Game Over. Play Again?

Quinn Darcii

And the Squad
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There was an odd sensation that came with death. It was a unique numbness where Malloki could both feel and unfeel his own death in a prolonged time lapse of non-time. That, in essence, is the only way Malloki could express the way his body felt.

Though he was wracked with the bliss of a crushing death, he was fully comprehensive of the world around him. He could look around, but not move. Beneath his feet was a puddle of bloody pulverized organs and skeletal remnants. Frozen within the air he could not even count the bodies scattered so thoroughly.

This was the part that Malloki loved the most. In this single instance of time he could enjoy the finale of his big game. So enraptured was he in the beautiful carnage, he entirely overlooked his own facsimile.

Sitting cross-legged upon possibly the last clean spot upon the deck of the ship was what might as well have been another Malloki. It looked similar to the original, except that this doppelganger had distinctly doll-like features. His flesh was pale as porcelain, with eyes of stitched buttons. His hair was yarn the same color as Malloki’s hair, but he lacked any facial “hair.” The corners of this abomination’s mouth were far too wide, but were held closed by loose stitches.

”My dear sweet Malloki.” The voice of this creature was so soft spoken, and yet it rang throughout the frozen world with a ghostly echo.

The unmoving Malloki’s gaze fell upon his counter self. “Dolloki! It’s been too long, how’s the Mrs.?” That demented smile filled his face full force. “I had a bit of trouble finding someone to play the game long enough to come see you!”

The doll-faced creature tilted its head, the stitched smile growing unnaturally wide. ”Maybe it is destiny. You came just in time, my dear sweet Malloki.” The faux-man lifted its hand to point to the ship’s cabin. The hand was covered from fingertip to wrist in stitched lines, any more was hidden beneath the dark reaper-like cloak Dolloki wore. ”A new game is about to begin.”

Malloki’s head was compelled to turn and his eyes focused on the object of Dolloki’s gesture. It was a poster for something called Dante’s Abyss Convention. “Wassat? Some sort of cosplay gig?”

”No, my naive little friend.” As the hand fell, tucking once again beneath the robe, the doll took a deep and unnecessary breath. Talking to the broken man was like talking to a child. ”It is a game of survival. A game of betrayal. A game of murder.”

The childish glow of Malloki’s eyes spoke volumes. “Yes please! Sign me up!”

”Not so fast, my naive Malloki… Not so fast…” If Malloki had control over his body, his shoulders would have sagged. Alas, Dolloki was his puppeteer post-mortem. ”First, to the winner goes the spoils…”

“NEW TOY!”

”Yes… a new toy…” The stitched hand made a reappearance to pinch the bridge between Dolloki’s button eyes. ”This was a monumental victory in the game… So many lives changed for the better… The buttons within the pale porcelain face shifted upwards to the carnage frozen mid rain. ”I think you’ve earned a peak into the whole toy box. Just more pieces to the game… Just like the Good Doctor would want.”

Malloki’s eyes became glowing saucers as Dolloki unsheathed its hand from the dark robe. Within it looked to be a long shard of glass. ”What do you think this is?”

“Ooh, oh! It’s part of a glass sword! No, is from a baseball bat? No wait, it’s a barette M82!” After the first, the rest of the guesses went down hill.

Dolloki only smiled. ”Yes… All the things that twistedly clever little mind can conceive… it will become… As long as you can play the game with them. Enjoy yourself, so that someone can enjoy your new gift with you.” The hand of many stitches may need a few more as it closed upon the glass. The crunching left only dust, which Dolloki blew towards Malloki like a tender air-kiss.

It splashed the crazed man in the face, tearing at his eyes and ripping his lungs within. Of course, there was no real harm, just the sick pleasure of sweet, sweet agony. “I see! Wait, no, my eyes! OH IT BURNS SO GOOD!” He clamped his eyes shut, but against his will they opened again and focused on Dolloki.

”Do you like it?”

“I fucking LOVE it!”

”Good… because its time to go, my dear Malloki. There are more games to be played. Good fortune is upon us, as the next game has fallen right into our laps.”

“More like I’ve fallen right onto its poopdeck…”

Dolloki paused.

“Heh… poopdeck.”

Of course. With an ethereal sigh, the man-doll waved its stitched hand towards its counterpart. ”Goodbye for now, my childish Malloki.”

The wave and final goodbye brought a wave of reverse carnage. It became clear that Malloki had no form in this state, but quickly organs appeared from the ether. Intestines slunk out of nothing and spooled into the ghostly Malloki’s gut. Bone shards flew in from nowhere and stabbed their way into an already forming layer of flesh.

