Prologue

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Ok, let me admit something right off the bat: I’ve wondered more than a few times whether I actually remember anything about my early childhood at all.

Yeah, see, I might’ve just made it all up from pieces of different lives I’ve lived in other worlds. And since I can’t go back and check, I’ll probably never have an answer, either.

But the early childhood I’ve “imagined” is real enough to me.
And it was pretty good. I think my parents both cared about me, that I never went hungry or was abused, and that I got to do a lot of things I loved.
Sure, my parents were a little over-protective, and they didn’t understand me, like… at all.

But it’s not like they could have, anyway.

I dunno. Maybe it’s just the rose-tinted glasses, since I can’t actually remember things like what their jobs were, what their names were, what they looked like… But what’s the point in questioning it?

I just…
I can’t see the point in fighting or fearing what I can’t change. I never have.

And if it makes me happy, then I REALLY don’t see the point!

And remembering the good parts of my homeworld? THAT makes me happy!
So I’m going to start off this tale by indulging myself.

Now, I only have the memories stored in the First Memory Crystal to go by. Which, yes, is vastly better than my “memories” of my early childhood, but I wasn’t exactly expecting to continue living after dying in my homeworld. So, while admittedly better (and I’ll give a brief “thank you” to Noctu, that loveable pseudo-demon, for showing me I remembered more than I realized), my memories of my homeworld still aren’t all that detailed.
Also, my homeworld was ruled by vastly different laws of physics compared to this world, so, while I’m going to do my best to explain and translate, please keep those things in mind, haha!

First off, we didn’t have a name for our world, per-say — at least, not one I can translate beyond “our world.”
So I’ve chosen to call it “Illunira.” After how it glowed.

It was cold. There was no sun to warm it — in fact, there was no outer space at all! Instead, the heat from the center of the planet spread to the surface through lava, and our sky looked out upon a different dimension.
Plants grew in that lava, and our sky- that dimension? … It looked like a prism.

There were no seasons. No day or night.
Instead, we told time by the changing of the crops: the Planting, Growing, Harvest, and Rest.
We sowed our crops in spots where large amounts of life-sustaining, silver-colored lava came to the surface. I’m going to call these “volcanoes,” but they didn’t erupt like the ones here do. They only spilled out and bubbled with lava.
Our cities and towns formed around these volcanoes. However, never too close. Too close and we burned.

Well… some of us.

There were three species of intelligent beings: the Anima, the Florus, and the Symbi; and the Florus were able to live closest to the volcanoes, as they were plant-like beings (though, of course, sentient and mobile).

I say they were “plant-like,” but… Illunira’s “plants” more resembled flexible crystals than any vegetation from this world. But, unlike crystals, they glowed with energy siphoned directly from the lava. They were what transformed that energy into something that could sustain life — much like how plants here do with sunlight.
And this was how the Florus “ate” — directly from the lava. However, since they lost the energy they siphoned rather quickly, they could never stray far from a source of their “food.” (In this way, perhaps they were more like reptiles that couldn’t let themselves get too “cold”?)

In contrast, the Symbi, clusters of single-celled beings that worked together to form larger “communities,” stayed far away from the blustering warmth of the lava. It would easily kill some of their members.
Far from being crystalline, the Symbi were more like living, coordinated plasma; they only had a solid form or shape when they wanted to. And, as I understood it, it took quite a bit of effort to do so. So they rarely did.

The Symbi gained energy from…
… Huh. Y’know, I don’t think I ever saw them feed — but then, how could I? They were far too small. They almost seemed self-sustaining, in that way. Although I know they couldn’t have been.

The Anima, essentially humanoid beings, were something between the two. We were beings that couldn’t feed from the lava, nor get too close to it, like the Symbi. We held a more solid, crystal-like structure like the Florus, yet we also flowed with formless plasma internally, allowing us greater freedom of movement and separation from our energy-sources than them.
We seemed able to feed off of almost anything that wasn’t the lava itself: smaller creatures, the “plants,” and even some…
I’m honestly not sure what they were, but there were these floating, excess energy… things that we could absorb.

… Perhaps that’s what the Symbi ate…?

Regardless — All of us glowed. All of us lived together, fed one another. Ruled over and under each other.
All of us had souls. And, when our bodies inevitably died, all of us became the Dead Ones.

The Dead Ones… those whose physical bodies had died, lived on as beings of pure energy in the outer atmosphere — inside the divide between Illunira and the dimension surrounding it.
Though, only for a limited time.
Only until their energy ran out.

This dimension I call “Prizmal” because it looked — and still looks — like a prism from a distance.
Some believed Prizmal to be the afterlife, while others insisted it was what fed the planet’s core with energy. Either way, only the Dead Ones — who had solely prizmal bodies, without any material elements — were allowed to travel there. Anyone else would die so far from the planet’s heat.

I know because they tried, once.
How could they do that, you may wonder?

Because we floated.

We weren’t tied down to the land.
All of us: Anima, Symbi, Florus — anything that wasn’t a plant — floated and flew.

Because everything that lived there was only ever half-made of matter.
And the other half was energy.
So we floated.

I said everything glowed, but it wasn’t a bright place.
On the contrary, it was quite dark! But that darkness just made every light seem to shine that much brighter!

Small animals would skitter across pools of silvery lava, sparkling against it and any other reflective surface. Sometimes you’d see a light come up from under the non-glowing, pitch-black ground to reveal a tiny nose. Or you’d see a mass of similar-shaped flames rushing in one direction and, on closer inspection, realize it was a herd or pack of some larger creatures traveling together. Sparks would flicker in the sky, alone or in droves, looking for smaller sparks to swallow.

All of it against the empty darkness of the ground below, or the shattered, diffused light of Prizmal and the Dead Ones above.

Darkness and light extending in every direction, like a sea of living and moving neon signs on a starless night.
Everything glowed. All so many different colors.

… I miss how colorful it was there.


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