fear becomes you -- Intermission Bluebook

What if Riii had not made her bargain with Moreth? Who would she have become? What measures would Moreth have had to have taken to regain his power?

There is a silence, after your words.

The Queen’s gaze remains steady, but she moves forward into your space. She lifts a hand, and you already know it’s coming – it’s a power play, after all, one that you are aware of – and she grasps your chin, tilts it upwards. You are in awe of her beauty, you let her do as she pleases. You feel a stab of anger, and a sudden intense burst of hatred. Something smells like smoke in the air.

“Hmm”, is all she says.

You don’t say any more.

But you return to your room that night, and it is outraged. It is unbearable and everything is burning. You keep feeling the urge to flee, to survive but you are not sure what it is you’re fleeing. You know it’s not you, so it must be … this vision, this thing inside you.

So you take the best path laid out to you, away from the direction your body urges you to go.

Somehow, you are allowed to see the Queen.

Somehow, you are left alone.

“I know what ails you,” she says quietly. You stand before her, shaking, and it is the biggest shame of your life that you bite out –

“Please —”

And you’re not even sure what you’re begging for.

But the visions of everyone burning need to stop. And you do not trust the Prince of Frost, so you are here, your soul bared, to a queen you also don’t trust.

You don’t even remember your eyes closing. But you must have, in the chaos of your mind, somehow fallen to your knees. You are cradled in her arms, and you are constricted. She hushes you, chidingly. You feel small and afraid.

“I can help you,” she says, “But I still have need of you. Unfortunately this makes your path … difficult.”

“… What must I do?”

“You poor thing,” she croons softly, stroking your hair. It is not as comforting as it seems. “You don’t even know what’s happening, hm?”

“Everything is burning,” you choke out.

Make it stop.

She will only tell you what she can do, after the challenge. She hints that it relies on your party winning against the other champions tomorrow.

This does not ease your worries, but so long as you can still direct your fire towards other people outside of those you care for – you can hold out. You will hold out.

The fight was not smooth. But it is still weak, and she is still in control, for now. She is exhausted. It remains a roiling, uneasy presence in her mind. She cannot tell where the discomfort ends and begins. But she is convinced, now, that she is the unwilling host of a presence far greater than she had imagined.

She is summoned to see the queen.

She goes willingly, of course, although something inside her tells her she will die.

She does not believe it.

After all, that’s what all parasites would say, when faced with imminent danger to the host.

You are let in to her room, and once again the doors shut and you are left alone with the Queen. It’s changed since you were last in here – the room is almost bare, except for a small round table beside the queen. Something is upon it, covered in a heavy maroon cloth.

She notices your gaze, then nods at you. You move forward – ignoring the incomprehensible shrieking in your head –

And you find that you cannot move.

You cannot breathe.

She removes the cloth. The room becomes almost unbearably cold, and you see it affecting even the queen. Some sort of cage, made of ice – never-melting ice – awaits.

But you do not understand what this has to do with you.

“For what it is worth, I am sorry,” she says to you kindly, and she withdraws a blade from within her robe.

You cannot move.

You cannot breathe.

fear becomes you -- Intermission Bluebook

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