Rebirth was pain of the best kind. It always was. Malloki would have died laughing had he any lungs. Oh - there they are! With a deep breath, his maddened cackling filled that instant in time he was trapped in. When muscles formed, each one clinched tight and held him firmly in place. When breath ran out he just stood there, gasping like an asthmatic without his inhaler.

And then the rain of gore painted his new, nude form. Dolloki was gone, and the dream was over… The pain of death and rebirth held onto him.
 

Quinn Darcii

And the Squad
Level 3
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Joined
Sep 18, 2019
Messages
49
Essence
€7,920
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Erde Nona
Profile
Click Here
“Malloki, Malloki, Malloki… My dear, sweet Malloki...”

“You know, it doesn’t matter how many times you say my name, I can only respond once, right?”

Once again, Malloki stood atop his corpse, foot elevated on the very rock that had been used to smash his head in. He could see Mugen, frozen in time much like the sailors and gore, not a week past. Curious. Then again, Malloki himself was frozen too, with eyes glued on the creature before him.

The unblinking button eyes of the human-sized doll did not shift, yet they held a measure of disappointment in them. ”So many contestants, so many candles burning at a measured pace. They slowly melt away, until the candle is but a puddle, ready to be snuffed by its own incompetence.”

His brow would furrow if it could, but he had no control over his form in this not-worldscape. “Well, I--”

”SILENCE!” The sound of the doll’s voice radiated through all of the known worldscape… which considering the gray horizon was not very far.

”This is a game bigger than you, Malloki. I expected you would learn to play it properly.” The stitched mouth turned from the perpetual frown into a deep scowl. ”But no… Once your childish hands grasped that fancy gadget, you were ravenous in your games. One after the other. No ability to heal. You just never stopped to think, did you?”

“Think about what?” Though he could not physically recoil at the scolding, Malloki’s shoulders metaphorically slumped with the tone of his voice. “I did my best…”

“You did… something… but not enough. You could have waited out the others, held that tool until the time was right to strike.”

“But I was just playing the game?”

”YOUR GAME MAYBE!” Another resounding burst of sound shook the world. ”But THE game, my sweet Malloki, was to survive. Something I suppose I have taught you against…”

There was a long pause as the button eyes turn to face the frozen samurai youth. Malloki took the moment to ask his question once more. “What did I not think about?”

”The prize, my foolish Malloki. I wanted to know what the prize was. I sent you to win this Dante’s Abyss for the prize.” The longing look was incomprehensible from such a macabre face.

Malloki did not know how to respond. He just slumped as much as he could in his frozen position. “If you don’t want to give me a new toy, I understand… I didn’t think about playing the game right…” The disheartened voice coming from a man who stood atop his own crushed head might startle anyone else.

Dolloki only sighed. The air passing through its porcelain lips. ”No. You have collected much enough. I can bequeath onto you a new toy. One I believe you will thoroughly enjoy.”

The long, spindly fingers lined in stitching slipped from beneath the long, black cloak. Malloki blinked for the first time since his reawakening. When his eyes opened, he saw nothing but the palm of Dolloki’s hand. ”You valued that device so much… I will weave for you a new sight.”

Though most of the world was blocked by the hand, Malloki quickly wanted to scream. The light that began as a dim glimmer grew quickly and more fierce. It was painful to look upon. The visible world around Dolloki’s hand became dark, like the world beyond a flashlight at night. Like staring into the sun, Malloki’s eyes began to burn and boil.

“MY EYES!” He howled, trudging memories back from their previous encounter. Why was it always his eyes?

”With this, you will see those of notable strength of body, of mind, of soul and of wealth in arms and armament. Those equal to you will appear dim. Those mightier will appear brighter and brighter… depending on the difference.” The light slowly faded, giving Malloki a moment to real in the sweet, sweet agony.

“Does that mean… you’re…”

”Irrelevant. However, for your own sake, I will make sure to dim myself. You would be no good at your games if I constantly revived you blinded. Don’t you agree, my delicate little Malloki?” The sickeningly sweet niceties helped calm Malloki’s nerves a fair bit. He nodded with little confidence… well, he tried to nod.

”Good… Now, time for you to be off. Sadly, there are forces at play in the real world that prohibit me from resurrecting you here… Until next time, my obedient Malloki.”

“Wait, why do you want me to play--” but it was no use. The false world image captured at the moment of Malloki’s death faded as his soul began the painful revival process elsewhere.

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