. I’ve had worse first impressions.”
< Please stop. >
“Wait, I know him…” the Angel muses to itself before continuing his viewing.
“Hal?” Jey’s memory jumps once more to him on his campus at night. He stood before the statue of an angelic woman where Hal waited.
“Jey? Funny meeting you here.”
“Yeah, I was gonna meet a…friend.” Jey says somewhat hesitantly as he stands next to Hal.
“Same.” he crosses his arms and continues waiting in an awkward silence. “Part of me didn’t expect you to actually come. I mean Bun-Bun? That’s a pretty silly screen name?”
“I like rabbits okay. It was the first thing I thought of…” Jey tries to hide his embarrassment.
“It’s cute.” Hal pats Jey on the shoulder. “If I knew it was you I wouldn’t have bothered asking to come out here and just asked at the dorm.”
“This isn’t weird for you at all?”
“A little, but it’s also really convenient. So Bun-Bun, should we head back to your place or mine?” he smiles in response to Jey’s groan. “Come on, we both know you liked that one.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Jey sighs.
“So we’re still on then?”
“The Shade is important to you…Interesting…” the Angel rubs its claws against its chin repeatedly in thought. The sound it made like blades dragging across a concrete floor.
< Get out of my head! >
“You know we can’t tell anyone right?” The memories continue once more as Jey looks over at Hal who lays in bed next to him.
“I already get stares. Why should this be any different?” Hal responds flatly.
“It’s just safer this way.” Jey defends.
“I guess you’re right.” Hal sighs, gets out of bed, and begins getting dressed. “I’m gonna go for a walk.”
“Oh, okay.” Jey responds lowly. He only had good intentions but all he did was upset Hal.
“Intriguing…Does this mean you’re this Worlds version of Legionnaires? Have they not been created yet?” the Angel tightens his grip and forces its way deeper into Jey’s mind. The tears running down his face and his struggling to breath were trivial concerns to the Angel. He was just another fascinating subject that could be used as he saw fit.
“NO! GET AWAY FROM ME!” The fear and rage consumes Jey and finally boils over. His voice no longer silenced by the Angel’s grip as he cries out. His eyes glowing green with Aether and surging with power. The energy he emitted frees him from the Angel’s grip and the prison of his own memories. It cries in pain at such a pitch he couldn’t even hear it.
“Lyj q’hgp!?” the Angel shouts in a fury. It’s tone deep and demonic. Without its grip on Jey, the Inversion could no longer understand him. “Iblis ayrb’jcpb! E kedd ayrb’jcp lyj!”
“SHUT! UP!” Jey shouts back at the Angel. The energy wave he creates piercing the darkness and consuming the Angel. The shadows that surrounded Jey melt away as he finds himself underwater in the Astral Plane. His mind and body exhausted, he lets himself float to the surface gradually. Unfortunately, even the Aether filled skies and gentle waves couldn’t stop his heart and mind from racing. While the passing of time was inconsistent within the Rift, for Jey it felt like he was being tortured for 23 years straight. Slyvanus phases into reality above him but floats silently for several minutes they just remain there with the only sound being the waves crashing and the Aethers gentle hum.
“You’re incredibly lucky. Had you not used Soul Magic when you did, your mind would’ve shattered.” Sylvanus breaks the silence.
“You saw?” Jey asks and receives a nod. He wanted to be mad at her. He wanted to hate her for saving him. But he was too exhausted to express it and too happy to be free of his prison.
“I am bound to the Astral Plane but my power is intertwined with yours. At first, I thought it wisest to just observe you. To let you follow your own path. But if things got too grim I had intended to intervene. Tragically…” her eyes lower. “When you were caught in Indagator’s grip I was powerless to aid you. While you were forced to be a passenger in your own life, I was forced to watch you suffer.”
“A-are all Angels like that?” Jey asks fearfully.
“He is amongst the worst…which is a fact that saved your life. Were he a lesser Angel they would’ve killed you without hesitation. But the trauma he forced you to endure allowed you the opportunity to save yourself and return here.”
“Please.” Jey sits upright and bows. His head on the water before her. “You have to teach me how to do it again.”
“As you wish.” Sylvanus smiles as the world shifts around them. Transporting them into the sky. The Aether was all that flowed around them as the ground slipped away. Leaving them floating in the sky. “To know how to use your power you must know where it came from.” she turns from Jey as a pillar appear that rise infinitely into the sky. “Long before the Astral Plane was created, the first Sage known as the Sage of Light sacrificed his life to form the Zero Pillar. A tower that pierced all reality and sealed away The Rift. But with him so went the Elemental of Light. When his Pillar finally collapsed.” she pauses as the Zero Pillar shatters before the pair. “So too went the Aether of Light. When the Rift threatened all of reality once more, the final generation of Sages stood to oppose him.” Seven more Pillars appear surrounding her & Jey. “The Pillar of Kindness, Temperance, Humility, Charity, Patience, Chastity, and Diligence stood as beacons of light within the Rift. Each containing the souls of their respective Sage and the Elemental they represented. The Aether of Water, Nature, Fire, Air, Ice, Earth, and Lightning were what remained. But like the Zero Pillar…the Sages were unable to hold back the Rift for eternity.” she sighs as one by one the pillars collapse. Leaving only the Pillar of Kindness before it too collapses. “With their destruction, the Aether should’ve died. Yet it endured and created the Astral Plane. Your Soul Magic draws not upon this pool of Aether but your very own essence to power it. Though you can access the Seven Aethers as well as the Pure Aether that was lost with the Zero Pillar and even Abyssal Aether of the Rift itself should the need arise. I must caution you, this power is great and only as strong as your soul. You were strong enough to ward off the Angel but I assure you the injury was minor at best. You will need far more power to be rid of him.”
“What happens if I run out of Soul Magic?” Jey asks fearing what he already believes will happen.
“You’ll be reduced to a hollow husk and when you die you will simply cease to exist. There will be no Valhalla or Aaru awaiting you. Such a fate is one who abuses Soul Magic or is felled by an Angel. Tell me, do you still wish to learn?”
“Yes.” Jey says filled with determination. He was terrified of facing the Angel again. He was terrified of using his powers wrong and destroying himself. He was terrified of how the Angel seemed to know Hal. But there was one thing he knew from being forced to relive his life at the claws of a monster. He’d never let what happened to him happen to anyone else. Not now that he knew he had the power to stop it.