0.03: Some Other Time.

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Empty darkness stretched in every direction. No light. No life. An expanse reaching for forever filled with nothing. barely a thought could penetrate the infinite dark. Sylus was used to this place. He knew that the other wouldn't be far. Dread began working its way across his subconscious. Again he'd never lay eyes on it. Again he'd only feel the horror of its presence. And again he'd just wake up with a startling pain wracking the entirety of his mind.

"Can we please skip this part?" he called into the nothing just as its presence filled his mind. "I just want to get to the point where I terrify myself awake. I'm so tired of this..."

"Would you believe me if I said the same?"

The voice was real. It wasn't an echo in his mind. A sound coming from somewhere in the dark. Somewhere... Very close... Sylus whirled around.to find a perfect, mirrored visage of himself. The sudden shock of seeing something in the abyss wore off into a dull disappointment.

"C-can you... Not look that way?" Sylus' mind ached at the sight of himself.

"I thought a familiar face would be a comfort..."

"Well... To he clear, humans like to think they're unique. Seeing someone that looks like them, e-especially for me... Well... It can be unsettling..."

"I see... What about yourself do you dislike so much?"

Sylus sighed. Deeply. Heavily. Forlornly...

"Everything."

"The other mortals seem to like you just fine..."

"They..." Sylus rubbed the back of his neck, "They accept me. For what I am. That... That doesn't mean... That doesn't mean I accept me... Myself..."

The creature studied its form. "Seems like a fairly average mortal appearance. Not exceptionally ugly or unpleasant..."

Sylus shook his head with a weak smile. The creature acted so much like a child. As much as he hated addressing the topic, he chose to indulge it's curiosity.

"I-I have a condition..." He wasn't sure that was the right way to start, "The... Ah... Um..." defeat overcame him before he could find another rational thought. "I... I have the wrong body..."

It was taken aback. "Wrong... Body?"

"Ah... Well... You see... Um..." His patience broke with a scoffed, "What do you really care?"

It gave him a sincerely quizzical look. "I am curious. That is all. I have lived with mortals for what I think has been my entire existence - I may even have been created by them - And yet I know so little about how you function..."

Sylus cringed a bit.

"To be honest we barely know how we function," Sylus clasped his hands together, "But what I do know is that I'm not exactly a good example of a functioning mortal. Why not find someone else who is?" he turned his back on it.

"I do not think we have a choice in this connection."

A dull silence settled between them. Sylus stared at the nothingness beneath him. He could feel it's lingering presence behind him. Closing his eyes tightly, he spoke.

"My... My mind... It... It doesn't match my body," he turned around, slowly. "I have... The... The, uh, brain waves, patterns... Of... Of the opposite sex of my body..." he laughed at how stupid it all sounded, "So... My... My mind... And my body... They... Don't line up. I-it... Causes... A lot of stress. A... A lot of anxiety... I mean..." he chuckled, "it shuts me down sometimes. Like... Completely...." He sighed, "Don't ask why. It just... It happens. That's all. Okay?"

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