A creature of horror swarmed toward my body. It pulsed with deep red lights, emanations of growths around a festering core of dark wisps. The other man shot at it futilely. My body dropped to its knees in despair. Its mind cracked. It knew this was the end.

[What… what…? That… thing… is….]

The other man howled with a low scream of dread. The despair of imminent and inevitable death. He stepped back, lost his footing, and fell onto the cold sand of this ancient place, paralyzed by the truth of what he had seen, what was a moment from ending him.

There was no need to interfere.

Yet I felt a conflict of wills within me. That new mind, the one which relented its life to me near the obelisk, was now a part of my whole. Despite the minisculity of that mind, it was exerting some minor power over me. My curiosity gave passage for that mind’s desire.

A sphere of clear and brisk energy formed around me. A dozen white tendrils emerged from its surface and shot out toward the horror. This body reeled in shock, and the sphere of light’s centroid moved with it. My body closed its eyes and screamed out, but I could still see.

The tendrils, motivated by my second mind, jetted out to slam the horror and clashed with its unspeakable body. Bursts of plasma cascaded outward as cosmic flesh seared through a mass of evil, separating, eviscerating, annihilating.

Then it was done. The tendrils coiled around its heavy boils and melted them into its mass one by one. Then they found the core and its power became mine. All that remained was a collection of coveted trinkets. One of which was the beacon that gave off a constant flow of pings. For years, it seemed.

The tendrils, now sparking with red, withdrew into the orb of energy around me until they disappointed at points of nothingness. Then the sphere faded away inverse with the growing contentment of my second mind.

Stillness lingered within the chamber for a while. New dust disturbed by the viscous encounter settled on the long dead, and us.

I wondered if I should force this mind to join me now. A gentle squeeze of his heart would uncoil his mortality and allow him to follow me back. Again, my curiosity led me to wait.

The beacon’s light pulsed, illuminating the chamber. Powered by a tiny perpetual source of energy. Many pillars which surrounded the space had ancient pictures carved into them in the same design as the passage that led to this space.

The other man was quiet and still. My body whispered on the radio. “Dead?”

“… no.” The other man said. Like a crash, it all happened within moments and ended so abruptly. “Gone?”

“Think so.” My body said. It stood up, but stayed still. My visor’s data feed had stalled.

“… how?” The other man said. He got to his feet and looked around, walked toward the beacon. “It’s here.”

Among the beacon was a collection of deathrats and other artifacts which looked to be much older. They were unlike anything we had ever seen before.

The other man read off the names of the deathrats one by one.

“Can’t be.” My body said. “That’s our crew.”

I walked toward one body resting on the cold stone floor and knelled before it. The suit’s helmet was crushed and ripped open. Time had leached the body within dry. It was my suit. It was another me. From another space and time. I reached for it, but could not find any trace of its mind. Too much time had passed.

“Are we… hallucinating?” The other man said. He too had found his mangled suit, his dead body. “You said you felt something before?”

“Don’t know… don’t know what is real… there was… light… then it was gone… but… this feels… real… could be… we found… a… spatial… anomaly…?”

“Maybe…” The other man went back to study the trinkets the beast had collected.

One piece was a green crystal cube with edges wrapped in straps of gold. It had an inner light which glowed. “Catch.” The other man tossed the cube to me, and at its grounding with my suit I knew it was something powerful. An anchor of a distant mind.

The Pyramid Will Live Again!

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